Thursday 29 December 2016

Bright thoughts on a misty morning

Low mist over Petersfield Lake. Picture taken yesterday at lunchtime.
One of my New Year's Resolutions is to aim for 10,000 steps a day ie. to fit in more excercise. So yesterday I walked round Petersfield Lake and I aim to do that every day. Just walking in the fresh air is uplifting.

This is one of my favourite times of the year. In spite of the cold and damp, everyone gets the chance of a fresh start as the page of one year is turned onto the page of a new year. 

Although I'm not opening the shop again until Saturday January 7th I'll be popping in and out and if you want to visit before then just text or email me and we'll arrange it.

Thursday 22 December 2016

Bee Mellor's bird decorations

Fun needlefelted and machine embroidered birds made by Bee Mellor
Great for any time of the year but right now Bee Mellor's birds can be hung on the tree.
Sometimes handmade items come into the shop that I have a strong feeling about. I love these birds. They are highly collectable and the sort of thing that will be treasured for a long, long time. 

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Let's talk about it

Flowers from my mother's funeral 
 Today I went to the funeral of a close friend. She had a big personality and very definite views on life.  We could talk on the telephone for hours and she never bored me. She was one of those 'seekers after truth' always curious, always willing to discuss and share what she had found out.

Today I saw that the church was full. She had lots of friends.... and a taste for Macedonian folk music (played at her funeral) that I had never suspected. Although she could be blunt, she was extremely generous. Like my mother, she expressed her love through the gifts she gave.

I appreciate her more now that she's gone. She collected beautiful things and her house was magazine perfect. Her taste inspires mine. I'd like to talk to her again on the telephone but I can't. She's gone.

We've all got to go one day. I wish we could talk about death more.It's one of those subjects like 'sex, religion and politics' that is never discussed. We pretend it's not going to happen to us, but it is. I've listened to a very good programme called 'Let's talk about death' led by Joan Bakewell on Radio 4. She takes an unflinching look at exactly what happens to us in the lead up to our deaths and listening to doctors, district nurses and the bereaved talk about it is not half as depressing as you may think.

Friday 16 December 2016

Lots of fairies

I bought this fine material in France. The trim belonged to a friend's mother. Fairy made by Jenny Stacy 
This one makes me think of The Nutcracker. Fairy by Jenny Stacy
An over-dressed fairy with a generous mouth! Fairy by Jenny Stacy
A big hair Madame Pompadour fairy by Jenny Stacy
Twirling fairy by Jenny Stacy
Fairies on the sparkly tree in Handmade Happiness
Ceramic robin by Kate Hackett and embroidered decoration by Bee Mellor
I had a big change around in the shop yesterday and now it looks simplified.

I'm showing you fairies today as that's what I've been making (and will continue making) this week. 

It's funny how attached you get to the things you make. Yesterday someone was considering using one of my dolls as a doorstop and I felt quite worried that poor Bessie was going to spend years being bashed every time someone opened that door. We talked about alternatives and luckily Bessie is still waiting to go to a good home!!

By the way I've put some pictures on Instagram but failed to install the widget on the blog. If you want to look anyway it's jenny_handmade_happiness

As there's no history on my new phone could anyone that regularly texts please text to say Hi from (name here) so I have their details? Thanks.

Hello and welcome to Russian readers! This week the blog has many visitors from there.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

All these things cost between £5 and £10

Baby bootees by Patricia £9.50; Fairy by Jenny £9.50 and lavender bag by Brenda Tilbury £4.95
Three felt brooches made by Karen Boller £9.50 each
Doll's dress £6 and matching pants £6 made by Lindy Groom
Trousers for teddy made by Lindy Groom £6
Vases and porcelain small bowl all made by Niloo £9.50 each
Using old fabrics, tree by Sarah Pinney £9.50 and lavender filled heart by Jenny £6.50
Just a few of the things you can buy at Handmade Happiness this Christmas for under £10. There are also cats, mice, penguins, and sheep in Santa hats made by Sue Inglis and all the things featured in the previous post. 

Next time I'll show you what Handmade Happiness has for a budget of between £10 and £20. A lot, is the answer to that!

I have recently caved in to family pressure and upgraded my phone. I can now do Instagram which seems like fun. I'll add a link to the blog when I've put on some photos.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Xmas cards and crackers

Christmas cards by Ellie Mason
Painted collage card by Jenny Stacy
Painted collage card by Jenny Stacy
Painted collage card by Jenny Stacy
Painted collage card by Jenny Stacy and hand marbled gift tags £1 each
Ellie Mason design cards are now available at Handmade Happiness and yesterday Niloo delivered Christmas cards showing her porcelain Christmas decorations. Niloo's delicate porcelain trees, baubles and star decorations are selling fast.

See above how I used some of that marbled paper I made earlier in the year! I love making cards but they are the least cost effective things to make as I've found that if you charge much more than £2.50 for a card it just doesn't sell. (I did once see a painted card in Fortnum and Masons for £100 but I don't know if it actually sold or not!)

