Published in Issue 20, December 2012
When did you first begin creating your designs and why?
For a few years now I have been making unique miniature rocking horses for dolls' houses mainly for friends and family and I have sold a few on E-bay and Etsy. Originally I was decorating my own doll's house and was disappointed with the choice of rocking horses available, so started to experiment with my own designs. Eventually after ending up with a rocking horse in every doll's house room, including the bathroom, I realised how much I enjoyed creating miniature nursery items and decided to expand.
Since November 2011, I have taken things a step further and started JJ Creations. After twenty years as head nurse in a busy veterinary practice, I decided to take the plunge, become self employed and become active in something I had spent my whole life wanting to do... create!
I specialise in an exclusive range of jewellery, mohair bags, miniature rocking horses, hand sewn collectors bears and other nursery miniatures. Every gift is a unique one of a kind item, lovingly handmade by myself.
My true passion is with dolls houses, horses and making things, so the creation of miniature rocking horses is the perfect way to combine all my hobbies! As an added bonus I can now work around school hours and help my husband run his flooring company.
What is your biggest crafting achievement, and why?
I was incredibly honoured to have the popular magazine Dolls House World feature my miniature rocking horses in August 2012. Thinking I was going to get maybe half a page of coverage, I was over the moon when they published a four page, full length feature about JJ Creations! I do admit to going into my local WH Smith and pre ordering three copies, just to make sure I didn't miss out!
If you had to choose your favourite from your creations which one would it be?
Without a doubt I would have to choose one of my miniature rocking horse unicorns. I love mystical, magical romanticism, so anything that is also horsey, is a real love of mine! I have made a pegasus rocking horse too, but I am not yet happy with the stability of the wings, so this need some further investigation!
I think in an ideal world I would like my mind to stop working on ten different projects at the same time, and just concentrate on one!! But that is never going to happen! So realistically I'd have to settle for wishing I had more space to enable me to work on those ten projects simultaneously!
I love to bake! Cakes, biscuits, savouries, anything... I just love to cook!
This hobby I try to fulfil by helping a friend in her successful bakery when I get the chance!
I have a strong passion for animals and love to spend time walking my dogs with my young son, and taking photographs of the beautiful surroundings and wildlife. All things that so often get taken for granted.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Being a horse lover I have many photographic books that I indulge in browsing through. Quite often when I start to create a miniature rocking horse I don't set out for it to be a certain breed, shape or colour but just go with whatever feels right when I mix the paints, airbrush the many base coats, add the shading and then hand paint the finer detail.
I am also very inspired by The Waterbug Story. Having lost good friends and family over the years, it is an emotional piece of writing that is very close to my heart. Therefore I find Dragonflies are a huge inspiration in my jewellery making.
Do you have a favourite website?
I love handmade shopping websites! My favourite would have to be http://www.handmadeshopping.co.uk
The raw talent and immense effort that goes into making these gorgeous individual items never fails to humble me and makes me proud to call the crafters my friends and colleagues - not to mention the huge support that radiates from such a lovely group of people.
Has any person helped or supported you more than any other?
I have to say my husband [not just because it makes me look good! ]
He stood by my decision to give up my full time job, take a risk and become self employed doing something I have always wanted to do. He has had complete faith in me and my creativity.
Tell us a random fact about yourself!
I am a qualified scuba diver!
My husband and I once had a deal, many years ago, that if he learnt to ride a horse, I would learn to scuba dive!