Let's show our children that dreams are worth striving for

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter Spring

There’s something very reassuring about the Summer turning to Autumn and the sun hats going back in the cupboard for another year. We find ourselves buoyed along by the habitual activities and occasions that accompany each season and if you’re anything like me, you feel a sparkly warm glow start in your tummy the first time you turn your heating on, as your mind wanders to crisp Autumnal walks and becoming Kirstie Allsopp for the festive season (THIS year you will make homemade decorations and gifts for all the family…until reality kicks in and the novelty of gluing glitter onto baubles wears off…). And before you know it you’re planning New Years resolutions and daydreaming about sunny weather and days at the beach. Everything comes back to the beginning.

The amazing thing about life is that you can have a fresh start every year; every season, every day. If we have a bad day that doesn’t quite live up to our expectations for one reason or another we can start again wide eyed and bushy tailed after a sleep and a bit of a reality check. Whether you’ve had an unproductive work day, failed to keep to your new health regime, shouted at your children when you promised yourself you would never again use your shrill voice that even makes adults flinch; when that clock strikes midnight we can learn not to give ourselves too much of a hard time, and come up with a better plan for tomorrow (and maybe a more realistic one!)

Striking the balance as a self employed creative business owner is tough, and when you’ve made the decision to take this path because you want to teach your child/ren about striving for what you want, it makes it even more integral to retain that positive approach and work/family balance (as well as patience, patience and more patience) so that you can practice what you preach. Someone who I get the feeling has this down to a fine art (or who at least knows when to put which of their many hats on and when to call it a day and start afresh tomorrow) is Rebecca, mum of 3 behind Goldcrest Crafts.

Conversations with Creative Mums #7

I find out more about Rebecca Clayton-Harding; the upcycling maven and mosaic maker behind Goldcrest Crafts…

1. Describe what you create? I mostly upcycle small, unloved tables with a variety of original mosaic designs. I have also recently started to make smaller mosaic items such as brooches, other decorative items like pictures and mosaic stones, and some glass appliqué designs, also in upcycled frames.

2. How long have you been doing it? I started upcycling tables (rather slowly…) about a year and a half ago, but have been working in a more focused way since about February last year.

3. How do you balance your work and your children/family life? Family is one of the main reasons for me doing what I do. As children get older, they still need you very much, just in different ways. I love that I can be there for a cup of tea/glass of milk at the end of a difficult day for them and go into school to help if necessary. My self discipline varies though. Ideally, I work from 9 to 3pm, but that really is very idealistic.

4. How did becoming a mother help or hinder your creative journey? It helped, mostly. My recent, more focused approach is motivated by wanting to show my children that dreams are worth striving for.

5. What do you do when you have a million things to do and about an hour to do it?! I write a priority list and then start at the top and get as far down it as I can…

6. What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt since starting your business? To not lose heart half way through making something. See it through and it may be brilliant or maybe not, but you learn from the process anyway, and it may take you in a new and fantastic direction. Playing is so important!

7. If you could go back to when you first set up your business and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? To not be frightened of using couriers! And to invest in a few strong, large boxes and keep every scrap of decent cardboard and bubble wrap that crosses my path.

8. Are your children creative? Do you do anything to encourage this? Yes, indeed. My children now range from 20 to 10 years old, and are each very differently creative. My eldest is at university studying English and is especially creative with words. My second daughter has just started college and is exceptionally visually creative and my son builds things and is interested in how things work. Reading widely to children and filling their lives with interesting experiences, plus lots of empty time to process thoughts and find their own way are key, in my mind, to developing creatively.

9. What do you do when you have too many ideas and not enough time? Generally, I start lots of things and then have to look detachedly at them and decide what is worth pursuing, and what to put on ice…

Wild card question: If you had 24 hours to yourself completely, what would you do? I would head up into London and go to as many art galleries and museums as possible in the time I had, maybe stopping for a really good coffee and lunch somewhere. Then I’d want to meet a friend or two, and go to either a gig or the theatre – depending on who is playing or what is on that night!

Book, blog or podcast recommendations: I’ve fairly recently really enjoyed reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt which was totally un-put-downable, but I do find it difficult to have time for everything, and reading often loses out to the need for sleep! I should listen to more podcasts, but when I am working I always have Radio 6 music on and I love it.


Carry on the Conversation

Thank you SOOO much Rebecca for your fantastic answers, giving us a glimpse into your creative world and how it has evolved around and with your family. If you would like to find out more about Goldcrest Crafts, you can find Rebecca on Instagram; if you’ve got a question for her why not leave a comment on my Instagram post about this blog - lets help and support each other! We are all struggling with something and succeeding at something but if we share our stories we can learn from each other and be reassured that we are NOT alone.

If you’d like to feature in this blog series, I’d love to hear from you…in the meantime, if you’re planning on channelling Kirstie this Christmas you’d better get that homemade Gin on…

Emma x

Stitch Me Happy



Emma CruickshankComment