Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Birthday Beads!!!

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to... and I really do when I get such great presents as these....

Yes, my mama saw me virtually drooling over this set of Juls Beads on Facebook over a month ago and she went in and bought them instantly.  I actually had looked at the listing again a day after I posted it and was so bummed when I saw somebody had bought them.  I was happy for Juls because I love seeing success for my friends... but sad for me.  Because I loved them... and I wanted them... and I just wanted to cry 'cuz I couldn't have them.

Until now... Here's your mental picture... I know you'll enjoy it.  My beautiful niece Ashlynn brings me this little package wrapped in polka dot tissue and ribbon... all the while singing ♫ Happy Birthday to You... Happy Birthday Auntie Dawn... Happy Birthday to you! ♪  Then she says "Auntie Dawn, open your present!"  LOL  It was absolutely precious!

I had no idea... I was so happy I could cry and now I get to take my beautiful beads that my mom knew I had to have, up to a bead show in Sun Prairie this coming weekend to possibly find some perfectly complimentary beads.... to make something special that I'll wear and cherish forever!  Don't you just love happy endings?

Okay... I'm going to eat cake now! 
~Peace & Love!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vacation Inspiration

I'm just back in town from a mini-vacation up to the Wisconsin Dells.  I just love it when I come home and I'm so inspired that my creative juices are just oozing out of my pores.  I'm going to be making some sketches, and jotting down some notes so I don't forget them on days when I don't have so much coffee.  :)

We stayed at the Kalahari Resort which is African Safari themed... you know what that means.... LOTS OF BEADWORK... yes, so many of their decorations, wall hangings, even pieces of artwork in our rooms were all beautiful woven pieces of bead heaven!  Do you think I took my camera... no, silly me I forgot.  BUT... I guarantee you'll be able to enjoy some of the atmosphere in the pieces I create in the upcoming days!  I just love being home, welcomed by my two fur babies, and tonight... my own bed.  Ahhhhh, bliss! 

In addition to the place being an inspiration... I gained so much inspiration from the people I met.  My sweetie was actually attending a convention while we were there... so I had a great time meeting some of the other realtors from his company.  I felt like so much a part of the family and really enjoyed getting to know many of them on a more familial level.  I'm even doing a special piece of jewelry for a charity event coming up in October that I'm so excited to help out!  *More on that to come soon!

Hope your weekend was wonderful and thus far your week has started you out with many blessings!  Have a terrific evening dear friends!

{{Hugs!}}
~Dawn

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tutorials - Caring N Sharing

Do you love to try new things?  In the Land of Beads and Baubles, I adore trying new things.  Actually it's like ADD for Beaders.  But there are so many great resources out there to help us grow and learn. 

Imagine my sqeel of delight when I opened my e-mail this morning and found out that Interweave Press is offering a downloadable e-book FREE all about making beaded beads... yes, I didn't just trip on my keyboard.  Making Beaded beads to design other wonderful pieces.

I've gained much knowledge in different techniques -for so many styles of jewelry design - and many things I've seen in their newsletters and magazines they publish have inspired some wonderful creativity in my mind.  So if you aren't already a subsciber to their publications or e-mail newsletter, I'd really encourage you to check it out. 

Did I mention their newsletter is FREE?


Enjoy trying something new... if you get the wild hair!
{Hugs!}

Dawn

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fun With Wire Crochet

One of the wonderful skills my Grandma taught me as a child is how to crochet... Fast Forward 30 years and I've re-discovered my love of crocheting!  It's just one of the jewelry styles I create, but I love the fact that every piece turns out different. 

I've found that when you see wire crochet in person, you are "awed" at how unique it is, yet it's hard to judge it based on photos alone!  :)  As you know, we all try out best to take goo photos, but I'm not a professional photographer.  And the nature of wire crochet - the bends, twists, curls, etc - make getting a clear picture a challenge!  But it's a challenge I'm up for taking!

So here's a few pieces of wire crochet I've created.  I recently did a custom order for my dear friend Stacy.  Her request was jewelry in the school colors for the University of Texas - El Paso.  While school colors aren't always beautiful together, I really wanted to bring an element of fun to her design.  So I created a wire crochet cuff style bracelet and multi-strand wire crochet necklace.  She loved it so much she posted her testimonial on her blog!  You can see for yourself the special jewelry I designed for her! :)  http://slmpetersen.blogspot.com/2010/09/my-new-pretties-from-designs-by-dawn.html

Curious?  Want to see it for yourself?  Drop me a line!  I'm always happy to help!  Have a terrific day!
{Hugs!}
Dawn

This is one of my favorite wire crochet books... many great ideas!

