Friday, December 31, 2010

Cheers to the New Year!

My sister-in-law asked if I could make some handpainted wine glasses for her family Christmas swap this year. I said, "Sure!" even though I'd never done it before... Ha! It turned out to be so easy and fun. I used a different glass painting technique than I've used in the past (for ornaments, etc.)... I bought some enamel paints that you can let air dry for a number of days, or you can make them permanent just by firing the finished work in your oven! (No, your glasses will not crack or explode if you follow the directions.) :)

Here are the final pieces:

The glasses for the swap.
The paint is not food-safe, so leave it away from anywhere your food will touch.

I decided to make her a set as a gift too :)


Evolution of the Happy House Ornament

Sketches of houses.
Draw it out after tracing the house pattern.

Paint it in.
Seal it up.

Glue together...


Ready to give :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Can't Wait to Create!

Got this super-huge art set for Christmas, from my brother! Its in a wooden suitcase, and it all folds out to reveal tons of art supplies. Its so full of color! I can't wait to see what I can make with all this! He's so great, he got my son a smaller version too :) Guess we'll be working on more projects together soon! Thanks bro :) 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Handmade Surprise in My Email!

After starting a discussion on my facebook fan page , I received some photos in my email from my cousin! She was telling me stories about all the handmade ornaments on her tree. She uses them every year, and some are thirty years old! I thought I would share her special ornaments with you...

Packed with handmade ornaments!

Each handmade ornament holds a special memory...
What about you? Do you have a special handmade tradition for the holidays? If you'd like to share with me and have your story or photo featured on my blog, send me an email!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Forever Handprint Ornaments

While searching through the Christmas Tree Shop, for something completely unimportant but something I'm sure I NEEDED to have (haha), I came across some ornament kits in a clearance bin. They were only $1.99 - sweet deal!! Handprint ornament kits....

I'd never worked with plaster before, but these seemed like the perfect special gift to give to my son's grandparents! The kits came with plastic molds and little bags of plaster that you mix with water. I added too much water by accident, so I had to let the molds set for much longer than the instructions recommended before my son could stick his hand in... (It was a soppy plastery mess! Ewww!)

Eventually the molds did start to harden, and my son had a blast while I pressed each of his fingers into the plaster. He seemed very excited when he lifted his hand out, and the impression of his hand was still there :)

After the molds were dry (I left them out overnight), I carefully popped them out of the plastic. The plaster was super smooth and bright white! I gave my son some red and green acrylic paint, and let him paint in the hands. He was very meticulous, and made sure to get inside each finger!

When he was done, I went around the edges with contrasting color paint just to give them an extra boost. I made sure to leave his markings intact! When the paint was dry (which was only a few minutes), I had him write his name on the back of each one with a permanent black marker. I added his age and the date. If I had more time in my holiday rush, I would have loved to seal them with an acrylic sealer... But they turned out just fine anyway.

The molds allowed for a hole in the top, and I strung them with ribbon. The grandparents loved them!! When my mother opened hers, she took my son into my old bedroom and showed him a plaque on the wall... It was an ink handprint I had made in kindergarten, same age as my son is now. It was very special.  Perfect memories - worth much more than that $2.00! :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Kids Cookie Decorating Extravaganza

I can't take the credit for this one, but it sure was a good idea and lots of fun! We were invited to a holiday cookie decorating party at a friend's house. She had premade the dough and baked up lots of gingerbread cut outs while we were there.

 The guests were to bring decorating supplies. I went through the cabinet and pulled out an assortment of random goodies. I didn't have anything that was in traditional Christmas colors... As a result, the cookies came out really colorful and fun! Other guests brought red/green/white, so it was quite a mix!

The kids ate the cookies as they finished decorating them...
There were a few kids (ages 4-6), and it probably got as messy as you can imagine it would! We let the kids go crazy, and they made some funky-delicious treats!

Don't be afraid to make a mess! You can clean it up later :)
The ones that didn't get eaten were packed up as gifts from the kids for their parents and grandparents. This was an awesome tradition to start, and would be fun as a family event too! I hope we do it again next year :)

Non-traditional holiday colors are just as fun!

