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.


    1. It's amazing how influential Nannans are isn't it? X X X

    2. jan from Chic-ycow designs30 June 2011 at 22:29

      Aww well done Jemma -----you brave girl you


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