Friday, December 17, 2010

Member Interview


My name is Glenda Garbutt and I am currently living in Toronto, ON. I am 47 years old and have been knitting for 30 years. I grew up all over southern Ontario so home for me is where my loved ones are. I had been taught to knit when I was a small child, but I found the activity so frustraing that I threw down my needles and did not pick them up again until I was 18 years old. Determined not to be defeated by this tricky foe I taught myself again with the help of a book and once I conquered it I realized it had conquered me. Now I am hooked (or should that be needled)!

The name of my shop is Wintergarden. Well I started designing flowers using wool in Canada (where many folks around the world imagine there is snow all year round) so the name seemed like a good fit. This venture is not my full-time job. I am a full-time mentor for young business professionals. For years my friends had been suggesting that I sell my creations, but I was afraid to try something entrepreneurial. In January 2008 I got all fired up to face this fear and give this a shot. How can I mentor if I am not willing to choose a little risk now and then? That was my state of mind. With some fun ideas for designs and a strong desire to develop my skills, I kicked my passion into overdrive and started to create.

Husband Anthony Modeling the
Coulour Me Happy Cowl

Knitting can be a big investment of time so I decided to try knitting accessories and jewelry. I had never knitted flowers before so I just picked up some needles and started experimenting. I am a librarian (among other things) so I was determined not to copy the designs of others. I get ideas for flowers and designs from the colour of yarn, nature, friends, antiques, travel and now customers. Often when I am looking at yarn, it reminds me of a loved one or favourite place or happy memory. I hope it's possible to capture and share a little of the joy and love I have experienced in my life through the work I create.

I learned about Etsy Project Embrace from Ginny Huber. I found the group and wanted to promote their efforts in treasuries and she asked me why not join the group. So I did! Thanks Ginny! Is there any family that has not been touched by cancer? It's a great cause with great members who inspire me to be a better person.

My favourite creation is the teal rose which is featured in my avatar. This is one of the first pieces I made and I loved it so much that I could not bear to part with it. If the beauty of flowers could be captured by freezing I imagine that they would look like this rose.

My favourite possession is a paperback copy of Thomas Hardy's The Woodlanders which was the first gift my husband ever gave to me. I am still in love with him after 18 years. I am a very blessed woman.

My husband and I are avid Asian art and antique collectors. I love Tibetan paintings, Japanese ceramics and furniture, Mughal miniatures, Victorian jewelry and British painter, J.W. Waterhouse. My husband and I met while working in Japan where we had the opportunity to travel extensively through out Asia. This experience transformed my life and gave me the chance to visit places I had only ever dreamed of. We began a modest collection of wood statues, ceramics and antique furniture. The idea of owning something that has been loved my many people is fascinating to me. If only these pieces could talk imagine the people they have known and the events they have lived through. Antiques and art can really open up your heart and mind to the glory of handmade (not to mention the joys of recycling and reusing).

In 10 years time I hope to be healthy and productive. I hope to continue mentoring people (as this activity has had a very important positive influence in my life) and I hope to get the chance to work in libraries again. Every day that I wake up is a miracle and I hope I have many more in the future to develop my passion for handmade. I also hope to get the opportunity to meet more artisans. The kindness of people on Etsy has become a constant source of inspiration for me. Thank you for the opportunity to share a little about myself!

Thank you so much Glenda!!


  1. Thank you for such a wonderful interview! Of course, Glenda, I have long admired your work! Beautiful!

  2. Glenda, I too am an admirer of your work! How lovely to get this fascinating peek into your world!!! Thank you for sharing with all of us!

    And thank you Erica, for another stunning interview! xoxo

  3. Wonderful interview Glenda! It's great to get to know more about our team mates. What terrific life experiences you have had and sharing them with others through mentoring must be a huge blessing.
    Love your shop...and the photo of your DH modeling his cowl!

    Thank you too Erica-Great job!!


  4. Wonderful interview, Glenda!! It's always so nice to get to know our TEAMEPEers a little better... Love your work!

  5. oh YAY!! It's Glenda! So glad to see you interviewed here!! A delight to see more of your work, of you and of Anthony and to hear about your life and some of the things you care about.Wonderful job, MazzyErica!

  6. Hi Glenda! I love your knitting!! And that happy cowl is so wonderful! Thanks for sharing your story with us--it's so good to get to know you a little better! And thanks Erica for another wonderful interview! xo Cait

  7. Thanks for sharing, and so nice to meet you.

  8. Thanks Erica for allowing me to share a little about myself! I am so honoured to be a part of this team and to be featured on the blog.

    Wishing you all peace, joy and lots & lots of love for the new year and beyond!
    Glenda : D

  9. I am so envious of people who can knit...I've tried so many time and have never been successful..hugs to you!