Please tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Kate and I’m the Subscriptions Marketing Manager at MyTime Media. I am the mum of a bubbly little girl, and wish I had more hours in the day to craft as much as I used to do!
Where/how did you learn your craft(s)?
My mum taught me to cross stitch, and I remember baking with my Nana from a young age. My sewing skills were mostly picked up in home technology classes, but I probably shouldn’t refer to them as ‘skills’ – my projects tend to be a bit ‘rustic’ as my Mum would say! I also used to make model aircraft and cardboard railway buildings with my Dad. In more recent years I attended a few cake decorating classes, and this is currently my hobby of choice. I’ve always loved that feeling of creating something from simple materials, especially if they’ve got a practical application!
How do you feel craft has impacted your life?
For me, crafting has been an absolute saviour. In 2006, aged 20, I suffered a serious blood clot in my shoulder. After six months of treatment and tests, the cause was inconclusive. I was told I should be fine and wouldn’t suffer any further problems. In 2008 and 2009 I had two more clots. I was eventually diagnosed with a rare version of a condition called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which causes the veins to kink like a hose pipe and stop the blood flowing.
In 2010, I underwent surgery to remove my top ribs and relieve the pressure on my veins. Thankfully the surgery was successful, but the pain afterwards was excruciating, and the whole experience left a massive dent in my confidence. I was 25, unable to work and exhausted all of the time. I found it particularly difficult that on the outside, I looked fine – but on the inside, I felt very weak and fragile.
I was feeling very low and finding it difficult to see how things could improve, when my Mum suggested perhaps I needed a project. It was coming up to Christmas, so she went and picked me up some red felt and I started making Christmas Stockings. I think pretty much everyone in my family got a Christmas Stocking that year! Bit by bit I started work on other projects, mostly gifts for friends and family, and I found that it gave me a real sense of purpose again. It helped to distract me from what I couldn’t do, and focus on what I could. After six months I returned to work, and gradually my confidence returned. I genuinely feel that without my projects I would have sunk deeply into a very dark place, and although I still had difficult days, craft definitely had a huge positive impact on my recovery.
Do you do anything to pass the crafting bug on to others?
Apart from helping friends to decorate birthday cakes, I haven’t really encouraged others to craft in the past. I guess I hope this blog will achieve that now!
Is there anyone you find particularly inspirational in the crafting world?
It’s a little cheesy I know, but my mum! She reminds me that projects don’t have to be perfectly executed to be perfect. I think this blog will introduce me to many fabulous and inspirational crafters too.
Do you do anything to share your creations? (gifting/selling?)
I mostly only share my creations these day in the form of cakes for special occasions. I do love to sew gifts when I can too. I am making superhero capes for my nieces and nephews this year!
Are there any charities you would like to mention that helped you through the challenges that you’ve faced?
Yes, Thrombosis UK (http://www.thrombosisuk.org) were a fantastic support during my illness. The people that I had direct contact with were wonderful and very reassuring. It was particularly great to be put in touch with others going through a similar experience to me.
What is next on the agenda for you?
Starting this blog has inspired me to pick up my sewing again. In the little spare time that I get I am working on a Butterick Retro Dress. I think I may also pick up my cross stitch too so that I can finish the quilt that I have been planning since before my daughter was born! I look forward to working on this blog alongside my day job, and hopefully sharing many stories of how crafting can help us all!