Friday 30 March 2018

Happy Easter everyone!

The Easter themed window at Handmade Happiness
Twisted willow with knitted decorations by Sue Inglis, ceramic decorations by Kate Hackett and one of my cashmere bunnies 

New this week -  Carol Smith's  sock creatures

Handmade Happiness was open today normal hours and will be open tomorrow, Easter Saturday again from 10am to 5pm. It will not be open on Sunday or Monday.

Tuesday 27 March 2018

New in the shop

Cups and saucers made by Justine Jenner
Gift wrapping for a customer
New card stocks from textile artist Willemien Stevens
Textile art card by Willemien Stevens

Justine Jenner has just brought in more stock and some good news. Justine has been selected to have a free stand for two days at the Country Living magazine show at Alexandra palace in late April this year. She will also be selling at Handmade Oxford and the Guildford open air craft market.

I first met Willemien Stevens at the Country Living show many years ago. Somehow year after year our stalls were near each other and I always admired what she was selling. Her cards are representations of the original textile art pictures she sold. All in painted white frames with white mounts. They looked so fresh and I always bought her cards. Back then I asked her that, if ever I was to have a shop anywhere please could I stock her cards? She said yes, probably confident that I never would have a shop...

So today in Handmade Happiness I have 26 different designs of Willemien's as quality cards selling for £2.50 each. Just what I wanted!

Friday 23 March 2018

New! Chicken watercolours

Watercolour of chickens painted by Frans de Leij
Pretty chickens painted by Frans de Leij

Local artist Frans de Leij came in with three chicken paintings. A perfect subject matter for Petersfield where many people keep a few chickens in their back gardens. I know someone who allows his chickens the full run of his house but that's unusual...
These are framed and rather beautifully painted.

Sunday 18 March 2018

Open in all weathers?

Saturday is normally the busiest day in the shop. The day when the most customers spend the most money. So when the snow came back on Saturday at precisely 10am as the forecast for Petersfield had predicted, my heart
sank. For snow is the shopkeepers enemy...
This second, hopefully smaller 'beast from the east' reminds me of what happened the last time the snow came. Last time I kept the shop open for normal opening hours, even though Barclays, the post office and most shops in Petersfield were closed for a day or a day and a half due to weather conditions.

When it snows people stay at home. They certainly don't browse in shops. In really bad weather I can be in the shop all day and see no-one. Meanwhile the rent, electricity for lighting and heating etc. still have to be paid. It's worse for shops that employ staff whose overheads are much higher than mine. However  this year has been exceptional with the cold still with us in what is officially 'Spring' through March.

 On Saturday my family visited the shop on my younger grandaughter's second birthday. A joyful occasion.It was snowing and bitterly cold. So rather than waiting for customers who would perhaps not appear, I took the unusual decision to close at 3pm two hours earlier than normal. I apologise to anyone who might have tried to visit Handmade Happiness between 3 and 5pm. 

Hopefully I'll see you in a warmer enviroment next week.

Thursday 15 March 2018

New in Handmade Happiness

We have the full range of Kate Box's popular wrist warmers
A photo I took through one of Frank Higgins' teleidoscopes. Frank has just delivered five more of the smallest size teleidoscpes
I love these ballerina elephants designed and made by Sue Inglis. Four are in the shop now.
Justine Jenner is constantly adding new pieces to her impressive range of pottery for sale in Handmade Happiness

Every day I'm in the shop I feel proud to have such talented makers' work for sale. I am really lucky because their work gives the shop its welcoming atmosphere and provokes a delighted response from customers.

Tomorrow I plan to visit the evening preview of the Contemporary Textiles Fair where I may be lucky enough to find more talented makers who want to have their work in Handmade Happiness.

I've just written a piece about crafts in India in my other blog:
Do check it out. Today I've described block printing, rug making and jewellery making.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

In the shop now

Knitted chicks and knitted baskets with Lindt eggs in
The brooch board
New cushions made by Tanya Williamson
Pretty rose wreath made by Brenda Tilbury

Easter is on April 1st this year and the knitted chicks with eggs in are already proving popular. They are £1 each and once you've got them you can refill them yourself every year.

Handmade Happiness is well-stocked with new cushions by Tanya Williamson, more pottery from Justine Jenner, more wrist warmers by Kate Box and lots more knitted creatures by Sue Inglis including the irresistible elephant ballerinas. I'll take more pictures in the shop today.

Did you know I am also writing another blog? It's
- a day by day account with lots of photos of my recent trip there. 

Friday 9 March 2018

Fabrics bought in India for making with

Cottons found at a Tibetan market
Fine cotton bought at a shop in Jodphur
'Silk' scarves that were irresistibly cheap but not real silk !

Wednesday 7 March 2018

I went to India

Sorry for the very long absence.
The shop was closed for a fortnight when I went to India. It was an incredible experience and I am so glad I took the opportunity, while the shop is at its quietest in January to get away.
I am writing a blog about what I saw and learned in India  with lots of pictures.
Check out
This blog will now continue....