Dear Friends of The Net Loft,
Well, it is about time that I returned once again to writing you all. When I saw that the last time I wrote was the end of 2018, I realized what a long tunnel this has been.
In certain ways, I am a different person than the one who came around that curve almost three years ago. Hard to believe, but before I knew it, I had entered that unexpected dim passageway that would lead to today. Not even realizing what was ahead, I proceeded into the dark unknown. That is the mystery of life, isn’t it? While on our merry way, life twists and turns, while providing and presenting us with the unexpected, and at times, unimaginable, teaching us so many lessons we would not have learned otherwise. ‘
For each of us, life is a unique combination of joys and sadnesses all stirred up in the same batter. For months I could find no words, not even wanting to think or feel deeply. The passing life of my mother, disassembling her refuge of a home, followed by and interwoven with Covid. But today, my mind started stirring, and I felt compelled finally to write again. It came in the midst of unpacking freight and boxes for the shop for the upcoming holiday season. I began an internal conversation concerning the realization that time continues to press on, and that we are deep in the midst of autumn, Many months have swept past me, and in that realization, the reality that as the days shorten and temperatures drop, soon the holidays will be upon us.
As I do my best to live in the moment, I also realize the importance of planning and thinking forward about certain things. As I continued to unpack our freight for the upcoming season, my train of thought led me to think about the discussion lately concerning supply chains and buying ahead. My thoughts progressed, and inside of me, I was thinking about the concept of what makes a good gift, and what is it really that we want to provide in our gifting. What is it that anyone truly wants or needs? What are we afraid the supply chain will not provide for us?
As I was unpacking boxes, I was thinking and wondering whether I had purchased “enough”…enough “stuff” for the shop for the holidays, and that is when I thought about this whole idea of what does anyone really want anyway? I have spent the last long while, going through and sorting "stuff", so I am not sure what pressures exist that make me think what I already have isn't good or plenty, or the right kind of "stuff".
I began to think about what our goal and purpose is for the store, and how, what we offer reflects our goals and philosophies on making and gifting. I thought about the concept of less and better, simple, yet extraordinary, a concept of interactive gifts with minimal waste, and, most of all, one that, brings something good out in a person, or expresses our great love and care for them.
I once read that time is the most precious of all our commodities. It is the most limited earthly resource we own, and we never know when we will be robbed of what we have of it. With that in mind, knowing its' extreme value, as we prepare for the upcoming holiday season, what is it that we have the ability to package up in our ribbon clad boxes that can include a part of us? How can we apply the lessons we have learned while"in the tunnel" concerning the meaning of life and the significance of spending time with those we love and care about? How can our purchases reflect our intention to share what is most precious to us, so the receiver knows how much we value them?
For us at The Net Loft, this often equates to activities involving making. I now think and reflect upon those experiences and times in the past while creating on my own or with another. In regards to far away holiday memories of the past, I remember times such as helping my mother glue and sew on sequins as we made hand made ornaments, moments when I was beside her as she painted faces on angels, stitched rick rack on the felt tree skirt, and sewed bells on simple red and white felt stockings. In actuality, just being beside her was the gift.
It takes time to make these handmade things, even longer when done with little ones close at hand, but it is that time investment and involvement that increases their value and builds lasting memories and deep relationships.
I have the privilege of watching parents come to the shop as they purchase supplies to encourage and support creativity in their own homes, making time and space for creative group activities that they participate in, right alongside their children or partner. This type of interactive experience is a priceless gift and creates lifelong memories, in the same manner that outdoor and cooking activities do.
Since March of 2020, because of Covid, The Net Loft has been been hosting online sessions via zoom that revolve around making, and continue to gather for lessons, discussion, and fellowship, The relationships that have been nurtured by this time together have brought meaning, as well as provided encouragement for one other in creative living. It is an example of how the gift of time given to one another serves to uplift and benefit each one of us who participate. I have loved the times listening and learning together.
As my thoughts circled back around, I came to the conclusion that I am really grateful for what we do have to offer you There are so many wonderful ingredients for making things, and I enjoy so much the creative process and sharing that with others. I believe that I just want you to know that we are here for you in any way we can, and that more than anything we want for you to experience a calm and peaceful season of good health and positive endeavors, free from pressure and stress.
Finally, gifting creative ingredients that include you in it, such as offering a time and a place to meet and make, is a gift that benefits both the giver and the gifted. Whatever we here at The Net Loft can do to help facilitate that, please let us know, as we would love to help you in any way we can.
This month I am making entries in a gratitude journal as I prepare for this season of giving. It has been a worthwhile exercise each day painting and journaling daily gratefulnesses, and never too late to start should you be interested in joining along.
Thanks for listening. Take care all.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. It is good to be back to sharing words with you. We are so grateful for you, appreciate your support in the past, and look forward to continuing to serve you in the days to come.