Welcome to my "Happy Things" blog. Here I post any new jewelry items I've made
and share some of the 'happy things' I appreciate in daily life.
I hope you find something that brings a smile and please visit my online handmade jewelry shop
where my pieces are available:


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thanks, it was good to meet you!

A special thanks to all of my local customers and friends who came out to see me at the Bazaar yesterday! And a special "Hello! And thank you!" to all of the new friends and customers I met at the event. It was a great day and was so much fun meeting everyone and talking about jewelry! I was so pleased people were delighted with a special find at my booth and so many walked away with big smiles on their faces. Not only was I more successful than I anticipated, but it was so joyful meeting the people who enjoy my designs and hearing from you in person!

I'm looking forward to releasing more designs in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on my shop!

Thanks so very much, you were so inspiring!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sat. 10-16-10 at the Bazaar!

Saturday, Oct. 16th I will be showing my jewelry at an annual Fall Bazaar! Local customers have been requesting an opportunity to see all of my designs at once in person, so I've gathered everything from retail locations and my in-studio stock, and will have it for sale on Saturday. Some of my jewelry is at a show in Atlanta this weekend, but the remainder of my designs will be available at the Bazaar.

My online shop will be empty on Saturday, while I am at the Bazaar. If you're local to the Columbus, OH area stop by and see me!

Saturday, October 16, 2010
9:30am - 3:00pm
Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church
1636 Graham Rd
Reynoldsburg, OH
Just above the 5-way intersection at Livingston Ave., on the right. The church is below Main Street but above Livingston Ave.

Hope to see you there and I'll look forward to posting more jewerly online afterwards!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Online SALE Oct. 8-10!

Psst! My online shop will be running a 20% off sale Friday, Saturday and Sunday the 8th-10th! I'm post-summer, and pre-holiday season and need to move some inventory. Giving my blog friends a heads up ... happy shopping!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New things cooking!

If you know me, then you know that the title of this post MUST relate to "designs cooking", rather than actual cooking! My creativity does not in any way, shape or form, transfer into the kitchen (unfortunately). Too bad my family can't live on beads! :) I have several new things to release in the online shop this weekend! A few sets of coordinating necklaces, bracelets and earrings and of course some new bracelets - I always have bracelets! I've had so many design ideas this week and not near enough hours available to create them all. So here's a peek at one necklace and bracelet set coming to the shop in the next day or two, with more to post, and even more designs in my head - hopefully in process over the next few days!

This set offers a wonderful array of semi-precious, natural stones. Jaspers, bronzite, turquoise, howlite, coral ... highlighted with handmade lampwork glass and mixed with silver and gunmetal. The asymmetric heart focal on the necklace shows your playful, soft side. You'll love the rich, fall hues and will find both pieces go with so much, separately and together!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Blues

It's funny how sometimes you start designing a piece of jewelry ... and by the time you're done, you're surprised with the direction you ended up taking and the way it came out! This was the case with this set of handmade lampworked glass tablets and discs. Initially, I purchased the small tablet shapes with intentions to wire-wrap them with gunmetal wire and keep them simple. Once I started working with them, the wire-wrapping vision wasn't happening in a way that was satisfying me, but brass chain kept coming to mind. So I finished the earrings and listed them in the shop. A few days later, I felt like the earrings were maybe just a start, and beckoning for a coordinating necklace and bracelet. I picked out the disc shaped lampwork pieces from the same artist and got to work. When I started designing, I wasn't sure were the design was headed. But by the time I had the bracelet finished, I was quite delighted. I knew exactly what I wanted in the necklace and was anxious to get started, laying the materials out for the next block of time I had to design. Well, apparently my kids didn't get that memo, because the materials sat, and sat, as each day got busier than the next and the kids seemed to get more and more needy! Walking past that beautiful pile of cool blue textures and materials was killing me all week. Finally, I found enough time to sit down and finish the necklace ... I'm so relieved! Hope you enjoy the wonderfully comfortable and relaxed combination of blues as much as I do!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The first bracelet is ready!

