1.Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Anthea and I am a work at home mum to one 4 year old Little Man. My partner of 12 years owns a small motorcycle retail business www.bikerdean.co.uk and has 2 shops in the Forest of Dean. I take care of all his paperwork. I also run my own craft business Forest Flower Designs making and selling cute and colourful fabric lovelies from my website www.forestflowerdesigns.co.uk and through local shops/craft fairs and word of mouth. I also blog at www.talesfrommountpleasant.com which I love and has opened up lots of fabulous opportunities for me and my family!
2.How did you get started?
I have always made things – at 16 my Gran gave me a Post Office account book with some money she had been tucking away for me. I spent it all on beads and made loads of jewellery which I sold in a local gallery. I also made some wedding jewellery for the daughter of a friend of my mum and I soon had other people coming to me with commisions. Later on I worked in a gift shop and sold lots of my own jewellery as well as offering a mending/restringing service which was popular. During the later stages of pregnancy I suffered really bad water retention and had very puffy fingers so couldn't manage the little fiddly stuff anymore and once the little one arrived I quickly realised that small beads and small children don't mix so I dug out my old sewing machine and started playing with fabric instead! I do still play with beads occasionally and would love to introduce them back into my work...
3.Who inspires you?
I get inspiration from so many sources. Both my parents are crafters – mainly knitting and cross stitch. They took me to meet Kaffe Fassett when I was quite young - about 8 or 9. His use of colour and pattern inspire me like no-one else and I love that he spreads his vision across so many mediums – knitting, crochet, patchwork, mosaic.
4.Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Although I am keeping Forest Flower Designs fairly low-key at the moment to concentrate on my Little Man and home I have lots of plans for expansion once he starts school in September. I have so many ideas for new product ranges including branching out into making sewing kits for children and adults based on my designs.
5.What 3 items would you take with you to a desert island?
Sunglasses, a Kindle loaded up with all my fave books and a hammock. Oh how I long to be able to lie in the sun and just read...
6.What is your favourite thing to do with your child?
I love going for walks in the forest with him – we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country. He has a very inquisitive and has a vivid imagination and we make up adventure stories as we go! He also loves collecting things – pebbles, sticks, leaves to bring home. We have a quite extensive stick collection...
7.If money was no object where in the world would you like to visit?
I would love to see the Aurora Borealis one day and a Route 66 road trip in a big camper would be cool!
8.Who makes you laugh?
My Little Man makes me laugh all the time – he's just started using some seriously BIG words but doesn't always get the pronounciation or the context quite right :-)
I love Bill Bailey's blend of music and stand up, and the late George Carlin was brilliantly irreverent.
9.What would you tell your 16 year old self?
Be true to yourself and don't do anything you don't feel comfortable with just to keep someone else happy. Oh, and when that record pr guy comes to see your band don't listen to what the guys tell you you should wear/do with your hair! What do they know?
10. What was the last thing you bought yourself?
I have just pre-ordered the latest album by Amy MacDonald 'Life in a Beautful Light' I adore her voice and she sings the kind of songs I wish I had written...
Thanks so much Anthea. I'm so with you on No5!