Sunday 28 July 2019

Dementia dolls and eco-bricks

Dementia doll by Jenny Stacy
I love sweetpeas. This year the garden  is still giving me flowers after 3 weeks.

Regular readers will remember me making lots of very simple dolls with different colourful fabrics front and back, like the one above. Some sold but I still have lots left so I thought I'd turn them into dementia dolls.

With this one I sewed on pompom braid and a length of wide velvet ribbon. Then I knitted a piece with tails and loops and sewed that on too.  Now there are three areas that invite fiddling with. Four if you include the dolls' dreadlocks! And the doll is also the right size to be a 'baby' to be cuddled.

It is stuffed with toy stuffing but I am wondering if I could use soft plastic packaging instead. Up until now I have been putting this into large plastic bottles as 'eco bricks.'

My local authority East Hampshire District Council doesn't recycle food packaging which is really annoying. So for some time I have been puting all that soft plastic packaging into large empty water bottles. The problem is that lots of people are doing the same thing but there are very few places in the country that can actually use these eco-bricks.

 A local school used to take them to build an allotment but they have enough now. So where to put all these eco-bricks? The bloke I asked at the recycling centre hadn't heard of eco-bricks but he did tell me to bring them along so he could see what they looked like...

Everyone wants to do their bit to save the planet right now but sometimes it is not obvious what to do for the best.
Some people pick up litter whenever they see it.
When I visited my daughter in London this week I noticed a sign which said that people who leave their rubbish on the pavement or 'fly tippers' can be fined up to £50,000 !!! Can you imagine that actually being enforceable?

Thursday 25 July 2019

Here Thursday not Friday

In case you are thinking of visiting Handmade Happiness please note that I will be in the shop today but not tomorrow. Tomorrow Friday 26th July I have family responsibilities. You can still look round but if you are travelling hoping to see me personally I won't be there.
Hope you are loving this heat wave!!

Saturday 20 July 2019


Knitting with similar colours on my worktable.
So I put these in the window and the sun dried them
Peonies close up

The weather in this country (UK) is so changeable. I can hardly believe that these peonies which I left in water in the window during my days off early this week dried out from the heat and yet for the past three days we have had continuous rain.
I used to think the weather affected trade at the shop but I don't think that any more. It just takes one person to come in and the day is turned around and I love it when someone is truly happy with the choices (and purchases) she or he has made.
Whatever the weather I am happy making. The stitch on this scarf is called 'crest of the wave'. I've also made bunting this week and painted a couple of experimental pictures.
By the way I'm sorry about the black borders on these pictures. My phone does that when I try to get a close up. 
Enjoy your weekend everybody!

Monday 15 July 2019

Virtual shop tour 1

Animal felt brooches by Karen Boller, felt, velvet and medals by Jenny Stacy and birds by Carol Smith
Ceramics by Justine Jenner
Paintings by Janice Cotton; pots by Niloo and turned bowls by Harry Butler
Interesting bark on a London tree

Justine Jenner has just re-stocked her shelves (picture two). Her work is vey popular.
The top three pictures will give you an idea of what the shop looks like. More pictures to come. 
I had to take a picture of the bark on this tree. Apparently it's a plane tree or London plane tree.

Thursday 11 July 2019

Enjoying Flowers

Sweetpeas from my garden
Trying to paint sweetpeas
Queen of Sweden roses and hydrangeas from the garden
Love these delicate little flowers too. Seen in one of Niloo's pots.

It's sweetpea month in the garden. These are my favourite flowers and I love the abundant way that the more flowers you pick the more they seem to produce.
I tried to copy them on paper. Drawing with a pencil then painting with watercolours. I found it surprisingly hard. But I feel like trying to paint other flowers too now.
The hollyhocks are at their tallest best right now too. I've tried and failed to grow them in the garden. They seem to prefer the bit of dust next to an old wall and will self-seed there quite happily. I'll try scattering seed next to my wall later in the year.
I feel I should make bunting right now. Although it's not very creative to make bunting, with all the weddings, school fetes and village fairs going on at the moment there is a need for strings of it. And it's also nice to look at in the shop.

Friday 5 July 2019

Making for the future

Felt necklace on sale at the Phoenix Exhibition in the Physic Garden, Petersfield £25
Felted flowers for Handmade Happiness
More felted flowers for sale in Handmade Happiness
Experimenting with paints and tissue paper
100% cashmere bunnies for little hands to hold

This week I've been making in the shop. More cashmere  bunnies that sell so well. Lots of felt flowers to buy as decorations or to wear as brooches. And I  finished off a felt necklace ready for the Phoenix Stitchers exhibition which runs from today until Sunday 10-4 daily at the Physic Garden. Plus I enjoyed gluing tissue paper leaves onto a painting to add interest.

It is worryingly quiet in the shop at the moment. This year it's as if the customer tap has been turned off. I know it's the same in all other shops. People have just stopped spending.  So shops can't survive. 

Everyone tells me that people are buying online now and certainly that's part of the picture but I think the main reason people have stopped spending is because they are worried about the future and the natural response is to hunker down and save any money you can for worse times ahead. 

I didn't vote for Brexit and of course, I have no say in who our next Prime Minister will be and these are the issues that are depressing people like me. It's that feeling of helplessness. We can't influence these things but we sure as hell are being affected by them.

 And of course, there is the mammoth issue of climate change to grapple with. I look forward to the next David Attenborough series 'Seven Worlds; One Planet'. 
He is a person everyone trusts to tell the truth about our situation.

Meanwhile I'll keep making. I'll create a stock of items for Christmas sales because in November and December I'll wish I had made more!