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 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


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.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Shop flyers and textile jewellery

Received more shop flyers with updated information
Sewing felted elements together
Added a bit more - on the way to becoming a necklace. The colours look different against blue.

While this country waits to see what is going to happen in the future and the feeling of uncertainty and unrest persists little shops like mine are struggling. I am determined to keep Handmade Happiness going and in between customers I am making items to sell.

This necklace is similar to necklaces that Bee Mellor and I made a while ago and, once it is complete I'll do some felt flower brooches. I used to make a lot of felt flower brooches and they did sell well. It's funny the things you make and then forget for a few years while you focus on making other things. 

Textile jewellery and dolls and buttons have always been what I make. And although I'm not planning to make buttons again it is good to come back to felt again after forgetting it for a while. 

Happy making everyone!

Monday, 13 May 2019

New at Handmade Happiness

I've made some medals out of all that felt. These are just waiting for dangly bits to be sewn on.
New leg warmers from Kate Box and more of her popular wrist warmers!
New felt brooches from Karen Boller. £9.50 each.

Handmade Happiness is lucky to be supplied by some really talented local makers. I think this is why it has kept going for so long when other independent shops in the town have folded. People know that they will find something unique and beautiful at HH so they come here for gifts and for nice things for themselves. 

There is also an excellent range of cards mostly showing the printed works of local artists. Jill Poole who does lovely mixed media art of birds and flowers has just re-stocked with lots of new card designs. 

Isn't it funny how you find out things by chance sometimes? I was lucky enough to see a poster showing a local business networking group meeting up the following morning. I went along and it was brilliant. Women supporting each other and men too of course although in fairness it was mostly women who showed up. I am so pleased to find this group. It meets monthly and although I had to leave early to open the shop, just to see all those bright, enthusiastic people made my day!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Colourful felt and What is this?

Made some reversable felt this morning
The iris are out in the garden
I dug this up while gardening but what is it?

I dug up this glass object and I'd love to know what it is. It says Empire Made on it  so could be over 100  years old, and has an opening at one end. It's only two and a half inches long (6 cms) so it's not a baby's bottle as has been suggested. I reckon it once held a medicine or vaccine. What do you think?
I must clean out the dirt with a pipe cleaner. Sorry but you are seeing it freshly dug up !!

I love these iris. A friend gave me one and they've spread.

I made the felt this morning;  Experimenting with lots of different colours to see if it could be completely different on the reverse. I used to make flower brooches and/ or wrist warmers out of these pieces of felt but it feels like the wrong time of year for that so perhaps I'll just save it for colder weather.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Making paper flowers and trying to make wax seals

Painted crepe paper flowers by Jenny Stacy
Handmade paper roses by Jenny Stacy
Experimenting with wax and stamper

Some craft experiments are more successful than others!
I was pleased with the way these painted crepe paper roses turned out this morning and I've painted more crepe paper to make more.

However the other day I wanted to make some wax seals. The local art shop had the wax but not those metal stamps to press into the hot wax. I decided to try with a wooden stamper with a rubber image and it didn't really work as you can see above... I will have another go.

I don't know if you have ever tried stamping into gold wax. You light the end and drip it onto (in this case wax proof ) paper so you can remove them afterwards. I became a bit over-confident after the first few seals and managed to drip the hot gold wax over both hands. Luckily I had a sink of water nearby and plunged my hands into it. The strange thing is that the wax stays on the skin for a while. Anyway no lasting damage I'll just be more careful next time and hopefully next time I'll produce some better seals I can actually use!!

Monday, 29 April 2019

Making cards

Painted papers and embroidered bits I used for the cards below.
Three of the finished cards by Jenny Stacy
Three more card designs by Jenny Stacy

I've used some of those 'A painting a day' papers for cards. When cut into pieces and combined with the bits of embroidery I did in the shop this week the result is unusual and highly original greetings cards!
I've made a dozen and they'll be on sale in the shop on Dragon Street from Wednesday onwards.

I love making things like this and each card is different and takes time. A friend of mine took some handmade cards to a shop and the owner said he needed 6 identical ones in each design. 

This absolutely defeats the object of a handmade card. You can never exactly copy a card unless you get it printed when it ceases to be a handmade card. My friend's cards are very special and I am pleased to say she is now approaching art galleries, not gift shops where her cards will fit right in.

Unfortunately I can't use those 'cellophane' bags for cards any more because the stuff they now use to make 'cellophane' is not biodegradeable. But they won't get dirty. And without a clear wrapper you can feel the embroidery and paint!

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Felt like felting

Felt drying on the line. I dead headed the hydrangea when I saw this picture!!
Here's one I made earlier!
Some failures but all pieces can be used as a base for flat needlefelting
Thank you to the lady who gave me three bags of old Vogue magazines. Now I've plenty for carrier bags (seen here before handles were attached. The little bags are mostly pages from gardening magazines,

While the shop is relatively quiet I can make stock and this week I've made cloth bags, felt, needlefelted with some of the felt and yesterday I embroidered little pieces to use in cards. I have plans for Handmade Happiness and it is slowly evolving into something a little different. More like my original dream of a shop before I actually had a shop!
Watch this space!!

On another subject: I hate having to put plastic food trays and plastic food pots into the general rubbish bin because our council doesn't recycle these things as getting the necessary equipment to do so is 'expensive.' 
Yesterday I wrote to the local paper about this. I do hope my letter gets published.
Anyone local to Petersfield may be interested in an evening about climate change hosted by a member of the Green Party, It's on Tuesday April 30th at the United Reform Church at 7pm

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Happy Easter!

Cashmere bunnies and new hair clips in the window
Hair clips I made yesterday with my painted flower petals
Ann Hutchings embroidered butterfly and paper rose
I'm making cloth bags for visitors so they don't have to use plastic ones

People are talking about global warming and trying to make changes to their lifestyle right now. David Attenborough's Our Planet series on Sky Atlantic and this week his BBC1  programme Climate Change: The Facts have powerfully spelled out the consequences on people and animals if we carry on doing nothing.
It's depressing to see great piles of plastic carrier bags still in our supermarkets. Time they changed to paper bags. But actually that comes under the heading of Pollution, not Global Warming. 

 What we, as individuals can do to help is to stop buying anything that is air freighted like exotic fruit and veg; eat less meat and less dairy - ideally switch to a plant-based diet; buy second hand, not new; avoid flying and save energy where possible ie cycle don't drive. There are dozens of other ideas for a greener lifestyle but maybe that's for a different blog!

One of my highlights this week was a visit from embroiderer Ann Hutchings who made the brooch above.  We sat at the table making in the shop and it is so nice to have company. She showed me how to make quick roses from tissue paper. She once covered a whole marquee in roses like this and they literally take less than 5 minutes each to make. Great for a future shop window display. Maybe in June when roses are in bloom in the garden.