Throughout the competition, Stephanie’s love of crafting and creating was tied to her family and her love for doing things for other people.
Falling in love with crafting at a young age, Stephanie told 10 play about learning to sew from her mum, and learning how to use her dad’s tools. Later, when she had kids of her own, she dove headfirst into creating everything for their birthday parties from handmade invitations to their decorated cakes.
“You can’t go wrong with crafting,” Stephanie told 10 play, “it’s very relaxing and gets your mind off other things… it’s very therapeutical.”
After seeing ads for Making It, Stephanie’s family turned to her and urged her to apply. Though nervous at first, walking into the barn and meeting the other Makers, it was almost like she had found her second home.
“How can you not enjoy crafting all day and being around people that do the same thing as you, other people like you, I thought I was just crazy,” she said, laughing.
“We are all so different, from different backgrounds, we’re not the same but what brings us together is we love crafting,” she continued. “We’d just bounce off each other, learn from each other. It didn’t feel like a competition, it felt like a family we made.”
With each brief the show threw at the Makers, Stephanie would draw on her family as inspiration, but on Wednesday when it came to creating her own version of a happy place, Stephanie said she was stumped.
“It was really hard to come up with something! I had never thought about what I like because I’m always doing things for others,” she admitted. “Like, okay, if it’s just for me what do I like to do? Sit down, read a cookbook and have a cup of tea.
“A cup of tea always makes me think about my grandmother and my mum, the strongest women in my life, so that was emotional as well because what I like stems from them,” Stephanie added.
Though the judges celebrated Stephanie’s ability to create spaces just for herself, sadly it was the end to her time in the Making It shed, but what she took from her time in the competition was far more rewarding.
“I didn’t realise how strong I was,” she said. “I’ve got confidence I didn’t realise I had.”
Admitting that she thought she’d arrive at the competition, get too overwhelmed and homesick that she’d have to leave again, Stephanie found her own inner strength and channelled that into her work.
“I grew a lot and grew thinking, you know what, just because I’ve got children doesn’t mean I can’t do things for myself as well. You’re always putting family first but you can balance and have things you like to do as well. Don’t lose yourself, that’s what I learned.
Ironically, while it was a challenge about creating a happy space that saw Stephanie’s time in the competition come to an end, out in the real world she’s made it a point to find that space of her own.
“I’d only craft when I had the time but now I’m like no, my priority is to make and create all the time and enjoy it!
“I never really had a workspace - I had my kitchen bench and dining table and I’d have to clear it off all the time. Now I’ve got two benches in the garage for my crafting, I’ve got extra tools and I’m learning extra things,” she said.
“I want to learn the things I didn’t get to learn and just play, create and enjoy!”
Watch Making It Australia on Wednesday and Thursdays at 7:30pm on 10 and 10 play on demand