You may remember that a few days ago I posted a couple of pictures of Sanneke with the painting of Pippi that I made her for our Sinterklaas swap. Well, yesterday a very special package arrived on our doorstep.
I let Q open it because I knew it would be something special for her. And indeed it was far more special than I ever anticipated! It seems that Sanneke and I, though we've never met in person, were thinking along the same lines! Because we received not one but TWO Pippis, handmade by the talented hands of Sanneke. One was an illustration of a very spirited Pippi dressed in a traditional Sinterklaas costume... The other was a hand-sewn Pippi doll, so highly-detailed and beautifully-crafted that it almost stopped my heart. Even days later, I am still finding beautiful little details every time I pick her up. The artfully-rumpled lace peeking from under her skirt...the tiny, perfect stitches that form the bow at her waist...the beautifully-disarranged hair...the small buttons at her wrists. This is the kind of craftsmanship you rarely see in today's mass-produced world, and it just warms my heart. I worship at the altar of really fine craftsmanship, and this is a perfect example, from the wrapping to the hand-illustrated card.
And if that isn't enough, the note on the back of the card explains that Pippi's corsage is made from a very unique fabric, 'staphorster stipwerk'. Staphorst, she tells me, is a tiny village near her hometown of Meppel, Holland. Women there are even today wearing traditional regional dresses made from this fabric. So this piece is especially meaningful to me as my own mother was born in Holland, homeland of her father's family.
I cannot emphasize enough what a fan I am of all things handmade, and the deeper I get into the international blogosphere, the more I grow to love. I plan to do a post on the handmade and why I love it soon.
Thanks, Sanneke! I can't tell you how I treasure your beautiful gift. OX - M