|The lower one is made by me|
|Not realistic but still fun to do|
|The lower one is made by me|
|Not realistic but still fun to do|
|Daffodils from crepe paper|
I'm trying not to leave the house and the challenge of making something different is keeping me happy! I'll try to make more roses today. For the rose above I've painted crepe paper and glued cut out petals around a round bead.
My tips for staying sane and happy when you have to be indoors:
1) I find getting dressed as soon as I wake up makes me feel positive about the day ahead. I've tried staying in a dressing gown half the morning and I found the day drifts a bit aimlessly. Being dressed, washed and ready puts you in the right frame of mind to enjoy your day.
2) Exercise first thing. This is for my mental and physical health. During this period of isolation I have found 10 minutes with Joe Wicks in the sitting room really beneficial. Check out utube Body Coach to find one of his sessions that looks like your level.
3) Try to shop just once a week.
People seem to be getting creative with what is in their cupboards and fridge now that we can't just pop out for one thing. Being at home so much is a great opportunity to get creative with what we cook.
I make a basic soup with onion, carrots and potatoes regularly. That's a base soup, you can add whatever you can spare to it. I can't do without Marigold stock powder. A heaped teaspoon of that in hot water added to soup, stews etc makes it taste great!
Being a vegetarian I also make risottos, pasta and pasta sauces, lentil stew and ratatouille regularly too. Spice I'd find it hard to live without? CUMIN
Keep spare milk and bread in the freezer.
4) Have a routine. My very simple routine is just Exercise, Housework and Making. That works for me. What works for you?
I find housework very very boring. But yesterday I enjoyed it. I imagined the house was going to be photographed for a magazine and I was the stylist!!
I only got one room done to my satisfaction but I'll do another room today. That works for me. Would it work for you?
5) Walk somewhere you can avoid other people. Not sure what the restrictions are like in the USA but I hope that wherever you are you are allowed to go out for a walk once a day.
I've found quite a good time is between 1pm and 2pm. It breaks up the day and most people are having lunch at that time. I went later yesterday and I was constantly having to detour round others.
I hope you enjoy your day however you spend it.
Now back to that rose challenge. X
|On the river bank|
|Love these double tulips|
|Nature does it best. Photos by Jenny Stacy|
Sad to announce that our Handmade Happiness Spring Event cannot go ahead.
I got a call from the Physic Garden to say it was closing its exhibition room until the end of April at least.
Hopefully the Summer Event on Saturday June 27th can still go ahead.
It seems that China is just about over the crisis now therefore three months could be the time it takes for a country to be declared safe again.
In the meantime we just have to look after each other and follow simple precautions. In a nutshell this is washing hands more frequently and for longer than usual, allowing 2 metres between yourself and others, and self isolating if you have a high temperature and/or a new persistent cough or if anyone you live with develops these symptoms.
On the plus side I find I am making and receiving more phone calls than usual. Catching up with old friends and checking everyone is ok. My children are phoning regularly expressing concern even though I am not old nor do I have any symptoms. But this crisis brings out the best in people, all caring for each other.
|Cheerful beads made and painted by Jenny Stacy for the Spring event|
What strange and, sometimes, fearful times we are living through. With constantly updating news on the radio it is hard to plan how to react to this 'crisis'.
I admit I didn't take the threat of the Corona virus seriously until very recently. But the media is united in confirming that this is really happening. I don't hear a reassuring alternative view. So my old theory that this might be a smoke screen to deflect our attention from the huge problems of climate change, poverty and homelessness has been shot down.
Now I'm thinking about how we can help each other. Did you see the Italian response when they flung open their windows to join in the singing? What a great attitude!
Let's take the Italians as our role models! No panicking, no stock piling food and goods just a genuine concern for our neighbours, family and friends.
We makers have the advantage of enjoying being at home where we can be extra productive! We are happy to be confined to some extent. I'm tempted to write a list of fun things to do if isolated. For example to improve my piano playing in a more disciplined way; to get on with writing the book; to spring clean and count my blessings.
However we must take personal responsibility by not spreading the virus or exposing ourselves to unnecessary risk. Keeping a metre apart from people if possible, washing our hands more frequently than usual and catching our coughs and sneezes are good precautions. And if you are reading this and fear you have got the virus or know you have got it I send love and the hope that you'll be over it really soon. X
|No toilet rolls for sale in Waitrose yesterday afternoon|
|Very little pasta left either|
People are stocking up in case the Corona Virus affects them and they have to stay indoors. This kind of panic buying means that if you do your weekly shop and just want one toilet roll you can't have it because someone has cleared the shelves of toilet rolls and there are none left.
I heard of one Tesco customer who ordered £500 worth of goods online and that was their second order. The first order was for £600. And people have been walking around supermarkets with trolleys full of toilet rolls and extra food.
While I was in Waitrose I saw the shelves being re-stocked but only with packs of 16 toilet rolls. That was all they had, forcing some people to grab for those, perhaps worried about when they'd ever find the normal four packs...
Hand sanitisers and anti-bacterial wipes and liquid soaps are also being stock piled even though this is a virus, not an infection.
Where are people stock piling all these extras? And what about the millions of people who live on a budget and can't stock pile anyway?
We are living through strange times.
As someone put it,comparing deaths from Corona virus to the thousands of deaths per day from starvation that are rarely if ever mentioned in the media..."Corona virus could affect the rich. Famine doesn't"
Just as Brexit once filled the radio air waves, now it's Corona virus. In more cynical moments, I wonder if this is partly a smoke screen to distract attention from the fact that little is being done about climate change, poverty and homelessness in this country and these, to my mind, are far more urgent priorities.
I'd like to know what you think .
|I've painted some beads|
|I've found some old glass buttons|
|Violets spotted while walking|
|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!!
|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:
HANDMADE HAPPINESS EVENTS 2020
Spring Event: March 28th
Sumnmer Event: June 27th
Autumn Event: September 26th
Christmas Event: November 14th
Looking forward to seeing you there.
|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!!
|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!
|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|
|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 !!
|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?
|Just a reminder to make more mice !!|
|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!
|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!!