Friday 29 March 2019

Making Painted Cards

Jenny Stacy designed and made this card
Keeping it simple! Card by Jenny Stacy
Love purples! Card by Jenny Stacy

I've just made 12 cards and I'm beginning to feel that all that practice of 'A Painting a Day' is finally paying off! I actually like these cards and from today they will be on sale in Handmade Happiness at £3.50 each.

Thursday 28 March 2019

Silk flower making with Anne Tomlin

The peony I made at Anne Tomlin's workshop yesterday in Petersfield
My peony with other students' flowers yesterday

Yesterday I was lucky enough to do a silk flower making workshop with the internationally famous Anne Tomlin. Anne makes life-like flowers for the hats she makes and also teaches at West Dean College. Her next workshop is in the Menier Factory as part of London Hat Week (April 4th to April 10th) 

Phoenix Stitchers which used to be the Petersfield Embroiderers' Guild invited Anne to give a workshop and it was such an interesting day!  To hand make one flower took all day. I never would have dreamed it is such a complicated and multi-stage process. Anne has special tools from Japan and after a life-time of studying flowers strives to imitate nature as exactly as humanly possible. Special fabrics are needed and metal tools have to be heated to exactly the right temperature. It is fascinating and a rewarding learning experience. If you get the chance to attend one of Anne's workshops -Go! You will love it!

Sunday 24 March 2019


First framed painting by Jenny Stacy
Even rubbish paintings can be cut up and used for collage!

Painting is personal. So is making something. When it comes to sharing it with others, that takes guts. A very confident person will have no problem showing others what they have done, but for most of us it's a bit of a struggle...

I have no problem with things I make now. I've been making for so many years and some things are successful and some things less so but I always make to sell. However, painting is new to me. 

Exactly a month ago I started doing a painting a day just for the fun of it. But the last picture I did (the one above) is the first one that a respected friend suggested I should put in a frame and try to sell. So yesterday it went up in the shop, admittedly in the darkest corner of the shop but it's there and it's for sale...

By the way, if you love textile art and you live within reach of Teddington get yourself to the Landmark Arts Centre today. The Contemporary Textiles Fair is on from 10am to 5pm and there's some really interesting things for sale there.
I went to the preview evening on Friday and came home re-energised...!

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Easter bunnies

Cashmere bunnies holding Lindt eggs by Jenny Stacy
Cashmere bunnies with sewn on flowers by Jenny Stacy
100% cashmere bunnies made by Jenny Stacy. Lovely fabric was a gift from Niloo.

I can't decide if I like the ones with flowers or the ones without flowers best. These are the softest little bunnies and just right to be held by a little one or to be secretly in the pocket of an older one.And of course adults can buy them for themselves! At £4.50 each they are reasonably priced and being embroidered and stuffed with toy safe kapok totally safe.

Easter is on April 21st this year and, from today the little knitted chicks will each have a  replaceable Lindt egg inside them and be available to buy at just £1 each. Knitted Easter baskets £2.50 and Sue Inglis' imaginative knitted Easter decorations - bunnies, chicks, lambs and carrots all £6.

Time for my 'painting a day' before getting ready for work. Have a good day everyone!

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Anne Tomlin made these!

Blown away by the talent of Anne Tomlin!
Flowers made by Anne Tomlin
A daisy chain entirely created by Anne Tomlin

Yesterday I went to a talk on 'My Life in Textiles' given by the artist-maker Anne Tomlin. Anne makes hats and flowers for both jewellery and decoration. Her creations are extremely life like and she has devoted her life to studying nature to see how to copy it as accurately as possible.

If you want to find out more about her classes, her work or perhaps invite her to give a talk to the group you belong to her website is and her Instagram name is annetomlinflowers.

I feel so lucky to be attending one of her workshops in Petersfield next week. I look forward to sharing my experience with you afterwards.

Monday 18 March 2019

In Handmade Happiness

Thank you to the person who left a pile of magazines on my doorstep for me to make into bags
Ceramic brooches made by Samantha Robertson for sale in HH
Samantha Robertson's work in Handmade Happiness

In these uncertain Brexit times it is important to take time out for yourself. Handmade Happiness is an oasis of handmade calm! Everything in it is designed and made from scratch by one individual. British craft by British craftspeople - pure and unadulterated.
It is energising and inspiring just to look around so VISIT!!

When I was younger I had the opportunity to get my designs copied abroad and this is one of the ways that craftspeople can make money in an easier way. I didn't like the idea, choosing to be poor but happy. It's like stepping from making into industry or more accurately to become the designer and not the maker. Whatever is right for you. But Handmade Happiness will continue to promote only things made in this country by one individual and that's that. I wonder if it is unique in that respect?

I'm continuing to do a painting a day and if you feel you'd like to do this do give it a try. I've also made quite a few bunnies with Easter in mind. I'll show you those next time!

Tuesday 12 March 2019

A painting a day

Water. Jenny Stacy paints every day!
Circles 1. Jenny Stacy paints every day!
Gold splash abstract by Jenny Stacy
Flower meadow by Jenny Stacy
Gold and colour. Jenny Stacy paints.
Flowers on blue by Jenny Stacy

Every morning I paint for an hour or two before breakfast. I started this regime a fortnight ago and I really enjoy playing and experimenting with paints and water and lately, a touch of gold.

Do you make or paint every day?

I am knitting a lot at the moment but I find painting a lot more satisfying somehow.
I used to paint sheets of paper only to tear them up into little pieces for collage and no doubt some of these efforts will end up being torn up. But maybe they will be practice pieces for something better to come. I find that I am learning what works and what doesn't look good as I go.

And for someone who has never had an art lesson in her life that is valuable experience. So I'm having fun playing with paint every morning and it would be great if everyone had the same opportunity to get a bit of art therapy into their lives. 

Saturday 9 March 2019

New glass in Handmade Happiness

Sue Palmer-Simmons creates these unusual glass coasters or tiles
More glass coasters by Sue Palmer-Simmons
Fused glass by Sue Palmer-Simmons

Interesting, arty kiln fired glass new in Handmade Happiness. Lots of different patterns and colours by Sue Palmer- Simmons.

Saturday 2 March 2019

Knitting and Stitching Show - sights and observations

Some fine needle felting
A pretty stall selling vintage habadashery - E62 Simple Vintage Designs
These fake flower crowns were selling like hot cakes at just £1 each!

What I bought - Drops yarns from Blackbird Designs and felt pieces from 'Woolie and Feltie'

I noticed more stalls selling individual dress making patterns, more needle felt animals and a lack of textile graduates work. I normally go to the October Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace but I was pleased I visited its Spring equivalent at Olympia yesterday.

So crowded and the queue for a cup of tea almost convinced people they weren't really thirsty! But I met Sue Stratford who wrote the knitting pattern book Knit Me, Dress Me Love Me as well as lots of other pattern books and I had a good chat with her and bought her latest book on knitting garden birds which will be fun to try.

I hate to close the shop for an odd day and I do hope no-one was disappointed to find it closed yesterday. But quite honestly February and January are the quietest months shopwise and I feel it's important to visit these shows in search of new makers.

The next show I'll visit - but I can go at night after work to this one - is the Contemporary Textiles Show at Landmark Arts, Teddington. It's on the weekend of March 23rd and 24th. If you love textile art you'll love this show.