Sunday 28 June 2015

Butterfly brooches

Butterfly brooches made by Jenny Stacy
More butterfly brooches by Jenny Stacy
Butterfly brooches made yesterday by Jenny Stacy

I enjoyed a sociable day in the shop yesterday. The fan kept everyone cool and the conversation flowed. It was a man asking for a card with butterflies on it that set me off making these in the afternoon. 

First I drew a small butterfly and a bigger butterfly on paper and cut these out as my pattern. Then I found my bag of velvet scraps and some bits of painted silk and needlefelted some of these to pieces of Glen Wellstead's dyed wool blanket pieces. (These are sold in the shop for £4.50 a bundle.) Then I pinned on my paper patterns and cut round them.  Gold glitter glue finished them off, outlining the wings and colouring in the body. Now I just have to sew on the the brooch backs.  

I wondered whether to sew on some tiny glass beads or to do some embroidery on them. But this takes time and would make them more expensive. So I've decided to keep them simple for now. Nearer Christmas I can enjoy myself really going to town with beads and embroidery on the butterfly brooches for party season!

Friday 26 June 2015

In the window this week

The work of various talented local makers in the Handmade Happiness window
No changes yet to the 'washing lines' display format at Handmade Happiness
In the top picture you can see Jill Poole's wren postcard £1; Ali Cooper's bowl and spoon and her heart jug directly below; square decorated tile coaster by Samantha Robertson.

Blue knitted socks by Gill Green £20;  star card by Sue Inglis £1.95;  cat and bird felt brooches by Karen Boller £9.50 each; white ceramic night light by Sam Robertson £14.

 Blue heart coaster by Eileen Brown £5; painted notebook by Sheila Barrow £24.50; and grey mug by Justine Jenner £15.

Next Thursday July 2nd is Karen Head's workshop on felt making and then making a flower from it. If you want to join us from 7-9pm at Winton House the cost is £10 in advance to include materials and a glass of wine and tea/coffee. Book at the shop during opening hours.

Carol Smith, who makes the embroidered nude brooches,  has kindly designed and made posters and flyers about the workshops which you will see throughout the town from today onwards.

Monday 22 June 2015

MADE at West Dean

Queen of Sweden roses from my garden now
Love roses, especially when they have a strong scent as well as look beautiful. This bush was from David Austin.
Yesterday I visited the Design and Craft Fair at West Dean. Around 100 stalls in the beautiful setting of West Dean Gardens and West Dean College. An event I had been looking forward to.

 I found some talented craftspeople there.  Check out
Justine's paper thin porcelain is amazing. Another ceramicist, 
uses beautiful colours on her fine stoneware vessels. I'd love to have these peoples' work in the shop.

Becky Crow's complex pictorial silver jewellery is also extremely clever   I also like Sue Gregor's colourful resin earrings 
Teresa Green's hand printed clothing is nice and Rachel Larkins has tiny dolls. Her display is like looking inside her imagination.

I like to find items that have that handmade energy and spontaneity about them. You feel the makers' excitement in the things they make and you sense they are on some kind of creative journey very personal to them.
Those are the people whose work I want in Handmade Happiness.

Saturday 20 June 2015

Shop thoughts

Wayne Osborne has now painted my A board - front...
...and back. Hand painted by Wayne Osborne 
Now that Handmade Happiness looks refreshed on the outside I want to refresh it on the inside too.  The main window has too many little things in it. As one customer said,'You don't need to come in the shop if you can see everything it sells in the window.'

My intention was just that - to give a sample of what Handmade Happiness sells through its window display but now I think it would be more fun to go down the Anthropologie route. To have something quirky and attention grabbing in the window which is not necessarily for sale but is just intriguing and talk worthy.  I'm remembering the curtain of used fruit tea bags in Anthropologie's window and, on another occasion the chandeliers made of re-cycled plastic cups and plastic cutlery. 

I'd like to make a life-sized rag doll, perhaps wearing some of the shop products, wacky brooches, knitted socks, a cashmere cardi.... I can picture how fun it would look...

 In fact as much fun as small children have walking through the pictured 'A' board. I wouldn't want to stop them. I wonder if they missed it while it was being painted at Wayne's studio?

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Facelift for Handmade Happiness!

Passing cars will notice Handmade Happiness now!
Wayne Osborne of Osborne Signs Ltd starts hand-painting.
Above the door. This space was previously blank. What a waste!
I'm really pleased with the way the words 'gifts' and 'art' look in a shade darker green.
When Handmade Happiness first opened three and a half years ago I spent very little on signage and ended up with black writing in just one of four spaces. I wasn't happy about it and realised the short sign made the shop look smaller than it is and less noticeable than it could be.

 On Monday Wayne Osborne, one of just a few sign writers in the country,whose 
company is based at Midhurst, made good use of the available space with paint my mother would call 'chartreuse' ie a yellow/lime with a dash of black and the kind of clear joined-up writing that I wanted.

I'm really pleased with the way the shop now looks. Thank you Wayne - check out lots of other signs he has painted on  He's taken my 'A'board away to re-paint. Next step is puting a sign up on that flag pole you can see just above the door. 

Tomorrow, Thursday, is the knitting get together at Winton House - 7 to 9pm. If you are coming and haven't told me you are definitely coming please email me or ring the shop tomorrow - 01730 267711 so I don't underestimate numbers. I am looking forward to a relaxed evening in good company. Just sorting out what yarns to take from the ridiculous amount I seem to have accumulated over the years!

