Thursday, March 31, 2011

Help I'm Having Too Much FUN!

Seriously, I am having too darn much fun!  I've been photographing new jewelry (because the sun has been AWESOME) and finishing some incredible bead embroidery pieces that will be on display first at my Beaded Dreams Debut on April 28th! 

If you read this post you'll know how much fun I've been having making earrings in between squinting over all the seed beads.  Mixing Lampwork with Crystals and pearls makes such a yummy ear candy!  What also makes it so much fun is letting the colors I'm working with take me away (in my own mind) anytime I need to "travel!" 

This pair of earrings makes me feel like I'm on a tropical paradise.  I can feel the sun warming my face, hear the waves lapping at the beach and I can almost taste the margarita... almost.  The beads were again from my stash of Julsbeads and I love the swirl of the orange and turquoise shades together.  They were the perfect combination of two of this years "IT" Pantone 2011 colors!

The orange shades reflect the coral rose (which looks more orangy to me).  The turquoise is similar to the shade Regatta.  But more than that, the whole look makes me smile... both colors exemplify happiness, and that's how I feel just seeing these earrings!

I've just listed them in my Artfire Store for sale!  Stay tuned as I add more!  But in the mean time, I can't wait to share my latest bead embroidered piece.  I'm still drooling...

Have a wonderful afternoon! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Earring Extravagaanza!

I'm on a roll... and when I'm rollin' ain't nothing gonna stop me!  Seriously, the coffee is dy-na-MITE this morning!  It's kicking my headache right out the door sayin' see ya, don't have time to be ya!

I wanted to share a little project I finished.  My dear friend Stacy (who just posted an awesome blog post about marketing your handcrafted business) had contacted me a little bit ago about making a few pairs of earrings for her.  I absolutely love doing custom orders because the design is a reflection of the personality of the person that will be wearing the piece.  So Stacy had fallen in love with a few sets of lampwork glass beads from Julsbeads etsy store.  If you've been following my blog, you'll know how much I ♥ Julsbeads... like seriously, bucket list = lottery + move her to my house to design just for me.  Ahhh.... back to reality.

So Stacy purchased from Juls and had her ship the bead sets directly to me.  Because Juls Beads just speak to me so much, I received the package in the mail on Friday and they immediately spoke to me.  Both sets!  I know, crazy when inspiration hits that fast... but it happens.

I sat down at my work table, played with some complimentary stones and wire and as my sweetie was walking in from work I had created two masterpiece pairs of glass earrings that I know Stacy will love!

This isn't the first time Stacy and I have done this.  She'll find beads or pendants that just speak to her, but she doesn't make jewelry.  We work great together as she tells me what she would like made, and I design a completely unique piece of jewelry for her to be proud of.

If you're in the same boat as Stacy, and just ooohhh and ahhhhh over a set of beads or a pendant, and would like something special made, you're welcome to contact me.  We can discuss the options available and what you are looking for and I'll created a unique piece of handmade beaded jewelry you will love!
Silver Leverback Earrings with Chocolate Accents

Friday, March 25, 2011

Facebook Friday - An FAQ for your business

If you're an artisan and selling online, then you absolutely should be utilizing a Facebook Fan Page Why?  Because people are busy... they aren't going to visit your Etsy or Artfire store everyday just to see what's new.  BUT if you have a fan page, and update it with great content, comments and new listings, it will catch the eye of your customer and lead them to click through to your store and buy. 

Furthermore, whether you have an Artfire store or Etsy shop, both have applications that will allow you to have your store on your Facebook Fan Page.  Again, making shopping easy for your customer and showcasing your work on a platform that so many people are on all day everyday. (I know, we should create a support group - FUA - Facebook Users Anonymous!)

But with all the changes Facebook has made recently, I wanted to share a few tips I've learned about that will help you navigate the new fan page.

1.  You can now navigate FB as your page, rather than just your personal page.  Translation:  When you're leaving comments on photos, or writing on people's walls, you can show up as your business.  This is great because when people then click your name to see "who" you are, they'll be taken to your fan page!

2.  FB Pages can "Like" other pages!  Another great feature when you are navigating FB as your business page.  Example:  Dawn Doucette can like your page, but so can Designs by Dawn Marie.  When Designs by Dawn Marie "Likes" your page, it'll show up on my page in the left column under Likes.  Then when new people visit my page, they can see who I like and also visit those businesses!

3.  You still have the ability to have your Artfire & Etsy stores as part of your business page.  It makes your facebook wall one stop shop! 

Tip:  Post a variety of things on your wall - REGULARLY.  The new Facebook pg. interacts with individuals on a frequency and popularity platform.  So if you are posting items that are getting comments and feedback regularly, your page will continue to be more prevalent in their news feed.