Crochet with Wire

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm addicted

Yep, that's right.  The first step in healing is admitting... right?  Well, I'm saying it right here, out in the open, I'm addicted to Lampwork Glass beads... in particular those designed at the hands of Juls Beads.  She's such a talented glass artist and a really wonderful gal.  Just recently I found the idea that would be the perfect showcase for the very first JulsBead I ever received.

The focal bead was so delicious I wanted to make sure it stood out.  So thus, I created a seed bead rope in complimentary iridescent black & purples.

But to make the addiction even more intense, I just read an update on Juls Blog that she's having a sale on all her focal beads... Now SALE and BEADS in the same sentence... sit on my hands and take away the Paypal log in!  Seriously!!  So if I were you, I'd Skeedaddle your little butt over there and pick out a few special pieces for yourself... OR for special Christmas gifts you are going to make for people!  I'll lead by example... :)

{Hugs!}
Dawn

Making Handmade Lampwork Beads & Glass Jewelry

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blogmania Winner - Our Favorite Things!

Without further ado... my team and I are so pleased with all of your responses to what one of your favorite things is.  We had 553 comments left... and once I added in all of the additional bonus entries people got for purchasing from one of my partner's stores or signing up for my monthly newsletter, it was nearly another 100 entries (93 more to be exact).  So a big thank you to all who participated.  I read every single comment and really enjoyed hearing about your favorite things! :)

And the winner of our entire prize package of Our Favorite Things is:  Scottsgal
Blogger scottsgal said...
my fave dogs are springer spaniels and fave season is summer when we can swim with them thanks for the chance msboatgal at aol.com
September 15, 2010 1:38 PM


Congratulations!  I've already e-mailed and gotten confirmation back from our winner!  She's so excited to open her package and have Christmas in September.

We're already preparing for Blogmania 2011!  We will again have an incredible prize package available and open to anybody!  If you have a blog and would like to apply to be a blogmania host, you can get more information about how to apply on my website: www.DesignsbyDawnMarie.com.

I want to extend a special thank you to each of the wonderful women that were on my team.  I thoroughly enjoyed promoting your blogs and online stores all summer long.  I hope you got to meet a lot of wonderful new people through Blogmania and continue to grow. 

If you haven't gotten to visit with my dear friends, please click on their buttons on the right and you can check out their blogs too! 

Make it a wonderful week!
Dawn

Friday, September 17, 2010

Loads of Thanks & an Extra Kiss!

I really want to thank everybody that participated in Blogmania... all of you that read and commented, all of the other blogs that helped to promote and most importantly my wonderful team members.  I couldn't have put together such a wonderful giveaway package without you.  I've thoroughly enjoyed following your blogs and stores all summer and sharing your artistic creations with the world... literally!  I love the internet.

If you were supremely busy blog hopping over the last two day with Blogmania and didn't get a chance to visit my team members, please take some time to do so.  They are all so talented and truly wonderful women that have become more than team members but also dear, personal friends!

While I am tallying up the amazing results from our Blogmania entries, I wanted to let you know, I'll be announcing the winner... right here on my blog... on SUNDAY, Sept 19th.  I wish I had 1,358 prize packages to give away because you ALL deserve to win.  Your comments, thoughts and favorite things have been so enjoyable to read.  I just loved how diverse everyone's "favorites" are!

I hope you had a lot of fun with Blogmania - and that you will win some wonderful prizes!  Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for all the kindness and love you showed my wonderful team.

{Hugs!}
Dawn

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

$500+ Blogmania Giveaway

Click picture to enlarge
You're in the right place at the right time!  Welcome to our fall Blogmania Bloghop and Giveaway.  If this is the first time you are participating I hope you are having fun.  If my Blog is your first stop, I want to explain how this works.

