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Out of the darkness…

Here’s something you don’t read on these sort of websites often, probably because it shits all over the rules of good PR or something, but four years ago I had a breakdown. I don’t mean a fit of pique in the crisps aisle at Tesco. I mean a fully formed, curled-in-a-mute-ball, suicide-obsessed, depression-sodden breakdown that landed me a whole new social life at a local psychiatric unit. It started with post natal depression and birth related post traumatic stress disorder and it ended with me telling a psychiatric nurse that I was possessed by demons and that the baby I has seen emerge from my own fevered loins was an imposter. It was, you could say, an interesting time. But what in the hell does it have to do with me sewing home decor and fashion accessories?

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A lot actually, kraken lovers. You see, before I launched Kraken Kreations I was a freelance journalist for the broadsheets and it wasn’t until my glacial-paced recovery from the aforementioned losing of the plot that I found myself with time on my hands. That is when I started sewing. Yeah, I’d sewed my own clothes in my 20s, thanks to being taught to handle a sewing machine by my nanna, but took it up again when, emerging from the wreckage of my exploded mind, I realised I needed a hobby, a routine, a flash of hope and a creative outlet. It started with a skirt, then a dress, then a bag to go with the dress and before I knew it I had converted my office into my sewing shed and I had more bags than Chanel.

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So when the time came for me to enter the land of the fully functioning again I was faced with a fork. One signpost said journalism. The other said sewing. That’s when I abandoned pens for pins and lo! Kraken Kreations was born.

Thing is (whisper it) I am not alone. I know lots of crafters who have had mental health issues and you’d be amazed at how often crafting groups get to talking about their own brushes with depression. Even more, you’d be boggled at how many crafters talk about how their illness led them to their craft, not least because they’ve realised how important it is to spend their days doing what they adore. And you know what? I’m right with ’em. I don’t see my depression as the end of my career in journalism. I see it as the beginning of my career from my sewing shed.

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And why am I telling you all of this? Well, because I am proud that Krakren Kreations has emerged from the ruins of my former self and that out of my darkest time came the colour and beauty you see today. My products sashay about the place in the loudest patterns and colours not just because I adore them but because I never want to see anything dark ever again. It’s as if I’ve taken my new lease of life and fashioned bags and bunting from it. And if I do show you designs that are a touch barking from time to time? Well, let’s just call it creative genius, shall we? Life is certainly brighter with Kraken Kreations in it and that makes my peculiar brand of inspiration all the more worthwhile.

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