Friday, October 29, 2010

Cinderella went to the ball...

And my dear friend Stacy gets to go to the ball too!  She's actually going to the Marine Ball which is a very elegant event for anyone that is serving in the Marines or in the case of Stacy's husband a retired Marine.  When Stacy asked me to design her jewelry, she sent me a photo of her gown and specified that she wanted something in red, white and blue that was elegant and classy.

I chose to use dark blue crystals, with fire polished czech glass beads in a garnet shade and clear Swarovski crystals to add ALOT of sparkle to the set.  The set just glistens out in the sunlight... oh how I love Swarovski!

For those that don't know Stacy, she's a true sweetie.  Stacy is a master of up-cycling and breathing life into treasures that most people overlook.  She's an exceptional crafter and foodie extraordinaire!  To see her great recipes, brag books and amazing customized Charlie Bags, check out her blog:  http://slmpetersen.blogspot.com

Stacy, I'm sure you're going to look like the queen of your castle all dressed up for your prince!  I hope you have an amazing time at the ball!

{Hugs!}
Dawn
Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski: 65 Sparkling Designs with Crystal Beads and Stones

Monday, October 25, 2010

Purple-licious LOVE and a Book Giveaway

I just LOVE purple... really, any shade of purple... light, dark, rich or flirty... I love 'em all!  So imagine my pure delight when my good friend Kathy asked me to design a custom set for an upcoming convention she's attending.  It's an all woman convention so I unleashed my ferocious purple power and viola! (Side Note:  I also love autumn, thus the theme of my jewelry models lately... please pardon the stem) ;)

I also wanted to share with you an Awesome Giveaway!  One of my good blogger friends Lori Anderson was just published in a new book, Making Elegant Jewelry.  To celebrate the release of the book, Lori's giving away a copy on her blog over at The Hivehttp://creatingthehive.com/blog-post/25922/beading-book-giveaway-making-elegant-jewelry

I would LOVE to win her book, but I'd be happy for you if you did too... honestly I would, right after I cried in my cup of coffee... but I'd get over it, someday. ;)  To enter Lori's giveaway, click here to go to her blog post.  Take a look at the gorgeous necklace she made for the book and leave her a comment!  Good luck to you (and me too, but more to you)!

Have a terrific week! {Hugs!}
~Dawn

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Boo-tiful beads!

Like my new jewelry model?  She's around for a very limited time as she'll disappear into thin air in just over a week... BUT for the time being, I thought she did an excellent job displaying this necklace I just finished.

I used a few orphan beads that didn't have "perfect" matches (from my good friend Juls, of course).  Added a few round crystals and put together a sweet beaded chain and "Ta Daaaaa!"  Meet Caribbean Kiss!  Doesn't it make you want to book your vacation right.this.very.minute! :)  It does me, and that would include a tropical beach where drinks are served with umbrellas right about the time it's all white across the state of WI!

More bead-a-licious photos to come soon!  Caribbean Kiss is a 19" necklace with a toggle style clasp.  She is available for sale though I haven't listed her yet in my Artfire Store.  If you're interested, send me an e-mail at designsbydawnmd@gmail.com.

Have a Booooo-tiful day! :)
{Hugs!}

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nothing but Beading Here!

I'm sitting with my foot up and a whole lotta nuttin' but beading going on.  Since I attempted to use my superpowers to walk through a wall on Monday (and trust me, I must not have renewed my contract with SuperPowers R US because they cut me off) and one of my small toes on the right foot has turn oh so many unique colors in the last 48+ hours. 

BUT... if there is a bright side it's that I must sit with the foot elevated which leaves nothing but time for me to bead and create new jewelry!  So that's what I've been up to.  Well, that and lining up a few select friends that also have home businesses to participate in my "Welcome the Holiday" open house I'm having at my place on November 13th.

In lining up my friends I wanted a variety of products so nobody is in direct competition with each other AND of course since we'd be spending a whole day together I wanted fun, loving people.  So we've got my friend Angela, Mary Kay Beauty Consultant coming and a Tastefully Simple Distributor (because every party needs food, right?)  And I'll be working on the invite that will mail out next week. 

I'm having my holiday open house on a Saturday so even those people that work during the week, or are traveling a distance can stop by, do a little holiday shopping and enjoy lots of laughter with other early Christmas Shoppers!

And that means that this darn foot better heal fast because I've got a whole lotta Christmas decorating to do before the 13th!  I've got a tree to put up, stockings to hang and Christmas CDs to dust off!  I know you can't rush healing... but I'm still trying to prod it along a bit. 

