My Nana died this year at the age of 93. She had been a seamstress all her life; making alterations to clothing for the people living in her neighbourhood for a bit of grocery money. She made all her children's clothes as they grew up, with a family of seven this was no mean feat. I remember being wildly impressed when she made some garish floral bridesmaids' dresses for my cousins.
I drove the whole way from Hastings to the north coast of Ireland to collect her sewing machine during a beautiful red and orange autumn and here it is, nestling in my studio next to my own machine. It feels really important that I use it for a project of some significance; perhaps something steeped in reminiscence and history.
I was delighted to discover a few days ago that Finn can operate a sewing machine remarkably well for an eight year old; his pedal control is remarkable. I couldn't help but hope that the seamstress's genes had passed down into his little feet.
Janey grew up in Northern Ireland surrounded by guns and potatoes. Out of this conflicted experience she came to believe that there are three main important life lessons: freedom to express what lies within you is the ultimate gift; everything in this universe is connected; you must learn to accept that life is a great mystery. She has two sons called Finn and Paddy, and she enjoys taking them on adventures.