Many years ago, when I was 9 we read a book at school called The Borrowers. BBC I Player The Borrowers Film. Today I watched this film. I just loved the book, the whole idea of using a sewing cotton reel as a table, safety pins as climbing hooks and all the other ideas the Borrowers came up with just grabbed my imagination. Oh and it stuck , so now you know what started me off on recycled art!
I started on my sewing apprenticeship as a handle turner by my Mothers sewing machine. I sat on a tall three legged stool and turned the handle of her Singer sewing machine. A really old one that had the long bobbin. I watched her make do and mend lots of clothes and curtains for the neighbours. A bit of extra pin money. Well I was only three then so not much use for any serious work. But sitting watching at that age you are just like a sponge, you soak up the information. When I sew now its just like a natural thing, its as if it's a part of me.
My Dad taught me how to use tools and garden. We spent many hours in his shed, me watching him mend things and put lots of soles on shoes. So I was very lucky to feel comfortable using tools at a young age. I used chisels, scalpels, shears, chopped wood with a real axe and never cut myself. Dad gave me my own patch of garden and in it I grew those tiny wild strawberries, nasturtiums and orange daisies. All this before I was 9.
It was April 1963 when I first read the Borrowers and my dear Dad had just died, quite something to cope with at 9 years old. My reading and fantasy land that I lived in saved me. I read every book I could get my hands on, all the Borrowers books, all the Enid Blyton, all the Hugh Lofting Dr Doolittle, many horse and pony adventures, magazines, newspaper comics and Rupert Annuals.
When I wasn't reading I was designing clothes for my first Sindy doll, making Lego models, building doll furniture from Balsa Wood, farms were made for the lead animals, crochet scarves, sewed tapestries and embroideries.
I lived for a long time in that land of make believe and making stuff. In fact I am still there now. Funnily enough most of my things that I made as a child were leftover from Mothers sewing or Dads woodwork. So nothing changes, just now we are more wasteful so these is more stuff for me to use.
Nothing much changes in life, I still read everything I can and am happiest when I am beavering away at an art or design project.
This year has been an exceptional one for me as my art has sold very well, even managed to sell three items to customers in America. I've done some voluntary teaching, which was great fun. Met lots of lovely people. Enriched lots of my friendships. Walked 2 to 3 miles every day, rain, snow and shine round the lovely countryside. That's further than John'o'Groats to Land's End. Said my prayers and counted my blessings.
There have been some tough times too, depression reared its ugly head several times. But with the help of a few pills, counselling, my friends, prayers and doing my art I am now starting to feel more positive.
This year I have learnt to have faith in my art, work better in a team, that you need your friends and bad things always seem to last longer than good, they don't its just we dwell on them more.
Next year I hope to continue with my art & design. Grow my business, teach some more and try something new. Now where did I put that art course leaflet????
What are you hoping for in the New Year - whatever it is I wish you all the best of luck. Make sure you get out there and take all the chances you can to make the best of yourselves.