Pages that I pay attention to and interact on have 3 things:  A feed from their blog, updates on new listings on occasion (not 20 every single day) and sharing of other relavant articles, insights and websites that are of interest.  Whether that's local events written about in the paper, or another artisan's blog post that you find interesting.  If you find it interesting, I guarantee you that your fan base will also find it interesting.  So sprinkle this mix and you'll have tremendous success building your brand on Facebook.

Another Tip:  Share and Share alike!  People love to be featured... SECRET:  They are likely to reciprocate features once their artistic works have been showcased.  It happens more often than you think.  If you see something, a store or blog post you like, share it and make sure you Tag the person who's listing or posting it is.  This way they know you've shared their design.  It's a tremendous compliment when someone appreciates your work enough to share it with their fans!  So share & tag.  (If you don't know how to "Tag" someone, type the @ symbol and start typing their name or business name.  You'll see the person you're looking for in a drop down menu.)

If you'd like to share your blog or fan page, stop by my page and comment or post your URL.  While I don't tolerate spam, I welcome sharing a new blog or artisan with my fans!

Here's a few pages that I have a lot of fun following!  They've become great friends of mine and I know you'll love them too! 

Stacy Petersen:
Juli Cannon:
Meg Carter:

Hope this helps you get more comfortable with FB Fan Pages!  I'm always happy to help when.  I appreciate sharing and building the knowledge about marketing online together.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yes, I believe I do need sleep!

I'm not a morning person... not on a Wednesday, or a Friday, but really on a MONDAY!  That's almost like the good lord sticking his tongue out at me... but not quite.  BUT I'd do anything for my mama... so yesterday morning found me lumbering down the stairs for an extra strong coffee way before the sun came up.  I needed to buzz over to mama's house to puppy sit as she had to go into the hospital for a heart procedure.  So, fuzzy purple pajamas, slippers and a change of clothes for AFTER the sun has risen and I had arrived at my childhood home.  But then I drank a bazillion cups of coffee... which led to no nap in the afternoon - aw shucky darn - so last night about 6:30, the wall became increasingly closer. 

By nine, I was toast!

But good news for mama, the procedure she's undergoing seems to be working.  Sending up love & prayers that it continues to improve and she's feeling like herself by Wednesday.  The heart is such a tricky organ.  Trust me when I say never, ever take your heart for granted... and never ignore warning signs of "not feeling quite right." 

In other updates, we had a fun open house on Sunday despite the weather not cooperating.  It was pouring rain... not just a drizzle, but seriously dumping 5 gallon drums at the exact moment you got out of your car to walk into the house. 

But here's the crowning moment of the weekend...

I had the most amazing experience on my way to the open house Sunday.  I had been feeling punky... for many reasons.  So I figured what the heck, pick up a super.duper.LARGE.mocha.loaded.with.sugar.and.caffeine on my way out to the open house and at least I can fake it that I have a boatload of energy going on.  I ordered one for my and a custom drink for my friend Elaine who was hosting the open house.  

I ordered, and pulled forward eventually getting to the window for my drinks.  The barrista (who looked like a young fabio... beautiful hair, dark and curly, a little long - I swear right out of the Mediterranean) said it me "It's your Lucky Day!"  My quizzical look prompted him to continue.  "The woman in the car in front of you wanted to buy one of your drinks.  So you only owe me $2.06 today."

My response, "Really?  Who was she?  Do I know her?" "Nope, she didn't know you, just wanted to treat you today."
"Oh my, Thank you so much.  I really needed this today."  

After pulling away from the window, I pulled over and broke out in tears.  While I've given many of cups of coffee as a Pay it Forward over the years, or bought a drink for another table at the restaurant, I've never been on the receiving end.  This experience simply melted me.  How the kindness of a complete stranger 100% flipped my day around.  I was so grateful, humbled, inspired and amazed.  Seriously, I had no idea how it felt... and now having experienced it myself will do this again, and again.  It was simply amazing.

So that's my weekend wrap up.  I'll be adding a few new pieces to my Etsy store today, keeping mama in line at the hospital, making sure my papa is behaving himself at home and then working on a few custom orders that I really need to finish. 

Sending you love this morning!  If I could buy you all a cuppa java this morning I would!  'Cuz if you're still reading, I really appreciate it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What do you think of when I say Soft and Wispy?

If you said Ferns, then ding.ding.ding you win! I found a great pendant on a while back. It's a beautiful hand-painted pendant that features soft, wispy ferns in blues, greens and a touch of black for contrast! I saw it and immediately my mind started working on how I could use it in one of my designs.

