WEDNESDAY WOMAN: Craft keeps Stella sharp
STELLA POLLARD is a crafty woman. She oozes creativity whether making beautiful craft items for her home or clients, or decorating her St Stephen’s Hill, Black Rock home with Christmas lights.
The 83-year-old has been beautifying her home with seasonal lights every year from 1987 when she first moved in.
As she can no longer climb a ladder, her son puts up the display under her direction.
“I like craft and that is where it stems from,” she said. “I make crafts for all over the house from beaded frames, throw cushion, stuffed animals and vases.”
To improve her craft skills, Pollard attended classes at the Eden Lodge Community Centre through a programme organised by the National Assistance Board years ago, and has followed up with other courses.
She makes all of her clothes and home furnishings, including cushion covers, curtains, and chair backs.
The mother of three boys said she started to hone her skills when she made smocking or craft items to sell to supplement her income as a shop assistant.
ACTIVE: At 83, Stella Pollard still makes most of her home furnishings and decor items.
She made paper flowers and everyone wanted a bunch of flowers or rag mats. These she did at night.
Pollard still likes to make them but she no longer gets as many orders as before.
“The demand was fairly good at one time but not now. Everybody can buy the things they want from the stores or have someone else make them, so you do not get that turnover like before,” she said.
Pollard said she has saved a lot of money by being able to make items for herself. For example, rather than having to buy panel curtains, she buys the material and makes her curtains exactly as she wants them.
She used to make her bed sheets when the fabric was cheap, but it no longer makes financial sense to do so anymore, she said, though she insisted that her sheets would be nicer than anything you would see in a store.
She still uses the sewing machine, as it keeps her active. It is a skill she recommends to people as they get older.
It can also come in handy when economic times get tough, and one she would advocate for young people as well.
Pollard is battling a bad knee and pain in her back that have forced her to give up line dancing. But she said she will continue to make her craft items, if only to decorate her modest home to bring delight to others who can appreciate them.
She may be slowing down physically but her imagination is still sharp.