I've always been interested in crafts and over the years I've had a go at most of them. Rug making, silk painting, batik, crochet, jewellery, you name it, I've tried it.
The ladies in my family were all good at sewing and knitting and I soon learned to make my own clothes. I have twins - a boy and a girl, both grown up now - and when they were young, I started machine knitting. I was pretty good at it and soon started teaching Adult Education classes. I started knitting professionally at home, working for designers in London, and soon became one of their pattern writers, knitting the prototypes of their ideas. The sweaters were very intricate, and although made on machines, they involved lots of hand weaving and tucking and lots of colour combinations. The knitwear was shown at London Fashion week and at fashion shows in Paris, Milan and Japan and appeared in fashion magazines and was worn by pop stars of the day.
I went on to knit my own designs for local boutiques and although I didn't make a fortune, it was always very flattering when people liked your work enough to part with their hard earned money, and I really enjoyed being creative.
My children grew up and I returned to full time work as a PA/secretary but I always kept on making cushions and curtains for the home and started making jewellery with sterling silver and semi precious stones and freshwater pearls. My husband trained as a jewellery designer/modelmaker, making the initial master for costume jewellery and made charms for me that I had cast in silver. Again, I loved working with the beautiful colours of the stones and the delicate pearls.
Somehow I found my way to papercraft and card making and I really love it. The variety is endless and even if you copy someone else's design, you can add your own little touches and make it your own. I'm fascinated by colour and how colours react against each other and how the choice of colour can convey different emotions. And because you are using paper, which is relatively cheap, you can afford to try out things and if you make a mistake, it doesn't cost a fortune and you can try again.
I prefer fairly simple designs without too much fuss or frills and enjoy the fact that each card has been made by hand (albeit with the aid of stamps and punches) and is a personal piece of art.
I hope you enjoy the examples of my work shown here and feel encouraged to have a go at creating your own little 'works of art'.