Monday, 24 February 2020


If you didn't know this is real you could see it as bead jewellery!
Bits and bobs I've made in the past that still inspire me now.
Spring colours in these raggy headed dahlias. Good for spring inspiration

I am thinking jewellery. I want to make big statement necklaces and I haven't made any for a while. Many years ago (long before I had the shop) I made lots of jewellery for various shops and galleries but I am a bit out of practice now.
I want cheerful colours and a bit of humour in my pieces and the components made by hand from scratch. Next time I write I should have some new necklaces to show you. 
I don't know about you but I don't feel as productive when the weather is damp and overcast. I long for Spring but we will just have to think Spring as we paint and make. To make with joy!!

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Handmade Happiness Events

Spring flowers in my window. Pottery by Niloo Wickramasinghe

If you miss the Handmade Happiness shop or you wish you'd visited before it closed down here's your chance:

Meet the makers and see their lovely handmade things at the Physic Garden rooms off Petersfield High Street, GU32 3JJ on the following dates:


Spring Event:   March 28th 

Sumnmer Event:  June 27th 

Autumn Event:  September 26th

Christmas Event:  November 14th

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Trying and failing

This is a failure but by trying you learn what you are good at and what you are not good at.

Blank canvas and acrylic paints. I just thought I'd give it a go. Not at all happy with the result but in painting this I have learned that I must stick to what I am vaguely good at - flowers.
It's like writing. If you just do it you feel good. It's the fear of failure that holds us back from discovering what we are truly capable of.
When looking at the blank white canvas or the blank white paper it's hard to start in case it doesn't work out in the way we want it to. But action is the only way forward.
So just go for it. Paint your picture. Write your novel. You may well surprise yourself!!

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Colour inspiration

Rose head picked up from the pavement
Apple peel colours
Love these marbled pattern carrier bags in Carluccio's
Pattern inspiration . The grating at Crystal Palace station
This bag is one of the prettiest I've seen
Walked into a church in Southsea and was blown away by the beauty of the interior

Inspiration for creating is all around us. It's so good to get out and explore. And the bonus is more exercise! My goal is 10,000 steps a day although most days I do far less.
I am sorting out shop stuff. Two lots of tax figures this month. I hope that by the end of January all loose (shop) ends will be neatly tied up and I will be able to concentrate on actually making instead of just taking pretty pictures to inspire the making!

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Seen when walking

On the Gruffalo trail in Wendover Woods. I wonder if author Julia Donaldson lives nearby?
Oil on the pavement
On a tree trunk. Apparently this is called Rainbow Bracket fungus.
The pretty stream you can follow in Petersfield
My son saw these yesterday when walking in London
Bargain waterproof coat I wear for walking. Just £12.95 reduced from £44.95 in the Joules sale

I intend to get out early every day and get the exercise bit out of the way so I can do other, more creative things. But often the time slips by and I don't get out til nearly lunchtime. The main thing is to stick to a goal - in my case it's 10,000 steps a day ie nearly 3 miles. Of course I rarely manage it but it remains a goal.
There are still parcels to send off and boxes to sort and put away from the shop. I've just realised that I've not yet told Google or changed the details on this blog to say that the shop is now closed. Better get on with that now.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Goodbye shop

SOLD: My top of the tree angel, now with arms!
Love this luxury fabric skirt. SOLD
Goodbye shop. Ready for a new tenant now!
A New Year and a new start!
Since Christmas Eve (the last day of trading) and Christmas Day itself I've been busy clearing, cleaning, sorting, bagging, boxing and painting helped by two amazing friends, Anne and Chris ready for handing the keys back to the landlady on December 31st.

Right now it feels strange to have all this time during the day when normally I would be in the shop. I want to focus for a while on getting fitter having spent a lot of the last 8 years sitting in the shop. Walking, planning, writing and looking forward to painting and making again.

The transition from working to 'retirement'. It's quite an adjustment. So many people say I must be enjoying 'a nice rest' but that is the last thing I want.
So much more to come! 
Sorry I was too busy to write for a while but I'll try to post more regularly from now on. HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

Tuesday, 17 December 2019


SOLD My pink rose top of the tree angel
Using an old wallpaper sample book as gift wrapping
Outside the shop looking in
Tiny angels I made this year.

The Handmade Happiness shop is open for just one more week before closing forever. I am there every day except Sunday.

