Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What I liked at Pulse

Love these ceramic buttons handmade in Cornwall, ordered today 
Meri Meri's confetti balloons
Studio Kimono's patchwork bags made from vintage kimonos.
Handmade buttons by Stockwell Ceramics for sale in Handmade Happiness now.

Globe Home gift wrap paper.

Monday saw me at the Pulse trade fair at Kensington Olympia. So much to see, most of it off-limits for me. Handmade Happiness only stocks items made from scratch in the UK and most of its stock is made locally in and around Petersfield.

I am looking forward to stocking ceramic buttons like the ones pictured. I was tempted by the pretty hats handmade by Gil Fox and I'm also thinking about handmade dog collars and leads which I think would sell well locally.

Some companies with large minimum orders and long waiting times, like the girls who told me there was a £400 minimum order and nothing would be released before October dampened initial interest but other companies were friendly and accomodating. I fell for some delicate lights like dandelions which I look forward to having in the shop in the run up to Christmas this year. 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

In the window

In the window now. See details below.
Also in the window. Details below
Close up of above shelves middle left. Dragonfly brooch made by Annie Sherburne and llittle bird brooch made by Carol Smith. 

Different things are displayed in the window every week.

Right now in the top picture, left to right, is a ceramic pot by Niloo, a cashmere baby bonnet knitted by Patricia and a mug made by Justine Jenner.

Next row: Sheila Barrow's small embroidery; Justine's tall mug with yellow inside and Elizabeth Eveleigh's birthday cake candle made of pure beeswax.

Just below: Justine's sugar bowl; Brenda Tilbury's patchwork lavender pillow using vintage fabrics and Sue Inglis' sheep brooch.

Bottom row: Two of Sue's knitted brooches, one of Justine's larger mugs with orange inside and a pair of Kate Box's wristwarmers.

In the second box are two pretty flower mugs made by ceramicist Kate Hackett and a hand sewn bear by Lindsey Agostinelli.

Next row: See larger picture plus two ceramic brooches made by Samantha Robertson and two gift boxes decorated by Sue Inglis.

Samantha Robertson also made the little jug below and Sue Inglis made the popular cat keyrings. Brenda Tilbury made the Liberty fabric lavender bag.

Yesterday Justine Jenner brought in more grey large size mugs.

I started making notes about Christmas stock and new ideas for Christmas decorations. It may be May but I need to think ahead!!

Friday, 12 May 2017

New in the shop now

These beautiful, larger size bowls made by Justine Jenner were delivered yesterday.
Love this fish cushion with velvet made by Tanya Williamson.
New cushions made by Tanya Williamson in Handmade Happiness now.

I feel so lucky and honored to sell such special, desirable things in Handmade Happiness. Tanya and Justine are two of the very talented makers stocked by the shop. Another is Kate Box who makes colourful, soft knitwear. We had a meeting yesterday for me to see the prototypes of new designs she has made. New colourways, new shapes but maintaining her excellent standard and I'm sure customers are going to love her new range.

If anyone reading this is also on Instagram you may have seen pictures I put on my blog also on Instagram. I try to post new pictures every day on that app so, if you want to see more (and read less!) check out jenny_handmade_happiness

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

New! Knitted brooches by Sue Inglis.

These cute, fun brooches by Sue Inglis are £7.50 each.

Apologies for not having written lately. I'll try to do better this week. The truth is I've got a chest infection which is a nuisance as I don't feel I've achieved much lately. But with the help of antibiotics it's going. I've not had to take time off from the shop but probably I've been a bit lacklustre lately!

Today I'm looking forward to seeing more cushions from the talented Tanya Williamson and I have just emailled Bee Mellor who has made some beautiful birds for the shop.

The sun is shining and I have a feeling it's going to be a good day. Enjoy your day too!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Fabric design

Fabrics designed by Vanessa Bell,one of the Bloomsbury set.
New fabric called Avelli from Designers Guild
This week I visited the Vanessa Bell exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London. Vanessa Bell, sister of Virginia Woolf and the lover of artist Duncan Grant, who divided her time between Bloomsbury and Charleston, was multi-talented. She painted portraits and interiors and designed fabrics. I particularly like these dresses showing two of her designs which were for sale in the gallery shop. 

