I'm Melissa, I turned 30 recently, I have two kids- Arlo who just turned 8 and Keira who is 6, and a partner named Tom who works as a teacher.
We live in Nelson, in a house on a hill with a big lemon tree outside the front window. We love it here and have friends in the neighbouring houses. We have our parents and grandparents, siblings and nieces and nephews here in Nelson, and being near our family is really important to us. My major loves in life include aforementioned family, friends, beach and bush, watching films, baking and eating chocolate. I love music- listening to and collecting albums, and playing the cello and piano. And making things, of course! I love to knit, sew, and design things and am lucky enough to work on that full-time, now that the children are both in school. I've also joined a volunteer group which helps new refugees and other migrants settle in our city, through making crafts together. I'm excited about that.
I've always loved being creative- my parents gave me a sewing machine for my 13th birthday, so working with textiles is very familiar to me. I like to make objects from discarded things- textile recycling, i guess. But I'm also drawn to fabric stores and bolts of beautiful new linen, printed cottons, etc. Liberty of London prints my favourite fabrics. Why do I craft? I suppose it's just a really enjoyable process for me, turning something old into something new and (hopefully) useful, but I also love to make useful things for others, use my hands and be practical. One day I'd love to learn other practical skills, too, like making things from wood and fixing things around the house.
Your creative space – what does it look like?
I'm lucky enough to have the spare bedroom as my 'workroom'. I'm afraid to say it looks like a small child has been let loose in there to play with things and make a jumbly mess. But actually, I made the mess. I try and tidy it up every few months or so, but the truth is, I know where everything is, and I find it a bore to keep it organised.
How did you learn your craft?
My Mum taught me how to sew and knit as a child. She had unending patience, and just let me have free reign with her stash of yarn and fabric. She also let me experiment in the kitchen completely freely. I was lucky.
My kids are really into making things too, and I try and think of projects that we can together. We've made puppets, blank books, beaded necklaces and also worked on basic tapestry/embroidery kits. I'm afraid that the latter requires more patience than I often have, but I am working on channelling my own mother in such moments! The thing that works best, really, is just sitting around a table drawing/painting together. Or all working on our own projects at the same table (Arlo will most likely be building lego castles, K writing detailed diary entries about what she ate for breakfast, and Tom reading his latest library find.)
Can you give us some tips on how you juggle being a mama and working from home?
It's always a struggle and juggle- there are so many other things to do, of course. I just try and fit my work in whenever I can, while still 'being there' to participate in school trips, do the housework (blah), taxi children around to various activities, help out other family members, etc. It's not so easy, but I think all working parents do the same thing.
MELISSA'S GIVEAWAY...leave a comment below for the chance to win all three of the beautiful tiny happy creations pictured above. Yes, all three...you lucky lucky people! The giveaway is open until the end of the week and all comments go into the magic hat. The winner is drawn by the smallest member of the household. Good luck!
Update: giveaway closed! Winner drawn Friday night and announced next week. Thanks for entering everyone.