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Monday, December 21, 2009

Tis the Season

Happy Holidays Folks!

Where oh where did this year go? It flew by! Good news is that I've been super busy since my last post and if you've read that post from October, you may remember my comment on the economy. That weekend at the craft show in Leesport turned out to be a pretty decent show. I had another craft show in Leesport after Thanksgiving which was even better! Yay! My in-home jewelry parties have also been surprisingly successful. In fact, the 3rd annual HJD Holiday Show and Sale just recently took place in my home on Dec. 5th and despite the snow storm that just had to occur an hour before show time, I ended up with 15 guests in attendance! I am so grateful to my wonderful friends, both old and new, who braved the tretcherous roads to attend. We had a great night with yummy food courtesy of my friend Jess who sells Tastefully Simple and spiked jello jigglers courtesy of my friend Teresa who drove 45 minutes over snowy slushy roads to get there. I also must thank Miss Caitlyn, my 14 year old daughter who really came through for me that night with multiple shoveling trips up and down the driveway. We only had 1 vehicle get stuck in the snow but thanks to my hubby and Jess' hubby they were un-stuck in no time! Whew!

The kids continue to keep us busy. Zoe earned her first girl scout badge, Caitlyn's Rage soccer team made it to Nationals in Florida where they came in 2nd place and she was named to the All Tournament Team as goalkeeper and Zach was elected Senior Patrol Leader of his Scout Troop. Aeryn continues to surprise and amaze us on a daily basis but seems to be getting in less trouble these days. Following my last blog entry, Miss Aeryn managed to shave one of her eyebrows off. Fortunately she didn't hurt herself in the process and her eyebrow has grown in nicely.
So the holiday season is upon us and the kids are going nuts waiting for Christmas to get here. Funny how the excitement we had as children changes when we become adults. It is pretty cool to see the excitement in the kids but when did it turn into so much work? Christmas prep that is. I still have a few presents to wrap. Cards are finally in the mail. House is decorated and the trees (1 live, 1 fake) are trimmed. I had a bunch of last minute custom orders but they are done and ended up being really cool projects to work on.

A customer asked me to make Autism Awareness jewelry to give as gifts to the many specialists that help her autistic son. I immediately thought of a sterling silver puzzle piece charm to hang on a sterling chain and suggested we personalize the necklaces with an additional charm such as a crystal. The charm next to the puzzle piece is representative of the logo colors used by their autism management support system and consists of 4 Swarovski cyrstal cubes wrapped in fine gauge sterling silver wire within a sterling silver square. The initial order of 5 necklaces grew to 8 as we discussed details of the project. With the addition of a chakra balancing necklace and a pre-made anklet as additional gifts, I really had my work cut out for me!

Another fun project I recently worked on was custom grandmother necklaces and a custom aunt bracelet. Did I mention I'm accepting custom orders again? Yeah, give the people what they want right? Anywho...The grandmother necklaces consist of each grandchild's name hand stamped onto sterling silve sheet metal to dangle along side of a sterling silver wrapped pearl necklace. Each pearl repesents a child. The customer wanted something "funky" for the aunt bracelet. Again, I hand stamped AUNT onto a sterling silver disc that I cut out of sheet metal using my newest jewelry toy...I mean tool...and added crystals and a pearl for the birthstone of each niece and nephew of the Aunt. Fun Stuff. I also hand forged the sterling links of the bracelet.

Thank you to all my customers both new and repeat, custom and pre-made, life-long friends and new acquaintances, for all of your support and encouragement over the last year especially during these difficult economic times.

Well that's it for me tonight. Sorry this was so long but I had lots to catch you up on! If I'm not on here again before Christmas, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! ~Heather

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Earrings in Gold

Just a quick sneak peak at the new gold earrings.
Have a great day! ~Heather

Another School Year is Upon Us

Hello All!
My appologies for being absent from the blogosphere lately. The summer flew by and next thing I knew I was doing my happy dance and singing "It's the most wonderful time of the year" for the start of another school year. Silly me, I'll never learn, I should not have been so quick to send the kiddies out the door for when they return at the end of the day, the homework and running begin.
Here's a rundown of our fall activities:

Zach (10th grade)--school soccer, scouts, student council, Spanish club...seems like I'm forgetting something...driver's ed is coming up soon--that's a scary thought
Caitlyn (8th grade)--premiere soccer, rec soccer U17 and U14, school volleyball, student council, art club

