10 Crafty Questions with Kathreen Ricketson – The Wonder Lady Behind Whipup

Woo! new interviews here on CraftBoom!� ’10 Crafty Questions with…’ are a little different from our Crafting Heroes Interviews. These interviews are a bit more person orientated and there’s also a fun twist: I ask the interviewee 5 questions and the interviewee makes up another 5 questions to ask themselves. Sound like fun? Yep, I thought so too. So without further ado I’m sooo delighted to be able to kick off these interviews with the lovely Kathreen Ricketson founder and boss lady of the crafting quintessential Whipup. Hurrah!!!

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CraftBoom!’s 5 Questions

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If you could be any crafter/artist (past or present) for a day who would it be and why?
I am pretty happy as myself right now – of course there are lots of things I would like to do better – and I admire women who seem to be able to combine their dreams with being wonderful mothers at the same time. Two women I am attracted to for both their talent, their devotion to their children and to their craft/art are:
1. Blogger/homeschooling mama – Amanda Soule (of Soulemama.blog) she is so kind and talented but it is her mothering style that really draws me in – I love reading her blog and her recent book – both very inspiring. (read Amanda’s Crafting Heroes Interview here).


2. Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton, won the Archibald prize for painting this year with a work titled “You are What is Most Beautiful About Me”, it was a self portrait with her children. I have always loved her paintings and drawing but recently saw her soft sculptural work at the Melbourne Art Fair and it simply blew me away. She says “Mum taught me to sew, fairly unsuccessfully, but I like to keep it rough because it gives a quality of vulnerability and honesty to the marks I’m making.”

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If you had magic powers what 3 things would you do to advance the Crafting Movement?
If I had magic powers I would be stopping wars and saving trees and whales – but if its a crafting hero you want – Crafting seems to have a momentum of its own that needs no help from magic – unless you call the internet the hero of the crafting movement – which in a way it is – it has brought together people and ideas from such disparate areas that any magic I had would only be enhancing that effect.

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What are you most skilled at craft wise and what craft skills would you like to be more skilled at?
Sewing is my most craftiest thing – I make clothes and house accessories and am obsessed (still) by quilts, I make bags (for myself mostly but for friends and kids too) and make presents for people – I like to have a stash of tiny baby pants and shoulder bags to give as gifts. I also dabble in handmade books and dyeing fabric – but mostly my love of crafting revolves around an obsession with fabric. I would love to get into fabric design – but this is just as yet a very vague desire.

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What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
My children for sure. They are the love of my life. I couldn’t imagine my life without them. I do think though that completing my postgraduate studies with top marks while having two children in the midst of it all was a pretty good achievement too.


Awwwwww! Such a lovely picture.

I also think that Whipup is a good achievement – I have really loved being part of the craft blogging world and am grateful for all the people I have ‘met’ through Whipup and before that through my blog Redcurrent (which I know only update on a very irregular basis).

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Besides family/friends/home/health what is your most treasured possession?
Photos – I have so many gorgeous photos of my kids that I love. Apart from my enormous photo collection I also treasure the handmade lace from my late grandmothers estate.

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Kathreen’s 5 Questions

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Kathreen please choose another 5 questions to ask yourself. So these self chosen questions can be about anything you like. It would be nice if they are somewhat craft related questions, but they don’t have to be; I happen to think things like that “who would you like to share a roller coaster ride with” or “who you would to knit a jumper for” or “your favourite brand of chocolate milk” for example, quite interesting :)

Oh ok here goes – no celebrity questions – I admit to knowing next to nothing about celebs and wouldn’t want to go on a roller coaster with someone I was not very comfortable in the company of…

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What was your first crafting disaster and success?
I started crafting by making dolls clothes – I went from that to pillow cases and patchwork cushions – I made a few shirts which were difficult and took ages – with button holes and tailored collars – then took a leap into the unknown and made my end of year dance (prom) dress. It was a spectacular disaster. I took my (over protective and no fashion sense) mothers advice and bought dark green taffeta and made a bouffant thing that never quite fit properly, didn’t stay on my shoulders and gave me no confidence at all – I believe I looked quite frumpy – it was the late 80’s after all …

Crafting success – the best thing I have ever made has got be these pants for my boy – 2 years on (and a bit taller) he is still wearing them – they are a bit faded and bit short but he wears them nearly everyday – they are comfortable, easy to wash and super duper groovy.

Aw man! Those pants seriously rock!

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What crafting experience would you never repeat?
I used to have a market stall every Sunday at the local craft markets – but after a year of Sundays and early mornings and weekends used up I decided to quit and oh boy what a relief! I wish that Etsy was around back then – what a bonus for crafters now having such a fabulous marketplace to sell their wares.

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What skills would you like to pass on – and which ones do you feel you missed out on?
I would like to teach my kids to cook and to sew really well – Also to teach them an appreciation of handmade and handcrafted things. To teach them to enjoy the making as much as the using/eating – we don’t go to fast food restaurants for that reason – and we now spend our Sundays baking bread or gardening or making something – instead of rushing around like we do the rest of the week.

Mmmm I can almost smell it!


The Ricketson family’s earth oven.

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My favourite snack to munch on and favourite music to listen to while crafting away?
I will always love banana on buttered toast with a cup of tea. not too practical to eat while crafting as it is a bit crumby and buttery – but I like to pause and sit and enjoy my tea break before getting back to the cutting/sewing bench. Music though is a different matter – I enjoy a range of old jazz, musicals and moody music – my husband calls it wailing music – but i find the old women of jazz very soothing to listen to.

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What do you want more of and less of in your life?
I want more space – I want a sewing room (I have given up my dedicated sewing room so the children could have a room each – boo hoo!) but as we are currently extending our house I will hopefully soon have my own space back again – smaller but more compact and organised. I want less stuff. I can’t bear all the junk that seems to accumulate – I love to chuck out clear out and give back to the charity shops – I am striving for a simple life without lots of mass manufactured stuff around me.

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Thanks so much for the interview Kathreen. So many of us check-in to Whipup each day so it’s really nice to know a bit about the driving force behind such a wonderful site. Wishing you lots of happiness and many more craft successes. I don’t suppose you could whip up a pair of those groovy pants for yours truly? :)

I hope you enjoyed that.  More of these 10 Crafty Questions are in the pipeline.  Look out for them!

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