Feather & Hay’s Story

I was a little feral as a child. The countryside is in my bones, part of my blood and I can’t help but let it be part of my thinking.

My childhood was full of adventure and freedom. My father was a dairy farmer and our home a farm. I lived and breathed horses, chickens, cows,  woods, rivers, dirt, flowers and secret adventures. I still love grabbing the wellies, finding a stream or river to play in and leading the children off to explore.

It is most often when I am outside that I find inspiration: colours, textures, patterns and even smells bring out my creativity. This is when my heart sings and my brain races to think how I can interpret it into a woven piece.

 

 

Over the years, with my mother passing on her knowledge, I have dabbled with knitting and sewing. The latter taking off with young children to make for. Textile artistry, in the form of weaving, has come as a surprise passion and a joy but baby wearing came first.

 

In 2005 I had my first amazing son. I had the unfortunate beginning of an uncomfortable carrier that caused more heartache than happiness. I sweated, cried, swore and gave up. In 2007 a broken bond was mended with a ring sling and the love of carrying  my child close took flight. I gave birth in the October to Monoamniotic twin boys. One had a congenital heart defect called TGA.

Due to circumstances we had to be split up. One toddler son at our home in Exmouth, one twin in Exeter and my twin with the heart defect in Bristol. My heart baby, as I call him, was in hospital for over 4 months. He fought to grow big enough for his life saving surgery. Being 2lb 3oz at birth meant he had been too tiny for them to operate on; he needed to be at least 5lbs 5 oz. 

To enable our family to survive, I made one of the hardest desicions I’ve ever had to make. I left my baby in his incubator with all his amazing staff and his daddy for company. This meant my other tiny boy could come home and I could look after him with his big brother. We did lots of kangaroo care and baby wearing was great. He thrived and I was happy to see it.
The awful reverse to this story is that I stopped having feelings towards my heart baby. We were so lucky to bring him home- he had fought like a champion and had his surgery at the end of January 2008 – I was so happy – I just couldn’t identify with him. It had been so hard to leave him I had literally switched off all feelings to survive. I felt I couldn’t find my way back to him.

One day I put him in our sling and held him close. It was so alien and my body and mind shrank from it. I don’t recollect when it changed but one day, suddenly, it did. I felt his gentle breath against my chest, his warm body secure against mine. He knew I was his mummy even though he’d spent 4 months in a plastic box without me. How brave and special this boy was! I knew then that having your baby close, just like they had been from the moment they existed, was special. Well, it saved us so I was hooked!

 

Baby no. 4 came along a few years later in 2013- 3 boys keeps you rather busy- in a not totally, but more peaceful journey. Before she was born I knew I wanted something wonderful to wrap my baby with. I found an Ellevil Pink Paisley Bamboo wrap which I loved.

 

 

I had dipped my toe into woven fabric looking for the Ellevil, but I soon found not only beautiful machine woven wraps but handwoven wraps too! The colour, the texture, the beauty: I felt like I had reached a horizon and beyond was a whole new beautiful, amazing place called ‘hand weaving’. I ran full tilt towards it with open arms!

Fast forward to 2015 I own a Louet Spring Floor Loom and a Harris Hand loom. My work is from the heart; it’s part of my being; everything that has come before pours into it.

It all started from playing on the farm amongst the feathers and the hay.

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