Meet the Maker - Interview with Folksy

I'm delighted to have been featured on the Folksy Meet the Maker blog, an opportunity to reflect on my design career before having children and how that has influenced the work I am now doing creating heirloom dolls.

You can find the full interview with Camilla on the Folksy blog by clicking here.

You can watch the doll-making film created by Camilla here. (music by Podington Bear)

Make It Sewcial Meet Up

Two weeks ago today my heart was full of joy and gratitude, thanks to one special lady and her family. I spent the most amazing day in Birmingham with Allison Sadler for the Make It Sewcial meet up. A whole day of happiness, laughter, cake, flowers, business advice and the chance to meet creative friends in person. 

Birmingham holds special memories for me as it's the place I grew up and started my creative journey. Returning home for the first time in 4 years, to meet Allison and her husband Mr C was a really significant milestone for me. I met Allison via Instagram in September last year and she has encouraged and inspired me from that moment onwards. Without her I do not think it would have been possible for me to be making again.

12 years ago I developed arthritis and had to give up my life as a Textile Designer. The stress of having hands that could no longer sew or hold a pen was too much for me to cope with and I gave up any hope of ever being able to make again. Not long after Lucy was born 4 years ago I became much worse and was unable to dress myself or get out of bed without help. There were days when I could't undo the poppers on her babygro or climb the stairs and if I went out I couldn't turn the key to lock the front door. My parents very kindly gave up their life in Birmingham after more than 60 years and moved to live a couple of minutes walk away, just so that we had someone on hand to help. After various drugs I was advised that my only hope of getting better was to start a new form of biological treatment called Rituximab.

It worked! and I am VERY thankful and in 2 weeks time I return to hospital for another session, hoping it will be my last. One of my nurses suggested I take up crochet to help my recovery and gradually I was able to start making again. At this point I became obsessed with yarn! After years of not being able to make anything I became a frantic maker, waking each morning and wiggling my fingers to see if they still worked or if my time was up. 

Allison's encouragement and support through her makeitsewcial Monday night topics and being a part of the community she has created has restored my confidence. It was a pleasure to meet so many people on the 16th of May who have been inspired by her and I am delighted that this week she has been nominated for a Mollie Makes Award! 

We spent a day in crafty heaven with flower styling sessions from pollenfloraljoy, great business advice from byebyebirdie and an abundance of sewing and crafty projects to indulge in whilst we ate delicious cakes made by their very talented daughter. Watch the gorgeous film by thatkat - I'm the one in the pink cardi giving Allison a very enthusiastic hug! I couldn't make the PhotoWalk but check out Allison and Kat's great images.

The venue, Impact Hub Birmingham, was perfect and we couldn't have been happier anywhere else.

Shaheen Kasmani and Katy Acquaye-Tonge and their beautiful flowers.

Violet Doughnuts

The May Day bank holiday began with great enthusiasm and the intention of weeding the front garden. A sea of violets had taken over the driveway to compete with the dandelion lawn (not a pretty colour palette!) Ten minutes later I was back in the kitchen with a basket full of violets, busy whipping egg whites. Who knew that weeding would lead to an afternoon of baking?

We were delighted when the lovely people at The White Company chose the violet doughnuts as the winning photograph in their Great British Bank Holiday competition.

A quick guide

Whip egg whites to a soft foam and gently paint on to each petal using a small paint brush before sprinkling carefully with fine sugar. Once coated the violets were left to dry for 24 hours. A bit of rocket and a few pansies also got the sugar treatment.

We used William's new Wilton doughnut pan and followed their recipe for baked doughnuts. We made a simple glaze from icing sugar and coloured it with the smallest amount of red and blue food colouring to create a lilac colour. Fresh doughnuts sprinkled with crystallised violets for a bank-holiday treat!