My favorite pieces of jewelry

Well hello there!

As you might already know, I’m a little bit fanatic when it comes to jewelry. I have a nice selection of different pieces, from extremely cheap to quite expensive. Today, I’m proudly displaying my favorite pieces (and highlighting some jewelry designers at the same time 🙂 ). Some of my pieces or handmade or inherited, but most of them were bought in the store.

Here we go!

N°1: my kitty earrings, bought in Thailand in 2016. I love these – they are so cute! I bought them in a super cute store in Bangkok, they were only 5€ a pair. I wear them all the time, as they go with everything. When I were my kitty earrings, nothing can go wrong.

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N°2: my earrings and necklace from Mia & Moi. This is an ensemble of earrings with a matching necklace, in silver and pearl. They were gifted to me by my boyfriend for my 25th birthday. Mia & Moi is a Belgian jewelry designer, located in Antwerp, Belgium. These earrings are made with delicate, hand carved flowers (in wax – before casting) and beautiful white pearls.

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N°3: my antique golden earrings. My grandmother gave them to me a few years ago. They are about 100 years old. She received them from her godmother when she was a child (in the mid forties of last century). Even though there is no goldstamp or masterstamp, I think they were made around the 1920’s. They have suffered quite a bit already, but I still like to wear them.

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N°4: my handmade, light blue glass earrings. (see my blog post about the Hot Pot workshop, where I made these). These cuties are extremely light to wear, are a little bit shiny, and most of all, complement my pale skin and blue eyes.

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N°5: my diamonds rings. Designed by Wouter & Hendricks, two extremely talented goldsmiths in Antwerp.

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N°6: and finally, an Art Deco pair of earrings, also by Mia & Moi. I bought these for myself as a graduation gift in 2014.

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I’m really happy to showcase my favorite pieces of jewelry! Most of the time, I were earrings or my diamond ring. I almost never go to work without any piece of jewelry – if I happen to not wear anything, it is because I probably didn’t sleep very well :). What about you? What kind of jewelry wearing habits do you have?

I wish you all a splendid day!

 

 

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Summer memories: Seashell wind chime DIY project

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Earlier this year, my boyfriend and I took a day trip to the beach of south Holland, which is just across the border from where we live (Antwerp). I collected shells from the shoreline, because I like to keep memento’s from our little trips and I like collecting seashells.

You can make loads of fun DIY projects with shells, and I was especially intrigued by an article I had read in Flow Magazine. If you’ve read my blog post about How to keep your creative ideas organised, you’ll remember that I have a page in my binder dedicated to this shell project.

It has been on my to do-list for quite some time, and I finally got around to making the wind chime with the shells I collected on the beach that day!  I love how you can collect keepsakes from your trip and turn them into something super cute.

Supplies needed for this project:

  • Seashells from your trip (free)
  • A branch picked up from the park (free)
  • White paint and coloured paint + brushes
  • Yarn
  • A glue gun

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First, start by washing the shells with soapy water to get rid of any smells. Let the shells dry. Apply a first layer of white paint (I ended up needing two layers).

Next, paint some colourful motives on the shells. I did something really fun: I hand painted the digits of my first romantic date with my boyfriend on three different shells with the intention of hanging them next to each other.

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The third step: once the shells have completely dried, lay them out into a design of your choice. Do this beforehand, because it will be easier to use your glue gun if you’ve already established your pattern.

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Cut some yarn into pieces of the same length and start glueing the yarn to the shells with your glue gun. I tried to puncture wholes into the shells with my goldsmithing drill, but it was too difficult and time-consuming, so I used a glue gun instead.

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Excuse the dirty crafting scissors!

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Now the final step: tie all of you shell strings to a wooden branch.

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Happiness. Do it yourself!

 

How to maintain your blog and work a full time job

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I have this big dream. I would like to wake up every morning in my own home, walk over to the kitchen, make a delicious batch of coffee and just settle at my desk…. because I’m a fulltime blogger and this is how I create my income.

I would sign up for this lifestyle straight away! Reality, however, isn’t quite the same. I realised that if I ever want to be independent and work just for myself, I needed to get started right away whilst maintaining  my job in order to still have an income.

You have to create traffic to your website before you can make any sort of income from your blog. The good news, however, is that I’ve worked out just how to combine a full-time job with a blog. I would like to share my system with you, and I hope one day  you and I will get to the point where we can just rely on our own creativity, entrepreneurship, on our own talent to earn a good income.

Currently, I work on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:15 to 16:45. My commute to work is 1.75 – 2 hours everyday, which means I leave at 7 a.m. in the morning, and I’m home at 6 p.m. Thursday is my free day, but there periods of time that I also work on Thursday to cover for colleagues who are on holiday. This means that I can only work on my blog during the weekends and during my lunch breaks (and in the evening, at home).

