Tuesday 30 December 2014

Penny Seume - in Anthropologie and Handmade Happiness

Penny Seume velvet cushions in Anthropologie
Striking velvet print by Penny Seume on a chair in Anthropologie

Penny Seume's distinctive fabrics in Anthropologie
 It was a thrill for me to see Penny Seume's work in the new Anthropologie store in Bath. 
I feel privileged to have Penny's cushions and lampshades in Handmade Happiness because her work is so original.  Inspired by city landscapes at night Penny paints and collages pictures which are  transferred to velvet and linen and made into household objects. To see more of Penny's work visit her website www.pennyseume.co.uk   

Monday 29 December 2014

Bath - shops

Shannon. What a good idea to have little shelves on each side of the window.
Katherine Fraser, weaver. I like these cushions
Interesting fabric...
Wish this had been open. Nice lettering. Close up of door in previous post.
A little bit of France. Patisserie Valerie.
Clothes I want to see again.
Could this be Handmade Happiness Too?! 
Looking at these pictures makes me want to go straight back to Bath! 
I'd visit by train next time. It took too long by car. I'd like visit these shops when they are open. 
Meantime I have the Petersfield branch of Handmade Happiness to consider! The shop will be open this Saturday January 3rd. Before that I plan to give it a good clean and sort out.

The emphasis in 2015 will be about making. Making in the shop, especially in those quiet months of January and February... I also want to have a selling website - anyone tried Shopify? and more publicity in magazines for Handmade Happiness.

Sunday 28 December 2014

Bath - buildings

An interior design shop
Old church, now a restaurant

Like the big lit star in the top window

Saturday 27 December 2014

Christmas in Bath

We stayed at this house on a very steep hill

Georgian buildings, pale yellow stone, nice little shops. Bath was a wonderful place to spend Christmas in. The family and I, including baby Juno were together in this four bedroom house just a short walk from the city centre. We walked, we played games - 'Articulate' being the favourite, we ate too much and enjoyed chatting together. I hope your Christmas was just as happy! 
More pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas to you from Petersfield

I love these traditional little jackets from Janet Paley pictured high in Handmade Happiness's window
I wish you a serene Christmas! 
It's all rush round here and I'm sure you feel the same. Getting everything ready for tomorrow.
Handmade Happiness is open this morning. After today it will be closed for a short break. 
I'll write again at greater length after the Christmas holidays. Have fun!

Friday 19 December 2014

Woven scarves by Katrin Eagle

Katrin Eagle scarf
Woven scarves by Katrin Eagle
Katrin Eagle has just moved to Petersfield and yesterday she showed me the lovely scarves she makes. Kristin dyes the wool, spins it and then weaves it to make these one-off scarves.
There are 7 for sale in Handmade Happiness and I have a feeling that 7 lucky people will be receiving them for Christmas...

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Love this and appreciating people

I love this. Sooo beautiful!
 I'm feeling very lucky to have found the makers whose work makes Handmade Happiness so special. Makers who are on their own creative path, developing their ideas and creating really original products. 

Some makers come up with one idea and stick to it, creating a lot of the same. This is probably all right when your work is being exposed to millions of people all at once, many of whom won't have seen it before. But in a small shop like Handmade Happiness in order to satisfy regular customers with continuously changing stock I prefer makers who are experimenting with what they do, pushing their own boundaries if you like and regularly coming in with new ideas. Each is on his or her own journey and it shows in the distinct look of their work.

In January I hope to develop some of my own ideas which at present are confined to notebooks. No time to make right now, the shop is too busy. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Monday 15 December 2014

Shop news

Amazing photo of boxing hares taken locally by photographer Paul Soden
Jacqui Watkins, whose lino cut cards are so popular has brought out a range of notebooks £3-95 each
Paul Soden is happy to lie in wait for hours to get the perfect shot of local wildlife. Handmade Happiness stocks his large format cards (which could be framed) of birds of prey, hares, deer, pheasant etc. for £2.50 each. This framed photo - female on the right connecting with male on the left with a sharp right hook was taken at East Meon. A Christmas present with a difference for £29. www.paulsodenphotography.co.uk

Saturday was the busiest day bar none in Handmade Happiness. Makers Sue Inglis (knitted ornaments) and Tanya Williamson (applique animal cushions) are coming in with more stock on Tuesday and on Sunday talented artist Sheila Barrow brought in a browser of unframed pictures for the shop to sell and three more framed originals.

I am also excited to see Christine Burgess' new paintings, also coming in on Tuesday. Recently I showed a picture of her atmospheric seascapes. They sold very quickly and now several people are waiting to be contacted when the next paintings come into the shop.

