Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The First Snow - Entry for Etsy Bead Embroidy Guild December Challenge

Winter Wonderland Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild Challenge
My oh my what a busy month December is!  As part of the Esty Bead Embroidery Guild, we were posted with the challenge to create a piece inspired by the theme, Winter Wonderland.  

To me, winter speaks of simplicity, elegance and a monotone color palette.  There are shades of silver and white dancing in snowflakes and sticking to tree branches.  But when you look at a landscape as a whole, it's blends together in a monochromatic picture.

I created a necklace that offers the same simple elegance!  I call this bead embroidered necklace "The First Snow."  The pendant features a sparkly Swarovski flat-back crystal.  It's sparkle is completely reminscent of the "diamonds" that sparkle on the first snow of the season.  You know when you first look out the window before the dogs go out or the kids tromp through the beautiful, fluffy white snowy carpet.  Those little snowflakes that capture the light and sparkle like diamonds.
The First Snow - Click to enlarge photos

I kept the necklace simple to really allow the pendant to be the star of the show.  Classic pearls and fire-polished crystals bring in the hues of white and silver with that touch of sparkle.  I hope you can see my interpretation of a Winter Wonderland.  This piece was custom designed for a Christmas gift and the recipient was delighted to have such a special creation.

To check out the rest of my fellow artisans on the Bead Embroidery Guild, visit their website or check out the fan page on Facebook!
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Dawn Doucette is a jewelry artisan that creates one-of-a-kind beaded jewelry out of her studio in Southeastern Wisconsin.  Dawn really loves bringing personality into each of her designs.  To see other work created by Designs by Dawn Marie, check out her website:  http://www.DesignsbyDawnMarie.com or visit her Etsy Store:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/DesignsByDawnMD

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Winner Winner - Chicken Dinner - or how about earrings instead

Earrings... how did we get from Chicken dinner to earrings?  Heck, I don't know... it just sounded good.  But what I DO know is that I've got 2 winners for Designs by Dawn Marie Earrings!

Last week I did a dual blog giveaway with my good friend Sky Purington.  I was giving away a pair of earrings on each of our blogs as part of her "What Every Woman Wants" Christmas giveaway.  So without further adieu, here's the winners.

On Sky's blog, I created these great turquoise magnesite and chocolate wire earrings.  The winner of these earrings is Veronica Scott

On my blog, I gave away a pair of custom earrings featuring some gorgeous artisan lampwork beads by my good friend Juli Cannon of Julsbeads.  The winner of these fabulous earrings is Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.

Ladies, send me your mailing addresses and I'll get these right out to you!

Thanks to all who participated!  I love meeting new people and I've met some wonderful jewelry lovers with this giveaway!  Hope you wrap up 2011 in grand style!

{Hugs!}
Dawn

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What Every Woman Wants Giveaway

The twelve days of Christmas are full of presents... so to is this blog post!  I have the joy of partnering with a dear friend of mine again this year for her "What Every Woman Wants" giveaway!  

Sky Purington is a fabulous author... if you love Celtic romance, throw in a dash of ghost adventures you'll love Sky's books.  This year for the event, I wanted to host two giveaways.  One is going to be on Sky's blog and one is right here on this very post!  Keep reading to see how you can win these GORGEOUS earrings and then hop over to Sky's blog to enter to win that give away too.  (AND she's giving away a $100 Amazon gift card to someone at the end of the event!)

Up for grabs is this gorgeous pair of earrings.  I truly love these beads that were handcrafted by the wonderfully talented Juli Cannon of JulsBeads.  After purchasing a set of these and making an incredible necklace (that sold) I had to get more of these awesome psychedelic ribbed rounds.

The earrings are accented with light amethyst and crystal AB crystals.  Finishing off these beauties are sterling silver fishhook style ear wires.  SO you like them?  Are you drooling?

To qualify to win follow this blog (upper left corner of your screen... yep, click follow) and leave a comment letting me know you did.  If you already are a follower, that counts too.  (Heck, I might even kiss you for that!)

Sorry so short, I'm off to do some Christmas-ing today with Chris' mom.  It's the prep part of cooking for Christmas Eve dinner.  SO.... one last thing, the deadline for this giveaway is December 23rd at 12:00 a.m. EST.  If it's 12:01... so sorry!