Hope your day is full of unicorns & rainbows!
{Hugs!}

~Dawn

One Big Beautiful Bead: Simple Jewelry with Focal Beads (A Lark Jewelry Book)P.S. I just purchased this book to spur on some creative ideas that I can use some of my Juls Beads with.  Each of her beads are so beautiful, I thought this would be the perfect way to show them off in style as they should be modeled!  I'm really pleased with the projects and tutorials!  If you're looking to shake up your beading, I'd encourage you to get yourself a JulsBead, check out this book and let your inner wild child design!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Think my Super Powers took a Vacation

At least I found that out when I tried to walk through a wall this morning and the wall didn't move... I'd show you a picture of the toe as proof, but I'll spare you the gross details.  The Reader's Digest Version is that I'm pretty sure this little piggy is broken, I'm limping along like a bad hair day and I have no appetite (so you know we must be experiencing a blue moon.)

Click the photos to enlarge them.
But I do have a really touching message to share with you.  Yesterday I went with my fiance's family to visit Valley of the Kings which is an animal sanctuary for exotic animals in Sharon, WI.  What moved me so much is that all of the animals that live there now all have a story of rough beginnings.  I love animals of all shapes and sizes, but I tell you, even I know that a cute little lion cub will grow up to be a full fledged lion and is not going to fit comfortable in my home as a house pet... but some people don't make such educated decisions.

Valley of the Kings operates on donations alone.  They only open for tours for members only and limiting visitation to Sat. & Sundays.  It's not a zoo and they aren't "showy" with the animals, some of them came from circuses.  When they could no longer perform, the circus was going to put the lions and tigers down.  V.O.T.K. does everything in their power to not let that happen.  It provides a safe shelter for those abused, neglected or aging exotic animals until their quality of life is no longer good.

They have dozens of lions and tigers - including the tiger that was the mascot on mobile cards - you might remember the saying "Put a tiger in your tank..." yup, he's 23 now and living a very comfortable life in his indoor/outdoor pen.

I was so touched by all the animals and their stories.  But even more moved by all of the volunteers that make VOTK possible.  From high school students to adults and even aging adults everybody commits so much time and love to helping these animals have a wonderful "new beginning."

With as much time as everyone puts in, that doesn't leave time to do "marketing" or "advertising" so I wanted to do my part - small or large as it reaches - to introduce you to this amazing organization and encourage you to visit their website and offer a donation if you can.  http://www.votk.org

I was emotionally moved by several of the animals, but the most amazing story is about a blind horse.  This horse was actually brought to the sanctuary to be euthanized and used as food for the tigers and lions.  However, other than not being able to see, she was in beautiful shape.  The volunteer vet on staff, saw the problems her "non-working" eyes were causing with infection and matter and opted to remove them.  Since the surgery, she has blossomed into the most loving creature.  She has 2 donkeys that share an indoor/outdoor pen with her and they guide her in and out of the barn so she has no problems negotiating the doorway or the gates.  She runs a full force and is absolutely beautiful.  I look forward to visiting again and help to support their amazing mission. 

This visit and feeling the spirit and the energy these animals exude just filled me with gratitude.  You can feel how greatful they are to have such a loving home now.  You can see how they play together now in each of their various enclosures and you know they haven't always been so fortunate.  It was a visit that I'll never forget and look forward to returning to lend a helping hand soon.

Friday, October 15, 2010

She only turns 75 once!

And that is why I've designed this very, VERY special gift! Yes, it took many hours and lots of love, but this beauty is a special gift for a special lady turning 3/4 of a century old!  Seriously... doesn't that sound so authoritative saying 3/4 of a century? LOL

The Focal was hand selected from my dear friend Juls Beads.  Literally the second she put this one up in shop, I was jumping up and down, squealing - gimme, gimme, gimme!!!  This stunning bead has an opal irridescent appearance dancing right through the middle of the bead.  And since Opal is October's birthstone... and the recipient (who hasn't yet gotten this lovely) LOVES opals... thus the perfect marriage!

I used a gorgeous mix of purples and amber beads to really make the opal quality pop, and yet stay neutral colored so she can wear it with anything.  Copper wire adds a warm glow and those round amethyst crytals... well I'll let their bling speak for themselves!

All in all, I know this piece is going to make the 75th birthday the very best she's ever had... and I know I don't have to worry about her seeing this on my blog today, because she was on the computer last Monday and it'll be at least another week before she "turns that thing on again." :)  Don't tell me you haven't heard somebody say that before! 

Hope your weekend is wonderful!  We'll be celebrating with bells on as it is also my sweetie's birthday!

{Hugs!}

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wedding Jewelry Makes Me Happy!

If I haven't told you lately, I just LOVE being able to design wedding jewelry.  Brides are a very special class of ladies... and their glow is unmistakable.  I've been commissioned to design a special set of jewelry for a local bride that was referred to me from a good personal friend.  In meeting with this bride, it turns out we have other mutual friends that we didn't even realize we knew. It's a very small world out there.

