Thursday 31 May 2012

Spot the birdie

 During our walk on Sunday we saw this little bird cheeping for its parents right next to the footpath. Maybe it had just hopped out of the nest. A friend thinks it's a blue tit.

Also in the area is this buzzard. Sorry it's such a far a way picture. Perhaps birds that nest near to footpaths are getting some protection from buzzards. You would imagine that a big bird wouldn't come that close to people out walking.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Wedding invitations finished!

Each one of my wedding invitations is entirely different. 
Just the same colour theme 
and flowers/ lace/ sparkle/ vintage in each of them.

Yesterday I sent the last of the wedding invitations I've been making registered post. They turned out to be very feminine. The groom's theme of golf didn't get a look in once I'd failed to find any golfing images anywhere! I hope he doesn't mind.

 Now I am making 'arty bunting' for another order and then I can  get down to summer jewellery which I have been thinking about for some time. So if you come into the shop today the sewing machine will be out but I promise to stop for a chat!

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Horniman museum, London

Four pictures of the beautiful Victorian(?) glasshouse at the Horniman Museum.

Can you imagine going to a wedding here?

Yesterday I went to London to see elder daughter's new flat. She met me at Forest Hill and showed me this amazing piece of architecture behind the Horniman Museum.

 The current exhibition is called The Body Adorned. It was about clothes and jewellery - then and now. We liked the displays of tribal jewellery and embroidered clothes. When we came to a parka made of seal gut I was so keen to look at the stitching holding it together I managed to fall into the cabinet. Luckily the glass was strong!

We then walked to Dulwich and found some interesting little shops, notably 'Give and Take' which sold nearly new designer clothes. No, I didn't buy anything there but it was tempting! And 'Moo Too' where I bought a piece of fabric by Free Spirit and some soft yarn called Andes by Debbie Bliss - 65% baby alpaca and 35% silk.

 We also put the world to rights over tea and lemon polenta cake with creme fraiche. Oh and the flat was very nice too! I love my Mondays off!

Monday 28 May 2012

Steep climb

The beautiful waterfall at Steep, a village near Petersfield.
After our climb up Shoulder of Mutton hill, this view is our reward.
On the hill near the top a large boulder carries this inscription.

Yesterday younger daughter, her boyfriend and I took a picnic up Shoulder of Mutton Hill. I've been living in Petersfield for six years and I didn't know about this spectacular walk until very recently. Apparently there are two paths up the hill, the steep one - which felt like mountaineering to me - and the gentle one which takes much longer. The view from the top across the South Downs is amazing. Inspiration for Edward Thomas, who lived in Steep, and inspiration for everyone else that sees it too.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Rag rugging

Cushion in Handmade Happiness made by Glen Wellstead.
 Glen teaches rag rugging techniques at regular workshops.

Yesterday Susannah Smith brought in her lovely dyed silk scarves - which are big enough to be worn as a sarong in this hot weather and her felt purses. Picture to come.

What are you doing this Sunday? I am looking forward to a walk and a  picnic with my younger daughter and her boyfriend this lunchtime.  Before that housework... I find it's less painful to music!

Saturday 26 May 2012

Clever cushions

Penny Baker has made two new cushions for Handmade Happiness.
I like the way she layers on the fabrics in this case adding pom-poms as flower centres and the turquoise trim round the edge.

Are you enjoying the heat? Good to feel hot sun at last isn't it?  But it got so hot and stuffy in the shop yesterday I had to go out and buy an electric fan. Now it's much better. I'm off to water the garden now...