I finished the first bracelet, from my new stash of lampwork glass beads! As soon as I saw this bead, I knew what I wanted to mix with it, so it seemed like the logical place to start when I sat down to design this morning. The hues in this piece are so warm and woody-feeling, really great. I only have a small bit of this great brass chain I found a while back and I've been hanging onto it, afraid to use it up! But it provided just the look I wanted, so it was the right time to pull it out. For some reason, I always go to designing a bracelet first. Unless it's a large, obvious necklace focal piece I'm working with, designs for bracelets always come to me first. I've always loved bracelets, no matter what the season. I often wear my sleeves pushed up a bit in the fall and winter and it just delights me to have a fabulous bracelet to show off, when I do so! This is one of those pieces I see going with so much throughout the seasons ... sweaters, jackets, it would look great with denim, I could go on and on. I also love that it's so adjustable - that allows you to snug it right up to your wrist if you like, or wear it more loosely if you prefer. It's fresh in my shop, so stop over and take a look! http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com . Oh yeah, and the name? "Within Reason" ... the design on the focal bead reminds me of the beginning of a bit of controlled chaos, something so beautiful with such gorgeous color and subtle detail, starting to get a little crazy ... but is stopped before it gets out of hand! Do you think the chaotic morning I had with my 6 & 3 year olds today might have had an influence?! As always, thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lampwork glass happiness!

Look at the stash I picked up yesterday! This is a pile of handmade lampwork glass happiness, if I've ever seen one! Since I design for a National Top 100 lampwork bead artist, I work with a lot of lampwork glass. Somehow, I never grow tired of it. Even just one small piece, can transform a design. One single piece can birth a design. One single piece can speak to you, offering tasty color for the eyes, immaculate detail to lose yourself within and true art on a tiny little canvas. I've stood there with my eye protection on in the glass studio, watching the art come to life under the torch ... and I still can hardly believe how it all happens!

I obviously was in the mood to design with rounds, when I picked these out! One of my favorite lampwork shapes, is a square or rectangle-shaped bead (as you may have noticed in my designs!). But lately I've had several ideas for pieces centered around more round shapes and in my mind, they're feminine, cheery and happy. Jackpot! I had no trouble picking out what I wanted to work with next when I saw these.

With each new design I see, it's never a question of "if" I want to design with it, the question is "when" I want to design with it. It's so much fun to work with materials that can take you from a blank design board, to something scrumptious and fabulous, so effortlessly. Many times I've taken a handmade lampwork glass bead from my stash, not sure what I'm going to do with it. I can always lay it down in front of me, enjoy a sip of Diet Coke while I relax "spending time" with it ... and it always speaks to me. And yes, I often do have a problem making myself "use up" the beads. They're so happy to see everyday, I can hardly stand to think about not having them around anymore! You would think that I would be anxious to get the bead into a piece I could wear and enjoy, but at this point I almost always feel that I should offer the item for sale once it's finished. So that means, I know that one way or another, at some point, it's going to leave. A little piece of happiness out the door. But I do love knowing the happiness is going to someone else to enjoy and that keeps me going. That, and I continually find the next design I have to work with!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


As a designer, you don't often finish a piece that you don't really like, or really love. Typically there's something that you liked about the idea or materials to begin with that gave you the vision and made you want to design it. If you're not happy with the end-result, you take it apart and re-design or scrap the idea altogether. The consequences of this situation are that you are in love with every piece you make, and it can be difficult to let them go! I have discovered over time though, that when I immediately finish a piece I often think "Oh, I can't sell this one, I have to keep it!" ... but a week later, after designing my next 3 "favorite pieces" it's not quite as hard to post it, send it to the retail store or go ahead and sell it to your customer who's been asking about it.

Having said this, I am completely smitten with this new fall-colored bracelet called "Welcome Autumn":

The hues are unmistakably fall, the mixed metals of antiqued copper, gunmetal and antiqued brass draw you in, who doesn't love leaves? and the harmony of the piece just dances when you see it in any light. I think what takes me from "really love it" to "smitten", is the specific colors of blues, greens, reds and a pop of yellow - all presented in warm, autumn tones, that make me smile and blush a bit when I see it. It's bold yet dumure, happy yet sobering, warm yet bright ... I could go on and on. I'm not much of a primary color person for my own clothing, and have just recently discoverd shades of blue I really like wearing. The hues in this gorgeous fall piece are singing a beautiful song and I love it ... maybe you will too?

I haven't even posted this piece in my shop yet. It's adjustable up to a touch over 8", so a great fit for everyone. All of the handwrapped (by me!) glass, wood, mixed metals and Swarovski pearls in this piece are priced at $48. If you are interested, you have the advantage of having stopped by my blog today ... email me at MyHappyThingsHi@aol.com and let me know. I will put it on reserve for you. Happy Sunday and happy beginning of autumn!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Orange & the Susan Raber beads

If you've visited my shop much over time, you might've noticed I have a thing about orange. I love it. It's happy, it's cheery, it looks good on everyone in my family ... I'm all about it. If something we need is avaiable in orange, we get the orange one. It's "our" favorite color. I'm glad my boys are still young enough (6 & 3) to just buy into it when I tell them that "we" love it! As you can imagine, I love autumn when orange and all the beautiful shades of it are available and fit right in to everything! And so I had a smile on my face when I finished posting my latest bracelet - "Cozy Afternoons".

