Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Gift of Creativity

Photo courtesy of Juli Cannon - Julsbeads
Yesterday I posted and shared with you a little secret... "the bead fairies are spoiling me rotten!"  I've had so much creativity flowing through this body that I'm practically bouncing like Tigger.  Yesterday I snapped some photos of a necklace I designed with a set of really, really cool beads from JulsBeads.  I'm telling you, these beads started talking to me the moment we laid eyes on each other.

They are the coolest round bead with a "ribbed" exterior in clear glass.  In the middle is a blend of beautiful purples and blues with a hint of maroon... maybe... or maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me. :o)  Either way, they are beautiful!

So they were the inspiration for this necklace.  I love swirls & curls (which is why wire jewelry originally caught my attention when I was toying with the idea of where to go next in Dawn's Great Life Adventure).  So I carried the swirly pattern through creating a chain of seed beads in a swirl pattern.  The necklace turned out really colorful, and tons of fun.

I have another project in the works that will also be wonderful!  Can't wait to share more... but for now, the beads are calling! Hope your day is full of creativity and love!

{Hugs!}
Dawn

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Champagne Anyone!

I had this ornament hand-painted with our dog's pictures.

I'm still savoring all the wonderful memories that were made over Christmas.  We have lots of family close buy, so our Christmas started a week early and ran all the way through the weekend.

The highlight of the holiday - my niece and nephew (2 1/2 and 14 months) enjoying the Sterlite tub we brought our gifts in.  First it was a boat.  Then it was a drum (upside down) and then my sister Amy gave the kids a big bag of soft vinyl colorful balls... upon them dumping in the tub it became a "Bubble Bath in the Living Room Auntie Dawn - Squeeeee!"

Frog Toe Socks for Ashlynn!
We laughed so hard, and shared so much love it was really wonderful.  We also had created an Elf Yourself video using photos of Chris' parents (who are 75 & 76).  We again laughed our fannies off watching Nana & Papa break it down disco style!  I think during that 8 minute video we each added at least 10 years to our lives!

Yesterday I had an AMAZING day with the beads.  Seriously the bead fairies were so generous with me, my creativity was seeping out my pores and I think even my dogs are wanting to learn how to bead.  I have to get photos to share, but I promise you... you'll absolutely love it too! 

I'm getting re-organized and back into a rhythm this week.  Then Saturday is the ROSE BOWL with our very own Wisconsin Badgers!  So it'll be another fun weekend!  In the mean time, I hope the bead fairies are just as kind to you!

{Hugs & Peace!}
Dawn

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What Every Woman Wants Giveaway

Guess what my dear friends... I've partnered with my good friend Sky Purington, an incredible author to do one last giveaway of the year!  Our theme is What Every Woman Wants and I've created two... not one but TWO custom pieces of jewelry for this special giveaway.

Anybody can enter and to do so, just head on over to Sky's Blog and take a look at our little visit.  We chat about our Christmas Traditions and Memories and look forward to hearing some of yours!  To get to Sky's blog, here's the address:  http://skypuringtonwrites.blogspot.com/2010/12/what-every-woman-wants-under-her_20.html

Sky is a wonderful author.  She writes of Scottish Highland hunks, and mystical travels... adds a bit of history and blends it all together to make an indredible fantasy adventure.  While you are visiting her blog, please take the time to look at her works.  Personally, I LOVE to soak in my antique bath tub, steam rolling out, and Sky's books creating the scene!  But that's just me!

Good luck!  Hope your holiday's are wonderful!
{Hugs!}

Sylvan MIst

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

With a 1 & 2 year old... the perfect family picture is always original!
It's official - Christmas week is HERE!!!! YEAH!  I just love Christmas time... the singing, the laughter, the outpouring of love and time with family, all while counting my many, many blessings.  Yesterday we celebrated Christmas with my mom's side of the family.  Our theme this year was Christmas in Hawaii... and it was AWESOME!  While it was frigid cold (remember, I'm in WI) we still sported bermuda shorts, sundresses and pareos!  No coconut bras were used in this event however... 14 degrees and not even the coconuts can hide that! ;)

I personally will be finishing up an ornament for my grandma (yes the grandma who I saw yesterday for our family Christmas) and immediately Priority Shipping it to her (she's also in WI) so she has something to open on Christmas Eve.  A special beaded, one-of-a-kind gift from Dawn... awwwwww, you can awwww with me, I know you want to!

