Hello there, who be the face behind The Custards?
I am a nurse and teacher - I used to be an intensive care sister and then went on to be a transplant coordinator for the south east of England. I now teach student nurses and health and social care (very different to making things!). I have two girls who also both like making things and we live by the seaside.
What's your design space/studio/work area like?
It is a small room - my daughter's old bedroom when she was a baby - but every corner is used with shelving that we bought from Ikea. Lots and lots of vintage fabrics and embroideries and also just things that I like to look at!
If you had to take only one of your crafts to a desert island, what would it be and why?
It would be making cathedral window patchwork - easily transportable and can all be done by hand.
How do you work and get inspired?
I tend to work quite late at night - often when everyone else has gone to bed - alternatively very early in the morning. This means I can make things but it doesn't interfere (too much) with work and other things that need to be done!
What top tips would you give to any novice bloggers and/or those thinking of selling their designs?
Though I have had a blog for a few years I only used to post a message once every few months - it wasn't until early this year that I started posting more regularly. I have posted my photographs on Flickr for several years but have now closed that and will post more on my blog. Through Flickr I was asked to submit an entry for the Wayne Hemingway Vintage at Southbank - 'Britain loves vintage' - competition. I was runner up and photographs of things in our house were shown on all the plasma screens on the Southbank Centre. That is when I realised that I was not alone in liking old stuff and that my photos were quite nice. I have sold some of the things that I make through ebay for years - though I have always been very shy about that on my blog and on Flickr. What I have learnt is that you never know who is out there and that ebay is a way of 'testing' the market and find out if anyone will like your things. It was a chance purchase by someone on ebay that I was given the order by Cath Kidston - one of their vintage buyers buys things off ebay and asked if I would make more things for them. Over the years I have had many shops ask me to make things for them and also one off orders for weddings, restaurants etc. The main reason why I have not taken it further is that I have a 'proper' job but the opportunities are there.
Is there a story behind the name 'The Custards'?
For years we have gone camping and one year we were in Dorset and went past a little road that was called 'The Custards' - I said that if I ever had a shop I would call it 'The Custards' - my blog is the next best thing.
If you could be given an award for your designs by any person/fictional character (dead or alive), who would it be?
I love the designs of Mary White and am lucky enough to have some of her original fabrics.
And finally...book & tea or music & wine?
Tea - I drink vast quantities of tea - it is part of my DNA.
Ha ha, I think tea's part of my DNA too! Thank you so much for stopping by Jenny. It's been an absolute pleasure getting an insight into your creative, vintage world and WOW, an order by Cath Kidston! That's impressive stuff! Keep up the good work Jenny and happy blogging!
I hope you all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. Stay tuned for November's diamond! ;-)
All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of The Custards. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.