I have settled in Suffolk with my blended and wonderful family. Qualifying as a primary school teacher about 18years ago, I have always been interested in learning and inspiring others to learn. I am passionate about creative arts and skills development and have tried my hand at a wide range of arts and crafts. I love painting abstract treescapes, these were my first experiences of creating work for an exhibition. I’ve also developed my interest in pen and ink drawing, which came about as I was travelling and needed to find a portable way to visually record my journey when it wasn’t possible to paint large pictures. I spent nearly 2 years exploring North and South America, visiting my family in Argentina when I was there, and then learning to snow board in New Zealand, living in Sydney for 6 months, teaching in a variety of schools before return to England to start a family. I have three children and two step-children who keep our home busy. Over the last 13 years whilst raising my family, I have worked as an Advisory Teacher and Education Consultant for Speech, Language and Communication Needs. I’ve supported lots of education practitioners in enhancing their understanding of this fundamental aspect of human developement and supported the application of provision within education. Working in this role, straddling strategic and operational tasks I have gained a huge insight into the workings of education management and service development.
In order to balance the corporate world I would find any time I could to make stuff. I started with card making and scrapbooking. This soon led to developing skills in other handmade crafts, using a sewing machine to make bags and cushions. I was fortunate to be offered a shop space in a fantastic shop in Ipswich called Loveone.
Cathy, the owner soon became a good friend and mentor. I ran small workshops from the studio space upstairs, and sold lots of my makes in the shop. It was a great time and the feedback and interest was always good.
Life took a bit of a turn which meant I had to step away from the shop and over the next 5 years I didn’t commit to making very much of anything.
Then a trip to Venice led me to a shop where the owner was making handmade leather note books. I was completely in awe and he very kindly showed me the process and discussed his craft with me. On my return I dug out the leather samples I had been given by an Italian sofa maker and quickly found my own style to make reclaimed leather note books.
I made the decision last year that I had drifted off the creative path so much that I had lost sight of it. This was a huge influence in my decision to leave my consultant post. After a long rest and recovery time, in which I felt I’d had a profound spiritual awakening, I have excitedly returned to the world of creativity. I spent a lot of time mixing and making soaps and lotion bars, learning about essential oils and aromatherapy, discovering the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and learning how to meet my soul and take direction from my soul voice.
It was on my wish list to learn how to throw pots and I have found a great teacher and friend in Ipswich who has shown me the basics and supported my throwing skills. I’d love to have my own wheel one day, but I’ve got other things to focus on.
So I’m now embarking on the next part of my life with the experience and wisdom of the years behind me and the support and love of my friends and family and I am feeling really happy about my midlife reset.