Friday 30 January 2015

Tiny Valentine's cards

Tiny handmade Valentine's cards with envelope £1 by Jenny Stacy
This week the floor of Handmade Happiness is littered with tiny scraps of coloured paper. I'm making Valentine's cards. These tiny ones and much larger ones, some of which have the word Love embossed in gold on them.

I remember in a previous year painstakingly threading red rose petals and hanging them in the window as part of a Valentine's window display. I do love real flowers in the shop. Soon I'll be able to have white hyacinths and their lovely scent.  Tulips might be nice for now but they do tend to flop over the moment they are put in water.

Yesterday was a celebration day for me. I submitted my online tax return.

By the way I've used up all my old magazines and the ones that customers have brought me. So instead of puting your old magazines into the recycling bin could you possibly drop them in to me? They would be gratefully received and turned into carrier bags and paper bags for the shop. Thank you. 

Sunday 25 January 2015

New cushions made by Kate Box

Kate Box's knitted cushion £57 and Jenny Stacy doll £29
Kate Box cushion £57
 These soft cushions are knitted front and back in 100% lambswool by Kate Box. Luxurious and smart. 
Regular visitors to Handmade Happiness will know that Kate also makes colourful striped and bobbled wrist warmers, snoods, scarves and baby blankets.

Spot the difference

New improved bracelets by Jenny Stacy
I wasn't happy with the bracelets I showed yesterday. So I re-did them. Now the loops are thicker and easy to do up. I've removed the large wooly rounds and replaced them with more delicate pieces. I've taken beads out to make the bracelets smaller. Now I am happy to actually sell them!

Friday 23 January 2015

Making bracelets

Bracelets by Jenny Stacy
Today after another heavy frost it was too cold for browsers at Handmade Happiness.
I spent the day playing with bits of fabric and wool and building up these unusual bracelets.

Monday 19 January 2015

Paintings by Christine Burgess

 Christine Burgess brought in her latest paintings to Handmade Happiness on Saturday.

Screen printed dog cards by Sue Inglis

I watch many dogs and their owners pass the windows of Handmade Happiness. It always seems to me that every family in Petersfield has a dog. Not too many pink poodles though!
These cards, screen printed by Sue Inglis, are for sale in Handmade Happiness now at £2-95 each.

Sunday 18 January 2015

That time of year

Purple hyacinths
It's that time of year when snow is forecast and I long to fill my house and shop with flowers.
Spring is coming!

Apologies for not taking photos in the shop recently. I want to show you Christine Burgess' new paintings of the sea. Four paintings one of them large. All seascapes with a Turner-like appreciation for clouds and their reflections on the ever changing colours of the sea.

Sue Inglis brought in some new screen printed cards she has made of different breeds of dogs. I think these will be very popular. 
And Katrin Eagle has needlefelted some brooches which I've added to the big board of brooches in the shop. Photos to come (promise!)

Gentle reminder: This month the shop is closed on Tuesdays. January opening hours are Wednesday to Saturday 10-5. If you can't make those days and want to come in to the shop email me (look right) and I'll meet your there at your convenience if I possibly can.

Btw I've sorted out the comment box below so all you have to do is click on Comments,write what you want to write and click on the 'I am not a robot' box. Done. Couldn't be easier.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Handmade UK

Pam Dew's gloriously colourful quilt using Kaffe Fassett fabrics.
Looking round Handmade Happiness textiles are very well represented. I may need to balance things up with blown glass, quirky ceramics, wrought iron etc. So I need to look for these things further afield. Handmade still of course but handmade in the UK not necessarily handmade in the Petersfield area.

This week the Top Drawer trade fair incorporting 'Craft' is on in London.  I wondered whether to go and have a look but actually I can see all the exhibitors' products on their website. Has the internet made such shows unnecessary? Serious buyers need to touch and handle what's on offer but for browsers like me I can probably see what I want to see online.

I went to Top Drawer a couple of times before I had the shop and I was shocked that individual sellers demanded £500 minimum orders. I expect it's more than £500 now.

My next opportunity to view lots of craft under one roof is at Unravel at Farnham Maltings in February. A show about all things wool, oops, textiles again.
Now excuse me while I check out the websites of the people whose work I like who are exhibiting this week in London.

On Friday Christine Burgess is bringing in her latest paintings. Can you remember the seascapes pictured before Christmas on this blog? Loved them. I can't wait to see her latest work. 

Friday 9 January 2015

A different way of buying = treats

New stitched, painted and collaged picture by Sheila Barrow
I just flicked on the radio and they were talking about the bad state of the economy, as per usual.  I've noticed in the shop that people are careful. They don't rush to buy, they go away and think about it and then come back. 

Before Christmas people said:'We're only buying for children this year.' Or they did Secret Santa where each person only buys for one other and the person they buy for is drawn from a hat.

So was less spent overall last Christmas? I doubt it. But I do think there are different patterns of spending now and shops like mine need to be alert to it.

I think people who are sensible and careful most of the time because they have so many calls on their money need to have the occasional splurge. The occasional treat to make life rosier.
A colourful brooch or a keyring; a pair of soft, cosy socks; a thick magazine with a cup of hot chocolate. Nothing expensive so there is no guilt attached just a small indulgence to make being good and restrained for 90% of the time that bit easier.

If I'm right and people want special things to buy for themselves through the year then the emphasis moves away from Christmas spending to give a more even spread of spending in other months. And that has got to be a good thing.   

Friday 2 January 2015

All change!

I like the way they've drawn on the big windows at Anthropologie
A clean and tidy display of book magazines at Anthropologie
I'm reaching for something without being quite clear as to what it is I'm reaching for!

This is day three of a big re-arrange in Handmade Happiness with the help of my friend Chrissy Pearce.  The furniture has all changed round to allow room for a work table which I will try to keep clear of things for sale. It is for making on!  

The new emphasis for this year at Handmade Happiness is that things will be in the process of being made either by me and/or by others while the shop is open.  There will also be lots of things for sale of course but it will not be all about selling. It will be more inspiring and more have a go and, for me, a more productive place to be.

I remember a shop in Midhurst where a designer dressmaker used to sit at her sewing machine all day running up pretty gowns, sometimes for Hollywood actresses. There were clothes to buy there and a brilliant £10 basket that my girls loved rummaging through but the shop owner kept right on making.

The shop opens tomorrow, Saturday. Come and see what you think of the new layout. I'll put pictures on my blog too. Please note that next week I hope to focus on my poor neglected house and the shop will only be open on Saturday January 10th after which it's business as usual.
 January opening hours are Wednesday to Friday  9.30am to 5pm.