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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Welcome to Meet the Crafters

Our Crafters have put together a little bit of info to share with you about themselves and their wonderful creations ~ please grab a drink, pop your feet up and have a read through...

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Crafters Blog, Handmade New Forest:

Heart of Buttons

 

 

My name is Jenny Green and I work alongside my mum Angela Green and we trade as Heart of Buttons or Seller No. 89.
Although we both work part time in separate retail jobs we have always shared a passion in all craft forms. As a hobby we have always designed and made various projects for not only ourselves but as gifts for friends and family. It evolved into something more when a friend asked us to attend a local Christmas Fair. We only had a couple of weeks to make enough items to fill our table. So we made a range of felt Christmas decorations, button cushions and embellished some wicker hearts. Looking back our work was quite basic to what it is now but we still prominently make the same style of items. The amazing response we received about our products is what made us want to continue attending local events throughout the New Forest area with the pieces of work we have always lovingly made.
We have a wide range of crafts but mainly make:
  • Felt keyrings/decorations  
  • Button cushions
  • Wicker hearts embellished with buttons and fabric roses.
  • Cards featuring our felt designs
Most of which can be found in the shop. We love using bright eye catching colours and can guarantee that each item we make will be unique. If you like our work you see in the shop but would like a different colour scheme or design, please don't hesitate to ask in store as we will always try our best to create something for you.
Our dream would to one day have our very own gift/craft shop. Kathy and Chris have been so inspiring to watch from the very beginning and we are honoured to be a part of their journey at Handmade New Forest. 

 

Crafters Blog, Handmade New Forest:

Robert Dee

 

 

At last a very funny and sometimes shocking down to earth book by local author Robert Dee and his experiences working within the local Hotel & Restaurant trade, especially around the New Forest, Hampshire & Dorset.
It is a hilarious day to day snapshot of what staff, managers, guests and inspectors say or do. The book is called: A Few Days at Forest Charms Hotel.
Robert Dee, a local writer who as part of his differing career roles, has spent many years writing serious business improvement plans for several National companies, but who at long last is able to turn his writing towards many recaptured light hearted moments as to funny people situations observed within differing industries over a 35 year period, starting with being a local Hotel Director.

 In his next book to be released next year, he will be recalling his many funny moments working within Harrods department store in the 1980's.

So if you fancy taking sometime to yourself and feel the need to read, and laugh out loud pop along and pick up a copy in store. Paper Back, Approx 200 pages, £5.95.
 
 




 

 

 

Crafters Blog, Handmade New Forest:

Veggie Patch

 

 

Veggie Patch, chutneys, preserves, herbal teas and cordials

What do you do with abundance of fruit and veg? Well we started ‘Veggie Patch’ because we had so much wonderful produce, we didn’t know what to do with it all. The venture began at our children’s school Christmas event when we volunteered to make a few jars of chutneys from our home grown apples and pears. We sold out within an hour and took orders for more. What was so lovely was that people really appreciated the fact that the chutneys had been hand made and the ingredients grown locally.
People couldn’t believe that something so delicious could be made right here in Hampshire.

That was how Veggie Patch started in 2012. We did our food hygiene training and had our kitchen inspected and we’ve had great fun creating all sorts of new flavours using ingredients we either grow or can get our hands on locally. We also like to create products that aren’t available in the shops. Where else can you buy gorseflower cordial or apple and magnolia chutney or even wild garlic tea? We’re loving re-discovering under-used ingredients as well as creating old favourites such as our ‘Apple and Ale’ chutney using beer from the Dancing Man Brewery in Southampton.

Autumn is a particularly exciting time because there is so much there for the picking! Our freezers are crammed full already and so we’re manically making all our favourite flavours ahead of the Christmas rush.
We’ve also been given surplus fruit from friends and family including for the first time quinces and crab apples, which will be coming to Hand Made New Forest soon.

 

 

 Crafters Blog, Handmade New Forest:

Mango Fizz Creations

 

My name is Peter Bungay and I trade as Mango Fizz Creations. 

It's a bit of a long story on how I got into crafting but I have always painted (oil, acrylic and watercolour). I suffer from a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa (a hereditary degenerative eye condition). Over the years I have lost the majority of my vision and came to a point that I could no longer paint to a standard that I was happy with. I also at that point lost my job and after applying for a zillion jobs realised that I was going to have to support myself through my own labours. I started making and selling beaded jewellery and then one day found FIMO.

From that point on I was hooked on working with Polymer Clay and have continued to develop my self taught skills.

The polymer clay lovelies that are currently in store include: A range of Fairy doors
Wine glass charms
Buttons
Brooches
Stud earrings
Necklaces, bracelets and drop earrings too!

If you are looking for specific colour(s) I do take commissions, please call into the store to discuss with Kathy or Chris.

Unfortunately I don't run any classes, it's too tricky when my Guide Dog Thomas gets up to mischief!!!
 