(Note to self - do not expect a two year old to be as enthusiastic about visiting a gallery as you are! My grandaughter just wanted to get out to go to the park. Fair enough!) 

Also this week I was happy to be called into neighbour Tara's Interior Design shop to see new designs by Designers Guild brought in by their rep. I fell for this cotton fabric, shown above, a mix of painterly flowers and digitally printed real flowers. So pretty!

Friday, 21 April 2017

In the shop now

In the window. See credits below.
Hand sewn bears by Lindsey Agostinelli with pottery by Samantha Robertson
Patricia knitted this little girl's cardigan and baby bootees.
Jenny Drant knitted this FairIsle tank top for a two year old.

In the window today are, left to right above, pot by Niloo, wool/cashmere baby bonnet by Patricia, and sugar bowl made by Justine Jenner.

Second row: heart felted brooch by Bee Mellor and Jenny Stacy; dimple jug by Justine Jenner and two pure beeswax candles by Elizabeth Eveleigh.

Third row: cup by Justine Jenner; embroidered picture by Sheila Barrow and bird jug made by Kate Hackett.

Fourth row: Sparkly string 30p a metre; ceramic hearts by Kate Hackett and cashmere bunny by Jenny Stacy.

I hope all of you with school age children are enjoying the Easter holidays.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Birthday choices

The amazing ceiling at a Laduree cafe in Paris
Ornate embroidery at Alberta Ferreti in Paris
Luxury art fabrics seen in Paris
A view from The Hangers at Steep near Petersfield.

As it's my birthday I decided to choose pictures taken during the last year that I particularly like. 

Yesterday I walked up The Hangers for the first time. It's spectacular and I'll be doing it again soon. My son in law took this impressive picture. You can see for miles....

In the last year I went with a friend to Paris for a couple of nights. We walked our feet off and I took lots of pictures including the ones above that inspired me then and still inspire me now. I would love to go again, even if only for a few hours. It always amazes me how two capital cities that are so close geographically are so totally different from one another.  I love London and I love Paris and I've lived in both places but I find walking in Paris more exciting.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Special things

Knitted chicks with Lindt chocolate eggs inside them
Charity shop finds
A favourite possession: Iris in dyed velvet stitched by Sheila Barrow.

These knitted chicks have been selling 'like hot cakes'. Last night I had just photographed these few that were left when a woman came running in and bought the lot. Today I'll phone clever knitter Audrey and see if she can provide any more.

My run round the charity shops yielded this green glass vase for £1; a crystal bead necklace - the beads will be used decorate fairies - also for £1 and best of all, an old wallpaper sample book (£2) where all the papers have gold, silver or copper colours in them. I'm imagining these will be great for Christmas paper chains, collage cards,handmade crackers, gift tags etc!

If you are following me on Instagram apologies. I've posted all three of these pictures but, as I know that the blog is looked at by many more people than look at Instagram it makes sense. Also I can write a lot more on my blog than is available to me as a picture caption.

For example: I remember seeing this velvet picture on Sheila Barrow's stall and just feeling that I had to have it. I think it is so beautiful and well made! Sheila is a gifted textile artist and now, many years after I bought this picture, her work is for sale in Handmade Happiness and Sheila remains one of the most talented people I know.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

How to make bags from magazine pages

Tear out a page and fold over the torn edge.
Fold sides to middle so the edges just overlap.
Now fold up the untorn edge to make your base. Sellotape this and your central join.
Bags ready to be used and taped shut. Top image Harpers Bazaar, others Country Living pages.

Magazines have such gorgeous photographs in them. I hate throwing them into the recycling. 

For the last 6 years I've been tearing out the pages I like to make bags for the shop. It's easy (see above) and means someone else gets pleasure from seeing those pictures. It also means I never have to buy any packaging! (Although I do use many reels of sellotape!)

So when you shop in Handmade Happiness in Petersfield expect to be given your purchase in a bag made from a magazine page. Bigger buys go into the carrier bags I make from magazine covers (see earlier post).

I use a lot of magazines and nice customers bring me their old magazines now instead of puting them into the recycling bin. 

