I have always felt the need to make things and, I suppose, to design things. I remember being a young girl and making clothes for my Barbies as well as furniture for them from household objects. I played with scraps of lumber and wire to see what I could create. My Gramma worked for Craft Master and she brought us “seconds” and leftovers from their paint by number and crushed gravel art. My dad would paint in oils and water colours when I was young and I too loved to sketch and paint. An elderly neighbour taught me all kinds of crafts, such as weaving on a small loom. At Christmas I received rock tumblers, bead looms and other craft kits. When I wasn’t reading or organizing my library I was using my hands to create. I was lucky to live a life filled with creation – I sang in school groups, church choirs, I wrote stories and poems, and I took piano lessons for 13 years. I was blessed to be surrounded by people who cherished and encouraged my talent.
In my 20s and 30s I focussed on easy to complete crafts while my career and son took the bulk of my time and attention. I still made jewellery, and often took my whole lunch hour to poke through the beads and findings at Arton on Queen St West. I wrote so much creative copy at work that my writing dropped off but I took endless classes at what we now call Creativ Festival. I learned embroidery, cross stitch, blackwork, bobbin lace making, tatting, Bargello, battenberg lace making, felting, punch embroidery. I made cross stitched Cristmas decorations for friends and family for years. I spent most of my time on intricate, silk thread on linen samplers.
Then one day my friend Deborah and I decided to go to the Toronto Bead Society’s bead fair to get some beads for needlework pieces we were working on and I fell in love all over again with making jewellery. I joined the group, then the steering committee and took on programming then the chair. I started taking classes and soon began teaching them too. I haven’t looked back. All of the creative energy I had stored up, all of the mentors I learned from and all of the knowledge from a breadth of crafting endeavours have coalesced into this moment. I am so happy to be in a place right now where I can call creation, and sharing the excitement of creation with others, my job.