Michelle Green delivered 6 of her beautifully made needlefelted robins on Saturday along with a small herd of her reindeer.
Kate Box whose soft wrist warmers are so comfortable and warm to wear is coming in with fresh supplies too.

Opening hours this week are Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Basically if I'm in the shop it's open! Enjoy your week.

Saturday 13 December 2014

Wren picture

Jill Poole's delicate painting of a wren
 Just a reminder that the shop will be open tomorrow Sunday from 10am to 12.30. It will be closed on Monday. Today, business as usual 10am to 5pm.

Today I am fascinated by Fairisle knitting. I am looking forward to doing some serious making in January when there will be a clear work table in the shop for me and anyone that wants to bring along what they are making to work together. Maybe there will be a joint project...But first I plan to re-decorate the shop while it is closed immediately after Christmas.

Monday 8 December 2014

In the shop now

Katherine Wardropper's delicately made Christmas decoration
Katherine Wardropper's decorations come in a range of colours
Kate Hackett's ceramic fairy decorations
In the window Penny Seume's lampshade, Clare Lund's wood tree, and Tanya Williamson's applique cushion
Pale blue velvet duck cushion by Tanya Williamson and set of 6 cherrywood serving boards by Chris Black.
Handmade Happiness is 'a museum of masterpieces' a customer said recently. The quality of the handmade items frequently amazes people. 

 Katherine Wardropper developed her own technique at art school and since then has worked with an Elizabethan costume designer when she designed and created  an intricate head piece for Helen Mirren and she makes jewellery and giant wallpieces. See her work at www.katherinewardropper.com

Penny Seume prints her own artwork onto fabrics to produce very distinctive cushions and lampshades. www.pennyseume.co.uk

Tanya Williamson makes popular applique cushions featuring animals, birds, even a stag beetle. When someone asked if she could make a cushion showing a bassett hound she didn't hesitate and delivered the cushion two days later.

At the last count 43 peoples' work is stocked in Handmade Happiness. Come and see.
In addition to normal working hours Handmade Happiness will be open again next Sunday 10am to 12.30.

Extra Opening Hours -today 10-12.30

Carluccio's boxes of panettone.
It's Monday, normally a day when the shop is closed. I've decided to be open from 10am to 12.30 today possibly longer. I was open yesterday, Sunday morning and the shop was busy. Petersfield is a morning town. I find that nearly all sales are in the morning for some reason. 
Today I'll take some photos in the shop. Somehow there aren't enough hours in the day at the moment. Yesterday afternoon I drove to Waterlooville and had a good look round tkmax, for a bit of Christmas shopping and this afternoon I'll hopefully get into Chichester for a wander. I'm searching for baby girl's gifts. She's already had the best presents ie. the ones from Handmade Happiness so now I have to spread my net wider!

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Lit up London

Little Lowry-like silhouettes in a light box that is actually a clothes store
The Saatchi Gallery and giant Christmas tree
Cascading triangles at Peter Jones. These would be easy to make
Joyful penguins in the Peter Jones' windows.
On Monday I met daughter Amy and little baby for a spot of Christmas shopping. Gone are the days when we used to jump on tubes and cross London taking in as many shops as we could in one day. It is far too tempting to chat over a coffee and play with baby. A teeny bit of shopping got done. And a good look round Peter Jones, M&S and Zara. Amy left early to avoid rush hour. I stayed on and enjoyed looking at Jacadi's chic but expensive baby clothes and just walking admiring all the lights. It's London, it's Christmas and it's inspiring!

Sunday 30 November 2014

New in Handmade Happiness

Two seascapes painted by Christine Burgess. 'Dawn' left and 'Dusk' right.
Specs or phone cases made by Bee Mellor. £19.50each
Porcelain candle holders by Ali Cooper. £16.50 each
Single bed quilt made by Pam Dew.
This week Christine Burgess delivered large wooden boards, more twig hooks, lino cut printed Christmas cards and these two remarkable acrylic paintings - much bigger than they look here, inspired by Turner. I'm seriously thinking of re-decorating my house to suit the paintings. That is if no-one else beats me to it! They are really good!

More all silk specs cases from Bee Mellor. These make super gifts.

Ali Cooper came in with lots of mugs. I particularly like the ones with raised dogs and a skating bear. She likes working with porcelain clay and these night lights pictured are an example of what she achieves with it.

Pam Dew came in with her latest quilt. A riot of reds, oranges and highlights of yellows and greens. I love it as will anyone who loves Kaffe Fassett's fabrics.