Because the pendant is in itself so beautiful, I didn't want to make the necklace over powering. So I opted to string it on two strands of ribbon that pull out the green naturally of ferns and the black, to make this piece match any outfit.

I added a few silver beads to the ribbon to give it a bit of shimmer and really make the piece have a voice of it's own! I'll be taking this piece to an Open House tomorrow which will be the first time it is available to the public! Fern just might find a new home then! If not, I'll put her up in my Etsy Store early next week.

Hope your weekend is wonderful!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

If you can read this you haven't had enough green beer!

Happy St. Patty's Day all!  ♣  I love St. Patty's day... I call it MY holiday!  I'm just a wee bit Irish, don't let the red hair and freckles give it away and I love how everybody else joins in a day of fun and festivities!  ♣

♣  This year, I'm going to pick up a corned beef and cabbage dinner and take it to my mom to have lunch together! 

Here's a little funny for today!  It's all 4 kids in my family and my dad! ♣

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

So today, put an O'____ before your last name because we're all Irish together! ♣  Hope your day is full of shamrocks and Irish Luck!

♣  {Hugs!}  ♣
Public Service Announcement:  Use extreme caution when beading under the influence of green beer!  Lines that appear straight do not always lead where you want them to go.  Colors can appear to match better than they really do.  Protect yourself.  Take the day off and leave all project completion until tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Peeping in my windows

With so many great creative minds out there, I often see their photos from BTW (Bead Table Wednesday.)  And my response has always been "There's no WAY anybody's seeing my workspace."  It's to messy, disorganized, cluttered, full of creativity  and so personal to the way I work that I've kept it under lock & key.  Until today!

I think all these blogs I follow are helping me to continue breaking out of my comfort zone.  So today... like you've never seen it before (because you haven't) here's my bead table. 

YIKES!  Now I'm going back to hibernate in my corner... with the shades drawn.  That was frightening!

Hope your day is superb!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Yuppers, this made me cry!

Over the last several weeks, I embarked on a bead embroidery piece for a very dear friend.  Kathy has had me custom design several sets for her in the past, but this set of jewelry was to be over the top - supremely special - the belle of the ball... get my drift! 

Kathy is attending a very special charity dinner where the attendees are all very well known people.  I had blogged about it here if you're new to "Dawn's World."  No worries I'll give you a moment to learn about what the charity is.

Having so many ideas racing through my mind, and wanting to deliver on Kathy's desire to have an awesome necklace that features that "IT pink" that has been named most popular for this spring, I played with a few different color pallets. 

After much deliberation (you should have heard the voices in my head.) and on more than one occasion at 3:15 a.m.,  brilliant ideas shot me straight out of bed.  Finally, I opted to go with a WOW pink and multiple shades of pewter!  In my opinion black was going to be too big of a contrast, and would try to over power the pink.  So I chose different colors, finishes and textures of pewter & grey and prepared the piece of Kathy's dreams.

What struck me as I was working on this necklace was my inner peace.  I started with a blank slate (I drew nothing out on paper) and just beaded as my heart desired.  The colors just flowed into each other like the blending of frosting and food coloring.  When it was finished, I stepped back and looked at the piece through new eyes.  This was the most striking necklace I have ever made.  I love big bling, so designing with Swarovski montees and crystals were something out of a dream.  Kathy had given me instructions to do whatever my heart and the beads want to do... so I did.

For me, this necklace symbolized a milestone.  It was a much bigger stretch than I've ever allowed myself to reach for.  But the reward in seeing my very own heart & soul laid out in beads for Kathy to wear was amazing.  I feel like this was my caterpillar moment!  I've come out of my little chrysalis and become a bright, colorful, graceful butterfly! 

I'm working on a few more pieces as we speak, and have a great open house planned for this Sunday with another very dear friend, Elaine.  Also, I've had an offer to debut my bead embroidery jewelry at an evening gala at a local boutique.  So that's in the works for the end of April.  In the meantime, I will continue to learn, grow and discover a creative ME that I never knew was in there just 10 years ago!  Seriously, I thought I'd major in accounting... what was I thinking?

Let your dreams take flight... the scenery will be beautiful and you just don't know where you'll land! 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Practice, practice, practice

I'm a firm believer that no matter what your method of expression, as artisans we are always learning.  (In life too!)  While I've been working on some new bead embroidered jewelry, I am always looking at new styles and techniques for the "chain" part of the necklace or matching bracelet.

I've always loved a beaded rope style necklace - there's something about the "tube" that just says WOW on a piece.  So I've used a russian spiral for most of my pieces so far.  Flipping back through a past issue of Beadwork magazine I saw a bracelet by Nancy Cain that featured a netted tube.  I hadn't tried that before, so I thought I'd give it a whirl!

