Five Minute Interview

Mildred Perry, 75, recently completed a 85x100 centimetre diamond art piece of the Nativity Scene that now hangs on her wall in her home. The 75-year-old Ms Perry has rheumatoid arthritis in her hands, making creating the diamond art a challenge, but she says it helps to distract her from her worries. Melissa Heald photo

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Alberton resident Mildred Perry has developed a passion for diamond art, which is a relatively new craft hobby that’s a mix between Paint By Numbers and Cross Stitch. It involves a person applying thousands of tiny resin ‘diamonds’ to a coded adhesive canvas to create shimmering diamond art. Dealing with a number of health issues, the 75-year-old Ms Perry has rheumatoid arthritis in her hands, making creating the diamond art a challenge, but she says it helps to distract her from her worries. She recently completed a 85x100 centimetre piece of the Naivety Scene that now hangs on her wall in her home.

How did you start doing diamond art?

My sister, she used to live in O’Leary, but has moved to Summerside, she been doing this for years. She said you’re all alone now, my husband passed away, and she said why don’t you get some diamond arts. I said what’s that and she said you seen me making them and why don’t you go get yourself some. So I went and got it and then I couldn’t stop.

Why couldn’t you stop?

When you are sitting here alone like that, doing this, it takes your mind away.

How long have you been making the diamond art?

Oh, it must have been two or three years. When the COVID was on and I couldn’t go out, that’s what I used to do.

What was it like when you first started, particularly with having rheumatoid arthritis?

It’s difficult, but I kept going at it and kept going at it. I made a pile of little ones of them.

How did you come to get this large piece of diamond art?

So, we were in Charlottetown one day, with my daughter Tracy and my son Jamie, and my other daughter Cindy had given me a $50 gift card for Mother’s Day and my son had money that day and he said Mom, why don’t we get a big one, there’s no sense working at them little ones. We were at Price Mart and we are going to get the biggest one that is there. It was a $100 some and it was marked down to $85, Cindy paid $50, and my son paid $20 and I just paid $10.

Where did you make the piece?

I usually make them on a small table (in her living room) and I bought a swing for outside and I took the box off the swing and Jamie said put it on the top of that and you will be able to work on it longer. Only when I got to around the sides and the top and stuff I had to put it on (the kitchen) table. Tracy came over and helped me around the border, I didn’t like those little things around that border. And then Alan my son made me a frame for it.

How long did it take you to complete this piece?

Oh, I’ve been working on it a long while, two or three months. I finished about two weeks ago. Everybody who came to see it said my God, call the Graphic and nobody can do that with hands like you.

How long have you had rheumatoid arthritis?

It started whenever I was in my forties and it kept going.

How does it feel to complete this large piece?

I didn’t think I would ever get it done. I said Tracy, thank God I’m done.

This diamond art is very popular now.

Yeah, everybody is doing it as a past time, but I told my sister you should have never told me about this because I can’t stop now and I’m going to be in debt for buying them. But the kids buy me a lot for Mother’s Day and my birthday.

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