Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wire, Crochet Hook, Beads and Anticipation

Yesterday started out as a ball of nerves, and ended in happy tears.  Yes, I'm slightly emotional (okay, confession... more than slightly where my loves are concerned).  And having Cody in for surgery I was on pins and needles waiting for THE CALL ... the one to say he's doing well, everything went excellent and here's when you can come be reunited.

So after a LOT of coffee, I had tons of energy, and decided to put my nerves and my need to be busy to work.  I busted out some pretty magenta wire, a crochet hook and some great silver lined clear seed beads.  As the sun was shining in I started creating a necklace, one strand at a time. 

The call finally came, the surgery went 100% as planned and by 8:00 last night, my son was actually telling me he was hungry!  That's music to my ears!  So after a day of nerves, the end result is me doing the happy dance with a beautiful necklace that looks like a purple chain with sparkling diamonds on it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pins & Needles

I'm busying myself in my beads and wire... waiting... waiting for the phone to ring this morning.  Our furry son Cody is having a surgery this morning to remove a fairly large tumor in a really sensitive spot.  He walked into the vet all happy and bouncy... I on the other hand am a nervous dog mom.  I had to get a LARGE coffee on my way home... to soothe my nerves.  Dog 1 - Mom 0.  :)  

They did the initial blood work before prepping him for surgery and said he is totally normal.  Now I know my son, and he's anything but normal. LOL  After all, he is mine.  But his levels were all excellent, so now I sit.  I wait.  I bead.  And tomorrow I'll have some great pictures to share with you.  At the moment, I just think healing thoughts, and wait for a call from our wonderful vet!

Hope your day is spectacular!  Thanks to each and every one of you for your friendship!  I count my blessings and you are one of them! :o)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ta Da - My First Venture Into a Brick & Mortar Store

Yesterday was so much beaded fun! If you read my previous post, I shared news about a new avenue of business I'm going to try out.  I have to thank my MIL because she's been so supportive and has the BEST mouth in all of WI for talking up my creations.  The first pieces of me that are going in a retail store are beaded eye glass chains.  She was sick of the cheap ugly ones she got at the drugstore, so she had me make a custom one for her... then another for a special outfit... then another because it's getting to be spring and we need to be coordinated. 

After talking it up to all of her girlfriends and the gals at her salon, the salon would like to set up a display of my beaded eyeglass chains to sell.  So yesterday I started with some new creations.  And because I believe in being coordinated and I think many of the customers that are getting their hair and nails done every other week are too... I also created a matching set of earrings!  There's a diva in each of us somewhere... even if it's just a little bit.  So celebrate the diva and wear your bling with pride! 

Here's to a first step... it's funny, when I knew what I was making, everything came together so easily.  Rather than sitting with a blank table waiting for inspiration to whack me upside the head.  (Although sometimes that's a welcome message too!) :)  Some days are super creative, others are super productive... and on occasion you'll get both.  That's a gift!

Make it a TERRIFIC week!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beaded Eye Glass Chain - Eyeglass Holders

Happy Weekend dear friends!  I hope this post finds you enjoying your Saturday with someone near and dear to you.  I wanted to share a little project I'm working on this weekend. 

Shortly before the Christmas Holiday Chris' mom called me and said "You clever gal, I bet you could make something for me.  I'm looking for an eye glass chain but all the ones they sell at the drug store are a cheap metal and leave a black ring around my neck.  Would you be able to do something pretty in beads?"

From there my beaded eye glass holders began.  She liked the first one so much that about every 4 weeks she's "commissioning" me to make her another one is specified colors to go with her wardrobe of the month.

Fast forward now nearly 4 months... she's been telling everybody all over town when they comment on her beautiful beaded eye glass chains that her future daughter-in-law makes these.  So this week, the salon where she gets her hair and nails done asked if they could carry a few of these to sell to their customers.   So I'm in the process of putting a few together in different colors and styles that the salon can market.  I'm excited to see how they go over as I've been in discussion with another local spa about possibly carrying my jewelry line in their boutique.

It's a bit frightening on one hand because previously I've sold over the internet and via friends or referrals.  So moving to a larger sized operation is a bit of a step out of my comfort zone... but we don't grow if we don't dip our toes in the water, right?

I'll keep you posted with a finished product picture of the eye glass chains I put together.  Thank you so much for reading... and if you picked up your readers for this post... I happen to know where you can get a beautiful chain to carry them around your neck! :)

Happy Weekending!

