Thursday, 28 November 2019

Stockings

Assorted stockings for sale in Handmade Happiness
Baby's first Christmas?
Stockings of all sizes. The knitted stocking is made by Rubecula Threads.
Cosy sheepskin slippers at Caroline Bloomfield
Sheepskin hot water bottle covers at Caroline Bloomfield.

On the worktable are a lot of stockings that need loops or tops or just making from scratch. At this time of year there are lots of different things that need attention. More fairies to make. Tree topper angels (see below) that I still haven't finished. Cashmere bunnies stuffed with lavender I need to make for an order. Not to mention getting the whole shop in perfect condition for the next tenant by the end of December.

On Sunday I'll see the family, and it's a chance to drop off presents. They need to be gift wrapped and tagged and checked to see that everyone has been treated fairly!

Caroline Bloomfield is the name of a shop in Midhurst. A shop I admire. Imagine puting your feet into the slippers pictured above on one of these cold, wet winter evenings! 
I'm off to wrap presents.
Happy Christmas preparations everyone!!

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Angel tree toppers

Big angel has a full skirt, little angel is unclothed. Dolls by Jenny Stacy

I need to finish these off today. I always think making something will be quite easy and then it often turns out to be quite difficult... The bit I like is drawing and painting the faces. Making the clothes is something else.

I imagined a doll draped in fine fabrics with, as someone suggested, wellington boots on. Back rewind! That's not going to happen as turning tiny feet inside out was too difficult so I've kept the body simple and will further embellish and make clothes for little one today. There are two more cut out, sewn up and ready to dress but I've run out of this particular wool for the Marie Antoinette style hair and no other wool seems to work....

Less than 5 weeks now until the Handmade Happiness shop closes down forever. So if you want to have a browse before it goes plan your trip now!
I'm currently open 10 to 4.30 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In December I plan to be open Mondays as well ie. 6 days a week.
Lots of opportunities for visitors to visit . Hope to see you soon X

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Making dolls is not easy!

Doll patterns I drew for angel tree toppers

I confess I don't find making easy sometimes. I have an order for an angel tree topper. I did some last year. They sold. Now this year I feel I am re-inventing the wheel! I've been putting off making the thing for ages but quite why it should feel like such an obstacle I don't know. After all I've made dozens of dolls in my time.

I think I get confused by seeing so many dozens of photographs on Instagram and Pinterest. You start to feel you are not good enough or that your dolls are different but not in a good way! 

Last night I cut out the patterns and sewed them up. But when it came to turning them inside out the middle pattern was a clear winner!! Including thumbs and feet is bad news when it comes to turning! 

Now I wonder if I can get away with just doing an armless, legless torso? After all the sumptous dress will hide the fact she has no legs and arms can be added after the body is made if they seem to be necessary.I have been collecting the most wonderful angel fabrics - chiffon and silk, tulle and embroidered luxury fabrics. Ribbons and jewels and beads. Decorating these angel tree toppers will be a delight! I've just got to get them to that stage first! 



Monday, 11 November 2019

In the shop now

I have made dozens of these fairies. Just £5 each.
Gift tags in gold or silver. 
Ubiquitous Stitch brought in these headbands . Cosy for the dramatic drop in temperature

It feels like the countdown is on.  Only just over a month and Handmade Happiness will be gone. This week I'll put price tags on all the shop furniture I wish to sell. In fact I might put pictures and prices on this blog as well.
In the meantime nice things continue to come into the shop making it the best place I know to do one-stop Christmas gift shopping.
I know the comment thing is awkward but if you have a query you can always email me on jennystacy6@gmail.com

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Beautiful things

Jenny Drant has knitted these pretty baby girls clothes in a mix of Alpaca and cotton. The Rachel Riley shoes were a lucky charity shop find for just £3 and are not for sale!
I hand sewed this lavender bag using old lace ribbons and grey silk.
Love these new pots Niloo Wickramasinghe has made for Handmade Happiness.
Seen near Waitrose car park in Petersfield this is a Madrone (US) or arbutus unedo (thanks Instagram friends!)

I have always tried to have only the very best things in Handmade Happiness. I want visiting to be an experience, unlike visiting any other shop. I am lucky to have such talented makers.

 Jenny Drant knits wonderful things for the shop and Niloo makes heavenly pots and vases. You only have to scroll down to see examples of other talented makers work.

 I think I have been really lucky that these gifted individuals have found the shop to be a good fit for the beautiful things they make.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Pat Gude

Pat Gude made this applique cloth hanging by copying a 1920s London Underground poster in applique and stumpwork. She has done 5 more.
Close up of one of Pat Gude's fantastic textile hanging from a 1920s Underground poster.

Pat Gude has copied six vintage London Underground posters in cloth and stitch. She also makes jewellery for the Handmade Happiness shop.
When Pat showed me this textile hanging it took my breath away. It is brilliantly executed. 
It is not for sale but would look brilliant on display at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden or the Contemporary Textiles Fair at Landmark Arts.
She has also made five other different hangings from other posters. I have not seen those but I daresay they are equally good. 

