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As the grand-daughter of a painter and the daughter of a seamstress, it is unsurprising that I have an appreciation for arts and crafts.

Admittedly, I may never become a celebrated artist, but that doesn't stop me from dabbling in pretty much anything creative from sketching to needlepoint; sculpture to crochet; mosaics to sewing. 

Whilst the end product may never be worthy of displaying even in my home let alone in a gallery, and the only reason they remain priceless is by virtue of the fact that no-one would ever want to pay money to purchase them, I still gain a tremendous sense of achievement and satisfaction from creating unique items. (Well, the ones that are remotely successful that is!)


Some of my earliest memories are of me as a toddler sitting on the potty drawing pictures of houses - I could barely talk, but I was already a multi-tasker! I was incredibly proud of myself when I finally mastered the skill of drawing a three-dimensional rectangle complete with slanting roof, chimney, windows and door. My next memory is of a Mother's Day card I made in pre-school. I had lost a fingernail the week previously and sported a huge bandage on my right hand - which prevented me from holding a pencil properly. I was most upset that my card wasn't perfect, but I still recall the tears in my mother's eyes when I gave it to her - she truly believed my flowers were the best out of everyone's in the class, not simply because I made it, but because of the circumstances under which I had made it.  This was to be my first lesson in why it is often 'the thought that counts'.

I first learned to knit from my mother - inspired by the Sicilian women who sat behind their half-opened front doors, knitting needles wedged between each boob and arm, fingers flying at the speed of light, watching the world outside all whilst gossiping with their neighbours. Unfortunately, at seven ears of age my fingers lacked the skill and dexterity of the women I had been admiring and my attempts at a simple scarf ended up in tears.

This was to become a recurring theme in my quest to learn various crafts from my mother - crochet, embroidery, sewing - all ended in tantrums and tears with me wanting to do it on my own and getting frustrated at not being able to do it perfectly without being shown or helped along the way. Ironically, I am now experiencing the same with my own daughter, and being the person that I am (with a quest of knowledge and answers) I now understand why this happens and am learning how to manage it both for myself and my daughter (not to mention the poor buggers who have are unfortunate enough to be around us during these meltdowns of spectacular proportions!).

Given my 'quirks' it is somewhat incomprehensible that I see fit to be writing such a blog.  But remarkably, in my thirties I have learned to create pottery and mosaics and am now teaching myself to crochet; in my twenties I taught myself cross stitch; and I am still capable of sketching with a relative level of skill (according to Miss Seven-and-a-Half who may be somewhat biased) despite not having taken a formal class since my teens. Oh, and I am metamorphosing into a professional 'Costume Mistress' - much to everyone's surprise.

So this section of my blog will be dedicated to my dabblings in the Arts and Crafts. I will not only share my past successes, but you will have the opportunity to experience the pain (I can feel your excitement at the prospect) and joy as I work my way through current and future projects.