Cynthia and Co.

Cynthia and Co.
"My Junk Inspired L I F E"


Handmade Isn't Enough Guest Post from freckleLips

"Handmade Isn't Enough" is a guest post from a very talented and energetic blogger from freckleLips.  I met Sammi on Etsypreneur and I am ever so glad I did.  Her spirit and willingness to support others is amazing and my new little blog is more visible, now, because of her support.  Please read this insightful post from Sammi, about becoming a better crafter, and then head over and visit her at freckleLips...your day will be brighter because you did!

My daughter’s research poster for her 2nd grade class looks like it was made by a handmade business owner. There are vintage buttons and upcycled paper. The edges of the pictures are punched and the birds’ name is hanging from a mini banner across the top of the poster board.

Handmade has taken over my life. 

Everywhere I go I pick up a bit here, a bit there. I don’t mean in the shopping sense, although I do a little tiny bit of that too. I mean inspiration. Motivation. Did you know Target sells fabric birthday flag banners now? I can’t go anywhere without finding a cupcake topper.

It’s everywhere - People embracing their inner creative child. If you are reading this, you probably are creative too. You might even have a creative blog or handmade shop. Handmade used to be almost underground – now it seems very close to mainstream.

So I’m going to ask you to do something a little difficult. I want you to

1.     1. STOP
2.     2. BREATHE
3.     3. JOURNAL

1 is pretty easy. You can stop for just a second.
2 is a little tougher. Really breathe. Deep breaths.
3 is hard for a lot of people. It can be one page. Or one paragraph. But typing on a laptop in Starbucks doesn’t count. Even if you have to steal a napkin. Journal for a minute. With a pen. Or pencil. And let it out.
4 is the most difficult ever. It’s been very tough for me. Sometimes I think if I see one more fricking gift tag* on Etsy I’m going to hurl myself in front of an ice cream truck. (I mean just to stop him so I can get some ice cream!)

Seriously. Glean inspiration from the things around you, the people you love, the places you go. Create something you haven’t seen. It doesn’t have to be sellable. (is that a word?) It just has to be original.  

Maybe it will open your eyes to the endless possibilities. Don’t run a shop because you love handmade and want to be part of the scene. That’s an okay reason, but that’s why we have 47,000 gift tags for sale and almost as many octopus necklaces.

Do you work with acrylic? Try fabric. Do you work with beads? Try mixed media.
Being handmade shouldn’t be “enough” – let’s make something original. Beautiful.
And when you do – send me a picture.  I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

*In the spirit of honesty and disclosure I’ve sold a few gift tags. But mine were cuter/more special/just the exact same as every other gift tag ever made.

About the Author:
Sammi is a creative starter who loves to help others do the same. She always has several projects going at once and loves to boss people around. So she had three children. You can find her on freckleLips or a soccer a field in middle America.


  1. I'm a new follower to your blog. A fellow Etsy team member. Wonderful blog and great tips.

    Best of luck to you.

    Mary with Garden Whimsies by Mary

  2. YOur ideas are worth while. Sometimes we get in a slump. It's nice to read what someone lese earnestly thinks. Thanks, MJ

  3. Cool post! and so very true....I'm a follower now also. and a fellow ETsy team member

    my blog is

    come check it out if you have time


  4. That was a great article!! I am a follower of your blog and frecklips!

  5. Awesome post! I just "followed" you! Follow me if you like...

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Thanks ladies for your comments here at MJIL. Sammi is a very cool lady and I am so happy she wrote this post for me!

  7. Hi! New follower here. Can't remember where I saw the link to your blog - maybe Etsypreneur? (Sorry, it was late and I was really tired, so I just hit follow and went to sleep.)

    This is a great post! Funny, and it has a good message. It's always good to remember the real reason why you started doing something, and I doubt any of us started creating specifically to sell it. It's important to still have fun and just enjoy the process for what it is.