It all started when I was a little girl and I used to pester my dad to help me construct the dolls' houses I designed. Then I used to make the dolls, the furniture, the carpets, everything. So when I grew up I decided to train as an architect thinking that this would be a suitable vocation for one with such interests.

I learned to draw neat lines on tracing paper and went on building sites to see fine pen and ink transformed into bricks and mortar. This was all very well but I loathed the paperwork and sadly missed the cutting, sticking, knitting and stitching of my childhood that had led me on this path in the first place.

I went to work in a big London theatre for a while where I wore overalls all day and made scenery and then, on a whim, I decided to go to Italy. Where architects have been known to design plates, typewriters and chairs. Where beautiful things are produced. I worked in Milan for ten years, as a scenic artist, as an architect, as an interior designer; I started working for a magazine founded by an architect who had, coincidentally, also designed plates and chairs. I spent my earnings on Prada shoes and acquired a taste for expensive furniture.

I married a man with a head full of poetry and a house full of things he'd picked up at flea markets, I married him because he made me risotto with quails and said I could do up his house.

Now I have children of my own, two houses to play with in Italy and a studio at the Bluecoat in Liverpool where I concoct all manner of things, from paper dolls to pictures and places for real people.