"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

31 July 2012

Ten Thousand Villages

*Photo from tenthousandvillages.com
If you know me, you've probably heard me talking about Ten Thousand Villages. I've shared on here about the organization in the past, and it thrills my heart to no end that I have friends who serve on the board and have worked with the host organization, MCC.

TTV has beautiful handmade items from all over the developing world - Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. As "one of the world's largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the company strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries."

Two weeks ago, TTV was having free shipping, and I just couldn't resist checking out the website - or at least, the clearance section.

(I should mention here that all the artisans are always paid in full, so even though items may be on clearance, those who made them have already been compensated with fair wages.)

I found some gorgeous things, but since I had no specific purpose for purchasing anything, I limited myself to items under $5. That might not sound like much, but I did manage to find two terrific treasures.

When Nich and I got married, we started an annual tradition of purchasing a Christmas ornament for our tree. It only made sense to continue a version of that tradition when Little B was born (where he gets an ornament in his stocking each year). I found this year's ornament for $4, from India.
Isn't it adorable? And completely hand-stitched. You can get yours HERE.
I also found these cards for $1 a piece, which is a total steal. I mean, think about how much a comparable card (with the "scrapbook" handmade look) costs at Target or any bookstore. The red silk paper has a poem by renowned Bengali poet Jasimuddin Mollah (1903-1976):

"Let's go to a green, serene village
where vine and leaves lie together
in a deep shadow of forest"
Aren't they beautiful? I bought ten to send to people I love.

Are you in need of a gift for a special occasion any time soon? TTV does have actual, physical stores, but if you don't live anywhere near one, fear not! Please consider checking out Ten Thousand Villages.

Locals: There is a TTV store in Stuyvesant Plaza (1475 Western Avenue) in Albany!
Today's Joy Dare (via Ann Voskamp): 3 Gifts Difficult

Mine are: the time spent waiting for news (trust!), toddlerhood (and yet, so grateful for my little boy), cleaning up the kitchen at the end of the day (but thankful for the abundant provision of food, dishes, pots, running water...) 

What are yours?


  1. so cute. matt and i had fun in there vancouver store when we went a while back. love fair trade. and any organization that encourages people who work hard around the world by paying them what they deserve. we love ornaments as well. so cute for b.