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