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season.  Merry Christmas with Love!
~Hugs!~
Dawn
www.Facebook.com/DesignsByDawnMarie

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beauty Without Mittens!

This morning I woke up to the most pure, gorgeous blue sky and sunshine.  Yes it was a bit chilly, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to capture the beauty around me from the dusting of snow we had Friday night.  Sunshine and frost make for beautiful photos AND great inspiration on a grey day (which I'm sure we'll have plenty of in the winter months to come.) 

So here's a few of my snapshots really capturing the beauty of our morning.
See the moon?

It's supposed to be warming up to 40 as the day goes on, so with this sunshine, these beautiful frosted trees will melt off by noon.

My plan for today is to start wrapping Christmas presents.  I have a few orders that will ship tomorrow (Priority so I'm sure they'll arrive at their destination this week) and then I'll be finished with a wonderfully busy holiday of custom orders. 

The Christmas gifts we have purchased have spent the last month socializing with each other on our dining room table.  The beauty of having 4-legged kids is that they can't see up on the table (nor do they care, because our presents don't smell).  So in all honesty, they are safer there where the dogs can't have a festival unwrapping everything when I'm not looking.

But in an effort to be more organized and have less procrastination, I've decided not to wait until Friday to wrap everything.  Have you ever run out of gift tags and had to run to Walmart on the 23rd of December?  I did last year and it wasn't pretty!  So I'm not going to be that woman this year.  I love giving... I love the wrapping of gifts you know are going to put a smile on the face of those receiving them.  I love knowing each gift comes from our hearts and that alone makes it special.  There will be a few HUGE surprises this year that I look forward to seeing. 

Are you Ollie Orangized or Patty Procrastinator this year?  I got two new rolls of wrapping this year (which makes the process so much more fun).  One of which contains pictures of puppies... coincidentally it was purchased because one of those puppies looks just like Bella - imagine that.  LOL

Have a wonderful Sunday and a very blessed Christmas week!
{Hugs!}
Dawn

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Really Pantone - Tangerine Tango - REALLY

Image from Pantone Facebook Page
If you know me, you know Dawn doesn't do orange (much).  The only thing I do orange is eat them (and preferably without seeds.)  So imagine my er, uhhh, delight when I read that THE color of the year is Tangerine Tango.  It's not a subtle, stand in the corner orange... NOPE!  It's a bold, shut the front door orange!

For me as a designer, if I'm playing in Pantone's sandbox, I guess it's going to be another color challenge.  A whole year full of color challenge.  But seriously, tangerine tango?  Honestly, I usually do my own thing anyhow.  I can't help it I'm married to turquoise and purple (swoon.)  But my creative muse also dances when I pull those colors out of my bead boxes.  So in all honesty, I pay attention to the predictions, but I don't base most of my creations on that alone.

I truly love my friends that love orange.  Our differences make us more fun.  And what they design with orange always amazes me.  Mainly because I just don't think like that.  I cannot wait to see what new Pantone inspired pieces are designed by my friends and what they pair Tangerine Tango with to really create a special look.  After all, orange is truly a happy color.  And we all need a little more "Happy" in our day!

So while I finish a few special orders from Santa Claus, I'm putting my plan together for 2012.  In that plan, is to challenge myself to incorporate Tangerine Tango once in a while.  Who's going to tango with me?

Hope your day is fabulous!  I'd love to hear what your plan is for 2012!  Hard to believe it's less than 3 weeks away... zoinks!
{Hugs!}
Dawn

Here's my Orange inspirations and the pieces I've created using orange!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spreading the Love for a Fellow Artisan in Need

Being the season of giving, I want to share with you an event taking place across several blogs right now that is really, really special.

The event is called Artists Helping Artists!

A fellow artisan has recently experienced a life changing situation.  Litterally the world has been turned upside down for herself and her children.  Which would be pretty if you lived in a snow globe, but we don't.  In addition to being emotional, it's been a true challenge getting her business sorted out so she can continue earning a living to feed her family.

