Thursday, July 29, 2010

Facebook Follies

I wanted to share with you about a wonderful group I participate in on Facebook.  The group is called "It's Better Handmade" and there's a number of moderators.  I'm sharing this because many people ask me how to go about getting more traffic to their websites.

I enjoy "meeting" new people online, especially other jewelry designers.  What I've enjoyed by participating with It's Better Handmade is meeting other artists that don't create just jewelry.  I love seeing the hand crocheted or knitted items, the sewing people do amazes me.  My mom taught me to sew as a kid, and let me tell you, the patience of having to cut out your pattern, then iron it to get the creases out (does everybody do that, or was that just my mom?) Then the whole pinning and cutting... I'm getting anxious just typing this.  Thus, I'll leave the sewing to all you talented seamstresses out there!  I saw this Totebag (Click here to see it) for the first time from SLM Petersen on the "It's Better Handmade" group's wall.

Here's a few pointers to follow the "Group Etiquette" and make the most of being part of the group.
1.  When you're posting items on the wall, post other people and other Etsy or Artfire Stores listings in addition to your own.  So if you have a few buddies that all sell handmade or vintage, team up.  Share each others listings.
2.  When you see someone showcase a beautiful creation, share it on your personal or fan page wall. Make sure you leave a comment on the original post to let them know you are "Sharing" it.  This is how you start to form new friendships.
3.  When people share your items, make sure you thank them!  Chances are their friends and fans contain hundreds or even thousand of people you've never met before.  By them sharing your item, they are exposing you as an artist - AND giving you a positive reference - so now your work can be seen and purchase by a group that may never have found you before.
4.  As people start to share your work, you'll find a few true gems.  Those people that are always sharing and spreading the handmade love throughout facebook.  Appreciate these new friends and friend request them.  This way they'll see when you post anything on your own wall and you on theirs.

Hope these few tips help.  Facebook groups are no different than working in a group in person.  If everybody shares each others' work, the network of viewers for each of the participants Etsy or Artfire stores multiplies ginormously! 

Ready to meet new people?  Here's the link to find "It's Better Handmade" Group on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=105522456148677  

Events:
Seashell Sundays - Everything people share is beachy themed.... seashells, sand dollars, dolphins... or aquas, blues and sandy hues.
Zero Zoom Tuesdays - This is fun!  On Tuesdays we all try to feature artists that have just opened their online stores and have zero or very few sales.  This is particularly helpful for people that switch selling platforms for getting visitors to your new store.  So it doesn't matter if you've sold hundreds of items on Etsy, if you open a new Artfire store the participants are happy to share your creations and get you some sales in your new store.
Go Green Wednesdays - This is a day dedicated to recycled and up-cycled crafts.
Color Me Friday - Each Friday we feature a different color/color scheme for all the items featured on that day.  This Friday (July 30th) the theme is "Some like it HOT!"  All hues of reds and oranges are in the spotlight!

I'd love it if you join me in the fun.  You don't have to participate in every single event, but when you do have fun with it.  Meet new people, share other artists' work, they'll share yours and you'll expand your network of handmade lovers!

Make sure you grow today! Meet new People & have FUN!
{Hugs!}
  Dawn

http://www.facebook.com/designsbydawnmarie
http://www.facebook.com/dawndoucette
http://www.twitter.com/designsbydawnmd


Sunday, July 25, 2010

We Need Your HELP!

A short time ago I posted about Beads of Courage, an organization I have known about for quite some time now.  Beads of Courage helps children with cancer and other horrendous illnesses that are undergoing treatments.  For each treatment the child goes through they are given a special bead to symbolize their courage and help tell their story.  Some of those children have strands and strands of beads symbolizing hundreds of treatments - blood transfusions, chemotherapy, spinal taps... I can't even imagine.

Here's a story that our local news station ran about Beads of Courage and the Children's Hospital of WI some time ago.  This was my first introduction to their incredible organization.

