I am a Canadian expat living in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2008, I moved from Gibsons, British Columbia to Moscow, then by the end of that year had quickly transferred to Dubai. In the summer of 2014, I packed up my sewing room for the next big move, and have already started collecting a substantial stash of Indonesian batiks.
I'm a lifelong crafter, having learned to knit and sew from my Grammie Pauline. No, not my mother - she was a hardworking career woman of the 1970's & had no time for old-fashioned women's work. There is photographic evidence that she did once attempt to knit a sweater, but I don't believe it was finished when she passed away in 2003. I rebelled by embracing the retro arts, knitting lopsided doll blankets and hand-stitching Barbie clothes with more enthusiasm than skill. As one does, I abandoned handicrafts occasionally for painting, acting, and other pursuits like paid employment, but I always seem to come back to the crafts.
I took up quilting before my daughter was born, making a small crib blanket out of up-cycled scraps. I made it up as I went along, even using a piece of woven wool from a thrift store instead of batting, and sewing the whole thing like a pillowcase and turning it - not being aware of the concept of binding. A few years later, figuring there was probably a better way, I taught myself to quilt properly by checking out all the quilting books in the local library. Many years and several quilts later, I began teaching quilting classes at Craft Land in Dubai, where I met hundreds of amazing and interesting women while getting paid to hone my quilting skills.
Over the years, I continually returned to sewing and knitting as and when I had either the desire to keep my hands busy or when I wanted something very badly and could not find it or could not afford to buy it.
Organically, I combined the various crafting skills with my experience as a graphic designer for educational computer games and began writing patterns for Craft Land's classes and samples.
Now on my third exotic locale, I am enjoying the ways that living abroad has inspired and influenced my work. From the rich artistic tradition of Russia to the giant culture mash-up that is Dubai to the textile heaven of Indonesia - a happy adventure for a small-town Canadian girl!