Hi, I am a teacher who enjoys a number of crafts as a way to unwind. I love the mindfulness that crafting gives me as I forget about the big things in life and just get lost in my own little world. I always enjoyed making things but after my children had grown up it became a huge part of my life.
About 13 years ago my friend was going to join a club where you could learn to make silver jewellery. It sounded interesting so I decided to go along too but felt a bit silly, as she was a talented Art teacher and I thought that I would be pretty useless at it. However, it was great fun, the people were really supportive, and I learned by just having a go. I use pliers to twist silver wire, a coping saw to cut sheets of silver, a little blowtorch to solder things together, and hammers to texture and stamp items. Here are some things that I have made ( I don't sell my jewellery but I made these for one of my pupils who was raising funds to go to Africa during a Gap Year).
I enjoy working with different materials so when my school had a Christmas Fayre a couple of years ago I got pupils involved in making little wooden houses that I saw on Pinterest. We used scraps of wood and branches that I had found at Prestwick beach.
Pinterest was also responsible for inspiring me to make these peg dolls. Having made peg dolls as a child, using toilet paper to make clothes and cotton wool to make hair, I just love that you can now buy huge peg doll heads! I only give my dolls eyes as I am not very good at painting mouths or noses.
My biggest craft obsession at the moment is a second hand dolls house that I bought on Ebay last year. Being a miniaturist is great fun as it lets you develop so many different skills - interior design, woodwork, painting, decorating, sewing, etc. The previous owner had decorated most of the house so I removed the wallpaper then the fun began! I decided that I would decorate it in an 'Arts and Crafts' movement style so I have William Morris wallpaper in most rooms.
I made chimney breasts and fireplaces, my favourite of which is the large one in the living room that was inspired by one a Philip Webb fireplace in Standen House in England. The chairs and sofa are also a William Morris design that I made from kits.
I sewed clothes for the dolls and made really cute patchwork quilts - using the same technique as full size quilts but they are just about 5 inches in size!
This has been such a fun project and it is not yet finished - I drilled holes in the ceilings for lights and made grooves in the floors to sink the wires into. Installing the lights will be the last piece of work that I do as I think that it will be the best part! I do sometimes wonder if anyone else in Strathaven is a miniaturist? Or if anyone else would like to become one.