Wednesday 31 October 2012

Powerful weather

The sky above my house this morning.
 New York seems one of the most sophisticated, civilised places in the world. That's why the pictures of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy are so shocking.  New York seemed impregnable, yet as I write 40 people have been killed and thousands are without power. 

It makes you realise that everyone, no matter whom,  no matter how much they  surround themselves with expensive possessions is as vulnerable as the next man when it comes to the power of Mother Nature. God bless everyone experiencing the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

What I bought

In Chichester I bought white fake fur and bobbles for Father Christmas hat decorations I've been knitting; this gorgeous glittering net ribbon and sequin net for peg doll fairies and a white roller ball for pricing on manilla luggage labels.
Can you see why I could not resist this? It was 5metres for £4.50 so I'm hoping a little goes a long way!!
 I've collected these Madeira threads over many, many years. Doesn't just looking at them put you in a fairy making mood?

So yesterday afternoon I had a lovely time in Chichester. Even though I had to pay another £7 library fine. Why don't they stamp the books any more then we'd see they were late? Witness while I cut my library ticket in two!! 

Anyway after a morning in the shop which confirmed once again it is not worth opening on a Monday...I had a late lunch in Chichester M&S - have you tried their Emmental and mushroom toasted sandwich? It is good. Then C&H fabrics for the fabric above, Between the Lines for the glittery ribbon and Office Supplies for white roller ball.  Also a good look round House of Fraser and M&S where I fell for a red thermal vest that can be worn as a top. Today I'll be warm when cutting fabric for peg fairies in Handmade Happiness! Bliss. Enjoy your day too.

Monday 29 October 2012

Flower rag rug

Rag rug made by Glen Wellstead.
 Glen Wellstead brought this rag rug she has made to Handmade Happiness at exactly the right time. I had just sold Pam Dew's lovely houses quilt from behind my desk and there was a great big space needing to be filled. Glen's pretty rag rug does the job nicely.

My friend Jane has texted to suggest I sell the painted peg dolls with an assortment of fabrics to choose from to make clothes for them. Like a pick and mix. I like this idea!

After a morning of paperwork in the shop I'm planning to go over to Chichester this afternoon for a mooch round...I've decided that in November and December the shop will be open on Mondays so  I will make the most of today! Hope you had a nice weekend.

Sunday 28 October 2012

The Petersfield Kiteman

 Peter Mason has been making kites for 40 years. He says one once flew all the way from Britain to Australia attached to a ship. 
Peter brought this kite in to Handmade Happiness and we attached it to the wall up near the ceiling. I must admit that when I saw Peter's kites in a church hall I didn't realise quite how large they are. A bit large for my little shop to be truthful. But having said I'll display one, display one I will and if someone wants to they can buy it or order a differently coloured one  from Peter direct. They cost £30.

Yesterday saw the first real cold of the season. Normally the doors of HH are wide open and welcoming. Not possible yesterday. Yesterday I had the mobile radiator on maximum next to the desk and still felt cold at times. Time to dig out the thermal underwear...! 
I noticed on Friday and yesterday, Saturday that instead of saying to me,'We'll come back to buy our Christmas presents here;' customers are starting to actually buy for Christmas now.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Knitted bunnies by Sue Inglis

Knitted bunny by Sue Inglis. Sue also makes the knitted cats shown in an earlier post.
As promised here are the pictures of the new bunnies. This picture also shows needlefelted angels on the left by Linda Innes and the back view of one of my finger dolls.
Knitted bunny by Sue Inglis
It is cold enough this morning for the central heating to go on for the first time. There is always that moment of doubt in old houses where you hope it still works...

Friday 26 October 2012

All change!

Inside Handmade Happiness.
 Yesterday I had a big change around at Handmade Happiness. I was pleased with how the oranges sing in this area. The picture top right is by Sandra Izard. 'Cold hands, warm soup' - what a nice title!
Tonight my youngest is staying so excuse me while I go and make the spare room welcoming for her.