If you want to display Pat Gude's works of art you can contact her through me by email or shop phone: jennystacy6@gmail.com  Tel 01730 267711


Thursday, 24 October 2019

This week

This week I dyed silk ribbon with avocado skins
The expert knitter Jenny Drant has knitted all sorts of wonderful things for the shop. This baby hat is for 3-6 months
I've made a lot of these pompom fairies. I like painting the faces best.
New leg warmers and adult hat knitted by me

It's feeling like a busy week in the shop.
Today Thursday my boiler at home is being serviced and at last I will be able to switch on the  heating. So looking forward to a warm house. It's got very chilly lately hasn't it?
Wishing you a good day.x

Friday, 18 October 2019

New in the shop

This beautiful indoor wreath is made by Brenda Tilbury
Love this lavender bag by Hambledon Rose
Another pretty lavender bag made with vintage fabrics by Hambledon Rose
Two pairs of legwarmers knitted by me and a colourful necklace made by Rosemary Roberts

Hambledon Rose makes pretty cushions, lavender bags, purses and fridge magnets from linen and small pieces of vintage fabrics. The effect is delicate and pretty and I am so pleased to stock her work.

Brenda Tilbury, as regular readers will know, is Queen of Wreaths and at this time of year I generally have wreaths made by her. Now she is producing lots of knitwear too and new in the shop are scarves, gloves, a wrap and crocheted neckwarmers all in nice colour combinations.

Rosemary Roberts makes colourful necklaces out of fabric and beads. What customers also love about them is that they have a magnet clasp so they are very easy to put on and take off. One lady regularly buys several at a time!

I am knitting a third pair of leg warmers in shades of brown and blue and very cosy they are too made in 100% wool. I've just received some natural 100% alpaca yarn which I'm using for newborn clothing. So so soft ...Hats first as I hate to see a new baby with head uncovered in the cold. Now I'm sounding like a fussing old Granny. Hang on... that's exactly what I am !!!

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Announcement

Paintings and collage laid out to be made into a carrier bag

Today is the Handmade Happiness shop's 8th birthday. I feel it is quite an achievement to have a small independent business for eight years and I am glad that Handmade Happiness has been successful.

However I have to announce today that the shop will close down after Christmas. With a heavy heart I have decided it is no longer viable. With the political situation being what it is, everyone is uncertain, even fearful of what the future might hold. The result has been a real downturn in spending and this shop, along with many, many others has suffered. It's a tough world for small shops and I am sure you have noticed others in your area closing down.

I will continue to write this blog (hello America!) about all things handmade and the name Handmade Happiness will live on through Handmade Happiness events next year. More on that later. But for the moment, thank you for reading and for supporting the shop over the years. It continues to promote and contain the very best of handmade that I can find...

As the comment thing is so hard to manage, if you feel like commenting do drop me an email at jennystacy6@gmail.com  Thank you.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Collage

Collage for front of carrier bag for Handmade Happiness
One of the new collaged carrier bags for Handmade Happiness made by Jenny Stacy
Freshly made bag front
Another just made collage  piece by Jenny Stacy
I love painting and this will be part of a bag too. Jenny Stacy

For as long as I can remember I've made collages. I can't remember what my parents thought when I glued collage to my bedroom walls.

 Carrier bags for Handmade Happiness are a good way of using all the paintings I do and the collages too. I'll continue to make carrier bags from magazine covers which are free to customers but I'll have to charge for these as each represents a lot of painting and making time. Re-cycling, upcycling and plastic free. These tick all the boxes!

The shop is closed this Wednesday (October 9th) for a family committment. I'm there this morning but just for two hours 10-12. My good neighbour Tara  and her assistant, Amy, will look after anyone who has travelled any distance or wants to buy something immediately. Just ask for their help if I'm not there.



Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Knitted decorations and bags

Sue Inglis knits these decorations @eggandspoonstudio
Now in the shop. Sue Inglis' of eggandspoonstudio designs and knits these.
Very special Christmas card by Sue Inglis
I just made some 'Arty' carrier bags
The first Christmas decorations are in the shop! Sue's designs are very popular and every year she comes up with a new twist! My favourite so far is this white fluffy cat with cosy scarf.
I've waited until the beginning of October to offer Christmas goods because I hate to see Christmas cards, advent calendars and gift wrap for sale in September or even August in some cases.

I wonder if other families, like mine are having a re-think about Christmas this year. One of my daughters has suggested we make presents for each other. My other daughter doesn't want us to give presents at all. We all want to avoid anything plastic, so no plastic toys for the children from now onwards.

All the busy,hard working people out there who love the idea of making presents but haven't got the time to do so can buy something lovingly handmade by an artistic individual from Handmade Happiness. 

This year I'm aiming to have more choice and the best quality ever! I think after 8 years of trading the shop has a reputation for very special, always well-received presents. And this year, with all the political turmoil and unrest the little shop offers a safe haven for people to rest and dream and be inspired.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

This week

New jewellery made by Annie Sherburne including this large dragonfly brooch
I've knitted these leg warmers. Knitting shades of blue ones now.
More of these appealing cards from beach glass originals came in yesterday.
Macho keyrings and cuff links made from spent bullets gathered on walks in the Scottish Highlands.

