Happy almost Mother’s Day, UK! It seems many of us were inspired by our mums from an early age. Mine spent literally hour upon hour making party costumes. I do recall being dressed as a knickerbocker glory with miles of ruched pink toilet paper painstakingly sewn onto a (handmade) bodysuit and hat. It rained and I melted somewhat. We missed the fancy dress contest!
I’ll never forget the birthday cakes — in particular the excruciatingly detailed fairy castle, complete with ice cream cone turrets and chocolate finger drawbridge, which she stayed up all night to finish.
Several of our UK sellers have offered a little piece of their crafty family history along with some fab now and then photos (don’t you just love looking through old photo albums?). Here’s to our mums, whether they’re crafty goddesses or have two left sewing machine feet.
“Glue guns at dawn” is a great way to describe our crafting habits. If it’s not me stealing mum’s goodies then it’s the other way around. We do seem to have a tendency of taking on each other’s crafts. (Not that I can knit or crochet, so mum’s safe with those.) We both fell in love with jewellery making, and, although our styles are different, we both like each other’s designs. I always love seeing and photographing my mum’s jewellery.
When looking back over old photos, and when I visit my parents on the weekends, I remember how daft we are and how much fun we have when we’re all together. I really appreciate everything that my mum and dad have done for me, and through their humour and my mum’s obsession with crafting I have developed a career out of something I love. My mum made many things when my brother and I were small, like snowmen that had candy in them and lots of clothes for me. Remembering her learning to knit with a machine brings back many memories of pretty scary jumpers (ha — sorry, mum). These things have really created who I am and my mum has always been there to give me encouragement and remind me that being different is good. I’d like to take this opportunity to tell my mum how good she is because I don’t think she knows it.
My mum and I go way back: 28 and a bit years in fact, with the craft-obsession gene travelling even further back down the generations. My gran and great-gran both used to take in sewing from their neighbours to earn a bob or two, while my mum would make clothes for herself and others nearby. This is something I’ve yet to accomplish but it is on the list along with:
- Cook a Sunday roast with all the trimmings
- Develop at least one green finger
I can remember my mum always doing a craft of some type from an early age and encouraging me to do the same. From drawing pictures for me to colour in (I was clearly too lazy to draw them myself!) to teaching me to knit for a reluctant Sindy. She even loaned me her sacred garden shed, which was transformed into a studio. Mum dispelled any lingering creepy-crawlies while I retreated to a safe distance — I’m also a wimp, mum’s the brave one!
Having grown up in an oldish house of 250 years, a love and appreciation of everything antique was perhaps inevitable in both of us. In recent years this has manifested itself in an almost religious compulsion to trawl various flea markets and charity shops. We can watch such TV gems as Bargain Hunt, Antiques Roadshow and Time Team, and put it down to “research” for my vintage shop. Alas, I cannot claim expenses on this.
Mother’s Day has an uncanny habit of falling within a few days of my mum’s birthday. I have a feeling this is to compensate for my birthday falling so close to Christmas. But I may be wrong.
Mel: My mum has been making polymer clay bears for twenty years now. I spent my childhood being dragged around craft fairs: getting up really early, lugging boxes, eating squashed cheese sandwiches and getting muddy and cold in tents in big fields. It was fab and I loved every second of it! Growing up in a crafty household was a great experience, and my mum always encouraged me to be creative. The very first thing I remember making for her was a little purple heart, which I coloured in with crayon. I know she still has it somewhere.
I’m really proud of my mother. She recently started art classes, began submitting work for exhibitions and sold a felt seascape in Hull, at Ferens Gallery Open Exhibition. She went all giddy when she saw the red “sold” dot next to it. I try to encourage her: she doesn’t think she’s good enough, but she just needs to have faith in herself. Looking at her work I know where I get my crafty, creative side. My mum is a real inspiration to me.
Joy: Melanie and I took a community course in felting together in 2006 and we both really enjoyed it. It’s nice that we started this journey together as the little felt class has opened so many doors for both of us. We both love felting but have gone in completely different directions: I prefer wet felting and making pictures and Melanie prefers needle-felt (because she can watch telly while she works!).
Inspired by my daughter, who had great faith in me and more confidence than I did, I followed on from that by taking art classes. There has been a bit of a role reversal for us recently: I always encouraged her to be creative and study art at university, but now I am asking for her advice and even borrowing her materials and art equipment. Melanie bought me some acrylic paints for Christmas and has promised to teach me how to use her Gocco printer as a Mother’s Day present. I’m very excited about it!
Many thanks to these Etsy ladies for sharing their stories for UK Mothering Sunday (March 14) — check out their fabulous wares in the Related Items below.
Did you inherit your crafty gene? Let us know in the comments section!