Saturday, 20 July 2019

Knitting

Knitting with similar colours on my worktable.
So I put these in the window and the sun dried them
Peonies close up

The weather in this country (UK) is so changeable. I can hardly believe that these peonies which I left in water in the window during my days off early this week dried out from the heat and yet for the past three days we have had continuous rain.
I used to think the weather affected trade at the shop but I don't think that any more. It just takes one person to come in and the day is turned around and I love it when someone is truly happy with the choices (and purchases) she or he has made.
Whatever the weather I am happy making. The stitch on this scarf is called 'crest of the wave'. I've also made bunting this week and painted a couple of experimental pictures.
By the way I'm sorry about the black borders on these pictures. My phone does that when I try to get a close up. 
Enjoy your weekend everybody!

Monday, 15 July 2019

Virtual shop tour 1

Animal felt brooches by Karen Boller, felt, velvet and medals by Jenny Stacy and birds by Carol Smith
Ceramics by Justine Jenner
Paintings by Janice Cotton; pots by Niloo and turned bowls by Harry Butler
Interesting bark on a London tree

Justine Jenner has just re-stocked her shelves (picture two). Her work is vey popular.
The top three pictures will give you an idea of what the shop looks like. More pictures to come. 
I had to take a picture of the bark on this tree. Apparently it's a plane tree or London plane tree.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Enjoying Flowers

Hollyhocks
Sweetpeas from my garden
Trying to paint sweetpeas
Queen of Sweden roses and hydrangeas from the garden
Love these delicate little flowers too. Seen in one of Niloo's pots.

It's sweetpea month in the garden. These are my favourite flowers and I love the abundant way that the more flowers you pick the more they seem to produce.
I tried to copy them on paper. Drawing with a pencil then painting with watercolours. I found it surprisingly hard. But I feel like trying to paint other flowers too now.
The hollyhocks are at their tallest best right now too. I've tried and failed to grow them in the garden. They seem to prefer the bit of dust next to an old wall and will self-seed there quite happily. I'll try scattering seed next to my wall later in the year.
I feel I should make bunting right now. Although it's not very creative to make bunting, with all the weddings, school fetes and village fairs going on at the moment there is a need for strings of it. And it's also nice to look at in the shop.


Friday, 5 July 2019

Making for the future

Felt necklace on sale at the Phoenix Exhibition in the Physic Garden, Petersfield £25
Felted flowers for Handmade Happiness
More felted flowers for sale in Handmade Happiness
Experimenting with paints and tissue paper
100% cashmere bunnies for little hands to hold

This week I've been making in the shop. More cashmere  bunnies that sell so well. Lots of felt flowers to buy as decorations or to wear as brooches. And I  finished off a felt necklace ready for the Phoenix Stitchers exhibition which runs from today until Sunday 10-4 daily at the Physic Garden. Plus I enjoyed gluing tissue paper leaves onto a painting to add interest.

It is worryingly quiet in the shop at the moment. This year it's as if the customer tap has been turned off. I know it's the same in all other shops. People have just stopped spending.  So shops can't survive. 

Everyone tells me that people are buying online now and certainly that's part of the picture but I think the main reason people have stopped spending is because they are worried about the future and the natural response is to hunker down and save any money you can for worse times ahead. 

I didn't vote for Brexit and of course, I have no say in who our next Prime Minister will be and these are the issues that are depressing people like me. It's that feeling of helplessness. We can't influence these things but we sure as hell are being affected by them.

 And of course, there is the mammoth issue of climate change to grapple with. I look forward to the next David Attenborough series 'Seven Worlds; One Planet'. 
He is a person everyone trusts to tell the truth about our situation.

Meanwhile I'll keep making. I'll create a stock of items for Christmas sales because in November and December I'll wish I had made more! 




Sunday, 30 June 2019

Felt workshop

Sarah Waters' sample. Making bobbles
Sarah Waters samples. Nuno felting
Sarah Waters' sample. Using a resist.
Some flower shapes I made.

On Wednesday I learned more about felt making techniques than I thought would be possible in just one day. 

 Felt expert Sarah Waters first showed us how to create bobbles like the ones above. I had been really looking forward to doing this to add texture to the flat felt that I usually make but, to be honest, I found this technique quite difficult. A lot of felt making takes time and requires patience. 

Sarah had made a beautiful tunic from nuno felting which is incorporating pieces of silk into the wool to create a draping fabric which can be used for clothes. (Small samples of nuno pictured above.) This takes time and makes this sort of item expensive. Much as I've always wanted to sell nuno felt clothes in my shop the price would be prohibitive unfortunately.

Sarah pointed out that felting painted or dyed silk into wool fibres takes time and I'm not sure I'm patient enough. Sarah also showed us some beautiful felt hats she has made.

I love the look of the black and white piece above. When you lay a resist (in this case masking tape) over areas of felt and then felt more fibres on top you can create patterns. This is fascinating and I will definitely explore this technique more in my own time. 

Sarah also showed us how to make little bowls and how to make flowers. Making flowers I found the easiest and quickest of the techniques which is why I've been making them ever since!!

If you have a chance to go on one of Sarah's felting workshops I urge you to go. Highly recommended. Her website is sarahwaterstextiles.com and Instagram page is @swtextiles

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Shop CLOSED today!

Sarah Waters' felt pieces.


Today I am excited to be going on a felt workshop given by Sarah Waters.
I saw her give a talk to Phoenix Stitchers last week and it was so interesting.
Although I make felt in a small way I have never mastered nuno felting or experimented with textures in felt, so today is the day!
Check out sarahwaterstextiles.com to find out more.

Apologies for the shop being closed for the day. But business as usual tomorrow onwards. And I'll let you see what I make today later this week. Can't wait!!

