Handmade New Forest

Beautiful gifts and home accessories sourced from local suppliers, crafted from the heart and hand made with love

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Blog posts : "General"

A New Handmade Store Has Opened!

April 16, 2016

So in April,  not content with the lovely shop in New Milton, Kathy has gone into partnership with another crafter to bring Handmade Gallery & Gifts to Lymington.  We have a lovely shop 'On the Cobbles' at Lymington harbour and are stocking larger pieces and lots of art as well as Handmade's usual wonderful pieces!

Pop on down if you're in the area and take a look.  If we don't have what you want in one shop, we're sure to have it in the other!

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Summer is Almost Behind Us - Where Was The Sunshine?

August 28, 2015

Well, although June showed us some kindness weather wise this year, July and August have been awful with more rain than is necessary for the summer holidays!

Undaunted, we have seen some lovely holiday makers in the shop and have also had lots of people returning, glad to see we are still here!

We have welcomed lots more New Forest Marque suppliers to our shelves and quite a few more local crafters too! 

We now stock local honey, delicious cakes and some beautiful local art work celebrating the New Forest and surrounsing areas.

As well as the summer passing in a short breath, we are also gearing up for the busiest time of the year coming up so why not come and see us and see what we can do to help you in your Christmas shopping.

 

Don't forget that because all of our crafters are only a phone call away - we can get most things made for you so you only need to ask!

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Spring Has Sprung and Handmade Has Had A Facelift!

May 2, 2015

So, in getting back behind the counter and pushing Handmade through the very quiet start to the year, I had the crazy idea of giving the shop a refurb.  I picked the colours, bought the paint and asked for help from the crafters and, in two days, we had a new shop!  It looks stunning.  It looks bigger and it looks much smarter to show off all the beautiful craftiness we stock.  Come and take a look!

 

We have also welcomed some new stockists to the shop.  Local honey is proving popular from Ashlett Creek Produce - a recently joined New Forest Marque supplier and we also have the most beautiful needle felted animals and decorations from Lauren Smallcalder.  I love them so much I could take them all home!

 

We are now about to enter the holiday season in New Milton with lots of visitors coming to see the beaches and forest which we are lucky enough to have right on our doorstep and I am even being promised a New Milton & Barton tea towel to go with our collection on sale.  We think this will prove a huge hit with the holiday makers and local customers alike!

 

So, please do pop in and see what we have been up to and admire the wonderful stock we have in store. 

Hope to see you soon!

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A sad time for Handmade but a lot of love was grown

February 21, 2015

Sadly, at the start of October 2014, Chris - founding member of Handmade, husband to Kathy and much loved shop owner - was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer.  This devastating news sent us into a spinning whirlwind and forced them to take a back seat in the running of the shop to concentrate on making the most of whatever time we had left.  Mixed emotions made us feel firstly blessed that so many of our crafters were prepared to step forward and volunteer to keep the shop running nut secondly so confused asking 'Why Chris?'.

The diagnosis came as a bolt out of the blue, although Chris had been poorly on and off for some time and chemotherapy turned out to be, after one round of treatment, not a viable option.  When he was told chemo was not being continued, Chris asked how long he had and was told 'Months, less than 6' so he wrote his bucket list and started making plans.  Sadly, he deteriorated incredibly quickly and died at home, where he wanted to be with me at his side just 3 weeks later.  3 days before Christmas..  This was just the worst time we could have ever imagined.  In fact, I don't think we could have imagined how terribly awful this was to be.  Because of the Christmas and New Year holidays, we had to wait until the 15th January before we could hold his funeral - which he had planned himself.  Our village church was filled to capacity with friends, family, colleagues and representatives from various organisations - all dressed in football kit or, if not footie shirts, red and white for his beloved Southampton FC.  He included in his final requests a last trip past his shop.  This proved to be an unbelievable sight.  Every shop keeper in the street was outside, the tree outside Handmade had been decorated in red and white with ribbons, pom poms and messages and from the traffic lights to the end of the road a round of applause followed his funeral car.  A show of love and respect that was so unexpected yet so reverent and beautiful.  We, as a family, can only be proud to have had Chris in our lives.  A true family, community, honest and real man. 

