My story: As a young girl at school during the sixties, I had the dream of one day becoming a sculptor and artist. Then suddenly at the age of 17, my whole family relocated to Germany with my father's work and the opportunity of becoming an art student and later an art teacher, was no longer possible. I learned the German language, made friends, settled and later married, but the urge to create drove me to find something to do with my hands.
One day I came across a bag of leather scraps in a shop and was soon piecing them together to make handbags, waistcoats and jackets which I sewed on my grandmother's ancient sewing machine. Soon I was ordering large sacks of offcuts to complete the numerous orders that were coming in. It gave me such a buzz that people liked my creations and were willing to pay for them, especially as the finished articles were made up out of odd scraps and transformed into something beautiful and desirable.
After the breakup of my marriage I moved back to England in 1978. I remarried and gave birth to my second child Ginny, who was born premature. I suffered from post-natal depression, which was horrid being stuck in that in between World. It was difficult finding suitable leather to create the bags, so in order "to pull myself together" I turned my hands to something else, premature babies' clothes. This eventually evolved into sweatshirts with applique and maternity wear. It pulled me out of my depression but didn't quite have that extra ingredient to satisfy my creative appetite. I carried on sewing for a few years.
Ginny on the right and my son Sam in front
wearing my Birdywear creations.
Then one day, my eldest daughter came home with a few packs of coloured clay called FIMO
and my life changed forever!
I experimented alongside my daughter Mel and we had some great fun and also quite a few failures but we learned from them. Before long I felt confident enough to sell my little creations alongside my Birdy Wear at Craft Shows. Gradually my FIMO creations took over and Birdy Wear ceased to exist apart from sewing my own children's clothes.
The next chapter of my story was A Full Sized Man