So a group of wonderful artisans have banded together to create an event to help out this truly special artists.  Each of these artists have created a special piece (or pieces) of jewelry that you can bid on with all proceeds going to help this artist and her family.  Below is a list of participants.  Won't you please take a moment to visit the blogs and if you see a piece you like OR you'd like to give as a Christmas gift, put a bid on it.  Your bid is helping a wonderful woman, artisan and mom rebuild her family.
Marie Cramp & Lori Anderson  http://skyejewels.blogspot.com/
Barbara Bechtel    http://secondsurf.com/
Erin Fickert-Rowland   http://elysianstudiosart.com/
Amanda Cargill Austin    http://www.seashoreglassgirl.com/
Rebecca Anderson    http://songbeads.blogspot.com/
Shannon Iko Chomanczuk  http://formysweetdaughter.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Justman    http://mysoulsfire.blogspot.com/

Have a wonderful weekend and keep spreading love!
{Hugs!}

Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa Asked for My Help - How Could I Say No

Starting on December 26th, I will have oodles and caboodles of new jewelry from Designs by Dawn Marie to share with you.  Why?  Because Santa sent me a Facebook message and asked that I help him create some really wonderful surprises some women that are on his "Nice" list this year.  I couldn't say no, I mean come on... who could say no to Santa?

So I've been a busy little elf working away in my studio.  And I've created some really wonderful and in several cases sentimental pieces of jewelry that are going to be Christmas gifts.  I'm amazed at how many husbands have contacted me asking me to design special pieces of jewelry for their wives.  I'm touched and honored - and I totally give those guys props!  They are listening to what their wives want AND not waiting until the last minute to hit up the Five & Dime.  Kudos men... you know who you are. 

I would totally love to show you pictures and share... BUT I'm not about to ruin any surprises!  So if I have to have patience, so do you. :O)~  Na, na, na, Boo, boo! 

For those husbands, daughters, mothers and girlfriends that would like to give the give of artisan jewelry, I've added a "Christmas Gifts" section to my website.  All of these pieces are finished and ready to ship.  So if you need to give a gift to the boss's wife at an unexpected dinner party before the holiday, check out that section of my online store!  I'm also happy to gift wrap as a courtesy... just let me know you want it wrapped and consider it done!

Hope you've been having a fantastic holiday season!  Spread love, spread smiles and create cheer!
{Hugs!}
Dawn

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Peek Inside the Artists Brain

Okay, if you don't want to tour the grey matter between my ears... step away from this blog post now.  BUT if you're crazy (just like me) and you want to see my thought process when creating a piece of bead embroidered jewelry... stick around. 

On Wednesday, I participated in a fantastic challenge... The Challenge of Color blog hop organized by Erin Prais-Hintz over at Tesori Trovati.  Throughout this challenge I learned many things... I took risks and those risks were rewarded with a beautiful finished product.  When I finished my beaded cuff bracelet, even I stepped back and commented, "Wow, I didn't know I had it in me!"  Who would have thought!

So in an effort to document my process throughout the design of this embroidered cuff (now available in my online store), I took pictures throughout the process and put a video together.  It'll show you how I design and where my brain and the beads play together.  Remember though the beauty of bead embroidery is that every person is unique and so are your works of art!  Design what you dream!


http://video214.com/play/V6nP0IXkuWUtLs6R1dCHjA/s/dark

For Supplies:  I use Nicole's Bead Backing from Nicole Campanella (The Beadwright).  I tried Lacy's when I first started and was not happy as it kept "frizzing" and "fuzzing."  I purchased this druzy from a seller on Etsy.  Both offer SUPERB service! 

Well... that's a tour through my brain.  Hope I didn't lose you in the process!  Have a terrific weekend and live an inspired week!
{Hugs!}
Dawn

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Welcome to the Color Challenge Blog Hop - You won't believe the palette I had

First, I really have to thank Erin over at Treasures Found for organizing this challenge.  When she asked me what color palette I want, I said, "Surprise me!"

Boy was I surprised!  And since it's a challenge, boy was I challenged!  I got the color palette BROWN - so I was thinking mocha, chocolate and earthy tones, okay!

What?  Green??? And Blue??? Holy jeez... I'm going to have to think on this!  Here was my challenge palette, created by Design Seeds.
Jarred Tones by Design Seeds

I loved the brown and blue combination, but tossing in green really threw me.  And then inspiration struck (or rather jumped) out of my bead stash and onto my table.  From there, bead by bead this cuff grew and really turned into something special.
A Walk in the Woods - A Beaded Cuff Bracelet

Not only did I use the color palette as inspiration, but I also used the photo itself.  See the glass jar in the photo?  The focal I started with for this design is a Druzy Agate.  It has the look of crackled glass of the jar with the warm earthy brown "dirt" around it. 