P.S.  Just got this book... and am really looking forward to writing a review for it.  It takes your online business to a whole new level, something I've been enjoying working with as my resolution for 2010.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Love Glass

Do you ever find in your designing and being creative that one medium continues to catch your eye?  I have two jewelry loves, that continue to make my eyes light up... one is anything wire crocheted with beads... the other is glass!  I LOVE glass... beads, pendants... anything glass that's shiny and colorful seems to fit right at home in my studio.  LOL

Isn't that funny?  Here's just one example.  The pendant was just calling my name (I swear, I heard it and I'm not crazy).  So I matched it with a great mix of seed beads in complimentary colors.  I wire crocheted a 3-strand necklace that serves as a beautiful chain for the pendant!

I'm experimenting with other wire crochet styles and love how many different looks I can create.  I'll have a great bracelet picture coming soon (when I get a bright day outside so I can take pictures again.)  Hope your day is marvelous!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'd Like to Thank...

Wow, I feel like I've just won an Oscar... or a Grammy... Or a "Blingy Blingy?!?!" LOL Yes, that's a special jewelry award that just sprouted in my mind. If there really was one, we'd all want to win it, right? :o)

I feel so blessed. I've been given a blog award from Heather at Azure Island Designs. I've been a follower of Heather's beautiful jewelry and her slices of life she shares for quite some time now. Her work is just gorgeous and she's become a dear friend through "Blogland." I hope we have a chance to meet face-to-face someday Heather! I know we'd have a grand time! I sincerely appreciate you my dear!

Yesterday Heather awarded me the "I Love Craft Blogs don't You?" cheery daisy award! I've never received an award for my blog or my jewelry before. I felt like an actress on oscar night... break out the tissues, don't forget to thank my wonderful fiance Chris for all his support of my many home business endeavors, my mom, my wonderful loyal customers and all of my avid readers... sniffle, sniffle. Yes, I'm just a little bit excited... but you can't tell that, can you?!

Now, I get to pay it forward and give the award to 5 wonderful bloggers that I follow religiously. Well, except the part about confession... not quite that religiously. (What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right darlings?) :)

I follow many blogs, and really enjoy sharing with all of the friends I've made over the past year. These 5 blogs continuously add great content, their designs and creativity are absolutely outstanding, and their networking and relationship building are to be admired. I feel so blessed to have "met" you and be able to share the love and spread the word about your great talents!

The 5 recipients of the "I Love Craft Blogs Don't You?" award go to:

1. Kelly at Beadativity
2. Shannon at After Hours Art Glass
3. Jen at Jen Judd Rocks
4. Melissa at Sea of Glass
5. Sue at Sue Beads

Please take a few minutes and bebop over to their blogs and you'll know right away why I just love 'em! Ladies, I now pass the cheery daisy to you to send on and share the love with some of your favorite bloggers!

Heather, thank you so much! You really made my week!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring is HERE!!!

Last week was GORGEOUS... it was 60's and sunny almost all week. Which in WI where I live is very rare. So I was feeling a smidge spoiled... until Mother Nature sent us a wake up call!

Ring, Ring... "Hello Dawn, put away the flip flops... it's still March!"

Yes, Saturday morning I woke up to 1" of snow on the ground. Yes, Friday was 59 and beautiful, Saturday was freezing! Crazy, I know! I felt really bad for the two robins I saw hopping around the yard looking for worms. I almost wish I had little birdy booties to keep their feet warm. They're not used to that cold, white, fluffy stuff!

So in honor of spring officially being here on the calendar (and it is supposed to return in weather this week), I've designed these robins nest earrings. They turned out quite cute. Hope your week is loaded with sunshine, happiness and all sorts of wonderful new beginnings (like flowers & baby birds!) :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Biggest Compliment

The biggest compliment you can get is a special order from family. I'm not joking, when my Grandma (who happens to be very stylish and hip) called me last night asking me to make a custom piece for her long time friend Pat for her birthday, I felt so happy. Grandma saw some pictures of my designs over on our family blog and she knew I would make something special.