Zoe (1st grade)--swimming, girl scouts, rec soccer U9

and then there's Aeryn......she is my lovely little 2 1/2 year old monster :). I love her dearly but as you know the age brings with it many challenges. Challenges to my patience. Yesterday, for example, I thought she was content to watch her shows on Nick Jr. so I went in the kitchen to wash dishes. Next thing I know, she comes running into the kitchen to grab a dish towel and runs back out. History has taught me that this usually means she has created some sort of mess and is attempting to clean up her "creation" and/or hide the evidence. When I followed her back to the livingroom I had discovered the peanut butter jar on the floor, clumps of smeared peanut butter on the carpet and up both her arms. Now, knowing that this would be my doggie's idea of paradise, I call the dog to clean up the chunks...hello...less work for me right? Well my little Aeryn decided she wanted to be like doggie and got down on all fours to lick the peanut butter right off the carpet. That's when I abandoned the mess and took the child straight into the shower--clothes and all.

You'd think that'd be the end of the story right? Child scrubbed, smelling all pretty, dressed. Nope. I decided to throw a load of laundry in the washer and when I returned to my precious she had found a purple marker and used it to color lines up and down her arms, legs, bottoms of her feet and armpits. Clearly, I cannot let this child out of my sight for a second.

So anyway, you'd be surprised that I can get any jewelry made at all right? Thankfully Daddy is great about taking her along to run the kids to sports or just to run errands. And well, let's face it, making jewelry is a creative outlet and keeps me relatively sane. Relatively being the key word here.

But I digress...

The summer had lots of running with the kids for sports camps, driver's ed classes, camping trips etc. We took a trip to Maryland with Caitlyn for a soccer tournament and went to Connecticut to visit family. I had a craft show and jewelry showings and just last weekend walked with the Hillcrest Jewelry Design team in the Berks County Heart Walk. This was our 2nd year walking as a team. Had wonderful weather and enjoyed the day but sadly noticed a sharp decline in overall participants this year. I can't help but wonder if that has anything to do with the current economic conditions and I hope that that is not a sign of whats to come this weekend at the Leesport Market Craft Fair.

This weekend, both Sat. & Sun. 10/10 & 10/11 I'll be set up at the Leesport Market Harvest Craft Show. For those who are interested, the show is located in Leesport, PA which is just a 15 minute ride down Rt. 61 from Cabela's. Parking and admission is free. The show starts at 9am and ends at 4pm. There is a large selection of handcrafted items including primatives, crafts, and of course jewelry. Food, candles, soaps, and framed artwork are also amongst the many items that can be found. I'll be indoors in the smaller of the two buildings. Look for the sign for the meeting room and come say hello!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lovely Copper

I was experimenting in the studio yesterday and made up a few new pieces that I wanted to share with you. This copper and fancy quartz ring was inspired by the Camille Bracelet shown below. I hammered the base of the ring flat, then added texture to the outter edge using the ball pein. A fine gauge copper wire was used to secure the quartz stones to the ring base. For an added touch, I wrapped the copper wire around the stones as well. Size 8, $15
For the Camille Bracelet, shown above, I have hammered the copper wire flat and formed it into a teardrop shape then added a fancy quartz stone to several of the links. An extra little loop at the tip of the teardrop allows each link to connect to the next. A small copper hook clasp, also hand forged by yours truly, secures the bracelet. This bracelet measures 6 3/4" but extra links can be added for a larger fit. $24

More experimentation with color led me to this brown/green jasper stone. Unfortunately, it's hard to appreciate from this picture but the stone actually has very little green in it. It is more brown with shades of rust and mustard that play off of the color of the copper very nicely. This Gwendolyn Ring is size 5. $14

All three pieces will appear for sale in my etsy shop by the end of business today. Free U.S. shipping (discounted International shipping) from my etsy stop for the summer months. I hope to see you there soon! ~Heather

Friday, July 17, 2009

Just a Few Necklaces

I can't believe how fast the summer is going and I feel like I've been away from the bloggersphere for too long. So in order to catch you up on what I've been up to, I figured I'd just show you the latest in HJD neckwear. There's actually more that what I've shown on here but really, how much time do you have in the day to read blogs, right? Most of the necklaces have matching bracelets and/or earrings which you can view on either my HJD website: or my etsy shop:

I've been taking a great deal of time putting new bling on the etsy site as well as working on the new fall collection. Several of the older pieces have been marked down to 50% off in order to make room for the new designs. I had a blast with the summer sale at the latest HJD jewelry show that took place in my home in June as well as the Mid-Summer sale at the Leesport Farmer's market on July 11th.

