04 June 2014

Because I'm Happy

Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Pharrell Williams wrote the lyrics to this popular hit after asking himself what it means to be in a good mood. So I thought about it and wondered what it means to me to be in a good mood. I think a good mood is something that fluctuates with the wind (and truthfully, I find that I am not always in a good mood), but being happy is an entirely different state of mind.

So, since my mood is not entirely sunny all the time (but I am more of a glass-is-half-full sort of girl... I know, I am a conundrum!) what is it that makes me HAPPY RIGHT NOW?

My son's varsity baseball team had an amazing game last night. They won the first Regional match-up 6-4 over a very good team from Auburndale. He made another clutch play at the plate, went 2 for 3 hits and scored both times. Tomorrow is another BIG game in another place, one more step to closer to State. Watching my son play baseball makes me HAPPY.

My daughter's softball team is off to a great start with a 1st place finish in the Waupaca tournament last weekend, 10-5, 12-2, 16-0. Being a part of a team and getting to know all the parents is a lot of fun. This year her team will have the chance to travel to St. Louis to compete in the National Softball tournament for 12U. We are all pulling together to raise funds (for my part I am hosting a Thirty-One party in case anyone out there is interested - click on the Plover Nat'l party and be sure to uncheck 'Ship to Hostess' to have it sent directly to you and you can help no matter where you are while getting some awesome bags!) to help the girls have a great experience on this trip. Being connected to our travel team families (past and present) makes me HAPPY.

We are finally - FINALLY! - starting the process of getting a new-to-me car. My poor Bessie the Venture Van is leaving parts of herself all over the county. I have been wanting to do this for 2 years, and finally last winter my husband agreed. I have been searching online for months and recently walked into a dealer or two to get up close and personal with a few vehicles. I am narrowing down the choices - I truly thought I would be in a new car by now - but still undecided. I have been saving all of my freelance paychecks toward this purchase since October, which means I have been in a spending freeze ever since and for the foreseeable future (luckily I have more beads than I know what to do with!). But having a new vehicle on the immediate horizon makes me deliriously  HAPPY. And since I am paying for a big chunk o' these new wheels with my jewelry efforts, I think I might have to get a vanity plate that says BEADMOBL, what do you think? ;-)

My husband makes me very HAPPY just by being him and loving me for me. Enough said.

After the spring that I am having (no, seriously, where did March, April and May go?), I can't tell you how good it feels to finally get back to work on the big gallery exhibit that I am hosting this summer. It is our 5th anniversary at Gallery Q and opens on July 1st. I wanted to get started on this in January, but here it is the first week of June and I am finally finding my Mojo. I have been getting down and dirty with a lot of dark annealed steel wire, nuts and bolts, my Now That's A Jig tool, and even a little gold leaf. I am really smitten with this new design and will take this in a few different directions. I have to have at least one piece ready for professional photography on Thursday. And it looks like this is finally coming together and that makes me really HAPPY.

I just found out that my online friend and an artist whom I completely admire, Miss Staci Louise Smith just won both first and second place in the Beads Dreams competition. What a terrific honor! I can't wait to see these in person at the Bead & Button Show. Seeing my friends (even if they are just virtual!) reaching for a star and landing on the moon makes me HAPPY.

I will be leaving for the Bead & Button Show on Thursday afternoon. I look forward to this week all year long. This will be the first year since 2008 that I have not taken even one class. And I am not sure exactly what I might be looking for to purchase (but I do know that I need to really reign  myself in as I still have oodles of beads and components from all the years that I have been there, unused. Tragic, right? And of course, there is that new car).  But just being there with all the bead freaks in the world like me will be enough. And getting to see my friends and making new ones is almost as good as o.d.'ing on beads. And that makes me VERY HAPPY.

A few months ago, Sara Oehler from Soft Flex Company contacted me to ask if I would be willing to participate in a special challenge. Never one to back down from a challenge, I wholeheartedly said yes. Glass beads were made by artists inspired by a drawing submitted by a child in the Beads of Courage program. These ten beads were then sent to ten specially selected designers, of which I am one. We are each to make a special piece of jewelry featuring that bead. These pieces will be highlighted in a special display at the Bead & Button show in Milwaukee this weekend. They will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Beads of Courage organization. That sort of honor makes me do a HAPPY DANCE.