This is the first week when people have been trying to find Christmas presents in the shop. It makes sense to buy the perfect gift when you see it. People who say they'll come back nearer the day itself are often disappointed when the thing they've fallen in love with has sold.

That's the thing about handmade. Everything is designed and made by the maker him or her self and it is a one-off - unique. 
Another thing about handmade is that it takes time.  For example I was asked for a special handmade card for a 30th birthday. I said No because I'm aware of how long this takes. Planning the design takes longer than actually making the card as you want it to perfectly suit the recipient and obviously you can't charge the customer for all that thinking/ sketching time... And at this time of year there are so many other things to be made!

I'm making lots of fairies in different styles at the moment and this is what you will see me doing in the shop. I knit in the evening. My next project is cushions using needlefelted fabric I've made combined with richly coloured velvets. Wondering whether to include some knitting in the patchwork cushions too.

Handmade gifts for men are few and far between so I was pleased to find these leather and spent cartridge pieces pictured above. The maker scours his local Scottish landscape for the metal litter left by hunters and shooting parties which he puts to good use in these attractive gifts.

By the way the smooth English ash wood bowl pictured is made by Harry Butler whose work is also for sale in Handmade Happiness.


Saturday, 28 September 2019

Gold paper

Gold paper after washing
Drying
Pencil pots on my desk I bought ages ago

This week I was excited to get an email from the Eternal Maker in Chichester saying they are now stocking this unusual gold paper.

A while ago I bought a couple of bags I use to store glue sticks and pens from a shop in Midhurst. I really like them and have also bought them as presents. But I didn't think it was possible to buy sheets of the actual material.

So late afternoon Tuesday after being in the shop I went to the Eternal Maker  on Terminus Road and guess what? They had sold out. They are expecting new supplies next week but I wanted some now!  Luckily they found me a roll of it behind the counter and I went home happy!

The paper looks flat and shiny like gift wrap. It comes in three colours, gold, silver and rose gold. Eternal Maker found rose gold the most popular. The magic happens when you wash it when it becomes softer and wrinkled, looking like old leather.

I cut it in half and washed both pieces in the kitchen sink and hung them out to dry. In the shop I experimented on a small piece to test it out. You can paint the reverse which is like a thick brown kraft paper and you can hand sew it. You can cut it and glue it and if your machine needle is strong enough (mine isn't) you can machine sew it.
There are so many possibilities with this stuff. All I've done with it so far is to cut out oak leaf shapes and dangle them in the shop window in honour of Autumn. But I can imagine using it for a host of other makes.

So before my local readers go dashing off to the Eternal Maker, ring them first otherwise you may find they have sold out again.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

11 years old today!

First ever blog post 11 years ago today!!
Tiny fairies I made this week
Six hats I just knitted.
Jenny Stacy made this tiny fairy
New gorgeous pottery from Niloo that came into the shop yesterday
New cards that came into the shop yesterday
I like painting faces. Even on wooden teaspoons! Now to dress them!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU BLOG!!!!
ELEVEN YEARS OLD TODAY.

I wonder if anyone reading this has actually accompanied me from the very beginning in 2008?
Then I was busy making stock for the Country Living magazine show in Islington which I used to do regularly. I frequently day dreamed of having a shop of my own. But that's all it was, a dream. 

I made jewellery and cards for various shops then and shared trips to London and sometimes abroad with my readers who were all in the UK. 
Then in 2011 I saw a small shop in Petersfield with a sign in the window saying To Let. What excitement as that shop took the name Handmade Happiness and became the fulfillment of my dream!

 This blog has become the shop blog ever since. 

Apart from a brief break when I visited India and wrote another blog called seeingindiawithjenny.blogspot.co.uk  I have consistently posted on this blog once a week, twice a week, sometimes every day. I occasionally think about stopping but then something wonderful appears in the shop or I see something inspiring in London and I have to share it!


Monday, 16 September 2019

This week

Making felt
Three pieces of finished felt
Made jewellery gift boxes from matchboxes
You know those wood teaspoons you get free?
New in Handmade Happiness. Jewellery made by Pat Gude. 
My dolls on display in the shop
Genius idea for grandson's birthday cake! He loves trucks!

It's been a week of bits and pieces. Pieces of felt I've not made into anything. Pretty gift boxes that will be given away free. A mad use for wood teaspoons (that I'll be charging next to nothing for). And all in the week I swore I'd make loads of Christmas stock! 

I was pleased to meet Pat Gude who makes necklaces and earrings from pearls and semi-precious stones. Great Christmas gifts at very reasonable prices. Pictured above.
 I look forward to having more sparkly colourful jewellery from Annie Sherburne soon. Her jewellery always sells well at Christmas.

Yesterday I went to a large family gathering to celebrate young grandson's second birthday. We had a picnic in Bushy Park where the deer are only feet away from you. Such glorious weather. Such nice people. Cyclists and runners that I fancied might live in one of the large detached houses in Park Road. Games of hide and seek with the little ones. Laughter and conversation and renewing friendships. What more could you wish for?