But I can still make it work and post twice a week. I prefer quality over quantity when it comes to blog posts! Here are my tips:

  1. Make a schedule

Yes, you have heard this before. It has been said in every post related to blogging. But it is a crucial detail to make your blog work! I make a schedule 2 months in advance, so I’d have enough time to finish each project and take beautiful pictures without feeling the pressure of deadlines.

For example: I made a 2-months schedule for the month of august and september. I asked myself: what are people going to be interested in during the month of August? What are people going to want to read about in September? It is easier to come up with quality blog posts if you take the season into account.

Next, I make a calendar of the entire month, and I schedule when to post an article. For example, this blog post is scheduled to be published on Sunday the 14th of August. I started writing it two weeks before. This brings me to my next point:

2. Start writing your posts in advance

On my admin page, in WordPress, I start by creating a new series of blog posts – I just enter the title of the article and I leave the rest blank.

I do this up to four articles at a time. During my lunch break, I write my blog posts. It doesn’t have to be the entire blog post, just little pieces at a time. The benefit of this method is that it gives me time to go back to my blog post with fresh eyes: I can review, adapt and adjust where necessary.

3. Don’t sweat it!

Are you having trouble posting on a regular basis? Are you feeling the pressure to keep everything going on your blog? Please don’t, keep everything fun. It is going to be hard to keep on blogging if you aren’t getting any joy out of it. It should be an outlet in the first place anyway.

I have been able to integrate this system into my daily routine and I’ve been able to posts twice a week and have regular visits on my blog. I’m very happy about it!

We’ll see about that batch of coffee in my own kitchen 😉

Happiness! Do it yourself.

 

 

 

Favorite jewelry designer: Tiroir de Lou

I would like to announce a new series of blog posts on Happy DIY: every month, I am going to dedicate a blog post to a jewelry artists that I’m SUPER in love with.

I am going to start by introducing the Belgian jewelry artist, Tiroir de Lou, which means ‘Lou’s drawer’. (I will add some links at the bottom of this post to her website, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram account).

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Source: https://www.facebook.com/Letiroirdelou/home

Lou started her career as a journalist. However, she has been attracted to the beauty of jewelry since her early childhood, on the playground, as she states on her website: ” I would sell rings to my friends […] and offer brazilian bracelets to my lovers“. For years, she made and sold her jewelry exclusively to  friends, and to friends of friends. In 2013, she was  able to deposit her brand, and she has worked as a jewelry artist ever since.

Lou makes exquisite little pieces of art, which are very light, feminine and easy to wear. Her jewelry is designed around four important elements: proportion, contrast, harmony and lightness.

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Source: https://www.facebook.com/Letiroirdelou/home

Her inspiration comes from beautiful objects that she finds in everyday life and that make her dream: ” The touch of a beautiful piece of fabric, observing an iridescent rock, looking at the clouds, a snow flock, a drop of water on a window [….]. To be permeated with beauty and to see it be born from my fingers. Everything starts here“.

She finds the different components of her jewelry all over the world: India, Barcelona, Paris, Anwerp… She picks up the objects that she finds charming, full of quality and refined, and  takes them home.

During her creative process, Lou uses all of these beautiful findings to imagine a new piece of jewelry. She will make new composition and combine her findings in many different ways until she has created the perfect piece.

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Source: https://www.facebook.com/Letiroirdelou/home

When a piece of jewelry has finally been created, she will wear it and observe people’s reaction to it. If someone’s eye gets caught by the jewel, and keeps being interested, Lou knows she has a new piece to add to her collection!

I find the airyness of her jewelry very attractive. There is a feminine softness to every piece that she makes. The designs are so interesting because she combines all sorts of materials, such as hammered metal, semi-precious gemstones, beads and fabric to make a colourful object. Her style is also reflected in her beautiful pictures.

Tiroir de Lou

Source: https://www.facebook.com/Letiroirdelou/home

There is a summer vibe to her brand, a certain joy. You can feel her love for life through her designs and photography style.

She has collaborated with the magazine Elle Belgium and her work is sold all over Belgium. However, if you can’t find a shop nearby, you can also purchase her handmade jewelry on her website, http://www.tiroirdelou.com/.

She is very active on her Facebook-page, and host many give-aways, so keep an eye on her! You can follow her on Instagram, on Twitter and on Pinterest.

Tiroir de Lou bracelet

 

How to stop blushing all the time

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Hi there!

My name is Lena and I’m a blusher.

This blog post is very close to my heart and I’m putting myself in a fragile position by writing about this matter. But I’m aware of the fact that many people deal with the same problem and that it can be paralysing. So today I wanted to write about my personal experiences in the hope that you will find some relief in my story.

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As you can see, I am a person with a very pale skin tone and I am blond. This automatically makes me more vulnerable to blushing, and to sunburn. I have always struggled with the fact that I blush for all kind of emotions. Happy, laughing, angry, embarrassed: my face will flush. I find it annoying that my emotions are so visibly rendered on my face. (I even get red when I sneeze). The hardest part is when you start blushing and the person next to you says: “Wow, you are getting red” and is joking about it. One of my family members is guilty of this and has teased me for years about it. It is embarrassing.