Amateur photography at it's best!
So as we finish up those last minute projects for gifts, I urge you to celebrate the true reason for the season!  Merry CHRISTMAS!

{Hugs!}
~Dawn

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Busy.... very Busy.

Am I the only one running 10 million miles per hour and my "To Do" list keeps on growing?  My family celebrates Christmas starting this Saturday with my Mom's whole side of the family, then continues next weekend with Chris' family and my immediate family.  Celebrate Early & Celebrate Often!

So while I finish up the gifty gifts for friends and family, and put the mistle in mistletoe... I'll be humming carols and steam will be coming from my sneakers - because I'll be moving VERY quickly right about NOW!

Sending you Joy and Peace!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Through Blogging I've met sooooo many wonderful friends over the last number of years.  I can't even count them all because I run out of fingers and toes every time I try.  BUT, two in particular put a little extra smile on my face.  They've been there both on & offline to help me grow in to a better person.  They've brainstormed with me to help build a better community for all of my friends, fans and readers.  Together we've shared laughter and tears over life stuff.... and thus why today, I feel so grateful.

Thankful for the internet connecting us all across the globe.  Thankful for a medium in which to communicate and share... stories, pictures and partake in each others lives.

These two women inspire me and help fuel my creativity.  You'll know why the minute you visit their virtual home and share a cup of online java with them.  Let me help you find the perfect resource for your last few Christmas gifts you need to pick up.  I promise you, you'll be absolutely delighted with their works.. Promise!!!!

Julianna Cannon - President, CEO, SUPERB Chief of JulsBeads
Juls offers the most amazing glass beads and art jewelry I've seen.  Her hands are like magic... give her glass and a torch and the combinations of color and textures she creates are amazing.  Right now, Juls is offering a SUPER-DUPER discount on everything in her Etsy Store.  But don't take my word for it... check out her blog post here.


Stacy Petersen - President, CEO and Ultimate Inspiration of SLM Petersen

Stacy and I could be sisters... from different misters.  From the minute we connected it was like an inspiration lightbulb went on.  While I thought my creative brain was going too many directions, Stacy's talent's are even MORE numerous!!!  She can cook, she can sew, she can scrapbook, she crochets... um, I know I'm forgetting some, but seriously, this girl has talent oozing out her fingertips.

Stacy operates two - yes 2 online stores, one for her fabric and crafts, the other for her paper crafts.  Just recently she brought back her Kids Cookbook - which is self authored - to her Etsy Store.  I scooped one up as a Christmas gift and I'll bet you need one too!  (Okay, maybe it's not JUST for a gift, who doesn't want to know how to make your own sidewalk chalk?

To check out Stacy's Christmas ornaments, adorable beanies and fabric crafts, check out her Artfire Store here.  http://www.artfire.com/users/SLMPetersen

Thank you both for inspiring me beyond words.  I'm grateful, and so happy the internet brought us all together... one big web family! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jewelry and Beading Magazines

I have a great conversation question for you this morning.  Which jewelry making or beading magazines are your FAVORITE?  This question stems from a post by my bloggy friend Sara Hardin with Soft Flex.  They are having a giveaway for a subscription to the eMagazine Hand Crafted Jewelry Studio here - so check it out!

When I made the decision to be my own boss and that I was going to make jewelry full time, I thought my ultimate goal was to set faceted stones and work with gold & silver as a metalsmith.  While I still might someday (because who doesn't like pretty fancy stones?) I've gotten lost in the land of beads and wire! 