The resin chips in this piece combine pieces of shell and resin for a great dimensional, warm look and I've separated each with a small antiqued copper heishi. As much as I love them, my favorite part about this bracelet is how they highlight the gorgeous shades of orange in the focal, handmade lampworked glass square bead. It's part of a design collection of beads that had not been named yet. When I first saw the design, I went nuts. I love everything about it. The colors in it, the fact that the colors are "dotted" on, they dance and play with each other on the surface, they're warm and comforting ... AND it offers the surprise of a bit of blue in it! I joked with the artist that if she wanted to name the collection, she could call them the "Susan Raber" beads, because they could be like my signature bead. I snatched several up right away, but have been hoarding them in my studio, refusing to let any go! I finally convinced myself to allow myself to have some fun with them, and so I designed this piece around one. And so I'm pleased to share with you, my latest bracelet with a Susan Raber bead in it ... and a lot of happy orange!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bronze Metal Happiness

I think I'm ready to start thinking about fall. I've been resisting, as I love to wear my long knit skirts, sleeveless shirts and leather thongs ... that look always works well with my jewelry designs! But when picking up some socks for the kids this week, I stole a few minutes to try on a sweater or two in this season's warm, enveloping tones and it got me thinking fall. Since feeling that soft yarn against my skin, I can't stop thinking about warm metals, all the natural textures that can go with it and how great it all looks layered up. Just enough effort in the design to draw your eye, but slouchy enough to say "casually chic". Love it! I took some time to design the first in what I hope will be several warm, fall-metal pieces and thought I would share. I really love this one, as it's all grounded in a wonderful oil-rubbed bronzy metal. It feels as great, as it looks. Heavy enough to be a bit weighty, but not bothersome thanks to the lightweight natural textures included. Its smooth metal drapes softly over the wrist, almost caressing you. To me, this piece is a wonderful example of when color, texture, season and style all come together in a mixed-media piece, in one of my designs. What colors are textures are you looking forward to this fall?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Shell necklace & bracelet on sale today!

My popular shell and black pearl necklace and bracelet pieces are on sale today! The necklace, previously listed for $64 is on sale for $54 and the bracelet is listed for $39 (previously $49). Gorgeous, unique additions to any wardrobe ... easy drama delivered in a soft, subtle way! Available in my online shop: http://www.myhappythings.etsy.com/

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More on the way!

If you've visited the shop recently, you've noticed inventory dwindling! Just a quick note to let you know I'm designing and will be releasing some new things in my online shop including some gorgeous new lampwork glass, rich fall colors and a few new Ohio State pieces. Checking into the shop as well as the blog will be a good way to make sure you get to see my latest pieces, as I release them online before they head out for a show or to retail locations. As always, I welcome questions, ideas or requests so please email me at MyHappyThingsHi@aol.com. Thank you!

Friday, September 3, 2010


You'll want to check into the shop tonight and tomorrow (Saturday) morning ... I'm taking a few things out of my online shop. They're popular ones, so don't miss your last chance to get it! Look for "Last Chance" on items I know I'm pulling immediately. With items in a few local retail shops now, I will be pulling things offline more often to keep my retail spaces full as existing items move on. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you get the chance to get something you've had your eye on! My online shop: http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sneak Peek at OSU jewelry

This weekend, a few of my Ohio State pieces debuted at a trade show ... so I thought I would share a sneak peek at what I'm designing for football season! The following 4 bracelets and 1 necklace are currently available and range from $45 to $74 - please contact me if you are interested. Materials for some of these are very limited, so some designs may be one-of-a-kind. Be sure to stay tuned as additional pieces are rolled out, including earrings (coming soon!) ...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

So much going on!

It's been a while since I've posted, things have really been jumping! I'm thrilled to share with you that some of my designs will be available in a few local retail locations soon! I've been busy designing many great new things, in all price ranges for these retail opportunities. You'll notice that the offerings in my shop have dwindled greatly, as I prepare to place things in stores ... 4 pages of jewelry suddenly down to 1! But don't worry, my design board is hot and I'll be working to fill my online shop back up with new things for the season.

Soon, I'll be sharing my offerings for football season ... Ohio State and University of Kentucky - themed pieces! Those of us in Buckeye and Wildcat country have to have our colors on display, why not do it fashionably?! Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, I have a little bit of everything on tap. Stay tuned for photos and a sneak peek. And if you're not already on my mailing list, be sure to email me (MyHappyThingsHi@aol.com) so you'll get updates delivered right to your inbox.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to sharing more updates and details with you soon!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stop and appreciate the season!