Monday, 24 June 2019

Liberty store visit

I was lucky to find this remnant at half price. 
I like these wings in the Rockett St George area in Liberty
Gorgeous velvet cushion in Liberty
More wings This time framed
In Liberty looking up and looking down is equally rewarding.
 
Fabulous roses in the Liberty flower shop

Yesterday I met my daughters at Oxford Circus and after a long coffee and puting the world to rights we spent time looking round Liberty. Such a beautiful store. Not just the merchandise, some of which is pictured above but also the carved wood and ancient detailing in the architecture as you go up the staircase. Unique and representative of the best of British.

Please note Handmade Happiness will be open tomorrow, Tuesday instead of Wednesday June 26th when it will be closed.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

This week

I experimented by making a few bags from painted paper
Bracelets inspired by delphiniums. £12 each in the shop
Is this art? See below


On Monday I quickly painted a few pages of A4 to see what sort of folded bags they'd make. I think they look quite interesting and could be used as gift bags.

In the morning I gave a free workshop to what used to be the local Embroiderers' Guild and is now known as Phoenix Stitchers. I had no idea how many would turn up for it and was pleasantly surprised when 23 people appeared!
Of course I didn't have enough sellotape and glue sticks for everyone but I think they all had a good time and didn't mind sharing. And as it was at the local community centre we had plenty of room.
We made almost 100 paper bags in different sizes like those pictured and around 20 carrier bags which will be used at Phoenix Stitchers exhibition in the Physic Garden from July 5th to 7th. Let's all stop using plastic bags!!!

If anyone wants a free workshop on bag making in the shop let me know.

I've also been making jewellery this week and having made bracelets and necklaces inspired by sea colours last week I took my inspiration from the colours of delphiniums this week. Next theme will be roses.

Now - Is it Art?
My son is holidaying somewhere very hot and when baby grandson wanted to draw outside, his wax crayons got wet in the rain. So they were put in a plastic bag and left to dry out in the sun. Result Art. Or at least art inspiration. If this were done in oils on a big canvas I think it might sell ! 



Sunday, 16 June 2019

Making

Necklace inspired by sea colours by Jenny Stacy
Bracelet inspired by sea colours by Jenny Stacy
Hand felted brooch with velvet centre made by Jenny Stacy
This week I've made knitted pants, sewn a skirt and crocheted some shoes for my rag doll.  All by Jenny Stacy

It's been a making week. 
I've decided to make more jewellery for the shop. 
I used to make a lot of jewellery for shops before I had one of my own. 
Nowadays I get easily distracted into painting or making other things but actually jewellery has always done best for me. That's what I started making, including making and painting my own beads. And now, with two jewellery shops having closed down in Petersfield, it feels the right time to go back to it.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Love this!

Two kinds of cherries in a Greek supermarket
Perfect fruit in Greece
I haven't seen these white beans before and white aubergines are a rarity here. Greek supermarket

I had to share these pictures of beautiful fruit and vegetables.  

Yesterday I went to a British supermarket and noticed how many items look tired and past their best or not ripe enough to eat. Not only that but most of it seems to be imported from South Africa, Spain or the Netherlands. So many items that can be grown here the supermarkets prefer to bring in from overseas. But it's much healthier to eat local.

In Zakynthos where I went on holiday for 8 days the freshness and beauty of the food excited me. I even found ashkedinias and I bet I'm spelling that wrong, otherwise known as nisperos or loquats, which I haven't seen since I was a child in the Middle East. 

I voted against leaving the European Union but if we must leave then hopefully it will encourage Britain to be more self-sufficient and to buy what we can grow in this country and to return to eating seasonally as we used to. 

Saturday, 8 June 2019

In the shop now

I knitted her a jersey, now I'm knitting her underpants and then I'll sew her a skirt.
This lovely quilted throw is for sale in the shop. £95SOLD
Hand knitted cotton cloths for cleaning with then machine washing. £2.99 each

The shop has many new things to look at. Just yesterday Brenda Tilbury brought in three pictures, three knitted bags and a clutch of lavender bags made from retro fabrics. These have made the shop smell wonderful!

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Eight days in Greece - Olives

Olive press. A donkey was tied to the central post and as he walked round the olives were pressed under the heavy wheels
I love the grain on this olive wood handmade spoon and I use olive oil soap for felt making
Olive wood reputed to be 1,500 years old
Looking down on the beautiful turquoise sea

I've been in Zakynthos a small Greek island. My youngest rented a villa and invited me to go along. A wonderful opportunity. 

Olive trees abound. The olives are delicious and local olive oil was decanted into an old plastic water bottle for us to cook with. 
I love the grain on olive wood and I bought this spoon and olive oil soap as souvenirs. 
I loved my holiday and I will also love getting back to my shop Handmade Happiness which opens today from 10am to 4.30 pm.
A shop post next but I hope you will be happy, dear reader, if I write about my holiday again in future posts.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Annual Break

The shop at 9a Dragon Street next to Disking and Tara Interiors

Please note that the shop will be closed from Thursday May 23rd to Friday May 31st  re-opening on Saturday June 1st.
I would hate anyone to come from any distance to find it closed.
It will be open tomorrow Wednesday May 22nd 10am to 4.30pm

Apparently the shop nearby that was Wild Damson and then Tallulah Fox is to be used by Petersfield Museum as offices while the museum is undergoing a year long re-furbishment. We don't know yet what is coming into the premises that was the JSW restaurant opposite our shops.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Garden and shop

It's May so peony time in my garden. So beautiful. My favourite flower.
New in the shop. Pure cotton knitted wash cloths
New Aran cabled cardigans in all sizes for children up to 10
Camilla Flint's lovely dancer drawings.