 

 

Crafters Blog, Handmade New Forest:

Kathy Sirl

 

I thought I'd do a profile on me and my cakes for you!

I have a hospitality & catering background having worked for Harvester Restaurants for 17 years, giving me the best customer service experience anyone could wish for.  I have always enjoyed baking but don't ask me to cook you dinner - it would be a disaster! (thankfully I have a husband who is a diamond in the dinner department!)
I started making cakes for my daughter on her birthdays because I had always been made fantastic birthday cakes by my Mum and I wanted my girl to know how it felt to be so cared about.  It's easy to go to Tesco and buy a generic cake but it's something else to have a cake made just for you!
After a few birthdays I started to make cakes for family members as I enjoyed it so much and slowly I started getting asked by friends and friends of friends so, I decided to go for it!
I left my mundane school job (I was a Maths teacher and also a member of middle management at a secondary school) and opened up a sandwich bar and cake shop.  I ran this for a year and decided to move on and work solely on cakes (I couldn't stand the smell of bacon any more!) and so sold the sandwich shop and we converted what was our old coal shed at home into a fully fitted functional working kitchen just for me (How lucky am I ?) and called out the environmental health to inspect it and were awarded top marks and a score of 5.
Since then, the cake business has grown from strength to strength and customers can now come to Handmade New Forest to order their bespoke celebration cakes, wedding cakes and indeed cakes for every occasion where they can then collect them from on the agreed date.  There is also a wedding cake set up service and local deliveries can be made for nominal charges. I make traditional cakes, character cakes and intricately modelled cakes too so anything goes in the Delicious cakery!
Come and see some example cakes in HMNF and also look out for their evening class dates where I run cake decorating classes occasionally.

*  Kathy is a lady of many talents when you call into the store you'llalso  find her wonderful gift cards with lovely sayings and brooch pins, cards and postcards and some very tasty goodies too!

 

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Crafters Blog,Handmade New Forest:

Kim Williams

 

 

I am Kim Williams (crafter 82 at Handmade New Forest) and I knit & crochet toys & items made from local New Forest Sheepswool or Alpaca.
I have knitted & crocheted since I was a small child, and always preferred making toys. Bringing a little character to life.
I started to use local pure sheepswool 10 years ago and have not looked back. I love the thought of using a natural local product (not used often enough). 
At first I made teddy bears as the natural colour range was limited, from cream, light, mid and dark grey. An article in my husbands kitchen garden magazine about dying with natural dyes made me realise I could expand the colour range, so I gave it a go. 
I use dyes from plants that I have grown on our allotment and from hedgerows. Each dye batch is slightly different making it fascinating as you never really know what to expect.
I keep a dye card with my basket at Handmade New Forest for you to see what I use and the results.
I now make all sorts of toys, from dollies to animals. I throughly enjoy what I make, no two are ever the same, they take on their own little characters.
Even the Queen has one of my teddy bears...!  When she visited the New forest show in 2012 she was presented with a hamper of New Forest Marque produce and one of my bears was selected for her. (Made with the yarn from the lovely Sue Cole’s Hollyhock flock of Gotland sheep).
Also in that year I made my 1000th bear. When I started making them I never knew they would be so popular.
Are they toys? Adults buy them for themselves as much as for children. They are made by hand and therefore they do not meet any security requirements or standards. These toys are made with love, all tiny details are fastened with care. Thanks to the small parts (safety eyes, buttons, ribbons) you should be careful when giving the toys to a little child and not leave them unattended. 
I do believe that the person buying should be able to make up their own mind whether the  toy is suitable for the recipient.
I am not a business, just an enthusiastic hobbyist, I have suffered with M E for nearly 10 years, & Arthritis since the ageof 11. This hobby gives me the satisfaction of achievement and creativity.
I try to change my stock at Handmade New Forest each month, even if it is just different colours. I normally keep some stock, I am happy to accept orders, but at very busy times  ( or a bad flare up ) this can take a couple of weeks or more. 
As mentioned I enjoy growing and caring for my plants too, as crafters we never just do one thing do we.....?!
*Kim is hoping to take some new stock into the store tomorrow so you never know you may bump into her.

 

Crafters Blog, Handmade New Forest:

Lavender Crafts

 

 

Hello All,

 

Sharon asked me if I was OK to step in as the guest blogger this week. So here goes…

 

I’m Jo Powell, Crafter Number 18 of Lavender Crafts.

I have always enjoyed sewing and making things, I have two small children so last year I decided to start up my own business so I could work from home.

 

I decided to pursue my interest in glass painting and sewing.
I make hand painted glass items such as personalised glasses, vases, bowls etc. If you are interested in having anything personalised it is strongly advised that you call into the store or order online, double checking any spellings.

 

I also make cushions in various styles and designs for all occasions, children's aprons, quilted dolls cot sets, skirts and sunhats.

 

I am able to take commission orders for all the items which I make, just contact the store with your requirements.  The photo's opposite  show some of the items I make but are not necessarily the ones in store at the moment.

