Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{Inspiring Women Series} Three crafty women

My Grandmothers and my Mum have played in major roles my creative life.  When I was growing up one of my Grandmothers was a knitter and one was a sewer.  Both I think started these pastimes more from necessity than fun but in their later years they both enjoyed their knitting and sewing a lot and were eager to teach my their skills.  My knitting Grandmother every year would make us woollen vests to go over our school uniforms and she'd often be seen casting on a small project for us to knit blankets for our teddies.  I would inevitably get bored at my slow progress when seeing how fast her fingers clicked with her sticks and would pass over my tiny project for her to knit a few quick rows for me to speed up the process.

From left to right: Bree wearing a knitted sleeping bag made by her  Knitting Grandma (Shirley);
Bree's Mum (girl) in a dress my sewing Grandma (Phyllis) made her for her for her older brother's wedding;
Bree wearing in a Christmas dress made by her Mum.
My sewing Grandmother would always have time for us to put lovely multi-coloured thread in her machine and try out all the decorative stitches on scraps of fabric.  She would also help us deck out our teddies by making clothes for them and for our Barbies.

Granny Quilt by meandmy2guys
This is a picture of a quilt I hand pieced over about 3 years.  I call it my Granny quilt.  When my sewing Granny was ill in hospital Mum and Aunty taught me how to English Paper Piece.  I purchased the fabrics in the quilt and started it just after she passed away.  It's all in greens and blues and spots and stripes which were particular favourites of hers.  So every time I see this quilt (which is across the bottom of my bed) I think of Granny.

When I was growing up my Mum was also a creative person, being a schoolteacher she was always full of ideas for easy, seasonal craft projects for children, some of which I still practice today.  She taught me to cross stitch, tapestry, more sewing and moreover to basically try anything crafty that caught my eye.  School holidays would be full of trips to craft supply stores picking up this and that for our latest project.  Today Mum is my biggest champion, endlessly purchasing supplies for me, encouraging my every crafty pursuit and bragging about me and my creations to anyone she meets.  With her busy schedule she tends to live her crafty life vicariously through me now but does still have a few slow burn projects on the go.  So often now it's me who enjoys teaching her some new crafty trick or taking her to a class.

My Aunt, my Mum's sister, is also a creative force in my life.  We share a great love of sewing, knitting and now, thanks to her great instruction, crochet.  We can often be found chatting or emailing or texting about our latest fabric purchase or this or that pattern or blog we've found.

Bree's assistant, Guy 4 years, helping her with my crochet
 and the finished product being tested out by daughter, Amelie 4 months.
My little business is a direct result of the crafty influence of all the women in my life.  It's eclectic and homely, fun and functional.  Craft and creating has always been a big part of my life and it's something I'm trying to pass on to my 4 year old son and my newborn daughter.  Their lives are filled with handmade and homemade things and two of the four women who most influenced me.  I hope that my Grandmothers are both looking down on me and are really proud of how far my creative pursuits have grown and blossomed over the last few years.

meandmy2guys handmade wears made using the skills
she learnt from the talented women in her life.


Bree Di Mattina describes herself as a blogger, craftster and mum.  She is mum to Little Guy and Miss Amelie and 2 furkids. meandmy2guys was born out of a desire to document her creations and crafty journey.  Her creations are fun and functional articles for the home and family. Bree has been crafting her whole life and eagerly involves any willing (and sometimes not so willing) participants!  To find out more about Bree go to her blog - www.meandmy2guys.blogspot.com.  If you wish to check out Bree's creations go to her Etsy store. 

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