Hi, my name is Kathryn and I am a self-confessed obsessive crafter. You name it and I have probably tried it. My mother made my clothes with an old treadle sewing machine when I was a child. My first item of clothing I made for myself was at the age of 13, when I screen printed my name, Kathy as I was known by then, in red on white fabric. I turned this into a gored skirt which I proudly wore to the school discos, church on Sunday and anywhere else that my good clothes were called for. Since then I’ve made clothing, patchwork quilts, home decorations, rag rugs, macrame hangers, decoupaged boxes, crocheted dishcloths, knitted jumpers, felted buttons, scrapbooked, upcycled woollen items, embroidered wallhangings, made jewellery, gardened in 3 states of Australia (yes it is a craft!) and too many others to think of now.
I love to learn – this stems from my love of reading I think. I could sit and read all day. In recent years I have stopped reading as many novels and found myself reading non-fiction more and more. Let’s not mention how I can still go off on a tangent on the internet. Anything from how to do a new crochet stitch, to how the brain is so elastic, to how to change a washer on a tap. Not a day goes past where I can say that I haven’t learnt something new.
Then there is teaching. My sister Liz will tell you that I have been a teacher from the age of 5. I went to school and promptly came home to our play school area, under the big old Queenslander house we lived in, to teach her everything I had learnt. I was always going to be a teacher. So yes, after high school, I headed off to Uni to become a teacher. In 1984, with my diploma in hand, off I went to teach all over Queensland. Officially a teacher for over 30 years but in reality, one for almost 50 years. Oh my heavens that makes me feel old. But, guess what? I still love it. When a person understands something new and I have facilitated that – it is an awesome feeling. I chose to home educate my sons from the ages of 10 and 7. I am so proud of the intelligent kindhearted young men they are now and at University now doing English (PhD) and Fine Arts (3rd year).
For many years I have wanted to have a craft store where I could make things to sell and do the same for other makers. At the beginning of 2016, I made the big decision to start on the dream by providing classes for people to learn all the skills to make their own creations. I firmly believe that many of these skills along with cooking are being lost. Also with the cost of living going up, I believe that learning how to make your own or your family’s clothing is a way to save. One day I may have the little store too.
My tagline for Meraki Cottage is learn. create. share. This encapsulates all that I want to provide. New skills (or improved skills) for people to learn. Something special that people can create for themselves and proudly take away with them. A place where people feel safe to try a new skill in a warm and encouraging space and where I share my knowledge with anyone wanting to learn.