Please watch this video from WISN 12.  I can't embed it, so you need to click the link to go to their website. (Right Click and Open in New Window)  http://www.wisn.com/video/19300295/index.html

That story moved me more than I can even express.  I felt for the families, I felt for the kids... and as someone that's grown up in a family with all sorts of health challenges I can empathize with all of them.  I wanted to help.  Right now, the Pepsi Refresh project is offering $25K to each of the 10 best ideas in the month of July.  Beads of Courage is in the running... we're really close, but we aren't there yet.  The ideas that are ahead of us are also really wonderful ideas -with really loyal voters.  However, I believe that if you show a child love and compassion, they will grow up doing the same for soooo many more people.

Here's where I'm begging strongly asking that you help out Beads of Courage.  We can vote daily... and it's only through July 31st.  So 6 more days.  We need to move up to #10 or Better to win one of the grants.  It just takes a minute to register (which you only do once) then once a day log in and click "Vote for this idea."  It's the only vote I cast because I really, really want BOC to move up.

Here's the website for the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Please go vote, then tweet this and share it on your Facebook wall, and e-mail it to anybody that doesn't partake in social networking.  If you belong to a group of like-minded people, ask them to do the same.  It will really make a difference if we all can help in the last 6 days!  Let's show the kids just how much we care!

Hope your week is spectacular!
{Hugs!}
Dawn

Friday, July 23, 2010

Prize Update - Blogmania Prize Package is Growing!

Our Blogmania Prize Package continues to get better and better!  Stacy Petersen, an incredibly talented crafter has created a new product that she's also including in our HUGE Blogmania Giveaway!  I personally love these recipe books!  Not only are they cute, they are absolutely practical!


Finding the perfect gift can be complicated and adding a personal touch can make the task even more daunting.  So where do you go from here?

You go to SLMPetersen's Etsy Shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/slmpetersen?section_id=7131769) and pick up one of these cute Recipe Albums.  Then when it arrives in your mailbox you tear into it with excitement and joy, fill it with your favorite recipes, wrap it up in pretty paper and give it to that special someone.  People appreciate "Recipes from the Heart" because you've put it together with love and you're giving them a taste your family recipes!

These great little albums make great gifts for ANYONE!  Yes, anyone – Mother, Father, Grad, Bride, Groom, Best Friend, Love of your Life.
Need ideas on giving? 

-  That next Bridal Shower you are hosting, ask each quest to bring a favorite recipe or two to fill the little album with, at the end of the party you can present the bride to be with a lovely gift that represents everyone who was at the shower.  This is a gift she will treasure and use for years to come.
-  That Family Reunion you have planned for this summer is going to be loaded with great food!  Ask everyone who will be attending to bring a copy of the recipe for the dish they will be sharing and tuck them into one of these albums.  What a great way to remember all the food and all the people you love.
Off to College!  What a better gift to give the kid who’s headed to college this fall.  Fill it with all their favorite dishes and copies of mom’s easy to fix dishes.  Won’t take up much room, but just might cut down on the home sick feeling when comfort food is the cure.


There really are endless ideas for the great mini albums!  Be creative and get giving!  I just love how creative Stacy is.  Like me, she is a die-hard foodie.  So we share a lot of food stories, memories and great ideas.  To connect with Stacy, please check out her blog - http://slmpetersen.blogspot.com.  You can also find her on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/SLMPetersen2!

Want to learn more about Blogmania or interested in joining our team?  Click on the "Blogmania" tab above to get all the information you need an meet all of our sponsors!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blogmania - Twitter Party with PRIZES!

Blogmania bloggers are all about building relationships - between our blogs, our cherished readers, the online community and business owners. We value each other's opinion as we all are endeavoring to make the best choices for our home life. So it seemed natural to partner up with The Lane Real Estate Team and Breebee's blog to bring you our first ever twitter and blog blast party.

The Lane Real Estate Team is all about building relationships through communities - specializing in Kennewick Homes for Sale. And Bree is a blogger - and a mom - trying to think outside of the box and help build community ties in NW Columbus OH via her Kid event website! Our other twitter party sponsors also offer items to help strengthen and maintain relationships - from stationary to hand stamped sentiments.

Our Party Theme: "Building toward Blogmania with The Lane Real Estate Team" http://www.joelane.com/


Info on the Blog Blast:

If you post on your blog(s) our announcement between now and the twitter party you will be entered to win $100 cash. If we reach 500 blogs there will be two additional $50 drawings, totaling 3 winners! You can email Bree, breejanderson@gmail.com or blogmaniapr@gmail.com for the HTML code for blog(s) links and some posting specific OR ask me (Designsbydawnmd@gmail.com) for info and I will provide you with an HTML code.