The bead I received had a card that read 'Peace' by artist Heather Sellers of Dragonfly Lampworks. But I really felt that this funny little face was more about HAPPY than peace. Of course, that song by Pharrell Williams was playing when I was sketching the design. So HAPPY it is!


I wanted this necklace design to be fun and a bit funky to match the undeniably HAPPY bead I received to work with. Because we are doing this in collaboration with Soft Flex, we needed to use their wire as part of the design. I didn't just want to string it and forget it, I wanted it to be integral to the piece. So I coiled and coiled and coiled and coiled colored wire in powder blue, red, gold, black and silver until my fingers were numb!

I made a lot of jump rings from those coils and created coiled love knots, something I do all the time with plain jump rings. I love the texture that this provides as well as the cushion for the glass bead. I also made some twisty free-form beads with coiled cores that were all strung on a solid wire core for stability. The result is a truly off-beat statement piece that makes me HAPPY to look at! Seriously, you could not be un-HAPPY if you were wearing it. You would look foolish with a frown on your face and this on your neck!

I can't wait to see this at the Bead & Button show along with the reveal of the rest of the designs. And it would make me so HAPPY if someone bid a lot of money on this in the auction to benefit the Beads of Courage organization!



I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to Miss Kerry Bogert. Her books have been very influential to me. She is someone I greatly admire, as an artist, writer, editor, momma and all-around great person. I selected a single component from both of her books -  Totally Twisted and Rustic Wrappings - to set the mood and define the shape of the necklace. But I tried to make those components my own by blending them in this way. I hope that Miss Kerry would approve. I understand that she is coming to Bead & Button. I have always wanted to meet her. That would make me so HAPPY!

If you are going to be at the Bead & Button Show Thursday through Sunday, I hope you will come over and say hi. Let's get HAPPY together! I will be with my best friend Heather Powers of Humblebeads in booth 1212. If I am not there (seriously, they cannot keep me from wandering!), I will likely be drooling over the Bead Dreams winners, fondling beads that I may or may not have any intention of buying, or fixating on the boards showing classes with openings and pining to be learning something new. I hope to meet you there.

That would make me very HAPPY indeed!


8 comments:

peacockfairy said...

Great post Erin! I can totally agree that my mood changes quite a bit, but I am so HAPPY in life! See you soon at B & B!

Kim said...

I love your necklace, it makes me HAPPY :-) and I will be at Bead and Button on Friday and I can't wait (which will also make me HAPPY. Great post!

Heather Sellers said...

Love the fabulous design Erin. Where to begin??? The coils are perfection! The Soft Flex color palette is beyond words. I feel honored to be paired with such a talented designer! Thank you for sharing the pictures on your site.

Can't wait to hear how the Beads of Courage Auction ends. It is a cause near and dear to my heart. Happy indeed!

All the best,
Heather Sellers

Silver Parrot said...

BEST...SONG...EVER! And...it's the first song I played on my iPod when I hooked it into the stereo system in MY new car that I got a couple of weeks ago. I'm so excited for you to get a new one - it's so much fun (especially when you have been driving an oldie for a while!) I am seriously jealous about B&B - one of these years I will get to go!

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

HAPPY for you that you get to spend time at B&B with bead peeps! Enjoy! The necklace is gorgeous, as your ALWAYS are!

2 1/2 months ago when I finished a 3 1/2 month project at work that fell into my lap (sigh) I was so elated that I was done that I cranked Happy on Pandora on my iPhone and danced through my office. The Assistant Superintendent busted a gut. She then sent me this link last month (it's our high school): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99gD_bhVYoU

Tanya said...

That is an extremely happy necklace and I agree, you can't be not happy wearing it, or even looking at it.

I really wish I had the chance to see it in person, but I won't be at Bead and Button this year. I will miss seeing you as well.

I hope you have a great time!

Michelle Mach said...

Hope you are having a wonderful time at B&B! Your post reminded me of my favorite segment on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast - "What's Making Me Happy?" It's a good question to ask yourself at least once a week! :)

Kristen (Creative Stash) said...

Loved reading all your reasons for being Happy! Your design turned out so wonder-filled, fun-filled and undeniably happy! Great to see you as always, Erin. Much love xoxo

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