I have no idea what the side cabs are.  They've been sitting in my "I'm.going.to.do.something.with.these.someday" pile for oh, about a year... but I didn't know what I was going to do.  So alas, they are the perfect way to pull in the blue & green - Holla!!


The whole cuff was so out of my "zone" from concept to creation it was crazy.  But looking at the finished piece, I can honestly say I grew and I'm so excited to have created it.  I love that I was challenged by the color palette, but also by creating something I've never created - a bead embroidery cuff!  I was able to use some of the "special secrets" I learned just a few weeks ago in the Sherry Serafini class I took and look what it turned into.

By the way, I will totally be needing bi-focals if this addiction continues.  Those little bronze beads that are 3mm and the scalloped seed beads are 15/0s.  Yes they are tiny, and yes each is sewn on by hand... but the end result - totally worth it!


Now, I'm off to hop over to the other challengers blogs.  I love seeing how people embrace a challenge and grow from it!  Feel free to visit some more great bloggers and see the works of art they've created.  Also, if you're looking for inspiration, please do visit Design Seeds Blog.  They put out GREAT color palettes daily that are sure to inspire you! 


18 Tari Kahrs ~ Orange ~ Citrus Tones
35 CJ Bauschka ~ Teal ~ Teal Air
41 Jenni Connolly ~ Gray ~ Paw Tones

Monday, November 28, 2011

7 days - 70 vendors - 70 Giveaways - You know you want to find out more!

Yes, I'm sharing because it is the season of giving and I'd like to GIVE you the link to the biggest virtual craft fair in all the land.  Lori Anderson of Pretty Things (also known for her huge bead soup swap) had created a virtual craft fair.  She's having 7 days of amazing giveaways over on her blog.  Today is Day 3, but you can go back and check out Days 1 and 2 as well.

Each day Lori is featuring 10 different Artisans.  Each artisan has contributed something toward a HUGE giveaway - from handcrafted beads and jewelry making supplies to finished jewelry or books & magazines to build your design library!  Anybody can enter and each of the vendors participating also has an online store where you can continue to shop for those one-of-a-kind Christmas gift.  And even better... you're not having to battle crowds just to see the best vendors at the show!!

Even more fun than entering to win though is seeing some of my dear friends shops being featured!  SO while Cyber Monday is hitting online shopping portals all over, please take a moment (or 10) to check out small business owners and artisans on the web.  Supporting each other is the best way we can make a stronger community!

Have a terrific week!  {Hugs!}
Dawn

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap - Video Style

In true "dawn" fashion, I have to share with you a snippet of our Thanksgiving... of course I did a video because it's so much more fun to look at pictures set to music!
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We had a great Thanksgiving.  I am really, really blessed to come from such a loving family.  Truly, we're a family that doesn't fight.  We can laugh at the little things (often those are the funniest) and we know just how special that really is.

I have to say.... 3 year old girls are adorable, especially when they take my hand and say "Auntie Dawn, it's time for coffee. Let's make coffee." Love!!! **See photos in video.

This week, I'm stalking waiting patiently for the mailman to deliver my package from Artbeads.com with my 3mm bronze druks to finish my challenge piece for the Challenge of Color Blog Hop on Nov. 30th.  Please dear package, don't make me procrastinate!  LOL 

I can't wait to share my design... it's a first, and truly something one of a kind.  I am amazed at how much this color palette is playing together.

By the way... did you do some shopping today for Black Friday?  I have a funny story to share... but my sister Amy is reading this, so I can't share.  But if you can somehow outsmart the computer genius and block her reading my blog, I'll tell you sometime.  K?

Who wouldn't smile seeing this??
Hope your weekend is full of smiles! 
{Hugs!}
Dawn

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Thanksgiving Style!

Family Love
Furry Love

Working Love
Art Love
Laughing Love
Love in Heaven
To my friends in the US - Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.  To my friends around the globe, I am a believer that Thanksgiving isn't just one day a year, Rather... it should be everyday.  Count our blessings, tell those we love just how special they are, and share a smile with someone new.  Love is contagious... spread happiness wherever you go!

