and you'll never have to work a day in your life.~Harvey MacKayThe first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882, in New York City. It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with the labor movement as a top political priority. Legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. (what a difference a century makes...not rushing anything through any Congress anymore...and unanimous! ha! but I digress). September was chosen so it would not be near any May Day celebrations which had caused ill will between workers and business.
The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations," followed by a festival for the workers and their families.
Now, it is simply the unofficial end of summer...But I want to highlight the creative spirits who labor...those of us with the small shops know that we cannot compete with the buying power of TJ's or Wal-Mart, and there are so many artisans out there who just want to create. I have featured several on my blog through the months, and I thought it was important on Labor Day to remind everyone that those who are "indies" with "brick and mortar" shops labor long and hard to find unique and creative inventory for you.
I made a contact with a woman in Alabama to make me velvet pumpkins, and I wanted a variety of shapes and colors. She sent me a wonderful stash-a few are shown here.
Then I went to a company near my hometown for some gourds for decorating...they dry and paint and preserve.Everyone loves the pillows made from old sweaters that have been washed and felted...this one is so colorful...
And how about scarves...they are in now also. I know it is still hot, but Christmas is coming!With that in mind, my creative jewelry maker has taken some of the old vintage crystals and beads and made a snowman bracelet...crystal snowmen and beaded snowballs...earrings will be coming in also...Another repurposing...old flatware that has been "flattened" and turned into some wonderful stakes...have to reorder the birthday ones already! And she made me a special one also!So, maybe give a thought about the American worker who does create, who loves to be unique, who is trying to survive in this not-so-kind economy. We can all help each other out...
Enjoy your day off!