Saturday, 18 August 2018

Art scarves in the shop by Gemma Bedford





These large, soft scarves show paintings by local artist Gemma Bedford. Gemma came into the shop yesterday and immediately the first scarf shown above sold to a customer. www.gemmabedfordart.com

I think these scarves make great presents.


Thursday, 16 August 2018

Making

I made a dozen of these colourful tree decorations
Found - one of my old painted badges. I used to make these for Country Living shows
Justine Jenner's gorgeous pots - the Handmade Happiness shop has the best craftspeoples' work
My family went to Whipsnade Zoo on Sunday and saw this beautiful bear!

This week I realised how very special the Handmade Happiness shop is. The handmade items are the very best you will see anywhere in the country. I am proud to work in this shop and I hope it can survive the chilly wind that is blowing through retail shops at the moment. 

In order to promote the shop to people that might not otherwise know about it I've agreed to do two craft fairs in October. One is Blackmoor, a nearby apple farm which has an annual village day. I used to do this fair pre-shop and this year I'll hand out lots of shop business cards but will only actually sell things made by me. The other is a local charity event. 

On Sunday my family all met up at Whipsnade Zoo and had a wonderful time watching tigers and giraffes and bears. The most magical of times was in the Butterfly house when the butterflies chose to fly onto little grandaughters' hands and stay there!

Saturday, 11 August 2018

In the zero plastic shop today

Carol Smith has made a round cushion like her Picasso-esque purses.
Bird mugs and jugs by Kate Hackett  have just flown in
Pretty babies knitwear knitted by Jenny Drant and Patricia

People I meet are really concerned about plastic. They want to change their life-style so they don't have to buy any more plastic. Yet in the supermarket everything is still packaged in non-recyclable plastic. It seems impossible to avoid. And now we are all aware of how it drifts on our oceans, clogs up our waterways and piles up on our beaches or pavements making beautiful nature ugly.  

This week I heard of one woman who is doing something about it. She has started a business  called Keep Old Containers. She re-fills peoples' empty plastic bottles with  shampoo, moisturiser,washing up liquid etc and a re-fill is cheaper than buying another plastic bottle from the supermarket. She's based in Surrey and has regular pop-up shops promoting the zero waste lifestyle.
@keepoldcontainers on Instagram.

This year the shop has become a zero plastic zone. I miss bubble wrap especially for wrapping mugs, bowls and jugs but I'm using thick paper kindly given to me and customers seem to be happy about it. And I've always made my own bags and carrier bags from magazines that again people are thoughtful enough to give to me rather than put into the recycling bin...

I'd like to offer a good alternative to plastic toys. If anyone can suggest a wooden toy maker it would be lovely to stock good wood toys, especially in the run up to Christmas...

Meanwhile I'm pleased to say the shop has had lots of re-stocks this week. Potters Justine Jenner, Kate Hackett and Samantha Robertson have all re-stocked their displays and Carol Smith has brought in more of her quirky purses and a cushion in the same style. She is going to make more cushions and larger, make up bags.  Carol also added more of her popular monoprint trees cards.

I've been making more tree decorations and boxes and I plan to make needlefelted bags in the same colourful style as the tree decorations. 
By the way, if you want to see more pictures like the ones above why not follow me on Instagram. Check out @jenny_handmade_happiness



Thursday, 9 August 2018

Samantha Robertson’s work

Mugs, bowls and coasters all made by Samantha Robertson
Samantha Robertson's work pictured in Handmade Happiness
Samantha Robertson's latest planters are selling particularly well


Yesterday Samantha Robertson of sjrceramics.co.uk re-stocked her shop display. Samantha teaches pottery and her work is distinctively individual with a blue and green theme.

All the potters that supply the shop throw their own pots and then fire and decorate them. All the handmade items in Handmade Happiness are designed and made from scratch by the talented makers who sell there. That is what makes the shop so special.

I'll post again tomorrow as I have lots to share with you at the moment! Enjoy your day.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Closed Today Saturday.




Exceptionally, I have to close the shop today to help family. So sorry for any inconvenience. The picture shows carrier bags I just made out of wallpaper samples. 

Monday, 30 July 2018

New in the shop

Carol Smith's Picasso-esque purses. Love these!
Neil Pafford's lathe-turned wood bowls
Teaching children to grow vegetables at the Physic Garden

I was very pleased to welcome these purses made by Carol Smith at the shop on Saturday. Carol is an multi-talented artist who draws monoprint cards for the shop and makes brooches and zipped bags using applique and machine embroidery. Famed for her middle-aged fairy brooches for Christmas and you may remember the large bottomed lady struggling to do up her bra which the shop has sold as a picture and a brooch.

