mum who makes :: Two Cheeky Monkeys
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in the leafy eastern suburbs of Melbourne with my husband and two little girls (who are 3 and almost 5). While our location is not super convenient to the city, I enjoy having lots of parks and bike/walking tracks near our home. I used to work as a research scientist (I have a rather unused PhD in pathology, LOL) but now call myself a "crafting mum".
Can you explain your craft/art and the materials you like to use?
I create vintage-inspired jewellery and accessories as well as black and white art prints using upcycled books and dictionaries. My favourite materials to use for my jewellery and accessories are vintage or vintage-style beads, jewels and cabochons, especially items which were made in the 1930's-50's. I started creating black and white art prints because of my love of collaged pieces and my near obsession with old books! I love to browse op shops and second hand book stores, especially for old dictionaries and encyclopaedias.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into making handmade goodies?
I have been crafting in one form or another for most of my life. My mum was the one who first inspired my love of handmade; she taught me to do simple cross stitch and embroidery when I was about 4 or 5 and taught me to use a sewing machine when I was in primary school. I picked up jewellery making in my early teens due to my love of earrings - I think I wore a different pair every day at one stage!
How do you juggle motherhood & crafting/managing your business?
To be honest, if you asked my husband or other family members, they would probably tell you that I am struggling to balance/juggle motherhood and running my own business! I do most of my creating when my girls are asleep or when they are watching their favourite TV show. My mum comes over to visit my girls quite regularly too, so I can often grab an hour or two to catch up on emails and marketing when she visits.
Do you have any advice to other Mothers who are wanting to start creating handmade goodies?
One piece of advice, which I am not very good at following myself, is to be realistic. Creating handmade requires various resources from storage space to finances for supplies, so tackling a craft which requires a lot of working space when you live in a 1 bedroom flat is probably not a good idea (unless you have access to a studio)! And there will be times when, for whatever reason, you will need to step back from your business and slow down a little (or a lot). I really dislike having to slow down, but sometimes my family and my own mind and body just need that break.