Thursday 25 October 2012

Tutu for you

Made by Joyce Holland-Hill
                                             The mouse who is not a dainty ballerina.
Fairy in a box by Jenny Stacy
                                                  'Me too!' All the fairies got tutus too...
In Handmade Happiness: Mouse £15; fairy in a box £5 
                                        The ballet company is ready to take the stage...

Joyce Holland-Hill knits Petersfield's answer to Angelina ballerina with short, stout legs. Here is a mouse who cannot dance. This mouse could possibly drag herself into a dance studio to inspect the younger, more lithe dancers; but it has been many, many years since she herself could do a pirouette. (No knees.)
 She reminds me of Madame Baskia, a very elderly Russian with a walking stick she rapped the floor with (and occasionally our ankles) when I was very young and learning ballet.

Joyce's ex-prima ballerinas need a modesty skirt. I make them long tutus to hide their large legs. 
And yesterday the fairy box fairies were jealous. A little twiddle of net each for them and they were ready to link arms and do the dance of the little swans in Swan Lake.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Knitted cats

Cats by Sue Inglis £8.50 each at Handmade Happiness
 These cats, designed and knitted by Sue Inglis are getting a lot of attention in the shop at the moment. Yesterday Sue brought in some rabbits knitted in a similar style but with scarves instead of ribbons and bells. They are cute. I'll photograph them today.

Do you ever look at the blogs in my 'Nice to Look at' list? I find it annoying when you keep checking in and the blog author hasn't added anything for ages. For this reason I'm dropping a few today.

 Is there anything I've not included in the list that you love to look at? 

I particularly recommend the Yvestown blog. Very individual in a good way as you will see if you read her current post. Decor8 is another very successful blog. I read that she has nearly 50,000 visitors a day. That is mind-blowing! But my favourite has to be Pinterest. That one ought to come with a warning. Do not enter unless you have plenty of time to spare. It's a bit addictive...Enjoy your day.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Mum, there are men on the roof

Scaffolding up yesterday morning to repair the chimney stack. I bet these men enjoy their jobs. Like playing with a giant construction set. Anyone remember Meccano?
Now you see it...
 Now you don't...

I went to Havant yesterday. Hobbycraft had no small wood cotton reels, no wood buttons to paint faces on but they did have pegs for making peg dolls so I bought a few of those (56!)
Hobbycraft has a lot of things for card makers and cake makers but these seem to have replaced some pretty basic stuff. I'm thinking of the last time I went when I couldn't get a small drill or a small glue gun.
As you can see the chimney stack disappeared while I was away. Quick work by Bryan Frost, chimney specialist! 

Monday 22 October 2012

Dried hydrangeas

At 8am they started putting up the scaffolding and this morning the bumps and thuds have kept me indoors. My attached neighbour (my house is end terrace) is having the chimney stack repaired/replaced and this is benefiting me because we share a stack. Four chimneys each. I only have one fireplace but guess that if I wanted to I could uncover three more! Anyway my fireplace has been sealed up and vents taped against the soot.
Now you understand why I'm writing this at 10.15 instead of the usual 7am-ish. 

My plan is to look at all things wood in Hobbycraft in Havant today after a trip to the shop around now. Enjoy your day! 

Sunday 21 October 2012

A year empty it looks!

October 2011 when the shop first opened. 
The luxury of space! Jenny Stacy felt cuffs and brooches in October 2011.
 Two pictures taken a year ago when HH first opened. It seems strange now to see so much floor space. There is  much more furniture now and the work of 35 makers on display. When I first opened  everything was the work of just a handful of  makers, including myself.
Now it is more like an Aladin's cave of treasures. So much to see and admire. I can honestly say that every day brings new makers and their work. If it is well made, original and fits in with the shop I cannot say 'no'. But soon I may have to say 'no' because the shop is full...

Saturday 20 October 2012

Fairy and tissue paper

Fairy by Jenny Stacy
 Here is one of the 11 fairies I've made for the shop.  I found the pretty white silhouette on silver tissue paper in the town. It's by Caspari and also comes in gold. 

A chilly day in the shop today. I like to have the doors open as it looks welcoming but it makes it a bit draughty! 

