Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Creative Mama Series - Melissa

I am honoured to be hosting a score of super talented crafty mamas sharing their wisdom, crafting and snapshots of their beautiful lives. This is ‘The Creative Mama series’. Join me every weekend for a wander in these ladies crafty shoes. Guest posts, stunning photography, inspiration, interviews, poetry and giveaways...all coming up. Magic aside it can be hard work this mama business, put your feet up a minute and join us. Hopefully there is always something here to give your day a lift.

Tell us about you...


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.

What’s your creative outlet? Why do you craft?
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.


Do you do any crafting with your kids?
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.



Digital Riroriro print.


Drawstring bag made with 'Vita' fabric Melissa designed.



Handpainted hellebore card set.

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.


You can find Melissa on her blog: tinyhappy.typepad.com.


The tinyhappy etsy shop is HERE. Enjoy!

116 comments:

  1. thx, melissa, for sharing! i loved hearing about the volunteer craft-thing with recent immigrants--what a great idea--and that your family all can sit around and work on separate projects. that's how it works best at my house, too.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. I have been following melissa's blog for years and it is lovely to have insight into her creativity.

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  3. Very cool! Also - our son's name is Arlo ;-)

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  4. Always been a fan of Melissa's work, such an inspiration!

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  5. hello anissa. i happen upon your blog via melissa's. and so. n♥

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  6. i love melissa's blog! lots of inspiration and pretty things. :)

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  7. Gorgeous, I especially love the bag!

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  8. Loving that bird print. oh. so. alot

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  9. I am always inspired by Melissa's posts and how she can take a simple photo of nature, trees and flowers, and translate that to the prettiest of embroidery designs; and then go even further to make those designs into the loveliest of broaches, bags or watercolor images. Melissa is multi-talented and inspiring! Best wishes and blessings, Tammy

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  10. I love Melissa's work and blog. I am always looking forward to a new post. I love her sweet crafts and seeing her inspirations.

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  11. I love Melissa's work. That's interesting about working with refugees using the international language of crafting. Lovely post, thanks.

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  12. Thanks for sharing Melissa I find your posts inspirational and I love the way you are so frank about juggling life, it makes me feel happy about my own particular brand of child/mama/crafting chaos! Emma x

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  13. I am a fan of Melissa! She always inspire me to make things and I love the relaxed feel of her blog :)

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  14. Tiny happy leaves me feeling calm and happy, keep up the great blog please, also love the sound of the volunteer group, does anyone know if there is anything like that in Auckland?

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  15. I am a big fan of Melissa's blog, I particularly love her fabric designs...just gorgeous! Please count me in for the giveaway :)

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  16. I love seeing beautifully detailed images from nature! Great work - I like this series

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  17. I always look into Melissa's blog - love her flower paintings and her fabrics.

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  18. Thank you for the interview and the giveaway from the lovely Melissa.

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  19. Oh what a lovely giveaway. I have been a fan of Tiny Happy for a wee while now!

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  20. Hi Anissa, i came over from Melissa's blog. I'm huge fan and compelled to enter this GENEROUS giveaway. thanks for hosting :)

    Dee

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  21. It is a really nice to read an interview with another fantastic and inspiring creative mama. And GREAT giveaway too - fingers crossed. Thanks makeitgiveit(at)gmail(dot)com

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  22. I'm a huge fan of Melissa's blog. I love reading it as it gives me little snapshots of home (NZ) We left NZ 3 years ago and I miss it so! Off to check out the Growmama blog xx

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  23. I follow Melissa's blog daily - I don't know how she does it all! Glad to have found yours too Anissa.

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  24. Melissa is lovely, as is her blog/work. Thanks for the chance to win : )

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  25. Hi Melissa, I love reading your blog and it's always nice to hear more about you and how your work. You are very inspiring! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the opportunity. x

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  26. love learning more about Melissa! She is so talented!

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  27. oh, your wonderful drawstring pouches! Can't have enough of those. Thanks for the chance.
    Suzanne

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  28. Melissa is lovely! Thanks for the interview and chance to win :) I love that she has so many creative outlets but everything she makes is so 'her.' from the fabric to the embroidery to the ceramics.

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  29. It's so nice to hear more about you! I love your brooches so much.

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  30. Gorgeous, I've been reading Tiny Happy and admiring Melissa's creations for years, I would love to win this! Thank you.

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  31. this interview makes a nice and interesting weekend reading, I love everything Tiny happy, thank you both!

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  32. Melissa, thanks for sharing. Your work is always lovely and refreshing; I'd like to think that it's been influential in my own.

