I’ve been crafting ever since I can remember – my grandmother taught me to crochet when I was about five years old, and I became hooked (groan). I soon took up all kinds of needlework and particularly enjoyed making felt toys throughout my childhood.
As I grew up and had children of my own, I did lots of hand and machine knitting so my daughters could always have garments featuring their latest favourite characters, and also did a lot of cross stitch because it was easy to take with me when it was my turn to do any babysitting for the babysitting circle I belonged to.
Then I went to a craft show with one of my daughters when she was in her early teens, and we watched a rubber stamping demo that included heat embossing. We were both totally awe struck by it, and both decided to try it immediately. And I’ve never looked back….. Now papercrafting is an obsession with me and all my other craft materials are gathering dust in the store room.
I’m on Design Teams for Twofers, Sparkles Christmas, Foilplay and Cardz 4 Guyz. Many of the cards I make are particularly suitable for men, as I rarely use much in the way of flowers, lace and glitter, although I do dabble in just about every style of card making.
As for cooking, I came to that much later in life. When I was growing up, my family were not really interested in food, and although I bought a couple of recipe books in my teens, I literally couldn’t even warm a tin of beans when I went off to University. However this was in the early 1970s, the times of the Fuel Crisis, and the college I was living in decided to save fuel by closing the kitchen at weekends, so I had to learn to cook in a hurry. I couldn’t afford to buy a recipe book all in one go, so I started buying the monthly partwork Cordon Bleu Monthly and cooked my way through each issue. Which is why I could make Gratin Dauphinoise before I could boil a potato.
When I married Mark, I went to live in the Far East, first Brunei then Hong Kong, where I was fascinated by the local markets and cuisines, so added Chinese, Malay and Indonesian cooking to my repertoire, as well as Nepalese, learned from the Gurkhas that Mark worked with. And since then, wherever we have travelled in the world, we have enjoyed trying local dishes and shopping in local markets. Our holiday “souvenirs” tend to be recipes that bring back memories of the trips every time we cook them.
I live in the north of Hampshire, where it meets Surrey and Berkshire, with my husband of 38 years. We have two grown up daughters, three granddaughters and a grandson. The oldest is nearly seven years old and loves crafting with me. I ran a small business producing a magazine for competition enthusiasts until a few years ago when I had to give up for health reasons, so now I’m sort-of retired but do a little freelance writing. When I’m not crafting or cooking, you’ll find me at the computer where I can indulge my other passions of entering (and winning) competitions and writing – until early in 2016 I wrote a monthly column, along with my good friend Pam Crampton, in the magazine Compers News.