Monday, August 29, 2011

Jewelry Making Question - Resin Filled Pendants oh my goodness!  I cannot believe we're a week away from Labor Day.  In all honesty, I'm looking for my summer and I fear she's left the building. 

For those of you that make jewelry, I'm seeking an opinion.  I'm looking to help a friend locally.  She's an artist and a life coach with a tremendous spirit.  Recently she purchased a kit to make a resin pendant using a bezel setting.  What she would like to do is encapsulate a photo of her artwork in the bezel then fill with resin.  If you have worked with resin before, is there a particular way that you would print (or have printed) the photo so the ink will not run when we set it with the resin.

I've offered to help, and told her it's not a medium I've worked with before.  So if you have worked with resin or photo pendants... I have an inkjet and color laser printer here, and Staples is just up the road.  I'm almost certain that inkjet would smear... but maybe color laser would last... or would you recommend I print it, then have the print laminated so it would be color-safe??  See all the ideas bouncing around in this creative brain of mine?

Good news though... actually two good newses.... this is my 250th blog post, so in my next blog post, I'm doing a celebration give away!  So stay tuned!  Secondly, just 2 days left of my Anniversary Celebration in my Artfire Store.  34% off all currently listed items using the coupon code BLISS in honor of my parents 34th wedding anniversary! 

Bella Marie at 6 months old
On a final note... here's a bit of cute to enlighten your day.  

Thanks so much for stopping by, sharing your opinions and just for being YOU!   I appreciate you so very much!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Get Your Custom Made Jewelry On

On occasion, I have a customer/client/friend/family member that sees a focal or beads that just speak to them.  However they don't know the first thing to do with such pretty beadiness.  The next action that transpires can be played in slow motion, with soft romantic music just like the love scenes in the movies.

They call (or e-mail) me to ask if I'd create custom made jewelry with the treasure they found!

I absolutely love creating custom made jewelry because I can bring the personality of the individual into the design.  That's what makes a piece so special... it wasn't design for just anybody.  It was designed especially for YOU.

Recently I had a set of beads sent to me that were orange raku.  If you've been following my blog for any length of time, one thing you'll see missing is anything in the color orange.  For some reason, my brain doesn't think well in orange or yellow tones.  So I had to wait for the right "ah ha" moment to strike me with what to design with these beads.

As I had hoped, I chatted with the beads and waited for them to b-mail me with how they wanted their party.  Once they decided and invited these funky vintage faceted beads to join them... and thus creating something that truly cannot be replicated.  Because vintage = mama ain't got no mo!

So if you see a set of beads or a focal pendant that are just shouting your name, and you haven't any idea what to do with it, consider asking for help from a jewelry artisan.  As an artisan, it brings me great joy to see a piece of custom made jewelry I designed put a smile on your face!

Have a fantastic week!

P.S. Only 8 days of my 34% off sale left in my Artfire Store!  Great time to do a little back to school shopping for mom! :o)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Consignment Shopping - Its Amazing What you Find

I love a good deal... whether it's a BOGO or clearance rack... or consignment, I love finding the "treasures" amongst all the stuff. 

Last week while Bella was having her surgery, I stopped over at one of our local consignment shops.  Mainly to say "Hi" to a friend that works there, but also to see "what's new" on the racks.  I brought her an iced coffee, set it down and BLAM!  Like a bolt of lightening hit my eye!  THIS is what I saw...

Which then was immediately followed by I.Have.To.Have.That.Right.NOW!!!  Yes, I can make my own jewelry, but more importantly each piece I wear has to represent me.  This bracelet was WOW, sparkly!  Love the swarovski Montees... (fuchsia) love the Czech FP Rounds, love the gunmetal square-ish chain ...  Just like Cinderella's glass slipper, it was the perfect fit for my tiny wrists!  And it was calling me, "Dawnnnnnnnnn, take me homeeeeeee!"

So I did, and I had to get a great shirt to go with... And it just so happened that there was the most adorable fuchsia shirt hanging right there on the rack.  AMAZING!  Let's call it Serendipity and they all lived happily ever after!

The moral of the story:  There's something beautiful around every corner.  You just have to have your eyes open to find it! 

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

There's no Title BIG Enough for Something THIS Spectacular!

Honestly, what I about to tell you is amazing... simply incredible... and most of all, an example for all to see.

In just a few days, my parents will be celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary.  It's amazing to think back on all my years of life and reminisce about the adventures we've had (some good, some We've had big scares and we've seen HUGE triumphs. 

As I've heard so many times, every challenge presents opportunity!  And isn't that the truth?
34 Years, 3 Generations and So Much Love!

Looking at 34 years, in the day and age that is full of interruptions, distractions and "noise" it's amazing that all 4 of us children ended up pretty darn good adults.  Instilled in us from the moment we could comprehend, my parents taught us the value of respect and honesty.  They also taught each of us how to work hard and make a way for ourselves.  I think one of the most important lessons they taught each of us is about personal responsibility... if we did the crime (even staying out past curfew) we did the time (for me it was always taking away my talking on the phone time.) 

