October is my favorite month. The heat of the long Virginia summer has passed and the light and air have a clarity that makes spending time outdoors pleasurable for the first time in months. Even before I moved to Virginia, October was my favorite month. Not only is it my birthday month, it is also the birthday month of many of my dearest friends. Friends who have known me longest, friends who have changed my life in ways I never expected, friends who have made me laugh until I cried, friends who are loving, quirky, beautiful, creative, and smart. For several weeks, I have been on an imaginary shopping spree for birthday presents for my friends. As I gathered everything together, I was struck by how often an item chosen with one person in mind would be perfect for at least one other.
[Clockwise from top left: Canoe man vase from dhpots; Mandolin sewn painting from tastes orangey; Turquoise Gypsy Green Guatemala India World Peace Hat from hats by buck; Bowl pendant from Blind Spot Jewellery; The October Country paper garland from archiviogotico]
My friends have adventures, seeking beauty and connection to the world around them.
[Clockwise from top left: Vintage Peter the Whaler book from Neatcurios; Red Chicken linocut print from themattbutler; Glacial stone bowl from brooksbarrow; Vintage Yves Saint Laurent pink silk granny boots from pamcoco; Pomegranate earrings from Artesserae]
My friends read books about whales, keep chickens, and understand pink silk shoes.
[Clockwise from top left: Autumn path watercolor painting from LouisestArt; Letters to you matchbox art from Paperiaarre; Handmade Friction folding knife from FWKnives; Sterling silver ring with raw diamonds from elseetee2; WM Burroughs brimmed cloche hat from delightworthyn]
My friends can be supremely pragmatic and down to earth. They love words.
[Clockwise from top: Norwegian birch and pine tina box from SwedishCountry; Tree drawing from sjsnedeker; Tuareg necklace from TuaregJewelry; Hand-carved flying crow from jasontennant; Salmon lure spinner hook air plant garden from EarthSeaWarrior]
My friends enjoy a good paradox. They can appreciate the details.
Such friends are the true birthday gifts in life. What qualities would you like to celebrate in your friends?
Cate Fitt, a.k.a. knitfitt, has been a member of Etsy since 2007 and is an experienced critic, curator and juror. She earned her MFA in fiber in 1978, later receiving an artist’s fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Through the years, she’s been a maker of one-of-a-kind hand-painted clothing, pottery, jewelry, and linocut and monotype prints. She lives in a little house close to the James River with two whippets named Moose and Peach.