Our Online Shop~!

Posted Monday, December 6th, 2010

I gotta tell ya, I am having so much fun creating the Hayden Brook Online Shopping Cart`! Brook and I have been loading items onto the website for several weeks now, with the goal of having 1000 items on line at all times. It is a pretty big goal, and more time consuming than I had originally thought. To photograph and list items does take a bit of time. But, people are looking at our work, and buying it too~! One of the things I am particularly enjoying is that I don’t have to work within a restricted medium category. At craft shows, we are pretty much limited to selling glass jewelry. But, in our real lives, we like to create other items as well. I am also a fiber artist. Most of the time I am the sole recipient of that passion. But now I have about 20 Hayden Brook Handbags on the site… well… most of them are listed…  few more are waiting to be listed. We have experimented with other functional items. You can see them in our store~! We sold a purse today. What a mixed emotion… so happy, yet sad, to see it find a good home. Come visit the HaydenBrook store: Click here for our Online Store~!

Cape Cod Maritime Guide

Posted Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Our buddy, Michael Mullaney (Publisher, Editor, Sales & Webmaster of The Cape Cod Maritime Guide) just contacted us this week. He is trying to attract a more diverse group of tourists/ fishermen/ and lovers of Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod to his website and publication. He offered us a space. Here is a Cape Cod Specific Ad we came up with… just for Mike! Now go check out what he is into… pretty cool stuff going on ~! Oh man~! Who wouldn’t want to go to Cape Cod~! I sure do. Well, look up the Cape Cod Maritime Guide when you are planning your trip! Maybe you’ll even run into Michael Mullaney himself! Tell him Brook and Laurie said “HI”.

This image is a link to see it larger… On the Cape Cod Maritime Guide

The Samp

Posted Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Brook and I have had the immense pleasure of being best friends with this perfect animal. He was very loyal, very sweet. He made a great buddy for 10 years. We just lost him last night. I am grieving today. I will miss him terribly.

Samson was a chocolate chihuahua, 6 pounds. He had the demeanor of a teddy bear crossed with a rag doll, come to life. He liked to stay close to us wherever we went. He was Brook’s little shadow. Most of the time we would take him with us when we would travel. He would see his carrier come out, and he would beam with joy… marvelous tail wagging wonderfully. The tail was great… very expressive.  When we would say his name he would wag it slowly. If we would say his name over and over fast (SampSampSampySamp), he would wag it real fast. So cute!

Last April I felt a lump on his side. We took him to the vet immediately. We weighed his options and decided to keep him on 2 medications. Operating would be too complex as he wasn’t aging as well as we’d hoped. He did quite well for 7 months. Then the tumor started to grow really aggressively. Arthritic bones were having trouble supporting the extra weight. Samp slowed down a lot in the last week. He didn’t seem to be in a lot of pain, but breathing got more difficult, and walking, too.

We kept praying that he would fall asleep and not wake up. We would bring him to bed with us over the last 4 days, because we didn’t want him to die alone. We knew he was getting closer… though still not “suffering” enough to have him put down. Yesterday he decided he was done eating, even his special favorites. We took him out for a nice walk, carrying him. He liked it. It was a good last day. We thought we’d have to take him to the vet today. But around 1AM last night, he woke us up to say goodbye. He was snuggled up to Brook, and we were with him for his last breath. It is a sad kind of relief that he then died. We didn’t want him to suffer. He lived well, and died well. Strong and brave. He was a great gift to us from God. A great delight. I will love him for the rest of my life.

Our Returning Customers

Posted Sunday, October 24th, 2010

We see a lot of the same customers come back again and again for more HBS jewelry. They will have gotten compliments, or will have gotten personally attached to what they had already bought, and find they “need” more… maybe in a different color… blue, pink, green, rusty oranges…. or hot mixes of all the colors~!

Meet Jillian. Age 7. Jillian is one of our returning customers. She looks for us specifically when she comes to a PA Guild craft show. We see a lot of these precious youngsters returning to Hayden Brook, year after year. We have tiny button earrings, adjustable rings, bobby pins, 1″ barrettes, pins, and even pendants sized for this younger generation. I love when parents have the discipline to make their children look at every booth in the craft show, and then decide what they want, after they have seen everything. Very, very often, I see cuties like Jillian come back and get their special something from us. And look at this girl! She is so cute! She makes me smile even without buying jewelry! Jillian chose a pink and gold rainbow colored 1″ barrette. I have to admit she has fine taste in jewelry. It was the best tiny barrette we had on display that day.

We have seen other “Jillian’s” over the last 17 years. Some of them are now in college, studying art, or jewelry. Some are working as artisans, selling on etsy, or displaying down the aisle from us at wholesale shows. Others are craft collectors.  Of course, to perpetuate the craft industry we need to raise up future buyers! They start out as young girls, hoping to find a rainbow that they can hold in their hand, or wear in their hair.

Brook delights in “custom fitting” an adjustable ring on a tiny little finger, and seeing these youthful faces burst into big smiles. And then, we get to see them grow up into lovers of fine art and craft. Still glowing with satisfaction when we outfit them with a set of earrings and a pendant, to match the scarf they just bought down the aisle. One more reason to love my amazing job~! (Thank YOU God~!)

