All of my interests have been influenced, since early childhood, by family members who introduced me to them. My maternal grandmother taught me the sewing skills, from a very early age, that have enabled me to make my own clothes and now give me pleasure making clothes for the ‘honorary’ grandchildren as well as other items for our home and for sale. My mother loved to embroider and I learnt those skills from her and have continued throughout my life to widen, develop and expand on techniques. I love fabrics of all types, textured threads, hand-dyed wools and it is these that I use to develop my designs. Nowadays, there are so many other materials available that can be painted, heated and worked in other ways to give a 3D effect to a piece of embroidery and my philosophy is that there are always new skills and techniques to be explored and adapted.
As a very small child I would accompany my maternal grandfather on his visits to book shops, historic buildings and museums. His passion for books and all things historical rubbed off on me and I remain an avid collector of books, especially on local history topics, and love visiting old buildings and places of historic interest. My artistic talents come from my father who encouraged me to develop drawing and painting skills. Sketchbook, pens, pencils and paints always accompany me on holidays and I always have a design workbook on the go for jotting down ideas, sketching plans, adding photos and cuttings, bits of fabric etc..
Photography plays a major role in formulating my ideas and designs. A camera makes it so easy to capture the moment, the view, the light, the colours, the idea, or whatever, and digital technology enables one to take hundreds of photos and then discard those that you don’t want. You can then alter them to suit your ideas and you can still print them off if you want to.