As an Australian living in Germany, do you enjoy it? Yes, we love living here in Germany. We live in a small town on the edge of the Black Forest, so being here instead of in big, bustling Sydney is very different. We only have traffic jams here when there are two tractors trying to pass each other on the main street! One of the biggest differences is the close proximity to other countries – we are within 30 minutes’ drive of the borders of both Switzerland and France. To drive for such a short time and be in a completely different culture can just boggle the mind
Do you have a small apartment in Germany? No, we actually live in a four-storey townhouse - we have lots of stairs for keeping fit! Houses are certainly smaller and more compact here than in Australia. Our house is relatively new, compared to some houses in town that are hundreds of years old. In a neighbouring town, there is a Napoleonic cannon ball preserved where it landed, high up in the wall of a house, and it has been there for slightly less time than European settlement in Australia!
Is there sufficient space for you to spread out with your craft? Yes, there is, though I no longer have a dedicated craft room. I have a craft and sewing cupboard, instead, which filled up surprisingly quickly. Did your distinctive style happen over time or was it immediate when you started stitching? I didn’t realise that I had a distinctive style! I try so many different styles and projects that I think my body of stitching work is rather eclectic. Usually my works do involve floral designs, though, considering I am a botanist and botanical artist. And I often work in similar colours from project to project – blues, greens and cool reds. Although, sometimes I set myself a task of working in colours I’m not naturally drawn to, like autumnal shades.
Are you good at all the crafts you have tried? I try to be. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. I will always unpick a mistake, otherwise it would stare at me from the finished work, mocking me! What sorts of crafts do you avoid like the plague? Scrapbooking. It just isn’t me. And I can’t crochet to save my life! It’s coming up to summer in Germany. Have you got other travel plans to take advantage of the warmer weather? We’ll probably take the opportunity to do some more exploring around here, and if it’s warm enough, like our last, unusually hot, summer here, we’ll go to the local pool - often.
What’s your idea of the perfect summer holiday? Something that involves swimming. And good bookshops. Do you take the opportunity to do more or less stitching over the holiday period? If it’s summer, I’m less likely to be doing embroidery – I don’t like sweating onto my sewing! However, winter holidays are a good time to curl up on the couch, under a blanket, stitching.