Part of Chris's bucket list was to go on a cruise which he did actually book before he became too ill.  He asked that me and the children still went on it and, as hard as it was, we went.  We flew out to the boat and sailed around the Canary Islands for a week and returned yesterday with a hopeful but cautious new outlook on a new life which we must learn to live together without our 'Glue' to hold us together.  We will never, ever forget our amazing husband and dad and hope that the shop will be a living legacy to him.

So, as of next week, I will be doing my best to get back behind the wheel, drive the shop and the business forward and make it the success Chris and I had always imagined it could be.  The recent Christmas season was quite amazing with a huge number of customers making their gift purchases with us and the new year is already looking bright with some new suppliers already joining us and others waiting in the wings so, if you are in town, pop in and see us or, if you're not, have a look online and see what we can send you!

Keep in touch with us via Facebook and Twitter (www.facebook.com/handmadenewforest and @HandmadeNF ) or come in for a chat if you're passing.  We are always pleased to see you!

Look out for the next blog instalment soon - once I have some more news and thank you to everyone who has supported me and my family through this dreadfully awful time and to those who know we will still be needing those shoulders to cry and lean on in the days, weeks and months to come.  We know we are very lucky and are deeply grateful to have you all in our lives.  Thank you.

Kathy (And Chris)

xx

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August was a 'BOMB'!

July 24, 2014

August - Was A 'BOMB'!!

What can I say - did you see the craft bomb that hit New Milton this month?  Well, it was us!  We had a great time planning, organizing and executing the biggest craft surprise New Milton (Maybe Hampshire too!) has ever seen.  We were up at 2am sewing bike racks into their jackets, padlocking a crocheted bike to the racks, sitting a blue chicken on the phone box, fixing caterpillars to the railings, adorning the benches with beautiful knitted and crocheted decorations, hanging bee hives up and attaching an octopus to the parking sign!  The public loved it!  Such surprise on their faces and lots of lovely people just coming into the shop to say 'Thankyou'!  We wanted to bring smiles to people's faces and I think we succeeded!

If you didn't see it, here are a few links to news articles:

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/11412051.Residents_surprise_as_town__yarn_bombed__with_knitting/?ref=var_0

http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/story/2014-08-15/towns-new-look-as-craft-bombers-weave-their-magic/

Enjoy! xx

July, a Heatwave and Holidays!

Kathy here, just thought I'd pop over and say hello! 

What amazing if stifling weather we are having down here in the New Forest!  We are seeing lots of lovely holiday-makers already who are loving the shop and lots of souvenirs are being taken home to various parts of the country (And indeed the world!)

We are still making lots of plans at HMNF and our latest idea is to hols a children's craft activity day on Saturday 16th August - a great opportunity for the little ones to have a bit of hands on crafting and have something to take home so tell your friends and family, it will be a great day!  (Crafts will be pay-as-you-go because, as much as we love doing stuff like this, we don't have a money tree!)

There will be lots more to see and do in New Milton that day so it will be well worth coming down to see everything!

We have also been quite impressed by a new initiative being run by the New Forest National Park - a Tec Creche - take a look at the video to see what it's all about!  I for one am astounded at the amount of holiday photos friends are posting on social medial sites which include their children - of varying ages- plugged in to some technology or other and I find this shocking!  I know we need to move with the times but that doesn't mean forgetting what family is all about.  When I was a kid I didn't have any of this (Nor did anyone, for that matter) and I was thrilled when I opened up a Sony Walkman for Christmas in 1981 and then dismayed when my sister opened a pair of headphone so we could 'Share' it.  Needless to say which one of us used it more!  So please take a minute to look at the film above to see just how a family holiday COULD be!

So, back to the grindstone, we hope you all have a lovely summer and hope to see you in the shop soon.  There is always lots going on and new stock coming in every day so it's always worth a look if you're passing or takie a look at the web-shop for some inspired ideas available by post.  (Thank you to Sharon for keeping the web-shop dusted and stocked!)

See you soon!

Kathy :)

 

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June 30, 2014

Wow Where Did that Month Go???

It's amazing how a little bit of sunshine makes the time whizz by.

For those of you who follow Kathys blog you will have read that Kathy has allowed me to sit along side her at the helm and given me access to all areas of the web, obviously the woman is completely bonkers!

The last couple of weeks have been interesting, frustrating, enjoyable and heart stopping! I managed to completely delete the whole online store at one point but after much cursing and trying to suss out how to break the news to Kathy I managed to work out how to restore it (just about). With a few more presses of buttons and a stern talking  to in the nicest possible way (she called me silly amongst others things for stressing over it) Kathy had me back on track ….Thank goodness!