As adults these lesson are so, so, SO valuable in our interpersonal relationships.  In many instances I've been so very glad I took the high road as my parents taught us to do.

So in honor of 34 years of marriage for my Mom & Dad (and because I LOVE YOU) I'm having a HUGE sale in my Artfire Store.  For ANYTHING listed in my Artfire Store (, I will give you 34% off your entire order if you use the coupon code BLISS.  The sale will run through the end of the month (Aug. 31st).  The sale is only on my currently listed inventory, not custom made orders.

Thanks for joining me in congratulating Mom & Dad's Anniversary.  If you were or are ever in the neighborhood, they would be YOUR parents too!  Our home was a safe haven to all who needed it growing up.  There was always a warm apple crisp (or something equally sinful coming out of the oven) and plenty of cold milk in the fridge.  Thanks Mom and Dad for bringing us up as you did.  I think we are so VERY lucky to have the family we have!

Hope your week is great!  Stop by Artfire, and let me know what you want.  I will place items on reserve for 72 hours if you need it. And as my mom always said, "Be home before the streetlights are on!"


Friday, August 12, 2011

Fast Friday Post to get you up to speed

This is going to be a speedy post today because our little Bella had surgery yesterday and I'm now an official Licking Referee.  I hope the stripes look good on me.

Bella is in great shape.  She woke up with her usual appetite today, and I can tell she's going to be a fast healer.

I've had a few pieces of jewelry I've been working on sporadically throughout the week.  I'll have more to share with that, AFTER I get the photos.  I'm waiting for an order from since they just had a stupendous $0.99 sale.  We all love a sale... but dollar days are my favorite!

My dear friend Erin Prais-Hintz celebrated a birthday this week.  (Shhh, don't tell her I told you, but she's only 25 -again, wink, wink)  In celebration, she's sharing more about her and having several giveaways.  Pop over to her blog to wish her a happy birthday and check out her birthday un-present!

That's all Bella is giving me time for... off to referee!  Hope your weekend is fantastic!

Custom Made Art Jewelry by Designs by Dawn Marie
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baby Christian Needs our Help

Hey friends, 
I don't normally blog about some of the most sensitive subjects in our world.  But this one is really important.  So if you'd please, read the whole post, I'd really, really, REALLY appreciate it.  

Last week my dear friend Juls posted on her blog that her nephew was born pre-mature - not just a little, but by 4 months.  I've not had children, but I know that those last 4 months of development are so very critical to the baby.  So prayers, support, and lots and lots of healing energies were immediately and are still being sent up for Baby Christian.

Juls did an update post about Christian over the weekend.  That wee little guy, he's such a fighter.  Here's what Juls shared on her blog:

"Christian is in NICU at UAB.  He is on blood pressure medication, an oxygen ventilator, in an incubator obviously, has to be given blood and a myriad of other things I can't remember right now, weighs 1lb 3 oz and is 11" long.  He is so tiny that he wrapped his entire hand around my brother's fingertip.  His vitals are good, he is properly developed for the stage of pregnancy he was born during, and his oxygen intake is slowly but steadily improving.  The overall prognosis is that his chances are good.

Please continue to pray for our Christian.   He is so loved."

Because Juls' heart is bigger than the rest of her entire body combined she just posted today about a sale she's having in her Etsy shop  All sales will go toward Christian's treatment and the expenses incurred by her bother and his wife.  They've have not yet gotten into the Ronald McDonald house, so every night that they stay in Birmingham, is out of pocket expenses.  And who could leave their first baby... so tiny, and such a fighter?  If I were in their shoes, I'd be there 24/7 too.  
So right now, if you make a purchase from Juls Etsy store, use the coupon code CHRISTIAN at the check out for 25% off your order and all the funds raised will go to support baby Christian and his family.  

If you've read this far, from the bottom of my heart I thank you.  Juls is like family to me and I only wish I was there to help her stay strong.  If you want to spread the word, grab the button on the right!  (If you're reading this on The Hive, visit my blogger blog: It'll link to Juls post about the special sale for Christian.  She's going to be the best Auntie this little guy could ever ask for.  

Hope your day is filled with blessings and love!

P.S.  If you want to help, spread the word to help baby Christian.  Share or re-tweet this blog post to spread the word far & wide.  Thanks in advance... I know you rock!

UPDATE on Christian
It is with very heavy heart that I have to share this news.  Christian passed away on Friday, Aug. 12th, his Daddy's birthday.  He was a gift to his family for just a mere week, but he'll be treasured forever.  Prayers and love go out to Juls and her entire family though this difficult time.  Juls, we're so very sorry for your loss.  If I could hug you in person, I've give you 8,452,129 of them!  

