Let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m a Science graduate born, raised and living in Melbourne, Australia. For the last 23 years I’ve been investigating female ovarian biology at Prince Henry’s Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia (now the Hudson Institute). Funding for medical research has always been very competitive in Australia, but in recent years the success rate of National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) grant applications, upon which most scientists depend on for our salary and project support, has fallen to ~14%. I’ve already seen a number of my colleagues forced to leave the Institute and in the current climate it was probably inevitable that I too would find myself in such a position. Well that occurred at the end of 2016. Despite my grant application receiving positive reports and good scores, the funding available simply didn’t stretch to my application.
So here I am, in my early fifties, my only child off my hands having recently qualified as a Paramedic and now employed by Ambulance Victoria, with a lot of time on my hands, save for the 2 half days a week I work as a Medical Librarian. At the end of 2007, the writing was on the wall and I went back to study part-time to gain a Graduate Diploma in Information Management, which with my existing science degrees qualified me as a librarian. A good move as it turns out, even though I survived for much longer than I thought I would.
2016 was a pretty eventful year for my family and I, even aside from me joining the ranks of the mostly unemployed and I felt that I really needed to take some time off to recharge my batteries and take stock of my life. Both my husband and my mother experienced medical emergencies in 2016 which really brought home to me the transitory nature of life and the need for ‘Carpe Diem’, seizing the day. Thankfully both of them came through their ordeals although their lives have clearly been changed in many ways.
During this time the idea of establishing a blog came to me. I’ve always been crafty and friends and family members have suggested over the years that I could pursue some of these interests to make a living. I’m not incredibly entrepreneurial and I find self promotion difficult so a blog seemed like the perfect vehicle for me.
My mother taught me to bake as a child and it’s something I’ve always loved doing. I’m not so thrilled about cooking a meal, although I do of course, but baking was special and it brought me a great deal of enjoyment. It’s also been really useful in my research career because you need to be able to develop and follow protocols (the equivalent of recipes in science) in order to get experimental results.
Sewing was also introduced by my mother and later my older sister mentored me and employed me as a sewing teacher when she owned a Knitwit (stretch fabric sewing) store in the early 90’s. It was a perfectly natural progression to become interested in quilting. I have what we call in my family ‘the stationary gene’, a love for all things paper and pens, undoubtedly passed on from my mother, which I’m certain explains my recent foray into paper crafting.
I recently acquired a Janome Artistic Edge Digital Cutter which has since become my favourite toy. Unfortunately there isn’t a great forum for Artistic Edge users unlike those who own Silhouette Cameos or Portraits and there is definitely a learning curve associated with the software. So I hope for those of you who may be struggling on your own that I can provide advice, pass on tips and post cutting files to assist you with your own projects. The Artistic Edge doesn’t just cut, it can draw as well and this has really been satisfying a creative urge that I haven’t been able to fulfill since I can’t draw or paint to save myself.
You won’t see many photos of me on the blog because I’m not very photogenic and I feel rather uncomfortable under the scrutiny of a camera, but there will be plenty of photos of food and various crafty projects. My photographic skills are rather questionable so you will have to forgive my early efforts while I develop them. Over the coming weeks I’ll be adding numerous projects, recipes, tutorials and freebies. Since this is the first time I’ve set up and run a blog there will be a bit of a learning curve and lots of fine tuning as I find out what works and how I like the look/placement of things on the website so bear with me.
I’d like to thank Abby and Donnie at ‘Just a girl and her blog’ (http://justagirlandherblog.com/) and Susie at ‘Start a mom blog’ (http://www.startamomblog.com/) for all the valuable information they have shared on their blogs in relation to how to set up and run a blog. I really don’t think I could have done it on my own!
Please feel free to email me with comments, questions and suggestions about any of the material on the blog. Sign up for my newsletter so you can stay in touch with what’s happening and you don’t miss any freebies or giveaways.