Thursday, 30 June 2011

'Meet The Maker' #3 - A Crafty Conversation with...

...Jemma from Nanny May! 


Always a trusty cup of tea, two sweeteners, and a good old custard cream to get the ball rolling, now doesn't everybody feel much more comfortable? Good, let's crack on!
(Though I shan't deny I'm supping a mojito right now hehe)

edit - we must confess that Jemma answered these questions at 11 o'clock at night and she doesn't usually drink mojito's at 11 o'clock in the morning!


If you've ever read a Yorkshire Made blog post you'll know we like cake, lots. And in fact a craft/selling event rule has transpired that of all the stallholders, some you know, some you don't, at least one of those will be selling something delicious, it's a no brainer really... and makes an already great day incredible! (Of course I'm saying this after whipping a creme brulee from the grill half cooked because it looked too darn delicious to wait that extra 4 minutes!)


My name is Jemma, from a lovely leafy green part of Sheffield, and I am the face (and sore hands) behind Nanny May... I make 100% handmade textile jewellery, accessories and homewares in reclaimed and contemporary fabrics. My favourite thing to make is padded flowers, they're just so cute... and bouncy!


From the small town of Elsecar in Barnsley, I've found myself in Sheffield after years of dotting around different places. It's home to the best tea ever, and quite frankly, who would turn down one of those. Though I have been known to allow my tastebuds stray and have the occasional cream and jam scone... Devon? Cornwall? I'll let that debate continue without me!

I made lots as a little girl, having a Nan who would rather set her own house on fire rather than pass up a chance to show me the ins and outs of handmade crafts... a favourite of mine was a peg doll, where I vaguely remember a woollen pom pom making an appearance (don't ask me how/where), though my most useful was a huge lump of stone from a school trip with a duck I'd painted on it then varnished, it still helpfully props doors open at my mom's house, so I guess it was ok?


Just finished making a flower chain necklace. I like it a lot, mainly because after strapping my fingers up with plasters to stop the flower making/thread yanking/pain continuum (and it makes me look a little bit like old school Michael Jackson), I've made a successful necklace with a fraction of the usual discomfort... and it also looks pretty cute too, all pinks, and blues and creams :)


I HAVE to have my super super strong button thread/topstich... to make my flowers needs brute force and the namby pamby 50p thread just doesn't quite hack it...
So that's my number one:
2. Fluff- as well as keeping my back warm when carrying it in my rucksack on the journey home, it makes the puffs and flowers possible.
3. Sewing machine- obvious but definitely an essential.
4. Ribbon- could never get my head around the fiddlyness of metal clasps!
5. Proper dressmaking scissors- I spent at least a year using regular poundland ones before one day cracking and getting a pair, the difference is beyond words when it comes to cutting fabrics out.


A rather painful topic, dear to my heart, this one. I recently attacked my 13 year old JVC boomblaster with a set of screw drivers, trying to fix a problem that was never there. Subsequently, it is now broken beyond repair. After years of it being my faithful, cooking, cleaning, drinking and making buddy, it's done for.

Back in the glory days when I wasn't resorting to the tinny wails of my laptop's speakers, I'd crack a bit of Gomez on if it was going to be an 8hr making sesh, weird Japanese pop for chilled out stuff like felt ball making... right through to hard acid trance house type stuff (I'm rubbish with genres) for when I really had to get a wriggle on and make like crazy!


A lot of fluff and strong thread... Closely followed by plenty of fabrics in every colour. It's surprising that I'm short of the stuff, but someone says they want something making in a mauve fabric, and what are the chances I don't have it! Patterns and tartans, aye- (gratefully supplied by second hand shops, kind donations and outfits from my own wardrobe which have been laughed out of public display), the rest always gets the better of me. And we all know that going 'shopping' for one particular making item turns into a military style pursuit of all things pretty and not necessarily essential... of COURSE I need that fifteenth sewing machine!


