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, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Before whisking the family off to enjoy seeing my 1st grader be a shepherd in his first church musical this evening, I want to wish you all a sincerely, very Merry Christmas! I'm so grateful for the opportunity you've given me to design jewelry for you. My heart has been filled, my eyes wide with surprise each and every time I meet one of you and you share how much you enjoy my designs. This has been such a wonderfully surprising, unexpected journey!

I hope that your heart is warmed by all the goodness of the season and you have happiness around you and in you, at this special time. What a wonderful gift this season gives us!

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hoop earring set - the gift of impatience

Mid-sized, oxidized handcrafted sterling silver hoop earrings are all the rage right now. Dangle an awesome stone or cool cut glass from them, and they're even better! I've just posted a set of oxidized sterling silver hammered hoops in my shop, with 10 different dangles. You read that correctly ... TEN different dangles! Wear them alone, or slide any of the stone or glass sets on that I've included and you get 11 different earrings, in one set! 

I made the hoops the other day. I don't often make hoops (I don't know why?!), and when I do they typically sell very quickly. After thinking about that, I decided I wanted to make a really dark pair - cool, dark blackened/gunmetal looking and hammered. So popular right now and they update your style with their rustic, trendy, handcrafted look. 

I'm in between sterling silver shipments right now, and these earrings used up the last little bit I had in stock for the moment. After finishing them, I decided I wanted to make another pair with a single, cool dangle too. Once I got the image in my head, the plain hoops were calling to me each time I saw them, to add something to them. While plain hoops are great and so versatile, I couldn't get these dangles out of my head ... and they just wouldn't wait! 

As I was digging the materials out that I had in mind, I came across several more stones and beads that I thought would look so great with the hoops. I started laying them out and when I was satisfied with what I had pulled, I had enough for 10 different sets of earrings! They were all beckoning to me, "pick me!", "pick me!". The stacked turquoise nuggets were awesome with these hoops, but the purple & blue are such popular colors now and these beads showed the colors so beautifully ... and then there were the clear quartz with pyrite - which are just so "me". I COULDN'T DECIDE! 

The option to wait for more sterling silver crossed my mind. 10 different dangles could mean 10 different sets of earrings to add to my shop. Of course, that involved me being patient and waiting. We're already amidst the season of waiting for the birth of Jesus Christ, and all of the celebration that goes with that. I couldn't wait anymore! So I decided to give the gift of offering the possibility of 11 sets of earrings, at a very low per-earring price ... all packaged together! So Merry Christmas, I hope someone finds these and either enjoys their ultra-versatility themselves, or gives them as a gift and feels that swell in their heart that happens when you know you're giving something that they'll be able to use, and will bring them joy! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Get it in time for only $1.00!

I'm upgrading all shipping beginning Monday, Dec 19, 2011
to Priority Mail for the same $1.00 charge
to help get it to you by Christmas!

Snowflake Joy

Every year when the weather man starts to talk about snow here in Ohio, the song "Suzy Snowflake" pops in my head. I think partially because my name is Susan (although I've never been a Suzy), I'm a bit partial to the song and its happy, lighthearted, bouncy tune. My little boys LOVE it, and always want to wait to start singing it until they see the very first snowflakes of winter. Then they burst out in laughter, chanting "HERE COMES SUZY SNOWFLAKE" at decibels that could arguably effect your hearing! 

The funny part is, I can never remember the rest of the words to the song! Last year, my (at that time) 3 year old insisted that I tell him what comes next, and since we were driving down the road at the time, I had to come up with something on the fly. And so, I made up:

"Here comes Suzy Snowflake
she and her friends fall down
tap tap tappin' at window sills
all around the town"

It sufficed for the time being and we've been singing it that way ever since, all the while intending to look up the real lyrics. Well, the boys just started screaming, "WOW! Look outside, it's like a giant snowstorm!" and when I went to the window, I saw millions of beautifully tiny snowflakes lightly dancing to the ground everywhere. It's not actually a snowstorm, in fact the ground is too warm for it even to stick. But my 'drama gene' has been passed down to both boys, and even the hint of some kind of weather event, is enough for them to embellish and turn it into major, overstated excitement! As I started humming the tune and we commented on how Suzy brought SO MANY friends with her today, I decided I was going to look up the lyrics once and for all. So I share with you "Suzy Snowflake", made famous by Rosemary Clooney in 1951 ... and a few snowy, icy, crystal-ly pieces of jewelry! Enjoy!

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Dressed in a snow white gown
Tap, tap, tappin' at your window pane
To tell you she's in town

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Soon you will hear her say
"Come out ev'ryone and play with me
I haven't long to stay

If you want to make a snowman
I'll help you make one, two, three
If you wanna take a sleigh ride
The ride's on me."