 The Handmade Happiness name will live on through this blog, my Instagram account jenny_handmade_happiness and the pop up events booked for next year at Petersfield's Physic Garden.

Meanwhile I have booked a man and his van to move the shop furniture to my house and makers are collecting their makes. It's a winding down process but the shop is full of unique, quality handmade gifts and well worth a visit up to and including Christmas Eve.

I have just one more thing to make. A lovely customer wants the bigger of the two top of the tree dolls(see previous picture) but she'd like her to have lace gloves, so that is what I'll be sewing today. 

I have no special sewing skill but my grandmother was a trained tailoress, working from home to support her child after her husband died. I often think of her and of how she could make any of the clothes in Vogue magazine, which my mother loved, just by examining the photograph. 
Maybe next year I'll focus on making more clothes or the upcycling and embellishing of old clothes. Does that appeal to you? 

Friday, 13 December 2019


Just a reminder to make more mice !!
Hope for this country was dashed this morning.  I honestly felt we had a chance at a fairer future for everyone - not just the richest few -but voters chose to believe the right wing tabloids and voted for five more years of austerity and an ever widening gap between rich and poor.

Disappointing does not even cover it.
I can only compare this shock news to waking up to hear that Trump was President and to hearing that we had voted to leave the EU. 

I am trying to think of a silver lining but I can't. This is a dark day for Britain. Sorry. My next post will focus on Handmade and Happiness.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

News from the shop

Textile designer Sheila Barrow has made several of these beautiful table decorations
New fridge magnets from beach glass originals £4-95 each
Fun with gift wrapping

With only two weeks until the shop closes 
forever I could have done without illness this week!
On Wednesday I kept falling asleep on my work table!
The doc said high temperature and chest infection so 
Thursday and Friday were at home mostly sleeping while 
kind Tara kept an eye on my shop.

The shop is open every day except Sundays in the Christmas
run up so plenty of time to pop in, Hope to see you!

Thursday, 28 November 2019


Assorted stockings for sale in Handmade Happiness
Baby's first Christmas?
Stockings of all sizes. The knitted stocking is made by Rubecula Threads.
Cosy sheepskin slippers at Caroline Bloomfield
Sheepskin hot water bottle covers at Caroline Bloomfield.

On the worktable are a lot of stockings that need loops or tops or just making from scratch. At this time of year there are lots of different things that need attention. More fairies to make. Tree topper angels (see below) that I still haven't finished. Cashmere bunnies stuffed with lavender I need to make for an order. Not to mention getting the whole shop in perfect condition for the next tenant by the end of December.

On Sunday I'll see the family, and it's a chance to drop off presents. They need to be gift wrapped and tagged and checked to see that everyone has been treated fairly!

Caroline Bloomfield is the name of a shop in Midhurst. A shop I admire. Imagine puting your feet into the slippers pictured above on one of these cold, wet winter evenings! 
I'm off to wrap presents.
Happy Christmas preparations everyone!!

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Angel tree toppers

Big angel has a full skirt, little angel is unclothed. Dolls by Jenny Stacy

I need to finish these off today. I always think making something will be quite easy and then it often turns out to be quite difficult... The bit I like is drawing and painting the faces. Making the clothes is something else.

I imagined a doll draped in fine fabrics with, as someone suggested, wellington boots on. Back rewind! That's not going to happen as turning tiny feet inside out was too difficult so I've kept the body simple and will further embellish and make clothes for little one today. There are two more cut out, sewn up and ready to dress but I've run out of this particular wool for the Marie Antoinette style hair and no other wool seems to work....

Less than 5 weeks now until the Handmade Happiness shop closes down forever. So if you want to have a browse before it goes plan your trip now!
I'm currently open 10 to 4.30 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In December I plan to be open Mondays as well ie. 6 days a week.
Lots of opportunities for visitors to visit . Hope to see you soon X

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Making dolls is not easy!

Doll patterns I drew for angel tree toppers

I confess I don't find making easy sometimes. I have an order for an angel tree topper. I did some last year. They sold. Now this year I feel I am re-inventing the wheel! I've been putting off making the thing for ages but quite why it should feel like such an obstacle I don't know. After all I've made dozens of dolls in my time.

I think I get confused by seeing so many dozens of photographs on Instagram and Pinterest. You start to feel you are not good enough or that your dolls are different but not in a good way! 

Last night I cut out the patterns and sewed them up. But when it came to turning them inside out the middle pattern was a clear winner!! Including thumbs and feet is bad news when it comes to turning! 