I have been a Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine subscriber for several years now.  It's the only wire jewelry magazine I've seen.  While it gives me some wonderful ideas, I figured out this year that I'm being drawn more toward beautiful lampwork beads (click here for THE BEST lampwork glass beads I've found) and even more drawn toward itty bitty seed beads.  I've always loved the look of seed bead jewelry but for some reason I didn't have the confidence that I could do it myself. 

No worries, my mother in law bought me a magazine with the russian spiral tutorial and ever since I've been looking for a seed bead support group!  LOL  So that brings me to my question... what beading magazines do you love?

I have bought several off the magazine rack over the year as I'm going to the checkout at the grocery store.  I've received old copies from friends that are no longer making jewelry... some of these are true vintage from 1995 - WOW~  Those are some old school Bead & Button.  I've seen stringing, and always try to scoop up the copy of whichever magazine I read my blogger friends are featured in.  So I'm like a patchwork quilt... a little of everything.

How about you?
Make it a terrific day!  {Hugs!}
Dawn

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wrap Bracelets for All

When somebody comes to me looking for a Christmas gift for a coworker, secret santa or the kids' teachers, one of my recommendations that is affordable for them and fits nearly anybody are wrap bracelets!  At this time of the year where people are looking for that little something extra to put with the coffee mug, or loaf of home-baked bread, a sparkly beaded wrap bracelet makes the perfect compliment.  No need to worry about is she a 7" or an 8" bracelet? 

As you can see from the photo, I'm still "working" on the whole I'm-going-to-figure-out-this-indoor-picture-thing-come-hell-or-high-water-with-out-sunlight.  This morning we've gotten 5" of beautiful fluffy snow (and that's enough for me for an entire year) resulting in no sun.  Bummer  So I'm a work in progress, as so many of us are when the lighting changes.  I'm really missing using my natural landscape for my pictures that I have during the summer.  I figure if I'm not learning I'm probably not living!  So here's to learning new things!

Make it a terrific weekend!
{Hugs!}

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Want more traffic to your blog? Blogmania is your answer!

Bree

Blogmania is open to YOU!

Blogmania has proven to be a lot of fun. Not only do you get to see a lot of amazing blogs/bloggers that may have otherwise been buried under the sea of blogs but you get to potentially win a ton of prizes! Last season over 35K in prizes were dished out worldwide!

Would you like to be a part of this crew of Blogmania bloggers? Would you like to become more PR friendly, grow your blog, meet new bloggers, form new relationships with bloggers and shop owners? Regardless of your blogging goals, be it one or all of those,  you will have FUN! 

If you are interested in being on the Blogmania 2011 crew please send me a note at designsbydawnmd@gmail.com and I will respond with the details of the event. Registration is open until March 1st but those that sign on by Dec 15th, 11:59pm EST will be entered into a CASH prize drawing!

Want to learn more about BLOGMANIA?  Check out my Blogmania Page for an overview of what Blogmania is and updates from previous Blogmania events!

Look forward to helping you get involved if you so choose! :)

{Hugs!}
Dawn
Blogmania Dream Team Leader

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Pay it Forward Day!

I was invited on Facebook to join an event today for "Pay it Forward" day. I just love spreading love, happiness and a little 'sumpin, 'sumpin on occasion when it really surprises people.  Seeing a huge smile on somebody's face when they least expect it is such a gift... the kind that keeps on giving.

So today, I'm working on custom orders that people have placed for Christmas gifts.  The joy I'm putting into the special orders just makes me giggly!  But also, the gift giver will also find a little 'sumpin, 'sumpin for them too! More smiles + more love = a much brighter, better world!

Spread joy & love!  Tomorrow, I'm going to have a blog post about open enrollment for Blogmania.  For those blogs looking to gain additional exposure on your blogs to a global audience, stay tuned.  If you'd like the info today, drop me an e-mail!

Make it a terrific day a share a little love!
{Hugs!}
Dawn

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