Please return with your specific blog post links on Bree's Blog, under her Twitter Party PAGE tab.

Info on the Twitter Party:

9:30-10:30pm, Sunday, August 22nd, EST we will party!

There is a custom tweet grid and a linky for early RSVP. RSVP'ing early also enters you into special drawings. You do not have to RSVP to tweet and win but the 'extra' will not be available.

You can win both the blog blast and at the twitter party!

RSVP at BreeBee's:



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sweet Jewelry Surprise

One of the greatest joys in life for me is surprising someone with gratitude completely out of the blue.  Everybody has struggles with one thing or another in life - especially lately it seems - so if I can give someone a smile, or add a little joy to their day it completely makes my day! 

Such is the case with these adorable purple earrings.  I made 2 pairs, one to give as a surprise gift, the other to put in my store.  My friend has no idea these are coming to her.  I only wish the package had a voice recorder for when she opens the package... because girl, she is going to squeeeeeeeeel with joy. That I'm sure of!

If you haven't done something out of the blue for anybody lately, maybe this will inspire you.  My mission in life is to spread love and share smiles.  Since I took the oath of Large Hearts & Giving Spirit in an undisclosed location, a gazillion years ago... I've seen so many smiles.  And I know, smiles breed more smiles!  Woot, woot! 

I hope you give someone one of your smiles today!  Because I KNOW you've got plenty to go around!

Have a superfantastic* day!
{Hugs!}
Dawn

*Superfantastic is an unlicensed trademark from my really, wonderful cousin Lexi.  It's her favorite word and just saying it puts a smile on my face.  Thanks Lexi for always making me smile!  You're a true gem sweetie!  Love ya!*

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Perfect Seed Bead Bracelet

So what do you get when you clean up - err, uh... organize your crafty area (in my case, the entire dining room).  And let me tell you, the dining gods are sending me many thanks for taking the steps to reveal what the dining room table really looks like.

I have this bag 'o beads... you know the kind.  The bag that you just toss random beads in after you finish a project because you're too 'rushed' - because I'm certainly not lazy ;) I'm just to rushed to put them away in their proper spots.  Two of these, three of these... half a dozen of those... and slowly you build up a bag 'o randomness.

Well when you 'organize' your wonderful craft area suddenly this bag 'o randomness just calls your name and says... "Use me... I'm beautiful."  And you look at that bag of beads and you reply, "Yes you are!" 

Between your artistic instruments and the beads, you let the random beads, colors & textures create the special piece of jewelry.  And this time, it created what I consider the "perfect" piece of jewelry.  A bracelet that you don't need three hands to put on, that goes with your favorite jeans and doesn't require you to lose 20 lbs for it to fit! :)  Yes, that my dears is the ultimate perfect jewelry!

Get your hands on this Wrapped Seed Bead Bracelet! You know you need it! :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jewelry Swap

A while back, I had blogged about a jewelry swap I did with a good friend Kell over at Beadativity.  Rather than swapping beads and jewelry components, I made a wire crochet necklace for her and she made an incredible seed bead woven bracelet for me.  It was so much fun and gave us each a new piece of jewelry that we wouldn't have otherwise. 

Well, my dear Kelly wants to share the love with other jewelry makers and bead-a-holics!  She's organizing a jewelry swap on a grand scale!  To sign up to swap jewelry with other wonderful jewelry makers, go to her blog post click here.  Leave a comment and you're in!

I think this will be so much fun, and we'll get to meet many new friends in the process!  I hope you can join us!  The more the merrier!  Can't wait to see everybody's creativity in action! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Custom Wedding Jewelry

Crystals, pearls and sparkles - Oh My - Crystals, pearls & sparkles - OH MY! (♫ said to the rhythm of Lions, Tigers & Bears - Oh My ♪)

Yes, I'm in the middle of a wonderfully busy wedding jewelry season and I'm loving it.  It really feels special to be able to add my touch of love on a bride & grooms special day!  The trend this year in wedding jewelry is very simple designs, but with BIG sparkle!

