All 100+ entires were so heartfelt and inspired that I was sure I'd never be able to pick a winner. There was Maggie, who was nominated by no fewer than seven people, and who clearly deserves a bronze statue in her likeness be erected somewhere prominent, and Lanie, who is utterly adored and has inspired more poetry than most women could ever hope to, Shasta, whose husband still feels badly about moving the family to China even though she was signed up for a BBH workshop two years ago, and Jeanne and Amanda and our friend Leslie, and OMG what about Inga Lisa, whose boyfriend made this video, dressed in Bicycles I Have Loved pajamas? Or that lucky lady whose husband drew his entire family as RABBITS, a la Beatrix Potter (who you know I have a rather soft spot for).
But in the end, none of you had a chance. None of you, not Maggie with her fingers whittled down to nothing after years of selfless smocking for others or Matt in his lady pajamas, nor the tireless, selfless district attorney who keeps our streets clean and safe. None of you could top Jocelyn, who took a morning off from sewing clothing for her family to give birth to her third child - a bouncing baby boy of 9 + pounds - on her bedroom floor. Her husband happened to be home on a rare leave (he's in the military) but tells me that the only thing she needed his help for during this event came after it was all over, when she asked him to get her a cup of coffee. Jocelyn, I hope there was a bad word buried somewhere in that beverage request. I think that would make the rest of us feel a lot better.
There are some wonderful women in these nominating letters, and some equally lovely husbands, brothers, sisters, friends, mother-in-laws, bosses, children, and even one very sweet family dog. I don't think any of us could say that we are unlucky after all, with adoring fans like these willing to write (and rhyme, and draw, and spellcheck) in to a silly contest.
What struck me more than anything about the nominations we recieved (well, maybe not more than the image of a 9+ pound baby on the bedroom floor) was the pride in which your nominators talked of what you are able to make with your hands and how much that means to the people you make things for. If being crafty was ever looked down upon, if in its darkest days of macrame and shrinkydinks it took on a tacky sheen, I think that's gone now. I think you've all elevated it, in the eyes of your families and communities, to a brand new height. How exciting. And Bravo.
I'm still working on the gallery of artwork and photos, but here are a few of the letters, poems, and haikus we recieved. Thanks to everyone, this was so much fun for us!