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  33. I was reading through all the comments about how much people like her work and I do agree, but it occurred to me that I'd just like to BE Melissa. Except for the small children part. I'm done with that stage.

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  34. Melissa, It is always so interesting to hear what you're up to. It's wonderful that you children enjoy "making things" as much as you do, your posts always take me back to the adventures we had when my children were small. :)

    Susan

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  35. I am wearing one of Melissa's brooches right now! It is a prized possession. I love how nature influences her work so strongly (as it does mine). What a truly lovely giveaway. Would you be able to pop my name in the hat? Many thanks.

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  36. Great stuff Melissa. I especially love the print x Jo (craftyourself)

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  37. I'd love to know more about the volunteer group Melissa mentioned. I've never heard of a group quite like that and I think it's a great idea. I think I'll have to go comb through her blog archives...

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  38. count me in please!

    Thanks, Beth x
    Beth.7@ntlworld . com

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  39. I'm an avid reader and great admirer of Melissa's blog so it's nice to find your blog through hers. Very much enjoyed your interview / questions. Wonderful give away too!

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  40. I have always loved Melissa's blog Tiny Happy and it is the first I check out. I think she is so talented! Janetta

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  41. I love Melissa's blog. i love her embroidery. how she can take the simplest of leaves and make them look so life like. Thank you for sharing her story. Andrea from Canada

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  42. Just love Tiny Happy! Nice to find new (to me) blogs as well. I'd love to be in to win some of Melissa's gorgeous treasures!

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  43. A lovely post about a lovely woman who makes lovely things. All the best everyone. I wish we could all win. Your Vita fabric is so beautiful here Melissa. x

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  44. I follow Melissa`s blog and use daily several things she did. Her work is a unique and beautiful interpretation of the natural world, plants specially, that I would like to capture so well as Melissa does. Elsa(Portugal).

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  45. An insightful and inspiring interview- a big fan of Malissa's style and work! Very cool giveaway too!

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  46. I absolutely adore that Melissa has picked up her crafty-ness from her on Mum. I'm attempting to do the same thing with my 4 yr old autistic daughter who loves all things artsy and crafty (we're lucky that her fine motor skills are quite exceptional!).

    Melissa, your talent is amazing and inspires me whenever I visit your blog!

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  47. I always enjoy checking up on Melissas blog as her talents cover a wide range of things and its always a pleasant surprise to see what she has been making next. Keep up the inspiring work Melissa. Thanks :-)

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  48. I love reading Melissa's blog, she is very talented & I like that she will give anything a go. She is a huge inspiration to a lot of people-it is really cool that she is passing on her knowledge to so many others.

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  49. Thanks for the beautiful giveaway!

    thouraya13@hotmail.com

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  50. Lovely, and thanks for the chance! :)

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  51. Melissa is always an inspiration! And I love everything she does!

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  52. Have been of Melissa's creativity and blog for a couple of years now ~ and always like to have a nosey weekly at what new things she has whisked up. (She's inspired me to be more creative and try new things, craft-wise too!)

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  53. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing Melissa! Lovely work :)

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  54. Melissa is always SUCH an inspiration. Such beautiful work and style.
    Cheers!

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  55. Darling! I love following Melissa's blog, she does such a great job of appreciating her local environment through her crafting!

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  56. Thanks for the interview - and isn't that Vita fabric so beautiful!

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  57. Wonderful giveaway! I love tiny happy so much.

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  58. I adore Melissa and am constantly inspired by her. Good luck to all!

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  59. Reading Melissa's down to earth wisdom is what inspired me to enter the blogging community. I don't even know how I stumbled on to Tiny Happy. She seems to combine, in a most appealing manner, glimpses of family positivity, environmentally friendly inspirational maker's design ideas and attractive photography. She makes me want to do everything better!

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  60. Thank you for hosting and posting this. i love tiny happy's things

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  61. Really beautiful. I love your work and your blog is so inspiring.
    Lindy xxx

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  62. I have been loving all of Melissa's beautiful work and would feel honoured to win these goodies! I think I'm feeling lucky....!

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  63. I love that little bird print! Have a nice holiday Melissa.

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  64. So lovely to learn a bit more about Melissa and her creative processes.Have a great holiday Melissa and look forward to seeing you back at TinyHappy next week.

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  65. Love Melissa's work...little pieces of her work make their way across the Tasman to me for keeping or for giving to friends. Such beautiful treaures!