Today I painted wooden peg dolls. That is I've painted the pegs flesh coloured and added faces. The idea is to buy one at £3 and dress it as a fairy or peg doll yourself. Not sure whether to make them up as kits with fabric and ribbon and 'hair' or just to offer the naked doll...any thoughts?

Friday 19 October 2012

Batik pictures

 When Christine Cartwright brought in her batik pictures the other day I wasn't sure I'd have enough room to display them.  Ideally I see them in a row on a wall just above a sofa in a minimalist all white room.  HH also stocks Christine's batik greetings cards.

Today is my daughter Sophie's birthday. Happy Birthday, Sophie. Have a wonderful day!

Thursday 18 October 2012

Wooly things in the window

In Handmade Happiness this week
 Felted knitted bag by Fiona Lindsay; red ceramic heart by Eileen Brown; felt cuff by me; warm scarf by Midge Hemingway and oak stool(on the floor behind the window sill) by Peter Skrzypczak.

Have you seen a new magazine called The Simple Things? I like it. There's a lot to read (it's not packed with ads) nice photos and it treats its readers with respect. A bit like a weekend colour supplement for variety of content. I think it will appeal to a lot of the people that like Handmade Happiness.  

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Count down

 Pam Dew has made this beautiful advent calendar, pocket by pocket. This will become somebody's family heirloom to be brought out every December for generations to come.

People say to me, 'Don't mention the 'C' word'. But little by little 'C' things are creeping into the shop.
Opinion is divided as to when shops should bring out their 'C' displays.  I thought end of August is too early for charity shops to stock 'C' cards. And I don't want the first thing I see in Waitrose to be a giant stack of 'C' puddings and mince pies (sell by date end of November). 

I know that lots of people shop all year round for 'C' gifts. I have never been able to organise myself to be one of them. And frankly I'd rather not be reminded of 'C' until around now when the temperature has dropped and one starts thinking of getting cosy and gathering with family and friends.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

What I bought

Madeleine Millington dyes blanket in the clearest colours. I bought this bag of bits from her on Sunday for £4.50. They will be great in embellisher machine(felting machine) projects or in a stitched wall hanging.
 21st century yarns produce these crinkled felts which are a lovely texture for mixing with handmade felt £5.95.The cheesecloth below at £1.50 echoes the lovely colours.

You might be thinking, 'Good. She's got the camera working again.' No. I had to bite the bullet and buy a new camera. The old one a Canon Digital Ixus 60 that I bought some years ago has now risen in price to £170 so I replaced it with a Panasonic S2 Lumix for £69. I took these photos on the kitchen table late last night. I have to say I don't think they would have come out as well on the old camera... You be the judge over the next few days.
Web links are on the previous post.

Monday 15 October 2012

The Knitting and Stitching Show

Fairy decoration by Jenny Stacy
 It was crowded. It was such a crush that somehow my camera got bashed and wouldn't work. I charged up the battery this morning but have to accept that it still doesn't work. Ann-oy-ing.
So instead you've got a picture of one of the little fairies I'm making. This one looks a bit shy.

A word picture of the K & S show then:
It's big. Three halls. Trade hall for materials; exhibition area for art students' work; have a go area; exhibition area for well-known  textile artists and makers.

I saw a man's fisherman's jersey which morphed into a jacket half way down; colourfully embroidered mens' suits; twiddles of felt and ribbon called fairies; a lace and wire leaf and flower necklace; lots of knitted creatures.

I bought a small piece of indigo dyed stitch resist fabric from Changs textiles. A beautiful stand. I loved a New York store's stand of Japanese fine yarns and knitwear, so delicate, so different; I bought crinkled felt, a stack of hydrangea blues and lilacs and some matching dyed cheesecloth from 21st century yarns; a pot of gold wax paste from Art Van Go and a bag of dyed blanket bits in yummy clear colours from Madeleine Millington.
Hopefully you'll see photos of all those things very soon...  

Saturday 13 October 2012

Put on your red shoes and dance...

