About - My Crafty Past

My Crafty Past

I was fortunate enough to have a Mother and Nanna who were creative. They passed their love of making things onto me. My mum's sister was an artist and I think I got some of those genes also.

While I was at primary school my mother taught me cake icing. Every Christmas we would make and ice the christmas cakes to give to the rest of the family. I remember helping Mum do 17 cakes one christmas.

I also helped her with my sisters wedding cake, and did my engagement cake, my wedding cake and lots of fun kids birthday cakes over the years.
I was involved in a girls club with the local church and the ministers wife was very creative. She taught us all sorts of crafts over the years and me and my 3 sisters entered many competitions and won some.

When I entered High School and we were learning to draft our own patterns and sew our own cloths, Mum and Nanna said I could make my own cloths from then on. I was 23 before I ever bought a dress from a shop.

Below is my first Ball gown. Mum and I went into town and looked in the dress shops for a design I like. We then went to the fabric shop and bought a pattern and the fabric and I made an exact copy. I was 15 at the time.

I did art as a subject all the way through high school and was involved in painting the backdrops for the school operetta.

I also majored in art at teacher college, and we covered painting and drawing, sculpture, pottery, various forms of fabric printing techniques, weaving and of course art history.

My primary school classes benefited greatly from my creative ideas and the kids did lots of craft and art activities.

While my children were young I decided to paint a wall mural in my son Daniel's room. He liked the story of the jungle book and the movie of Moglie had been in the cinimas so that was the mural I painted. I do not have any finised shot of the mural but you get the idea.

My doctor was making a home visit and saw the mural and paid me to paint one in his surgery. I am afraid the pics are faded and lacking detail. I did a scene he discribed to me that he remember from his childhood in Ireland. It was Pooh Bear stealing honey from some bees while his friends looked on.

Another Doctor saw his mural and got me to do one for him also. This was from a scene in his childs book about Dr Duck and Dr Daisy.

My sister and a couple of friends were having babies so of course I had some more to paint.


A Nursery Theme.

An Australian Scene.

Once I left teaching I worked as a sewing machine demonstrator for Elna in Myers.

I then was hired by a Elna Sewing Shop to manage their store at Mt Gravatt. They also sold fabric, habby, patterns and wool.
I also taught adults, craft and sewing in 3 shops for about 5 years. The classes included fabric painting, stretch sewing, swimwear and lingerie. 

One of the main crafts at that time was fabric painting and I got into it in a big way.

Especially when it came to painting Christmas T-shirts for grandchildren and more recently great grandchildren.

I even went to a week long workshop organised by Plaid. At the end of the week I bought in some of my own designs and the boss of Allcrafts who was the distributor for Plaid in Queensland at the time saw my work and asked me if I would consider demonstrating for them at Myers craft week and the Stitches and Craft shows. I was in hook, line and sinker.

I was eventually hired by Allcrafts, on a full time basis as a Craft Rep, to sell craft products to retail shops and the majors like Spotlight, Lincraft and Myers. I also demonstrated at many of the major craft shows. Here is our stall I manned for the first Stitches and Craft show in Brisbane. It was held at the old exhibition grounds in those days.

It was at this time that I learned Folk Art Painting. I had a wonderful week of tuition with Betty Bird who was a Master Decorative Artist from America. The following week I was demonstrating how to do folk art at Stitches and Craft. Fred my boss didn't give me much time to practice. Luckily I had been painting for years and so only had to learn the skills specific to Folk Art.

Here is some of my later works.

The next one I did is of a tissue box to match the fabric place mat.

I worked for Allcrafts for 7 years, and in that time had the fun of visiting many craft shops every day, introducing new craft products to customers (and being the first to seen new products before they came on the market).  

Organising inhouse classes for the new products was part of my job. Below is some customers at the warehouse for a day of craft activities. I organised to show them how to use the new products, and put a display of ideas for them to get the idea of the variety of products they could use.

I eventually became an independant agent, continuing to sell for Allcrafts and for many other craft wholesalers and manufacturers. 

Below is a Silk Painting class I organised for some craft shops owners. I included myself in the class as I had always wanted to have a go at silk painting.

While living at Cedar Creek I decided to repaint the house. I designed and cut a stencil  of gum nuts, flowers and gum leave and used it on the walls to decorate. This is a picture of me and my mottly crew a few years ago and as you can see, the stenciled walls. It was Chris's (centre) 18 birthday.

After 3 years as an independant in Brisbane my husband and I moved to Sydney to be with his sick mother. I continued to represent wholesalers to Sydney craft shops for a while, but the travelling down there was for a much larger area and very tiring. I was offered a job at Victoria House needlcraft at Mittagong in the Southern Highlands of NSW. I worked part time in the Needlework Shop and the rest or the time in the warehouse.