Soon, summer will end and the season's fresh, natural colors will be a memory we enjoy in photographs. It's a good time to take a moment to appreciate the season, in the social push to continually plan ahead for tomorrow. Here's an Etsy treasury collection featuring my new shell & black pearl necklace, that captures a glimpse of what we love about summer ...

Soothing Treasury With Natural Beauty

Doesn't this just calm you and momentarily take you away to ... ?! So pleased to have my white bracelet selected to be included in this treasury. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last day of the big sale!!

Just a reminder that today is the last day of the Christmas in July sale, in my Etsy shop. Now's the time to grab that item you've had your eye on, while the price is low and it's still available! I'm keeping it short today, because I have designs floating around in my head and I want to get back to work while the kids are behaving well, allowing me to be productive! Happy Saturday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A "Sunny" Treasury Inclusion

I'm honored to have another piece included in an Etsy Treasury! My "Colorful Sun" necklace is included in a collection of Etsy items centered around 'landscapes'. The artist said she was feeling "sunny" and so my necklace fit right in ...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wire bracelet included in Etsy Treasury

After posting a handwrapped wire bracelet last night in my shop, it was chosen to be included in an Etsy Treasury showcasing fresh things that give us a peek of fall! Being included in a treasury is yet one more way for people to see your work and find your online shop, so I of course was thrilled to be included.

I was in the "wire wrapping mode" and added several new pieces to the shop including bracelets and earrings. I'm working on a wire wrapped necklace right now and might have a few more pieces to follow this week. I just love the handwired look, it's artisan, clearly handmade and has such a casual, edgy look!

Hope your weekend was a good one ... I spent mine fulfilling several special orders that I was delighted to receive and continue to enjoy working with the folks who requested them. Don't forget that my Christmas in July sale runs through the end of the month over at http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com !

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lime green - is it for everyone?

I think in the future I will look back on this spring and summer as the time when I "discovered" lime green. I'm not naturally a fan of green, it doesn't look particularly good on me and it's never really caught my eye. So you can imagine my surprise, when I found myself continually being drawn to lime green this season!

With all the gorgeous blue & green combinations fashion trends have brought us lately, I think I've seen a lot more lime green than ever before, as well as in different shades. Now there are people who have always liked and/or worn lime, but in my mind it has always been a color for "those people". I don't know what switch flipped in my mind, but suddenly I began realizing that this color really adds a lot of "fresh" and "pop" to whatever it accompanies, and really doesn't have to "match" anything to be included. It kind of goes with everything! (If you're not a lime green fan - take a moment to catch your breath after rolling your eyes at that statement! Okay, now read on ...) Soon after I realized my new attraction, Helen O'Donnell a local artist wrote this excerpt in her newsletter from The Gahanna Bead Studio, where she is co-owner in Gahanna, Ohio:

"In Shades of Grey, [a sci-fi book by Jasper Fforde] lime - the hue not the fruit - is used somewhat as a tranquilizer, bringing a peaceful feeling of well-being to whomever gazes upon it. I'm not surprised. For years I've considered lime green, or chartreuse, to nearly be neutral; I cannot think of a single color in my wardrobe that lime cannot be worn with, and I'm drawn to it whenever I choose beads or clothing."

Bingo - I'm not the only one experiencing this! Now you won't suddenly see me walking down the street in a lime green shirt these days, but you very well may catch me wearing a lime green bracelet with a little brown, blue or even cream mixed in ... with no other green noticable in my outfit. I'm enjoying the discovery of how great this color can be when treated more like a neutral, in accessories. Give it a little thought and see if you don't look at lime green a little differently the next time you see it too!

As always, thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out my "Christmas in July" sale at http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com/, some people have gotten some great deals! Here's something I never would've thought I'd be closing a post with:

Happiness - lime green!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quirky, but true

I've been getting feedback saying that people are interested in knowing more about me, how I design, what my processes are and where I get my inspirations. What - about me? I thought it was about the jewelry! But then when I think about designers I like, I do always love to read a little nugget that further paints the "artist picture" for me. It is nice to feel like you know a little bit about the artist ... after all that's one of the things that makes buying handmade more personal than mass produced items. So here goes a quirky little nugget ...

