First of all, Happy New Year to all of my friends and followers. I really value the support you gave me in 2020 and like many of you, I hope that 2021 will bring plenty to be excited and happy about.
I wanted to post to take a bit of time to introduce myself and share what I do, especially for those people who don’t know me and maybe have only recently started following me.
What is Craft Happy?
“The things I craft reflect things I love and my main motivation is to create beautiful art to make people happy.”
I am Helen Carlisle and I live in Pershore, Worcestershire. Despite Pershore being just about as far away from the sea as you can get, I’ve always been a bit of a magpie when it comes to visiting the beach and collecting stuff.
I especially love sea glass and I’ve collected it for years. I’m fascinated by the fact that it’s spent so much time being tossed about in the ocean and originating from who knows where. Nearly all of my glass I have personally collected from a place called Seaham in the North East of England. Until 1921 Seaham was home to a bottle factory and when waste glass was tossed into the sea, it was left to tumble for many years before becoming the beautiful and unique pieces you can find there today. There are places all over the UK where you can find lovely examples of sea glass but also sea pottery, sea bricks and any number of strange objects that have been uniquely moulded by the waves.
For a long time, I had lots of ideas in my head for things I could make with my glass but never seemed to find the time or the confidence to actually implement any of them. Then, during the pandemic in 2020, I was furloughed and, like many other people, this trigged all sort of feelings within me – am I still useful? What’s my role? How much of my day job is just about paying the bills? Do I want to do more with my time?
I suddenly had the time, and along with it the creative energy, so I started sticking what was in my head onto paper… literally. I wanted to share my ideas with the wider world and use my creativity to connect with people but at the same time I was scared to be judged. So in a fairly non-committal way, I shared pictures of my work on my personal Facebook page and announced that all the proceeds from any sales would be donated to charity. In my head this meant that people were predominantly paying for the charity donation and not for the picture. It seems so bizarre now but that’s how I felt, it was terrifying.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I made up 6 pictures and they sold within seconds, I made another 6 and the same happened again. I donated £210 to Children with Cancer UK and suddenly people were asking for more and I had created demand.
Since that day back in April 2020, I have created 100 pictures (wow, just counted them, didn’t realise it was so many!) and my confidence in my designs is growing. Sometimes people ask for specific designs, but I am led by the shapes of the glass in my collection and my favourite creations are designs that are already in my head.
Towards the end of 2020 I started to experiment with other materials and I have lots of plans in place for new design ideas in 2021 that I am excited to share with you all.
If you are following me because you have one of my pictures and you are delighted with it then that makes me really happy because that’s my main motivation.
Thanks for your support, it really means a lot. Let’s hope that 2021 brings us all lots of reasons to feel optimistic.