This warehouse was at the back and imported needlwork from all over the world. I loved this job so much as I got to see what was new before anyone else. I organised the warehouse stock, invoice customers and packed orders and organised all the demonstration materials for the reps all over Australia.

Below is Victoria House. A 100 year old heritage listed building, and every room had some form of needlecraft on display. There were a lot of finished works framed on the walls for customers to get the full picture of how these kits would look when finished. The shop was open 7 days a week and was constantly visited by tourist buses.

Working here was one of the best times of my life. The staff were so much fun and the boss is still a friend to this day. I am so grateful for her wonderful attitude and her help and training in this business.

I designed and produced some ,thimble sized ceramic half pots that you could used for ribbon embroidery.

One of the staff at Victoria House was very good at Crosstitch and wanted a toy box painted for a new baby nephew. I painted the toy box and she did me a beautiful cross stitch that I had my eye on for some time.


We only stayed in NSW for two years and then moved back home to Queensland where I began working for a friend, Teresa in Ipswich who had just bought a 3 story heritage listed building in the main street. She owned Crosstitch and Crafts Downunder. This business took up two shops, the basement and the upstairs was for storage and classes. I worked in the craft shop, organised and taught craft classes and set up, sold and demonstrated at craft shows

Below is one stand we had at a Craft show in Brisbane.

At this show we sold a number of my handpainted frames for specific crosstitch kits

A few year later Teresa started importing beads from China. She opened a wholesale side to her business and I had to learn jewellery making, so that I could sell the product as a rep, and teach classes. I also ran the warehouse.

These are a couple of bracelets I made.

Scrapbooking is another interest I could not resist. I even went to a phot editing class to learn to repair old photos that are damaged. It has been a very useful tool. I will add pictures once I get some albums back from those I gave them to, and will scan some pages to add here.

I have also run a church based craft group, where we mainly taught card making and folk art.
Here I am teaching basic strokes for Folk Art.

Below is a Christmas Card I designed & taught the group to make. Extremely easy using coloured acertate and stickers.

Below are some gift tags I designed and taught how to make.

My husband Dave had to give up panel beating because of a bad back. The back operation did not work and I have become his carer. So I am fairly limited to working from home these days

I started making easy no sew blankets recently. I use panels not continuous prints. I border the panels with a plain fabric so as not to cut into the panel and back it with a matching plain colour or print. I sometimes put panels back to back. This one I made for my great grandson Jaycob, seated on the left.

These ones I sent to Africa, and these pictures were sent back to me. I love to make people smile and feel loved.

Napkin Art is another craft I am enjoying lately. I learned about it at the Stitches and Craft Show a couple of years ago. I started with the basics but decided to step it up a notch. Below is a Little Stool I made for my Great Grandaughter Kolbie.

This is a Canvas I did from one paper napkin.

I am still very much involved in craft, and occasionally teach craft groups Creative Doodling, which I began about 1 year ago.

I like to mix my crafts together. So have started doing cards with doodling on them.

A friend of mine who owns Klema Bunker Punch Embroidery saw some of my Creative Doodle Designs and decided to turn them into Bunker Punch Embroidery.

This is one original design & the finished Bunker Embroidery.

I have also started going to an airbrushing class. Something else I always wanted to have a go at. It is a two year course and I will finish with a Certificate 2 in Airbrushing.

Below is one of the first pictures I had to do for assessment. I will add others as I complete them.

One of the reasons I wanted to do airbrushing was to add a different effect to go with my Creative Doodling.
Below is one sample of this.

I just learned about painting metal jewelery pieces. That is fun. Why stick to boring gold, silver or copper when you can have metalic purple, green, blue etc.

As you have probably realised I am only limited by my imagination and the next craft fad. There are so many other crafts that I have tried and enjoyed but do not have the pictures to show. Creativity is so rewarding and fun. I encourage you all to enjoy every opportunity to try something new and enjoy the creative process.



  1. WOW! You have such a wonderful talent. I am envious of your career. It's like living a dream life. When did you have time to have children? :-)

  2. gosh, amazing variety of crafts and on the lookout for new adventure, your energy and talent are boundless !!

  3. Wow so nice crafts. I like your art craft. Thanks for sharing.

    Art Suppliers

  4. Hi Judy I really love your crafting, especially the "doodling" ones - you have a real talent!! I am trying to find my artistic side which used to be there when I was a child but is now hidden from lack of use. Still it is never too late. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas/pictures. From a wet and cold Plymouth (UK)! Vanessa x

  5. This was so much fun to read about your crafty life ... so inspiring and I thank you for sharing! Look forward to your future adventures in artwork ... really, I'm completely hooked!

  6. What a talent-filled life you've been living. You've brought color and art to every scene you've been part of.
    Keep on doodling!