Picture the scene if you can, Gail with her mobile phone in one hand being interviewed by me about her crafting passion, whilst supporting and caring for her daughter Suzanne by cleaning her three storey house from top to bottom!

We start on the ground floor where Suzanne is joining in with some of the conversation.

Despite her very demanding caring role, Gail is happy to chat about her arts and crafts passion, whilst also getting on with her Wednesday routine. Every morning is the same for Gail, starting at Suzanne’s house (only 15 minutes away) where she helps her daughter get up, washed and ready for the day, organises breakfast for the family, does the school run with her grandchildren and makes meal preparations for later on. On Friday’s she does the teas for the family and then at the weekend she makes a bit more time for herself as the grandchildren stay with their dad.

Gail has been Suzanne’s carer for some years now, helping her manage her poor mental health, but it was following a diabetic coma lasting 5 days that her daughter found she could no longer walk and needed a wheelchair. Gail is busy supporting Suzanne with her application to have the much needed adaptations made to her house with an essential wet room downstairs and a ramp for the front and back of the house, which will make life so much easier.

We are now on the first floor and the cleaning is going really well!  Gail starts to tell me a bit about her own childhood and how crafting has always been in her blood.

“As a child I was always making things like Christmas cards and other crafts so it was no surprise that Art became my favourite subject at school.  I always felt that I had my own unique style and had a different outlook on life and this may have been partly due to the fact that I grew up living with my dad as I didn’t get on with my mam” Gail explained.

“So being creative and crafting has become a way of life for me and I absolutely love it!  I started off making plaques for doors and walls as gifts really but then people wanted to commission special ones and to buy them and it took off from there.  I freehand drawing people’s names onto round plaques and have made quite a few for bedroom doors. It can be particularly busy around Christmas time when I have special commissions” she added.

Onto the second floor and Gail reveals more about her latest crafting projects.

“I made a welcome sign using an old table top and am always on the lookout for bits and pieces to recycle and upcycle!  My current passion is making solar light hanging basket balls, made from the metal frames of hanging baskets and adorned in my unique style!”

“Front door wreaths have become very popular and make fabulous decorations all year round, not just at Christmas! One of my best customers is my aunty who loves the flower wreaths I make!”

We have reached the dizzy heights of the third floor and I ask Gail if she has a special place where she does her crafting.

“My spare bedroom has become my Crafting room! I am also very lucky to have a really nice garden which has 7 steps at the end of it, which have become my special place to sit. It is a private place and also a sun trap so provides me with lots of time to reflect quietly and to just be.”

Crafting allows me to relax and I just take my time and enjoy my ‘Chill Zone’.  I also love sewing and collecting and painting pebbles, sometimes a tiny ladybird and even the occasional Cactus!

Well the cleaning has finished and Gail is looking forward to a cuppa with Suzanne and to Wednesday night tea with her husband.  I asked if she had any advice for other carers thinking about trying their hand at some crafting and she replied:

“Give it a go! And keep on trying. Homemade is always good. I love making something for someone and gifting it to them and to see their faces light up.  If you give someone a homemade gift it can mean so much more.”

Happy crafting everyone!