So if you see me idly leafing through an old magazine in the shop you'll know I'm not taking a break I'm working! Choosing which pages to make into bags!


Thursday, 6 April 2017

New cushions by Tanya Williamson

First sheep cushion in the shop by Tanya Williamson £48
Little harvest mouse cushion by Tanya Williamson £38
India runner duck and row of ducks £48; sand piper £38 all made by Tanya Williamson
Highland cow cushion by Tanya Williamson £45 (sheep cushion underneath)
Tanya Williamson sketches on fabric with her sewing machine. Her cushions are special, not least because she uses top quality fabrics so they look and feel nice. Yesterday I was pleased to welcome Tanya to the shop with a fresh batch of cushions for me to sell.

If you live in or near Petersfield you might like to be reminded of the Save the Children sale which starts today and goes on until Saturday at the Festival Hall. I've picked up some great bargains there over the years and hope to photograph and  share my treasures here with you tomorrow.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

In the shop now

Knitted Easter decorations by Sue Inglis £4.95 each and Kate Hackett's ceramic decorations, geese and chickens £3, bunny £2
Delicate pots by Niloo under landscape painting by Christine Burgess.
More carrier bags made on Saturday with old magazines

Ideal shop weather is mild but overcast. People don't browse
when it's warm and sunny - they'd rather be outside in their gardens or on a walk. Most people don't shop when it's raining or snowing either. So my favourite weather for a busy in the shop day, is cloudy, but not actually raining.
On Saturday the sun was shining brightly so it was a quiet day in the shop. Time for me to make a batch of carrier bags and to continue knitting a soft alpaca, pale grey cardigan to fit a newborn...

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Needlefelt and social media

Stitched piece of needlefelt I completed yesterday
As I sent out four pictures to Instagram yesterday and enjoyed looking at other peoples' pictures I wondered: Is this work or is this play? (jenny_handmade_happiness)

Promoting one's business through social media is what most people do. This blog, that I so enjoy, promotes Handmade Happiness, the shop. Most of the photos I put up on Instagram are taken in the shop of things you can buy and yet it all seems too much fun to be called work.

It still seems incredible to me that many people make their living through social media - buying and selling online. Something they don't have to leave the house to be successful at. If you've got a good eye and feeling for what people want - why not?  A successful Etsy site or trading on E-bay is a form of work. But somehow I can't bracket it with going in to the factory or sitting in an office each day. It's work lite. Ironically you can probably make more money with social media than you can on the assembly line and I know what I'd prefer to do.

When I did a bit of voluntary work for AgeUk I was fascinated by the individuals who came in early every morning to sniff out a particular sort of pottery or glass or jewellery that they bought to re-sell on e-bay. They were each specialists and knowing a lot about one particular thing is what their business was based on. Respect to them. But is this work in the way that someone who cleans other peoples' houses works? Work lite again.

By the way I'm closing my Facebook accounts. Too many emails, too much trivia and I'm just not posting on it to make it a worthwhile experience. I hate the fact that if someone types Handmade Happiness in to Google, Fb is the first thing that comes up. I'd rather this blog or Pinterest or Instagram came up. I can see it works for many people but it just doesn't suit me. How do you feel?

When I started this large piece of needlefelting I wanted to make a bag out of it.But now I've stitched into it (hard to see the stitches, I know) I want to do something else with it. Exactly what I don't know right now. Ideas? Enjoy the sunshine!

Monday, 27 March 2017

London wander

Butler and Wilson's window
Chocolate dipped strawberries for sale in Selfridges
Pink pause in H&M home store on Oxford Street
Liberty print gift wrap in Liberty
Once in a while I like to look at the big London stores to see what they have. My mother, who came from Nottingham called this 'getting your eye in.' 

This means looking at beautiful, expensive stuff so that when you are in cheaper stores (or charity shops) you recognise quality. As you get older you realise what you like best and they say that if you only buy what you really love your house will look right because everything in it will be your own taste and therefore fit together. 

The only place I parted with money in today was H&M. I bought a pale pink velvet cushion cover for £6.99 and a small wire picture frame for the same price. I love pale pink at the moment...