I'm thankful to all of you that read my blog and share your thoughts and feelings.  Your friendship is precious to me and fuels my creative spirit!

Happy Thanksgiving today and Always!
{Hugs!}
~Dawn

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Great Interview about Social Media Marketing with Kathy Stover

Good morning!  I know how odd is it that I'm doing a blog post on a Sunday... BUT what I want to share with you is that good, that you'll want to kiss me for sharing!

This week, I listened to a great interview about social media marketing.  Suzy Manning, founder of Sizzzl interviewed me a while back for her blogtalk radio program about following your passion and what that can translate to in business.

On her live show this week, she interviewed well know social media expert and entrepreneur Kathy Stover.  Kathy is one of my greatest mentors in the world of social media marketing.  She's on top of everything new in the world of online marketing... and works with several high profile clients planning their social media marketing plan and creating their entire online presence.

Listen to internet radio with SuzyManning on Blog Talk Radio
In this interview she's sharing with you some very helpful tips about social media marketing that I think you'll find really helpful in growing your business online.  (If you can't see the media player above, click here to visit the website to listen to the recording.)

Hope your week is full of creativity, love and family.  With it being a holiday we'll be gathering around a big feast with family.  I've been "told" by my 3-yr old niece that she's going to bring her "jewelry book" and we're going to make jewelry on Thanksgiving.  I'm still laughing... I may not have birthed her, but she's a chip off the Auntie block!  LOL

{Hugs!}
~Dawn

Friday, November 18, 2011

What have I been working on - it's a SURPRISE!

And if I showed you now, A. it wouldn't be finished, and B. Erin Prais-Hintz writer of Treasures Found blog would probably come right to my house, string me up by my toenails and dress me in orange!  Not that there's anything wrong with orange... after all "Orange" season starts this weekend (aka the opening of hunting season.) 

SO even though I can't SHOW you what I'm doing, I can tell you... 

Erin has organized her 2nd annual color challenge.  She collaborated with Jessica of Design Seeds out of Madison, WI and has given each participant their very own color palette to design with.  We chose our main color and the rest was a surprise.  (Side Note:  If you go to Design Seeds website, you can sign up for their daily e-mail of new color palettes.  I did and I LOVE getting that e-mail in the morning!)


I told Erin, surprise me - and boy did she ever!  I told her I had stash in everything except red, orange or yellow.  Beyond that I was open to the challenge.... and can I say, I LOVE my color palette!  I would never have put all 5 of these colors together, but seeing them on paper... then creating with them, it has been helping me venture into a whole new area of creativity. 

So not only am I playing with fun colors (and I'll spill just a hint, my main color is brown... but that's all I'm sayin!)  I'm also designing something that I've NEVER made before!!!  Yes I'm challenging myself beyond what I've ever done and I feel so liberated!  Okay, I can hear Erin, I think she's on my shoulder saying, "Dawn, enough... don't say any more.  It's supposed to be a surprise."  I know, I know... I'm just excited at where this journey is taking me!

Enough babble!  I'm off to bead!

Have a beadiful day!
~Dawn

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Playing with Seed Beads and Chain - REALLY

I'm smiling ear to ear about sharing these beautiful bead embroidered Tiger's Eye earrings with you.  Why?

  • Because I mixed mediums... namely seed beads and chain.
  • Because I incorporated some of my new found "balance" in my design.
  • Because I would totally wear these with blue jeans to the store - just because.

Don't you just love it when something beautiful comes together?  I sure due, because lord knows we've all had pieces we've not finished or taken apart because they just weren't "right."  So when we get it, we do a little dance and keep on beading!  Which is where I'm about to go!

{Hugs!}
Dawn

P.S. If you like these earrings, you can snag them from my Etsy Store:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/86258314/tigers-eye-earrings-tortise-brown-bead.  I'll happily wrap them if you're giving them as a gift too! ;)

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To see more bead embroidered jewelry from Designs by Dawn Marie, visit her website: http://www.DesignsbyDawnMarie.com or "Like" her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/designsbydawnmarie.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Reveal - Things I Learned from the Sherry Serafini Bead Embroidery Class I took

I'm still overflowing with creative juices from the class I took with Sherry Serafini a few weekends back now.  What was so very cool for me was to broaden how I "picture" designs.  In other words, seeing pieces in a different way from beginning to end than what my brain had previously seen. 