Brides put countless hours into finding the right dresses for their bridesmaids, so they really want the dresses to stand out.  Therefore the jewelry for bridesmaids needs to be complimentary... not statement pieces.  I'm using pearls and Swarovski crystals to add a classy look with a whole lot of sparkle that only Swarovski can provide! 

To my friends that are brides, thank you for trusting me to add the bling on your special day!  I feel blessed and love designing one of a kind jewelry for your bridesmaids!  I hope the sun shines on your special day as much as those Swarovski earrings! (wink, wink!)

{Hugs!}
Dawn

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pictures Speak Louder than Words

Swarovski Tanzanite Chandelier Earrings

Swarovski Fire Opal Earrings

Pearl & Lampwork Glass Bead Anklet

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful weekend with family or friends!

Thanks a bunch if you've already voted today! :)
{Hugs!}
Dawn

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Blogmania Partner - Butterfly - Fondant Cakes & Desserts

Eat your heart out everybody!  Seriously... our newest Blogmania partner is going to make you want to! 

Vanessa Edil, the owner of Butterfly - Fondant Cakes & Desserts has partnered with Team Favorite Things for Blogmania.  I feel very lucky to have known Vanessa for over 16 years (yikes!)  Vanessa has always been incredibly talented and creative.  Since we last saw each other in person, she's gotten married, moved to Istanbul, Turkey, had two beautiful little boys and started her own cake and party supply business.  Now that's a whole lotta shakin' going on!  I honestly think she's found a time machine to generate more than 24 hours in a day.  :)

Vanessa's Cakes originally caught my eye when she started posting photos on her Facebook Fan Page.  Every picture I saw, I said "Oh, that's my favorite" until I saw the next and the next and said the same thing about each one.  It simply amazes me Vanessa, just what you can do with your gifted hands and some frosting!  

For those that know me... I have a very, ummmm, gifted sweet tooth :)  So one of my favorite things is birthday cake!  Which means Vanessa and her beautiful fondant cakes fit our theme perfectly!  For Blogmania, Vanessa is giving away one of her ADORABLE High Heel Cake Servers.  While it might be challenging to get a iris cake all the way across the ocean, the cake accessories and party supplies will be able to ship globally.


Isn't this adorable?

To get in touch with Vanessa and see her amazing "Cake-ability"  you have to check out Vanessa's Facebook page and blog.  :o) Here's the links to connect with Vanessa via her internet real estate:

Website & Blog:  http://www.partybutterfly.com  *Make sure you follow and see more of her awesome work!
Facebook Profile:  http://www.facebook.com/vanessaedil
Fan Page:   http://www.facebook.com/ButterflyCakesDesserts

Vanessa, Welcome to our team!  We can wait to see more of your creations and share your ever growing cake and party supply business with our fans and blog readers!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blogmania Update

What an incredible team we have for our Blogmania Event September 15-16th. Our team, "Team Favorite Things" is having a HUGE giveaway (and growing) of some of our FAVORITE things! Currently our giveaway for Blogmania is nearly $400 in prizes and includes the works of very talented artisans.

Our Blogmania Giveaway includes custom designed jewelry from Azure Islands Designs, Barbara at Second Surf and myself, a full set of custom designed notecards from Purple Vine Design AND a washable mini-cookbook and recipe card holder perfect to take exchange recipes in your purse from Stacy Petersen!  And there's one more surprise partner that we'll be revealing very soon... so stay tuned. 

Right now registration is closed to enter as a blog.  However, as we've found out, working as a team makes Blogmania even more fun... and our reach is extending much farther than any of us could have reached on our own!  Right now our team is in the US & Canada with our newest team member coming from Istanbul TURKEY!!!  That's the power of partnering up as a team!  I don't think any of us would have been able to connect with a large part of the Turkish population, but sharing & cross promoting each other, our reach goes beyond with the eyes can see.

As a team, we cooperate with each other following each other's blogs and cross-promoting each others creations from our online stores.  Between Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media outlets, we're sharing everybody's talents with a global market.  I also have given our blogmania team members exclusive advertising on my new website - Designs by Dawn Marie.  Everybody has unique talents and one-of-a-kind creations and I think my team will agree, it's much more fun to co-op and share them as a team.

