Rebeka Walker, or Beck to her friends, is the author of the Dandelion blog, which centres on life in the wonderfully picturesque house and garden where she lives with her husband and children, in beautiful Daylesford, country Victoria. As a mother of five, I loved hearing what Beck has to say about juggling the different parts of her life in the interview below. She talks of humour, about creativity and about sharing that creativity with her kids. Words of wisdom.
That's one of the things I love about her blog, she puts her feelings into words, about important stuff like life, family, friendship, creativity and love. Her blog documents the treasure in the everyday, the good bits but also the bad, the ups and downs of life.
Beck is crafty too, amongst other things she makes and sells the most beautiful bunny softies. These beautiful creatures are like Beatrix Potter characters come to life. I'm sure each one is treasured in its new home, dressed in its tiny knitted cardigan with its long soft ears.
Beck and I have been playing Words with Friends (electronic scrabble) for a few months now. And while we missed out on a recent chance to meet in person, I'm sure we will one day. Until then I'm sure she will continue to surprise me with those triple word scores!
We live different lives in many ways, with Beck in rural Victoria and me in inner city Sydney, but we have a lot in common too it seems. I'm sure you'll find some familiar too, so if you haven't seen her beautiful Dandelion blog why don't you go and visit now.
Rebeka (Beck) Walker
1. Can you give us a short description of your blog/style/work
My blog is really about my every day life, my family, photography, ideas and thoughts.
2. Why blog? How did you start?
Dandelion began as a way to connect with other crafty people and to record our family life. I’ve continued to blog as I really enjoy the friendships I’ve made in blog land, the chance to explore ideas about parenting & life and the wonderful visual diary that it is. I like the way my blog allows me to process my thoughts in words and illustrate them with photo’s. I also love the amazing & thoughtful comments that I often receive and the truly beautiful people I have met along the way.
3. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
My grandmother, Nan, was a great sewer and creator and she was s big influence on me & taught me a lot. We would spend ages on projects like making dolls and toys and clothes when I was little. These are such treasured memories. My dad is an artist and my mum is also very creative, she has an amazing sense of colour. Growing up in a house filled with art & craft has given me a real appreciation for the visual. Every where I look I see something beautiful and unique, whether it’s the landscape, a child’s drawing, the sky or the changing seasons.
4. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
When I’m making bunnies or quilts I usually sit at my sewing table, which looks out over our garden. (I like to watch our ducks and chooks out the window.) For cutting out and other bigger projects the kitchen table is the go! It’s usually also covered with the kid’s own projects so I sometimes (always) have to fight for space.
5. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
I’ve always found dandelions so whimsical & pretty, they remind me of childhood, of wishes and dreams.
6. Favourite media to work in?
I love fabric and photography. Vintage linen is a big favourite as it is so adaptable and soft. I make my bunnies out of alpaca blanket offcuts, it is a lovely, honest fabric to work with. I’m also a keen photographer, I love to capture the mood of the day, the big sky, animals & nature, and of course my kids.
7. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
I’d like to become a better sewer. Being mainly self taught I don’t have a lot of technical know how. There are many other things crafts I’d like to learn or get better at. Shame there is only so many hours in the day!
8. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
Hmmm…that’s easy, creatively messy!
9. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own not made by you.
That’s a tough one. At the moment I’d say it would be a painting I bought earlier this year of three dogs. A local artist painted it and I adore it for it’s sweet sense of humanity and tenderness. And the colours, it’s just so beautiful and makes me stop and think, and smile.
10. Favourite food/recipe?
How to choose?! So many! I love pasta, especially gnocchi. And I’m also a keen baker so this weeks fave has been mars bar slice. Oh my, too good!
11. Favourite colour?
Can I have five? Red, pink, blue, purple and green. That’s just plain greedy isn’t it?
12. Star sign?
Gemini. Yep, not a popular star sign but us Gemini’s know we are ok.
13. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
I love country Victoria. The rolling hills, dense bush, creeks, potato fields, old buildings, sense of history, the blue sky dotted with clouds and the amazing little towns. I also love the beach, Australia has so many beautiful parts, I’d love to see more of it with our family.
14. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?
A sense of humour is a must! No real tricks but I do think it helps if you make creating a part of every day life. Kids watch and learn and for them self-expression through creativity is normal and fun. All my kids love to make things and although this means we have a messy house, I encourage them and always love to see what amazing things they create.
15. Favourite artists, artisans, crafters?
Joy Hester, Mirka Mora, Jess from Teddy Bears Wednesday, Bridget Bodenham, and so many of the great blog land crafters!
I love the vintage fabric rainbow snake I made for Rosie. It’s massive and crazy and looks ace on her bed. And I like some of the poetry I wrote while at uni. Without a doubt the best thing I have done though, is to have my five kids. Being a mum to them is the best thing ever!
17. Three words to describe yourself?
Enthusiastic, loving, cheerful
18. What do you like to do besides creating?
I like to read. It’s my way of relaxing, I love to escape into another world. I also like walking in the bush, having one on one time with my kids, a weekend away with my Honey, dinner out with girl friends, spending time with my mum, music, dancing, playing Words With Friends, movies and having a good laugh!