I can't design jewelry, with jewelry on. There - it's out there, I've said it! Yes, I must remove any jewelry I'm wearing if I'm seriously going to sit down and design a piece. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, anklets - off, off, off. My wedding ring and watch don't seem to be a problem, I guess they're a little more like a part of me, because I wear them each and every day. I'm not sure exactly when this started, and for a while I wasn't even conscious that I was doing it! But one day after dropping the kids off at preschool, I sat down for a rare few hours in a row, free to work on several designs that had been floating around in my head. I just couldn't get comfortable. Things weren't aligning, colors weren't coordinating or complementing and I had to keep shifting around. I stood up frustrated, and after refilling my Diet Coke as I sat back down I noticed I began peeling off all of my jewelry. As soon as the last piece was carefully set aside ... "Ahh", the sigh of relief and I was a blank canvas to wholly be absorbed in whatever groove came over me to create from. I guess I feel whatever weight, texture or material I'm wearing effects my focus on the weight, textures and materials I'm working with in the next piece ... so I'm most comfortable when I'm not being influenced by anything directly.

Quirky - I know. I chose to share this particular piece of information because I noticed that the few people I had mentioned it to found it much more interesting than I expected and thought it was pretty funny! So for what it's worth, now everyone knows that I can't design with jewelry on! Thanks so much for stopping by today and don't forget to check the latest things in my Christmas in July sale at http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A penny for your thoughts

This weekend was a rare opportunity to get together with the girls and laugh, eat and scrapbook! I have been an avid scrapbooker, documenting the big and little things of my two boys, now ages 6 and 3, for several years. That is - until my jewelry business picked up! I've been so busy with my Etsy shop and local business, that I haven't scrapbooked anything for months ... in fact, I had to hurry up and snap a few current pictures of the boys so I had something recent to work with. As much as you love your family, everyone needs to get away and just "be" sometimes. We had a wonderful time and it was good to giggle like teenagers again, not count caleries and catch up on documenting our lives in the pages of our family scrapbook album.

The weekend unexpectadly proved to be beneficial to my jewelry making as well! It turns out that the girls were having a hard time understanding the true size of beads and elements in many of the jewelry pieces listed in my shop. Since many of my pieces are asymmetrical and include mixed materials, without something to help guage perspective it was difficult to know just how big or little something was. While I had thought about including a penny or something in at least one photo for each of my items, I had not made the adjustment in my photoshoots, nor re-shot any existing photos. When I described the true size of many pieces they pointed out to me, they were pleasantly surprised and were interested in several for themselves.

Selling jewelry designs online is difficult, restricted to the flat screen where the buyer cannot pick up, touch and feel the piece. Including some perspective on size is clearly something I need to start doing, to help my online customers see if the piece is something they feel will be flattering on their arm or not. Wasting no time, I included a penny for perspective in some photos of a bracelet I'll be posting in my shop:

So hopefully the adjustment will help your online shopping experience, as I make some updates to photos throughout the week. Thanks to the girls for "telling me how it is", so I can make the adjustment!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Coming Attractions

There is so much you can design, to go with summer fashion! Lately, I've had all kinds of ideas and just can't find the time to make them all. Of course, I'd rather have the problem of too many ideas, than be sitting in front of the design board trying to "get creative" and drawing a blank! The other night, two ideas for bracelets came to mind and even though it was getting late, I had to stay up and work the designs. I knew that if I went to bed, my mind would race dreaming up the details and an hour later (after having not slept a wink) I'd be plodding down the steps to hammer out the designs, so my mind finally could rest. This might sound a bit overwhelming or oppressive, but it's actually wonderfully exhilirating to have charged up creative energy like that!

Here's a peek at the two bracelets that will post in my shop later this weekend ...

This one has ceramic discs that are a wonderful texture, hand-wired together. It is very lightweight and I love how minimal and neutral the piece is. Perfect for a hot, summer's day when you want a little touch of style or interest, but don't want to feel your jewelry hanging off of your wrist. I made earrings and also will likely make a necklace as well. Simplistic, but trendy and still unique!

This bracelet is just all kinds of fabulous! Concave pieces of shell, strung opposite directions providing wonderful shape and visual appeal. The oversized jet black pearls ground the somewhat-chaotic style of the shell pieces, with dark, bold clean round lines at the ends and in the middle. I think the reason I am so in love with this piece, is because it's bold and makes a huge statement - but in a subtle, quiet way. It's not screaming out "hey, look at me - I'm fabulous!" ... but when it catches your eye, you have to linger for a few moments to take it all in. My mother would say, "That's pretty big! And isn't that sharp? I don't think you'd want to be poked by your bracelet all day." (yes, I have a very practical, reserved, traditional jewelry-mom and yes, she thinks most of the stuff I make is crazy!). Although the shells are squares, they have rounded corners and are not sharp. It sits very comfortably on your wrist and although it is a big bracelet, it's not really "in the way". It's absolutely gorgeous in person and I just love it, love it, love it! So much so, that I'm in the middle of making a necklace with a similar design. (Don't worry Mom, I'll make sure it doesn't poke anyone in the neck!)

