Tuesday 29 March 2016

Don't visit on Thursday!

Making my dolls.
Just to give you advance warning: I have to close the shop on Thursday this week. This is a one-off event but I would hate anyone to come from a distance and find it closed so hopefully they'll see this first before making their journey.

The shop will be open today,Tuesday and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and I hope to see some of you then.

I hope the sun is shining brightly where you are. Don't you find it energising? I love this time of year with the promise of a lot more sunshine to come. It's great to be outside hearing the birds and feeling the warmth as the land renews itself.

Sunday 27 March 2016

Justine Jenner's work

Justine Jenner's dimpled spring jugs
Justine Jenner's dimpled grey jugs. £29 each.
HAPPY EASTER everyone!

Yesterday Justine Jenner brought in some of her popular dimpled jugs. This time they are rounder than previous ones, and although Handmade Happiness usually stocks her white and grey pieces these spring colour jugs are also irresistible.

I intend to write about Justine for a future issue of Life in Petersfield. Local readers may have seen the current issue's piece about Kate Box, whose lovely knitted pieces are so popular. An interview with Justine is planned for the July issue.

The Liberty stickers were bought recently in London. I put a box of them in a carrier bag in the window to weigh it down and of course, forgot they were in there when giving a customer that bag for her purchases! 

I do love pretty little things like these stickers. Watch this space! Very soon I will be selling a small range of things to enhance your handmade items. They are ordered and now I am looking forward to displaying them in the shop! 

Wednesday 23 March 2016

In the shop window

Easter at Handmade Happiness
Handmade Happiness - street view
Close up of gifts on the right. See below for details
On the left of the Handmade Happiness window. See details below.
Spring sunshine this week and the seeds I planted are waving tiny little leaves delicately in the warmth.

Inside the Handmade Happiness window this week are cushions by Tanya Williamson £48; a spotty big bowl by Niloo  and a soft wrap scarf £99 by Kate Box.

In the box unit on the left, pictured immediately above, are:

Kate Hackett's chicken mug £15; flower jug £18 and ceramic duck, chicken and bunny Easter decorations, all £3; wrist warmers by Kate Box £25 and an 'Eat more Cake' fork engraved by Kirstie Turner for £9.50.

The sheep are knitted by Sue Inglis, £6.50 each; and the mug with blue inside is £20 by Samantha Robertson. 

The white non-symetrical bowl is by Justine Jenner £16 and cashmere baby bonnet £19.50 and, below, one of Sheila Barrow's embroidered pictures is £24.

In the box unit on the right are:
Sue Inglis' bunny with carrot £6.95; bunny box £3.50; chick £5.95 and sheep keyring £7.95.

Kate Hackett has made the little bunny decorations £2 each; stand up bunny and chicken £8 each and bunny mug £15. Elizabeth Eveleigh has made the beeswax candles, £4.50 each.

Monday 21 March 2016

Easter cards

Handmade Easter card by Jenny Stacy
Another handmade Easter card by Jenny Stacy
After a hectic week I had a chilled out Sunday making Easter cards for the shop.
People have been asking for Easter cards and Handmade Happiness hasn't got any so from Tuesday(tomorrow) it will have a selection made by me as well as cards showing hares, rabbits, and chicks.

You might guess from the cards above that I am a fan of Liberty prints... This last week I have visited the shop twice on the way home from one or the other daughter.
It is always a treat to see what creative things their visual merchandising team have come up with eg. the light shade in a previous post.

 Recent collaborations with Meri Meri have produced some really pretty paper products and I popped in to Uniqlo to see the Liberty print t-shirts, dresses and shirts that would be great for wearing this summer. By the way nobody pays me for plugs. I just write what I honestly think!

If you are in Petersfield do pop in and say hello. I'll be in Handmade Happiness at 9a Dragon Street from Tuesday to Saturday between 10am and 5pm. It would be lovely to see you.

Friday 18 March 2016

It's a Girl !!

Pink for a girl! These are actually my Mother's Day flowers from the kids. Aren't they gorgeous?
Ruby was born yesterday morning. Right now she's red like her name and perfectly gorgeous! My second grandaughter! Well done and congratulations to Amy, Jesse and Juno!

And to think I was so convinced Amy was carrying a boy I knitted in blue.Message to others - disregard the ring test. (where the mother's ring is held over the bump by a hair from the mother. If the ring circles it's a girl if the ring goes back and forth it's a boy.) Absolute poppycock !!!

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Creative ideas

Outside Handmade Happiness today with 'blossom' dancing on white painted twigs.
Strips of fabric wrapped round wire with ends left decorative at Liberty
Pretty print crown by Meri Meri at Liberty
 The best ideas are often quite simple. Using wool pom-poms to look like fluffy blossom; wrapping fabric round cord or wire to create jewellery or a lampshade or gluing card/paper/fabric together to make a simple but effective crown. 