I've still got lots of marbled papers left and I'm planning to make some crackers with it. 

If you're thinking of making crackers one idea is to buy a pack of cheap crackers from the pound shop and retrieve the banger, paper hat, maybe even the joke to add to your own crackers. Then all you need do is to put a nice gift inside your cracker (eg. Lindt tiny chocolate bear?) 

As you will guess any crackers I make will be for the family, not for sale. 

Today I need to focus on making more fairies for the shop. Yesterday a lovely family over from Germany bought all five of the fairies I had made so today I'll be at my desk sewing up layers of tiny fairy skirts! 

Saturday 3 December 2016

All these things cost less than £5 !

Porcelain decorations by Niloo.  Tree £4; round decoration £3 and star £2
Ceramic decorations by Kate Hackett. Dove £2; Angel £3 and robin £3. Robin jug £18
Decorations by Samantha Robertson all £3 and £3.50
Christmas cards and Christmas gift boxes all by Sue Inglis. All £4.50 each
100% beeswax candle bear and hive, made by Elizabeth Eveleigh £4.50 each. Bird decoration by Carol Smith £4.50

As promised, here is a wide selection of things you can buy in Handmade Happiness and still have change from £5. And there is a wide assortment of cards priced from £1.95 as well.

Next time I'll picture what you can buy for between £5 and £10.

By the way I'm opening on Monday morning from 9.30am until 12.30pm, just because it's December.

Friday 2 December 2016

Shop windows - Fortnum and Masons

Christmas window showing all male Swan Lake
Fortnum and Mason's windows 

 To put you in the Christmas mood I thought I'd show these pictures I took about 5 years ago of Fortnum and Mason's windows. The Swan Lake theme celebrates Matthew Bourne's all male ballet production. 

The other reason you are being shown old photos is because although I took lots of photos in the shop today I stupidly left my camera on the counter...tomorrow I'll share them!

Sunday 27 November 2016

More new things in Handmade Happiness

Sarah Pinney's charming sewn decorations
Samantha Robertson's Christmas platter £45. Decorations from £3
Christmas coaster £5 by Samantha Robertson
Stag cushion by Tanya Williamson £56
Tanya Williamson bee cushion
Goose and Indian runner duck cushions by Tanya Williamson £38 and £48
I am delighted to become a stockist for Sarah Pinney's work. Sarah trades under the name of Northfield Primitives and I've been an admirer of her work for a while.Utterly original, she uses an old treadle sewing machine to create her pieces.

This week also saw deliveries from Samantha Robertson and Tanya Williamson,both Handmade Happiness favourites. Plus a package of 24 ceramic robin decorations made by Kate Hackett sold out in a flash. Don't worry, she's sending more!

Saturday 26 November 2016

Follow the Star!

Hanging above Handmade Happiness is this large star made by Brenda Tilbury
I am really grateful that Brenda, also known as  'Queen of Wreaths', found Handmade Happiness and likes it enough to allow it to stock her lovely decorations and cards.

Now let's talk about prices.

 I am well aware that some people don't set foot in Handmade Happiness because they assume it is an expensive shop. Well - newsflash - it really isn't!

A customer yesterday managed to find quite a few things to help fill an advent calendar. Cards start at £1.95 for a handmade card, hand-printed gift wrap is the same price and tree decorations are from £2 each. Most items in the shop cost less than £10. 

I have just been looking at the website of a London shop which sells individual, handmade Christmas decorations for nearly £300 each.

 People like individual and they like handmade, as long as the quality is there. Handmade Happiness offers quality at lower prices to people who are sure enough of their own taste not to need the reassurance of a hefty price tag.

 I could put all the prices up enormously but Petersfield is not London and having the reputation of being an expensive shop would then be fully justified. But right now it really isn't!

Next week I'll put photographs on the blog of the choice of cards, decorations and gifts Handmade Happiness offers in various price brackets. In these days of austerity most of us have a price ceiling beyond which we will not, or cannot go when buying for Christmas. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday 23 November 2016

New in Handmade Happiness

Sally Pawson's silver jewellery with coloured aluminium decoration
Sally Pawson's cufflinks and earrings.
Close up of silver cufflinks with colourful aluminium decoration by Sally Pawson
New Romney sheep wool dyed and spun by Sue Flux
Alpaca wool spun and knitted by Sue Flux. Scarf £19.50. SOLD
Wool scarf spun and knitted by Sue Flux. £19.50
Sue Flux's handmade Dorset buttons on wool she has felted made into flower brooches. £14.50
 Today two makers brought their work into Handmade Happiness.
As the shop opened Sally, who lives in Petersfield, brought in her colourful jewellery and shortly afterwards Sue Flux who dyes and spins wool from sheep and Alpacas visited with her latest work.

I particularly admire the Dorset buttons Sue has made as centres for her felted flowers. These are so labour-intensive and miniature works of art in themselves.

By the way, the two teddy bears seen in one of the pictures are made by Lindsey Agostinelli.