Here's a picture of my finished pendant - I used Sherry's pattern and supply list, but I put the supplies/components together myself.  So the color palette for this one is designed in true "Dawn Colors." ☺

One really HUGE "ah ha" moment for me was to break things down into individual components.  So I created this "component" and not sure what to do with it, it could be a part of something bigger like a bracelet, collar or pair of earrings.  Who knows just where that one piece of the puzzle fits into play!

Balance - not just in a "weighted balance" terminology.  But color balance.  This was also HUGE for me.  Because I don't naturally "see things" asymmetrically, hearing about balancing color rather than size or quantity was incredible. 

Swarovski Lochrosen - aka sequins - are my new favorite Swarovski component.  You see them embellishing the top cab and the second component.  I LOVE how they add sparkle (which is hard to see in my photo because I haven't had a good sunny day to capture a true picture of this piece).  Yet they are a "low profile" sparkle.  They just kind of sit there like "Look at me, I'm pretty!"  Will definitely be adding more of these to my working stash.


Stitch in the Ditch!!!  My mom taught me years ago when she was teaching me to sew and then as we were creating quilts to Stitch in the Ditch.  I hadn't heard this term in over 2 decades!  LOL  But when Sherry described the embellisments we were adding to the top and middle component, she said stitch in the ditch!  And I knew exactly what she was talking about!  What a fun trip down memory lane!

So those were a few of my "Ah Ha" moments in this great bead embroidery class.  Sherry was a great teacher, so real and awesome at explaining and answering questions.  I love my pendant.  Because of the tremendous amount of Swarovski on the pendant, I wanted to keep the necklace simple so the pendant could really "Shine" as the star of the show.  I beaded it on some memory wire and viola!  I love it!  And I wore it to a local craft fair this weekend and got tons of compliments.  Even other jewelry people that are non-seed bead style designers, were amazed at the detail! 

Hope your week is creative, fun and full of greatness!
{Hugs!}
~Dawn

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To see more bead embroidered jewelry from Designs by Dawn Marie, visit her website: http://www.DesignsbyDawnMarie.com or "Like" her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/designsbydawnmarie.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Because I Love You I am Sharing this Book Giveaway with YOU

BUT I really, really want to win, so if you don't get a chance to check it out, I'll forgive you. tee hee hee
I WANT This BOOK!!!

Over on Lori Anderson's blog, Pretty Things, there's a great giveaway for not one but TWO great books!  She was asked to review both books for Potter Craft and now she's generously giving away the books.  I'm not sure if she's drooled all over them or not, because I sure would have!  BUT if you're interested and want to win (which you don't because I really, really want to) check out her blog!
Great for Upcycled Crafting

And if you aren't a follower of Lori's blog... become one.  She's full of spunk, humor, pie (as in the food, not the mathematical calculation without the 'e' kind) and sincerity.  She's also a really great jewelry designer that thinks outside of the box.  SO check her out and let her know I sent you her way! K?
Taken this morning on her 12th birthday

As a P.S. to this blog post, today is my Brandi's 12th birthday!!  We woke up to a light dusting of snow this morning, so she's THRILLED!  That crazy dog LOVES snow.  I know, I said she was crazy.  I adopted Brandi from the English Springer Rescue of America (ESRA) many moons ago and she has been the perfect dog for me.  Even when she shredded a box of kleenex because she wanted it to snow INSIDE... yes I told you she loves snow!

So happy birthday to my wonderful, loyal and loving Springer Spaniel!  I am so lucky you picked me! 
Brandi looking beautiful in 2005! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Taking YOU on a Vacation with this Beaded Brooch

Yes, as Matt Lauer is taking us all around the world on the Today Show, playing Where in the World is Matt Lauer, I created a piece that is definitely inspired by somewhere other than the land of brats and cheese.  LOL

I created this beaded brooch at the beginning of last week.  I have no idea where the inspiration came from, but I love the tropical yet native feel.  I purchased a set of 4 of these clay "bricks" because they were pretty.  I had no idea what I would make, but they just looked like little treasures. 