Now I wonder if I can get away with just doing an armless, legless torso? After all the sumptous dress will hide the fact she has no legs and arms can be added after the body is made if they seem to be necessary.I have been collecting the most wonderful angel fabrics - chiffon and silk, tulle and embroidered luxury fabrics. Ribbons and jewels and beads. Decorating these angel tree toppers will be a delight! I've just got to get them to that stage first! 

Monday, 11 November 2019

In the shop now

I have made dozens of these fairies. Just £5 each.
Gift tags in gold or silver. 
Ubiquitous Stitch brought in these headbands . Cosy for the dramatic drop in temperature

It feels like the countdown is on.  Only just over a month and Handmade Happiness will be gone. This week I'll put price tags on all the shop furniture I wish to sell. In fact I might put pictures and prices on this blog as well.
In the meantime nice things continue to come into the shop making it the best place I know to do one-stop Christmas gift shopping.
I know the comment thing is awkward but if you have a query you can always email me on

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Beautiful things

Jenny Drant has knitted these pretty baby girls clothes in a mix of Alpaca and cotton. The Rachel Riley shoes were a lucky charity shop find for just £3 and are not for sale!
I hand sewed this lavender bag using old lace ribbons and grey silk.
Love these new pots Niloo Wickramasinghe has made for Handmade Happiness.
Seen near Waitrose car park in Petersfield this is a Madrone (US) or arbutus unedo (thanks Instagram friends!)

I have always tried to have only the very best things in Handmade Happiness. I want visiting to be an experience, unlike visiting any other shop. I am lucky to have such talented makers.

 Jenny Drant knits wonderful things for the shop and Niloo makes heavenly pots and vases. You only have to scroll down to see examples of other talented makers work.

 I think I have been really lucky that these gifted individuals have found the shop to be a good fit for the beautiful things they make.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Pat Gude

Pat Gude made this applique cloth hanging by copying a 1920s London Underground poster in applique and stumpwork. She has done 5 more.
Close up of one of Pat Gude's fantastic textile hanging from a 1920s Underground poster.

Pat Gude has copied six vintage London Underground posters in cloth and stitch. She also makes jewellery for the Handmade Happiness shop.
When Pat showed me this textile hanging it took my breath away. It is brilliantly executed. 
It is not for sale but would look brilliant on display at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden or the Contemporary Textiles Fair at Landmark Arts.
She has also made five other different hangings from other posters. I have not seen those but I daresay they are equally good. 

If you want to display Pat Gude's works of art you can contact her through me by email or shop phone:  Tel 01730 267711

Thursday, 24 October 2019

This week

This week I dyed silk ribbon with avocado skins
The expert knitter Jenny Drant has knitted all sorts of wonderful things for the shop. This baby hat is for 3-6 months
I've made a lot of these pompom fairies. I like painting the faces best.
New leg warmers and adult hat knitted by me

It's feeling like a busy week in the shop.
Today Thursday my boiler at home is being serviced and at last I will be able to switch on the  heating. So looking forward to a warm house. It's got very chilly lately hasn't it?
Wishing you a good day.x

Friday, 18 October 2019

New in the shop

This beautiful indoor wreath is made by Brenda Tilbury
Love this lavender bag by Hambledon Rose
Another pretty lavender bag made with vintage fabrics by Hambledon Rose
Two pairs of legwarmers knitted by me and a colourful necklace made by Rosemary Roberts

Hambledon Rose makes pretty cushions, lavender bags, purses and fridge magnets from linen and small pieces of vintage fabrics. The effect is delicate and pretty and I am so pleased to stock her work.

Brenda Tilbury, as regular readers will know, is Queen of Wreaths and at this time of year I generally have wreaths made by her. Now she is producing lots of knitwear too and new in the shop are scarves, gloves, a wrap and crocheted neckwarmers all in nice colour combinations.

Rosemary Roberts makes colourful necklaces out of fabric and beads. What customers also love about them is that they have a magnet clasp so they are very easy to put on and take off. One lady regularly buys several at a time!

I am knitting a third pair of leg warmers in shades of brown and blue and very cosy they are too made in 100% wool. I've just received some natural 100% alpaca yarn which I'm using for newborn clothing. So so soft ...Hats first as I hate to see a new baby with head uncovered in the cold. Now I'm sounding like a fussing old Granny. Hang on... that's exactly what I am !!!