These zip up, lined purses pictured above are on sale for £18.50 each.

I also like these rustic wood bowls, turned by Neil Pafford. Neil saw a man operating a primitive self-built lathe at Singleton Open Air Museum and once home, built his own version on which he made these bowls. There are five of them in the shop. Four at £15 and the biggest, which could be used for salad, at £20.

I don't usually publicise events which are nothing to do with the shop but the woman running Grow Your Own workshops for children in the summer holidays seems so nice I have a feeling children will really enjoy them. Wouldn't it be blissful if your children or grandchildren got so fired up at the thought of growing vegetables for the family that they took over part of the garden to do so! 
I remember when I was 10 and away at boarding school being given a small patch of garden and planting potatoes there. I was so proud when the potatoes I'd grown were served to the school for supper one night...

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Textile Christmas Decorations

Ideas for tree decorations made by Jenny Stacy
Another angle on those Christmas decoration ideas by Jenny Stacy

So on the hottest day of the year I made Christmas decorations in the shop.
I had a vague picture in my mind of a beaded textile decoration sprouting ribbons and possibly beads as well.

 These decorations are slightly different from one another and I now know where I'm going with this and what repeat decorations will basically look like.  Once I've made a quantity of these I'll focus on making some garlands and maybe a small version of this shape could be a bead in a necklace as well. 

I am grateful that I have a fan in the shop otherwise it would be very difficult to function. Tomorrow we are promised rain. Fingers crossed it comes and breaks this cycle of heat and humidity.

Advance warning: Family need me on Saturday August 4th. Not this Saturday, the following Saturday. After some thought I've decided the shop will be closed on that day. So on Saturday August 4th don't visit the shop because it will be closed. I'll remind you again nearer that date. 
KEEP COOL! 

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Christmas Inspiration

Felted leaves with Christmas in  mind
Leaves made 3-D like brazil nuts.
Christmas colour? My inspiration this year. Picture found on Google

I hate puting a picture up without a credit but I just want to share my Christmas inspiration with you.

Thinking about the year so far with the total mess up that Brexit appears to be and the general lack of confidence in a brighter future I feel that Christmas should be a colourful, joyful celebration this year. A chance to enjoy being with family and, just for a few days, to not worry about what lies ahead.

I made the leaves in the first picture by deliberately puting together the bright colours of Holi Festival. Then I tried joining some of them together with the idea of a three tier decoration, largest to smallest adorned with beads and ribbons. I haven't added the beads and ribbons yet. I'll try that in the shop this week and show you the results in the next post.

Meanwhile I think I need a powerful fan to provide a cool breeze in the shop as it's getting hotter. 

A childhood memory is of us kids jostling round the tree in the playground where the thermometer hung. If it hit 100 degrees farenheit (37.778 degrees celsius) our parents could come and take us home. I was about 7 and we lived in the Middle East. When it was really hot my mother sat my younger brother and I in a cold bath.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Sweet peas at Handmade Happiness


Sweet peas for sale yesterday outside the shop
I love sweet peas 
This is what the outside of Handmade Happiness looks like. The building is 400 years old!

Yesterday a friend came in carrying a box full of bunches of sweet peas from her daughter's garden. Their scent filled the shop. Sweet peas. along with delphiniums, larkspur and roses are my favourite flowers and it was a total joy to have some to sell. All but two bunches sold out immediately and I was pleased to be able to take the last two bunches home with me (first picture).

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Bits and Pieces

Made lots of carrier bags this week 
The shop is selling Drops Cotton Merino and these handmade velvet buttons
Pretty flowers in a Justine Jenner vase
 
Pictured above: I'm embroidering a t-shirt in quiet moments in the shop. 
Above: Kate Box's gorgeously soft baby blankets for sale in Handmade Happiness.


I made a dozen carrier bags from old Harpers Bazaar magazines this week that a lovely customer gave me. For some reason the more bags I make the more stock I sell. 

For nearly 7 years I've been making all the packaging materials for Handmade Happiness, carriers from the covers of magazines and paper bags from the inside pages. 

This year I've also stopped buying bubble wrap which up until recently I used for pottery sales and to wrap pictures. I don't want to have to buy anything plastic and again a customer has stepped in and is giving me thick packaging paper for wrapping fragile stock.

