Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Just Call Me Last Minute Lucy

I stand by the old saying that "I work better under pressure!"  And before you go any further, I now present you with the following earworm!  You're welcome! :)



For years (translation - my.entire.freaking.life) I used this as an excuse to procrastinate.  Because I loved sleep, often it won out over studying, writing term papers, cleaning (sleep is definitely better than cleaning) or doing whatever needed doing... because TOMORROW! :) Yes, I'll just get up early and get "it" done tomorrow...

Well over the last 2 weeks, I've pushed that whole "I work better under pressure" statement to the limit! I had 3 full days being a nearly-professional chauffeur taking Greg & my mom to doctors appointments... except without the tux because 80* and a tux, yeah, no thanks.  I launched a fundraising campaign to help raise funds for Greg as he continues to bravely fight brain cancer.  I also had a wedding to attend, clients to take care of and sleep... yes I needed some of that or nobody would like me anymore. Seriously, I pushed it to the point I thought I just might not get done what needed getting done.  And then I'd have some really disappointed people in my life and that just wasn't going to fly! 

And by what can only be classified as a miracle, I got done everything that needed my attention, I kept everybody happy and I even got sleep... and no, I'm not on crack or addicted to coffee (anymore... the coffee, not the crack.)

So I'm really excited to show you one of my two jewelry projects because it makes me feel all sorts of happy that I was able to get it finished and give it as a gift to my baby sister... who coincidentally got asked if we were twins when we took her kids for ice cream.  She rocked it at the wedding that she went to! (Fine Print, the second project I can't show you because it's for a big retailer and they are using it in their print ad this fall... so it would positively land me in bead jail. But I did post a sneak peak of the leopard print beads ;) on my Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/BellaAmoreLegacyJewelry.com)

I used a titanium coated agate druzy, surrounded in aqua mirror beads from Cousin Corporation and finished with copper chain also from Cousin.  I made a dainty pair of earrings because Brenda doesn't like to have things pulling on her ears.  So these rose gold earrings from Cousin with a few mirror beads for dangles added a sparkle and she didn't even know she was wearing them!

So maybe this set did turn out awesome and just maybe I do work better under pressure... but let me tell you, creativity doesn't just come when you snap your fingers.  Actually quite the opposite, I have my best inspiration when I'm lying in bed in the middle of the night... and then I want to get up right.this.minute and start working on those projects.  Which leads to very early mornings and posting on Facebook at 3:30 a.m. And thus why I'm a recovering coffee addict...

Happy thoughts and love to you!
~Dawn
My sister Brenda and with her friend,the bride.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Helping My Brother In His Fight Against Brain Cancer

If you only read one of my blog posts ever in this lifetime, please read this one.  I'm opening my heart to allow you to see what my family and I are up against as we help my brother Greg's fight against brain cancer. 

See when Greg was just 20 he was diagnosed with brain cancer, medulloblastoma for those that are wondering.  Typically this type of cancer is found in children... so it was rare to see someone his age with a brain tumor.  At that time a team of doctors did brain surgery and successfully removed the tumor.  An extended hospital stay and radiation later and Greg was healing and on the road to getting his life back.

In October of 2012 Greg's routine MRI revealed that his brain cancer had returned.  He now had 3 tumors and the cancer had spread to his spine.  Due to the locations of the tumors, these are inoperable.  Greg underwent radiation and chemotherapy at UW Hospital in Madison, WI to help shrink the tumors. 


Last week we had an MRI checkup and found a new abnormal spot on Greg's spine.  It's a very small spot, so we cannot yet tell if the cancer has spread or if it's necrosis the result of extensive radiation. We have to wait 4 weeks and do another MRI to determine.  It was not the news any of us were hoping to hear. 
The only time you'll see Green Bay Packer anything on my blog... for the love of Greg!
Mom & Greg

 Since Greg's medical treatments, his mobility has been severely affected.  He has no feeling from the knees down in either leg.  Picture walking and not knowing where or how your feet are landing.  That's how Greg's feet are every day.  He has increasing pain in his hips due to avascular necrosis from prolonged steroid use to prevent brain swelling. 

Currently, Greg is living with my Mom & Dad, in their bi-level home (translation lots of stairs).  He was forced to sell his home he worked so hard to buy, and has since sold one of his cars.  He's currently in the process of selling his beloved Camaro because "it deserves to be driven like the machine that it is."
Daisy Duke loves Greg!

