Hello! I’m Dee and I am a Designer / Maker / Facilitator / life long learner / teacher, as well as wife, mother, step-mum, friend, mentor and guide. I have been creating and fixing things since my childhood – it’s part of who I am.
I have studied and practised Art, Design, Craft and Manufacturing in many different guises over the years, starting with a Foundation course and then a degree in Fashion Design at the London College of Fashion, with the intention of becoming a wedding dress designer! As life does, it took me on a different creative path and I decided to combine my passion for designing and making with my enjoyment of sharing knowledge and skills…so I trained to be a Teacher – specialising in Design & Technology. Perfect!
I love teaching and through it I have had many opportunities to experiment and develop my skills and my love of creativity has continued to thrive! As well as being Head of Design Technology for over 10 years I became drawn to outdoor education through bushcraft and primitive skills and so eventually trained to be a Forest School Leader, which led to my role of Head of Outdoor Education. During this time, I developed many new projects as well as a whole school program called ‘Adventure school’, which involved a combination of Forest School, Bushcraft, Primitive Skills, and good old-fashioned camping! It was such a roaring success and so well received by parents and pupils alike, that it planted a seed…alongside this I had so much enthusiasm and positive feedback from my bespoke DT projects over the years, that it got me thinking…eventually, after some life-changing decisions and resounding support and encouragement from my 2 wonderful boys, as well as my family and friends; I decided to take the leap and leave my established and secure teaching job to set up my own creative business…so here I am!!
I love nature – being in the woods especially – and I am a firm believer in alternative medicines and natural remedies, I am also a deeply spiritual person and believe hugely in the power of creation to connect us to our Creator… as part of this journey I have studied Shinrin Yoku – aka Forest Bathing, as well as aromatherapy and I am currently studying Herbal medicine and learning about EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), with a view to enhancing the therapeutic understanding of the natural world and developing my offers to include more ‘connection’ based experiences…we all need connection in this life and no matter what your spiritual beliefs are, nature can facilitate that connection and bring a sense of whole-ness…’wild-being’ I call it – so watch this space for future developments in this regard!
There is already so much research now to support natural health methodologies as well as studies that affirm the overall health benefits of just being out in Nature, particularly with regard to Mental Health and Well-being…Shinrin Yoku has long been a recognised and prescribed remedy in Japan, and is gaining momentum globally as a powerful way to counterbalance our busy and often stressful, tech-saturated lives. Alongside this, are the therapeutic benefits of creative and artistic pursuits for well-being and satisfaction, which research also continues to reinforce and promote, especially with regard to mental health issues but certainly not limited to that.
As a craftsperson and general fixer of things, I just love learning new skills and experimenting with all manner of materials and techniques…this has fuelled my passion for traditional and primitive skills, some of which are sadly, very close to extinction which is tragic because they hold so much value..So I have invested a lot of time and energy in learning about and practising these skills…I’m still learning!
With these interests and passions combined, as well as my own awareness of a critical need for ‘downtime’ and balance in our lives, I have developed a range of workshops and events, ideally to be held outdoors in the woods around a roaring fire! Through these experiences, I share my love of creativity through traditional and primitive craft-based skills, with a focus on sustainability – not only with regard to materials and processes, but sustainable well-being too!
My intention is to encourage and inspire a love of Nature and respect for the natural world; of Creative pursuits and their value in life; and an interest in traditional and primitive skills as a means to simplify life and appreciate where we have come from and what is of value. These three elements combined are a very powerful antidote to the stresses and strains of our modern, endlessly changing, and mindblowingly fast-paced, tech-heavy lives!
So please do browse my site and if you have any questions comments or ideas, want to find out more about or suggest a workshop / event you would like me to host or be involved with, then please get in touch – I work with all ages groups and abilities and can tailor my events to suit your needs – I would be delighted to hear from you!
"Dee is such a knowledgeable and talented person and made us feel really relaxed and empowered...the creativity just flows!"
More About Dee...
So why would I leave a secure teaching job to enter the risky world of self-employment and set up my own business?
Well….being a creative by nature, I know first hand how satisfying and therapeutic making things and learning new creative skills can be and it has concerned me for a long time that so many people describe themselves as ‘not creative at all!’. I whole heartedly believe that we all have an innate creativity and that in order to thrive in this life, we need to access it be able to play! There’s so much research that demonstrates this and Art Therapy is widely recognised as one of the best non-medicinal ways to treat and even prevent a whole range of emotional and mental health issues.
Nature therapy, Forest Bathing (aka Shinrin You), Forest School and Outdoor Education in general, are finally becoming widely recognised as extremely beneficial for our well-being and in fact time outside in nature, especially around trees, is deemed essential for our health in general! I have always loved being outside in all weathers and as a keen gardener too, I have come to really value Nature in so many ways but especially as a calming and relaxing escape from my hectic everyday life.
So, after a number of life changes, I was prompted to challenge myself and follow my dream of developing my own unique creative business….
My love of sharing knowledge and skills, coupled with my love of Nature, now has a broader and more meaningful purpose. I really love enabling and empowering folk of all ages and abilities to find their ‘inner creative’ and to access the wonderfully satisfying pass time of using their hands to create and craft. Learning creative skills, coupled with being in a woodland environment, multiplies the enjoyment and the benefits endlessly and is such a wonderful way to enrich and nourish yourself, to give yourself the gift of time and relaxation that you not only deserve, but need!
I also have a great love of nature and a deep concern for our planet. So with a focus on recycling and repurposing materials, my aim is to help lessen the negative impact on the environment – reducing our carbon footprint and landfill overload whilst saving money and having fun at the same time! Win Win!
It has been a journey with many twists and turns already but I am loving the opportunities and the amazing people I meet and work with! Check out my gallery pages and my blog to see some of the things I’ve been up to in the last few years, and of course my shop to see what you can buy and the Workshop pages to see what you could learn!