For blogs it has to be the Etsy one

On my to-do blog reading list- Frooly... they had a cracking one about how to make a DIY lightbox recently, which I still need to sit and have a play with.

And now for the quick fire round!

Umm...I'm ashamed I'm not a regular buyer of craft magazines, usually just the handmade craft books I can get from Waterstones on my monthly book-buying binge!


    Selling online and at fairs

    And finally...


    Other than the products you make currently, if you were to dabble in a completely different disclipline or handmade craft/art, what would you choose to have a go at?

    I'm online on both Folksy and Etsy and my own website, though I'll admit that there's not a huge amount of stuff in the shops as I've been doing a lot of events recently and the turnaround time between finishing making a product and potentially selling it is so minimal that getting them online first is something I'm not so great at... website's due to get a huge overhaul in the coming months, so keep an eye out. I more often post pics of new stock on Facebook, and I'll occasionally 'tweet'.

    So, here's the links:-

    I also do quite a few selling events, which is my favourite way of interacting with people, so to see where I'm going to be, pop along to the Facebook page which is where most of my event details are posted.

    Thursday, 23 June 2011

    'Meet The Maker' #2 - A Crafty Conversation with...


    ...Sally from Our Little Craft Company

    No, don't worry you're not seeing double after having one too many G&T's with 'Our Lisa' -  today we are talking to her sister and partner in Our Little Craft Company 'Our Sally'.... so Sally it's over to you!


    Large Vodka Tonic please or a chilled glass of Champagne or Sauvignon Blanc - oh go on then - all three please!


    I won't lie...butterfly buns with butter cream are one of my favourite weaknesses


    Sally Kay Kelly from Conisbrough and I help my sister run Our Little Craft Company. I work full time as a secretary in a residential school for children with severely challenging behaviours and most of my spare time is spent sewing and appliquéing (is that a word?)and getting ready for showing at craft fairs at the weekends.

    Our Sally (left) with Our Lisa (right)


    Definitely! I was born in my nanan & grandad's front room on Gardens Lane, Conisbrough, South Yorkshire.

    My nanan taught me to knit when I was little but I didn't keep any of the 20 inch long "scarves" that I made; mainly because they varied vastly in width from about 3 inches to 8 inches depending on how many stitches I dropped and regained by accident. When my daughters were little I loved knitting cardigans and outfits for them - the more complicated the pattern the better to keep my attention from drifting. I couldn't knit for grown ups though as I lost interest before I finished.


    I have been using up scraps of material to make little brooches to decorate our Ibiza Bags, which are really cute and I do like them. I have also just cut out some mini yorkshire shopper bags for kiddies out of some curtain material we have had for a long while which we just knew would come in for something one you do. I will be sewing these up tonight and I'm hoping I will like these too.


    Needle Threader - couldn't be without it for some of the small needles I use for hand sewing.
    Little dinky scissors - will not use my teeth under any circumstances to break thread.
    Gutterman's Thread Colour 829 - which is a cream/neutral colour that can be used universally.
    Lots of buttons - how does anyone live without "lots of buttons"!
    Jute String - I just love it! I use it for the letter ladders, for heart scenties, for tying up parcels and fastening our goodies to the craft stall so that we show them off to their best advantage`


    Oh god - I'm useless with music - I'd probably know both of them if you sang them to me but I never recognise a title! I like to think I can boogie with best of them so I shall pick "Boogie on Up" I tend to listen to Radio 2 and Radio 7 - does that give you an insight into my personality?


    Probably treat myself to an overlocker.


    Walton's Fabrics in Goldthorpe - an Aladdin's cave of fabrics...
    ooohhh I get all goosebumpy thinking of their upstairs. 

    And now for the quick fire round!

    What's your favourite craft magazine?

    No answer was given to this question! I wonder whether Sally was being enigmatic, or just couldn't decide...!

    What online craft site do you prefer?


    What is your favourite part of the designing/making/selling process?