If I had one wish, it would be to take Greg's cancer away.  But I cannot do that.  So I'm doing the best I can to help him maintain his mobility as his body decides not to cooperate.  Right now, my parents need to make modifications to their home to keep Greg safe & mobile.  The largest of those being to installed an electric Stairglide to allow Greg to get in & out of the house.  They also need to renovate their bathroom to accommodate his walker & wheelchair.  Additionally, because of the design of their home, they need to change their front door to one that opens outward so it doesn't bump against the track for the stairglide.  As Greg's mobility continues to deteriorate, an electric wheelchair will be the only way he'll be able to get around safely. In addition to Greg's medical bills, these modifications are quite extensive and my parents cannot do it on their own. 
https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/mx75/greg-doucette-s-fight-against-brain-cancer
Click photo to lend a helping hand!

Several of my friends from around the globe have personally emailed me asking if they can help.  Up to this point, as a family we've been balancing and managing through sacrifice & love.  Give & take... but together we've been able to take care of things. 

However, with these latest requirements, we are no longer able to do it on our own.  It takes a whole village!  If you feel in your heart you'd like to contribute, I've set up an online fundraiser to help Greg's Mobility Fund.  If you cannot donate, but want to make a difference, can you share Greg's story with a link to his fundraiser. http://bit.ly/GregsFightAgainstBrainCancer  Every donation helps! The love & prayers we've received since Greg's cancer returned have been amazing!  Love can & will make a difference!  And I appreciate you for helping me make Greg's journey more comfortable and safe for as long as we're blessed to have him on this earth. Sending love & light! xo, Dawn

Donate to Greg's Mobility Fund:  https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/mx75/greg-doucette-s-fight-against-brain-cancer


September 30, 2012 - Photo by Matt Mason Photography
July 5, 2014 - Photo by Ashlynn, 6 years old. ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Eye've got something to share with you!

Last week I shared the first of two project I created using these festive Halloween inspired beads & charms from the brand new Cousin Corporation 'Tis the Season collection.  The first project was a set of boo-tiful napkin rings with the instructions to create your own for a spooktacular dinner party!

Once the creative juices started flowing, my cuppeth runneth over and I had to create something with this totally funky eyeball pendant!  I rummaged through my supply of Cousin beads to find just the right compliment.  What spoke to me was the glass tear drops... and since I'm an incredibly emotional person (happy, sad - it doesn't matter, I cry at everything) I thought it most appropriate to make illusion of the eye crying... so without further adieu, my extra credit project because EYE can! ;)








You can get the entire line of the Halloween 'Tis the Season Charms at A.C. Moore stores beginning this month!  They are really quite adorable with a few spooky ones to play with too! And if you'd like the supply list and instructions for this jewelry project, message me over on my Bella Amore Legacy Jewelry Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/BellaAmoreLegacyJewelry  Include your email address and I'll email you a word doc with all the deets!

Hugs & Love!
Dawn

P.S. If you'd like to see the latest piece of legacy jewelry I've created or discuss having something special and one-of-a-kind created exclusively for you, visit my website: www.BellaAmoreLegacyJewelry.com.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Skip straight to Halloween - Do not pass Go - Do not collect $200

I'm one that likes to relish in the summer months.... sunny days at the beach, ice cream cones (now that I found a gluten free cone,) kids playing in the park, long days, lightening bugs... so imagine my dismay when I received my package as a Cousin Corporation Ambassador this month to see... HALLOWEEN beads & charms!  YIKES!  That's way, way, way to fast-forwardy for this sun goddess.

But I had to complete the mission, so I put on my best thinking cap (and I'll admit, that cap seemed full of hot air and not so many brilliant ideas) and I stared at all these really cool but Halloween (translation FALL, specifically October... END of October as in getting to the point where Dawn becomes a goose and flies South for Winter because it's too darn cold for this girl.)  So I had a mental block about even thinking about life after summer.

But when the inspiration struck, two projects came to mind.  First we were encouraged to making something other than jewelry... so something crafty.  Since I like to eat... napkin rings came to mind!  I used some of the new 16 gauge wire from Cousin Corporation and two sets of the charm from the 'Tis the Season collection which AC Moore stores will be carrying and voila!  Skip the eye of newt and your dinner party will be fabulous with these fun napkin rings!