If you're looking to get more traffic on your website, blog or to your online store, working with a team to cross-promote is a great option.  Team Favorite Things is happy to welcome new team members for our Favorite Things Blogmania Giveaway and cross promote your work too!  If you're interested in joining us (and having a LOT of fun) you can e-mail me directly at designsbydawnmd@gmail.com and I'd be happy to get you more information. 

Blogmania is growing... our giveaway is growing... the fun we're having is definitely growing... are you growing?  :)

{Hugs!}
Dawn

  |    This is a GREAT Book if you want to learn more about
 V   online marketing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beads of Courage - A really, REALLY Important Service Message!

This might be the most important 31 seconds of your day today!  Watch this video, please!



Okay, so now that you've seen the message, I know you want to do something.  I was reminded of this wonderful movement from my dear friend Juli Cannon of Juls Beads.  She makes amazing glass beads and donates some of those really beautiful beads to Beads of Courage.

WHAT?  Right, I hear what you are asking me now...
"But I don't make beads... how can I help?"

Well, Pepsi is running a contest now through July 31st called the Pepsi Refresh Project.  The top 10 vote getters for the good ideas each get $25K toward their good idea!  Do you know what that donation can mean for Beads of Courage?  It means that 10,000 children will be covered for their full length of treatments.  That's really, REALLY making a difference.

So to vote, go here: http://www.refresheverything.com/beadsofcourage and vote.  You can vote once every single day until July 31st!  Are you going to make a difference?  I originally heard about Beads of Courage when our local news did a story about it from our regional Children's Hospital.  I can't tell you how touched the children were, the parents were and how so many artisans gave of their beads to make a difference.  I'm just so happy now that we can all make a difference.

Go Vote... Vote often!  Spread the word!  Tweet this!  Share it on Facebook!  Blog about it on your blog!  Let's get Beads of Courage into the top 10 and keep it there!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday America!

As people in the US are enjoying fireworks, weekends boating on the lakes, family BBQ's and parades, I want to take a moment to reflect on the reason for our celebration.  Happy Birthday America!

To celebrate this special birthday (because I love birthdays & cake - tee hee) I wanted to give a special birthday gift.  I've posted it on my Designs by Dawn Marie Facebook Wall, and want to make sure you have the same opportunity.

This beachy inspired adjustable anklet is just screaming - "I need to see the world!"  Being summer, and America's birthday, I want this anklet to have it's wish.  SOOOOOOOOOOOOO... if someone adopts this anklet from my Artfire Store by 11:59 pm CST tonight, I'll also include a matching pair of earrings!  Aren't birthday presents fun?  :)

Sorry, the cake won't make it in the mail. :( 



Happy Birthday America! :)  I hope all of your festivities are wonderful!

{Hugs!}
~Dawn

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Patriotic Wire Crochet Jewelry

Welcome to July!  With Independence Day on the 4th for those of us her in the US, I'm hearing all about the good things people have planned to celebrate.  Of course municipalities have fireworks and ice cream socials, some do parades... but lots of families use the holiday as a weekend to spend time together.  Many businesses are closed on Monday the 5th in observance this year since the holiday falls on a Sunday! 

What I love to see is how festive people get when they celebrate the 4th.  They're all decked out in Red, White & Blue, they sport some really fun jewelry... if they are at the fireworks, most often they are wearing "unique" jewelry made of those glow sticks.  Very fun, very festive! 

We celebrate with a family BBQ and just enjoy quality time together.  Everyday is a gift, and we make sure to cherish it! 



Tomorrow at noon EST, Sky Purington is holding the drawing for TWO winners of Designs by Dawn Marie Jewelry.  If you haven't gotten your comment in, pop on over to Sky's Blog here and follow her instructions! :)

I'm very excited we've just gained another new Blogmania partner.  I can't wait to introduce you to her and her business.  You'll want to "eat her up" (pun intended!)  For updates on Blogmania, check out my Blogmania Page and you'll get to meet all of our Team Favorite Things Sponsors!  Our prize package is growing, all of our sponsors are seeing more traffic to their websites and blogs and we're having so much fun!  If you're interested in joining our team, drop me a line for details!  designsbydawnmd@gmail.com

Do you have any festivities planned for the weekend?  I'd love to hear what you're doing! 

{Hugs!}
Dawn

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