Don't think the adults didn't get in on the cookie decorating action! ;)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Handmade Christmas ReCap!

Hi everyone! Happy Christmas! :)
I hope you all had wonderful holidays!

This year, I tried my hardest NOT to have my annual Christmas-mental-stress-breakdown. I did get a bit rushed during the last week, but I made peace with the fact that I couldn't possibly get everything finished. (ex: sending out my Xmas cards!! They are still on my counter, after a failed attempt at getting them printed at a certain huge chain store.. rrgh I'm still fuming!) I did, however, make a few gifts that I will share with you in my posts this week!

Cutest wrapping paper ever!

I'll have these stories and more: kids super-duper Christmas cookie party, painted plaster handprint ornaments, paper 3D houses, painted wine glasses, etc!

My boy surrounded by happy handmade goodness!

As the year comes to a close, I'm also thinking about the future of my happy day studio and where I will take things from here. I would love to reopen but there will be some changes to make my processes speedier and more effecient. I am really excited about what I have in mind, and I'll share it with you soon!

For now, I'm cozied up at home during a snowstorm. I'm enjoying my Christmas tree and all the lights before they come down on New Years. Stay warm and crafty!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Handmade Holiday Discussion... Join me!

Hi friends! I hope you are all covered with glitter and gingerbread for the holidays right now :) While my shop has been closed, I've had a chance to take a look at what other crafters and artists are doing. I've also had time to make a bunch of gifts, as well as shop for some.. hee hee! My holiday shopping has all been online, since I've had no time with my crazy schedule to get to any craft fairs this year.... What about you?

Come to my happy day studio facebook page, and discuss this (and more!) with me! I've started a group discussion there to hear your thoughts on giving and getting handmade for the holidays.... Can't wait to hear your thoughts! :)

Click on this link for my discussion page on facebook:

Are you a fan of my happy day studio facebook page? No??!?
But, its not too late! Here's a link!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Getting Our Fall Crafty On....

We got inspired recently to start some fall crafts... I cut out a big acorn shape, then we tore apart an egg carton. I added some brown paint to craft glue. The boy had fun dipping the egg carton pieces into the mixture, and adding them to the acorn cut-out to make the bumpy "cap" of the acorn. It was super messy, and he loved it! We added glitter at the bottom of the acorn.... just because we like glitter.

Next, we made suncatchers by tearing/cutting up fall-colored tissue paper, and sticking it onto clear laminating film. Then, of course, we added glitter, and covered the top with another piece of laminating film. I cut them up into leaf shapes. They look SO pretty in the windows! They are bright and colorful... I wish we had some to put in every room :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Here's the (condensed) Story, Morning Glory...

If you've been wondering what happened to me, why I closed my shop, why orders were taking so long, why I gave everyeone a refund, and will I ever be back..... Here it is, because I feel I owe it to all of you to know, in a quick version:
  • Healing from a torn ligament in my knee.
  • Got my flu shot, two days later became seriously ill for two weeks and my son got a form of strep.
  • Had an order come back to me in the mail destroyed, and it missed the person's special occasion.
  • I was finally okay and made up a whole bunch of orders.
  • I become seriously ill again and so does my son, no work, no school.
  • I find out a friend has cancer, the same day I find out another friend's mother has terminal cancer.
  • Halloween: sick but I go out anyway because I don't want the boy to miss out.
  • My depression medicine stops working - which was super handy.
  • I find out another friend's leukemia relapsed and is given a 30% chance of survival.
  • Guess what... I'm sick again! My son gets two ear infections and conjuncitivitis in both eyes.
  • On the way home from urgent care for my son, my husband (four cars in front of us) gets into a head-on collision with another car that crossed the center line.
Those are the major points. I have really been trying to stay positive through all of this stuff, but the car accident was the end for me. I want to thank all of you for being so supportive while I give my family and friends all of my attention right now. I can never stop creating, and as soon as things slow down I'll be back to my shop, I just don't know when as of now. You are all amazing, and I will still be on facebook, twitter, and my blog. (I need something to distract me!) Thanks everyone and I am sorry for all the inconveniences I've caused for my customers. I really have the best customers EVER. Love you all...