Tanya Williamson has brought in more of her popular applique cushions.

The shop is bursting at the seams at the moment.  It was so busy yesterday. Come and see before someone else buys your favourite gifts.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Making Christmas cards

Glittery bauble card by Jenny Stacy
Card by Jenny Stacy. See instructions below.
Christmas card by Jenny Stacy
These cards were such fun (and quick) to make. The shape is raised with foam pads so it's a bit 3D.

Do you tear off Christmas stamps at this time of year? I have to squirrel them away and this year I've made my collection of lovely Christmas stamps an essential part of my cards.

If you want to make a card along these lines this is how it's done:
First draw your bauble shape (or a tree/piece of holly/ whatever you fancy drawing) onto card. Cut it out. This is your template.

Then go through any Christmas magazine and tear out Christmassy pictures/ colours and glue them onto a sheet of white copy paper. I use stick glue for this like Pritt stick. Lay your template on and cut round it. Keep cutting out shapes until you've used up your collage sheet.
I then used a hole punch to make the hole in the top of the design. Add a Christmas stamp, star, whatever you have and then use glitter to make the whole thing sparkle. Leave to dry.

I found an old necklace of little coloured gold discs in a charity shop. I threaded a disc through a length of ribbon to tie in to the hole on the design. Then apply sticky foam pads to the reverse of your shape and press it onto a piece of folded card. Done. 

And if you don't fancy making cards or you haven't got time these cards and more are available to buy at Handmade Happiness for £2.50 each.

Friday 21 November 2014


A selection of the stuff Jenny Stacy makes. Picture taken a few years ago.
I remember making this bunting and seeing the red pom-pom braid near to hand.
My friend Carol asked me to write about creativity. So I'm writing this off the top of my head so forgive me, its just my personal thoughts on the subject.

First of all I know we're all creative. Some people feel they haven't the time to express their creativity but it's still in them. Others may play instruments or do a painting or write down their thoughts and get the same creative satisfaction that making something gives to us makers.

Visiting Handmade Happiness often triggers visitors to go off and make something.  So exposing ourselves to inspiring artwork or a view when out for a walk, a certain photograph or even a colour of paint any of these things could make us sit down and use our creative powers to good effect. The enemy here is the practical side of our brains which tells us we'd better do the washing up first or check our bank statement or make the phone call we'd been dreading - anything to keep us away from the happy making time. I don't know why we trip ourselves up like this but I do and I dare say you do too.

Once we allow ourselves to get lost in creativity it's almost like stepping into another realm. Time seems to stand still. The focus is all on the job in hand. And once we finish making something the tremendous satisfaction and peace if what we produce is what we hoped to produce. For creativity starts as the germ of an idea in the imagination and we think about it, write about it, draw it even before finally getting down to making it. This is called the creative process and few of us are lucky enough to get paid for this vital planning stage that goes into producing anything original and worthwhile.

The creative person gets fulfilment from making something that is truly of them. From their imagination. That is why it's so hard for the maker to sell their own work. When a shop turns them down it's like a personal rejection. I am acutely conscious of this when makers show me their work. That is why I have a lot of respect for the quirky and weird, almost experimental pieces that people arrive at. Not much respect for work that is obviously a copy of something seen elsewhere.

Creativity is fed by all we see and experience around us. I think of the imagination as a big sieve. It extracts all that's relevant or exciting to us personally and anything we make is ideally a mish-mash of what we've seen but with our own unique personal spin on it.  

Saturday 15 November 2014

Selling at a country house

Handmade Happiness on a table and (not pictured) a coffee table where Christmas decorations were on a tree
Karen Boller's dog, cat and bird brooches
Handmade Happiness carrier bags with my dolls in the window
The house owner's fabulous cushion made out of one of her old jumpers.
 Yesterday a friend looked after the shop while I sold at a country house 'Christmas shopping event.' 
When I first started making things I was invited to peoples' houses for charity coffee mornings. I would sell my makes and give a percentage of takings to the charity. They generally lasted for two hours and were better for me than any craft fair. 

I soon learned there was something called the Charities List which you could apply to be on and would then be sent a list of events you could ask to have a stall at. I never actually applied as I got swallowed up into making for shops and the twice yearly Country Living magazine shows in London.

Now the shop is the selling focus and it's far easier to praise other peoples' work than to big up my own!! 
By the way I really like this cushion. Although picture knitwear isn't exactly on trend any more, doesn't it look good as a cushion? An old fairisle jumper made into a cushion would also be very saleable...