A few other items are off of the design board, but haven't been loaded into my shop yet ... and a few sketches lay ready to be put together with wonderful colors and textures, so stay tuned to the shop! Thanks for stopping by the blog, I hope you're having a wonderful July!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Etsy's annual "Christmas in July" sale and My Happy Things is participating! Every single item in my shop has been marked down. Enjoy the savings through July 31st ... it's your chance to stock up on some summer accessories just in time to enjoy the rest of the season in style!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sneak Peek!

It's been a week since my last post ... because I've been busy designing! I have quite a few new pieces to share and I'll start with some bracelet-happiness that will be debuting in my shop this weekend. This is a sneak peek at a few of them. They all have great style and wonderful colors, I hope you enjoy them like I do!

If you haven't been by my shop for a week or so, you'll want to stop in ... since my last blog post, I've added several other new things to the shop. I love them all, but I'm particularly thrilled and intrigued with "Thunder & Lightening", "Thunderstorm" and "Sandstorm", added earlier this week. The colorization in the glass is simply amazing and looks different with every glimpse. Their iridescent qualities are quite different from the materials I usually work with and I thoroughly enjoyed designing to showcase their beauty.

There's more to come, so stay tuned and make sure you stop by the shop every so often over the next week, so you don't miss anything new!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Today was one of those days where I will look forward to rest tonight, tired out from the day's activities. But tonight is different, it's almost a refreshing tiredness (if that's possible). My boys were visiting Grandma & Grandpa by themselves today, which left Mommy free to galavant! As much as I love my kids and being home with them, I still need a day to myself now and then to collect, re-center and refresh ... although the opportunity doesn't come very often. I made the most of today and got out to enjoy several destinations I was interested in, that aren't typically "little kid friendly". Not only did I enjoy the wonderful weather we had here in Ohio today, but I was energized and inspired by new sets of sounds, textures, smells and colors that I don't always get time to enjoy (or I see them as I'm speeding by dragging the boys saying, "We'll just be one more minute!"). I came home feeling like "an adult", having not stopped at McDonald's once today! I came home inspired, with so many new ideas for my jewelry designs. It's nice to be tired once in a while, because you took time for yourself to refuel, refresh, get energized, get inspired by something - anything ... and go to bed ready to rest your body so you can jump up with enthusiasm you've found and get going!

Here's a sneak peek at one of the items that will be posting in my shop tomorrow:
It's a piece loaded full of unique, high quality artisan elements. The dragonfly is Thailand Karen Hill Tribe Silver, which is 97.5 - 99% genuine, pure & high silver content. Sterling Silver is only 92.5% pure silver, so this fine silver is easier to bend and shape into forms, but still maintains its aesthetic and unique qualities. The 'ShuShu, Honey & Midnight colored, Jambo S' bead in the center is from the 'Midnight' color family of Kazuri beads. "Kazuri" is Swahili for 'small and beautiful'. These beads are handmade by disadvantaged members of Kenyan society, of clay from the Mt Kenya area. An opportunity to receive training to hand make and hand paint the ceramic beads, often provides means for an extended Kenyan family of 20 or more. They are a kaleidoscope of African colors and Kenyan art, that benefits families and provides very special and unique, high quality material for use in jewelry design. The mixed metal design of the necklace is balanced by double chains of gunmetal and Vintaj brass. As someone with very short hair, I often like to include "a little something" in the design, for the back of my necklaces and here I've suprised with silver tube beads and heishi discs of silver, gunmetal and copper, leading to a fun, easy-to-do-without-looking S clasp.

I'll be busy working on more designs, so this is just the first that will begin posting tomorrow. I hope you find something to take a moment to enjoy in the next few days, to refresh & re-energize yourself a bit too! Time for yourself = ME HAPPINESS!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where do they disappear to?

I recently had someone ask me "where my jewelry pieces suddenly disappear to" from my online shop sometimes. Good question! You may see something for sale in my Etsy Shop one day, that is no longer listed the next day, nor can it be found in my "Sold" items list. When I make a new jewelry piece, I post it in my shop if it wasn't a special order made for someone specifically. At the same time, I have local customers who may see the jewelry here locally and may decide to purchase a piece. If the buyer is someone I see regularly or lives down the street, the purchase transaction may take place in person, rather than online. In this case, once the piece has been sold I remove it from my Etsy Shop since it is no longer available. If it is an item that can be re-made, or is not a one-of-a-kind, I may re-post it in my Etsy Shop with the note that the status has changed and it is now a Made To Order item, which may take a bit longer to be ready to ship since I have to re-make it. I will always give a time estimate to a buyer or interested party, on items that are Made To Order.