Friday 25 May 2012

New Bags

Linda Innes has made some great summer bags for Handmade Happiness.
I love the thick cotton retro print fabric of the one above. It is lined with inside pockets and tortoiseshell look handles.
Linda has framed Liberty print cottons with taupe linen in this shopper. Again it is lined with inside pockets. The bags cost £20 each.
For more information or to order the bags over the phone ring me at the shop 01730 267711.
Postage and packing within the UK would be £2.50

Thursday 24 May 2012

Summer embroidery

 Ann Hutchins, who embroidered these poppies, is one of the most gifted people you could meet. 
 Handmade Happiness has two of her poppy pictures and some beautiful embroidered butterfly pictures.
 Summer pictures to remind us through the year of the beautiful hot sunny weather we're experiencing right now!
Enjoy your day.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Wedding invitations

Here are three examples of what I'm working on. Each one is different.
 I like the colours of the card above.
This card (above) has lots of the things the bride asked for - vintage, oyster and pale pink, sparkle, lace and old writing.
This one includes a photograph of a young Margot Fonteyn.

When I was a teenager I tried to cover my bedroom walls with collage.  Collaging is still one of my favourite creative things to do.

Tuesday 22 May 2012


Chichester cathedral with its lovely copper roof.
Looking at the cathedral from further up West Street.
The Market Cross (above) is the central point where West Street (behind); South Street to the left, North Street to the right and East Street in front meet.
I call this the Dolls House.
If you'd been with me yesterday we could have shared one of these afternoon teas for two!

Monday 21 May 2012

New jugs

 Kate Hackett has made some new jugs and heart decorations for Handmade Happiness.

As it's my day off today I'm planning to visit Chichester. I still don't feel comfortable about closing the shop on a Monday. I don't know how many customers I'm missing. On the other hand it is refreshing to take time out and see what's going on in other towns. Let's call it Market Research!

I am thinking about summer jewellery at the moment. I plan to have new jewellery designs in time for the Jubilee weekend at the beginning of June. Before that I need to make my orders. One day I shall have a wonderful assistant.

Sunday 20 May 2012

17 Summers

 Last night I went to an 18th birthday party. Here is the amazing cake made by lovely Amy's mum. 

We 'olds' were talking about being 18 and what we were doing then. In the summer of being 17 I remember hitch hiking in Europe with a friend and how scary it was at times.

 It's the age when you want to spread your wings and test yourself. To learn by your own experiences, not someone else's.

Amy wants to travel.May her path be always strewn with rose petals.    

Saturday 19 May 2012

Felt brooches

 When I saw Julia Kirby wearing one of the colourful felt brooches she makes I immediately wanted them for the shop. Smartly packaged and coming in every colour of the rainbow these look good on a coat or jacket and at £9.50 each make a good little present for a friend.

On another subject do  you want bunting for the Jubilee? At Handmade Happiness you can buy smaller or larger flagged bunting in various lengths - I'll post a picture next week.
Enjoy your weekend.

Friday 18 May 2012


 Across the top of the shop window is a line of the carrier bags I make from Marks and Spencer's free catalogues. 
They are quite high up and taller customers are asked to unpeg themselves a bag to save me getting the ladder out! I also make small paper bags from magazine pages.  Hopefully I'll never have to buy bags.

 On the other hand I am also using a lot of the pretty printed tissue paper that I bought to sell  to wrap purchases nicely. Men in particular appreciate a gift being gift wrapped. Since living in Paris when even a single croissant could be put into a white box with some curly ribbon on top I have appreciated having things nicely wrapped.

 My mother is very good at gift wrapping and sometimes the anticipation of seeing a gift nicely wrapped is as good as receiving the gift itself. 

Thursday 17 May 2012

Broken bikes park here!

If art makes you think then this is art.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Ballerina Mouse

 She stands well with a good posture. She observes young dancers. Unfortunately she cannot move therefore she doesn't have a good dancer's leg but her legs are masked by a long tutu. She costs £13.50 at Handmade Happiness.

Thinking about Ballerina Mouse reminds me of school and a ballet teacher called Madame B. An elderly Russian lady with a black cane she used to bang on the floor to emphasise her criticism when a girl didn't perform a movement perfectly. Ballet must have been immediately before or immediately after lunch because we used to line up for lunch wearing our leotards and tights under the strange sleeveless cotton apron all girls wore to protect their uniforms.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Like vintage?

