Monday 31 October 2016

Playing and sewing

A fairy for the top of the tree by Jenny Stacy
Today I was a dinosaur, a horse and a slug. On my day off I love to play with my two year old grandaughter. We went to the park with her mummy and seven month old sister and today we met my son and other daughter too. It was blissful! Lunch at Franca Manca which honestly has the best pizzas and you know I'm not paid to say these things.

The fairy with her stiff net skirts was inspired by seeing a white voile embroidered tablecloth in a charity shop. I knew it would be right for fairy dresses and the cloth's hem gives the skirt a bit more heft.

Sunday 30 October 2016

New - enamel pictures by Elizabeth Diggins

'Hare and bird' enamel picture by Elizabeth Diggins £75
Enamel picture by Elizabeth Diggins £75
'Hare and moon' enamel picture by Elizabeth Diggins £75
These charming pictures remind me of storybooks from my childhood. The fact that they are enamel somehow adds to their appeal. 
I want to thank Elizabeth Diggins, Bee Mellor(see previous post) and Eleanor Childs (see post below) for allowing me to sell their beautiful work in Handmade Happiness, Petersfield. 

New - specs pockets by Bee Mellor

Specs holder by Bee Mellor £19.50
Silk and velvet specs holder by Bee Mellor £19.50
Hearts specs holder by Bee Mellor £19.50
Specs pocket with button by Bee Mellor £19.50
Leaves specs holder by Bee Mellor £19.50
Specs pocket by Bee Mellor £19.50
 These handmade,padded specs holders would make a brilliant Christmas present. They are lined with silk and made of colourful silks and dyed silk velvet. A visual feast for anyone who likes textiles!

New - paintings by Eleanor Childs

'From Beacon Hill' by Eleanor Childs £250
'South Downs Way'' by Eleanor Childs £295
I love these gentle paintings of the English countryside by local artist Eleanor Childs.
They are both for sale in Handmade Happiness now.

Friday 28 October 2016


Flowers from the garden in May
In May there are also peonies
Hollyhocks growing against a wall in Sheet village
Capturing colour on a noticeboard
At this time of year I long for flowers. Not the carnations or alstromeria the supermarkets are serving up in late October but fresh garden flowers. Is it possible to have flowers in the house all year round with careful garden planning. I expect cut flower specialist Sarah Raven would say 'Yes.'

Years ago I worked for Marks and Spencer and once flowers were on their sell by date staff were allowed to buy them for just £1.One of the perks of that job was to always have flowers in the house. 

 Flowers literally seem to bring a room (or a shop) to life and when we can't get the real thing we get even more satisfaction from brightly coloured objects. Witness the way customers stare at Pam Dew's quilts of saturated colour - red, orange,purple,lime. The colours are exhuberant and just right to cheer up these colder greyer days.

Sunday 23 October 2016

Facebook and new opening hours

Jacqui Watkins lino-cut cards available in Handmade Happiness 2.50 each
 Love these lino cut cards by Jacqui Watkins at Linen Prints.  There are lots of designs to choose from in Handmade Happiness, including Christmas cards.

Please note I'm trying out new opening hours from now on. Opening an hour earlier - 9am and closing an hour earlier 4pm as listed on the right.

Battling with Facebook at the moment. Everyone tells me I have to have a Facebook page for HH and I am making one. 

Actually my daughter set me up with a Handmade Happiness page linked to her years ago and I tend to forget it exists. Just now I posted on it and Facebook provided the post with lots of pictures taken from the blog (helpful) which I can't see how to caption with a credit. (not helpful). 

I feel very strongly that any photo of someone's work must be attributed to them so Help! How do I edit uninvited photos?

Thursday 20 October 2016

Making Christmas cards and other new things

Colourful tree cards by Jenny Stacy
Christmas tree collage cards by Jenny Stacy
A new product - chalk paint in a spray!
New shop furniture - an 18 drawer chest from Roost
This week I am making Christmas cards, using the scraps I collect throughout the year. 

Yesterday a rep for a local company showed me chalk paint spray which seems like a good idea for painting small objects, especially awkward-to-paint things like baskets. To find out more see their website

Also yesterday I took delivery of this useful set of drawers from new Petersfield shop Roost which sells solid wood furniture made in Wiltshire. I like a lot of things in this shop - the furniture is robust and looks like it would last a lifetime.

