Nature and Crafting
I have always loved being outside and always loved making things.
If they can be combined, that is perfection!
Nature, Crafting and me
It all started when, as a child, we had a large city garden and my mother taught me the names of many birds and flowers. She also taught me how to knit and sew and I spent much of my childhood occupying myself by making tiny animals, interestingly often out of wool and felt. I found this recently in the loft – I obviously always loved pigs (see below!)
So started a love affair with making, any kinds of making. I love teaching myself new things and initially this was from any books I could lay my hands on, then the Internet arrived and I was in heaven! Video after video showing how to make hundreds of different things.
Moving to Great Waldingfield
We moved here in 1988, but we didn’t realise how this would impact our lives; this special place seems to have an extraordinary effect on whoever lives here. The previous owners had the whole garden down to beds for vegetables or dried flowers which they grew without chemicals and they kept goats and rabbits.
Soon after arriving, we added chickens to our household and a few years after that, the micro pigs arrived. We had long been concerned about the amount of artificial chemicals that were being used in everything so we were happy to take up the ‘organic’ mantle and used only garden compost and manure from our wonderful pigs on the garden.
In 2014 with only one pig left, we branched out into alpacas and now use their amazing manure on everything in our garden as well as selling the extra. They produce about a bucket every day!
By this time, having originally trained as an English Teacher, I was now running a Centre here for teenagers who were unable to attend mainstream school due to mental health issues. So I now had an even better reason for learning new crafts; I could share them with my students! I used art and crafting as a way to help them deal with their anxiety and the stress of studying for their GCSEs .
My love of teaching led me to start up adult craft workshops in 2016 when the Centre closed and means that I have met so many wonderful people since then – who I have missed seeing over the last two years.
The list of crafts I have tried is very long, but when the alpacas arrived, I made a vow to concentrate on making things using their amazingly soft fleece. Using material that is produced year after year naturally, has no plastic or artificial chemicals in it, and is processed entirely by hand seemed to be the perfect marriage for me between making and nature. I have been reasonably successful in keeping this vow, but, every now and then I give myself a treat and go a little off-piste with something I’ve come across on the internet!