I’ve always loved making things, crafting and doodling. Infact, there are traces of this behaviour in most of the family photographs of me growing up. If I’m not shot cooking, eating or helping my mother with something – I’m climbing a hill, busy with paint, learning to knit and then “designing” things. The last of those is probably where my love of architecture began. I have vivid memories of assembling Lego into various rows of houses, making cars and drawing. My favourite programme as a child was Blue Peter. We weren’t allowed to watch much television so it was a real treat. I would sit cross legged far too close to the screen and sit in complete silence taking it all in. And within the programme, the make it section was by far my own personal favourite. My poor mother would be pestered for all kinds from egg carton boxes, washing up bottles to buttons, fabric and coat hangers. Looking back, there were some rather borderline health and safety issues going on with the things I used to be left alone with at the dining table.
I dreamt of being on the show, of sharing my ideas for who to make a rocket with a lemonade bottle, some sticky back plastic and an egg box and how I thought I could change the world through the power of craft…but the call never came.
Fast forward to my early twenties, my daughter began reception school and suddenly my chaotic attempts to make chocolate cornflake cakes, get mucky with paint and cover anything and everything with glitter with her at home were about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting nursery teacher and the other children in Bluebell room!
But I embraced this, I looked forward to getting a letter home saying it was a particular celebration, Dwali the Indian Festival of Light or Easter, or Father’s Day, each was an opportunity to get creative and have fun making things with my hands. My daughter would happily sit in her plastic bib, kneeling on a chair and eyes popping like stalks at the array of “bits” I’d found from around the house and working out with me how we were going to make the project together. We’d sit impatiently waiting for glue to dry, glitter to set, or paint to be tacky enough just to hold a few sequins – infact thinking about it just makes me smile. Those years were so precious and now she is a mother herself and will no doubt be doing the same sort of things with her child.
Friends would pop round and be in awe at the crazy stuff we made, or arrive to find me with staple gun in hand re-covering the sofa with some remnant fabric we’d found in a clearance bin (that was for you Karen Sheard!) and just sort of stop, tilt their heads quizzically and say “what are you up to now?”. I’m not entirely sure where this can do attitude came from, but suspect my fiercely independent mother was responsible for it and so glad she passed that onto me.
To this day you’ll find me making a bubble wrap dress for my daughter’s school fashion show, sewing up a Queen of Hearts Costume for Book Week in school, I made all my own bunting and origami boats for my recent wedding and I love that connection with creativity where you lose yourself in just making something because you want to. It’s all pretty free form, I’m told I have amazing spacial awareness. I look at material and then imagine what it could be made into and sketch a few ideas then just pick up the needle and thread/glue gun/stapler – what ever I think will work the best.
Being prepared to spend some time at something I love has meant we do have a vast collection of projects which I can’t bear to destroy and a loft which creaks and groans like one day something really bad is going to happen and the crafting Bat Cave will be revealed to first floor landing! But you know what, it doesn’t matter – because I’m still crossing my fingers that one day, that call will come in and I’ll dust down those projects and share them with the nation. A girl can dream 🙂
For now, I’ll leave you the link to today’s Blue Peter site so you can plan and make your own project.
[stextbox id=”tmk-box”]GET YOUR CRAFT ON go visit the Blue Peter pages and make something of your own.[/stextbox]
Remember, adventure is out there!