Remember to enjoy yourselves! Also, don't let anyone tell you that you can’t create something - anything is possible!
I have always loved crafts. Throughout my school years, I struggled with traditional school academics, but I excelled in practical activities. I was encouraged to undertake knitting, sewing, baking, lace making, crochet and pergamano. I loved obtaining these skills and wanted to obtain more. I turned my attention to painting, drawing and calligraphy, and then, by chance, I came across the art of sugarcraft and was hooked! I did all this by the age of 15!
I started my journey into professional sugarcraft by entering cake competitions up and down the country. I won multiple awards for my cakes and came in first place twice, taking home the Best in Show award.
During the years that I had my three children, I ran a wedding cake business, which was a huge success. The cakes grew along with this success – the largest cake I made was 15 tiers! I did this for several years before turning my attention to demonstrating.
I became an accredited demonstrator and assessor and joined the British Sugarcraft Guild. Alongside being a demonstrator, I developed a small cutters range. I enjoyed this so much, I decided I wanted to be more involved in product development and education.
I now travel all over the world to share my skills and have designed cakes for magazines worldwide, too. I am an international judge, which I absolutely love, and an author of two published books with a third book well on its way – my future is very exciting!
What made you want to start crafting?
When I was 14, I watched a demonstration on how to turn a ball of icing into a beautiful flower. I was so amazed and fascinated by what I saw, I began researching where I could learn more about this amazing craft; that’s when I discovered and joined my local British Sugarcraft Guild. They took me under their wing and encouraged me all the way.
How did you learn?
Due to being severely dyslexic, I struggled with traditional school academics. My school allowed me to attend catering college every Friday to complete my City and Guild in sugarcraft, but I had to promise to complete my GCSEs alongside this! I also learnt a lot being a member of the British Sugarcraft Guild.
What advice would you give to those starting out in craft?
Remember to enjoy yourselves! Also, don't let anyone tell you that you can’t create something - anything is possible! But, it’s not easy, so be prepared for some knockbacks! )
What are the crafting essentials that you couldn’t bear to live without?
My small scissors, a scalpel, a non-stick board, a pencil and card. I can create anything with these items.
How would you describe your crafting styles and tastes?
I love keeping my crafts simple and stylish, but I love to push the creative boundaries with sugar and have been experimenting a lot with colour and texture lately.
What does your craft room look like? (Any tips for tidy storage?)
No! It starts out tidy, but as I get into my creative mind, it all goes downhill. I like using the Deflecto Caddy to store my craft essentials when I’m travelling around. It keeps all my tools and materials in one place, and I can hook it to the wall when I’m home.
Where do you find your crafting inspiration?
It’s all around us. You just need to see it - in the home, countryside, books, everywhere!
If you could go to dinner with a crafter or artist, who would it be and why?
Robin Williams. I know he was an actor, but I think he was amazing; he was a fascinating and inspirational man.
What would you say your best craft skills are? What would you like to improve on?
My skills are in airbrushing cakes and crafting flowers from sugar. However, I love to sketch and paint, so I would brush up on these skills. I would love to learn sculpture, too. I’d like to learn how to sculpt metal, wood and glass!
What do you consider your greatest craft-related achievement?
I have a couple! My first would be winning Best in Show in two cake competitions. It’s an amazing feeling knowing you have been recognised for all your hard work.
y second is writing my book: ‘Airbrushing on Cakes’. I loved sharing my ideas in this book! Writing a book was a big achievement for me as I am dyslexic. So far I have written two books with a third on its way, and I hope there will be more to follow.
My favourite subject at school was: (subject and reason)
Art! I love to be free to sketch and use different mediums to create art. While I was at Kenilworth school, I had an amazing art teacher.
When I was 10, I wanted to grow up to be a: (childhood dream career)
An artist! I loved sketching cartoon characters, such as Tom and Jerry. I wanted to be an artist for Disney!
I am most proud of the moment that I:
That’s a tricky one! I think I am most proud when my husband and children achieve something new.
The best advice I’ve ever received was:
To never give up. If someone tells you it’s not possible, prove them wrong!
I am at my happiest when:
I'm at the beach with my family and dog, with a pencil and a sketchbook.
If I won the lottery, the first thing I’d buy is:
A new house. I want a big craft room and a big kitchen.
If the Queen came for dinner, I would cook: (what meal?)
A nice fillet steak.
If I was stuck in a lift, I’d like to be with: (any person, family, friend or celeb)
This is a tricky one! I can talk to anyone and I talk a lot, so I’m told! So, I would say anyone who needs my help.
The one food I could not live without is:
Curry! I live on curry.
If I had a time machine, I’d visit: (era)
I’d visit the 19th century. I’d wander around the walled gardens.
The chore I always try to avoid is:
The last thing I do before bed is:
Read a book.