Shoe made by Eileen Brown
 Eileen Brown makes shoes. Not ordinary shoes. Ceramic shoes. Yes, this is made of clay - you couldn't dance in it but it would look great on your dressing table perhaps draped in jewellery...
I'm hoping she'll bring in some more soon. I didn't have time to take a photograph of her metallic bronze shoe. It sold as soon as it went on display.

You may be wondering why I'm blogging again on Saturday. It's because I have to be up early tomorrow morning to catch the coach to the Knitting and Stitching show and there won't be time to write before I go. So please accept this as Sunday's post. Enjoy your weekend.

Lots of goodies

 In Handmade Happiness' window today are all these little gifts:

From the top down, left to right are:

Kate Hackett's heart mugs £16 each and Pixie's 'Scrap Sally' doll.
An embroidered 'Love' brooch by Karen Boller, £20; bluetit by Michelle Green,£24 and 'My fairy box' by me £5;
Painted face buttons by me £3.50 each; small house lino cut card by Jill Martin, £2; bird earrings by Kate Gunter, £8 and one of Kate Hackett's kitchen fairies, £5;
Karen Boller's embroidered and embellished cuff bracelet, £20 and dog brooch £9.50 with a sheet of old ladybird buttons.

Why not treat yourself? It is our birthday. Handmade Happiness is one year old today!

Friday 12 October 2012

A cosy shop

Candlesticks made by Peter Skrzypczak

Candlestick by Peter Skrzypczak
 Having these candles in the shop has given it a warm cosiness. 
They look real but the candles are actually battery operated therefore completely safe.  Peter brought them in with his candlesticks and I have never come across such a thing before. They flicker realistically and anyone would think they were really alight.
With the weather being dark, damp and constantly raining this week the candles and candlesticks have looked great. Thank you Peter. 

Thursday 11 October 2012

Crazy cat cushion!

 There's something early seventies about this cat made by Pam Dew. It's a groovy krazy kat!
Pam loves Kaffe Fassett fabrics, as I do and has used a lot of different ones in her cat. It looks great against Pam's patchwork cushions also available in Handmade Happiness
Pam brought in an excellent advent calendar she has made. It is fabulous. Picture to come.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Little snowflakes

I can't resist showing you these delicate snowflakes that Doreen Arnold has made for Handmade Happiness.
Here they are up close. So many different patterns.
 And this picture shows off Peter Skrzypczak's beautifully made tree display stand which is sold and just awaiting collection. Peter has just made some lovely candlesticks. I'll show you those later in the week.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Shop decor

 This picture is not upside down! These penguins are glued to the mirror ceiling of a clothes shop in Amsterdam. The shop was down a couple of steps and I remember falling in to the shop, Miranda Hart style in my excitement to take a photo of them!

So this is an extreme form of shop decor. I am just moving things round a little in Handmade Happiness. Yesterday, Monday, I spent the morning in the shop measuring, shifting the counter to a different position and, as it was raining, not seeing many people out and about.
I have been wondering whether or not to open on a Monday. But judging by yesterday I will keep Mondays special for trips to London etc. 

I'll be going to London by coach next Sunday to see the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace. This is an annual treat and I am really looking forward to it.

Monday 8 October 2012

Favourite things

 I found these watercolour pastels in a brocante when we lived in France.  I felt so lucky that day. Two layers of these pastels which can be used wet or dry for just 100 francs (£10). They are fun to use and fun to share for making 'painted papers'  for collage etc.

Have you noticed that I've added some new blog links to my Nice to Look At list in the right hand column? Check it out you might find one of your favourite things there. 

Sunday 7 October 2012

Not invisible

 Do you remember the feeling you had as a teenager and suffering low self esteem that it didn't matter what you did or didn't do because no-one noticed anyway? You didn't make an effort to see people or contact them or attend events because you didn't feel you counted. You felt invisible and believed everyone else thought you were invisible too.

Teenagers get forgiven for being selfish. Adults more or less expect it of them as they start to find out who they are. But if adults persist in this 'I'm invisible so no-one notices if I do nothing' behaviour it's not so clever.
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!! This is your life. Get out there and grab it and be the person you want to be. Newsflash! You are not invisible. People care about you and want you to join in!!

