Friday, August 01, 2008

Mom to Mom: Claire Garland

Now that I'm a mama I've become more and more interested in handmade toys. So, I began researching books about the subject...books with easy instructions and projects for various skill levels. I was delighted to come across "Toys to Sew" by Claire Garland and when I discovered that she is a mom who is living her dream of making toys for children, I knew that I needed to chat her up.

Claire Garland
Of: Harry (10), May (7), James (5)
Where: Corwall, South West coast, England
Blog: Knitted Babes
Website: Dot Pebbles

1. In what ways has becoming a mother changed you?

To begin, personally, I have become a much more selfless person since my children. More positive and less shy too - whether this is an age thing, I've just had my 40th (!), or whether it's because of my children, I'm unsure. I do think children install confidence in you as a mother as you install confidence in your children - 'you can do it' - 'I can do it'.

On a creative note, when Harry - the eldest, was born I did feel a need to get on with something for me, not in a selfish way but rather in a need to not just sit and do nothing when the baby is asleep' (I've been lucky in that respect) way. I always harboured a creative side - so that need enfurled into making craft things - sewing, then knitting, then crochet as each child has come along... maybe if I had another I could begin macrame!...Only joking, 3 is perfect in my eyes.

2. What is one tip you would like to share about mothering?

Get involved as much as you can with your childrens' school - offer help, your skills - school embrace creative people - this in turn makes your children popular and a name rather than a number and bids well for their future well-being. Also it's is a lovely 'stolen moment' thing to a have a sneaky peek inside your childrens' school life.

3. What is your creative outlet/medium?

I sew, I knit and at the moment I'm into crochet. I also write books; at present I am embarking on writing books for children with the characters being knitted dolls.

4. How do you find time for creativity?

I make time - I hurry through all the household chores; make a point in not watching the tv when there is nothing worth watching on which is most of the time; do the Nigella Express way of feeding the family etc, etc - luckily my husband shares the same ethos - he is teaching himself the guitar.

5. Why do you blog/journal?

The blog was actually not set up by me but my publicist in the US for Knitted Babes. However, it is one of the things I shall seriously look into in 2008 for my own Dot Pebbles co. as I feel it is a fabulous way of connecting with like minded people not only here but all across the globe - how wonderful is that!

6. Which blogs do you frequent?

I don't have 100% access to the internet as my husband works from home too and uses that facility a lot - so I don't have much time to browse. This said, I have on a number of occasions visited 'Molly Chicken' and hence wondered into other sites via that.

7. Who are some bloggers that you would like to meet?

See 6... must get into this more if I want to join the club.

8. What inspired you to create toys?

Most definitely my children - when I set out to do something for myself back when harry was a baby I wanted to make things for him to play with - most of these items ended up in Embroidered Treasures, my first book. A real labour of love.

9. What grounds you, moves you, fills your well?

Crochet, crochet, crochet - my new passion...Plus... weekends, living here in Cornwall - it's so beautiful here by the sea and in the countryside which I am passionate about also. Art, shopping in craft shops and galleries, other creative people, and books - my book of the moment is Susan Cropper's Vintage crochet.

And I'm well into my new venture which is writing story books for children with the key characters being a new range of knitted babes type dolls.

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posted by Wendy at 5:40 AM


Blogger E and T said...

Hi Wendy

I really enjoyed this post and your idea of interviewing another highly creative and inspiring mum.

I am amazed at the number of mums (myself icluded) who have had their creativity sparked, or reinginited becuase of their children.

I agree with Claire about helping out at your children's school. It is a win win situation - you benefit the school and your child.


8:51 AM  

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