 

If time allows I am hoping to run some courses later in the year, so watch this space!

 

 Crafters Blog, Handmade New Forest:

Wendy Brown Art

 

 Hello everyone,

 I’m Wendy of Wendy Brown Art (Seller 52 in the Handmade New Forest Shop), and here’s just a little bit of information about me to explain what I do, and how I do it!

I’m a watercolour artist. When I left school I decided it wouldn’t be worth my while going to Art College because everyone else there would be so much better than me, and I wouldn’t possibly make a career out of it, so I ended up following a sort of family tradition and working for a large insurance company in London, where I lived. I was bored senseless! I tried my hand at various other jobs too, but always seemed to be a bit of a square peg in a round hole, so when I moved down to New Milton a few years ago, I decided to pick up a paint brush again and see if I could become an artist.

I like doing things a bit differently, and in any case, there seemed little point in trying to compete with all the talented landscape artists living locally, so I thought I would paint my paintings with a bit of a wobble – and so was born my “Twists and Turns” range of local scenes. I have produced watercolours of many local areas in both Hampshire and Dorset, and have also undertaken commissioned pieces for individuals and local businesses, all with the same twisty look. I like art that makes people smile, and hopefully, that’s what I achieve with this range of paintings. 

A few people have asked me if I use a fisheye lens to help me get the twisty perspective on my images, and some have even asked if I really see everything about me looking twisty! Can you imagine if I did - what would it be like to try to walk in a straight line – let alone drive a car?! I don’t use any fancy equipment or special methods; I just take photos with a normal little camera and then work on producing twisty sketches on paper until I’m happy with the “look” and layout. It’s that simple!

My “Twists and Turns” images are available as Limited Edition prints on paper and canvas, as greetings cards and as mugs too.

About a year ago, I decided to launch another totally different range of artwork too. Inspired by childhood memories of colourful book illustrations and little animal stories (does anyone else remember the adorable “Bramley Hedge” books?), I launched a collection called “Meadow Valley”. These watercolours are of all the little animals that live in Meadow Valley somewhere in the English countryside and feature rabbits, mice, moles and a duck. I use bright, pretty colours and try to give the paintings a slightly nostalgic 1930s feel.

“Meadow Valley” is still in its infancy and I am constantly looking for ways to develop it and increase the range of characters and products, but you will currently find it in the Handmade New Forest shop on cards, canvas prints, children’s mugs and lampshades.

I also take orders for two specific Meadow Valley personalised canvases through HMNF. These are for a "new baby" canvas and a "wedding canvas". 

I work at an art table in the corner of my bedroom in my flat with my much loved (but very naughty!) little rescue dog, Scrappy lounging on the bed behind me. There’s nothing complicated about the way I work or what I use – just me,  watercolour paper, a box of paints – and a slightly wacky imagination...but then again, I think we all have a bit of that inside us!  

~ Thank you so much Wendy for writing this weeks blog, I found it a very enjoyable read.

You can find a number of Wendy's items in a several different categories within the online store. Please do take a look.

I'm hoping next week's Guest Blogger will be Debbie Mulkern of  ‘New Forest Aromatics’ ~ off to send her an invite now. 

Hope you all have a great week.

 

 

 

 

Crafters Blog, Handmade New Forest:

Crafting Cronies

 

 

How does anyone start writing about themselves I wonder?

After pondering for sometime I decided a good place to start is with my name and how I came to find myself doing what I do, so here goes  

I’m Sharon Griffin, also known as ‘Seller 19 ~ Crafting Cronies’

I got into crafting after being diagnosed with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome approx. 4 years ago ~ I found it difficult in getting myself motivated and have lacked energy and concentration for longer than I care to admit. At my lowest point I withdrew into myself and it was my mum who came to my rescue by getting me to focus on doing something small each day ~ that's how my love of crafting started and that's how I met Maria. Maria was introduced to me at one of the card making clubs I joined and we hit it off immediately. Maria has the patience of a saint and will happily help me out and encourage me when I'm not having good days. We share a love of buying crafting items too and having made a number of things we felt we needed to try and sell some and that’s when Crafting Cronies came about:

Craft·ing, crafts: To make by hand. Cronies: A friend or companion Noun ~ Cronies - a close friend who accompanies his/her buddies in their activities 

Some of the items that are currently available in store are Beaded Atomisers, Rice bags (ideal for popping in the freezer as well as heating up), cards, gift boxes, embroidered phone/glass cases, tablet/I pad covers, beaded keyrings and Necklace Scarves.

Crafting has certainly given me a new lease of life! Kathy & Chris  have given my confidence an enormous boost by giving me the chance to sell via their wonderful store.

So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation take the plunge and give something new a go you never know what the future will bring.

All the very best to you all and thanks for stopping by.

 Sharon

   P.s Next weeks guest blogger will be the very talented Wendy Brown.