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Club Inspire

Member of the Month: February 2014

We're pleased to share our February Member of the Month with you today! Read a bit more about Jan Saunders:


I was really surprised to get the email asking if I would like to be their Member of the month. Surprised but also very honored to be asked.

I was never any good doing art at school & the needlework classes were a nightmare for me.

My mum taught me to knit when I was younger & this came in very handy when I had my daughter Catherine in 1980.

I was always a busy person, I was widowed when Catherine was under 5 so had to work & look after her so not much time to craft apart from the bits we did in her school holidays. Helping at the school I got involved with their school plays so did some crafting there.

Eight Years later in 1992 I started seeing my hubby Ken, we had been friends for 3 years before he took me out for a birthday meal. Then we started going out & then married in 1993.

A friend helped me to put a book together for Catherine's 18th birthday, I did not have a computer so she printed off all the papers for me & it was a "This is your life" type book with all her school reports & special things I had collected since her birth. Really my first go at scrapbooking

I had trained in catering & was a school cook, but years later having changed my job to be a deli assistant I hurt my back at work. This got worse so in 1999 I had an operation which was not successful. I then had another operation (two in 10 days) which left damage to the nerves at the base of the spine. This has left me with constant sciatica. Morphine is the only thing that dulls the pain & I am still dependent on it now. It was a very slow recovery to get to a manageable life but i had plenty of physio & lots of love & support from family & friends.

I was advised to start a hobby as I would need to keep my mind active as the morphine would affect me. But what!!

So a big jump in at the deep end, my daughter was getting married in 2004 so I decided to do the invitations & everything else. There was a lovely elderly couple on the park home site that we had moved to who made their own cards. He cut out over 70 A6 cards from A3 cream card adding an aperture for me to put gold mesh in & attach a small rosebud. He also made me 80 cream box's to make the favors. Ladies had a rose & men had a small red Kit car identical to the one my son in law owns. These were made from shrink plastic. I had traced these from a photo on a light box. We also did the order of service, seating plan & place cards. It took nearly a year for me to complete but I loved doing it & learnt as I went along.

I really loved doing this & started buying bits to make cards for family & friends birthdays & Christmas. I tried parchment craft & most of the other popular crafts at the time but found I loved decoupage & CD crafting.

My next big project was for my 50th birthday, I thought I would do my own "This is your life" book. I started by doing each year the news, music charts, popular TV & adverts, along with what had happened in my life. My one album soon became two & again took over a year to complete. I also was never lucky enough to know either sets of grandparents so I started to look into my family tree. I have not done much of it in the past few years but would like to do more to it someday.

My craft items were now beginning to take over the home & I loved it when Crafters Companion started bringing us their CD's. They were so easy to use & I gained confidence with my card making that once again with the help of the lovely crafty couple we put on a craft open day, Cards, crafts, cakes Raffle. We raised £255 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance

Since then I have donated over £1065 for various charities. Air ambulance, Hospital Cancer unit,Kids kidney research(Grandson has a heredity illness) & Macmillan. In 2012 I did a yearly fund & wanted it to go to a local cause. A friend knew a local lady who had MND & was trying to raise funds to buy a hoist. I did a fundraiser selling cards & had a raffle & raised £200. I even had the Mayor come to my home to say Hi & look at what I had made.

This prompted me to set up a facebook page to sell my cards. January last year I launched Jan's Cards For Causes. I had a lot of support & raised £155 which I gave to our local D.I.A.L
I give 50% to the fund & the other 50% goes into the pot so I can continue to raise funds.
I have also made cards & donated them to local fundraisers either as a raffle prize or for them to sell at their events. This is a great way to use up leftover bits & of course they get to keep all the money

Unfortunately my health has become a lot worse so I am unable to work which is why I have the 50% for the pot. As well as the Sciatica I have Fybromylaga IBS & other issues to contend with. I have to make the Christmas cards all year to be able to add enough of them to the page.

Each year brings more trials health wise but I have found that this is the same for a lot of fellow crafters that I have made friends with on facebook pages

Hubby is retired for which I am really pleased about as he is my rock. Some days I am unable to do anything & rely on him more & more. Catherine now has 2 lovely boys who I adore. Harry six, loves crafting with his Nanny & has a box full of his bits we use. Tommy is only 2 has just started & loves stickers

I hope that I shall be able to continue crafting in future years as I am now.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

Best wishes to you all

Jan Saunders

12 thoughts on “Member of the Month: February 2014”

  • sharon king

    Hi Jan I loved reading your story and I love our banter on FB. My life is much richer for having you in it and I am so honoured to call you my friend(even though we have never met). Take care love always Sharon King xxx

    • Jan Saunders

      Thank you Sharon, you know I feel the same about you as well. Hopefully we will meet up one day. I love your work & get inspiration from your makes.. Thanks "Boss"

  • Helen Gallacher

    Hi Jan, so lovely to see you getting a bit of recognition for all your hard work <3

  • Anne Brockman

    Hi Jan, Congrats on being the Member of the Month, I have just read your story and I can associate with a lot of what you have gone through and still be able to keep cheerful and Craft for all your Charities and good causes. Well done I'm pleased to call you a good friend. xxxx

  • Jan Saunders

    Anne thank you so much for your very kind words. It is amazing how crafting has helped so many of us with our health issues. It has also made us some great friends, most of whom we will never meet xxx

  • Angela Clayton

    Many congrats Jan,

    After being chosen last month I know how you feel! Crafting does take over the house, but I can tell that even with your poor health, you just keep going. I am fortunate that mine isn't brilliant, (I have asthma, diabetes and suffer from depression after being harassed out of a job I loved) but I just love to craft - it makes up for a lot, doesn't it.

    Take care and keep crafting, Angela xx

    • Jan Saunders

      Thank you Angela. I dread to think what life would be like without our crafting. I loved the way that you recycle all the Christmas cards. I pass mine onto Beavers/brownies to make things with. A lot better than just recycling.

      We all have various health issues, it is something I have found out through Facebook. I think it is lovely that we can all support each other,it really helps on a down day just to have someone like a card or just say hi doesn't it.

  • Anne Hill

    Hello Jan its so nice to hear that you enjoy your crafting so much I share your passion and also can DITO your health problems. I find that my escape room is my craft world.
    Take care and hope you have good health days this year Anne.

  • Jan Saunders

    Thank you Ann. Hubby has just moved all my craft bits back into the spare room. Not only do we have the lounge back but as you say it is now somewhere to escape to
    Wishing you good health as well.
    Jan xx

  • Jemma Scholes

    Hi Jan. Congratulations on becoming Member Of The Month. After reading your story you so deserve to be it with all the hard work you do for different causes. Like you I have Siatica, Fibromyalgia, IBS aswell as Cervical Spondylosis and other health issues. It's amazing to see that so many people with health issues like ours end up crafting. My love is using the CD's here from Crafters Companion to do various forms of CD crafting ranging from using the digistamps to colour in using my Spectrum Noir pens to decoupage. Without craft I don't know what I'd to to keep sane what with the medication I'm on now.
    Take care and keep up the good work Jan.
    Lots of love always Jemma xx

    • Jan Saunders

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Sorry I have not answered before but hit a bad patch & now coming back to life lol
      As you say there are so many of us crafters with lots of health issues, crafting is the best escape we have. I have not got into the digi stamps yet. I have a box full of stamping bits but decoupage seems to be what I enjoy doing most. On bad days I just sit & cut out toppers, mostly Christmas ones ready to make up. If my hands are to bad for cutting then I make them up with the 3D foam. I would be lost without my computer & crafting bits.
      Good health & happy crafting to you.xx

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