by Madeline Laughs
When you bring something home that has been handcrafted by Tootie Welker, you fill your home with the scent of love. Tootie has been creating in the land of make for over 30 years and her crafts are treasured items that will stand the test of time.
She began her interest in making something with her own two hands many years ago as a struggling student with a desire to give something back to the people she loved. She told me about sending baskets home to her mother as gifts, filled with homemade jams and jellies. The baskets she started weaving were dipped and dyed with all natural colors from berries and teas and she says her hands were always a unique color.
Her father passed away this year and Tootie went home to say her final goodbyes. Throughout her parent’s house she found her baskets, lovingly placed throughout the home and made useful over the decades. They still looked new and the joy she felt in making something out of love for her family that was kept in sight was overwhelming.
Tootie is also well known for her beautifully folded origami peace cranes. The handmade Japanese printed papers are folded into shape and then attached to a beaded leash for displaying them in a window or hung from a lamp stand. She makes some special ones for friends and family members and will enclose hair or other talismans within the belly of the crane for good luck.
The story behind the peace crane dovetails nicely with Tootie’s own professional leanings and her desire to help lift up others.
Professionally I have worked on the issue of violence against women for over 20 years. I’m currently back in grad school working on a second masters in sociology so that I can gain the theoretical and research knowledge to continue my work on violence against women. I do some contract work and work very part time as the weekend back up staff for our local YWCA every other weekend.
I have often brought what I do into the groups I ran for survivors as there is nothing more healing than creating beauty. These were women who were told they were stupid and worthless and couldn’t do anything. To show them they could create beauty was miraculous in how it lifted their spirits.
She is an avid gardener who feeds herself and many of her neighbors and friends from her vegetable patch. She cooks all of her meals from scratch and believes in living a green, eco friendly and healthy lifestyle. Her life and her easy way of living sets an example for the rest of us to follow.
Tootie makes lavender wands using fresh lavender, hand picked from a neighboring lavender farm. She also makes lavender sachets that you can tuck in your pillowcase at night for sweet dreams and lavender filled eye pillows to ease the day away. She blends and creates wonderfully scented creams, soaps and many other self care items from all organic, sustainably grown and harvested, wholesome ingredients.
One of her face creams is said to work wonders!
My face lotion has become very popular by word of mouth. Each woman says to the next “What are you doing? Why is your face looking so good?” It’s from a secret essential oil I discovered totally by accident! It has a mycobacterial property and really heals blemishes, ages spots and just makes the skin glow. I didn’t even realize it until a friend asked me what I was using. I told her and sold her some. Then her co-workers started asking her about her face and so on…
Tootie’s all organic lavender pumpkin dog biscuits are also a big hit with the canine persuasion, though they sound so awesome I might like to try one myself!
Tootie crafts with quality in mind, but most of all, she crafts with love, and it shows.
You can order any of the items I talked about by emailing Tootie here: MayaRisingShop@gmail.com You can also order her organic dog biscuits by sending an email to her here: MzWallyWoofer@gmail.com. Her Esty shop will also be up soon and you can find her on Esty by searching for Maya Rising Shop. Tell her Pondering Spawned and Madeline Laughs sent you!