And as part of my homework, I had to write instructions as to how to make these... I'm so not the verbose instruction writer.  I just make things... inspiration comes from the heart and I just create.  SO actually writing step by step how to do something... let's just say I might need therapy for that! ;) 

So if you'd like the instructions, send me a message via my Facebook Page - Bella Amore Legacy Jewelry http://www.facebook.com/BellaAmoreLegacyJewelry Include your email address and I'll send them right over to you.

And heck, even if you don't want the instructions, you can still pop over, spare a friend a "Like" and say hello! I'll be sharing the jewelry portion of my project soon!  Stay tuned...

Have a boo-tiful day loves!
xo,
Dawn

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Freedom Fun and Family - F Yeah!

As we're heading into the 4th of July holiday weekend in the US, I want to take a moment to share my gratitude to all those who have given so much for our freedoms.  To the brave Veterans that stood on the lines and fought for our freedoms, thank you.  To those currently serving, we pray for your safety and we appreciate your service.  To the families that are celebrating this Independence Day without your loved one, we bow our heads and give you our hearts.  Your loved one is a true American Hero.  How can we help you honor and remember them?

While celebrating America's birthday, we're also celebrating my niece's 6th birthday!  And what a firecracker she is.  We'll be cherishing every moment with our family and hope you are creating memories with yours as well!

Happy 4th of July with Love,
Dawn

And next week we're fast forwarding holidays as I share my latest project I did as a Cousin Corp brand ambassador... it's featuring their brand new Halloween charms.... 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Turning My Beaded Art Jewelry Upside Down for a WOW Design

Jewelry Dilemma #87 - I've collected the coolest components for which I'm planning an extraordinary piece of jewelry.  I lay out the 3 main focals, get out a whole sheet tray (and then some) of beads, pearls, crystals and glass that just might fall into the design perfectly.  I start creating and everything is flowing beautifully. THEN I hit a brick wall... I need to back the pendant and figure out what the heck to do for the bail.  I'm thinking fringe off the bottom, but it's just not flowing right.  And back to that bail... what the heck was meant for this design?  Oy... creativity block kicks in big time!

Have you ever had the moment where you see a finished design in your mind's eye but the actual piece you're working on tells a different story?

So I put this piece aside... took a little trip, okay it was more than a little trip heading down to Florida to spend a week at the beach.  Just letting my soul feel the energy and love from the ocean and hoping to recharge my creative brain.  Letting the sun warm my skin as I claimed MY chaise lounge, ordered up some fruity drinks and watched the scenery go by... use your imagination! ;)

I came home determined to finish this f*@$&%g piece come hell or high water!  So I sat at my table, moved some beads around... the pendant stared back, giving me zero ideas.  Dawn, stand up & walk away.  So I did... for 3 days, then all of a sudden on a Sunday morning inspiration struck!  Holla!!!

Turn that piece upside down!  

It's not the first time I've done a 180 on a design and it always turns out better!  I have to agree with this piece.  It knew what it wanted... my brain was just a little too foggy to "get it!"  So the beach cleared things up and allowed my heart to listen to my art. 

The focals pair so well together in this piece!  I have to give props to my soul sister, Julianna Cannon - Julsbeads, for the amazing lampwork focal.  The druzy and arrowhead came from Cousin Corporation.  So did those super funky space rocks, mirror beads and nut & bolt toggle for the necklace!  The Cosmic collection of space age awesomeness is my favorite, favorite, favorite collection from Cousin!

As we're moving into summer, I have an amazing few pieces I'm starting of commissioned work.  One is another Tree of Life necklace similar to the design I created for myself.  I'm so excited to be working on that piece in particular because it continues to remind me and inspire me to stay true to who I really am.  Be rooted in my divine essence! 

Stay inspired and spread love my friends!
xo,
~Dawn

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bringing the Bling with Prom Jewelry

Most of what I design are detailed, legacy jewelry pieces.  However, when a friend reached out that she was looking for a special set of jewelry for a young lady going to prom that is like a daughter to her, I poured my love and energies into a set that she will cherish and hold as a great memory.

One of the reasons I love doing custom work is 1. No two pieces are the same.  2.  I can infuse my love into a special piece of jewelry that will resonate with the personality of the woman wearing it.
Shamballa Beads from Cousin

In this case, I knew the design had to be versatile as I didn't have the exact wrist size for the young lady. I also knew it needed to be sparkly and her dress was teal.  With those parameters, I set out to create something unique that would let this young woman feel like a princess even just for a night!