    Making the items

    Despite being a regular visitor to many of the craft fairs Our Little Craft Company attend, Voodoo George hasn't been mentioned by either Our Lisa or Our Sally in either of their interviews....

    What is the hardest part of what you do? 

    The hardest bit of what I do is finding the time!
    However, when I make the letter ladders and the name banners, I spend the longest time laying everything out in every which way before I commit to the pattern and then I almost hold my breath in case it all goes catastrophically wrong.
    When it all comes together it is like MAGIC!

    And finally...

    This is really boring but I wondered how Crafters had found out about 
    Public Liability Insurance because when we started looking for this kind of insurance cover we were quoted some outrageous prices.

    On Facebook - Our Little Craft Company
    On twitter - @oursallykay & @ourlisa

    Thursday, 16 June 2011

    'Meet The Maker' - A Crafty Conversation with...

     ...Lisa from Our Little Craft Company!


    Now I do like a proper coffee from a proper coffee shop....but if the suns past the yard arm then I'll have a large g & t please!


    Yes please, but home-made, can't stand shop spewed Kipling crap stuff, I am a cake snob of the highest order.


    Hi my name is Lisa, I'm from Conisbrough and I do sewing, wltm man or lady or even ladyman to buy all my stuff, for fun, friendship and sales beyond my wildest dreams!


    Yes, from good Yorkshire stock! I'm Trip Jacksons daughter and that's about as Yorkshire as you get!

    That's really hard, I've always made stuff, I remember making teleport bracelets from plastic bottles which looked just like the Blakes Seven ones. They were ace and I wish I'd kept one but we played with them to death.


    The last thing I made was one of our Beach Bum bags, in black denim and a mustard yellow William Morris type print and yes it was one of those that I'd have been more than happy to keep if it hadn't sold on its first outing! A sort of Woohoo/boohoo! moment.
    (I have a lot of those)


    Coffee, iplayer, Janet (my trusty sewing machine), good scissors & a cheerful disposition!
    Everything goes wrong twice if you're grumpy.


    This is boring I know, but I tend to listen to radio plays and comedy shows on iplayer rather than music all the time. So if the afternoon play is "get on down" I'm that and if The Mighty Boosh is "Boogie on up" then I am that. Although the song I can't get out of my head at the moment is "Telephone Man" by Meri Wilson, it's so saucy I love it!


    Don't tease, unless you're actually going to give me the cash then I think that making me ponder its use is torturous, to both me and Keith at Waltons of Goldthorpe and the boys of Barkers at Doncaster market who would probably get about half each! I'm a cloth hussy I've got men all over South Yorkshire tempting me with there fabric wares as it is, with £250 I'd be putty in their hands....are you trying to ruin me??


    Too hard, I can't think of one, I could probably do a top 50 of textiley ones alone!
    But Sugar Alchemy make an absolute to die for cheesecake!

    Mollie Makes of course, can't believe its not an option..tut tut!

    Coming up with the original ideas, Shopping for supplies, Making the items, 
    Selling online and at fairs, Networking or Other:
    All of the above, I love it all I tell ya!

      And finally...


      What's the worst bit of what you do?
      on facebook
      on twitter as @Ourlisa
      & I also do the odd blog for Yorkshire Made don't ya know!

      'Our Lisa and Our Sally'... we will be featuring an interview with Sally next week!

      Saturday, 4 June 2011

      Introducing... The Printmakers

      Little Miss Quarter
      I'm not sure if you have noticed, but all of us Yorkshire Made lasses (as well as a lot of the people we know) are fabric freaks. We just can't help it - we are totally turned on by textiles! Whether it be fashion, accessories or homewares we just can't get enough of cloth!

      Unfortunately this can sometimes mean we forget to include all of the other fabulous makers out there who work in other mediums - the potters, the silversmiths, the glassworkers, the woodturners... the list of crafts and the people who work in them is almost endless!

      So today we start the first in a series of blog posts that will attempt to address the balance. Today I would like to introduce 'The Printmakers'