About Me

Just over a year after starting my blog and knowing better what direction it is going I realised that I need to update who I am.   And for that I need to start with my parents.

My parents are British, but married young and moved to Canada where my brother and I were born.  After a few years in Canada, they moved to the US, where I spent my childhood.  Because my parents are British, at home we had a slightly different cultural upbringing compared to my US friends.   This made my brother and I conscience of not being North American.

When we were teens we moved with my mother to the UK.  I thought this would be returning to my “roots” and would feel like I was “home”.  It did not.  My brother and I had strong US accents and we didn’t feel British. (I realise now that it was probably just part of growing up and being a teenager!)

I studied for a while in the UK then got a job back in the US.  I worked for two years, then it was time to move on.  My father was working in Chile and invited me to come and see the country.  I travelled to Chile, and (how embarrassing) expected something like the bus ride Kathleen Turner took in “Romancing the Stone”.  Chile was far from that.  It felt like a mix of Mexico with France.

And I fell in love.  My husband and I started our relationship with lots of looks and an English/Spanish dictionary!  When we realised that we were serious, we travelled to the UK so he could meet my family and understand my cultural background.  We spent almost three years in in the UK where my oldest daughter was born.  We then came back to Chile, where later my second daughter was born.

l am still a bad speller, but now I can spell bad in two languages.  Always seen as the girl from somewhere else, I tried to adopted the country I was in and call it home.  Now it is so obvious that I am a “gringa” I don’t have to try…and not trying is making Chile my home.

I live near La Serena in the Elqui Valley on my father’s farm with my husband and two daughters.  With both daughters at school all day I am ready to get serous about spinning and fibre crafts.  All sorts of ideas and dreams about teaching and selling woolly crafts.

29 thoughts on “About Me

  1. frizztext says:

    England, Canada, Chile: respect!

  2. AS a Canadian who has also lived elsewhere, Canada, Malaysia and the US. Home now where the heart is – Vancouver island!
    I like your site!


  3. Thank-you! Vancouver is beautiful – come and visit.!


  4. Nigel says:

    You cut that short sis. 😉

  5. Cal says:

    I appreciate the comment you left on my blog today, we have been in Chile for only months and although I think we have adapted quite well, some things still rub me the wrong way. It makes me feels better when I can share them with someone who may relate. I was reading your “about me” section, and found some similarities: I lived for a long time in the UK, lived in the US where both children were born, and also for a few years in Canada, before moving to Chile!

    • Thanks for the visit!

      Seems to me that Chile is a mix of modern luxuries with cultural traditions. I think it is in the middle of change, (La Serena has changed a lot since I have been here, and even more since my husband grew up here). I just know from moving around that nowhere is perfect, and to make the most of the good things in a place.

  6. isabel carracedo says:

    Soy chilena vivo en Santiago y en Huencuecho (cerca de Talca). Me interewsa tambien el trabajo con lana. Soy casada con un extarnjero y he vivido muchos años en Europa por eso creo que podemos tener muchos puntos de encuentro

  7. kelaimsbee says:

    hello there – love your blog info – was wondering if you have plans for building the solar ovens? we would love to build one at our farm…….love to hear from you. big love kel australia

  8. David Peterson says:

    Would you have a detailed drawing of your solar oven? I’d love to build one.

  9. David Peterson says:

    Thank you very much, it helped a lot .

  10. Betty says:

    Hello ! I love your blog and all the description of your enjoyment with wool.I have the same habit! I am italian living in London UK and dream a country living, but in my little kitchen and mini garden I manage to wash,dye card and spin.I am glad you give me the idea to dye with solar oven…maybe not in London that will take too long to see the colours on the wool (?).It is the vinegar enough to dye and maintain the colours on the wool? did you use other mordants?
    One love Betty

    • Hi! It is always nice to hear from other fibre fanatics! I haven’t tried other mordants, except by accident when my pots are made with metal! I am not sure how permanent the colours are, the sun here is very strong, even on acid dyes.

      The nice thing about solar dyeing at low temperatures is you can leave it for a few days and not worry about damaging the wool. You can experiment with jars on your window sill, or in a black box, inside another box with insulation in between, (scrunched up newspaper, Styrofoam, wool) then cover the boxes with a piece of glass. There are lots on the internet.
      Thanks for visiting!

  11. wow I am in awe of you. I am trying ti by some roving wool in Santiago and came across your blog on the internet. Do you ever take in lodgers to share your skills to me it would be heaven .catherine

  12. Rob says:

    Great blog. I wish you would write more about your experiences in this region. I would love to hear about the cost of living as there are many folks trying to find the right place to retire.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog! I hadn’t thought about reviewing Chile…living in La Serena is very different from living in Santiago, we don’t have access to the same events, theaters, musuems, etc. But, on the plus side I think it might be safer.

      As for the price of living, food used to be cheap, but now it is similar to the UK, electronics too. If you check out some of the links on my page there are other bloggers here who go into more detail about living here as an expat.

      Hope I helped a bit, and if you have any more questions, just ask!

      • Rob says:

        That was quite helpful, thanks. It is interesting to see someone with the courage to try a different way of life in another country with a completely different culture. I admire the path you have chosen. To me it seems a simpler way of living, that is more fulfilling. I wish I had your courage.
        I was just thinking how interesting it would be if you took videos of your experiences and even interviewed some of the artisans in the region.
        Thanks for your blog it is amazing!

  13. asoranno2015 says:

    Hello. Do you ever host spinning workshops to tourists who would like to visit Chile? Thank you.

    • Yes, I teach hand spinning in La Serena, Chile. I can do the classes in English or Spanish. However, I generally use a top whorl drop spindle, are you looking for something more specific to traditional Chilean spinning, with the history as well? Most traditional spinners use bottom whorl.

  14. Michelle says:

    Do you have a pattern or template for the solar oven you can share or know where I can get one? thanks

    • Hi Michelle, there are some links in my blog and in the comments on posts about the solar oven, but the web site I used to linked to has changed, and I’m not sure they if they still have plans. I personally don’t have any. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  15. River says:

    Hello, I am so glad that I found your blog! I saw wool pickers on the internet and found yours while looking for ideas to make my own. Even nicer, I found that you made the beautiful felted wall hanging of the mountains that I had only moments before been admiring while googling textile arts. I loved it both as a hanging in the original felt, as well as the woven hanging. When I first saw them I hadn’t realised they were the same piece. (Not sure what you didn’t like about the original, but you can patch holes by needle felting, and keep edges straighter by quasi framing/stretching during a slower felt. But I liked how it waved, like a flag). Inspiring.

    • Thanks so much for your nice comments! I haven’t written in my blog for a while, something I hope to remedy soon, but I’m glad past posts brought you some inspiration. I can’t remember why I didn’t like my felted mountains, before I cut it up…maybe it just wasn’t what I expected. Which is silly! That’s part of what I love about working with fiber – the surprises!

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