|Painting flowers with watercolour|
|A first attempt at watercolour flowers|
|Spotted - a Red Admiral butterfly|
|Painting flowers with watercolour|
|A first attempt at watercolour flowers|
|Spotted - a Red Admiral butterfly|
|Sweet peas for sale|
England is not used to this heat. 35 degrees and too hot to go for walks. So today I've been painting. Just experimenting with watercolour pencils and paints. I do enjoy it but feel guilty about not getting enough exercise. Perhaps tomorrow will be cooler...
This heat is a reminder that global warming is with us now. Our governments need to act to bring down our carbon footprint to stop the planet getting hotter and hotter each year.
i hope you are managing to stay cool.
|Heron flying. Photograph taken by my daughter as we walked along the canal near her home.|
|Spotted in Wendover|
|Beautiful red apples in someone's garden|
The upside of lockdown for me is discovering how much I enjoy walking. Walking alone or walking with a friend or members of my family - it's always just so nice to be outside and to be able to appreciate Nature.
I've been staying with one daughter and, as we walked we saw a heron camoflauged on the opposite bank. As we approached it flew and my daughter took this beautiful picture. I don't think I've ever seen a heron in flight before.
My other daughter and her children have been staying this week and they love Petersfield. We discovered a playground with a zip wire. We saw a box of black French beans outside someone's house with a note to Please Help Yourself. We did and they were delicious for supper that night. Plus we bought cottage garden flowers that my daughter chose from my favourite place to walk to -The Harrow Inn at Steep.
I hope you have good 'Sights' to walk to near you and that you enjoy your week.
|This bold robin perched really close to me|
|Beautiful, bold dahlia|
|Close to me bee|
|Leaf prints lesson|
This week we printed with leaves. It's really easy and produces great results.
The trick is to find thicker leaves and paint the underside of them then press down onto any sort of paper. These were done on white copy paper.
I got the girls to draw a tree trunk and then print leaves in three different shapes onto it. I think it worked well.
All these photos appeared on my Instagram feed @jenny_handmade_happiness
I post often on Instagram but not so often here. If you are already on Instagram please follow me. I say this because most of you reading this don't live in the UK. Most of you live in the USA.
Wishing you a good week.X
|Making paper beads with family|
|Favourite flower and collage|
|Spotted a white tailed bumblebee|
|Making more masks with Kaffe Fassett fabrics. These are drying outside|
|A huge dahlia in a bunch of flowers from the Harrow Inn at Steep|
|Masks I made with Kaffe Fassett designed fabrics|
|Cherries seen when out walking|
I feel a bit confused at the moment. I heard on the radio that hundreds of scientists now believe the virus is airborne. If this is true there's no point social distancing. It's thrown me a bit. I wonder when we'll ever feel completely safe?
Meanwhile my joy of the week has been buying flowers from this pub near me called The Harrow at Steep. I've walked there twice recently and returned home with bunches of beautiful garden flowers which they sell in aid of local charities. I love the colours in these zinnias. I've also bought sweetpeas and dahlias and now my house is full of flowers in vases in all the colours of the rainbow. It's been so long since I bought anything other than food that I don't feel guilty about spending money on flowers at all!
Nature has healing powers. I'm sure everyone feels happy to be outside. I often wish I knew more so I could correctly identify trees, birds and plants. So this week the local library re-opened (hurray!) and I got out three books with photographs of trees, birds and plants. Hopefully I'll soon be able to put a name to what I see on my walks.
I hope you are finding joy too now that things are slowly returning to normal.
|Making more masks|
|Found these when sorting|
|Beautiful wall of hollyhocks in Sheet|
|Met these sheep on a walk yesterday|
|Walking down a disused railway track|
|Spotted these wild cherries|
Being out in nature is the best thing when life and the future seem uncertain.
Sorry I'm repeating myself. But everything feels more positive when we are outside and it's safer too.
I have made many more masks since the picture above was taken including some in Kaffe Fassett fabrics which are very colourful. Here in the UK it is compulsory to wear masks on public transport and personally I feel better wearing a mask in a shop too although you don't have to.
Yesterday I went on a long walk with a friend. It rained all day but we sheltered in a wooden bus shelter for a picnic lunch and kept on walking. Exploring new places to walk has been one of the joys of lockdown for me. I feel lucky to be able to do that.
I hope there are some hidden upsides to being restricted for you to.
Take care and I hope you stay well too.X
|From a card I made|
|And another card I made I now find inspiring|
|Giant flower seen on my walk|
|Hollyhock time. How do they grow in the dirt next to walls?|
|The Chiltern hills where one of my daughters lives|
|Butterfly mobile designed and made by Jenny Stacy|
|Sun hats for tiny babies made by me|
|Playing with colour and a streak of gold ink|
|Petersfield has these magical places|
This week I've flitted from one thing to another, never concentrating on anything for any length of time. It's week 12 of lockdown here in the UK and I am going a bit stir crazy. It's great to walk in the countryside and I am grateful for that but I long for the library to be open again and/or the Oxfam book shop.
