When and what made you take up your craft? Answer and you could win a £50 gift voucher from Etsy!

Linen fabric by Knock Knock Linen on Etsy

When did you take up sewing or crafts and what was the trigger? I'd love to read how you fell in love (or back in love) with crafts. Has it changed your life? It did mine...

Ten years ago today I was given a sewing machine for my birthday from my mum! With mother's day not far off it struck me that I was very lucky to have a mother that made sewing and mending a very normal part of life for me.

To celebrate both my birthday, my sewing mahine's birthday today AND mother's in general and all the wonderful things they do I wanted to give you the chance to win a £50 Etsy gift voucher, kindly given to me by the lovely team at Etsy as part of their mother's day promotions - a treat for yourself and perhaps you could buy a treat for your Mum too! Entry details at the end of the post! You can find lots of lovely gift ideas here too - Mother's day Gifts.

Borrowed Feathers on Etsy - Two Sisters who spend their days sourcing vintage fabrics

There's an infographic at the end of this post on the Resurgence of Sewing, It tells us Sewing is big...   It's old news to me and probably you too if you are an avid craft blogger, but it is great to see facts like sewing machine sales soaring by 500% during our recent credit crunch and economic instability.

So whilst I kind of feel I don't have to tell you sewing is back, this infographic made me start thinking about my own achievements over the last 10 years and how sewing and crafts have played a really important part in them.

My family have always upholstered their own furniture and I have strong childhood memories of my mother stitching us little toy mice and embellishing and adjusting her clothes (a hippy ribboned edge on a full length denim skirt that we teased her about really stands out!)

We're a pretty short family so hems were stitched up on almost every pair of trousers my mother owned (before petite ranges were available!) I also remember very clearly the amazing feeling of pride when I sewed some simple table napkins with my Aunt who lived with us, using their mothers old singer (both the singer and napkins are still in use today - although the napkins are a little thread bare - I may make some more for them both for mothers day!)

Riley Blake Fabric from Prints to Polka Dots

I rediscovered my love of sewing after the birth of my daughter. Being a new mother meant I had more time at home and my evenings were not spent out socialising but staying in - a very typical story I'm sure!

Sewing became a hobby, at first I was hand-sewing up little bags, many of the first little purses I made were from my daughters old dresses that she rapidly grew out of. I was lucky enough to receive a new machine for my 26th birthday - it is ten years old TODAY!  eek, I'm not far off 40 now!

I soon found myself immersed in the blogosphere, looking for patterns to try out, then taking up knitting and eventually realising after selling my purses on Etsy that I could use my advertising and marketing background to work from home, specialising in the craft market - it's easy to write about what you love.

Me on the right with my friends from the Craftivist Collective, with the 1000's of jigsaws you all stitched in the Race Against Hunger Campaign we worked on with Save the Children.

Ten years on, whilst I'm not sewing for a living, I have a thriving little digital marketing company and I get to drop my kids off and pick them up from school every day. I've also been on a once in a lifetime trip to Sumatra with the Craftivist Collective and countless lovely free lunches, craft books and products from my work on this blog where I offer free advice for craft sellers - any new tricks and strategies I discover through my work get shared here along with lots of gorgeous crafts I spot.

Screenprinted Fabric Scrap Pack - Blueberry Park

Craft Blog UK is my way of supporting independent craft sellers and the craft industry, not just taking from it - so hooray for the booming Craft Industry!

Talking of my day job, I'm really excited to be working with practical publishing on their online activity for their new sewing magazine - "Love Sewing" which will be hitting the shelves at the end of April - worth a look as they have a really bargainous offer on the first 3 issues (and you don't have to commit to a whole year either! - Sorry for the obvious plug, I'm just excited about it and of course I want it to be a big success)

I hope that now the recession is officially over the Craft community continues to see sustained growth - creativity makes the world go round as far as I'm concerned!

So for your chance to win a £50 Etsy voucher just leave a message in the comments below telling me how you got started in Craft - whether that's sewing or any other craft - and don't forget to name check any fab people that helped - especially the mums!

For another chance to win comment on this Facebook post
and/or Retweet this Tweet Below!

I will pick a winner from all the entries on Friday 21st March! Keep your eyes peeled 
The voucher can be used in any UK or European Etsy shop that accepts Etsy Vouchers