Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved making things. My Gran used to leave me in her front room for ages, happy with some paper, scissors, sellotape and felt tips, sat cross legged on the floor. I'd pop into her kitchen a good while later, sit at the kitchen table and watch her wash the mint to put into the steaming pot of peas sat on the hob. She'd open the oven, flicking the steam away with a brown checked tea towel and then check how crispy the potato had become on top of the shepherds pie, before turning to me and stating tea would be ready in ten minutes. I really loved her shepherds pie - it's the best. I loved the way she fussed around the oven. But mostly I loved sitting on the high velvet-upholstered stool in the corner of the room, and using those ten minutes to show off the wondrous creations thought up in her living room. It was usually a picture, always coloured in perfectly, perhaps with sellotaped paper shapes cut-out and stuck on. I remember I went through a phase of making paper 'fortune tellers'. You know, the ones with the colours and numbers, that have little fortunes scribbled on the inside like, you are beautiful or you smell like pigs. I'd place the fortune teller on my fingers, pointing it at Gran and ask her to choose a colour.
'R - E - D', I'd spell out. I'd whisper the letters excitedly, opening the fortune teller to display eight neatly felt-tipped numbers. I'd look at her quizzically, raising my right eyebrow (a neat little trick I could do) and wait for her to choose a number next. She'd always oblige, and ponder dramatically over which one to choose before picking one. Loving the suspense, I'd open the little flap under the number and shriek with delight, announcing her fortune as 'you look like a frog' whilst doing a little victory dance around the kitchen.
I still haven't changed much - aside from calling my Gran a frog, perhaps... I don't tend to do that anymore, but I do still love her shepherd's pie. I've always made friends and family cards for special occasions, rather than buying them and next weekend is Liam's sister's wedding. I think there's something quite special about making a card, it's just that little bit more personal. So today I popped into Wimbledon and ventured into one of my absolutely favourite places - an art shop. These shops have everything you could possibly need to make anything you could ever dream up. Fluttering around the shelves, I ladened my arms with cream and gold cards, golden envelopes, sparkly gems, little gold bows, shimmering tissue paper and 'angel dust' fine glitter. Everything that a wedding card should have, I brought and spread out on my living room coffee table. I've just finished it, and wanted to show it off to someone. So, here it is. It's no fortune teller, but it's far more beautiful than something I could have brought from a shop, and only a little bit more expensive.... But really - if I was very honest - I made it, because I really do love making things.