So after talking with Grandma we decided on a bracelet and earrings set. Now for the fun part... ahhh, what to make. I have so many wonderful memories of time spent with Grandma (and Pat) growing up. I would get 1 full week of Grandma/Dawn time every summer. As there were 20+ grandkids, this one-on-one time was SUPER special. One of the unique fun things we would do is go flying with Pat. Pat's been a small plane pilot for years and she'd always make a special day when the skies were blue to take Grandma & I up above the world in a little Cesna plane. We'd go somewhere just a few hours away, have a nice lunch and fly home!

I felt really special and I know it meant the world to both Grandma & Pat just seeing the smile on my face. So in memory of all our times flying, I kept thinking "Blue Sky." But the light blue just wasn't perfect... Pat wears bolder colors. So I chose a cobalt blue with the clear beads accenting like clouds accent the sky!

I know my Grandma will be so proud to give this set, and I know Pat will just love it too! Thank you Grandma for letting me help with Pat's present. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family and such loyal family friends!

Have a wonderful weekend dear friends~

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Azure Islands Give-Away Contest

Isn't this GORGEOUS???

I'm really excited to share this contest with you! I've gotten to know Heather Cote, the artisan that created Azure Island Designs, for many months now. Heather does absolutely beautiful work and I just LOVE how she photographs her work. I often tease Heather that when I grow up in Jewelryland, I want to take pictures just like her! :o)

This week, Heather is a featured artist on Diane Estrella's blog. As part of being a featured artist, Diane is having a give away for this BEAUTIFUL bracelet that Heather created! It's super easy to enter, just go to Diane's blog and leave a comment. For a great second chance go over to Heather's blog and follow her! Anybody that wins this bracelet is uber lucky! I personally LOVE it!!!

Click here to go to Diane's blog
Click here to go visit Heather's blog

That's it...

Like I said, I've been following Heather's blog for months. All of her work is stunning. I love it when I log into blogger and in my dashboard see that Heather posted new pictures on her blog! I'm confident you'll absolutely love your visit over there too and be back frequently! :)

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Lampwork Glass Necklace Project

It's like Christmas in March!!!

I'm so excited. I got a package today with all sorts of beaded goodies from Fire Mountain Gems! I want to share a sneak peak of a necklace I'll be working on.... I got a fun lampwork glass pendant, and some great pearls & beads to accent it. As we're headed into warmer weather and spring break for so many people, my mind is wandering to tropical... and this pendant reminds me of seeing the schools of fish, coral and other beautiful creatures while scuba diving!

I can't wait to start seeing this take shape! But for now, here's you're sneak peak!

Hope you were able to enjoy the beginnings of spring in your area!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pretty little things

Sometimes the prettiest things aren't jewelry at all. Today's post is off the beaten path where jewelry is concerned. But it's adorable none the less!

I took both of my dogs to a new groomer today. I loved our old groomer, but she moved out of the area. I've been taking both of my dogs to Petsmart for a few years because they are convenient (just a mile up the road) and our groomer there was wonderful. So I asked her for a referral, and today am trying out someone new to bathe and groom our dogs.

I'm always nervous when trying someone new in this area. Do I communicate clear enough for the groomer to understand what my desires are? Do the dogs feel comfortable with a new groomer and behave?

So when I picked up my little princess first... yes she's a self-proclaimed princess... I was 100% pleased. Not only did the new groomer clip Brandi exactly how I wanted, but she went over & above by adding cute little bows to her ears and really making her look like a puppy. Brandi was over the moon because she was the only one there for the first appointment of the day and she got spoiled.

I walked out thinking how wonderful it was that the new groomer really went the extra mile in customer service. Something as simple as a little pink bow scored her major brownie points in my book. It made me feel that she took exceptional care of my "kids" and made them feel right at home. Thank you Jenny - Petsmart, Delavan!

I'll pick up Cody this afternoon and I expect I'll be pleased there as well. Here's a picture of my little princess! Have you had a great experience with someone in customer service? Tell me about it! I'm all ears! :) (P.S. Here's both of my kids sporting their spring hair do's.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

No Foolin - Another Giveaway!

Isn't this pendant beautiful?!?!

Hey Fellow Jewelry Lovers! My friend Joan Tucker is looking for some sugar... actually, she's hoping to introduce more people to the beautiful jewelry pieces she makes. And I'd like to help her because her porcelain work is BEAUTIFUL!

So I'm asking you to show her some love too. She offering a very generous give-away right now running through April 1st. That's right, she's not fooling around. (pun intended) This pendant is just one of several that she's going to be giving away. All you need to do is stop over to her blog, leave her a comment and share the love on your blog! That's it!