I made the butterfly mobile after an art session with my four and five year old grandaughters. They drew round butterfly and butterfly people templates I sent them and added patterns and colour while I watched and encouraged on Face Time.
The older one is back at school now and doing well with the 'social distancing'. Each child is marooned on their own desk and when they move they are told to walk like zombies with their arms stretched out in front of them. Genius, whoever thought of that. Although she'd like to give her friends a hug she is coping well with the restrictions.
I made the little sunhats for my baby grandaughters, born this year. Two of the three in the picture are reversible. Most of the fabrics are Liberty tana lawn which is a joy to sew.
As you know I like playing with paint and I was pleased with the effect of adding a bit of gold ink. Encouraged by this I've just done two canvasses using watercolour and gold ink. I've got two more canvasses I could use, so maybe next time I write I'll have 4 new paintings to share with you...
Keep safe and keep well. Above all try to focus on the positive in these very difficult times for all of us.
|June is roses month in the garden. Bowl by Ali Cooper ceramics.|
|I love this Drops fine wool and I found these buttons when sorting|
|I've made enough masks now|
|Discovered this wonderful spot when walking|
I try to focus on the positive but I have to say something about the disgusting way George Floyd was murdered. It shocked the world. Every right thinking person is disgusted and shocked. All men are born equal and should be shown equal respect. Why do some people still not know this?
At the risk of sounding incredibly corny: Let's radiate love and be brave enough to speak out about injustice whenever we see it or experience it.
Sometimes it is hard to see how this world can change for the better. But the eternal optimists among us have to believe it will. The lockdown experience has given us pause to think about the kind of future we want. More than ever we have to take the world view and act on what is best for the planet as a whole. The weather is extreme, giving us daily reminders that climate change is happening right now. It we are to slow it down we all have to act now.
To walk in a park or by a river or in the woods is so good for us. Daily walks are the upside of having to stay at home most of the time.
I've been making masks as you know and those pictured are the last ones I intend making. I offered them on Instagram for free and most of them have gone to new homes. I want to focus on making something else now. Today I'm making a butterfly mobile and some sun hats. The tiny cardigan is for the newest member of our family, born just last week!
|Dried peonies at home|
|Peonies drying on my clothes airer and peony close up|
Drying peonies is easy. Once they are fully dried out they seem to last forever.
I think of peonies as a wedding flower and I would love to see these made into a wreath for a wedding or a pretty ring for a bride or bridesmaid's head.
The trick is to hang a peony up to dry when it is at the right stage. If the petals fall when you touch it, it is too late. You want to dry a peony with no brown edges. Only perfect peonies will do! When a peony first starts to look a bit sorry for itself and droop a bit on the stem this is the time it needs to be hung up.
Thread a needle with cotton. Cut the stalk about four to six inches below the flower. Push the needle and cotton through the stalk about three inches below the flower. Tie your cotton so you have a loop. Hang your flower by the loop on a clothes airer like mine or from anything where you can have the flower floating free with nothing in it's way. If you are drying several peonies make sure they are well spaced from each other. A lamp shade or light shade might be a good thing to hang from.
Peonies take a few weeks to dry out depending on the weather. Dry or fresh they are certainly my favourite flower.
|Assorted masks in silk and cotton. Made by Jenny Stacy|
|I love Liberty. Masks made by Jenny Stacy|
I've made about 20 masks in two sizes recently. Originally I thought I'd just make them for the family but when I put a picture on Instagram orders followed.
I've never had any confidence in my dressmaking skills so I feel uncomfortable about charging for masks. They are well made and I'm confident they are well-liked, it's just that in this time of national crisis this is something I can do for other people especially anyone who is afraid to leave their house without the protection of a mask. So it doesn't feel right to charge for them.
I am very lucky because I have a lot of fabric. People used to give me fabric when I had the shop and although lots of it was given to fellow makers I kept what I loved.
And best of all I love Liberty tana lawns. This is a very fine cotton and I've collected any little bits of it for years. Now is a good time to use them.
The most important considerations when making masks is :
Does it fit well over your nose, mouth and chin and can you breathe through it?
The first ones I made had a double layer of cotton fabric. This was difficult to breathe through so I tried using plain silk as a lining with cotton and you can breathe through that. However I've nearly run out of silk so yesterday I made masks with a white gauze cotton lining which again is easy to breathe through.
Since taking these pictures I've also made mens' masks using fine linens in shades of grey/green and pale blue with the fine gauze cotton lining and these look good and again are easy to breathe through.
These masks wouldn't offer enough protection to anyone working in a hospital or working in a care home but I wear mine if I have to visit a supermarket and it seems possible that one day it may become compulsory to wear a mask anywhere indoors where there are lots of people gathered.
The good thing about wearing a mask is that you feel safer and that other people steer clear of you because seeing the mask reminds them to social distance.
|The first peony has bloomed in my garden|
|I cleaned and tidied the dresser in my kitchen|
|Painting flowers in a vase|
|Self portrait from a photograph taken a while ago.|
|Watercolour of iris seen on my walk|
|First page of new notebook with ideas for a new collage on canvas|