Tuesday, 18 July 2017

New in the shop

More beautifully made cushions by Tanya Williamson
Four little maids in a row - my latest 'Art' dolls
Paper bags made for the shop from the pages of magazines
Pretty artificial flowers that came in the post for m aking with and selling
Bunches of little flowers for sale at £2.50 each. In a pot made by Niloo

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted. As well as being in the shop I have had a kitchen fitted in the last week. Really pleased with the way it looks so far. I'll show you some pictures soon.

How are you?
Tell me what other blogs you follow or if you have one of your own that I can look at. If you're on Instagram check out my page. I put more photos on Instagram than on this blog...jenny_handmade_happiness

Have a nice week and au revoir!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Just thinking...

I started writing this blog eight and a half years ago and a lot has changed since then. 
At first I was writing about my inspirations, making things and working in a shop I loved while longing for a shop of my own. Now I have that dream shop I used to write about and this blog has become about promoting the shop and the handmade items for sale in that shop.

I have stepped back and it's not about me, it's more about pretty pictures taken inside and outside of the shop. Now this blog gets 10,000 hits a month, which is not that great according to my daughter but seems pretty good to me.

 But the big change recently is that nearly everyone reading this lives in France. Whether they are French nationals or British people living in France I don't know. But in terms of ever visiting the shop I am promoting .. well it's just not working is it?  So we have a mis-match. 

I need to work out how to make more money for the shop in austerity Britain and this blog is just not helping!! 
 I love Instagram ( jenny_handmade_happiness  )  and Pinterest 
( jennystacy17 ) but again they are pretty pictures, nothing to do with selling. 

To bridge the gap between you, dear readers, looking at pictures and some of you buying the things you see, I need to have a means of selling online. I am not clever enough to set up a selling website nor can I pay thousands to someone else to do it for me so I'd be grateful for your ideas and as you don't like the comment thing this is my email address: jennystacy6@gmail.com 

Meanwhile I'll enjoy being in the shop and meeting, and often chatting with the wonderful individuals that buy the cards and gifts they need from Handmade Happiness.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

At the Country Brocante Fair

Three cards by Liz Jones of Sew to be Happy and some pretty fabric.
Gorgeous flower bought from Mercer and Rose
Nice applique work by Hearts and Kisses
Also by Hearts and  Kisses, love the little figures she creates on fabric.

Yesterday late afternoon I hurried to the Country Brocante Fair in Midhurst after work. The first two pictures show things I bought there and the second two pictures show a stall I admired.

Brocante says to me - all things French and there was a lot of old French linen, dyed, embroidered or just sold by the metre or in small pieces. Linen from Provence dyed pink or blue, scraps of old French cottons sold in bundles to be used in patchwork or for making small hearts etc. Lots of pink accessories and off-white chipped painted furniture.

I particularly liked a stall run by two ex-teachers who offer stitching workshops for children and adults called 'Sew to be Happy' based on the idea of mindfulness or craft as therapy.

One of the prettiest stalls was Mercer and Rose with vintage habadashery and Swarovski crystal jewellery. So much to see. I'll definitely try to visit the next show... It's on Saturday August 26th at Wisborough Green in Sussex.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Using strong colour

I love playing with paints and pastels to make pieces for collage
Blue flowers from the garden in a blue vase
Bee Mellor made this interesting brooch

Strong colour can exert a powerful influence over us. Today a customer said she wished she had a shed in the garden filled with things from Handmade Happiness. What a lovely compliment!

I remember how I used to believe that wearing red at a show made me sell more. This really worked but I expect it was more because wearing red made me feel more confident, not because red was a particularly lucky colour.

I once painted my sitting-room sunflower yellow thinking that strong colour would make me feel happy all the time, In fact it quickly irritated me. I admire other people who can live with strong colours in their homes but for me the novelty quickly wears off and I prefer relaxing neutrals on my walls now.

It's fun to experiment with puting lots of colours together and sometimes deliberately puting clashing colours together. But for me, less is definitely more.
Colourful cushions and colourful artwork but for me to be able to relax,the walls have to be pale.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

New in the shop now

Japanese style bags made by Pam Dew against Japanese style  patchwork throw made by Niloo.
New cards made by Kate Box
New knitted bunting made by Kate Box

Two of Handmade Happiness' favourite makers have just brought in new work. 

Pam Dew has been sewing bags using thick linen and fine cottons all in shades of indigo.
Kate Box, who makes popular wrist warmers, knitted throws and neck warmers has introduced some cards and some bunting into her range.

May saw the largest number of visitors to this blog ever. Most readers live in France. Then nearly the same number live in the USA and then come readers from Great Britain. 
As this isn't a selling blog and readers from abroad are unlikely to ever visit Handmade Happiness  the shop, I wonder what people find appealing about it?

 When I started writing this blog 8 years ago nearly all its readers lived in Great Britain but back then I probably knew my readers personally as there were so few of them. Now this is just a small part of the huge cyber world out there that I still don't fully understand.
But if you want to see many more pictures than I put on this blog check out my Instagram posts. If you aren't familiar with Instagram it's a free app on your phone. Find me as jenny_handmade_happiness 

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Bee Mellor's Birds

Three birds made by Bee Mellor to sell in the shop.
Bee Mellor's glorious birds available in the shop from today

Yesterday these colourful, irrestistible birds came to roost in Handmade Happiness. I absolutely love them.

Some of you might remember Bee making some birds as Christmas decorations last year. They sold out very quickly. But there's no reason why these birds shouldn't be enjoyed all the year round.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

My dolls

Doll three by Jenny Stacy. Love the way she blends into my knitting!
Doll two by Jenny Stacy. Like a jester. She's the most colourful
The first doll by Jenny Stacy. She's also pictured below but now she has a new bonnet.

These are the first dolls I've made in quite a while. Earlier examples are pictured in the right hand side bar of this blog. It's given me such satisfaction to make these, mostly while in the shop between customers. They are just the right size to snuggle like a baby in the crook of your arm.

While I was making them I was thinking about my mother and wishing I could give her one. I was also strongly reminded of my mother yesterday when I visited the Balenciaga exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum.

I took loads of photographs but I don't think I can publish them on social media... Anyway there were lots of examples of clothes made in the 50s and 60s similar to designs my mother wore. She was always very clothes conscious and as her mother was a tailoress, she could point out any style she particularly liked in Vogue magazine and my grandmother could make a pattern from the photograph and set to work.

My mother often talked of going to the market in Nottingham to choose material with her mother for the latest fashionable ensemble! What she didn't appreciate quite so much is the fact that my grandmother insisted on also creating her school uniform so she never felt she quite fitted in... I am sure that my grandmother's interpretation of a school uniform was considerably more stylish than the original but, as children, we just want to blend into the crowd where it's safer...  

Thursday, 25 May 2017

New this week

Reversible patchwork throw made by Niloo.
Doll  designed and made by Jenny Stacy lying on hats knitted by Pam Dew
Peonies are in full bloom in my garden right now. Love them.

This week I am enjoying making dolls again.
I have four on the table and the one pictured is the first to be finished.
On Saturday Niloo bought in three new reversible throws she has made. They are all beautiful. The others are pale in colour so more difficult to photograph but I'll try today.