For this set, my inspiration was the Shamballa beads from Cousin.  They are a bright pop of color with lots of sparkle.  I incorporated crystals in a variety of shapes all designed to capture light differently.  Then added some seed beads to infuse that rich teal color throughout the bracelet.

Of course, one cannot have just a bracelet, but we needed matching earring to complete the beautiful ensemble.  I mirrored the crystals I used and included some adorable, flower earrings and channel set crystal also from Cousin.

The look turned out perfectly as a set of prom jewelry!  It would also have looked divine for bridesmaids in a wedding where the bride desires all her attending ladies to have matching jewelry.

If you have someone special in your life you'd like to give the gift of jewelry, I'd love to connect with you.  It warms my heart turning your desires into a beautiful piece of one-of-a-kind jewelry.  Apply for a complimentary design session so we can share your vision for the perfect piece of jewelry to showcase your beloved's personality. http://bit.ly/DesignWithDawn2014

Much love,
Dawn

P.S. I was sent this beautiful picture of Katie all dressed for Prom.  She looks just so beautiful.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gluten Free Jewelry Making - Say What?

Now if you're wondering "What in the heck is Dawn talking about - Gluten Free Jewelry Making?"  It's this... making jewelry while eating the most amazing, scrumptious, ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven because I can AND the are gluten free!

Say what????

I have to share this with you because I love you... and because I know many of my friends are eating gluten free and I want to help as many people as possible to enjoy the simple pleasure of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

It's been over a year since I've had chocolate chip cookies.  G-free cookies just aren't the same.  No matter how hard I tried with the almond flour, rice flour... blah, blah, blah flour... there just wasn't a substitute for good old-fashioned homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Until now!

A fellow g-free friend suggested I try Domata flour... but the challenge was it wasn't easy to find.  It was only available in this one specialty store and that was a half hour drive.... read my lips not.convenient.at.all.  So I hadn't had a chance to try it, until I found it while picking up a "few quick things" (translation $150 of stuff) at our local Walmart! *It's not possible to run in & out of Walmart and not drop $100+ seriously, just not possible.

But this time... I didn't care!  I had Domata flour - and the part about Domata flour that's really, really awesome is that it's a cup-for-cup exchange.  Meaning you can follow any cookie recipe, add exactly the same amount of flour it calls for and continue mixing on your merry way!  No messing around with additional ingredients like xanthum gum or trying to figure out a conversion between regular flour and gluten free flour.  Domata flour is a rice flour that all ready has done the mixing of the extra special ingredients for you!  BRILLIANT! 

So Sunday I tested this in a cup-for-cup challenge.  I made my favorite type of chocolate chip pudding cookies.  Like I said, I haven't had a fresh baked choclate chip cookie in over a year.  And I'm really, really happy to share with you that they were devine... were because I shared a few and I've since polished off the rest.  Shhhhhh, don't tell my Beachbody coach friends that! :) But they were seriously that good. 

Domata also makes a seasoned flour mix and a pizza crust flour.  I'd be willing to try either of those after how good these cookies turned out.  If you are like me and you're eating gluten free for your health, try Domata flour for your baked goods.  I know I'll use it again soon... right after I burn the 3,402,287 calories I consumed from this batch! ;)

P.S.  So you're wondering about the jewelry I made... sorry, I can't show you!  It's a secret for a large retail bead store as an assignment for the Cousin Creative Circle.  BUT I'd love to take you back to a really happy, inspired cuff I designed that makes me really want to dance on the beach!  Visit this blog post for lots of fun, happy pictures: http://designsbydawnmarie.blogspot.com/2014/04/more-than-just-beaded-bracelet-its.html   AND follow it up by heading over and connecting with me on Facebook!  I'd love to show you what work is in progress in my studio as we speak!  http://www.facebook.com/BellaAmoreLegacyJewelry.com 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

30 Word Thursday at Lake Geneva Beach



Winter ice has finally gone,
Open water lapping the shore.
Summer peeking around the corner
Sunshine is waiting to kiss our cheeks.
My heart is smiling at what is coming.

Friday, April 4, 2014

30 Word Thursday - Oops is it Friday Already?


Two years ago we had little snow,
The temps were mild and spring went wild.
This was my yard, trees were in full bloom...
the first week in April 2012.


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The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...
Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.
Post it each Thursday.
Add your link to the InLinkz on Erin Prais-Hintz 30 Words Thursday post.
(InLinkz code will be open for one week.)
Enjoy seeing what others have captured by visiting them and leaving a comment.
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