March Meet the Maker

So this year I’ve decided to join the #marchmeetthemaker Instagram challenge created by Joanne Hawker which involves a new Instagram post each day so people can get to know a bit more about the story behind the maker and connect with lots of amazing new creatives along the way. I remember following the whole thing last year but didn’t feel brave enough or organised enough to commit to joining in, so this year I’m taking the next step.

The list of prompts for the whole month is on the http://www.marchmeetthemaker.com website, so anyone joining in can plan ahead – there are some I can instantly think of the answer to but some might need some more planning so I’m going to need to get organised.

Day 1, already on my Instagram feed was favourite to make. I shared my most recent custom order – they are my absolute favourites and I love making unusual requests for people. Today, day 2, is all about how I started. I actually ‘started’ as a child, growing up in a creative home with a mother who was very talented and active in her sewing and making (she makes great cakes too!) so I was always surrounded by the interest, inspiration and materials to get creative.

As you grow up and do sensible stuff like getting a job, a house, some children the creative things often fade away – there isn’t time for that sort of stuff any more. However when my daughter was small I was inspired to make her a simple little felt doll. After I made it I thought of all the ways I wanted to make it better, so I made a second one and then a third and from there the idea of turning this into a regular activity, and then selling what I make started.

My first official PepperPot doll was the one I now use as my profile picture on social media – she sits on my bookcase and watches over me as I work. I have made replicas of her for other people but the original little lady will always stay with me. So here she is, and her picture will be going out today as my second #marchmeetthemaker post.

So why not come and join in – you can just follow along if you like. You can go to Instagram and find #marchmeetthemaker to see posts from creatives all over the world making all kinds of things, or visit the official website to find out more.

And please follow along with my posts too – I’m on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pepperpotcrafts but I’m also posting my updates on my twitter feed at www.twitter.com/pepperpotcrafts

Every mum should have a hobby…. back to where it all began

Looking back through my old blog i found this post, which i wrote in 2013 when i started making things as a hobby. Its good to be reminded of why you do what you do sometimes…

I have always loved crafting and anything creative, but having children can lead you to put so many things on hold, and for me I always saw a distinction between what I needed to do and what I wanted to do.
Anyone who has ever tried to manage work / children/ dog / housework / life generally… will know that there are not enough hours in a day – and that from a mum whose son likes a 5am start to the morning!
The first thing you do is to drop the ‘what I want to do’ stuff and hope that leaves you with about enough ‘what I need to do’ time.

I recently moved from making and crafting on an ad hoc basis to developing into a business online, and I now see life in a very different way.

I used to see hours of must do chores in front of me by the time the children were in bed. There are, I find, two responses to this
a) spend evening fiendishly cleaning/cooking/being a goddess which leaves a tidy house and well fed family but isn’t particularly restful; or
b) realise it will all be messy again by lunchtime tomorrow so spend the evening watching TV and eating biscuits instead.

Since I moved into taking my crafting seriously enough to develop a business I spend a lot of my (child) free time either creating new ideas and restocking, or connecting through various social media tools to others in the same ‘business’ to learn from and engage with them. As a result the chores have taken a bit of a nosedive, and funnily enough no one but me even notices!

Before I began on this journey I used to get to the evening feeling tired and ready to veg and watch TV. For a long time I thought about setting up a business online selling what I make but assumed I wouldn’t have the time or energy for it, so I didn’t take the plunge – I really wish I had.

Having something in the day that is about me and for me makes me feel so much more invigorated about all areas of life. Somehow staying up until midnight to stuff lavender hearts means I wake up less tired that I used to after an evening on the sofa. There is a great satisfaction in creating something completely new and it doesn’t even connect to selling – it is about having an outlet that reminds you who you are.

Every mum should have a hobby – after all if you can make a real person who knows what else you can achieve!!!