I live in Sydney, Australia. My mum was a great baker and cook so I think I picked up some skills from her at an early age. After she passed I would bake with my grandmother, she would always let me help mix the cake batter. Although she doesn’t much care for cooking, my grandmother taught me to make her signature dishes – raisin cake, rice salad, tuna casserole and curried chicken. I remember helping my maternal grandmother make stuffing while visiting her in the UK. I remember her delicious roast dinners and desserts topped with custard. Most of my technical cooking and baking skills I learnt at school in food technology classes. It was one of my favourite subjects, second only to art class.
My mother and maternal grandmother were both great knitters. Many of the clothes I wore as a baby and little girl were knitted by my grandmother and sent to Australia in a brown package. My mum knitted toys and donated them to a children’s charity, oh how I wished one of those toys was for me! While my paternal grandmother taught me the basics of knitting, my passion lies with crochet. A few years ago I booked myself in for a crochet lesson and armed with a few books and YouTube tutorials I worked out the basics. The first completed piece was a small, pink toy mouse. Very basic, but quite an achievement at the time! Since then I’ve made toys and blankets, the majority given away as gifts or to charity. I’ve been known to crochet in the car, at the bus stop, at picnics, on the beach…anywhere I can.
My mum would also sew, I remember a pretty pink skirt she made for me, with one little pocket on the front. I loved looking at all of the coloured thread and pieces of lace in her sewing box. I started to sew after having lessons at school when I was about 13. My father bought me a sewing machine for my 14th birthday, the machine I still use today. Over the years I have brought the machine out from time to time but now has pride of place on my craft desk. Last year I used the machine to make my first quilts, both given as gifts.