We are Mark and Di Gallant a ordinary couple living ordinary lives with a true love for animals and the countryside.
We have a Siamese Seal Point and a Shar Pei and they're both spoilt rotten but thats what pets are for is it not ?
Mark is from Prince Edward Island Canada and I am a true English country girl from Somerset in the UK and we met in 1998 in Barbados while on holiday.
Mark was a big rig driver based in Ontario transporting goods into the USA.
We spent our early days trucking all over the USA and Canada together.
We returned to Barbados and got married in 2000.
Mark has built numerous houses in years past and has also been a property surveyor, he is very handy on the tools.
We have developed various run down properties in the UK and Canada with Mark doing the majority of the renovations himself he is very talented when it comes to construction.
When I am not working on Sophisticated Scratch I work for NHS South Western Ambulance services as an Emergency Care Assisstant ECA
The idea of Sophisticated Scratch came from myself, I was looking to buy a nice scratch post for our Siamese cat but the same boring designs with the same boring materials kept dominating the market place everywhere I looked.
I thought to myself why are they also ugly and cheap looking when they usually take such a prominent position in the home for all to see, I wanted ours in the lounge.
I did not want the cheap fluffy cardboard structures in our lounge dominating so I started to think about what I could do to avoid the fluffy monstrosities.
After trawling through the internet for hours with no success I had just about given up on the idea and went out for a walk with our dog to get some fresh air.
While walking I literally had a eureka moment when I nearly tripped over a piece of fallen oak.
Intriguingly I took it home started to scrape away at the rotten bits and realised it was solid underneath and I could picture what it would look like all cleaned up with some hard work.
I thought to myself if I cant find a nice scratching tree I will make my own, it would be unique as no one else have it.
I worked on the oak on and off for about about 5 weeks start to finish with many mistakes, blisters and learning the hard way, I asked the hubby to help me when I got stuck or lost hope but I made it and I loved it.
I started getting endless lovely coments on my first ever scratch tree creation and the Scampers the siamese absolutly loves it, people kept saying your so talented and you should start a small business making them, at first I thought people were just being kind and I shrugged it off, but then people started asking me to make them one too.
In 2012 I got diagnosed with ME and Fibromyalgia and in 2017 I really started to notice that certain things I could usally do with ease had become harder for me to do. I work for the the NHS on the ambulances only part time now though as I can not manage the demanding nature of the role like I once could.
With spare time on my hands I thought about what people had said to me previously about making scratch trees for others and in Dec 2017 I launched Sophisticated Scratch with the help of my husband.
So here I am sharing my art with you, I hope you love it as much as I do