This new bracelet I just posted in the shop called "Sundrenched" is a good example. One day after posting the item for sale, a local customer purchased the piece. Therefore you will no longer find it anywhere in my Etsy Shop. Once explaining this situation to my friend, she said "Oh, so I really should go ahead and purchase something right away if I'm interested in it!" - ahh, the dilemmas of handmade items that are one of a kind!

I typically post almost all of my jewelry pieces on my blog, in the slideshow displayed in the upper-right corner. This is a good place to see some of the things I may have sold off-line, that are not found in my Etsy Shop. At MyHappyThings.etsy.com, you can see the pieces I currently have for sale, and items I've sold online are viewable by clicking "(#) Sold Items" on the right side of my shop screen. The combination of these two resources can be helpful, as it may jumpstart an idea for you to submit a request to me for a Special or Custom Order item. I gladly accept any inquiries or requests and in fact, do about 50% of my pieces that way. Maybe you see a piece you like, but are interested in a different color, or the piece includes a dragonfly but you really like butterflies or hearts instead - anything you can think of, is up for discussion! I also accept requests to re-make items that have sold. Whether I can re-make an item typically depends upon (1) whether it was designed to be a one-of-a-kind specifically or not or (2) whether I can get all or most of the same elements again. I had a Special Order like this following the sale of the "Sundrenched" bracelet pictured above. Someone else was interested in the same look, so I designed a similar bracelet for her the next day. My Special/Custom Order policy is 50% down when the order is placed and the remaining 50% is due when the piece is completed.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Stay tuned for another post in the next day or two, with a preview of something new for my shop this weekend!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vintage Handmade Ceramic Beads: Ooh La La!

Look what I just entered my studio ... vintage handmade ceramic beads!

If you like texture, or muted, naturally warm & cozy colors, this is pure heaven! These are unglazed beads so there is no sheen to them, they are all texture. They derive their color from stains and from the chemical processes in the firing methods. Wonderful colors, in a very natural, earthy presentation.

I could not resist the variety of "mother earth" shades and so I've procured a selection of colors that range from the warm desert tones of terracotta, oatmeal and browns, to the fresh hues of blues, greens and grays.

I absolutely love these and my mind is spinning with ideas! They're sure to start popping up in the shop in various pieces soon. If you really love any of these specifically, and want to be sure to get a piece of jewelry made with a certain color combination, please contact me to place a special order at MyHappyThingsHi@aol.com, or through my Etsy site http://www.myhappythings.etsy.com and I'll make something just for you!

The only downside to these beads, is that they were handcrafted in 1972 and are being called "vintage". I was born in 1972, so I guess that makes me vintage too!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Purse Jewelry: it's about the accessories

Creativity grows from all kinds of inspiration, found in all kinds of places. Frankly, it doesn't matter what spawns it, an idea is an idea! I get ideas from all kinds of places, the whole subject of 'inspiration' could go on infinitely. Sometimes the link between my inspiration is complex, sometimes a very indirect path (most people would say, "how did THAT make you think of THIS??") and yet sometimes it's very, very simple.

PURSES. Have always loved them, have always needed and will always need more. When I had kids, the whole diaper bag situation was fun for a while, as this opened a whole new niche in the bag market to me for my shopping pleasure. After a while, changing all of that stuff from bag to bag regularly to match my outfit (which frankly, was typically covered with something that someone threw, spilled or threw up on me anyway), became too cumbersome and I succumbed to basically taking the same bag most of the time, like "regular people" do.

But then after losing quite a bit of weight over the past year, fashion and the whole idea of coordinating colors became fun for me again. With this new me - or finally back to the old me (whichever!) - I realized that I could once again delve back into the joy of handbags to match my now fun-again outfits. Shopping for smaller purses to hold just MY necessities on outings during the kids' preschool hours was now the priority. Being able to leave the diapers, extra clothes & straws in my big bag, lightened my load as I happily re-acquainted myself with the handbag department the first time shopping without the kids again. This was my find ...