Monday 15 June 2015

Weaving and knitting by Gill Green

Silk mix scarf woven by Gill Green
Knitted socks by Gill Green £20 with larger cat by Sue Inglis £9.99
Knitted scarf by Gill Green £24
From left: Scarf by Gill Green £24; cashmere cardis by Seonaid Noble £95 and large blanket by Kate Box £99
Gill Green walked into Handmade Happiness with a box of her woven scarves and knitted socks. It was a nice surprise and I am delighted to now be her stockist.

The Knitting Workshop is on Thursday night. There are still a few places left if you want to join us.
Hope you had a nice weekend!

Thursday 11 June 2015

My weekend

Younger daughter Sophie lives in Harpenden and on Sunday we went for a scenic walk there along a river created by a natural spring. We thought we saw a kingfisher - just a flash of colour. The water was so pure and clear you could see all the fish - trout apparently. 

On Monday I went to London and enjoyed the feeling of being an international traveller at St Pancras railway station, home of Eurostar and a mini Fortnum and Masons. I imagined travelling back and forth to Paris where my second Handmade Happiness store will be based...!

In Covent Garden I looked round the Gudrun Sjoden shop.  Strong colour cottons in big prints. The clothes are cheerful and fun and layered. I liked the way Gudrun's clothes' designs are pinned up on the wall on large sheets of paper and the simple rose motif painted on the floors.  It's Swedish but has stores all over the world.

At Waterloo station these giant dinosaurs were getting photographed a lot. I was en route to daughter Amy's house where I look after baby Juno so her mum can work. Juno may only be 11 months old but she's in training. I may need her to work in Handmade Happiness, Paris one day!! 

Sunday 7 June 2015

Learn to Knit on June 18th. Workshop news.

Cardigan pattern by Erika Knight. Shawl in made up pattern. Both knitted by Jenny Stacy for first grandchild.
Close up of Erika Knight's cardigan design
Another Erika Knight pattern knitted by Jenny Stacy
Simple baby socks knitted on just two needles
 The first craft workshop on Thursday June 18th 7.30pm to 9.00pm at Winton House in Petersfield High Street will focus on beginners' knitting. Learning to cast on, knit, pearl and cast off. 
There will be no class the following week as the room is booked by another group for every third Thursday.

The second craft workshop on Thursday July 2nd is on felt making. Specifically  'Making a Felt Flower'. Karen Head, who makes the amazing nuno felted scarves in Handmade Happiness will lead this class.

The third craft workshop on Thursday July 9th is on paper collage. Building a picture with paper you've painted and drawn on and torn pictures from magazines. Jenny Stacy will lead this class.

There will be no craft workshop the following week as it is the third Thursday of the month.

The fourth craft workshop on Thursday July 23rd is on Learning to Crochet. This class will be led by Pam Dew who makes the stunning quilts for Handmade Happiness and crochet bags.

Every Thursday night except the third Thursday in the month will focus on a different craft.  Future sessions may include cushion making, printing, embroidery, doll making, lampshade making basically whatever customers want to have a go at, as long as there is enough demand.  Towards Christmas we will make presents, make Christmas cards and Christmas gift wrap and tree decorations. I'm excited already!

To book for any particular class, or all of them contact Jenny at the shop or by email. The fee is £10 payable on the night to include basic materials and a glass of wine and tea or coffee.

Friday 5 June 2015

Christine Burgess delivers 5 new pictures

'Lemons from Provence' by Christine Burgess £65
'Waterfront' by Christine Burgess £180
'Spectrum' by Christine Burgess £350
'Squall' by Christine Burgess £85
'Daybreak' by Christine Burgess £85
 Christine Burgess has just brought in five new pictures to Handmade Happiness which demonstrate her versatility. This artist is equally comfortable painting seascapes or abstracts and her lemons show that she also has a gift for still life.

    I can imagine 'Lemons' in a kitchen against maybe a grey wall. 
    'Spectrum' and 'Waterfront' would be great in a corporate setting, in a boardroom or office foyer or hotel. 
    'Squall' is my personal favourite. It has a lot of movement. 'Squall' and 'Daybreak' would be like extra windows in a room and would make great gifts for anyone with a special attachment to the sea.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

New pots and the right writing...

One of a kind vessels made by Niloo Wickramasinghe
This is the sign writing I want for Handmade Happiness. 
 These are the pictures I couldn't show in the last post. I figured a way round the problem. Just email pics from Picasa to your email and then forward to your blogger account. It works.

Monday 1 June 2015

La Droguerie inspiration

I've been writing this blog for nearly 7 years... Today no picture as the Picasa/Google/Blogger link is broken so please imagine what I would have shown you: 

Firstly some new ceramics - soon as I can I'll share with you and secondly, the 'la droguerie' sign which is the inspiration for my new shop sign which will soon appear.

La Droguerie is one of my favourite shops. It has several branches in France and sells buttons, beads, ribbons, yarn and patterns all attractively displayed. It has unusual bits and pieces like velvety pansies and is a total joy to browse in.

 The simple joined up writing on its logo is the clear kind of writing I want for the new Handmade Happiness writing above the shop.  For many years I dreamed of having a shop like la droguerie but fate conspired to grant me a gift shop instead. A Handmade Happiness shop full of brilliant things made by talented people and cards, most of which you will not find elsewhere.

I did a really silly thing on Friday. I cut my hand while serving a customer and, being distracted, I punched in £1-90 for her picture on the card machine instead of the £190 it should have been. I didn't realise until later and I'm sure she hasn't realised either. Today I'll write to her bank so they can let her know and try to stop kicking myself!!