Below you'll see a list of all participating blogs.  Each of the blogs is hosting a giveaway for today and tomorrow (but just for 48 hours!)  You can hop between the blogs meeting new bloggers and all of their talented sponsors and team members.  Feel free to follow the blogs you find interesting and fun or where you see prizes you'd like to win.  All you have to do is follow their directions to enter their giveaway and you just might win!  And let me say, there are some HUGE prizes! Pretty easy, right?  This package alone is worth over $500!

Click photo to enlarge
Our giveaway is centered around our theme "Our Favorite Things!"  As such each our team members has contributed one of their favorite things.  We're going to select one winner to win everything you see here!  It will be like Christmas in September!  So what will you win?
Click photo to Enlarge

Charms are a few of Heather's favorite things!  XOs, whales tail, sail boat, sun glasses, four leaf clover, Florida charm, starfish, (of course) butterfly, shell, sun, VIP, ribbon, and a peace sign.  The bracelet also features turquoise and coral as well!

Black, white and grey is always classy!  This necklace features vintage Czech Lucite beads and amazing bead embroidery.  Juls also combined a vintage style chain with a beaded chain to blend something old with something new and create a one of a kind necklace that you are sure to get compliments on.

Stacy blends practical with tasty to her lifestyle.  Stacy is a crafter and avid foodie (just like me!) :)  She's included her self-authored cookbook, Budget Friendly Cooking and mini-cookbook Mix it Up.  She's also included an adorable recipe book for you to store all your family favorites. When you take your delicious dish to pass to a pot luck, Stacy has created a recipe card holder to go!  Print up copies of your recipe and take them with you to share!

Barbara designs her very own pendants and beads with Polymer Clay.  Her styles are very soft and deliver positive messages of peace, love and happiness.  This necklace features a sky blue peace pendant with beaded links and a custom button clasp.

This is the cutest cake server I've ever seen!  Vanessa designs gorgeous cakes, cupcakes and desserts.  Her eye for the arts helps her design one of a kind styles for any occasion.

Kelly Jo is a talented scrap booker.  She has created a custom set of greeting cards just for Blogmania.  There are 3 unique designs.  These are the perfect way to send an impromptu note to let someone know how much you care.

This 18" necklace features gorgeous champagne colored pearls, seashells and glass marble beads.  This is the perfect necklace to dress up or wear to a business dinner!

8.  Want to have something custom designed for a special occasion or gift?  This prize package also includes a $50 gift certificate from Designs by Dawn Marie to have a special design created just for you.  You can have any style created from Swarovski Crystal and pearls to wire crocheted bracelets or earrings.  You pick the color and style, and I will create a custom design just for you!

How to Enter:
1.  (Mandatory) Leave us a comment with what is one of Your Favorite Things! Favorite color, favorite breed of dog, favorite food, favorite vacation destination... get the picture?  Also leave your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you are the lucky winner! :)

*You can choose to follow my blog if you would like.  I don't make it mandatory because I prefer that you follow me because you like my custom designed jewelry and my blogging style, not because you have to.  So if you choose, I'll welcome you with open arms!


Optional Bonus Entries:
1. Purchase anything from my teammates stores!  You'll get 10 bonus entries for every listing that you purchase.  Just leave a separate comment back here with a link to what you purchased! :)

2.  Opt-in to receive my newsletter on the right.  As a bonus, you'll receive a free copy of my e-book "Twitter Marketing Made Simple!" Check your inbox for a confirmation e-mail.

Each of my team members are incredibly talented in creating custom orders.  So if you see a style you like and want something designed for you specially, please visit their blog and get in touch with them.  (Just click their name by their prize description above.) I'm very blessed to call each of these ladies dear friends in addition to being teammates.  Thanks in advance for showing them your love!  We greatly appreciate it!

Here's the list of other participating Blogmania Blogs.  Once you leave your comment here feel free to pop over to another blog and check out their giveaway!  Don't forget to check back here over the next few days to find out who wins! :)



Good luck and can't wait to share more with you in the future!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blogmania Pictures - PRIZE Package Update

Click to Enlarge and Get a Blogmania Sneak Peek
Oh I am so excited to be sharing this with you.  Previously I had shared a sneak peak of a few of our prizes included in our Blogmania Giveaway.  Our theme for the team is "Our Favorite Things!"  So as you can imagine, this prize package is a dream for every woman, wife, daughter or mother!

Well imagine my delight this week as we've gotten in even more BEAUTIFUL blogmania prizes!  The best part is that our prize collection is going to make the lucky winner feel like it's Christmas in September!  I wanted to share with you a little bit about what I've been oogling over this week!

