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:


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