So today, I scheduled an appointment to meet with this special bride to show her the custom designed wedding set I created just for her.  Because each piece is born of pure love from my heart, getting the brides reaction is so, so special.  Today's reaction was worth it's weight in gold - and then some!  She just adored the jewelry and even more than that, she couldn't wait to show her bridesmaids and her mom.  I love, LOVE knowing she's going to take "me" home to meet her mama.  tee hee ;)

I've seen her dress in a photo from when she was trying it on, so I know she's going to be a beautiful bride.  I just feel so grateful that I got to add a little extra sparkle to her special day!

From my heart to yours... big, BIG hugs!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Open House Photos

Hey all,
Just a quick post for the afternoon... here's photos from my open house last week.  It was delightful, the hostess had decorated her home so festively for Halloween.  From the pumpkins on the front stoop, to spiderwebs on the grand piano, and garland over the fireplace, it made for a very fun party.
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Here's the gift I made for the hostess...
Silly me, I got so busy chatting and meeting new people, I didn't get a picture of the hostesses together.  But I think you'll get the warm and fuzzies from seeing these pictures.  Thanks again for keeping your eyes on my blog to see what's new in Dawn's world.  I really appreciate your friendship!

{Hugs!}
Dawn

Giving Love

Last week, if you read my post about my October "To Do" list, you'll know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth... but rather it's been a really good, busy few weeks here.  I wanted to share with you a moment last week that just makes me glow.  My mission in life is to spread love and happiness.

For the Open House I did at a friends house last week, I always make a special little something to say "Thank you for sharing my jewelry with your friends."  Well at this particular party, there were two hostesses and they invited both of their circles of friends.  As a showing for my appreciation I made them each a bracelet - different and representing each of their personalities.  Upon opening their gifts together, I hear a squeal and "Oh my gosh - it's so beautiful... Look, I have goosebumps!" 

Just being me, those moments are what I live for.  This was of course followed with big hugs and happy dances all around.  I appreciate it so very much when people believe in me enough, and love my designs enough to want to share me with their friends.  It's a personal referral that means the most to my heart!

I'll get pictures of my open house and such posted after I get them off my camera.  I also received the most amazing two packages last week from my friends which I can't wait to share with you as well.  I've got so much to say, but first, I must get my fur babies out for a walk.  They are both giving me that look - and if you have fur babies, you know the look I'm talking about! :)  Of course they get cookies when we get back and I just might dive into a piece of leftover birthday cake from our party yesterday... just maybe!

Make it a terrific day!
Hugs!

Dawn

Monday, October 4, 2010

October... did you knock before you entered?

Holy Jeepers... seriously, all of a sudden October is here!  It seems to have snuck in sometime after I went to bed last week and now... Monday and *BAM* we're smack dab in the middle of it!

What does October mean for me?
* An early Holiday Open House
* My Sweetheart's Birthday
* My Mom's Birthday, Mother-in-Law & nephew's b-days too
** Holy Cow... I did say Open House - as in THIS Thursday!

Yikes!

I'm in super hero mode as we speak.  Finishing some more wire crochet pieces as those were really popular at my last open house.  Bringing in a few elegant pieces that will be perfect for holiday parties.  And laying out the one of a kind piece for my giveaway... yes, that's right!  All open house attendees are eligible to win a piece of custom designed jewelry!  Plus over the weekend I finished the jewelry for a very special bride.  I'll ask her permission to share pictures first... but I have to say, I just LOVE creating bridal jewelry!  :)

So that's what my crazy week looks like.  Can I just say... I absolutely love it?  I feel so blessed to be so very busy!  Hope your week is as promising as mine is too!

{Hugs!}

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn Contest Entry

Just this week I joined a new community - The Hive.  Thanks to JulsBeads for introducing me, I've already begun to meet wonderful crafters from all over the place.  This morning I posted an entry into their Autumn Creative Challenge Contest.  Any art medium is allowed, any member of The Hive can enter.
For my entry, I entered a wire crochet piece called Playing in the Leaves... you can read why I called it that over at the Hive!  http://creatingthehive.com/blog-post/18949/the-hive-creative-challenge-playing-in

If you like this piece, I'd love it if you cast a vote for me.  To vote, just click the "Like" button on the Hive Blogpost.  That's it! 

Thanks so much for your help to win the challenge and for your friendship.  Your comments and conversations are what inspire me to keep creating and sharing!

Have a wonderful day!
{Hugs!}
Dawn

P.S.  If you aren't already a member of The Hive, you can sign up for free here:  http://creatingthehive.com/signup/designsbydawnmarie
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