Singer/songwriter Mea Grenell currently resides in Wellington, performing solo and with Jessie Moss in folk duo Harriet and the Matches. In the midst of recording her next solo album, due to be released this spring, Mea took a moment to choose handmade treats on Felt and share her thoughts on craft.
Did you make stuff when you were a kid?
We grew up on a farm, so my 3 brothers and I were constantly making anything, from costumes to houses out of bits of tree bark/flowers/rocks/mud/snow! When I was a teenager I began to sew my own clothes too.
Assuming time, materials and cost were no object and you were given the opportunity to make anything you wanted, what would you make?
A beautiful big log house overlooking the ocean and surrounded by nature. Oh and all the projects I haven't yet ticked off in the World Sweet World magazines. The ones I have done though are brilliant.
Are you crafty or do you make stuff now, and if so, what do you make?
Since becoming a mum I have rediscovered my love of craft. I now make my daughter dresses/hoodies/tops out of adult clothes I upcycle. I also have a craft night with friends (the night owls) and we have different projects like notebook making and knitting blankets, whilst sipping cups of tea :)
Hot glue gun, needle and thread or hammer and nails?
Needle and thread – although I would love to get into the hammer and nails thing one day. Maybe build a boat. I love boats.
Do you think craft suffers from pre-conceived notions of lace-covered coat hangers and toilet roll covers? If so, any suggestions for how craft can improve its image?
Yes and no. I can see how it would to some people but then there is so much craft around us these days with all the wonderful craft fairs and how-to-books and magazines – it's on the right track :)
What's the best handmade thing you've ever been given?
An incredibly beautiful bed quilt made out of my best friend's fabrics she had collected over the years, along with squares from Kimonos too. Very special. * Also, the same friend made me a box out of an old book cover with little partitions to put special treasures in, the inside was covered in pretty wallpaper and varnished. And it does up with a long ribbon.
Have you ever worn something you've made on stage or in public?
Lately I have been altering a lot of second hand clothes, so yes I suppose I am wearing them a lot, and my snowflake brooches.
Why would you buy something handmade?
Because handmade treats are soooo much better and nicer to look at than mass produced stuff.
What was the last handmade item you bought?
A little red knitted bird for my daughter.
Are crafty girls/boys hot?
Definitely. very. much. so.
Originally from Canterbury, Mea hails from the famous 'Grenell Family' – country legend dad John Grenell, hiphop jazz producer brother Oakley Grenell and multi-instrumentalist Redford Grenell (ex-Shapeshifter drummer). Keep an eye out for her album later this year!