I love the idea of the Handmade Pledge: giving handmade gifts is such a noble (and cool!) idea. I don't follow the pledge to the letter, since there are some people who would rather not get something made by a person instead of a machine, and sometimes a non-handmade gift can be more practical. I've also amended the pledge to include books and tools as acceptable gifts; I figure that if it can help you make something on your own, then I can't really ask for anything else.
I also don't do the second half of the pledge. I don't ask people to give me handmade gifts because it's a request that would (mostly) fall on deaf ears, and I don't want to put people under that kind of pressure. (Plus, I also like non-handmade things sometimes, like my awesome Scrabble pyjamas that my mom got me this year.) Thus, it was a big surprise for me this year to receive several gifts that were made by the givers. I have some very talented friends and family.
My sister-in-law made a bench for our entryway for us. She made the bench and then worked a mosaic design on the top in glass:
My friend Jamie made me a case for my interchangeable knitting needles:
My friend Steph made me a scrapbook page in a shadowbox:
And Youngest Sister made a bag. Actually, that's not true. She made me The Bag. The Bag To End All Bags. It's gorgeous:
The cat loves it too:
I am very, very lucky to have people who care for me enough to make me a gift of their time like this.