GRANGE FARM CREATIVE
24 years ago we upped sticks and moved from suburban Kent to our farm in Oxfordshire. Our plan was to buy somewhere with maybe an acre of land. We saw our farm, fell in love with it and ended up with 12 acres, not really having a clue what to do with it all.
Gradually we've built up the residents over the years and now have our alpacas, goats. sheep, a donkey, a pony and various chickens, ducks and geese. Oh, and of course 2 dogs and a cat!
We've never claimed to be REAL farmers - we're both vegetarian for a start so all our animals die of old age and they live a happy relaxed life. We must be doing something right as our last pony lived to be 42!
After many years of doing the daily commute to London I started Grange Farm Creative. It was initially my food business. I had a farm shop and made celebration cakes and hand crafted chocolates.
Any spare time I had (which wasn't a lot) was spent painting watercolours which has always been a great way for me to relax. I also discovered the craft of felting and with a homegrown supply of alpaca fibre I was up and running.
Now I use all sorts of fibres - alpaca and sheep mainly but also silks and plants such as bamboo and flax.
To make a business out of one's hobby is a rare treat. I'm lucky how it has worked out.
I now exhibit several times a year either here at the farm as part of Oxfordshire Artweeks or further afield.
I do talks to groups about my alpacas and I find many people are fascinated to know more about these beautiful, shy but inquisitive animals.
I also teach felting. I love sharing what I have learnt with others and passing on what is a very old craft though now with a contemporary twist.
You can sign up for a workshop or if you live too far away, try a "Have-a-go" kit all from the online shop.
Here on the farm we also have a lovely holiday cottage for two people so why not spend a week here exploring the area and maybe taking in a workshop at the same time.