Thanks so much to everybody that shared Christian's message, and that offered words of support and love to Juls and her family.  You are all a treasure and a blessing to be friends with! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Finding Your Niche WHILE Expressing Your Creativity

I'm a firm believer than when you find your niche (no matter what type of product or widget you create) you will still have abundant creativity and great ideas.

I also believe that while we can enjoy lots of things, if you really, really want to succeed as a true business (not a hobby) you need to find your niche and become really, really good at what you create.  It's not to say you can't enjoy doing multiple things, because as creative artisans, we all have several joys.  But the true love of what we create... the piece that comes from our heart... the pieces that reveal our soul are where we are meant to be.

I bring this up after creating custom made jewelry with several styles over the years.  I've strung, wire wrapped, crocheted, embroidered and woven.  Now that's one heck of a varied list when you're talking about handmade jewelry.  But, I really, really LIKE each style for different reasons.  It wasn't until I made the Dancing in the Tide Necklace that I had considered which direction was calling me. 

Seed beads have become like crack for me... seriously, I think they talk (outloud) to me.  They tell me where they want to live and who they want as neighbors and I just take their orders and try to make everybody happy.  After all, I'm a Libra... and I like balance.  In working with seed beads for a while, I finally got enough GUTS to try bead embroidery.  What was I afraid of?  Who knows, but I'm so glad I did.  Each piece is different, all are special and when I finish a piece, even I'm surprised at the messages they reveal.

Well last week (or maybe the week before) when I created the Dancing in the Tide necklace, it was like a Nirvana for me.  Each piece starts with a OOAK focal bead.  I happen to LOVE the artist Juli Cannon so her lampwork focals are most often the WOW factor in my pieces.  Why?  Because I know she pours an infinite amount of love into each-and-every-single-bead she makes.  Yes, they are all born of her very talented hands and knowing I'm helping out a fellow artisan is really important to me.

So I start with an already special piece and I added more pizazz and "Dawn-a-size" it, creating an even more OOAK piece.  I pride myself in being able to bring personality to a piece.  If I'm designing a custom order for someone, I like to bring their personality into a piece.  But if it's not a custom order, I let the focal do the talking.

I think I'm closer to finding my niche with this design.  Similar, but completely unique, I've created another seed bead necklace - again, similar but OOAK.  My goal is to be able to create a style that when somebody sees the photo or the jewelry on someone, they KNOW it's a Designs By Dawn Marie original! 

This very well could be one of those designs.  Each one I've made, it's like I can't get enough.  It feeds my creativity.  It's a mix of funk and a whole lotta soul!  The design is the type of project that makes me giddy to get in the studio in the morning and makes me forget that I didn't eat lunch. Say what?  I know... me forgetting to eat is like snow in Mexico... or is it? 

Where does your creativity buffet come from?  What's THE thing that makes you giddy to create what you create?  Hope your day is terrific! 


Monday, August 1, 2011

Two of my loves Glass Beads and the color Purple

Two of my loves are also coffee and donuts, but you didn't come here to find that out, did you now?  

What you really came here to read about were either A. Glass Beads or B. The Color Purple... either way, grab a napkin because you're gonna drool!  PROMISE!

Earlier this summer I was doing a wee bit of shopping and stumbled across the most awesome maxi-dress.  It was this fabulous purple and green bohemian style flowy sundress.  Honestly, it jumped right off the rack and said, "Take me Dawn, I'm yours."  And how could I not.  It looked like me even without me in it!  So home with me it came... along with the idea that I MUST have a necklace to go with it.  That was May...

Then was that infamous trip for coffee where something else said "Bring me home Dawn, I'm yours."  And so I did... and thus the necklace for this most perfect dress has been a work in progress during stolen moments of beading time for nearly 3 months.

I poured so many things I love into this necklace... obviously purple... with a dash of green.  Beyond that, I like rounded shapes... I've always had an eye for angular rather than perpendicular or parallel.  (Yes, in my dream bedroom, the bed will be at an angle, with the headboard in the corner.)  I love big bling, so the crystals add a pop or shparkle... yep, I spelled it shparkle because I can!  And I adore lampwork glass beads.  In this necklace I used some custom made lampwork beads from Julsbeads.  I mixed it all up with a host of seed beads and stones (agate, and some jasper thingy or other, and some shparkley purple glittery stones I had in a stash from who knows where) and voila!

And since I mentioned DONUTS... if you pop over to Juls Blog, she's got donuts over there... sorta.  It's a big 'ole Blog-o-versary and she's doing  Then you can get your OWN donuts and pretty coily beads.  So just wiggle that little tushy of yours over there and enter... hurry because one the blog-o-versary donuts are gone, the party is O-V-E-R over! 

**Disclaimer: This blog post is 100% calorie free eye candy.  Designs by Dawn Marie will not be held responsible for licking of computer monitors, uncontrolled drooling, or twitching mouse finger.  If you experience any of these symptoms, please seek help immediately.

Thanks for playing! :o)


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