Joan, I hope you are ready dear, because Blogland is very big and we're all about showing the love! Click here to go to Joan's blog and check out her newest contest!

May the luck of the Irish be with you this week... :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Amethyst Kiss - Heart Pendant on Beaded Necklace!

Rainy days provide so much time to make new jewelry!!! While I love sunshine, sometimes we just need those damp, grey days to finish projects we started, or check off more things on our to-do list!

One of the things on my to-do list was to create this necklace. I had made a similar one for myself a few weeks back and absolutely love it. I've gotten many compliments and the colors are the 'IN' colors for this spring & summer. I wanted to share the love with all of you in Blogland, but also several of my jewelry fans on Facebook and in Etsy.

So I created this Amethyst Kiss necklace. The pendant is an amethyst heart and is embellished using Blue Moon Lampwork Glass beads, a mix of lavender seed beads and a hint of yellow. It is now listed in my Etsy Store so it's available just in time for Easter to finish your perfect Easter outfit!

Today's another rainy day in WI, so who knows what the Bead Fairy will deliver today! ;) Have a terrific weekend everybody!

Click here to go shopping in my Etsy Store.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Free Bead Friday

Yes, I know it's Thursday, but I wanted to get the word out from a fellow blogger that is running a giveaway contest through tomorrow, Friday for beautiful bronze beads!

Over at Summers Studio, Leann Weih is having a drawing TOMORROW to give away a set of her beautiful bronze beads. My mind is full of wonderful ideas about what I could do with her beads. What about you? One this is for sure, whomever wins is one lucky beader!

So don't delay, head on over to Summers Studio and leave a comment for your chance to win! I wish you all the luck of the Irish as we head into St. Patrick's week!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Colors - Turquoise, Purple & Yellow

I'm so excited to hear that the "it" colors for this spring & summer are turquoise, purple & yellow! I love those colors! I wear turquoise & purple all the time... all year, regardless of the season. So I challenged myself to blend those colors into a piece of jewelry just for me.

So here's what I created~ a 3-strand beaded necklace using beautiful Blue Moon lampwork beads, seed beads from the Bead Smith and gorgeous cut glass amber colored beads. I usually create pieces with intent to sell them, but this piece I designed just for me! We do need to treat ourselves once in a while and this is my treat to me!

I'm in the process of creating a similar, but different necklace to make available in my Etsy store because I think these colors are a dynamite choice for anybody, any age, any skin tone, and so many outfit styles. I'll keep you posted with pics on my latest creation~

Thanks for taking time out of your Monday morning to share a little piece of sunshine from my world. I hope your week is absolutely splendid!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Art Bead Scene Blog: Sundays with Cindy

Art Bead Scene Blog: Sundays with Cindy

Good Morning dear jewelry lovers! Check out the link above to see some other great articles about beading and jewelry making. Cindy does an excellent job of connecting with so many jewelry artists and today she's compiled some updates of her favorite bloggers. I have found lots of tips from Cindy over the last few months and I hope you find her blog helpful too! Have a terrific day!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Do You Want to Win FREE Beads?

Then I encourage you to check out my friend Doreen's blog! She designs gorgeous beads and is offering a give away in honor of her new store on Etsy. Her work is very unique and she can design just about any color scheme you want! So I encourage you, check out her blog, enter to win and enjoy this beautiful weekend!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back online!

Woo hoo, I'm electronically connected again! I had soooo much data on my computer that it took 4 hours to get it transferred and set up! As a side note, I love Windows 7. I had XP, skipped the Vista saga (and have been told I was lucky to skip that chapter) and now am a smooth operator on Windows 7.

In the past, I've shared with you how following my passion and using my creativity has really allowed me to find "business bliss" and also at the same time, make money from home doing what I love. One book in particular has really helped me learn more about turning my passion (both for food and jewelry design) into an incredible online business is Crush It, by Gary V.

This book is a very frank, yet thorough step-by-step procedure of finding your passion... what is it you LOVE to do. And further turning it into a profitable business where you're doing what you love. It's incredibly relevant content touching on all the latest online marketing avenues so you can build your personal brand in the most effective, easiest ways!

Click here to get your copy. It's short & sweet and if it hits you like it hit me, you'll have an "Ah ha!" moment!


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