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Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Feature: Mary Ann Tate, Cloth Doll Maker

What is your name?
Hello my name is Mary Ann Tate. My first name is really Mary Ann Bridget but no one has ever called me that except my father when I was in big trouble. I am simply Mary Ann without a hyphen and without an “e”. I was named after my Irish Grandmothers Mary and Bridget but my mum refused to have a child called Mary Bridget so the Ann was inserted in there to make everyone happy.
What is your blog name & blog address?
I actually have five blogs going at the moment. Yes.....I'm a blogaholic:) You will find me most often at A Cloth Doll Maker's Diary - This is a blog that I originally started as a place to post doll related tutorials and various links that I had found on the internet. It was really created out of frustration when my laptop crashed and I lost all my bookmarks. My idea was to put them all in one place so that wouldn't happen again. Then a blogger friend suggested that I make it a public blog for others to see and share.
Where are you from in Canada?
I live in Toronto, Ontario. I am married to a man from Liverpool and we have just celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. I have two handsome sons, a beautiful daughter-in-law and an adorable granddaughter.
I was born in London, England and emigrated to Canada in 1954 with my family aboard a ship called the Atlantic. I don't remember much of the trip except the train ride from Halifax to Toronto. We originally lived in Toronto and then Oakville and then at the age of 13 my family moved to the village of Waterdown which is not far from the city of Hamilton, Ontario. This is where my mum finally got to realize her dream of having her own fabric store.
The store was in an old Victorian house in the center of the village. The front and back parlours of the house were the store and we lived in all the rest. My mum was also a tailoress by trade so you can well imagine that I grew up sewing. By the time I was about seven I could just reach one foot to the treadle on her Singer sewing machine to get it going and feed the material under the needle.
What is your craft? How long have you been doing this?  How did it all start?
I have dabbled in most crafts over the years. For many years...from 1982 to 1994...I did craft shows on the weekends where I sold mainly toy teddies, rabbits and mice that I made myself and my mum sold quilts and aprons. The pressures of my weekday working life forced me to stop going to shows. I really didn't do much creating or sewing for a number of years but now that I'm retired I have begun to make things again. It's really quite exciting as there have been so many changes and new products and of course we now have the internet. Right now I'm exploring cloth doll making. I started in February 2011 so I'm relatively new to this craft.
What are your top 3 personal accomplishments in the past year? What are future goals? What is your BIGGEST dream for yourself?
I think my biggest accomplishment this year has been completing two on line doll classes with Canadian doll artist Colleen Babcock. They were both very complicated dolls and I'm very proud of myself for finishing them. As far as future goals? I would say that is not something that I have really thought about. I'm not sure where I'm going with my doll making but I'm enjoying the process and the learning experience.
Anything else we should know?
Well...I'm a retired banker. I started my banking career in 1973 and left in 2008. I was once robbed at gunpoint when I was a teller and pregnant with my first child. I'm an amateur genealogist and have been researching our various family trees for a number of years. I took Creative Writing certificate courses at night school at the University of Toronto as something to do and was told that apparently I'm the next Alice Munro.....I wish:)
It's been a pleasure and an honour to participate in the Friday Feature here on The Needle & Thread Network. Please come and visit me at

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday #55 @ TN&TN