Meet Lilly

Posted Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Meet Lilly. This is our new kiln. She just came this week. Brook and I are learning to work with precious metal clay (PMC). We are trained in traditional silversmithing techniques. But, we love to keep learning new things. This was an obvious choice of what to learn next. PMC is fine silver particles in a clay form. When the clay is fired, the binder burns away leaving only fine silver, 99.9% pure fine silver. It is not so easy to work glass into the metal clay. There are some finicky rules, like melting points! Not every experiment is yielding perfect results. But, overall we are pleased. We are going to be introducing several lines of PMC jewelry at the Rosen Show this February… we’re developing them now as we experiment. Brook was more ambitious than me… He took some photos of his exciting new experiments. Wanna see?

A Heart for Denise

Posted Monday, September 20th, 2010

Denise comes to many of the craft shows that we do. Actually, we don’t “do” many craft shows. When it comes to retail, we pretty much only do the PA Guild shows, and a home show. Denise frequents the PA Guild Shows. She had visited our website (http://haydenbrook.com), and she wanted to buy a heart like the one on our home page. But alas, I didn’t have any. She is so sweet… she found something else she liked. Still, I couldn’t resist offering to make a batch of the candy hearts. I wanted to have a load prepared for the next show anyway. They sell very well!!!

(I have entered the candy heart on the home page of haydenbrook.com into a contest I’m NOT likely to win, The Niche Awards, so I can’t sell that piece anyway. I have never entered the Niche Awards contest because our designs are meant to be affordable to the general public, not super fancy and higher priced because of all the expensive materials and hand-skills we have access to but don’t always use because it would mean that many normal people couldn’t have really fun, well-crafted jewelry at an affordable price, like $20-ish. I LOVE the idea that everyone should be able to leave a craft show with something in their hands. I sell to a lot of children and young adults… THE NEXT GENERATION!!! Wooo-Hooooo~!)

I told Denise to send me an email… that she should feel comfortable reminding me to make the heart; I wouldn’t mind~! So, she did… and I made a kiln-load… 9 hearts. I told Denise that I would photograph them on a pure white back ground in white photo lighting… no fancy photography… purely documentary.  I sent her this photo, and she chose heart number 3, across the top row.  Was she right???

I will be taking the rest of these hearts with my to the Montgomery County Community College for the PA Guild show this October 16 & 17… a good show! Fine Craft Fair Information.  Well, I’ll have the hearts with me, unless I sell them before I get to the show…. that could happen. If you want one of them, give us a call…… #3 is sold.

New HBS Photos

Posted Thursday, August 19th, 2010

What an exciting day… well, that is the last 3 days. We have been playing around with our new photo equipment. We have taken photos of most of the HBS Line Boards, and we have taken some new jury slide shots as well. Overall, I am pleased. I love what computer technology has made available to regular old people like me. Cropping, adjusting the exposure… good stuff!  Make sure to reallllly explore the updated web-page. There are changes on most of the pages.

We head to the Rosen Wholesale show this weekend to meet with our stores (www.buyersmarketofamericancraft.com)… then off to the Poconos the next week to sell to the public (www.poconocrafts.com)! Always a good time! Come visit us!

Say a prayer for Hayden Brook Studios as we delve deeper into cyber space. We have made an investment into some photo equipment so that we can take better photos of our work. See our “Design Line Board” inside this white tent. The tent will help to eliminate hot-spots from bright lights needed to illuminate our work for photography. This provides an even and consistent light. (EZ Cube Link).  We also got a gorilla pod tripod for our camera. We now need to get busy snapping off the shots of our work. GorillaPod link

WHOLESALE CRAFTS.COM – We are looking into selling our work on this website…. wholesale of course. It should be a great addition to our wholesale shows. We have been exploring their web-site and talking to them this week. It looks like it could be a “fit”. Visit the link: wholesalecrafts.com.

Precious Metal Clay

Posted Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

I went to the Goggle Works Factory in Reading, PA to learn the fine craft of silversmithing in precious metal clay. I loved it. I left that day with these finished pieces in hand. I would like to use PMC in the Hayden Brook jewelry line-up for 2011. I am so excited about this new medium. It is perfectly delightful to play with this full quality clay. Mind you, it does have its quirks. I am glad to have taken the class. I would have wasted more money than the cost of the class trying to navigate through the intricacies of the medium. The teacher , Wendy Schuster, did a fabulous job leading the class on this great adventure. I was very pleased. The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen has a high standard of excellence. I took this course though their Workshops Series. Here is a link to the courses that they are offering at this time. GO! Learn something new. It invigorates the soul! PA GUILD WORKSHOPS

The Daily Vitamin Healing Prayer

Posted Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

This is mostly inspired by the healing ministers Charles and Frances Hunter (http://www.cfhunter.org/).  Brook and I pray some variety of this prayer over our bodies every day. We may lay a hand over our brain, or any area that might need special attention. We’re pretty darn healthy, and we rarely catch any colds or viruses.

“I command every chemical and electrical frequency in every cell of my body to be in harmony and in balance. I cast out/ digest/ and slough off everything that is not from You, Lord… including thoughts and moods.” We attempt to do this in the power and likeness (the “name” of) Jesus.