Monday 25 September 2017

Happy Birthday Blog! You are NINE years old!

I knitted this mouse from a pattern by Sue Stratford for a gift.
Playing around with Christmas ideas, this is my own pattern but the antlers need imrproving..
Love this dog from a pattern by Sandra Polley.Again not for sale.

I wrote the first blog post on September 22nd 2008. That was long before I opened a shop of my own. Having a shop was a recurring  fantasy that I used to write about about with no real hope of ever achieving. Rents were too high.

 I wrote about what I was making, how I was preparing for the Country Living magazine show in London and often about the clothes I liked in Tricot Too a shop I worked in and made jewellery for.

Then I moved to Petersfield and, six years ago the dream became a reality and I opened Handmade Happiness in Dragon Street. Since then this is the 'blog that became a shop' and its now all about promoting other makers whose work I sell in the shop.

Strangely, if the statistics are correct, the chances are that if you are reading this you live in France. The blog has more readers than ever before but most of them live in France. To start with I could rely on readers living in the UK or the USA. But recently lots of readers are from Russia, and above all from France. Since I have always thought that the French have excellent taste I am happy about this!! But the chances of them ever visiting HH the bricks and mortar shop are slim!

As its the blog's birthday I thought I'd share what I'm currently making. A bit of self indulgence from me... I have a large family to make for now that all of my children have produced children of their own and I feel very blessed!
It's important to me that the shop offers the very best of handmade. Most of it local although I am now looking further afield ... after 6 years it is time to spread the net a bit wider but everything in the shop is made from scratch and made in the UK and if I love it then I hope that you will love it too! 

Friday 22 September 2017

New things in Handmade Happiness

Niloo brought in more beautiful pots she has made and these delicate ceramic plaques

These are Annie Sherburne's handmade bug brooches
Frank Higgins delivered more of his fantastic handmade kaleidoscopes. This is what it looks like when you look through one!

Every Saturday visitors to Handmade Happiness are blown away by the sheer talent of the makers whose work is sold there. I say Saturday because it is normally the busiest day. One of these is Frank Higgins, a scientist whose kaleidoscopes are works of art he has created from scratch. To buy a kaleidoscope or one of his teleidoscopes, which multiply and fragment everything you look at through one) is to buy a family heirloom that will delight young and old alike.

Niloo is another maker who is proficient at pottery and at needlework. Everything she makes is done to perfection and yet I have yet to meet a more modest and unassuming person.

Annie Sherburne is one of the very few makers who does not live locally. She lives in London but I've always admired her colourfilled pieces - she is particularly known for her rag rugs. We used to both sell through the Country Living magazine shows years ago.

Sunday 10 September 2017

Sharing new things

These are a few of the paper bags I make for the shop frommagazine pages.
A sweet pair of baby bootees 
My needlefelting and cashmere bunnies made for the shop
Bee Mellor's wonderful bird decorations.
Samantha Robertson has just re-stocked Handmade Happiness with her popular ceramics

It's a busy time right now with a new baby in my family and the shop and continuing house renovations. All a pleasure and I feel extremely lucky but I have forsaken this blog recently. I plan to get back to writing longer posts now and, if you have the Instagram app you can see many more pictures @jenny_handmade_happiness
Back soon!

Friday 1 September 2017

Inside Handmade Happiness

Love this giant cup and saucer made by Justine Jenner. Seen with Pam Dew's quilt.
Clever embroiderer Ann Hutchins made these butterflies for a local exhibition
Justine Jenner's grey pots in Handmade Happiness.
I knitted this alpaca cardigan for my grandson born on Sunday August 27th.
Carol Smith has just made these colourful cacti badges. 9-50 each

Apologies for not having blogged for so long. I'm now back and thinking about Christmas, when Handmade Happiness makes most of its money!!

I hope makers are  storing box loads of beautiful things to keep the shop well supplied!! It's hard to think about Christmas when the sun is shining brightly but I noticed when I went to Chichester recently that the charity shops already have Christmas cards on display!!  I reckon August is far too early but by the end of this month, September, I hope to have lots of gift ideas and maybe even a few Christmas decorations available in the shop.

Now is the time to think about handmade gifts and handmade cards if you want to make things yourself this year. A gift made with love while you are thinking about the person you are making it for is so well received! If you haven't got time to make things the next best thing is to find beautiful things that someone else has made. First stop - Handmade Happiness in Petersfield!!