Sorry about the rant. Not sure where that came from but I hope some of you reading this can identify with it in some way!

Saturday 6 October 2012

Soft necklaces

Necklaces by Jenny Stacy. 
 One day I will employ someone to be in the shop for two days a week so that I can get on with making stuff at home.  That is my only frustration with running the shop. I don't seem to find time to make what I want to make.  On Wednesday (always the quietest day) I got a good start on a dozen angels, but on most days I am focussed on the customers or on re-arranging and cleaning the shop.  

Actually if I organised things differently I could make more in the shop. I try to make on the pay desk and my making can get in the way of wrapping purchases and taking money. So if I set up a work station away from the pay desk I could perhaps have craft materials and sewing machine out there and then leave what I was making to serve the customer. That's what I'll try to sort out today... Sorry it's a thinking aloud kind of post today.

Friday 5 October 2012

Knitted cats

 Sue Calder bought in these little cats she has knitted yesterday. As well as being a cute decoration to hang on the tree I think they would make a good pet present. Perhaps after removing the bell.

Petersfield is a town where it seems almost everyone owns a dog. I expect quite a few of these dogs will get their own stocking at Christmas. Yesterday a friend said she is busy knitting a coat for her older dog for the cold weather and for Christmas he is also getting his own Barbour jacket. Yes, Petersfield is a great place for a dog to live.
Dogs on leads are welcome in Handmade Happiness particularly if they are shopping for presents!

Thursday 4 October 2012

Through the square window...

 Yesterday Ann Hutchins brought in some beautiful cards celebrating Autumn, all hand-painted in gouche. Each worthy of framing. 

There is a wide range of cards for sale in Handmade Happiness now. Batik cards, lino cut cards, photograph cards, collage cards, cards showing embroidery- all very individual for that special person. 

In the picture you can see  Jacqui Watkins' screen printed tea towels:
 'Love local, shop local, buy local' one of them says.  Also worthy of framing?!

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Remembering Tricot Too

 Clothes by Lauren Vidal in Tricot Too's window.

Tricot Too was in Dragon Street, Petersfield where 'Duet' is now.  It sold the most unusual clothes. Layers of  leggings, soft t-shirts, skirts, jackets, tops and trousers often all worn together. 

In the front part of the shop were household items. Brightly coloured plates, washing up bowls that folded, scented water for ironing. All kinds of different, unusual bits and pieces. The owners sourced some of the stock in Copenhagen. Other things were from Belgium and France. It was an eclectic mix and from the first moment I visited I loved it. 

When I moved to Petersfield about 7 years ago I made things for various shops. I started making more and more for Tricot Too and through making for them got to know the owners. Eventually they offered me a job behind the counter and I was thrilled to work there until the day they closed in August 2011.

By then I planned to take over a shop across the street. Handmade Happiness owes a lot to Tricot Too.
HH customers often tell me how they miss it. And I draw a lot of inspiration from the time I spent in that unique shop. 

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Autumn wool

 Warm shades of autumn in the shop window.

The knitted then felted bag is by Fiona Lindsay; felt purse by Susannah Smith and crocheted loop scarf by Michelle Green.

I'll change the window today and start work on those Christmas fairies. Rag rugs and wall hangings are coming in this week. Just two weeks now until Handmade Happiness's first birthday! 

Monday 1 October 2012

Fingers crossed no rain

 Our Big Family Picnic on the shores of Bewl Water in Kent was held yesterday. 35 family members across four generations  gathered to chat, eat and sail. It was good to see old and young together. These hands belong to the youngest - baby Teddy who was as good as gold all day, happy to be passed from one adoring female to another!

It's easy to sometimes forget we are all part of a clan. Sharing stories and seeing similarities reminds us and gives us our place and roots.
Our clan yesterday stemmed from my grandfather William who fathered 7 children and family trees were busily scrawled on bits of paper to show our common lineage.  
Wish that everyone lived closer...