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:


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!