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Mariane Van der Merwe

Mariane Van Der Merwe


  • Craft Room Snack: Coffee, coffee, coffee!!
  • Colour: Currently in love with all the jewel colours, but I’m really flaky about colour, chopping and changing often
  • Hobby (besides crafting!): Gardening
  • Season: Spring
  • Place: My garden craft shed
  • Smell: White Geranium
View Mariane's Projects

About Mariane Van Der Merwe

For as long as I can remember I have always been in the process of making something or else in the process of planning to make something.

To me to feel truly alive I need to be creating. My mantra is “If you’re not making, you’re breaking!”

I love exploring ways, new and old, to make, improve and decorate. Now is such a great time to be crafting_ we have so much in the way of materials, inspiration, tools ,technology and support to help us turn our visions into reality.

I grew up in an environment where funds were limited. Everyone was encouraged to use whatever materials they could lay their hands on to make whatever they needed or wanted as that was the only way you were likely to get it! The girls used discarded flour bags (made of fabric then) first to make dolls and then make dolls’ clothes; boys filled tobacco bags (also fabric) with sand to make cricket balls; my dad used the wheels from our pram and tomato boxes to make us a go-cart. I learned early that crafting has less to do with artistic talent and more to do with learning to look at objects and materials, finding out how they work and then turning them into whatever I wanted. Using tools and developing crafting skills-was part of growing up and not seen as just for ‘creative’ or ‘artistic’ people. For me nothing has changed – I’m happiest when in the process of making things and if it involves recycling or repurposing all the better!

I get a special kick from seeing someone who believed they weren’t creative discover their own unique talents. This is what I try to do with my blogging - encourage my readers to have a go; discover that they too can craft and find out just how much fun and satisfaction there is waiting for them!


What’s Your Favourite Thing To Make?

Home decor and repurposed items.

What’s Your Favourite Material To Work With?

Paper, paint and colour in all forms (acrylic, inks, watercolour) mixed media, (PVA varnishes etc.) and fabric.

Tell Us About Your Funniest Crafting Mistake…

To my shame I'm not at my best when things don't go to plan (which happens more often than I like to admit!) but I'm very good at finding unusual uses for my rejects. I did once sew a zip onto the wrong side of a top being made for a friend - she thought it was supposed to be like that, and wouldn’t let me change it!

Do You Have A Top Crafting Tip?

If at first you don’t succeed… you know the rest!

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