On the 25th July 2005, exactly 10 years ago, a letter was written which changed the course of my life!
I was happy with our decision and decided that I was going to make it a real holiday at home, with a minimum of housework and a maximum of craft for the six weeks that we had allocated. We soon discovered that God was in control and why He hadn't allowed our plans to come to pass. My husband developed shingles and that needs special treatment within 72 hours to negate long-lasting problems. If we had been outback bush camping as planned, miles from civilization, he would not have been able to obtain the urgent medication that he needed.
Meanwhile, I jumped into my 'holiday at home'. After years of wanting to do craft but never having time to do it except on holidays, I could craft to my heart's content - absolute bliss! After six weeks, I had a great pile of things I had made ... and suddenly had a reality check!
My long service leave was a stepping stone into retirement and I had made known to my employer that I would not be coming back after LSL. If I could produce all that stitching in six weeks, how much was I going to do in retirement? How could I afford to keep buying fabric and everything else needed for stitching? Whatever was I going to do with everything I made? Was there any purpose in all this crafting?
Then I read a little note in an editorial in Patchwork & Stitching magazine. They were looking for new contributors and encouraging their readers to have a go at submitting their original designs.
I had always said that I couldn't produce original patterns. I could copy and change someone else's but I would never be able to create something uniquely mine. But something stirred within me to have a go and to get out the pencil and paper, and I found that yes, I could be original. The key for me was that for the first time in my life I had plenty of time to just play, and with that doodling, gradually an idea formed.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I made two projects and sent off photos to the editor. I waited for a very long month and didn't hear a thing. Oh well, it didn't really matter - I had had my fun and there was nothing lost in trying.
And then the letter came!
Dated the 25th July, 2005, the official letter commissioned both of my designs for publication in Patchwork & Stitching Magazine. To say I was over the moon is an understatement!
And that's how it all began - a decade of having the privilege of spending time doing what I love, of sharing my ideas, of making pretty projects and having my work recognised by the crafting public. I have been so blessed!
I think I've improved a bit since my first design, as you can see from all these photos of my old projects! I am for ever grateful to editors who were prepared to give me a go and encouraged me in my baby steps in designing.
Thanks for reading my reminiscences and for being part of my journey.