The new vintage shop in Midhurst, West Sussex.
When did you last see a tea cosy like this?
Above: things from Great Grannies dressing table.
A good selection of hats and (not seen) jewellery.
Part of the mens' section. 

 Yesterday on  my day off I drove to Midhurst as I've been meaning to check out Arnage the new vintage shop there.

 Midhurst has become a vintage lovers destination town. It has 4 charity shops, a vintage style tea rooms and vintage shops Re-vamp and Marmadukes and now, the most luxuriously appointed Arnage.

Arnage is a most attractive shop and I recommend a visit. With windows to two walls it's light and airy with an interesting selection of pieces thoughtfully displayed. If you want directions their telephone number is in the first picture. 

Monday 14 May 2012


Ribbons for sale in Handmade Happiness. 
The loopy ribbon would be gorgeous in Do It Yourself bunting.

Did you enjoy your weekend? Hope it was sunny and fine where you are. Although a lot of my Sunday was spent making wedding invitations indoors I did pop out to a craft fair where I found a maker who's work I'd like to have in the shop. Fingers crossed I'll be able to show you some pictures of her work soon.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Fifties fabrics

One of my favourite things in Handmade Happiness right now is this collection of 1950s dress fabrics put together by Penny Baker.

 There are 10 pieces in a 'book' for £10. An ideal present for a patchworker or up-cycler.
 You could use a piece to decorate denim or add interest to a summer dress. Or in fabric collage a small cut out piece of any of the fabrics could be the centre of attention.

Pictured underneath the dress fabrics are two 'books' of vintage eiderdown fabric pieces. Penny saves the fabric from old pieces. She does not cut up anything that could be used or worn again.  Penny herself makes wonderful cushions from her old fabrics. I pictured two of them a few days ago and one of them sold on Saturday.

Saturday 12 May 2012

Winchester 2

Unusual shop sign.
The cafe we found after having a drink in Cafe Nero. This is where we'll go next time!
Statues of bishops set into ancient walls.
The pretty street that overlooks the cathedral. This is where the shop sign and the cafe can be found.
We visited The Minster Gallery pictured above. A mixture of various styles of painting with a lot of very modern pieces - big strokes of colour. We liked a big oil painting of the sea showing a gathering wave.  

Friday 11 May 2012

Knitted bags

Fiona Lindsay has just brought in her knitted then felted bags. A pair of silk socks knitted by Rita Stamp is draped over the bag above.
I particularly like the colours in these two bags.
Handmade Happiness is full of stock right now. People keep coming in with great things they have made!
When I look back nearly seven months to when I started I only had a fraction of the things I have now. No room now for an armchair and magazines - and the lobby area that was empty at the start is now filling up with things to buy.
The one thing I am lacking is handmade or cleverly upcycled clothes. I have knitwear but I still dream of a rail of simple wearable clothes in linens and cottons. 

Thursday 10 May 2012


 Are you planning to have bunting for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June?
Ruth Ellacott brought in this bunting she has made in 2 metre lengths. As you can see the flags are a neat size and made from all sorts of attractive cotton fabrics. It costs £12 a length.  I have 7 lengths. 
I also have a much larger outdoor bunting made by Glen Wellstead out of printed fabrics for the same price.
To save coming in to the shop you can order by phone 01730 267711 Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Just add £2.50 for postage and packing within the UK.

Don't worry the blog isn't going all sale-y. Most of the time I'll write about what I've seen and where I've been. Occasionally I'll offer an item mail order. Hope that's ok with you.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Penny's cushions

Cushions made by Penny Baker.
 On Saturday Penny Baker brought in these two cushions she has made after I sold three of her cushions to the same person. I love these two. The red/yellow colour combination reminds me of Oilily and they are beautifully made. Another two items of stock I will be reluctant to let go of when they sell. But that is a good thing, right?