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:


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!