Sally it is great to be hosting you on Meet The Maker. Thanks so much for taking part! How would you normally natter with friends?
A leisurely lunch that can last until supper!
Now that sounds like my kind of lunch ha ha. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am one of two sisters who set up the business Duckydora. Judith and I were chatting one day about how there wasn’t one place where you could go to find beautiful, handmade products for your home that didn’t cost the earth (literally!). So we decided to join forces to bridge the gap.
I'm also a mum to a 15 week baby boy. Last year was extremely busy; running the business, moving house and having our baby boy.
I was always encouraged to be creative as a child and have enjoyed taking this through into adulthood. It’s so relaxing to become immersed in a project, and I have never lost the sense of achievement when a project is finished.
Sounds like an extremely busy year! It is so great that you could set up the business with your sister. You must have a very strong bond. So what is the item you are sharing with us?
I make hand painted signs for the house and garden. I make every sign from scratch including cutting and sanding the wood! I love starting with a piece of wood intended for a building project and ending up with something to hang in a home or garden! There are many stages to creating the signs, and it’s not something you can hurry. Paint will only dry when it will dry! And you have to take your time when painting the lettering, or else it will all go wrong.
I bet it is a great sense of achievement when each one is done. What a great personalised item. How did you learn the techniques and skills to make them and how long have you been doing it?
I learned how to make the signs through trial and error. I wanted to make a sign for my husband to go on his shed. I had quite a lot of experience of painting furniture and thought that I could transfer the painting and sanding techniques used on furniture to a sign.
Learning to do the lettering was a little more challenging! I use chalk paint which doesn’t have the chemicals of normal paint, and is lovely to work with. Layers of paint are applied and then sanded down to show the different colours underneath. Lots of layers of wax are applied to create a waterproof layer and make the signs suitable for outdoor use. I have been making signs for more than three years now.
I really want to have a play with chalk paint. I get so inspired when I see beautiful upcycled furniture. So what inspires you?
I find inspiration by talking and listening to people. Many of the phrases on the signs are things that I have heard people say. When creating bespoke signs, I am always trying to image what the sign will look like in the person’s home, and how the person is going to react when they open the wrapping.
Where do you like to craft?
Weather allowing I will be outside in the garden, otherwise I can be found in the garage and dining room!
What is your favourite craft?
Do you have any crafting tips?
Find a material you really enjoy working with. Keep trying different materials / paints until you find one that you enjoy working with.
Good advice. Where can the Crafty Bs find you online?
On Twitter, Facebook and on the Duckydora website.
Last but not least, lets go for a quick fire round!
Your favourite crafty tool?
Your crafting hero?
My mum, she has made some fantastic creations and is such a perfectionist.
You're working on a project, what is on in the background?
Music, can be anything from Frank Sinatra, to Mozart to Nirvana.
Ice cream as long as it’s not chocolate.
Ice cold ginger bear.
Your favourite handmade item?
My amazing crocheted wrap. Lovingly made by my mum, it is so warm and weighs a ton!
Your favourite place?
A snowy mountain top on a sunny day.
Three things that make you happy?
The sun on a winter’s day. Seeing my little boy smile at me. My dogs – they are always pleased to see you, even if you have only been away for a few minutes! We can all learn so much from dogs.
Your biggest achievement?
Leaving a secure corporate job to build a business that I can be proud of.
We are so pleased you did Sally. Duckydora is such a great source of beautiful homeware. Thanks again for participating in Meet The Maker.
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