The Human Touch

Quilt-making, artisan chocolate, metal smithing, garage sales, vintage linens, ironing, folk music . . . what do these things have in common?

They’re a few of my interests but, because I am known to over-think things, I’ve always looked for a theme that connects them and that would give me insight to what makes me, well, me.

Then I read a phrase in a novel that gave me a starting place. The character receives a gift and reflects that it has that “loving-hands-at-home look.” The phrase “loving hands at home” was used as if it was a well-worn term but I had never heard it before.

So, I looked it up! I didn’t find anything definitive but learned that it’s a phrase used to talk about something that is obviously handmade by someone with a love of making. And, it became clear that the phrase is generally used in a disparaging way, to imply that the hand-maker might mean well but that they have more love than skill.

As I thought about it, though, I realized this was the connection among the activities and interests that have motivated me for much of my life, and I think they motivate many others as well. We are humans and we are drawn to that which is made by human hands. We appreciate the exceptional and the talented but also see the value in anything handmade, even if it is inexpert or awkward, because it reflects a desire to do something for oneself, to create, to participate.

Click, click, click . . . the seemingly unrelated interests in my life fell into place. All those things I’ve made and crafts I’ve dabbled in. All those exhibits of folk art I’ve sought out. All those items I pick up at flea markets and garage sales. All that music that moves me. They’re essentially the products of loving hands at home, not made by professionals, or mass-produced. They have the imprint of an individual human being on them. That human being might be me or you, or someone long gone, but the “hands at home” speak to me.

So, this blog is initiated to celebrate the hands at home. You won’t find me using that phase in the condescending way it is often used—I really do love those hands at home! If you do, too, I hope you’ll come back often and participate in the discussion!

30 thoughts on “The Human Touch

    • Ouch!

      Well, maybe it wasn’t the right time. Let God handle it.

      We’re reading you now … and looking forward to each new post.

      So THAT’s where you got the name! Very cool.

      Keep up the great work.

      PS: Follow up on this, and let us know in a few months how many people have read it. Betcha it’ll be a lot!

  1. I’m glad to have found you. I love the concept and the name of your blog. Anything handmade interests me. I still display my daughters’ ceramic holiday crafts they made in their after-school program when they were young. My grandmother’s embroidery is on my dining room table. There’s so much richness to those home-made items; I feel the love of their creator.

  2. I have a feeling I’m going to love each & every one of your posts, and you say no one read this the first time round? I’m so glad you had the forethought to re-post 🙂

  3. I am sewing, for the first time in quite a few years. It’s a small quilt celebrating English Apples. As I read your first post; the foundation stone for all those to follow after it, I am overwhelmed by a feeling of connection both to your words and then to myself. You speak of something which I think many women feel which is that actually the things which link them to their very essence are things which they learned at their mother’s or Grandmother’s knee. It’s the making, the sewing, the cooking, it’s what is at the heart of the family and gives it soul. I have been unable to sew for so long because my work life made it necessary to shut the connection out. By exploring what makes you ‘tick’, I think you will help many others to make the same journey and celebrate their discoveries. Thanks to your posts and your blog I am back in touch with a forgotten part of myself again, sewing tiny embroidered tendrils on an appliqued obelisk, whilst listening to a play on the radio. Bliss. -Karen.

    • I hadn’t heard the phrase before a couple of years ago and I liked it so much. And then was horrified to hear it was used as a put-down! It works just right for my purposes here!

  4. Well, lovely to be at square one. We are going to see how your blog came together like one of your beautiful patchwork quilts. More puzzling than not getting any likes on early posts is the people who viewed but didn’t click like or comment; that always worries me :D, though it really shouldn’t.

    • It’s funny–family and friends from my “real” life, who aren’t bloggers, follow and read but never comment–they say they feel intimidated by how smart and clever the comments are!

      • I have family and friends who read and follow too without commenting or liking. I think part of the reason is that it can sometimes be a bit difficult to figure out how to comment if you are not a WordPress blogger. However, I do hear via other channels how much they enjoy my posts.

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