The Mystery in Whispers of Spring - Part 2

Amanda Coen

It's a mystery how things come to be, isn't it. Like us. The fact we were born at all, given the chances, is mysterious when you think of it. It's a bit like that for handmade creations and paintings too or anything at all we decide to put out into the world. To begin with only a fraction of ideas come to fruition & even considering that, there is an abundance of creativity on display all over the world. However, not every thought design or idea is developed into full being & for me there must be a good reason. At least a good energy behind the creation.

I want to create handmade collections that resonate with my customers. 

Where does this energy come from? Let me tell you. It comes from many places depending on the situation but overall the energy comes from inside. It comes from emotion & feelings. It comes from an overwhelming urge to create something for others to see and appreciate. Something they'll admire want, use, be inspired by, be lifted up by, be helped by. At least we hope that. You are probably familiar with the quote. "You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." John Lydgate. I want to create handmade collections that resonate with my customers. People who love & appreciate arty, crafty, handmade things. People whose hearts sing when they see handmade goods that speak to them. Maybe there's just a little daisy or a little bumble bee on their gift but it makes all the difference. With my 'Whispers of Spring Gift Guide '24', I really tried to focus on what my customers are interested in.

What do my customers like?

It turns out many love gardening, flowers, nature, gardens, plants and all the things related to those topics. They want to keep the world safe too. Children & animals but also the actual earth. So sustainability & low production quantities are good. Clever sustainability practices like recycling packaging, fabrics & limiting the use of plastics all appeal to that. They love gifting too. Giving little thrills in the form of handmade goods. If they are as practical as they are beautiful then all the better. Something else that a handmade creation offers them is nostalgia. Nostalgia in a good way. A little hark back to times gone by & a link with the past. Take me for example. I go crazy for yellow & white gingham fabric. I don't wear it but every time I see it I light up inside. For all the reasons I mentioned above. It whisks me back to my idyllic memories of sunny childhood days when everything was new & special & yellow gingham was a thing. I have the obtaining of some of that on my agenda too but not yet.

Purses & Pouches

You can't have enough purses & pouches. True? I need them for all sorts of things especially when I go away from home for a night or more. Things like cosmetics & make-up of course but for other things too such as spare glasses or sunglasses, jewellery, hair accessories, nail files, needle & thread or medicines which I prefer to keep separate from the usual cotton wool, shampoos, toothbrushes & other personal items. I could go on. It's nice to have things in separate little pouches. The other handy thing about these little purses is that they can be used as clutch bags for an evening out. 
Do you love to keep your personal items in pretty pouches too? Click the image to see more hand embroidered or appliqued styles!

Handmade Embroidered Flat Bottom Pouch With Snowdrops Butterfly and Ladybird - Parade Handmade
Handmade Embroidered Flat Bottom Pouch With Snowdrops Butterfly and Ladybird - Parade Handmade

My customers like purses & pouches for cosmetics & other small items. I love small zipper pouches too. For my Whispers of Spring Gift Guide collection I have blended the practicality of the remnant fabric zipper purse or pouch with embroidery & applique floral embellishments & natural motif charms to make them extra special. 

Crafty People

It turns out that my customers are crafty people. Not everybody but a good bunch. I have created a range of luxe drawstring handmade craft bags or project bags good as knitting bags or whatever portable sewing project you have on the go. I used a sewing machine for the main construction such as the lining & longer stitching rows but the applique embellishments & ribbon details are completely hand sewn & each one is unique. No two are alike. That means they are unique, soft & colourful with cute natural motifs to lift the spirits wherever you go.
Need a colourful uplifting craft bag for a special person or purpose? Click the image for more on-off designs!

Drawstring Appliqué Bag - Luxe Floral Fleece with Heart and Floral Motif - Parade Handmade
Drawstring Appliqué Bag - Luxe Floral Fleece with Heart and Floral Motif - Parade Handmade

Bags of Colour & Bags of Style

I love a good bag. There's no secret in that. Remember when you were a teenager. Were you the kind of person who wrote stuff all over their schoolbag or journal? Did you want to have a cool school bag? By the way, for us it was the canvas over the shoulder army surplus bag. It was really far too small for the purpose we needed it for, but oh so cool. Anyhow, I remember the bag was to be inexplicably cool, so the same as everyone else's except for the colour but you made it your own with funky keyrings, embroidery, badges, ink drawings of your own initials or those of the boy or girl you fancied? Nowadays, I am much the same. I like a bag that does the job but stands out as something special. Even if I only use it in the house for projects or my current reading material or for holding scarves or gloves until Winter comes round again. I have gathered together a selection of hand bags this time where all of them feature floral embellishments or fabrics & which were created by different people & I caIl it my 'Floral Bags' collection in the Whispers of Spring gift guide '24'

You Can't Give a Gift Without a Beautiful Card

When gifting to someone special, in my opinion, you simply must give a beautiful matching card to express your sentiments. The reason you chose the gift & the reason you are giving the gift are important pieces of information to give to the recipient. This part can double the joy of receiving a gift & can be a reminder of a happy day for weeks or even years to come. What do you do with the cards you receive? Do you ever repurpose them? I do. All the time. I keep them as bookmarks or I pop a little frame on them. You can stick them to the front of a plain journal or sketch book either. You can even repurpose them by cutting off the front & sticking it onto a blank card to give to someone else who would love it too & that's a brilliant idea if you are caught in a pinch.
Click the image below to see more beautiful floral themed cards I have chosen for my 'Floral Favourites' collection in my Whispers of Spring Gift Guide '24

Seathrift at Clew Bay Limited Edition Print, by Nuala Brett- King - Parade Handmade Ireland
Seathrift at Clew Bay Limited Edition Print, by Nuala Brett- King - Parade Handmade Co Mayo
As you can see I have gone all out with florals & Spring motifs this Season in my collections. I hope you like them. Keep posted for upcoming blogs & gift guides by signing up to my Parade Handmade Newsletter here! You will get a PDF of my Whispers of Spring Gift Guide too, straight to your inbox!
All the best for now, Amanda

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