 As you can imagine listing the whole contents of the store onto the website will very much be a work in progress I hope you keep popping back to see what else has been listed. There’s so many lovely items in the store even if you never buy on line hopefully you’ll see something that catches your eye and you’ll take a trip over to the shop and say hi to two of the most welcoming people in the retail business.

Well if I haven't bored you silly already why not pop over and Meet me properly, thought I'd set the ball rolling......

I hereby declare Meet the Crafter is now up and running....

All the Best Sharon

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The Handmade Blogger

May 17, 2014

  17th May 2014

May into June, the Summer is Coming Soon!

Wow, what great weather we are experiencing down here in the New Forest!  Sweltering sun has chased lots of people to the beach but the shop is always open as usual!

We have welcomed some new crafters to the team including some great photographers who use their work to create great cards, clocks and coasters. 

We also have a new wood worker who uses reclaimed wood to make great wine glass and bottle display racks for indoor or outdoor use.  Just great!

Don't forget to take a look at our workshop dates coming up.  We have booked a beginners crochet date and more so, if you want to be included on the mailing list telling you all about the workshop dates and events, please drop us a line and ask to be added.  It's just a once a month email with all the juicy news!

Have you seen our Facebook page too?  We keep this updated with pictures of new stock and any news we want to share with you all.  Please take a look and like us at www.facebook.com/handmadenewforest we also run competitions and giveaways so you never know what you could be missing!

We have handed over the reins of the website to one of our crafters today too so the lovely Sharon will be updating the web page and writing some blog posts.  We hope to have guest bloggers from our crafters so we hope there will be some interesting reading coming up soon!

So, keep in touch, keep reading and come and see us in the shop whenever you are passing (Or even make a special trip!)

See you soon!
Kathy :)

 

So, it is May.  Where has the time gone?

We have had our first Easter, Mother's Day and May bank holiday and have found them all to be busy!

We have also been nominated in the category of 'Supports Local Produce' in the New Forest National Park Awards, been in the newspaper (New Milton Advertiser) and been on the BBC Radio Solent Alex Ryder show in a live broadcast from the shop!  It has been an exciting time!

Our Facebook group is growing, our workshop dates increasing and our craft stock getting bigger by the day - I think we can now honestly say there is really something for everyone!

We are working closely with our local town partnership to get or town put firmly on the map and are working towards starting a local small business association for New Milton which will benefit individual traders and the town as a whole so, watch this space....

We will be holding a 'Shop Local' day on Wednesday 4th June - please come and support your local traders and have a look at what is going on.  We are being supported in this by the lovely people from www.thebestof.co.uk/thenewforest take a look!

We hope you can make it to one or some of our workshops, if you can't maybe someone you know can so please spread the handmade love for us!

We will also be attending the Walhampton School fete and the New Milton Rugby Club Family Fun Day so come along and have some fun!

See you soon!

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A Busy Christmas but Happy New Year!

January 4, 2014

Welcome to the Handmade New Forest Blogger!

We are a new enterprise, offering an opportunity for the local crafting and creating community to showcase and sell their beautiful products to the community and via the web,

Christmas has been and gone - in a flash as far as we are concerned, we are seriously contemplating a second Christmas, just so we can feel like we've had one, as setting up a new business in the middle of the festive shopping season has not been easy but has been entirely satisfying and rewarding.

We started the shop up with just 30 sellers, which we thought at the time was a lot, now we have 74!!!  It took 2 days to process the December payments to everyone but, on the whole, everyone seems happy and are now busy making and bringing in new stock.  So, a word to the wise - come in often as you just never know what new items we may have had in since your last visit.  (Another word to the same souls is to always ask if there is something you want that we don't have as, pound to a penny, we will be able to find someone who can make it for you!)

A new addition to our repertoire is that we now offer our shop as a workshop venue in the evenings and on Sundays, our first workshop has been booked for the 4th February.  Why not check it out on the classes tab on the site - you may want to come along and learn something new!

So, welcome.  This initial blog post is just a short introduction but keep your eyes peeled as we will be posting on a regular basis to keep you in the know, offer tips and hints and generally entertain and amuse in a crafty kind of way!

TTFN :)

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8 blog posts