My husband will eventually heal and luckily we were not in the car with him. We did not see the accident happen, but came upon the scene less than a minute after it occurred. Ten minutes before, my husband had asked my son if he wanted to ride with mommy or daddy... He picked me.

home away from home


There is a bone marrow donation registration and fundraiser for my friend Amiee coming up. We met when we both joined the New Hampshire Roller Derby League in July. She is a strong, beautiful, fun, and amazing person.  If you are in the NH area, please consider going. There is a fund being set up for her little son (she's a 29yr old single mom), and a toy drive for her son with the excess going to charity, as well as a bake sale. You can also possibly save someone's life by joining the bone marrow registry through the mail. Visit the National Marrow Donor Program's website for more information.

Half Pint O'Rage of NHRD, is currently undergoing treatment for the return of her AML (Leukemia). She is 29 years and relapsed after obtaining remission in January of this year. She has been told that her prognosis is between 20-30%. She has a 6 year old son, Ayden and started her treatment today (Novemer 10). Her treatment entails 4 weeks of inpatient chemotherapy followed (hopefully) by a bone marrow transplant. If the transplant is not available they will attempt a stem cell transplant and a second round of chemotherapy. Her chances are increased with a bone marrow transplant.

How can you help? NHRD was invited to a donor drive help by her High School friends - we are inviting you to help in the fight!

Saturday, November 20 · 10:00am - 3:00pm

Alvirne High School, 200 Derry Road, Hudson, NH

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Handmade Halloween Featuring "Mr. Powerful Man!"

The boy wanted to be Optimus Prime from the Transformers AGAIN this year... But, unfortunately, with his new bigger glasses, the mask didn't fit! booo...So, the night before trick-or-treating we decided to make a new mask to accomodate his glasses! I cut up a shipping box (go recycling!), and traced the shape of the old mask onto the cardboard. I cut it out, with much larger holes for the eyes and mouth, and drew the basic shapes with a marker (so it would at least Kind Of resemble O.P.)! I attached a couple pieces of craft foam on the back of the mask, so it would be more comfortable to wear and added an elastic around the back. My son had a super fun time looking at the old mask and deciding where the colors should go on the new mask. He colored them in, and then we put glue and glitter.

(What fun is it really without glitter!?!)

He decided as we were finishing up that he was no longer going to be a Transformer, but "Mr. Powerful Man!" (He made that up, in case you were wondering... Oh.. and he's "electrical"!!!)

Here are a few pumpkins carved amazingly by my sister and friends:

This picture shows (although poorly) a bazillion strings of lights going across some people's whole front yard. It created an awesome effect, and I wish my camera had been able to capture it better! Totally cool for Halloween night... Orange and purple glowing EVERYWHERE! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's that time again!

Halloween is coming! It's fall, and the temperature here in MA is finally cooling off! Leaves are changing color, pumpkin patches and apple orchards are the busiest spots in town... This is definetly my favorite season :) So, Happy Fall everyone! Where's my candy corn.....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another Front Page!

My "hello bird on red flowers" card made it to the front page of on June 10, 2010! Yippee! Many thanks to TheLittleRooster for adding me to her Treasury! I really love the color combination of red and robin's egg blue...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Boys and Girls

Boys are silly!

I would have thought having a little son would make it easier to come up with boy-themed designs, but to tell the truth, I really like drawing little girls and cupcakes! I have had alot of people ask me why I don't have more boy designs, and really when I sit down to try it my mind goes blank! What do boys like? I should know this..... think! think!

Well, I racked my brain and came up with a few this week... They, of course, all have funny things on their heads, and they are themed... pirate, cowboy, etc. I'm thinking I need a super hero, or a beachy-snorkeler, maybe a fireman... but I'm not sure what they'd be carrying. Any ideas? I left plenty of room for personalization on these cards, like names and birthdays.

Oh, I almost forgot! The other thing I've been working on is zooming out so you can see the FEET! haha yay for feet!