Category Archives: Life in General

Happy Friday on Good Friday!

I have to admit to having to look hard for those Happy Friday moment to record this week. Things have been tricky, but I’ve been grateful for the motivation to look for the positive moments, they’ve kept me going.

It was lovely to have a visit from my dear daughter last weekend, but the planned family get-together didn’t happen because my precious and smallest grandson, just 13 months old, was rushed to hospital having suffered a prolonged seizure.  Fortunately, after 24 hours in which they brought his temperature down and did a series of tests, he was sent home with antibiotics for a throat infection and is now full of beans.  Unlike his poor parents who are still traumatised, bless them… (and granny’s still feeling pretty wobbly too!)

I must apologise for not visiting all the linked blogs during this week as I usually do, I’m sure you understand why.

In the spirit of being upbeat and springlike I have had an Easter manicure.  What do you think…?Easter manicure for Happy Friday

(Higgins was a bit annoyed about me borrowing his bunny!)

And I have decorated the Easter tree.  I made it with several twiggy branches of twisted willow in a vase full of weighty glass beads, and the lovely thing is since it’s been in the house the buds have turned into little spring green leaves which is so pretty. It’s quite difficult to get a good photo as it’s so light and airy but here’s a flavour of it…

Easter Tree for Happy Friday

Easter Tree closeup for Happy Friday

So I’m looking forward to hearing about your Happy Friday moments this week for even more cheerfulness.  Please join in with the Linky below as usual, making sure you make the post relevant to Happy Friday, and link back to this post so spread the word.

So Happy Friday, and Happy Easter one and all, I’ll be back soon…x


Happy Friday for International Day of Happiness!

This Happy Friday is the big one, because co-incidentally, it’s also International Day of Happiness.  Who knew?  But what a fabulous idea!

You can join in here…International Day of Happiness

And if you want to join in with a happy dance click here!

I did a little happy dance the other day when I received an email asking if I would like to be a contributor to a new website all about crochet. I can’t say more at the moment because it’s all a bit in the air, but even so, I was asked….squeee…!

It’s been a bit cold and grey here in Norfolk this week, but spring is still in the air, and is very uplifting to the spirits…

Hawthorn buds - Spring on the way for International Day of Happiness(I’m so hoping the cloud breaks tomorrow for the eclipse, otherwise I’ll have to watch it on television!)


hellebore - spreading the love on International Happiness Day…and it’s lovely to have flowers in the garden to pick (although I think the hellebore was the victim of a small rampaging dog!)


Great Dream - International Day of HappinessYou can take part in International Day of Happiness in lots of ways if you visit the website and use #InternationalDayOfHappiness on Twitter or Instagram.  You are such a positive lot,  I’m sure you’ll want to!                                                                                                                                 Joining in with Happy Friday on the Linky is as usual, please remember to link to this post from your own as well as adding your link.  We want to spread the happiness!

Have a lovely weekend…x

Happy Friday Number 10

This is a ‘skin-of-the-teeth’ Happy Friday post!  I’ve been so worried I wouldn’t get here at all this afternoon…

If I say internet problems I’m sure you’ll know where I’m coming from.  At the moment BT Openreach are digging holes all over the place in our area and we can only hope that eventually faster broadband will reach our corner of a muddy field.  I don’t know anyone else who’s internet stops every time the phone rings!

Anyway, that’s not cheerful, is it?  What has made me very happy this week was an amazing donation of one hundred dollars to Comic Relief Red Nose Day made for Miranda Mouse, whom you might remember from this post.

Miranda is off to the US, and left today with her suitcase.  I’m rather sad to see her go, but really pleased with the fantastic donation…

Miranda Mouse for Red Nose Day - Happy Friday

I’m looking forward to reading your Happy Friday post, the link is below and you can also join in via Instagram, with #PlanetPennyHappyFriday.  Please remember to link from your post back here to Planet Penny so that more people find the Linky party,

EU VAT Regulations – a Tax on Creativity

What’s this? I hear you cry… Penny writing about VAT?  EU VAT regulations?  I don’t come to Planet Penny for that!

EU VAT regulations

Well, please bear with me because this is something which has had a big impact on me as a business, and for thousands of small and micro businesses, many of them deciding to stop trading as a result of this new regulation.  And also on you as a customer.