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Look at her tumblin' down
Bringing joy to every girl and boy
Suzy's come to town 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Love Affair with Blue and Green

If you've been to my online shop lately, you've probably seen some of the beautiful blue-green materials I'm working with. I'm finding that I'm completely infatuated with this color combination! I just can't get enough of it and love, love, love the way designs turn out using these colors in my jewelry pieces. 

It's funny, because I've always considered myself a "warm color" person. Show me a  a warm orange, cheery terracotta or rich rust and I'm hooked. These are always the colors I choose for my clothing, whenever possible. But lately I notice myself falling in love with the cool, crisp allure of blues and greens. The mystical trance of a pristine blue crystal or the mischievous, flirtatious shades of green that tease me, when I see these soft, blue-ish shades. I'm head over heels! The funny thing is that I'm having a horrible time coordinating these wonderful colors in the jewelry, with my clothing! For some reason, when I put a blue or green shirt on and view my reflection, I can't seem to marry the color combo with "me"! I'm determined to embrace my new love though, and simply have enjoyed pairing these colors in my accessories, with jeans and a black sweater or turtleneck, or even gray. When the materials in the jewelry are spectacular and steal the show, it's best that the clothing play a supporting role anyway ... right?!! ;)

Lately I really enjoy wearing blue with black. It's a bit unexpected, but very complementary when the shade of blue is vibrant, or special. And it can be a very crisp and clean pairing, even with the darker shades.

I'm thinking my new love affair might partially be contributed to my boys. I have two of them, ages 7 and 4. Cute? Oh yeah! Rambunctious? OH YEAH! They wear me out! The constant "brotherly love" (which looks more like WWF wrestling most of the time) has me feeling more at home in a black and white striped shirt with a whistle, than any of my past or current favorite color combos! Fashion aside, lately any opportunity for something soothing and calming is greatly appreciated and welcomed with open arms. I even found myself enjoying a little "mini vacation" while waiting in the Elementary school pick up line this afternoon. Since my 4 year old is typically with me for 1st grade pick up, I noticed that today the quiet of my solitary little road trip was a welcome change. As I put my car in "park" once taking my place in the middle of the 1/2 mile long line (I refuse to come 20 minutes early to get a spot in the front of the line, yet don't want to hear the complaining about how LOOOOONG he had to stand there waiting when I'm one of the LAST FEW in line!), I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself in this unexpected few moments of peace! I quickly seized the moment and adjusted the seat to a slightly more relaxing position, then leaned my head back and popped open the top of the Diet Coke can I had thrown in my purse as I dashed out of the house. Ahh. Peace. Quiet. Solitude. Relaxation. ..... Blue-green!

Whether the blue-greens magically transport you from the bank drive through line to a mental vacation ... or you just think the colors are pretty, I hope you enjoy some of these latest designs!

As always, thanks for stopping by and don't miss the new designs I'm adding to the online shop daily this season! http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mid-week SALE!

A quick heads up ... I've put a few earring items on sale in the online shop, for some mid-week savings! Hope you find something you like! http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gorgeous, soft hues

For some time now, I've been completely in love with these crystals. I found them a few months ago, and have used some in fancy lampwork glass charm bracelets that are on display with the lampwork glass artist I design for. I've finally taken the time to create some gorgeous chandelier earrings, for the online shop. I love how the blue is so light and soft, having a bit of an earthy touch. Paired with a touch of sparkly soft brown, the color palette is so soothing and comfortable. I think they're just perfect on these ornate silver chandeliers! I'm hoping they make someone very happy this Christmas! ??? Enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Animal Print Hoop Earrings!

Rarely do I have my artisan lampwork glass jewelry ready in time to post online, before sending it to the lampwork artist I design for. I'm always last minute - no shocker, to anyone who knows me! I've had these amazing animal print sided lentils she made, in my stash for some time. They're the kind of beads that are so cool, you want to make sure you find a great design to showcase them. This holiday season, I've been adding a bit more "shimmer" to my designs, a bit of a change from the more matte, opaque designs, I typically create. While working on a necklace to send to the lampwork artist's next show, I had a vision of these animal beads in these fringey, slightly shimmery large hoops ... and knew I was ready to commit the beads to the design! If my neck were even just a touch longer, I would keep these for myself, I love them so much! For some reason, I often seem to design earrings that are just a bit too long for my petite stature ... maybe it's subconscious self defense, so I don't keep everything for myself! :) Anyway, they're in the shop for a day or two before I ship off my next lampwork package, so enjoy!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Earrings, earrings, earrings!

A little glitz & glitter added to the shop this weekend! Earthy with some bling, I think you'll enjoy the variety of earrings currently online ... and a great shipping deal too! Happy shopping!


Friday, December 2, 2011

$1 Shipping this season!

This season, let's celebrate with $1.00 USPS 1st class shipping* !! I hate it when I find something I really like online, decide I'm comfortable with the price ... then find out it's going to be another $5 - $10 on top of that to get it to me! Somehow, I forget about shipping, when I'm "window shopping" online! So let's take the frown out of ordering online, by only charging $1.00* to ship my jewelry to you, so you can get what you want and smile while you order it! Happy Holidays ... enjoy!!!

*$1.00 shipping covers all items except the "Susan's 7" value priced items. Many of these items are at or below material cost already for only $7, so regular 1st class mail charges of $3.00 will apply to items from this section of my shop.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's up with the wire rectangle earrings?

I've had several people inquire about my popular rectangle wire earrings lately. At shows, people glance, then take another look, then raise an eyebrow ... interested, but not sure just exactly how they "work". This is almost always followed with a purchase of at least one pair, just like when people see me wearing them! So just in case you're wondering, here's a little bit about them ...

These very well could be the lightest weight earrings I've ever worn. What I love most about them, is how understated they are - almost overly simplistic, but yet dramatic, stylish and trendy. The longest part of the wire goes through your ear from front to back, so that the small top part of the rectangle rests through your ear. Since the top is the perfect size for your earlobe, they rest very securely and comfortably, without the need for a rubber stopper or back. They literally don't move once you've put them on! The rectangular shape "hugs" your ear perfectly. The wispy long curve dovetails down and then gracefully sweeps away from your neck, ending just below the bead. The crystal or beads on the earwire, seem to float as they sit atop the hammered end of the wire. The wire is so subtle that you typically don't even notice it at first, it's the slight glimmer of the crystal or beads that catches peoples' eye. When they look more closely, they find a delightfully feminine and modern wire design that most people find quite interesting!

Although they look long, the graceful curve is only 1.5" long which is a perfect length for those of us who have shorter necks! I make them out of both natural brass and sterling silver wire. At only $7.00 each from my online shop this season, they're a great buy! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rainy Day

I don't know about where you are today ... but here in Central Ohio, it's a very rainy day. Unfortunately it's not the first or the last this week, as we're a bit "socked in" with this weather system. After dropping the kids off at school today, I was driving in a bit of a daze and noticed that at this point, there's no color left on any of the trees and we're pretty much down to sticks and branches ... and rain. Sheets and sheets of rain. At times, coming down with a vengeance. Accompanied by wind, the rain falls in a diagonal pattern in front of you, in your rear view mirror and pummeling you from above and the side, as you step out of the car arriving at your destination. "I just want to get home", I thought. But then - I thought of my earrings ...

"Stormy Night"
handcrafted metal, patina-finished earrings

... and I smiled. It's funny how you can extract an element from a situation and look at it completely differently. I created these earrings, seeing sheets of rain in the night - maybe out over the ocean. Mystical blues, depths and dimensions in a random, but very constant pattern, barraging down. Somehow now the driving diagonal persistent rains seem a bit exciting, maybe even adventurous!

I began integrating patinas and metal textures to create jewelry components, that sell to other jewelry makers through the lampwork glass artist I work with. The metals, textures and finishes complement her gorgeous lampwork beads wonderfully, adding a different "edge" that can easily be achieved in a look, by simply adding the metal to the design. Once I started making a few designs to stand alone as earrings, I've found that people find them quite unique and artistic, and the collection is going very well! I have a few patinaed earrings available in my online shop right now, as well as some available at the Powell, Ohio retail location Pink Flamingo's. I love something creative that's open to interpretation and a bit ambiguous ... I hope you enjoy the dimensions and colors too! And the next time you find yourself in a situation that seems dreary, squint your eyes and be creative ... you might find another exciting perspective!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Design Challenge: the final design!

What fun it was to participate in this design challenge! Per my previous blog posts, the "reveal" day is finally here. My flower was bright red, leprechaun green and a lemon yellow. Bright and cheery, I was inspired to think of many different necklace designs I could integrate this wonderful artisan piece into! As I discussed in yesterday's post, I used two determining factors to decide what my final design would be with this piece, (1) looking like "me" and (2) continuing the flow of creativity. I chose to design my flower into a pendant ...

Although I had many different materials that coordinated nicely with the flower, each idea I had seemed as neat as the next and I couldn't decide what the perfect final "design picture" was, to frame this unique piece. I decided to use it in one of my handcrafted pendants, taking it one step further and getting it ready for another set of creative hands, eyes & mind to run with even further. I've been surprised and thrilled with how popular my handcrafted design elements have been this year and have really enjoyed the new experience of "framing" elements, textures and materials up into design elements, for jewelry makers to use in their final jewelry pieces.

I wanted to give the artisan flower a neutral, earthy background with depth, allowing the texture and natural elements of the copper to do its thing. I worked the copper into the design shape I envisioned, texturizing and oxidizing the different areas, to provide a layered depth to the piece. The oxidized and slightly buffed & polished dashed background behind the flower, have almost a natural woodgrain-like effect. The bright, brassiness of the hammered curve to the left of the flower provide a sense of playful whimsy, while grounded in the slightly more formal and traditional finish of the bright, shiny staticly-textured copper.

I've provided two connection points in the upper corners of the pendant, to allow for flexibility in working it into a design. I can see the pendant working wonderfully with kumihimo, looking great with wire, metal and chain, providing character to an earthy mix of wood and natural beads or balancing out multiple strands of seed beads. The pendant comes with two antiqued copper jump rings, that are open so they can be removed if desired.

The pendant is available for sale in my online shop at: http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com and I also happen to have a set of ceramic beads that coordinate with it, available in the shop as well!

Don't forget to continue the Design Challenge blog hop, by visiting these blogs to see what they did with their flower design elements as well:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Design Challenge results - almost here!

Wow, did I have a good time working with the flower to design around in the design challenge! I immediately started getting all kinds of ideas and it was hard to decide what one design the flower was destined to end up in! I had so many ideas for necklaces, integrating the flower into the flow of the piece. Since I had several different sets of materials that coordinated with my flower, I was struggling to identify the determining factor that would edge one idea out, over the others.

Two things determined my final choice for the design: (1) the finished piece looking like "me" and (2) the continued flow of creativity with the piece.

(1) Looking like "me" - I love unique and different materials and designs. 'Asymmetric' is almost always most attractive to me, because it seems to leave room for your interpretation or feeling about the piece or materials. When a design is perfectly symmetrical, it seems very 'finished' and 'still', it doesn't have quite the motion or continued flow that an asymmetric design can provide. Another thing that is very "me" is an "earthy" touch. I love metal and I love texture, but I also love "cute"! For me, just a bit of cute or whimsy can be the perfect touch in a design. Often when I include something more whimsical or pretty in a design, I work to counterbalance that feel with an earthy depth or texture, through other materials in the design. It showcases the personality of the piece, without letting it get too far over the top. I'm quite happy with the way my piece turned out, balancing each of these things quite nicely in my eye.

(2) Continued flow of creativity - I was flooded with so many ideas for this flower, I felt overwhelmed with the responsibility of correctly identifying the "best" way to showcase the material. Each group of materials I put with it seemed just 'perfect' in their own right, and each idea, design and style was just as pleasing as the next! I finally realized that this artisan piece was destined to become part of a bigger artisan piece, ready to be taken to the next level by yet another pair of creative hands, eyes and mind.

... And this is all I'm going to reveal today about my final design! Tune in tomorrow (Monday 11/28) to see my final design and how I integrated all of this into the inspirational flower. I will have my final design for sale in my shop tomorrow, as well. http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Susan :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jewelry to Retail

Well, I've just finished pulling some jewelry from my online shop, to take to Pink Flamingo's this week! The new designs debuted across my fall shows, but will be new to the Powell retail location. I'm anxious to see if the copper metals are as popular in the store as they were at my shows this fall!

The online inventory is a little low right now, but I've just added a few new pair of earrings fresh off the design board ... and more new designs are to come! So stay tuned!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Availability in November & December

Well, I'm afraid last weekend's show concludes my planned craft show appearances for this year! With the boys still being pretty young, it's tough for me to get away for a full day or two very often, so I only schedule 2 or 3 shows each fall. I know the Christmas season is just around the corner ... time for gifts and special jewelry pieces to complete your outfit! My designs continue to be available online and I will be placing jewelry locally back in Pink Flamingo's in downtown Powell, OH this week as well.

Currently online, I have a nice variety of earrings available and that collection will be growing weekly. Look for new necklaces and bracelets as well, in the weeks to come!  http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com

Interested in a design you once saw in my collection? I welcome emails and will gladly let you know if it's still available somewhere! email me at:  MyHappyThingsHi@aol.com

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm in a design challenge!

Often times artists who create jewelry making materials, team up with jewelry designers to help showcase their materials and provide inspiration and ideas. It's a lot of fun for everyone involved, as the first artist enjoys seeing their material being used creatively, and the designer enjoys getting to create around a new and different medium or piece.

Lorelei Eurto has teamed up with Jade Scott, to hold a design challenge with Jade's wonderful enamel flowers. I was one of the lucky seven designers chosen to receive one of Jade's flowers to work with! Seven of us will use the flowers in our own designs and then Monday, 11/28 we'll have a blog hop to enjoy how creatively everyone used them!

Very cool and fun. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to participate! Stay tuned and I'll keep you updated as the challenge progresses!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sat 11/5 - Sun 11/6

Please bear with me, as I inventory and update my online shop this weekend! After returning from Saturday's show, I'll be working to get things photographed and listed to populate the shop. Thanks for your patience and please stop back after 11/6 to see what's in store!  http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

Show prep excitement

Since I only do a few "in person" shows a year, I get so excited preparing for them each year! It's rare that I have many of my designs in one place, so I enjoy seeing a larger portion of my collection all at once, rather than the bits & pieces I usually have with me. I recently switched over to a new style of earring card, that says "Susan Raber Design" on them. Since my earrings sell at multiple places, it's not always appropriate to have my shop name (My Happy Things) on them ... so I've gone to simply my name. It's working well, and I don't have to be changing tags or looking for the right tag all the time now as I move things around or send new jewelry out.

I've always been a girl who loves to see her name. Personalized shirts, pencils, pillow cases ... I was all about it growing up. Apparently it still gives me a thrill, because I smiled long enough to grab the camera and take a photo yesterday, when I saw my name "popping up" on a bunch of earrings I have in a basket, ready to take to the show tomorrow. (don't worry, it's only a few of the 100+ earrings I'm bringing - there's more than one basket!) Seeing all those "Susan Rabers" made me smile and my heart fluttered for a moment, enjoying the fact that this is all happening - especially when I didn't really plan on it, or expect it!

So here's my little bit of "jewelry happiness" for today ... a bunch of earrings ready to go, that were created with love and dreams, handcrafted by ... you guessed it, "Susan Raber"! :) As always, thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the continued support of my designs! Have a great day!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

SALE @ the show Saturday!

Yes - you ready that correctly, it's a SALE! Anytime the word "sale" and "jewelry, purses or shoes" are in the same announcement ... you KNOW it's going to be a good day! Be sure to stop by the Pickerington Central High School Crafts & Antiques Show this Saturday, 11/5/11, because I'll be running two sales at my booth!

Buy 2 pair, get $5 off a 3rd pair
(when you see the earring collection I'm bringing of over 100 pairs, you're going to be excited about this!)

Well ... you'll just have to stop by Saturday to get the scoop on my bracelet sale! I'll say this ... you won't have to make yourself pick just one! ;)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Necklaces for just the right touch!

I'm looking forward to bringing some new necklaces to the PCHS show this Saturday! For some reason, I never seem to have quite enough with me at shows, always underestimating how many will sell ... and quickly I'm scrambling to find something to replace the display space as they disappear from the table! With this weekend's collection, I'll have a variety of looks and styles with me. Some great "everyday but still something special" metal pieces like the one pictured above, as well as my popular multistrand stone and lampwork designs. Doesn't it feel great to have a special, unique piece to wear with your outfit? I especially love the days when I've just thrown something on to run errands or to run the kids somewhere, but then throw on a neat necklace to "kick it up a notch" at the end ... fabulous!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Praying Mantis Moment

I know, weird photos to put on a jewelry blog. But when I started this blog, I thought I would post little things & anecdotes that make me happy or smile, from time to time ... since I'm a person who's 'all about the happy'. I am also a person who has a lot of these in her daily life. I have conversations with myself, stop and try to notice "ah ha" moments as they are happening, say out loud "look at how beautiful the orange is in those leaves" for the 100th time that fall - just because the natural color is so vibrantly unbelievable, it's almost an injustice for something not to be said out loud when seen. I'm the mom who randomly says, "boys, aren't we having a nice day today?" for no special reason at all, and I'm the mom who keeps reminding herself over and over to stop and appreciate the quirky and everyday things about my kids, because I know one day I'll think it flew by even though it seems like we're never going to get anywhere. Now make no mistake - I'm no brainiac in any way, nor do I have any great insights. I'm just a dreamy-enough person to think these things to myself and I'm idealistic enough for it to be part of my everyday, but have just a touch of practicality to make me realize the importance of it all. (don't tell my husband I used "practicality" to describe anything about me - he'll laugh us out of town!) 

And so, although I haven't really taken the time I thought I would to share some of these things ... I had a few extra minutes today, following one of these special little everyday moments. I have a million things I SHOULD be doing and a million things I'll WISH I did with this time later, but for now I'm going to share my photos of the praying mantis we found at our house this afternoon. 

First of all, they're amazing. We've all seen them in books, but not all of us get to see one up close. We live in Ohio. I wasn't even sure if these things were in Ohio when I found it.  I thought it might be some kind of giant grasshopper I didn't know about. It was climbing up the frame of our back door, as I was coming inside from checking on the kids. When I screamed because it was blocking my way to go back through the door, the boys (7 & 4yrs old) came running from the play set and our outdoor learning adventure began. We shared our silly insights and guesses all about the creature and watched it's funny, small movements, squatted down together in the late-fall sun. Marveled at its big eyes and the interesting shape of its body. My husband (mowing out back) finally noticed something was up, and came over and enlightened us and then relocated the praying mantis to our lilac bushes at the end of our back patio. My 1st grader wanted a photo of his "new friend" and I wanted a photo because it's just one of those cool things. See how it so effortlessly just clings to the sticks, with such little contact? Look at how well camouflaged he is, built-in protection from predators as only God could design. Who knows how long he's been around, we would've never seen him if he weren't "out of his element" on the door ... I might've even touched him when reaching under the bush a time or two, to retrieve a ball for the boys! Who knows?! 

Anyway, it's completely amazing how unique and individual things are. He's a whole little guy here, with great detail in his head, body and legs, although at just a glance he looks like something completely different. It's neat how individual everything and everyone is. Sometimes I wonder "what people want" when I'm making my jewelry, or it's a slow jewelry sale time. If I could just find out exactly what people liked. -But you know, it's pretty great to be an individual who can create things envisioned in her mind, and it's pretty great to discover what people like and what delights them. It's always a surprise. Sometimes I surprise myself with my creation; sometimes I'm surprised at which design someone picks. No matter what, it's all good ... and surprising!

Thanks for tuning in for my little piece of "happy" for today and enjoy the photos!  :)

Follow me on Twitter!

Okay, I've finally broken down and begun a Twitter account for My Happy Things, for information about Susan Raber Designs. I never think people are really interested in updates or what's going on, but people tell me otherwise. Plus, it will be helpful to let people know when I've posted new jewelry online, placed new jewelry at retail locations or will be attending a show. So we'll see how it goes!

Follow me @ www.Twitter.com/MyHappyThings.com

Monday, October 24, 2011

Next Show - Sat 11/5/11

Today I've been unpacking from the show in Powell over the weekend. Since I usually send my jewelry multiple places to sell, it's always a thrill to see all (or most!) of my collections together in a display at a show! I sometimes forget how diverse my taste and design style can be ... although always textural and a touch of "earthy". I really enjoy talking to people and receiving the direct feedback on my designs.

My new metal collection of jewelry is going very well, I'm so excited! I've focused more lately on designs highlighting my metalwork and have received some great feedback. I'm glad you like it as much as I do! I haven't gotten to post much of it online lately, as those pieces have typically sold right away ... but I hope to work through some more and make them available online as well. If you like the beautiful shades of oxidized coppers and natural brass with sterling silver, you should stop by my booth at the next show! The slight inflections and various metallic shades and effects are often difficult to represent in a photograph, they're always more brilliant in person.

My next (and last!) show of the season is in two weeks:

Sat. 11/5/11  Pickerington Antique & Crafts Show  9am - 3pm 
PCHS 300 Opportunity Way, Pickerington, OH

I would love to see you there! In the meantime, I'll try to get some of my new earrings photographed and posted online. I have so many new designs and just haven't had the time to get them posted ... but I'm working on it! Thanks to everyone who came out to the Powell show ... it was so nice to meet and chat with you!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Re-stocking the online shop

Just a heads up that I'm re-stocking my online shop today and tomorrow ... so if you stop by and only see a few things, I'm working on it! It takes a bit of time to inventory after a show and since most of my designs are one of a kind, I want to make sure I don't mistakenly post something for sale online that is already gone! Thanks for your patience and please stop back for another peek if you don't see much posted when you pop in today!

Good to see you yesterday!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my booth yesterday, at my church's annual Craft Bazaar! What a successful show! It was a delight to meet everyone and see some regular customers as well.

What was popular at the show? Well, it was as diverse as my jewelry is ... so I think we're a good fit! Probably the biggest change for this show, was that I brought quite a few more earrings than I usually do. I've been thrilled and flattered that my earrings have been so popular this year and I have quite a variety of styles for fall shows this season. My designs that mix crystal and metal, as well as glass and metal always go quickly. I was pleased to bring some of my new metalworks collection of earrings, with texturized artisan finished natural brass and copper, mixed with semi precious stones. They're always my personal favorite, and I was happy they were so well received yesterday. Thank you!

Of course I never seem to have enough necklaces, as they always go so fast! And I'm so thrilled so many of you love my bracelets as much as I do. Bracelets are always my favorite thing to make ... it just feels so good to put a really great bracelet on, to complete or spice up your outfit for the day and feel special! From semi precious stones, to crystals, glass and chain, someone found something special in their style. How delightful!

