Have you ever encountered a word or a phrase that just can’t be translated? As a French speaker, I encounter these situations all the time. Norwegians have a saying “selvgjort er velgjort”. It’s a difficult phrase to translate. Literally, it translates to “self-done is well done”. The English translation is clunky at best, and my best friend Becca (who is also one of my favorite Norwegian speakers) likes to translate it as “handmade is best made”. Becca is a talented knitter, and lately she has been making beautiful sweaters (see the one she made me for Christmas here). You can’t buy sweaters like hers at the store. Each stitch is carefully knit, the pattern and colors thoughtfully chosen. A tiny piece of her is knit into every thing she creates- we like to joke that wearing her sweater is like wearing a hug.
That’s the beauty of handmade- it’s personal. In our commercialized world, “homemade” can be a negative adjective, implying something is of lesser quality. But with “professional quality” comes a lack of connection. It’s cold and impersonal. I think our society is starting to catch on. Furniture stores are selling pieces distressed with chipping paint or dents in the wood to give it “character”, and sites like Pinterest encourage all of us to tap into our inner creative and do-it-yourself. We all yearn for connection, it’s part of being human. The beauty of handmade is connecting on different level. It’s why our eyes light up when someone brings homemade treats to the office, instead of a box of cookies from the grocery store. It’s why a Hallmark card will never compare to a handmade one- regardless of artistic challenge. It’s why in a world full of retailers selling a multitude of products, teenagers are buying yarn and learning to knit lopsided scarves. It’s why I shop for jewelry at craft fairs when I live a few miles from the largest shopping mall in the country. Because handmade is best made.
I have found the greatest joy in making things by hand- particularly in the kitchen. Whether it is by filling my breadbox with my favorite bagels, or laying vegetables for ratatouille in the perfect spiral arrangement, I love creating things myself. Every meal or dish I create has a part of me- it’s made with love. Baking and cooking for my family and friends is so much more than putting food on the table. One of my goals for this blog is to share my passion for making things by hand. I hope it’s contagious.
In the spirit of selvgjort er velgjort, I am excited to share our first giveaway! This beautiful cowl is handmade by my best friend Becca. She used Merino wool, which is perfectly soft and warm, but not itchy. The bright red color is perfect for our grey start to spring!
To enter, simply follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below. The more tasks you complete, the more times you’ll be entered in the raffle. The raffle closes on March 4th, and the winner will be announced the following week. Good luck!