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Stained Fox

Hi, I'm Susan McKenzie. Craft is best with a giant cup of tea...or a naughty glass of red wine!

I never thought I was creative. As the mum of a brilliantly big family, I had to work out how to entertain the little rascals on a budget. I also organised kids clubs in my local area which meant thinking of lots of craft projects to keep everyone busy. It wasn't until the kids became adults and left the nest that I realised how much I got from these projects. I used the kids as an excuse to be creative and without them I got a tad bored. The nights felt so much longer.

I started going to Mayinspire groups to socialise. Meeting people and being creative; what a fabulous way to spend time! At home, I never finished a project so I liked that I could relax and come home with something I made that day. After a little while, Gem asked for my help running the business to keep up with demand. I now design a lot of the craft projects and test out ideas. I know when a project is right because it is when I find myself charging up to my husband, repeating 'Look what I made, what do you think?", like an excited proud child.

I find myself drawn to country styles and woodland animals. My colours tends to be browns, oranges, greens and yellows. Although, I am also swayed by seaside themes. I suppose I like anything from bees to seahorses.

I often change the type of craft I do but my current obsession is paper quilling. I've really enjoyed making projects for our craft kits. I enjoy doing craft projects at home with my grandchildren too. It helps me to remember to keep craft lighthearted.

I am a keen upcycler...recycler...reuser...repurposer. Whatever you want to call it, I think it is fantastic when we can reuse things which were going to landfill. When we first had a good look at our plastic use, it was shocking to realise how much could be reduced. We have old plastic packaging to use up, but eventually I hope we can reduce our crafty impact on our beautiful earth. We aren't quite there (yet), but it's something I care so much about.

I am well known for the levels of tea I get through but I haven't perfected the art of painting with a cuppa nearby. The regulars to our groups won't let me forget the day I was accidentally using my fresh cup of tea as a pot to clean my brushes. Luckily I noticed before taking a sip!

Well that feels like enough about me. I hope I get to meet you soon at a workshop, or to entertain you in a tutorial online. Good luck on your creative teaching journey, you can do it (even if you have to do it scared like I do!)

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