I enjoyed making the velvet buttons and have a stock of them for colder months. Now I'm embroidering a t-shirt - I want to cover the front with embroidery. I also made a necklace for the dress I wore for the Petersfield awards night on Friday. Handmade Happiness was shortlisted for Best Shop.I had decided in advance that it was unlikely that Handmade Happiness would win and I was right. It didn't win but as they say, it's the taking part that counts!

I am always so proud that the shop has so many talented makers. Kate Box, who lives in Petersfield is one of them. Pictured above - what a wonderful present for a newborn one of these soft baby blankets would be... 

By the way, if you want to see more photographs as soon as I take them, why not follow the shop on Instagram? I try to put up a picture every day. jenny_handmade_happiness

Monday, 9 July 2018

In the shop now

Finger dolls and cashmere bunnies
Tanya Williamson's cushions
Tanya Williamson's textile pictures
An irridescent pigeon feather against the grain of a bowl by Harry Butler

 Justine Jenner has just delivered examples of her latest pottery designs to Handmade Happiness. Justine's experimental work with matt glazes is truly special and her work is colourful and 'of the moment'.

Pictured above are just two of Tanya Williamson's many textile pictures in the shop now. These make ideal little presents.

Some months ago I told you that Handmade Happiness has been shortlisted for Best Shop Award. On Friday night the actual winner will be announced.  I will let you know who wins. But picture me at the awards ceremony with a stiff smile on my face - like a Petersfield version of the Oscars when nominees have to put on a brave face on hearing that someone else has won - and then heartily congratulate them!!! 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Outside in the heat wave

Raspberries discovered under the weeds in the garden
Love the colour of this hollyhock
Pleased to find this in a charity shop this week
Fancy brickwork on some old houses in Petersfield

We're having a heat wave - a friend just got back from Turkey and the temperature was the same! My garden is overgrown - it's too hot to tackle it...

On my day off I walked round Midhurst and if I closed my eyes I could imagine being in a desert with the sun beating down on my head! I found the pretty embroidery book in Midhurst and a useful set of drawers for shop display.

The shop has been busy lately and it's good to have some new stock like these monoprint cards with pastel that local artist Carol Smith has just brought in.


Sunday, 1 July 2018

What I bought

Heart from Harriet's Attic, wood bunny from Trunk and linen thread from The Old Habadashery

These pretty tea towels were being sold to benefit a charity.

This is what I bought at the Country Brocante Fair at Midhurst on Friday. I love the tea towels and I'm wondering if Ikea sell something I could frame them in. For my house, not for the shop.

Pictured above, the little heart from Harriet's Attic is beautifully made and I love the vintage French (?) fabric chosen. The bunny from Trunk is just the right shade of pink and I plan to have similar items from those makers in the shop soon.

I also discovered a stand called The Old Habadashery and bought the Swedish linen threads from there. This company has a shop in Ticehurst, East Sussex which I'd like to visit theoldhaberdashery.com 

Something else I'd like to have in the shop are Rosehip's calligraphy tags. These are beautifully written words on watercolour paper with a vintage fabric tie. Watch this space.

I could have happily returned to this Fair yesterday. So much to see that after two full marquees I knew I wasn't giving my full attention to the stands that came after. But I am always happy to be in the Handmade Happiness shop, talking to the lovely visitors that come through the door and yesterday it was very busy.

When not serving customers I am embroidering a white t-shirt. It's slow progress but I hope to be able to put it in the window soon!



Saturday, 30 June 2018

Country Brocante Fair

A heaped table of  old French fabrics and trims
Handmade perfection by Ayers and Grace
Pretty handmade jewellery by Snow Jewels
Heart and Daisy makes cushions, bags and hearts.
Poster advertising the Country Brocante Fair at Midhurst
Handmade, individual childrens' clothes
More of my pictures taken at the Fair yesterday

The Summer Country Brocante Fair is on today, Saturday 30th June, in the grounds of Cowdray Park, Midhurst.

I went yesterday morning and thoroughly enjoyed looking at dozens of stalls. Rachel Ashwell, of Shabby Chic fame was there, signing her latest book, and Cabbages and Roses were there selling their pretty clothes and fabrics.

I went looking for handmade and I am hoping that some of the makers I found will soon have work in Handmade Happiness. Meanwhile I will show you what I was tempted to buy in tomorrow's post!