SecondSurf.com Custom Designed Necklace with Peace Pendant
Barbara with SecondSurf.com has included this gorgeous necklace.  The necklace features one of very own, custom-designed pendants.  The message is Peace and the look is a soft, simple elegance.

Azure Island Designs Turquoise & Coral Charm Bracelet
Heather with Azure Islands Designs has an AMAZING Charm Bracelet.  Designed in Sterling Silver, Turquoise and Coral.  Each charm represents one of her favorite things!  All of the charms are also sterling silver and include:  xxxooo, whales tail, sail boat, sun glasses, four leaf clover, Florida charm, starfish, (of course) butterfly, shell, sun, VIP, ribbon, and a peace sign.  Plus it's totally adjustable to fit any wrist size.

Juls Beads Steampunk Design Necklace & Earrings
Juls with Juls Beads has used a combination of chain and seed beads to create her interpretation of Steampunk Designs.  It's created in black, white and silver so it's the perfect compliment to any outfit!  Dress it up or dress it casual, one thing is for sure... the lady wearing this necklace and earrings will get TONS of compliments!

If you're not drooling now, then you should check your pulse!  As a team, we're so excited to share "Our Favorite Things" with you for Blogmania.  If you want to win, seriously mark your calendars.  This Wednesday and Thursday (the 15th and 16th) come back here and leave a comment on the Blogmania Giveaway post that will be up.  Anybody can win, US, Canada, Italy... it doesn't matter, we're not setting restrictions!

The only thing I ask, is please, please, please stop by and visit my team members blogs as well.  They are all wonderfully talented women who have become dear friends through blogging.  They are all so special and one of a kind, you're sure to see quickly why I just love each one of them!


Have a wonderful week!
{Hugs!}
~Dawn

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Necklace Giveaway!

Good Morning Friends across the Globe!  You know you're in the right business when you're following your passion.  However, when passion wakes you up at 4 a.m. because you have the "Perfect idea" for a custom order that you've been pondering, then passion and I need to have a few extra cups of java.

Not really, I love it when inspiration strikes and feel really greatful when it feels like the perfect "Ah Ha!" moment.  Such is the case this morning with a set of bridal jewelry I'm working on for a gorgeous October bride.

In my web wanderings this morning, I checked out my friend Regina's blog.  She is having a giveaway right now!  And let me tell you, the necklace she is giving away is stunning!  To find out more info about her giveaway and to read more on her blog (because you'll love all of her works) you can go to her blog at:  http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com/

Click here to go to the exact post to enter!

The necklace giveaway runs the entire month of September so pop on over and enter.  Hope your weekend is Fabulous!

{Hugs!}
Dawn

Friday, September 10, 2010

Super Sparkly Custom Order

I received a message in my FB mailbox from a friend I met via one of the many home businesses Chris & I tried to build before I decided to take control of my own future.  While those businesses had challenges from a corporate leadership stand, we were blessed to meet some really terrific people!  Kathy was one of them!  If you met her... you'd never forget her, she's really that wonderful!

Kathy is a Social Media expert and will be speaking at a huge conference sharing everything she knows.  So as the star of the show, she wanted stunning jewelry that was guaranteed to be one of a kind.

Here's what Kathy was looking for: "I Love Sparkley!  I'm looking for something in browns, golds or neutrals.  I don't want it to short (like a choker).  I'm undecided what exactly I'm going to wear, but this will give me lots of options.  Oh yeah, and earrings to match too, please."

Enter into Kathy's world pearls & swarovski crystals... I created a Bib-style necklace because it offered lots of sparkle and yet isn't chunky.  This way Kathy can handle the microphone like a pro and not let her jewelry get in the way!  I used bronze pearls with Crystal Swarovski rounds & bicones.  I also added some small Lt. Colorado Topaz to add sparkle and color that was a perfect match for the pearls.

Thanks so much Kathy for trusting me to add some sparkle to your already sparkly personality!  I know you'll do well and people will be enthralled with the message you are delivering.  You're the best in your field dear and I guarantee your message will be well embraced.

To learn more about Social Media, you can find Kathy on Facebook where you'll get to know her and find the link to her website:  http://www.facebook.com/KathyStoverCA

I loved working on your custom order Kathy!  Designing with a purpose, for a special person or personality is a true pleasure.  Thanks for allowing me such joy!

