From what I understand I have to give a short introduction to myself and my crafting.
Well I'm married it will be our Silver Anniversary in November this year...I have 2 Sons James 23 who works in business law as part of the civil service, and Rory 19 who lives at home and it at college studying life skills.
I grew up in London with a English Protestant Father and Strong devout Irish Roman Catholic Mother to say my view of religion was confused was an understatement!
I hated Sewing and knitting and all the girly crafts my Mother tried to get me into as a child. I would much rather be out scrambling over the remains of a bombed out house than sat with a needle add to the fact that our sewing machine was a trundle one with the foot rest that you rocked to get the machine to work......and miss impatient here wanted to make something NOW its no wonder that sewing and I were never compatible...
After years of being a tomboy despite my mothers best efforts to have me otherwise, I found my first love....Horses I was never more at home then sat in a saddle, or galloping over a few jumps....This was it, this was what I wanted to do with my life....Alas things didn't quiet work out like that.
I left School with a good selection of exams under my belt and was then part of the NYT (National Youth Theatre) I had it in mind to study Drama and English with a view of joining RADA. Oh I dont kid myself I would have been no Julie Andrews! But a good comedic actress with fairly good timing able to sing and dance a bit. Till I auditioned for Oliver! Many years ago, and during the Omm Papa bit twirled and did myself a mischief by falling into the orchestra pit !
Dad died around this time after fighting a long battle with Cancer. I took it badly and began working all the hours god sent often having three jobs at a time ...this went on for a number of years I moved out from Mums and rented a basement flat just behind the what was then RAINBOW theatre .19a Coleridge Road. Funny how some thing's stick in your mind!
It was then while working one of the many bar jobs I met my husband Ian. 25th November 1986 it was a Tuesday night and I was ten minutes late, it was cold and rainy and Pat the manager knew I would be late as it was Eastenders night.... we had an arrangement. I would come in early on Mondays and Wednesdays as she liked Corrie ...it worked well.
So after a triad of banter, between this cheeky ginger haired chappy and myself. (It turns out he was one of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, sent on a hotel and catering course to enable him after leaving the marines to hopefully find a job in civvy street). I looked and my watch it read 9.30pm and I remember thinking I could marry you ....three years later to the day we did.
We moved to Coventry and Mum moved with us I was her only child and all her other relatives were dead....or had lost contact. Since Dad died she had become increasingly frail. Ian and I married on a bittley cold November day but with bright blue sky ...life was good.
Coventry soon became Home and Stoneleigh Showground the home to The Royal Show and what was the Town and Country Festival. It was there I found by accident my love of craft. Not card or stamping but beading. Making my own earrings, and necklaces designing sourcing different and unusual beads selling them to help pay for my hobby. Then along came the boy's . First James then Rory. So the beads had to go away, too much temptation for little hands and mouths! Ian far from working in Hotel and catering opened a Mobile Phone shop. These had just become fashionable and where on the top of everyone's Christmas list we looked to move and open shops elsewhere but where?...Ian came to Plymouth and opened a shop here it was doing well very well, but taking more and more of his time. We moved to Plymouth and It was while we were here we found out after many tests that Rory was on the autistic spectrum .....we found him a really fantastic special needs school Mill Ford with an outstanding head John Hill I have seldom come across anyone as dedicated to the Children and their Parents as John was. I needed to learn Sign Language as one of Rory's disabilities means he can't talk he has maybe ten words that he can say clearly ...so I asked...well Begged! If I could work in school to learn to sign we used Makaton and BSL and during one of my many days there I was tasked to clear out one of the many ART cupboards THIS is where is all started I found glitter ink paint foam stamps and a collection of all sorts upon this discovery I was then asked would I like to do something with it .....Erm well where to start Bookmarks I know we'll make bookmarks.
Years later here I am very proud member of the wonderful Hobby Arts team which I love. Jenny and Becki Mayes are awesome the stamps especially the scene it set are fabulous .....I have had a long and mainly happy crafting journey. Learning so much along the way and meeting so many lovely people. I count myself blessed to have made so many friends real lifelong friends along the way and that counts for an awful lot don't you think ?
Above are a few of my favorite makes from my year at Hobby Art. I Teach craft workshops and count myself so very lucky that I can make my hobby my job if you are ever in Plymouth and fancy an Arty Crafty workshop then please do drop me a pm always happy to make a new friend
I Nominate Amanda Branston