My Story

A Heartfelt Crafter’s Story

The Ticking Heart Profile Photo
Profile Photo, Copyright 2019, The Ticking Heart, All Rights Reserved

Hello and welcome to my website, The Ticking Heart! My name is Charlene and I’m a writer and crafter. Being creative in some way, shape or form is an essential part of my daily life that sustains me and makes me thrive.

I grew up in and around a small farming town in southern Manitoba, Canada, where there was very little “to do” for recreation outside of school hours besides church and sports and yet my siblings and I were always busy. Life residing on an acreage miles from the nearest town required a lot of creative imagination to keep us entertained, especially during the long summer months. We spent a lot of time outdoors—playing soccer or baseball in our yard, riding our bikes on the gravel road, exploring the canal a mile and a half from our home, roasting hotdogs and marshmallows around a bonfire, lying on the grass under the stars, or playing hide and seek after dark.

During this time of my life, I learned the joys of gardening courtesy of my mother who had an acre-sized garden filled with fruits and vegetables of all kinds—strawberries, raspberries, pumpkins, corn, green and yellow beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, carrots, various herbs, and so much more! Okay, truthfully, I hated gardening as a teenager because it required long hours squatting in the hot soil and swatting mosquitoes as I pulled weeds or picked beans or cucumbers, but I certainly loved to eat the fruits of my labour. Now, as an adult, I can’t wait to have my own acre-sized garden and follow in my mother’s gardening boots.

The Ticking Heart Playing Outside
Playing Outside, Copyright 2007, The Ticking Heart, All Rights Reserved

It was also during this time of my life that my mother fueled the creative spirit in me and taught me how to craft. She kept a craft “tower” in her sewing room, which was a tall eight-drawer cabinet filled with all kinds of goodies—acrylic paints, Mod Podge, embroidery thread, ribbon, yarn, cross stitch canvas, pipe cleaners, magnets, popsicle sticks, beads, ceramic Christmas ornaments, miniature houses, etc. It was a tickle trunk for crafters! Each Christmas season, my mom would pull out supplies from her craft tower and set us to work making Christmas ornaments for our tree or to give away as gifts.

Then one day, I grew up, went out into the world on my own, and forgot about my love for crafting as I attempted to pave my way in a career in the financial industry in hopes of finding fulfillment and making a respectable living. After working twelve years in this grueling industry barely making ends meet and enduring extreme stress, I collapsed from exhaustion and lost the battle with the anxiety and depression that I had been suppressing since my teenage years.

During this bleak time in my life, I started paper crafting and found joy in making birthday cards for family and friends. Soon, I branched out into making beautiful pieces of jewellery for the special women in my life, and then discovered the joy of making beautiful pieces of home décor, including wall clocks, tabletop decorations, and Christmas ornaments.

The Ticking Heart Early Handmade Cards
Early Handmade Cards, Copyright 2007, The Ticking Heart, All Rights Reserved
The Ticking Heart Early Handmade Jewellery
Early Handmade Jewellery, Copyright 2007, The Ticking Heart, All Rights Reserved

As I rediscovered my “first love” of crafting, I began researching ways to make something “new” out of something old and came across the “upcycle” movement. This is a movement that commits to diverting waste from landfills and our oceans by recreating “junk” into something new, useful, and beautiful! I fell in love with this movement because my love for nature is as much a part of who I am today as it was during my childhood upbringing. It saddens me to see the negative impact consumer culture has had on the environment we live in and I intend to do something about it.

Each piece of jewellery and home décor I make and showcase on this website has been handcrafted from “upcycled” materials as my way to give back to the Earth by diverting the production of new items and reducing waste sent to the landfill and oceans. A part of my upcycling journey has also inspired me to collect and repair, if needed, vintage items for resale. In addition, I started this website to bring awareness to the urgent global crisis on our hands and to provide education on how to live an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

The Ticking Heart Early Handmade Crafts
Early Handmade Crafts, Copyright 2007, The Ticking Heart, All Rights Reserved

I believe art shapes and influences our everyday life and inspires humankind to make our world a better place. Not only do I want to share the joy and love of creating with others like myself, but I want to spread joy and beauty to everyone everywhere! You don’t have to be a crafter to read my blog—all you need is an appreciation for art and beauty and a desire to stand in the fight to making a sustainable future a reality.

I hope that you will find peace and inspiration through my blog and handmade creations!

The Ticking Heart Loving Nature
Loving Nature, Copyright 2007, The Ticking Heart, All Rights Reserved


To learn more about me, my passions and creative endeavors, connect with me on social media:





Don’t forget to checkout my handmade and vintage collectibles shops here:




If you’re interested in learning about me as a writer and inspirational blogger, check out my other creative passion, Small-Town Girl at Heart, here: