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, January 7, 2012

What? Ahead of schedule?

I design jewelry for a lampwork artist. When she takes her lampwork glass beads to bead & jewelry shows, she finds that she sells more beads when she has jewelry displayed. The more jewelry she has displayed, the more ideas people get and the more likely they are to purchase some beads, and quite often, a few different sets. At first, this baffled me. The beads are gorgeous all by themselves. I always tell her that if I don't have an idea off the top of my head for a bead or bead set, then I can lay her bead down on the table and just 'spend time with it ... and it talks to me'. Now - I'm not a voo-doo kind of person, nor one who listens to spirits or anything. I just really love thinking creatively about things that I think are pretty, or have some qualities I like ... and envisioning what they could become. It's kind of like I close my eyes and see what I'm thinking the piece "feels like". Then I try to turn that "feeling" into a vision, by attaching colors, shapes and sizes to the feeling's vision. Next of course, is identifying, recognizing and choosing the materials that fill that vision and bring a tactile element to the vision.

After she told me how much my jewelry helps to sell the beads, I started to notice how I also often am drawn to samples in stores or online, to jumpstart the creativity, or provide some frame of reference for a new material. And so our relationship goes where I use her beads in whatever designs I can dream up, and they are displayed at her shows and are for sale as well. I am grateful for the opportunity for the sales (and the fun to free-design!), because my boys are still a bit young for me to be able to get away to do shows myself very often. 2-3 local one day fall shows are all I manage right now in person.

In typical "Susan style", I'm usually last minute getting my designs together for her. I'm down to the wire finishing up projects, or thinking up a design for one last bead, with just enough time to price it, pack it all up and ship it, in time for her to receive it before she leaves for her next show. I think some of what I design for her is my best work, because I'm not as worried about finding someone to buy it ... I feel more free to just "do whatever" and follow my creativity. But due to my "last minute" nature, I rarely get to offer these pieces in my online shop. Most of the time, the designs will sell at the shows and I'm continually making up something new to send (last minute, of course!). Well for some reason, I have two necklaces done early this time! Of course, that may be because they just missed my shipping deadline for the show she's at this weekend ... but I'm going to go ahead and call these "done early" anyway! ;) 

In the blue piece, I love how the ceramic's dark teal blues have a shimmery quality to them, in a somewhat whimsical design. I think it relates wonderfully to the presentation of the same colors in the lampwork glass bead. I love how the bead is an organic shape, so it's a bit more "free form" like the whimsical swirls, but yet the measured dots across the center offer some uniformity. I think it makes for a nice balance, but is still fun and intriguing. The satin cord kumihimo braid takes the piece in an aquatic, "aquarius" kind of direction in my eye.

The brown necklace has a wonderful sense of warmth. Earthy, natural, woody, it offers open arms for a nice hug. The natural imprints of leaves on my artist friend Helen O'Donnell's pendant, along with the wonderful caramel-y woody colors she used in her glazes, leads naturally to a mish-mash of natural woods and stone. The interestingly shaped Kazuri bead stops the eye, to take notice of the wonderful, surprising flashes of blues and greens across the surface of the lampwork glass round. I love the opportunity to add something special at the transition to chain on one side ... and in this instance, I felt a little cluster of wood, stone & crystal, hinting at the colors from the rest of the piece were just perfect. I love that this piece can be worn at varying lengths. I'm big on sweaters in the winters here in Ohio, and I love to have a substantial, earthy piece to add something special to a sweater and jeans. By being able to adjust the length, you can find the perfect placement with your cardigan, heavy wool sweater, turtleneck or even open neck blouse or tee. 

I'm thrilled I have them ready with enough time to share them in my shop. Enjoy!

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