Friday 24 June 2016

New! Nature artist cards by Louise Money

Hare and cowslip cards by Louise Money. £2 each
Large card £2.50. Bullfinch and coaltit cards £2. All painted by Louise Money
Blue butterfly; sparrows, bluetit and Canada geese cards all painted by Louise Money.
When Louise Money emailled me pictures of her cards I knew they were just right for Handmade Happiness customers.

Living in the countryside, as we do here, everyone easily identifies with these birds that we see in the garden and in the hedgerows. Louise has painted them with a sensitivity and talent that I haven't come across before and I am delighted to offer 13 of her designs in the shop.

There are also notebooks for sale with the British Bird design pictured above on the cover. All cards and envelopes are made from recycled paper and would suit any occasion.

Handmade Happiness has a large selection of artist cards to choose from, most of them exclusive to the shop. If you want quality and something different you know where to look!

Thursday 23 June 2016


Experimenting with needlefelting different fabrics and wool together
For two days I've been needlefelting during quiet times in the shop. It's such fun to see what combines well and what doesn't. I love the orange golds with purple on the left above but don't like the wispy bits of silk waste which I'll pull out today. 

I've made lots of strips of needlefelting and think they may end up as long bags for specs/i-phone/passport, that sort of thing but the gold looks a bit evening-y so maybe some kind of evening pouch to be carried under the arm. What do you think? Any ideas welcome.

Today is voting day here in the UK. I've always known which way I'm going to vote. It seems obvious that if Britain wants to have any say in world affairs we've got to come from a place of strength and being part of a large body of countries - the EU - gives us more influence than we would have if we stand alone. So I'm IN. Whatever your views please use your vote otherwise the vote may not go the way you want it to.

Saturday 18 June 2016

In the shop now...

In the window of Handmade Happiness now. Details below.
In the window at Handmade Happiness now. Details below.
Lindsey Agostinelli's charming mohair teddy bears. £60 each.
Carol Smith's bird brooches. £6.50 each.
New pottery made by Jeremy Moore. In the shop now.
In the top picture the boxes contain:

Carol's bird brooches as above, Kate Hackett's new jug £18; bracelets by Jenny Stacy £9.50 each; 
Sue Inglis' sheep £6.50; Samantha Robertson's coaster tile £5; bird brooch £18.50 by Bee Mellor and Jenny Stacy;
Justine Jenner's dimple jug £19.50; teddy by Lindsey Agostinelli £60;  Kate Box's wrist warmers £25;
Kate Hackett's chicken £8; mug by Samantha Robertson £16.00; teddy keyring by Lindsey Agostinelli £15.

In the second picture are:

You deserve a medal by Jenny Stacy £9.50 each; cat keyrings £7.95 each by Sue Inglis; three heart decorations £3 each by Kate Hackett; 
Elizabeth Eveleigh's beeswax hive candle £4.50 and teddy keyring £15 by Lindsey Agostinelli;  dimple jug by Justine Jenner £19.50; little fairy £9.50 by Jenny Stacy;
two decorated mugs made by Kate Hackett £16 each either side of a star card £1.95 by Sue Inglis.

This week Jeremy Moore bought in his latest work. A range of celadon and white glazed mugs and jugs. Prices £16 for mugs and £18 for jugs.

Wednesday 15 June 2016


Give yourself some flowers! 
 Are you juggling a job, a family, friends and looking after your home? Sometimes I feel I am only capable of doing the minimum to keep everything afloat - or should I say in the air - and I'd like to spend more time on each individual area but unless we are suddenly given an eighth day of the week there just isn't time...

People who are very organised have strict time slots for everything and sometimes I wish I was more like that. But it must take the spontaneity out of life a bit if you have to say, 'Sorry I can't come for a coffee with you because now is my time for doing the ironing'.

At the moment I love to be gardening. In theory I'd like to write more and make big necklaces but no time for that.I need to get ready for work and call in at the market en route to work to buy some more plants for the garden to grow enough flowers for a wedding. It's only next month now and no, I don't know what this mother of the bride will be wearing. 

Are you trying to juggle too many balls at once? If so you have my very best wishes and why not buy yourself a bunch of flowers as I did? You deserve them.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Pots and beads

Niloo's beautiful pots on Katrin Eagle's woven scarves
Bead bracelets 9.50 each by Jenny Stacy
C lose up of pretty bead bracelets by Jenny Stacy
Some while ago my little daughters bought a bag of beads each when we visited Brighton Bead Shop. They tired of stringing them together quicker than I did. I loved experimenting with different colours and textures to make a pleasing piece of jewellery.

I graduated to making my own beads and painting wooden beads in a bid to make my jewellery really individual. Eventually I incorporated fabrics as well - velvet, cotton and hand-made felt. I sold these one-off pieces to shops and through the Country Living magazine show. I'd like to go back to making some 'statement' necklaces now. I seem to have got caught up in other things lately.

For example tomorrow I'm interviewing Justine Jenner, whose wonderful mugs, jugs, bowls and cups and saucers sell in Handmade Happiness. Hopefully the article will appear in the next issue of Life in Petersfield.

New in Handmade Happiness today are three mohair bears made by Lindsey Agostinelli. Lindsey has also started making tiny, articulated bears attached to keyrings. The stitches are tiny, as you can to come. 

Thursday 2 June 2016

Cards, bags, dolls and pricing

Collage card by Jenny Stacy
Collage card by Jenny Stacy
Collage card by Jenny Stacy
Clever bag by Carol Smith that folds down... this handbag friendly package. Bag by Carol Smith
Individual paper dolls with button joints by Jenny Stacy £3 each.

'The price is what people will pay' I remember being told.

 It's complicated. What sounds expensive to one person will sound reasonable, if not too cheap to another person. Sometimes the price of something handmade seems more to do with the confidence of the maker than with any actual rules.

 Take my cards (pictured above), for instance. Although they take a long time to make as I fuss about it looking right to my eye, it's a card, therefore I don't feel I can charge more than £2.50 or £3.50 tops. Yet when someone asks for something personalised it should cost them more.

I just made a special wedding card with a fancy insert and the customer insisted on paying me £10 for it. She felt it should have been more and suggested I charge £12.50 for any personalised cards in the future.  But are people happy to pay this? I've just taken an order for a personalised engagement card...I'm planning it in my head. Then I'll make a sketch and then I'll start playing around with colours and papers. If it was larger and had a frame round it, it would cost a lot more.

When visiting an art exhibition I always wonder at the prices. A large canvas showing two painted lines could cost thousands and an exquisitely drawn little watercolour landscape. framed, could cost £40. So maybe the price is not about what people will pay, more about what the maker/artist is prepared to charge.