I originally set up my pet sitting business, Peak Pet Services in 2014, after leaving behind my previous life as an Accountant, which never quite resonated with me, and always left me feeling unfulfilled, because I didn't ever quite fit in to a corporate world.
My business had become successful, caring for my customers pets, whilst they were at work or on holiday. When Covid arrived in March 2020, it hit my business hard, and I had to diversify to survive.
I have always been creative, but I couldn't draw or paint, AT ALL, but always wanted to learn. So in May 2020, I took some online art lessons with a lovely lady called Lucy.
Her outstanding tutoring had me quickly drawing, and improving at a rate I could barely keep up with. Being on the Autistic Spectrum has its advantages, and my hyperfocus and incredible attention to detail, which are just two of my prevalent autistic traits, meant I was able to keep practicing and practicing to improve my art.
In June 2020, I found myself watching You Tube and teaching myself to paint in watercolour. So, I taught myself how to paint, and then I started to realise that illustration was mainly where my heart lay.
Without Peak Pet Services keeping me busy, I had a new direction to focus on and a new found passion for art, so I started to tentatively sell my art under the Peak Pet Services brand in the summer of 2020.
I love to create designs, predominantly from my imagination, using ink, watercolour and acrylic, on paper, wood and slate.
I take great inspiration from pets, animals, and the natural environment, which is my happy place as well as my home.
When my horse suddenly died in June 2020, I wanted to create an ashes memorial painting, which combined my new love of watercolour into a cremation ashes painting. This is when "Ashes into Art" was created. It is a memorial painting for cremation ashes, which combines the beauty of watercolour, with painted hearts incorporating cremation ashes into this unique memorial.
I have since created further ashes memorial keepsakes, which are designed to bring comfort during times of sadness, and help with connection and mindfulness when thinking of lost loved ones.
My latest piece is a small, framed ashes pawprint surrounded by a red heart, which I created when my beautiful Maine Coon, Herman died suddenly in July 2021
My artistic mind has since exploded with ideas. I didn't realise that being autistic also meant that my mind was probably more busy than most.
I wanted to combine my greatest passion and lifelong love, that of animals and nature, with my new and exciting world of art.
In January 2021, I set up my website, and The Quaint and Quirky was born.
The name came from who I am and where I live. I'm a quirky, autistic, animal obsessive, living in a quaint cottage, high on the hillside of the Peak District National Park, with my husband and my menagerie.
We're quaint and quirky, and we like it that way.