I was surprised at how quickly the netted tube built on itself!  After finishing the embellishments, I had a blast with this piece!  It does have a good structure that can be string with bead caps or spacers and end beads to make a full necklace!

So, stay tuned for more bead embroidery pieces (one I'm finishing up today that's a whole lotta WOW! and a bit of bling too).  As long as we're always learning, we're always growing, right?

What's new in your creative space this weekend?  I'd love to see what you're up to!

P.S. If you're looking for a great outlet to share your blog and design creations, I strongly recommend you check out The Hive!  It's a free forum open to all mediums of creativity!  I've met some incredible people through The Hive and would love to extend the invitation to you to share there too!  Click here to sign up and it out for yourself!

Proud bee in the TheHIVE

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pictures are worth a thousand words....

Honeysuckle.... the color of 2011!
Hippy Hoppy Happy Monday friends!  I have to share, because I'm udderly and completely drooling.  My dear friend and awesome bead maker Juls from Julsbeads has had some mad skillz going on over in her Shiny Glass Shack.  So much so, she's made some seriously AWESOME new sets of beads!

I find myself drooling uncontrollably and wanted to make sure I'm not the only one.  So, while I'm reaching for a napkin... won't you please take a peek and join me!  Scoop up what you like because they are One of a Kind!
I purchased some of her ribbed beads and let me tell you personally... I opened the package and very nearly cried.  They were even more stunning in person.  

So pick your favorites and treat yourself for St. Patty's Day.... Or Easter... Or just because you love supporting other artisans!  Over the weekend, Juls' torch got torched.  So these are the last sets made from her beloved Carlisle torch.  These beads are better than coins from the US mint - Swear!
 Here's her Etsy store!
I can assure you, you'll be pleased as punch!!!  Promise!

A little bit of Funk and a whole lotta soul!
{Hugs & Deep thanks for supporting each other!  Keep the love right here at home!}

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I'd like to buy a photo for this post.

Sorry, I don't have one... YET!  I'm working on a custom order this weekend and over the next several days.  I'm combining Swarovski Crystals with bead embroidery!  Let me tell you, this is going to be the knockout piece of the year!  I just hope when I'm done with it, I can get the sunlight to play well with my camera so I can get a good photo. 

This piece is being custom designed for a friend going to a grand gala!  It's a VIP Red Carpet charity dinner to celebrate a birthday!  The charity is the UnStoppable Foundation!  The woman hosting the event has such a HUGE heart, so it's an honor to be creating a one of a kind design just for this event!

Stay tuned for pictures & progress!
Have a FANTASTIC weekend!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oops, I missed Monday

Sorry about that!  Somewhere in space is floating my Monday and I'm not sure how it got away!  But Monday's aren't very fun anyway so Tuesday here we come! :o)  Thanks so much for all the well wishes for the Open House I had last weekend.  It was a wonderful turnout and people didn't let the snow keep them away.

Also over the weekend, I was given the Awesome Blog award from two of my dear blog friends, Meg Carter - Made By Meg Sea Glass Jewelry and Erin Grant - Erin's Jewelry Creations.  Thank you both SO very much.  It really touches me to know you love reading my blog.

So here's the deal.  With this award I need to share with you 7 things about myself and then share the award with other bloggers that I think are most awesome!  How awesome is that?

1.  I listen to Celtic music year round - ♥ Celtic Woman!
2.  My dogs are my children - and that's all I ever want.
3.  I am really, really appreciative when my fiance spontaneously does things (like dishes) to help me around the house.  ♥
4.  I love to cook (and eat) and think sharing a meal with those you love is one of the most important memories you can make.  See #8.
5.  Bliss is reading a sappy romance novel while soaking in my clawfoot bathtub.
6.  I hug EVERYONE - even people I've just met once before.
7.  I cherish my little brother who's overcome so much in the last 7 years and has the biggest smile to show for it!  I ♥ you Greg!
8.  Oops, I couldn't stop at 7 (sorry).  I'm very fortunate to have a wonderful family and inlaws.  We really love & support each other!  Growing up, we always had an open door to anybody that needed a little family love.

Here are some AWESOME blogs that I follow and just love.  They'll have you laughing, thinking and appreciating the beauty around you!  Love these gals & I know you will too!

Juli Cannon - Juls Beads:
Stacy Petersen - SLM Petersen:
Heather Cote- Azure Islands Designs:
Erin Prais-Hintz - Treasures Found:
Lisa Crone - A Bead A Day:
Vanessa Edil - Butterfly Fondant Cakes & Desserts:

Hope you take a moment to hop on over to these other awesome blogs and say 'Hi!'  You'll enjoy your virtual visit, I promise! ;)

  Just released in January!


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