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  66. Sweetness! Im so glad M. has pointed me in the direction of your lovley blog :-).*

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  67. I love Melissa's blog. i read it everyday.
    Katerina FF
    Greece

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  68. Such a sweet treat to visit your blog, whenever I want to be inspired and encouraged. Just loving to connect, tho I'm a granny now.You warm my heart, giving hope for the future and encouragement for how we raised our 3 beautiful chidren born in 3yrs 3 months over 23 years ago. Bless You. (Granny) Sue

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  69. Love Love Love the Vita Fabric!! I check out tiny hapy every day for my dose of pretty!

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  70. Love her works so much! Look her blog regulary and always brows it when look for some soothing beauty...

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  71. Fun to have another creative space to explore (came via tiny happy)! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  72. I live in Canada and frequent Melissa's blog as I really enjoy her style and creativity.

    Brenda M.

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  73. I just came over from Tiny Happy - one of my favourite blogs. Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  74. Hello, I love tiny happy and growmama, very nice interview, keep up the good work lovely ladies xx

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  75. beautiful post about a beautiful lady (and beautiful gifts too!)

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  76. Just found your blog Melissa. I knew Tamsin and Josh while they were up here in Kerikeri, met your rmum and dad (they stayed with us)and heard all about your crafty talents.
    Now I am enjoying reading about your creativity while upskilling mine.

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  77. I've only recently learnt about the riroriro and it's beautiful little call and was lucky to hear one in the bush the other day. The hellebores cards are gorgeous...I love seeing them at this time of year. Thanks for sharing Anissa & Melissa.

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  78. I love Melissa's blog, and now I have a new one to visit: Growmama
    Thnaks for this beautiful give away.
    Greetings
    Mar

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  79. Hi,
    I'm a fan of Melissa's blog. It makes me feel peaceful.
    And now I discovered your blog too!
    I would love to win the giveaway and enjoy her crafts in real life.
    Carla

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  80. I love Melissa's blog so much, and I've been following it for years. So excited that her blog has led me to this blog, too!
    The giveaway is full of absolutely gorgeous things, it'd be fantastic to be the lucky winner!
    Always,
    Nikki

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  81. That Riroriro print is divine! And I am an avid reader of Tiny Happy.

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  82. I've been reading Tiny Happy for a long time and love Melissa's style... thanks for the giveaway!

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  83. I love tiny happy it is very inspiring for us busy mummas. Thanks Melissa
    Megan

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  84. I adore Melissa's work, it is a real treat to make a little gift purchase for myself from her shop x x

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  85. It would be a huge honour to win such a lovely package of Melissa's handmade goodies.

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  86. I love reading Melissa's blog, and I'm thrilled to find yours as well. kaseymgm (at) gmail (dot) com

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  87. Followed you here from tinyhappy. Looks like I have another blog I need to explore.

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  88. I really enjoy reading Melissa' blog, and would love to win. Thanks for this chance!

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  89. This sounds like a dream come true! Thanks for sharing, Melissa is so great...

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  90. As a mother of four I look forward to a wee bit of Tiny Happy each day! Beautiful. Thank you
    Louise

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  91. Love the Vita fabric! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  92. I've been following tiny happy for a little while now. Always love seeing melissa's gorgeous makings. Nice to read a bit more about her here.

    Rachel

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  93. I love the stationary. It makes me want to make the time to write a real letter.

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  94. Great interview! And a wonderful photo of yourself, Melissa, and the kiddies at the beeach...:)

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  95. thankyou for sharing - very inspiring

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  96. Thank you for the Giveaway and a very inspiring interview.

    Nina

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  97. i love Melissa's blog and her work...choose me!!

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  98. I'm in! Melissa's handiwork is so beautiful.

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  99. I admire your creativity very much, and would love to be able to make such pretty things! But at present a bit busy with other endeavours!
    Best wishes

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  100. Being a lover of Melissa's work, I would be thrilled to win.

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  101. Wow, I have just arrived here at your blog via Melissa's its great, thank you for the interview.

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  102. Thanks for the chance. Beautiful.

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  103. i love melissa's blog!

    Katerina FF
    Greece

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  104. I wish I was as talented and patient with embroidery.

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  105. Oh what a treasure. Melissa is such an inspiration and makes the most lovely things!
    I'm crossing my fingers ...

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  106. Thanks for sharing bits of your daily life with us - I always like the things you make!

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  107. What a charming family! Thanks for the interview and link...so many talented people here!

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  108. Ooooh, I hope I'm not too late to join in! I love Melissa's work! Thanks for a wonderful interview.

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  109. A great interview. So encouraging! Thanks very much.

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  110. I like to read your blog and admire your bautiful work

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  111. I love your blog - I'm a new reader - there is just so much to enjoy! Thanks for sharing the love!

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  112. Ohh, sweet!
    annalockwood@yahoo.com.au

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