For the next shows, I have a new collection of adjustable, memory wire bracelets that conform to the shape and size of your wrist. Designed with gorgeous shades of semi precious stones, glass and gems, I think you'll find that they're a wonderful addition to your wardrobe! Of course I'll have more earrings, necklaces and bracelets as always, there's always something new and different cropping up!

Please keep in mind that if you see a pair of earrings at a show and would like a different earwire, I would be happy to switch them out for you. I had several special requests yesterday, and was able to easily change the earwire or post to a preferred style on the designs they were interested in, while they were at the show. I'm happy to accommodate if I can!

Keep in mind that I'm never able to get everything photographed for my website, so my online shop is just part of my available designs ... stop over and take a look at the next show!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall 2011 Show Schedule

Fall Arts & Crafts Show season is here and as many of you know, I only attend a few shows each year! It's so fun to meet everyone, hear feedback on my jewelry and see the smiles as people find designs they like. Here are the shows I am scheduled for this fall, hope to see you there!

Sat. 10/15/11 RUMC Bazaar 9:30am-3:00pm
1636 Graham Rd. Reynoldsburg, OH

Sun. 10/23/11 Powell Gift Bazaar  11am-4pm
10561 Sawmill Pkwy. Powell, OH

Sat. 11/5/11  Pickerington Antique & Crafts Show  9am - 3pm 
PCHS 300 Opportunity Way, Pickerington, OH

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Come see me at the Bazaar, Saturday 10/15/11!

I will be selling my jewelry at my church's annual Fall Bazaar, Saturday October 15, 2011! This is one of very few opportunities to shop my jewelry in person, and I'll have over 100 designs with me. A great variety of earrings in all price ranges, necklaces and a gorgeous collection of designer bracelets ... come stop by!

RUMC Annual Fall Bazaar
Saturday, October 15, 2011
9:30am - 4:00pm
I'll be on the lower level, down the long hall ... hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Inventory changes coming up!

Just a heads up - my inventory will probably be changing some over the next month. So if there's something you have your eye on, make sure you get it now! I'm looking forward to an appointment with an Art/Gift Gallery in Cleveland, OH's Art District next week and will be leaving some of my current inventory to them. Also, I'm gearing up for a few craft shows in October and November, and things usually fly off the table at shows ... so many items' days are numbered! I know that feeling when you have your eye on something you're admiring, and for one reason or another you're waiting to make the purchase ... only to find when you go to buy it, that it's gone! There's nothing like that empty feeling, after admiring it all that time thinking that it soon would be yours! So often, people tell me they've "just missed" something in my shop (it either sells online, locally, or goes to retail). Since the majority of my designs are one-of-a-kind, I feel so badly for them when it happens! And so just a reminder, that it's "jewelry season" and for one reason or another (shows, retail placement, Christmas gift purchases, etc.) things tend to suddenly disappear ... so don't miss it! As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today. I hope you have a happy day! :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm featured in a craft blog today!

A quick shout out to Suzy, at Suzy's Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom blog ... for featuring my Tropical Peacock Earrings today! If you haven't visited Suzy's blog, you have to check it out. She's full of artsy-craftsy fun. Her motto is "... because life is a sitcom, covered in glitter, hot glue strings and dog hair ... isn't it?". Now you KNOW there's something that will bring a smile there! Tune in for her Monday Etsy Madness, where she features artists and items from Etsy, based on the theme for the week. She's found some delightful tropical things for today and they range from my earrings, to Pina Colada Whipped Sugar Scrub and a gorgeous batik tropical painting. Many thanks to Suzy for the publicity and be sure to tune in to see what artsy-craftsy goodness she's found next: http://www.suzyssitcom.com/2011/06/monday-etsy-madness_27.html

Happy Monday - so much on the way!

Happy Monday everyone! I know it's been a while since I've posted ... I've been busy, busy, busy creating! I've just released a line of handcrafted sterling silver and natural brass earwires, in a collection created especially for Rabbit Hutch Beads, the lampwork glass artist I design jewelry for! They're available in their online store and they've debuted at her shows the last two weekends. The response has been good and we're excited about rolling these new items out! I hope to start using my own handcrafted earwires in my designs offered in my online shop shortly. Next up, we'll be releasing handcrafted components I've designed for Rabbit Hutch Beads. Once we have those rolled out, you'll love the next step in our plan: interchangeable pendant necklaces. I've created a collection of sterling silver pendants that allow you to change the pendants/beads that dangle from them, to coordinate with your outfit as you please. Word has gotten out that these are on the way and we're already receiving requests for the exact release date. Stay tuned! :)

If you've visited the shop lately, you've noticed I'm sure that I'm thoroughly enjoying beach design this summer! I love the offerings in my online shop right now, such juicy, summery colors and great styles that go from casual to formal right along with your day.

