Getting to know me – in a crafty style

Today I’m participating in Handmade Makers Market’s ‘Getting To Know You Challenge’. They love handmade and believe in shopping local and direct from the makers, crafters and designers themselves and so do I. Find out more about the Handmade Makers Challenge and answer the questions for yourself here.

*First up, give us a quick introduction, who are you, what do you do?
I’m Vikki, a crafter and musician living in beautiful Abingdon, with the Jam, witchcat (above) and the chickens.

*Give us one unusual or surprising fact about yourself, something we wouldn’t expect!
I only have 1 cup of coffee a week. Always at 11am on a Sunday, at that time I make my coffee and phone my mum (because I used to make her coffee and have a chat when I lived at home) its a excellent ritual, I thoroughly recommend it!

Me & mum at Chelsea flower show a couple of years ago
*What are the 5 words that best describe you? Energetic, passionate, crafty, mad, lovely

*What do you make? Perhaps you are you a crafter or designer? Is it a hobby or a business? Perhaps you make something less tangible, like happiness or connections between people?
*erm well my craft enterprise is Back to the Castle Industries, a kind of banner for everything that I create (which so far has included a wedding dress, a dress made entirely of paper, 100 meters of customised bunting for a wedding, wedding outfits for toy bunnies, jewelry, felt chickens, painted masks, cards, decorated & decoupage boxes oh and quite a few scarves and blankets). Basically if its got anything to do with fabric, paper or craft I’m probably doing it, or very interested!

* Describe your normal day (if you have such a thing!)
Well 9-5 I work in arts publishing, of an evening I sit at my lovely rescued desk and work on any current projects (of which there is usually a handful, I’m def not a one project at a time type). The blog gets updated once a week and I try to get out and about at least 1 night to pick up inspiration & get ideas. When I’m at home I also enjoy playing my fiddle and I go to wood school of a Thursday evening (I’m still finding the actual carving quite a challenge, but slowly I’m getting better).

*Where are you happiest?
At my desk, with the heating on, working on my latest project, that and spending time with Jam and my animals (if I’m working Witchcat sometimes comes & sits next to me, which is always nice, Jam has the added advantage that he also makes a very fine cup of tea!)

*What the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Just cause someone tells you it can’t be done, doesn’t mean they are right, if you can dream it you can do it! (I have this handy sign above my desk to remind me)

*What talent are you most proud of and why?
I’m always looking for new things to learn and experimenting.

(I learnt to spin quite publicly by writing an article for a knitting magazine)
*What would you like to be better at and why?
Timekeeping, I look up and its 10 O’clock, where has my evening evaporated to I think.

*What would you like to have more of and why?
Time! My uncle Julian used to say you either have all the money and no time or all the time and no money, like him I seem to have not very much of either…

*If you could be given any gift what would it be?
Are we talking tangible stuff? Or superpower? If I could have a superpower I’d like to get wings & fly. Stuff wise I’ve always wanted a pond with big Koi carp in it, I think they are beautiful and called them magic fish when I was younger.

*If you could give any gift to anyone, what would you give and to whom?
Jam is studying a lot at the moment for an exam so a fantastic result for his exam (which is aggrrhh this Friday) would be good, I like giving things I’ve made to my friends and family members. The really awesome thing about handmade is that you can tailor it and also it tells people you’ve put your thought and crucially your time into making something special for them, tis great (have got lots of BTTC Christmas presents done but I can’t talk about them just yet, as certain crucial people read this blog!)

*What’s the next big thing you’re looking forward to in your life?
Making Back to the Castle Industries a viable alternative to the 9-5, that and Christmas (I would deck the halls now if Jam would let me).

(barmaids mince pies, recipe here, developed while I was working in a pub, they are quite potent…)
*What’s the item your house that makes you smile the most, maybe it’s a piece of artwork or furniture or maybe a secret culinary ingredient, cd or dvd?
My uncle made me a chair for my 18th birthday, its made out of wood that he bent over his Arga and has a beautiful inlay-ed oak tree on the back (which was the symbol of our college at university). Whenever I sit in it I feel happy and content, its really one of a kind and I think its fabulous.

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