We are a creative family. We like to make things, we're good with our hands, we have grand plans and tend to follow them through. Our current house is testimony to that. From gently decaying wreck, in 5 years we've turned it in a beautiful family home, which is also where we work from.
Any of you who come along to shows will have seen evidence of my Mum's work. As a child, many of my clothes were handmade, often from Cloth Kits patterns in the sale. My pride and joy was a burgundy corduroy dress with matching victorian style floral blouse. A good chunk of my stand at shows is usually filled with her sewing. She designs and makes aprons, and bags and needle cases. Except to call them just aprons is to do them a disservice. Most of what she's designed we've come up with because it's an item we wanted. Her craft aprons are ones we designed to wear at shows. Big wide straps that cross over your shoulders so they don't dig in round your neck, nice and wide to cover your sides and not just your lap, a big zip pocket with internal pockets to hold all your bits and pieces. Some features like the adjustable strap length came later as a way of making them one-size-fits-all.
Her interchangeable needle case was also as a result of me moaning that I couldn't find the case I wanted. The plastic zip case that came with the needles was huge and bulky, and I still had to find my needle gauge to check the tip size. Later that same day a prototype appeared, we tweaked it, made a new version, which is still the one I have hanging up by my armchair.
Just in case you're now feeling enabled her very own Etsy shop is here.
Any shop regulars will have no doubt lusted over the hand turned spinning tools. My Dad makes all my niddy noddy's, orifice hooks, nostepinnes, and darning mushrooms. Keeps Mum happy as he can go off to his man shed for hours at a time, and at the end of the day he comes out waving something he's made. Much like with spinning, wood turning is a craft that takes time to learn, and some days you end up with something that's only good for throwing away (at least with turning we ned up with kindling at the end!). However, at the end of the experience you usually come out a better spinner/turner than you were several hours ago. After lots of practise Dad is now starting to get rather good at this wood turning.
For my birthday 2 weeks ago he gave me my very own beautiful oak bowl.
It's a quiet time my own shop at the moment. There's always slightly less spinning in the summer, it's either too hot, or quite rightly people are enjoying the great outdoors. Of course it's also prime UK festival season right now so everyone is saving their pennies. So I've had a bit more free time than I often have. Rather than relax, Mum and I spent the past 2 days setting up Dad his very own Etsy shop for his wood turning, because there are only so many surfaces in our household where we can fit bowls, and he's developing a timber stash to rival my fibre stash!
My dad has been one of my biggest silent, background supporters. You might not get to see him at shows, but he stays at home with the chickens and the dogs. It's him who does the heavy lifting with the van packing, and over the past 4 years he has drilled and assembled thousands of drop spindles.
If you want to take a look, his Etsy shop is here