made by ______

I started to write a post yesterday but it never materialized. I was so tired after Sunday’s MADE Fair and wrapping up loose ends before I fell asleep at 8 and slept until 7 this morning.

The fair day started dark and icy cold, with more than 100 artists carrying their hand-crafted treasures into the Holiday Inn. “What are we doing mama?” Ruby asked. “Why we here now with all your Montana stuffs?”

Later someone asked her name and she said, “I Ruby. I here because mommy hawk her Montanas today.”

At 11am, the crowd poured in from the lobby to shop. All the vendors, having spent months stitching, sculpting, pouring, beading, stuffing, sewing, piecing, painting, pounding to get to this day where they stood, ready, together. It reminded me of the marathon starting line: the solidarity and relief of being there, after all that work. Here we go.

these photos snapped as my family was getting ready to leave, after they helped set up. I only managed to take one other photo during the fair and it is a blur of people, which pretty accurately describes the day

I loved meeting so many of you! Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself. And thank you for your Food Bank donations! (I offered a discount on my goods if people brought food donation). And thank you for your support! Goodness, I really love my work.

I am closing shop today, spending this week sewing my heart out (with the help of my seamstress Kathie and my good friend Chelci) to make gifts for the people you love who love a place. Dig goods heading all over the world this year. Amazing. Thank you so much for your orders this holiday season.

Iceland, Africa, Iowa, Florida, Nova Scotia, Japan, Sweden, Ireland, Nevada, Massachusetts, Oregon, Hawaii, Australia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, Georgia, New York, Texas, Michigan, Montana, Kyrgyzstan, Washington, Connecticut, Canada, Ohio, Tennessee, Alberta, South America, Italy, North Carolina, Costa Rica, Alabama, Long Island, United Kingdom, Arizona, Scotland, Virginia, Haiti, Tanzania, Colorado, Canada, North Carolina, Bolivia, Vermont, Nigeria, Idaho, Alaska, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Kansas, Kentucky, Guatemala, Maine, New Jersey, New Zealand…

But back to the MADE fair. I love that shopping locally is becoming increasingly trendy. It’s true that buying from your neighbor is investing in your economy. But, more to the point, it is investing in your neighbor and their family. Your purchase financially supports them and it affirms their passion.

I also managed to do a little of my own shopping yesterday:

upcycled kid undies by mansker

clothespin bag by Once Again

lip balm by Blue Zen Naturals

upcycled cashmere carrot by Oak Street Originals

kitty collar (for the new cat we’ll be bringing into our home this week!!!), by Montana Grrl

mug by Audrey Rosulek 

night light by Going to Seed

This season we will give some handmade goodness — some purchased and some in the works by our own hands (on virtually every surface of our home). And, for out out-of-town family, some sweet little Montana-made gift packs, featuring a selection of things our family eats or uses daily.

Cream of the West Roasted Ranch Oats, Body Basics Cheek Stick, Evening In Missoula teaGlacier County honey, Peach butter made by me, Bija Body tea, Black Coffee, Blue Zen lip balm, Earlywood kitchen utensils

Ok, off to the studio with my three year-old assistant. Those of you who get your packages mailed today: know that Ruby did all the backstitching and thread cutting and envelope sealing. Hopefully she and I will also squeeze in a little mermaid-making for a certain girl who will be FIVE in a few days…


21 Responses to made by ______

  1. adrianairis says:

    And I did not realize that today was Tuesday. Is like a Christmas haze. :)

  2. Kelly Cach says:

    Literally had goosebumps reading all the places people have ordered from! So happy for you :)

  3. Oh Nici, thank you for sharing your idea of sending your out-of-townies a little Montana love – what a great idea! Filing this one away…

  4. Martha says:

    Sent WI artisanal cheeses to our out of town relatives last year. Not in the budge this year :) but it is such a treat to receive local goodies!

  5. Kellie says:

    I can vouch for how much everyone will love the stuff from Earlywood! It’s fabulous.

  6. Trbholt says:

    This mama is so proud of you!!!!….wish I had a three year old assistant! LOVE you….see you in 12 days! xo

  7. I’m so glad to see all the places your goods are going! YAY you!! I’m also happy to see my wonderful province of Nova Scotia included in the mix. Have a wonderful week sewing . Looking forward to seeing the photos of the new kitty!

    Holiday Hugs,

  8. Tina says:

    NEW CAT!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
    I can’t wait to virtually meet your new furry friend. I am sure that Ruby and Margot will be over the moon excited about their new sibling! 😉

  9. Happiness is... says:

    Love to see that you’ve recovered from MADE. This fest has to be an amazing opportunity to share with other artists in your community. I wish that I could be there to support you all in one spot.

    Happy sewing. Happy gifting.


  10. Lisa says:

    Yeah, I’m going to have to look into those mugs.
    I’m happy that you’re so busy this week. Your life looks so good on you 😉

    Also, thanks for the slippers rec below; I oh-so-subtly sent the link to my husband and now my feet will be warm and cozy come Christmas!

  11. catherine hanlon says:

    I ordered a pair of Skull Knit slippers when you posted about them!
    they look delicious & hope I win a pair for my mama 😉


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