A lot can be achieved with things we already own - egg boxes could be painted and cut to become flowers, crepe paper could be made into tassels,and fabrics could be cut to make patchwork or shapes for applique or just decorated with simple embroidery.

With Easter coming bigger pom-poms get sewn together to become chicks or bunnies;yarn can be crocheted or knitted into simple shapes to cover eggs. Real eggs can be dyed or painted or just drawn on with felt tips. 

It's fun to do these things with children or your friends.
Handmade Happiness is full of creative ideas. Often people come in and are just wowed by the talent of the various makers. So whether you come to admire or come to buy,you are always welcome! 

Monday 14 March 2016

Technical problems but still smiling.....

So frustrating when a big sign comes up saying DSL line not connected. And you check and everything is connected but you can't blog and you can't email and you can't look anything up. I'm writing this in the shop where everything is connected but I can't give you a photo. Which is a shame because I went to London yesterday and have photos I'd like to share. 

My daughter is expecting a baby - last week - but little one is biding his/her time. Please bear with me if you come to the shop and find that I'm not personally here. You'll know it's because I'll be looking after number one grandchild while waiting for number two grandchild!

New in the shop are some beautiful ceramic pieces by Niloo. Lots more cards by Willemien and blue glazed mugs and jugs by Jeremy Moore.

Right I'm off to phone BT to check the line. 

Friday 4 March 2016

Mothers' Day gifts

Tanya Williamson's applique cushions £48 each and big doll by Jenny Stacy £48
Gifts for under £10 at Handmade Happiness
Pictured above are: 
Cat keyrings by Sue Inglis for £7.95; Heart gift box £3.50 and two heart necklaces for £2.50 each by Jenny Stacy; 3 painted ceramic heart decorations £3 each by Kate Hackett.

In the middle are butterfly brooches £8.50 and £9.50 by Jenny Stacy; pure beeswax candles for £4.50 each by Elizabeth Eveleigh and two mini collage cards with envelopes also by Jenny at £2 each.

Three painted gift boxes by Sue Inglis for £3.50 each; a stand up cockerel and bunny £8 each by Kate Hackett and dog and cat brooches £9.50 each by Karen Boller.
Gifts for Mum at Handmade Happiness
In this picture are:
Teddy bear by Lindsey Agostinelli £60; chicken mug by Kate Hackett £15 and (just seen) jewellery purse embroidered by Carol Smith £22.50.

Green ceramic bowl by Samantha Robertson £12; necklace by Jenny Stacy £25 and stripe wrist warmers by Kate Box £25.

Embroidered picture by Sheila Barrow £24.50; 'Eat more cake' fork by Kirstie Turner £9.50 and white ceramic bowl by Justine Jenner £16.

Silk, velvet and felt bird brooch by Bee Mellor and Jenny Stacy £20; bluebell mug by Kate Hackett £16 and striped snood by Kate Box £28.

Yesterday I changed the window. I like the idea that children could spend some pocket money on a present for their Mum... there's lots in the shop for under £5 and even more things for under £10.  I'm reminded of all the times at craft fairs that a child has come up with a few hot pennies in their hand, asking what can they buy for their money!

Lots of us don't buy our Mums a present. We just send a nice card. Today I'll photograph a choice of cards available in the shop priced from £2 to £7 and show you tomorrow.

Tuesday 1 March 2016

Quest for the best!

Chickens for Easter at Carluccio's
Nice gifts at Carluccio's
Assorted cakes at Carluccio's
 Last night a couple of friends and I met at Carluccio's in Chichester for a treat. Eating anything there gives you a hint of what it must be like eating out in Italy. As I've never eaten out in Italy I have no comparison but I do think the food in Carluccio's is delicious.

I've been thinking a lot lately about making the shop the best that it can be. Doing some online research and thinking about the future.

Everyone tells me that shops can't compete with shopping on line any more.
That people have got out of the habit of looking round shops. I acknowledge that this is true for some people. Some of my friends only shop on line. But personally I like to feel what I'm buying. Something that may look good in a photograph may not look so good in real life and I like being served by a human being not a machine...

I also think that looking on line for something you want to buy can take hours and it's so easy to get side-tracked. I find this with Pinterest and I'm trying to limit myself to 10 minutes only on this addictive site!

So what is the answer? My answer is to be on a quest for the best. I want my shop to represent the best that I can find and for people to acknowledge the quality of everything in it. Now that Wild Damson, my neighbouring shop has gone (a big shock to a lot of people) I must make Handmade Happiness more of a destination store than ever.