As some of you may know I have been off line for a while so I am a bit behind.
'BLOG of the WEEK' winner
Gwyneth is a very talented all round crafter and is very inspirational.
I asked Gwyneth a few questions to help us get to know her a bit better.
1. What crafts do you do?
'My main crafts currently are: Card Making, Jewelry Making, and Knitting on knitting looms and boards. I have done other crafts but find that my health issues mean I can't always do what I want, so I like to make things that are reasonably quick, or can be done in stages that I can manage.'
2. How long have you been crafting and why did you start?
'I think I've been around crafting all of my life, except it wasn't called "crafting" back then. Family members just made things or adapted things if they could, rather than going out and buying. Everybody just did knitting, sewing, baking, etc.
For example: I know that I knitted a scarf when in school. I can't remember when it was I knitted leg warmers but I'm reasonably certain that I was in school then as well, a cable jumper, a fancy knit chunky long-line cardigan. I remember sewing a few skirts and a gypsy top for myself. I did some patchwork items - a quilt for a baby, a cushion cover, a little bag. Cardmaking just crept up on me. I wanted Welsh Christmas and Birthday cards, but the ones available in local shops were usually much more expensive than the equivalent English cards. So I started by buying the English ones and adding a Welsh greeting in a basic calligraphy script. Then inserting an insert and writing a greeting. Recycling old cards. Then came my first computer and I could print out the free clipart that came with it to make my own cards. Then there was the realization that there were toppers and backing papers and other things available to be used to make cards, and that the only stamps were not just greetings stamps. And my crafting just grew and grew, with further crafts and techniques being thrown into the mix, to be tried out as and when I had the time.
But my health was deteriorating, to the point that in the end I had to give up work and take early retirement on the grounds of ill health and disability. So now I can pick up my crafts any time I feel like it. I have a few bits ready in the house, so I don't have to rush and get a card made because somebody's forgotten somebody's birthday, and have usually got a few covered notebooks, or key-rings, or jewelry sets made up as well as gifts. Crafting is something I can do and enjoy and have something to show for it at the end. And if something doesn't work on a particular day it's not the end of the world. No stress about it - other than when I made all the wedding stationary for my sister's wedding - but that's another story.'
3. How would you describe your style of craft?
'Varied! I don't think I have a particular style. I like variety - so one day I may be feeling rough and not up to much and I may create a simple card from a die-cut kit (I keep an assortment of die-cut stuff in the house for when I'm not up to doing anything much but want to do something). On another day my hands may be behaving themselves reasonably and I can make paper flowers by hand and colour in and dab a bit of distress ink around, or whatever. One day I may knit once around a circular knitting loom (I can usually use knitting looms and boards because they sit on my lap or arm of my chair and I don't need to hold them up to hook over a stitch, and if I stop there's no chance of all the stitches coming loose and dropping off) and on another day I may manage a dozen. I just like to do something that gives me a nice end product and a sense of satisfaction at seeing a job done.'
4. Who / what is your inspiration?
'I like looking around on the Internet at lots of other people's crafting, as well as watching the demonstrators on Create & Craft, and get lots of inspiration from the work of others who have a much higher standard of crafting than me. But my main inspiration is my late grandmother. She would knit and sew a lot of our clothes when we were in Primary school. She taught herself to macramé. She did tapestry. When she was 85 she stitched 5 cross-stitch samplers. Did she take them to a framer to be mounted and framed? - No, not my gran. After she made the first piece that needed framing she marched down to the local framers and told him to teach her how to stretch, mount and frame tapestries. She then got hold of the boards, brown paper backers, tapes, etc.; got some old frames from local furniture sales, and set about framing everything she made herself from then on.'
5. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
'I worked in IT, and because of what I'd learnt to do my job I'd set up a few websites myself, such as one for the Sunday School, so I already had web space, and searching through what was provided within the package I found that there was a blog facility included. So I started thinking about what I'd like to blog about. I started blogging for two reasons. Firstly, to show my crafting work to others for them to be able to comment, the same way as I was able to view and comment on other crafters work. Secondly, as a record for myself of what I'd done, with what, and how, and whether there was anything intricate or difficult about the cutting or card creation (I'd found out through a forum I belonged to that I wasn't the only crafter with health and disability issues who wanted to know how fiddly things are to make so I try and make a comment every now and then if something is fiddly, or if it looks fiddly but isn't really.) My first blog post went live on the 27th July, 2010, though since then my content and descriptions have grown as I realised that some of what I'd written early on wasn't much of a help to me if I wanted to re-create a card.'
Thank you for letting us know you a bit better Gwyneth, a really interesting read.
Please visit Gwyneth's blog to see more of her inspirational creations