... a wonderfully textured, happily multi-colored, "Yes, it's summertime!" handbag, that coordinated quite nicely with several of my new summer clothes. PURE DELIGHT! As I watched the sales clerk bag up my new piece of happiness, I knew I had to make some jewelry to match. After all, if the purse matched my clothes, clearly jewelry created in this same color montage would be perfect to complete my summer fashion glee, as well! My style is rarely bright & shiny, typically a little muted and earthy, but still colorfully cheery. These elements came together for me to create the perfect pair of 'throw-on quickly, but still look stylish and unique' pair of small earrings. I love them, and decided to make some to sell, so someone else might be able to share the joy. :) They have been quite popular and I'm thrilled my purse has led to someone else's happiness too! I'll probably work on at least a bracelet, if not some kind of necklace to further complete the summer color set soon. After all, what's wrong with making jewelry to match your purse?!! ACCESSORY HAPPINESS!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sand & Sky: the necklace, and seashell earrings

The necklace and another pair of earrings from my "Sand & Sky" collection, are ready and now available in my shop. The pendant on the necklace is a real piece of art and the detailed seashell and glass strand that dances around your neck with light, airy ribbon is just delightful! Although it's a larger pendant, it isn't heavy and is quite comfortable to wear. After the other pieces in the collection, it just didn't seem complete without a pair of seashell earrings! Seashell earrings = vacation = fun & happiness! This set of handmade lampworked glass beads is absolutely beautiful and so fascinating in person. No two are exactly the same. I am able to re-order additional handmade sets in this color, or different colors from the artist for special requests or custom orders. This artist's beads are so beautiful, I've used them in different colors in various pieces in my shop. If you're interested in purchasing one, please visit www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com. If you'd like to custom order a special color or design, please contact me at MyHappyThingsHi@aol.com so we can explore our possibilities!

Sand & Sky: the collection

I'm pleased to share a little collection I've put together for the summer, called "Sand & Sky". These beautifully handcrafted lampworked beads, are just the perfect little piece of the beach! The blue is the gorgeous, deep blue you enjoy staring off into, on a bright sunny day while on vacation. The sandy colored glass below, is separated by a "wave" rolling across the beach, highlighted with metallic dots. You can relax and feel refreshed even by just gazing into the artful scene this one element provides! Elements from the sea are combined with high quality silvers and other natural elements in each of these pieces. Any of these would be perfect for a vacation, but are earthy and have such a pleasant color of blue in them, that they'd be just as great around town. I was so inspired when I found these beads, that I had to put them together in a collection, to add a happy element to the summer! Here I'm sharing the earrings and a bracelet, both available in my shop www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com. Soon to follow will be a necklace and another bracelet, to complete the collection. These almost make me feel better about not making it to the beach this summer!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Blue the Colour of Life

I'm honored to have one of my pieces included in a treasury, once again on Etsy.com. Treasuries are collections of items from Etsy Shops, handpicked by other Etsy Sellers & Shop Owners, grouped together in collections. This one is "Blue the Colour of Life" and it's such a gorgeous page. The colors are soothing, but yet inspiring at the same time! My ceramic pendant necklace, "Summer Stroll" is perfect for the collection. I'm appreciative!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Natural Nuts from the Rainforest

New to my shop today, natural earrings featuring natural acai nuts from the rainforests of Ecuador! Very neutral, very natural, these tan, brown and black gunmetal earrings are a neat go-to option. It's nice to have earrings that are lightweight and natural, so they're comfortable to throw on with "whatever" and wear effortlessly - yet still be visually interesting! It's great to find natural elements to use in jewelry and I'm thrilled I found these.

Terracotta Mixed Media Multistrand Bracelet

Orange, orange, orange ... I love it, can't get enough of it. It's bright, it's warm, it exudes HAPPINESS! I was thrilled that several of my favorite fashion designers used some gorgeous shades of the color this spring and summer, and so of course I needed to make a special bracelet to coordinate and celebrate the color. Textural, warm, earthy, this bracelet is perfect to pair with so many different things. There are a few sprinkles of brighter orange, so it even looks great as an earthy option to wear with a brighter shade of the color. I used mixed metals in this piece, Thai silver, copper and gunmetal. I wore mine the other day and paired it with a sterling silver bead bracelet, adding just the right flash of silver for a dressier occasion. It's a joy to wear all the casual, warm goodness of the season around your wrist ... and it will carry that warmth right into Fall, with the earthy hues and mixed metals! I'll likely make another one to offer in the shop at some point and will take special orders for them in the meantime. This one obviously makes me smile ... orange happiness!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Metal & Glass Earrings - very summer chic!

Love, love, love these earrings! The colorless transparent glass bottom half of the teardrops are kind of mystical and let the mixed-metal speckles shine, separating the cloudy white glass at the top. I've casually hand-wrapped them with gunmetal wire, providing a great "go with everything" neutral, metal look. I love it when jewelry pieces go with all kinds of stuff! I will probably introduce these into my Etsy Shop at some point, likey by special order ... I'm too in love with these to not keep a pair for myself! Very casual, very chic, very translucent-metal-summery, VERY HAPPY! I just had to share these on the blog, rather than just keep the secret to myself ... hope you enjoy them!