So after making the Hope beaded brooch as a custom order, I had brooches on the brain.  I saw these beads again and thought "Ah ha!" Because of all the colors in one bead, creating a brooch would be perfect!

I'll be putting this brooch in my online store tomorrow.  If you would like it for yourself or to give as a gift for X-mas to someone special, I'll give you first dibs.  For my blog followers, the beaded brooch is $40.  E-mail me at dawn {AT} designsbydawnmarie {DOT} com and we can chat! 

Hope you feel the inspiration I felt creating this piece.  It's a real color play for the eyes!  As it's raining hammer, nails & pitchforks here for the second day in a row, I'll just look at all the pretty colors in this beaded brooch and pretend I'm on a beach in the Carribbean!  Bring on the umbrella drinks!

{Hugs!}
~Dawn

Monday, November 7, 2011

Learning and Growing - Sherry Serafini Class REALLY Expanded my Creativity

This weekend was such a weekend of extreme emotion.  Starting with a very hard good-bye to my uncle who was taken too soon.  He was an incredible man, father, husband, brother and son.  To my aunt, he was her soulmate... the person that could finish her sentences, make her laugh, show her the kind of love you only find once in a lifetime.  It was precious to be able to share memories, but everyone also shed so many tears - Bill was such a genuine wonderful person, filled with love and gone too soon.

Can you say WOW?? Stunning collar by Sherry Serafini
As if I was sent a message from Heaven, I also was able to take a great bead embroidery workshop from Sherry Serafini on Sunday.  The chances that she was teaching anywhere that I could drive to was miraculous on it's own.  I didn't know when I registered over 2 months ago just how much this workshop would be needed for my soul.  Honestly, I know things happen for a reason... this "happening" fell into place perfectly.

I had never taken a class... beyond college... but a class I was looking forward to taking for fun - this was a first.  The ladies at Funky Hanna's in Racine were so accommodating, answering all my questions and making sure everyone felt welcome.  Class was full and the energy amongst all the women beading was incredible!

The project we were working on was a component style pendant.  I'm about 75% done, so I'll post those photos when I finish.  We were also able to play in Sherry's stash.  I scored the MOST amazing cameo that I can't wait to turn into something extraordinary.

BUT even beyond the project was the little tips or "Golden Nuggets" that you pick up from Sherry and other beaders just working side-by-side.  I learned so much!  I can't even believe how crazy fast my brain is working right now.  Honestly.... this class was all about thinking outside of the box.  Making components that can come together to creating something incredible!

Sherry, if you should happen to land here on my blog, thank you so much!  I cannot express in words what I feel in emotions.  Getting a peek inside of how your brain works was so much fun!!!  Letting us "play dress up" with some of your amazing collars was inspiring!  Your kind remarks about my necklace was so, so touching.  I'm humbled, flattered and sincerely grateful.  I very much look forward to sharing classroom space with you again.

I was so busy taking it all in, I didn't snap many photos.  BUT here's the ones I did take! 
These were some examples of the Wavy Cuff Class Sherry taught on Saturday.
I fell in LOVE with this collar... seriously it was all sparkly with gorgeous Swarovski Crystals and gold... oh baby did it have some gold!  Honestly, reminded me of what royalty would wear in ancient Egypt!
Who's royalty now?
I told you I love that collar... It was stunning.  I am now an honorary member of Ancient Egyptian Royalty... seriously! ;)
 My lessons for the weekend:
  • Surround yourself in love - family, friends, and business associates.  Life is too short to hold on to negative feelings.
  • Say "I love you!"  Tell those you love how much they mean to you. 
  • Surround yourself with people that have achieved more success than you.  You will learn something new all the time and continue to grow as a person.  
  • Beauty is everywhere!  Embrace it!
Hugs and creativity to you this week!
~Dawn

P.S.  For anybody looking to learn how to do bead embroidery, I learned from Sherry's book The Art of Bead Embroidery that she co-wrote with Heidi Kummli.  That book was my bible and the coolest part is that it's almost like two books in one.  Sherry and Heidi share each of their styles (which are very different) and learning both styles let me figure out "Dawn's way" a style unique to me. Sherry was my teacher even before she knew she was my teacher!

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