I’m not going to try and explain the details of this, there are others who have done it much more clearly than I can.  The basic problem is that anyone selling digital goods on line to someone purchasing from an EU country is liable to pay VAT on the sale to the country in question (VAT rates differ across Europe) The threshold is zero, so if you only sell ONE item, you are liable.

The VAT threshold in the UK is £81,000, so I was never going to exceed that with my little business, but this has thrown a massive cat among the pigeons.  HM Revenue and Customs completely underestimated the number of us out there who run our own small creative businesses, who are affected by this and who didn’t know anything about it until it hit social media in the run to Christmas, spoiling Christmas for many people.

HMRC’s stance is that if you sell through an online marketplace such as Amazon or Etsy, then they should take responsibility for the tax, but Etsy has stated that they will not be doing this.

There’s an awful lot going on behind the scenes at the moment, lots of alternatives to Etsy, petitions to sign (and I hope you will) but for the time being I am staying with Etsy.  Because, and I hope I’ve got this right, if there is human interaction during the transaction then the regulation doesn’t apply, after purchase I will email the patterns within 24 hours.  This seems like a huge step backwards, and it inconveniences everyone, including people who live in places where none of this is of any relevance, but for now it’s the only option and I needed to explain.

The following link explains everything about the EU VAT changes with a little animation.  Please watch, and if you would like to support me and all my fellow small creative businesses, please sign the petition!

2015 – Looking Back, and Moving Forward… to a Happy New Year

The last year hasn’t been easy in lots of ways and now is the time to look back, take stock and move into 2015, hopefully a Happy New Year.

2014 was the year we lost a very dear friend.  Bill was the husband of my partner-in-crime-and-Open-Studios, Kit.  Bill Calladine was an amazing artist, engineer, inventor, teacher with a quick wit, a lover of life.  After a life threatening condition was diagnosed at the beginning of the year he bravely coped with surgery, with paraplegia and infections until he lost his battle last autumn.  We still can’t believe he has gone and he’s left a big hole in so many lives.

This little picture is a treasure from Bill which I thought I would share with you.  I bought a tiny canvas from an art shop, only a couple of inches in size, and gave it to Bill joking that if I ever bought a William Calladine painting, this was the only size I could afford.  A few weeks later the canvas came back, beautifully framed and signed on the back.  A perfect little miniature!

Miniature painting by William Calladine

Life has been difficult for my mum, too. She is still not home after her fall at the end of August.  Her ankle has healed, but she’s very wobbly on her feet and is currently in in respite care in a care home about 4 miles away.  It’s such a difficult situation as she just wants to be in her own home, of course, but she also needs able bodied carers to be at the end of a buzzer.  I dread the thought of her being alone at home.

So of course, I feel so guilty because the care I’ve given her over the last few years is not going to be enough, and the the last few years have taken such a toll on me both physically and mentally.

Anyway, that’s the sad aspect of 2014. The big happy news was the arrival of our third adorable grandson last February. It’s hard to believe that this time last year we were all waiting expectantly for his arrival, and  already we are having to move low lying ornaments and cover the electric sockets and wires!

And that’s what I want to take into 2015, Happy.  I’ve noticed other blogs picking on a word to work with for the new year, Fun was one, I like that too.  But Planet Penny is meant to be cheerful place for me to be, and for you to visit.

Sometimes life is grim and it’s hard to find the positives, (especially in January!) but looking for that little moment, clear blue sky on a frosty morning, a bunch of daffodils, a baby’s giggle or a dog’s waggy tail and holding on to it will help get us through.

So I’d like to invite you to join me in holding on to your happy moments.  Starting next week there will be a Happy Friday link up. If you have a blog put your image from the week in a post with some words (or not) and link it here. If you don’t have a blog you can leave your happy moment in the comments.  I’ll be running it on Instagram too so you can join in there.  There will be full details of how to take part with the first Happy Friday post.

I’ll be back soon with crafty stuff and news and my usual ramblings but I’ll leave you with my favourite happy image from the last week, my ‘big’ grandsons with their Christmas scooters!

Scooters at Bexhill - Happy

photo: ©Thomas Taylor 2015

In the meantime I’d love to know if you are joining in with Happy Friday… and what brings happiness to you…!

See you soon…

Wishing You All…

…a Happy New Year, and best wishes for a healthy, prosperous and wonderful 2015!

Norfolk sunset

Thank you for all the support, comments and general loveliness over the past year…

I’m looking forward to being back here in 2015.

See you soon…x

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