It has been very difficult for me to speak in front of large groups, to start new jobs, to date my boyfriend because of this problem. You know the long hair + scarf-combo? I’m sure you’ve done that too.

There were two things in particular that almost made me hyperventilate (actually, the list is a looooot longer, but I’m not going to list all of the social situations that make me anxious because that is not what this post is about! 🙂 ). The first thing I was terrified of, was check out lines in the supermarket. I can see you thinking: why on earth would that frighten you? Well, there was a sense of being trapped in between customers (in front and behind me) while waiting for it to be my turn. It is especially the bright lights at the cash register that felt so violent. I would be waiting nervously in line, turning more and more red, until I felt like my heart would explode.

The problem about this, is that I would start getting nervous beforehand. My inner voice would go: “Oh my god, oh my god, I am going to blush, people will see it, it is going to be horrible!!”. And of course, by panicking beforehand, I would blush. And as time went on, it only got worse.

The other thing that was truly difficult for me, was giving presentations in front of groups of people. I’m sure you feel that way too, right?! During high school, I never really had to give presentations, so it wasn’t really a problem. But during my time at university, especially in my third bachelor and in my Master’s year, we had to give a lot of oral presentations. I would almost avoid certain courses because presentations were mandatory. At some point, it became inevitable and I knew I had to give a presentation, so I started seeing a therapist to get some help.

During these sessions, it became clear that a lot of unresolved anxiety issues were connected to the blushing problem. But my therapist gave me some good tips with regards to handling social situations, and that made everything more manageable. I’d like to share them with you, and I hope you will see some small progress as well. Here is the first tip:

  1. Visualise the situation beforehand.

By this, I mean that you should visualise your presentation a few days before D-Day. You picture exactly how the presentation will take place: picture yourself getting into the room. Next, picture yourself sitting down at the desk and starting the presentation. Picture yourself taking a deep breath. If you stutter, or if you get nervous, just pause. Tell yourself: “I will not get nervous.” By repeating the process in your head a few times, you will become more relaxed about it and it will impact the way you feel during your presentation. The visualisation excercise also helps with blushing. If you know you are going to be in a situation in which you might blush, visualise it beforehand and picture yourself not blushing. I now this all sounds kind of weird and vague, but just give it a good try, you’ll be amazed.

2. Rehearse the presentation at home.

Speak out loud in your room, give the presentation a few go’s. This is super helpful because you will know when to build in a pause, what words will be difficult, what pace to keep. I had practiced a big presentation that was about 30 minutes long at home for a few times. When the day came, I still felt nervous but I aced my presentation. But most of all, I was surprised and delighted when one of my co-students told me I was so composed and calm during my presentations.

These two tips made a tremendous difference and I was able to keep everything under control during important times.

Now, when it comes to dating… I must admit (and I don’t feel very proud about it) that the first year or so of my relationship with my boyfriend Christiaan was a bit difficult. I would wear my hair loose so it could cover my face, and never wore a dĂ©colletĂ© without a scarf because I knew I could get red patches in my neck.

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Now the good news is: I got over the check out line panick attacks, I got over my anxiety of speaking in front of large groups, I got over my fear of blushing in front of my boyfriend. How did I do it? I applied those tips to daily situations, and I let some time pass. If people started teasing me about my blushing, I would call them out. I would explain that it is not a joke and that it is actually something that makes me very nervous, and that they were only making it worse.

As I got older, and was confronted with more difficult situations (new jobs, meetings, talking to clients), I got more used to it. The more you practice, the easier it will get. I still blush from time to time, but I just let that happen. I’ll think: “ok, I’m blushing, no big deal” and move on. I still feel cornered from time to time, but I know that it doesn’t define me.

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I believe you can make this change too. I believe that you will get over it, just as I did. I believe in you 100%! I know you can do this 😉

Happiness. Do it yourself!

 

One big thank you to all of my readers!

Today, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of my readers!

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Since I’ve launched my blog ony two and a half months ago, I have received hundreds of visitors from all over the world, from countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, the United States of America, Australia, Canada, China, the United Kingdom, France, India, Ireland….

This is just the beginning of a new adventure for me, that I’m very happy to take with all of my readers. I am hoping to reach out to many more of you, to inspire people with fun and easy DIY projects to make this world a better place.

On happydiysite.com you’ll find many blog posts about making and selling jewelry, but also DIY-projects for your house, great recipes, some happy pictures and lots of other things!

If you would like to get a weekly update of Happy DIY, you can subscribe to the mailing list; or join the Facebook-page to get the latest updates.

I am always looking for feedback, so please feel free to contact me with suggestions, questions or if you just want to say Hi!

Many thanks to all of you! We can make our own happiness!

X

Lena