{Hugs!}
Dawn

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Open House Tips

Hope your holiday weekend was wonderful!  I was finishing up my paperwork from the Open House I did early last week and wanted to share with you a few tips that really helped me.  I could write a novel, but that would be WAYYYYYY to long to read today.  But here's a few important points that I used to get ready.

1. Display in Levels - It's really nice for some things to be displayed on a higher level so everything is not on one flat surface.  I used a few priority mail boxes with a secondary table cloth to create height and dimension.  I also practiced setting up my display the day before.  This gave me a chance to see how things look on my easel stands and my jewelry trees.  It also gives you a good idea how long it will take you to set up.

2.  Promo Materials - Make sure you have plenty of business cards or fliers that have your contact information on so people can get in touch with you after the open house is over. 

3.  Payment - decide what forms of payment you will accept.  Create a tent card that says: "Payment Accepted:  Cash, Check, Charge" or whichever you decide.  If you're at a house party where you know the hostess well like I was this time, I chose to accept personal checks.  But if I was at a craft show or art fair where I received a large amount of unknown traffic I would not have accepted personal checks.  Whichever you choose is a personal choice.

4.  Receipts - have some form of receipt to give your paying customers.  It makes you look more professional and helps you later with your inventory updating.  I purchased a simple carbon copy receipt book at our local office supply store and it worked perfect!

5.  Custom Orders & Referrals - One of the areas I specialize in is jewelry for bridesmaids and other custom orders.  Obviously, if someone is ordering something custom, it's probably been shipped.  I happened to have a few custom orders that were waiting to be shipped (I had asked the buyers permission if I could hang onto them to display at my open house) and I displayed them with a SOLD sign.  It also said custom orders welcome and I listed several points where custom orders would be perfect: weddings, prom, Mother's Day, Christmas, etc.

6.  Partner with a Complimentary Distributor - the open house I was at was hosted by a very good friend that is a distributor for the Miche Bag purse system.  She was displaying her new styles for fall and the holidays.  Purses & jewelry are complimentary products for women so it worked out really well.  Plus when you're partnering with someone, introductions are easier, and your turn out will be bigger because you both will promote the event and your guest list will be larger.

Sold Display & Custom Orders
Like I said, this is just a few points and I have oh, so many more.  I'll be sharing those soon.  The message I want to leave you with is this:  If you have an opportunity to have a live show or open house, EMBRACE it!  Pictures can only show so much.  When people can touch and feel your designs in person, or try it on to see how a piece looks on them, they feel much more confident in the decision to purchase.  And just by having conversation with your guests and customers, you never know the referrals you will get!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fall Festivities

Fall means... football season is here - college, high school & pro I love 'em all!  I've created special school spirit earrings for our local schools here perfect for pep assemblies, spirit rally's or the pom pom squad.  I love working in school colors because I remember our motto "Wear it LOUD and wear it PROUD!"  So here's to my fellow football friends.... Hip, Hip Hooray!

Fall also means, cooler temperatures, and everything's coming up apples! Yes, I love fresh baked apple anything... bread, crisp, bars, pies... I think they all have my name on them! :)  Today I'm whipping up an Apple Cherry Bar that has a handmade pastry crust on top & bottom with a sweet vanilla icing.  Yes, I'll take the calories and send you all samples. :)

Fall also means BLOGMANIA is here!  Yes, our Blogmania giveaway is in just over a week!  Summer has flown and our team has put together a HUGE prize collection (over $500!).  There are custom designed jewelry pieces, dessert accessories, cook books, greeting cards and so much more!  I can't hardly wait to share more with you!  So mark your calender... start here on Sept. 15th or 16th and enter to win!  My Blogmania Partners really appreciate all the love you've been showing them all summer!  I've enjoyed meeting so many wonderful bloggers and friends.  We're all excited to be able to make somebody feel like it's Christmas in September!

Have a safe holiday weekend!
Hugs!
Dawn

P.S. for Bucky Badger fans or dare I say Green Bay Packer fans - shreek! (Yes, I'm a die-hard Chicago Bears fan) I can whip up spirit earrings in those colors too!  Just send me an e-mail and I'd be happy to put a custom order together for you!

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