One of my favorite beach themed bracelets sold as soon as the doors opened, at a recent show. Visions of the calm, quiet rage of the immense seems-to-never-end ocean like this one by a photographer on Long Island, inspired the bracelet:

Although most of my pieces are one of a kind, I'm thinking I might need to re-make this one, or at least re-create something close. It's been popular with everyone who has seen it and I'm in love with it!
I called it "The Boardwalk", as it includes a touch of weathered wood throughout, adding great texture and neutral color. It just takes you to the boardwalk, seaside shopping, lunch in a beachside cafe ... ahh!

I hope to work on some new earrings this week, so stay tuned to the shop! I had an overwhelming response to the last collection of earrings I released and I'm working on some new designs to offer.

Well, I'm off to start my "to do" list for the day. The kids are enjoying a summer day camp, so once I've dropped them off, the creativity begins! Happy Monday and as always, thanks for stopping by! My online shop: http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New beachcomber beads on the way!

It's a beautiful day here in Ohio today, comfortably in the 70's, a light breeze and a few clouds to keep things from getting too hot. My flowers are out front, we're opening our screened porch for the season this weekend ... and the weather will be turning hot, hot, hot beginning tomorrow. Getting into "summer mode" around our house, always makes me think about going to the beach. Although we don't often get there with our kids being small yet, I still love the beach-themed fashions and embrace them when the weather turns warm.

I found this wonderfully beautiful set of handcrafted, artisan beach-themed lampwork glass beads ... and they're on their way to me! A gorgeous bracelet is on tap, and I'll be stalking the mail lady until she delivers these to my studio door. I can't wait, and I just wanted to share a little taste of the handcrafted beach beauty, ahead of time!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Petal Soft Earrings

A departure from my usual design style ... I had to stop to create these lighthearted, whimsically spirited flower earrings this spring. The light, very soft opaque pink color in the glass of these flowers is fresh and soothing. They dangle effortlessly, playfully beside a glass leaf, nonchalantly waiting for a fresh spring breeze. Such a feminine touch!

Online Shop: http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com

New Designs Available

I had a blast working with this new lampwork! So far I've designed two bracelets and a pair of earrings with them. The colors in the glass are so beautiful, the design doesn't require much to show them off! These items are now available in my shop, as I continue to design. Very casual, very comfortable ... frankly, I really want to keep them for myself!

Online Shop: http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Blues

Look what I just received in the mail from lampwork artist Outwest! GORGEOUS hues of blues and greens, somehow swirled together both meticulously and randomly at the same time. The colors in these lampwork glass discs are sometimes comfortably predictable side by side, ring by ring, and sometimes pleasantly surprising. My mind is flooded with ideas, I can't wait to start working with them to bring my ideas to fruition. It won't take much, they're so stunning and awesome by themselves, even an effortless placement in a jewelry piece would be wonderful! The first challenge will be to give them up - I love them so much, I'm tempted to keep them!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Warm Organics Bracelet

I'm quite delighted with this bracelet I just posted in my online shop. It's a beach-inspired asymmetric blend of wonderful organics ... I just love to use materials like this! I've included two carved bone pieces, treasured vintage unglazed ceramics from 1972, wood, pearls and seashells, as well as stones with some beautiful soft corals. When I handcraft chain like I did with the stone cubes, it takes the piece to the next level of 'handcrafted' as people appreciate the fact that someone meticulously twisted, wrapped and worked the wire to give the jewelry wonderful drape and interest. This piece began with the row of warm colored stone cubes. I was in love with their soft hues and love how they subtly related to each other side by side. Wanting to extend their warmth and earthiness, I naturally was drawn to these organic materials and they took me to the warmth of the summery, natural beach. I'm quite taken with the final design and hope that someone relates to the colors and materials to enjoy it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Coming Soon: Wholesale!

I'm adding an exciting element to my jewelry designs - making them available wholesale!

I sell the jewelry to you at cost, for you to re-sell via your venue at your price. You choose at least 5 items from my online shop, I re-price at cost, bundle and create a reserve listing for you. I put in the work, you put the profit in your pocket! Why do I sell at cost to you? Because I have too many beads! Currently, my children are small and it's difficult for me to get to shows ... but I still need to sell jewelry! As a stay at home mom, I have the time to design and make the jewelry while with my children. So it works quite well right now - I spend the time and enjoy creating and sell it to you; you have more to take to the shows you're already attending! Wholesale/"at cost" prices are typically $5 - $10 less than listed retail on bracelets and necklaces, but please contact me for specific pricing on items you are interested in. No vendor's license required for wholesale purchases, just a 5 item minimum.

More information about wholesale purchases will be posted here shortly. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON WHOLESALE PURCHASES at MyHappyThingsHi@aol.com, or through my online shop: http://www.MyHappyThings.etsy.com!