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Mom Story: Jess Quinn

Monday, 19 September 2011 by Irene Hoofs

JQ1

Hi, I am Jess Quinn mum to three children (12, 10, 7) two cats, three guinea pigs and a dog. I work as a freelance model maker for animation companies and whilst this is exciting work it is not very reliable so I have spent the last year also working on setting up my own business, selling my textile art dolls, brooches and illustrations. At the moment I sell here and try to keep my blog up to date on new projects and shop listings. In the last couple of years the children and I have moved several times and as I adjust to the new challenges of single parenthood I have also had to reassess my experience of home.

What kind of house do you live in?

Our new home is a modern open plan space, very different to the Georgian architecture I am used to. The large space can sometimes become very noisy but it is great for family life. 

I grew up in one house, home was a reassuring constant and this is what I had wanted for my children. But I have found after each move that I can very quickly make anywhere home. By displaying my vintage china the children's framed drawings and my textile work we are immediately home, even when we have had to work around rented furniture I have a collection of crocheted blankets (thrifted over the years) and my own cushions. A lovely piece of Mexican oilcloth can transform a so so kitchen table and ensure that any amount of crafty activities are safely cleaned away. I have a vintage bureau/ dresser bought on ebay that works brilliantly as a home work station when I can't be in the studio, as long as I don't spread out too much it can be closed up quickly with no hint of the chaos contained within!

JQ2

What's it like to raise a child in your town?

We have great local shops, a huge selection of independent businesses, cafes and a growing number of lovely vintage clothes and book stores. Our area is inner city but very creative, there is always new street art to be discovered. The children and I enjoy visiting Bristol docks for museums, galleries and boat rides or jumping on the train to Bath for a day out. London is very close and when I'm feeling brave I'll take the kids to some of the museums, I can sometimes feel like a sheep dog navigating the city with three children!

JQ3

Do you cook together with your children? 

The girls and I love baking when time allows and my mum and I have been encouraging my 12 year old Tom to cook one day a week, this experiment is still a work in progress!! I grew up baking cookies, cakes and pies with my American mum so we have generations of baking in our blood.

JQ4

Do you keep your children’s play areas very separate or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?

I am making and creating all the time and the children work around me, sometimes we have organised projects but mostly they develop their own ideas and I help out with the practicalities.

JQ5

What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?

There have been no holidays this year but my parents garden is a little oasis of green calm in the city where we enjoy great family get together's. I can not begin to express how important family and friends are to me, I could not have achieved what I have without their support. I have an amazing group of friends that evolved from a sewing and knitting group one morning a week after school drop off, they are all wonderful creative women who have inspired and encouraged me enormously over the past two years.

JQ6

Who do you consider is a good example for your children?

This has been a tough couple of years but I hope to show the children by example that you can remain positive most of the time and with hard work and commitment it is possible to grow your life even when it throws unexpected challenges at you.

JQ7

What a truly inspiring story Jess, thank you so much for sharing!

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