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I live in landlocked Middle Earth (Coventry), with my husband, cat Magic and dog Luna.  I am originally a Dorset girl but found my way here over 25 years ago.  I am extremely lucky to be able to say that Art and Craft is my career now, but I was an IT Technician for 20 years at the local hospital and was always on-call.
I now love nothing more than getting inky and painty, and also have an allotment that keeps me busy, not to mention our mad dog Luna!
How did you first get into Crafts?  Can you remember the first thing you made?
My dad was an Oil Painting Artist, who actually painted the Haywain on our living room wall, in 8ft off glory!  I wish I had his talent and maybe it is there but not discovered.  He taught me to make things with Sea Glass, adding it to picture frames or vases and making jewellery.  He was also a semi-professional ‘fossiler’ (as was my mum), and from there I gained a love of making jewellery from Polymer Clay and real fossils and selling them from the Fossil Shop on the beach, and the local Craft Fairs
That led me to card making and working with resin, when I moved to Coventry, opportunities to pursue working for Stamp and Paint companies, and starting to combine everything I knew, is where I really found my ‘thing’.

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Where do you get inspiration for new Projects from?
My inspiration usually comes at midnight, I seem to be a night crafter, and my brain leaps into action around 11-12pm when I’ve been sat all day not being able to think of anything.  I also look around me a lot, and take photos of random things, usually rust or peeled paint, and then try to recreate the look on my projects.  Otherwise, it can be a chance conversation, that starts making me think!

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What Crafting achievement are you most proud of?
I am always proud and usually a little bemused that I have had so many amazing opportunities, but I would have to say that being part of the Hochanda family is the best.  I know that’s cheesy, but it’s an amazing opportunity that I’ve been given over the last 3 years, and nothing makes me happier than helping people create something they can be proud of too.  I have also been published several times, including in an extremely well known fashion magazine!

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What new skill would you like to learn?
My lifelong dream is to be able to draw and paint just like my dad did.  I just need to sit still long enough and have more patience and practice more!
 Have you got any handy tips you could share with our members:
I would say practice, whatever it is you want to do, you can do it.  Don’t be afraid to pick up that new craft you fancy, just do it, what is the worst that can happen. I still paint over many things I’ve started and don’t like, but you are learning all the time.
I also love upcycling and recycling things, it’s amazing what you can do with something you would have thrown out.

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What sort of posts can we expect to see from you?
An eclectic mix!  From clean and simple cards, to grungy mixed media, lots of tips and techniques and products from lots of our favourite suppliers.

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I am super proud to be asked to join the Hochanda Blog team as an Ambassador, and hope you will enjoy the journey with me.
Best Wishes,
Nikki xx

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