Saturday, 11 November 2017

Featured Shop - One of a Kind Gifts

Our Featured Shop For the Seasonal end to 2017 is One of A Kind Gifts

I asked Sue to tell us a bit about her background and where the inspiration for this fabulous website came from.

I love having this website.
For several years I have run a website (Anxaid) based on my professional knowledge as a psychologist. All the time I have longed to be able to write about  pretty craft items and, moreover, to be able to spend my days making them.
Finally those days are here!

Your shop name is very clever and we loved your website - especially the Christmas Shop! 
Can you tell us a little about how your creativity evolved?

My earliest sewing memory is when I was four years old. The elderly lady who lived next door gave my mother two small pale blue blankets in a sort of wool fleece fabric.
I announced that I wanted to make a dressing gown for my little sister from them. 
My grandmother laid the two little blankets, one on top of the other, on the carpet and threaded a needle for me with double thread and a knot. She (very wisely) said I must sew the sides together first and that any cutting would happen at the end.
I remember taking the first stitch at one end. Then I looked at how far I had to sew and could see no point at all in doing lots of small stitches when I could get all the way to the other end with one big stitch. 
I took one big stitch. My grandmother pointed out the error of my ways.
It was then that I decided my sister didn’t need a dressing gown after all. The two little blankets survived.

That's a great story!  So you had the bug and kept on creating?

At school we were taught sewing by a spinster teacher who had lived through two World Wars. She wasted nothing. We even had to remove tacking stitches keeping the thread in one piece so that we might re-use it.
When I was nine we made stuffed animals. I recall making a giraffe in a cotton fabric in shades of orange. Its legs were very thin and they were given strength by a length of wire embedded inside the stuffing.
When I was ten we each made a pair of knickers in cream winceyette using French seams and shell hemming - all done by hand. 
Needless to say, none of us ever actually wore what we’d made that year as bloomers were long out of fashion.
At eleven I made my first dress. Mine was in a check fabric in shades of green and brown. All the sewing was done by hand - there were no sewing machines at school. In contrast to the knickers of the previous year, I loved that dress and wore it all through that summer. 

In my teens I made myself the latest fashions by buying clothes at the village jumble sale and cutting them up to make something else. Fortunately I grew up in a place where the landed gentry donated their unwanted clothes to the jumble sales so pickings were good.
To begin with I used my grandmother’s Singer sewing machine with the handle that was turned by hand. Then one day when I was about fourteen years old my parents visited the Ideal Home Exhibition and brought home an electric machine that did a zigzag stitch. I was in heaven.
I made my own wedding dress, my sister’s and numerous bridesmaid dresses for various family members over the years. More recently I made my daughter’s.

So do you mainly sew?

No, I do knitting as well as sewing and one Christmas made an entire set of Raggy Dolls for a granddaughter.
By the time the children had all grown up I was back at work. Although I still made things now and then, I started to look forward to retirement when I might devote my days to creating…

The appliqued advent calendar I made for my own children and, again more recently, for grandchildren.

The feel of your website is that it could be "the" place to go for special gifts!  We loved this quote that you included on your site in your Gift Advice  section.

So you are not planning on putting up your feet now you are retired? 

I can now spend my days making whatever I want. Sometimes I knit, sometimes I sew. In between times I make necklaces and decorate boxes. I can’t just do one thing as there are so many possibilities, so many ideas that beg to be followed through.
I created this website to allow me to sell what I make in order to buy materials to make more. 

Thank you for spending the time with us to find out about you and your website.

You can find Sue on her website
and  also on Facebook