The kiddies continue to be very involved in sports which has kept hubby and I busy as well. Zoe and Aeryn are currently without structured activities so aside from tagging along to the older kids activities, we've been having picnic lunches at the playground and visiting the local library.

I'm sad to say that I may hold off on the art gallery exhibit. I LOVE the idea but am finding it increasingly difficult to schedule the time to get into Philly (a 2 hr drive 1 way) amongst the soccer games, practices, sports camps, doctors/dentist/orthodontist visits, vet appointments, family vacation...well you catch my drift. I feel that it will happen but it's looking like it will happen later rather than sooner, when the timing is better.

I am looking forward to a private in home show in August, then we're going on vacation to visit my father-in-law in CT. Love going up there in the summer. Between the gorgeous seaport and lobster roll sandwiches...YUMMMMMM, I never want to leave. September is looking pretty slow at the moment so anyone in eastern PA want to book a show???

September is also birthday month. Caitlyn and I both have our birthdays in September, followed up by hubby and Zach in October. Sadly, September I also remember my dad's passing. This year will be 3 years. They say it gets easier as time goes by but I think of him each and every day.

So other than that, I'm just trying to balance family and work and starting to countdown the days until school starts!! :)

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer! Be sure to check out my etsy shop as I'm offering FREE SHIPPING for the summer months. Take care! ~Heather

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spring Showers brought May Flowers

Ahhh, yummy salad, sitting on the deck w/ my laptop and listening to the hum of my dryer, the neighbor's edge trimmer and the birdies singing. It's a bit breezy but the sun is out which makes me a happy camper and the kiddies aren't fighting--for now :-).

This weekend was Miss Zoe's dance recital. It may have been her last. My little ballerina would rather twirl in the breeze than be confined by someone else's procession of steps. She was wonderful though, in her white tutu, all done up w/ make-up and enough hair spray to last a lifetime. Honestly, I don't know how the backstage mom's do this with their kids in multiple dance numbers and costume changes. Hats off to you ladies!

Besides pre-recital preparations, I've been busy with a craft fair, an in-home jewelry party, yard sale, a bridal shower, lots of HJD paperwork, earring making, kid running, still unsuccessful potty training, daily laundry that seems to multiply exponentially, shrub pruning and weeding, prep for next weekend's jewelry party in Churchville, PA and the HJD Summer Sale Jewelry Party on June 19th, and finishing up with the custom orders that were already in progress. I've been putting new jewelry on my etsy site and have so many designs floating around in my head that I can't wait to get crackin' on. In fact I received a very intriguing e-mail the other day that got me thinking about new designs. A brand spanking new art gallery is opening in Philly called The Artists Room. One of the owners saw a sample of my work on and is interested in talking to me about participating in a gallery showing. Can I tell you how excited I am?? I am jumping out of my skin!!! Nothing is in writing yet though so I should probably calm my keister down and chill but the prospect is very exciting. I'll keep you posted.

Also in the works is the 2009 Berks Co. American Heart Association Heart Walk. It will be held at the Reading Phillies First Energy Stadium on October 4th, 2009. I can't wait to assemble the Hillcrest Jewelry Design Team again this year! We had so much fun last year and hopefully we'll be able to double our walker numbers as well as our donations! I'll be adding to the Four Heart Collection as well, as I donate 20% of each sale from the Four Heart Collection to the AHA. You can read more about that on my website at . So as you can see, even though I've discontinued my custom design services there is still lots of goings on with Hillcrest Jewelry Design.

Lots going on at and around home as well. The kids will be done school on June 4th and I am happy to say that this is the first time in a long time that I haven't had serious reservations about summer vacation. Cait will continue with soccer throughout the summer months as she is playing for the Berks Soccer Association's Super Y soccer program which will take us to New York and New Jersey (and elsewhere I'm sure). Hopefully we'll get to do a little sight seeing while we're in NYC. Zach has a long week of camping planned this summer as well as driving school-----eeeeek!!! I'm not sure if I'm ready for that... Zach and Caitlyn will also get together with their school soccer teams over the summer for friendly kick arounds and soccer camps. I hope to visit family in Pittsburgh and CT this summer in addition to taking the kids on day trips. Other than that, we plan to get the pool set up in the back yard and enjoy the summer.

As a prelude to summer, I've included photos from my yard. I was recently asked what inspires me in jewelry designing. The answer is...everything! My surroundings are very inspirational, especially with the color combinations that I see in flowers throughout the seasonally changing landscape. I hope you enjoy! ~Heather