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Nicki Rochead

Nicki Rochead

The Magpie Maker

Hi, I’m Nicki, also known as “The Magpie Maker”.

I’m here because I believe passionately that crafts can make every aspect of life better.

We move what we're learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands

My Rationale…

Everyone navigates their own path through life. Like most people I’ve had rough patches with the smooth.  At some point during my roughest patches I discovered that my first moments of respite came from getting absorbed in knitting or covering a notebook with pretty paper.

I’ve always been a “Blue Peter” girl who loved making stuff but now I realize how much joy that brought me. The focus needed for crafting is enough to distract me and allow me to forget my worries and relax.

I found as I stretched my creative muscles again they got stronger and more flexible. I discovered  I was more creative than I realized and began to search out new ways to carry on my journey by reading blogs to find projects I wanted to do.

What do ya know? There were other people out there who liked the things I did. That buoyed me immensely.

Next I found and joined workshops and evening classes where I met “real people”, local to me that I had things in common with.  Chatting during these classes we ranged from local issues to international ones, tips and tricks about crafts to recommendations for garages and plumbers. The tasks we were focused on took the embarrassment out of meeting new people, reducing stress but enough of our minds were free to explore and make friends. Before I knew it I had a support network!

I saw crafts creating links that benefited the community, uniting old and young as they taught and learnt. Crafts provided a refuge for overwrought minds and emotions. People whose lives were frantic found a moment to take a breath and find a refuge from their daily chores.

I want to spread these aspects of crafting. The sense of achievement, well being, community and support that comes from having crafts in your life. The sense of wonder at discovering your imagination works better than you thought and not being able to draw doesn’t mean you can’t produce something lovely. The respite that comes from a bit of time away from the everyday and the solidarity of being learners together.

I blog to help people find projects they want to try and to demystify how to go about it. I run workshops to give people a safe and supportive place to try something new. Some people find one craft they particularly love. Others (like me) love to experiment, try new things. There are no rules in craft.

If I can share what crafts have given me we will waste less, feel calmer, gain confidence, build community and retain a sense of proportion.

The Facts…

  • I’m an ex-secondary school Design Technology teacher. I used to spend my days in workshops, textiles class rooms and graphics studios with 11-18 year olds.
  • My degree was in Industrial Design and Technology. I love watching the design world for innovation.
  • After leaving teaching I spent two years as a shop assistant in the Haberdashery department of a small local chain. This also gave me experience with craft materials, fabrics and yarns as we moved pretty interchangeably between the departments.
  • I live and work just outside of Winchester in Hampshire, UK.
Never forget that “making stuff” can be that powerful!

(If, after all that you want to know more about me and my background, please check out this post).


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