I have been a craftswoman for decades. My passion has always been with fabric and fibre - embroidery, cross-stitch, tapestry, patchwork, applique, sewing and for a while, beading and folk art. I taught for many years, made commission work, sold through shops and markets, entered exhibitions, had my work published. I even had a very successful novelty cake decorating and chocolate making business.
Then, through particular circumstances I found myself working for a boss and my passion died. In recent years I have been trying to resurrect it and just could not find the fervour to create - the stitchery remained a hobby only, the fabric work just could not be revived. The only thing I had energy for was photography and Photoshop.
My daughter is Tamara Maynes, and her work has revived many of the old crafts into the modern settings. I help her with any Photoshop work she needs done and in recent times have been making the charts for her cross-stitch designs. That made me more and more interested in finding my craft.
My husband and I have finally decided it is time to sell our farm, get a caravan and go wandering for a couple of years. We have spent many nights working out how to create an income along the way.
I looked through all my boxes of ideas, searching for something I could do in the confines of the van, that could be a market-place and internet seller and would not take much storage space or carry much weight.
At first I thought it was going to be the photography and photo manipulation - I just adore the opportunities my computer offers!
Then I learned how to create Fractals and began turning many into cross-stitch and tapestry designs. My original idea was to work on graphs for the stitch-work and create themed applique patterns, leaning towards difficult expert-only designs.
I spent many months tossing so many ideas around and realized that the best thing I could do was make a list of all the things I loved and then work out how to put them together to create my "thing".
I love paper of all kinds, coloured pens and pencils, graph paper, photographs & pictures, writing and cutting things out. (I had realized that when I was stressed out I would sit and cut out recipes, pictures and ideas for hours!)
I knew Scrapbooking wasn't my thing, I am not a painter or drawer, so the only thing left, as you can see, was paper cutting!
So I did some massive research, reading blogs, notes on Scherenschnitte, Mexican cutting, Chinese cutting, paper architecture and pop-up cards; looking and admiring the work on the galleries of the top paper cutters in the world.
I didn't want to copy, I wanted to find my own work. And I have done.
In December of 2010, I created two Paper Portraits as gifts. I loved every minute of making them and I have found my passion. I hope you enjoy my work.