Getting Crafty with Judith Hodge
Judith Hodge has been a keen crafter for many years. It really started after she and her husband, John (he of the delightful love spoons. Read about him here in Pembrokeshire.Online) had returned from celebrating their very special 25th wedding anniversary.
Judith told us: “I had been talking with my Mum back then about things we regret not having done. When I went home, I asked John if he had a burning desire to do something now, while we had our health and strength.”
John’s reply was that he longed to dive off the Great Barrier Reef.
It wasn’t Judith’s thing – John jokes that she is not keen on the water – but travelling was very appealing.
“We had never had a honeymoon,” Judith explained. “There wasn’t the money when we got married. This was an opportunity to have a belated celebration.”
The couple saved for the next four years, embarking upon a round-the-world trip with some diving for John. They had a wonderful time and when they returned they had 36 reels of film.
“ I had wanted to do something with the photographs when we got back,” said Judith. “And when I heard about scrapbooking, I started classes at the craft shop on the Marina in Milford Haven.”
The couple have now been married for 48 years. Judith has not only created that scrapbook containing all the tickets, postcards and photographs from that memorable time, but many more, celebrating family occasions and events, and as love tokens for her husband and family.
A qualified aromatherapist, with an administrative and secretarial background, Judith has also been an adult education tutor who taught word processing before she retired.
I asked Judith what medium she uses to create her books and other delightful items.
“There are so many things that people can use. I have used a mixture of paint and Polyfilla, bandages, buttons, nuts and bolts, and even clock parts. Really the only limit is your imagination.”
We were talking online and Judith held up pieces for me to see, explaining how each item was made. From needlepoint to decoupage using paper napkins, to the creation of boxes to hold John’s love spoons.
I was impressed, but Judith is very modest: “There is no right or wrong. It is just experimenting,” she told me, and those experiments have involved stencils, cutting, 3D effects, using different texture… all taking time and involving patience.
Judith has even made a doll’s house from a kit that she found at a car boot sale which the grandchildren love to play with.
I ask what her favourites are. She thinks over all the things she has made and recalls a fairy album that she made for her granddaughter, and a box with sayings and pictures
“It’s not just the making of things,” she says. “It’s also very sociable. I have made friends, and getting together to be creative has been a real pleasure.”
Not so easy in lockdown of course, but Judith and her crafty friends have not given up. Even though they can’t meet at the moment, they are choosing subjects and setting each other challenges.
“It keeps your brain ticking over and helps us keep in touch,” she said.
I went looking online after I talked to Judith and found some sites giving tutorials on making scrapbooks. Most are also attempting to get you to buy sometimes quite expensive craft materials, but if you are as clever as Judith and her friends, I am sure you can find things at home to get you started.
Let us know how you get on.