My daughter is urging me to make statement necklaces. I used to love making these but now there doesn't seem to be the stretches of time needed to develop my own making. However she's set me on a path now and I am determined to get at least a few made before Christmas. It's easy enough to make Christmas cards which are relatively quick but a whole other level to come up with some original textile necklaces. Happy making!

Monday 17 October 2016

New Fairies to Sell

Fairy by Jenny Stacy
Blurry fairy (in flight) by Jenny Stacy
Older fairy by Jenny Stacy
I enjoyed making these fairies in the shop on Saturday and plan to make more this week.

Saturday 15 October 2016

Shop - You Are 5 Today!

In the week it opened the shop only had 5 makers' work
Hard to believe the shop ever looked like this!
To start with the space under the stairs was for a cup of tea with a book!
5 years ago there were noticeboards of inspiration!
I used to paint these little wooden badges.
Before Handmade Happiness the shop was this shade of green. We painted everything white

Five years ago today - October 15th 2011 Handmade Happiness opened for the first time. The blog (8 years old) became the shop. My daughter Amy helped me set it up. There were just 5 makers including myself.

For many years I had a dream. I often looked at empty shop premises in Chichester where I lived but everything was too expensive, Then I moved to Petersfield and suddenly the dream could become a reality - if I was brave enough.

As Tricot Too closed - where Duet clothes shop is now- this shop became available. I had worked for Tricot Too and made many items to sell there so it all seemed logical.I opened my own shop just across the road.

I wanted to sell things to make with and things already made to a high standard. La Droguerie in Paris was my inspiration.

Now Handmade Happiness is an outlet for 45 makers. It is full of good gifts and should do well in the run up to Christmas. I am proud of the shop. People love it!

Thursday 13 October 2016

Textile packages

Inside the parcel - Bag One of colourful, luxury fabrics
Inside the parcel - Bag Two
I sent a flat package of textile bits including sheets of needlefelting to my friend in Australia. It took four and a half weeks to reach her.  When she sends me a package from Australia it only take half that time. I don't know why...

When I was in Paris we wished the fabric shops did packs of bits like this. Just scraps of lots of fabrics you could enjoy making with. Clear packs of unusual, luxe bits look so inviting, even if all you ever do is stare at them in the bag!!

I intend to assemble some bags like this for Handmade Happiness customers to buy. I'll post pictures when they're ready to sell.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Knitting and Stitching Show - Inspiration

This stall says Christmas decorations!
Sophie Digard's scarf design
Love this stylish black and white outfit!
The Maker's Atelier - one of my favourite stalls
Self-portrait by Sue Stone
I talked to two inspiring women at the Knitting and Stitching Show and both had made their living in the fashion industry before setting up on their own.

The Maker's Atelier sells clothes patterns designed with the benefit of many years experience of designing clothes and advising fashion businesses here and abroad. I love the way Frances Tobin uses only the best fabrics for her samples and kits, everything says quality and simplicity.White wool, pale grey silk, greyed pink or navy. It's a smart look. And I admire the way she has not compromised in any aspect of her 'look'. The patterns feel nice, the website ( is stylish - everything reflects her own impeccable taste.

Sue Stone also worked in the fashion industry for many years designing clothes for other people. She had studied at Goldsmiths where she enjoyed embroidery but did not see how she could make her living with just embroidery. Being asked to submit a self portrait for an exhibition started her mission to produce a self-portrait reflecting every year of her life so far. The result is stunning. Not only has she produced 63 self-portraits but also embroidered pictures of all her family and extended family - with layers of embroidery depicting the tweed or knitwear they are wearing. Look at

Monday 10 October 2016

Knitting and Stitching Show 2016

sari silk ribbons for making with
lush colour in dyed felt and cotton chenille from 21st century yarns
Drops yarn to knit with from Blackbird Yarns
Truly impressive embroidery - 'Petworth Estate Wall' by Heather Collins
Giant Game of Thrones character!
Love these skirts from fabric strips!
Yesterday I was at Alexandra Palace for the always inspiring Knitting and Stitching Show. The first three pictures show what I bought, followed by three pictures to give a flavour of what I saw.

There is so much I want to make right now for the shop.It seems impossible to focus on just one thing.

 Yesterday I spoke to some lovely, creative people who have managed to focus on one thing to create wonderful work. More about them tomorrow.