Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BTW - I love copper

Updates from the Bead Table... I know it's only Tuesday, and Bead Table Wednesday (BTW) doesn't start for another 4.8 hours... but, if I don't seize this opportunity to post, I just might miss it tomorrow morning.

With all the puppy training and doggie acclimating, going on, it's been 9 days of finding balance... which is quite illusive.  Sitting down and focusing on a project just doesn't happen in lengthy spurts.  I've gotten an hour here or there, but I'm still working on a routine that works for Bella puppy and me.

In the mean time, I'm working on smaller designs that I can complete quicker and I'm working at listing those for sale in my Artfire store.  These amethyst earrings, were inspired by the teardrop shaped amethyst beads.  I love a chandelier style earring, but wanted something that was casual.  These antique copper earrings seemed to be the perfect fit!

Hope your week is GREAT!  Can't wait to get some photo time to share more!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Online Help - Changes to How You Can Follow Blogs

Designs by Dawn Marie on Facebook
Good Morning Everybody!  I know I wished you all a happy Memorial Day weekend yesterday and shared some tips for making Facebook an easier, more navigable online place... but there have been a few other online updates to our blogs that I wanted to help you with.  SO, here's what I found has recently taken place.

When I looked at my blogger blog yesterday, I noticed my Google Friends Connect widget that people used to click "Follow" wasn't working.  I thought initially that it was just "down for maintenance" and figured I would check it out again this morning.  Woke up, checked and nope... still not working.  It would appear to me that Google has discontinued servicing this widget in an effort to get people to use the Google Reader app more readily.

So, I went into the design layout of my blog, deleted the old app/widget and looked to see what was new.  They now have a "Follow by E-mail" widget that I've added to the top of the right sidebar of my blogger blog.  I haven't used it yet to see where it takes me once I enter my e-mail, but that's what they have made available.

I've also added a Follow Me app via Networked Blogs.  Networked Blogs is a facebook app that allows your blog posts to be syndicated to your Facebook page.  This way anybody that follows will see the new blog posts on their Facebook newsfeed.  They can comment on Facebook and Share just like they would a photo or other link.

The third way people can follow a blogger blog that has always been available is in the upper left corner of the window.  You'll see the blogger logo... the orange box with the white "B."  Just to the right of that it says "Follow."  If you click that link, it will also place that blog in your dashboard to see any updates.

Anybody else with experience using Google Reader, please feel free to share your comments.  I think the more we share with each other, the better browsing and blogging experience we'll all have.

Good luck... happy rearranging and until they make more changes, happy following!
Have a wonderful weekend! ~Hugs

UPDATE:  As of 5/29 the followers widget does again seem to be working.  Thanks to Sarah of Finding Charm for letting me know.  Have a terrific day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Facebook Friday - To Tag or Not to Tag - That is the Question

Zoinks - It sure can be Confusing!
Facebook Friday is here, yeah!  It's been a bit of a crazy week, and with Memorial Day weekend upon us, the weather looks beautiful, so I can finally get in the garden and get my veggies planted.

But before I head out to play in the dirt, I wanted to share with you a few helpful tips and suggestions for using Facebook, especially now since both business and personal pages have completed the changeover to the new design.

To Tag or Not to Tag.... that is the question!

Here's the background:  Over the last week-ish I've been helping a friend get her business page and blog feed set up on Facebook.  See, when Facebook did a changey.something.or.other for those of us using blogger as a blog platform, it caused the app to go kittywompus (honestly, it's a word) and no longer feed to the desired Facebook page or wall.

I noticed it on mine, and it was a really quick fix, so when my dear friend asked for help, I said no problem!  It'll take 5 minutes... she said okay, I'll e-mail you my log in stuff with a temporary password and you'll be set.

Ha, ha, ha... little did we know then what we know now... when I tried to log in as her, Facebook locked her account saying "we don't recognize this location, you need to confirm your identity."  The fiasco that ensued was nothing short of... well nothing short of anything round.rabbit.ridiculous that I've ever embarked upon.

In order to indentify yourself in facebook, you have to identify you friends.  How Facebook does this is:  they show you a series of 3 pictures, all are supposed to be of the same person.  Below that there are 4 options as to whom this might be... you have to pick the right one.  You have to do this for 5 total people.

Now keep in mind, some of your "friends" are really acquaintences that you really don't know that well... would you recognize a photo of their new puppy?

Also, sometimes we make custom orders of our craft (jewelry or beads or bags) and we tag the person that ordered it... would you be able to identify a "friend" by the picture of a bag that someone now owns?

How about when there's a photo of a great summer gathering and there's 20 people in the photo... so people randomly tag the sky... the only thing that shows up in the "Identify.Yourself.Game.From.Hell" is what it actually tagged in the little square box. YIKES!

So even when my friend logged back in as herself and told Facebook that the activity from WI was totally fine and to allow it, would you believe that we tried again and Facebook again locked her account.  She again had to play the "I.Y.G.F.H." and it literally took a day and a half... YES, you read that right 36 HOURS to get 5 people identified correctly.  Because if you guess wrong, you have to start all over at the beginning and you don't know until you've tried all 5 to submit your answers.

In facebook, we're all about posting photos - pictures of family, of jewelry designs, of beads, of dogs, of new "toys" or kids toys or tattoos... you know who you are! ;)  And so many of us have "friends" that are actually acquaintances.  Would you actually recognize a photo of that person if you didn't see it on their wall with their name?

Which bring me to the lesson of the day.  Helpful Facebook Tips for Yourself and Others!

1.  When you are tagging photos of people, please remember that someone else just might have to identify themselves by that photo.  So tag a face of a person that actually is that person.  Also, for photos of finished objects or custom orders, if you want it to be seen on their wall, then post the photo on their wall.  Don't tag them in it on your album.  That will become an official picture of them that nobody will be able to identify.

2.  Choose to accept "friends" carefully.  The more friends/acquaintances you have, the more of a lottery you are playing if you ever get locked out of your account for any reason.  So are they really a friend... someone you would share your personal updates with, or are they a business associate that would be more suited to reciprocal fanning of each other's business pages?

3.  Use a Facebook page for your business - Period.  In this day and age, with how far Facebook has come for setting up business pages and keeping personal pages simple, if you want to market yourself, you need a business page.  Personal Pages no longer allow apps like Etsy or Artfire or Reviews or Contact or Twitter Feeds.  ONLY business pages do.  So take the weekend and get yourself set up with your business page.  It's a little time now, but in the long run you will look more professional and will have more fans because they don't have to send you a "Friend Request" they can just "Like" you!

Had I not been helping my dear friend, I would have had no idea that this was how people have to identify themselves.  It's not just a "please reset my password."  Oh no... this is a crazy game of juggling flaming bowling pins and I for one never want to have to play again!

Think about it... if I'm traveling on vacation with my laptop and I visit St. Thomas... when I try to log in, FB will automatically lock my account because it's not my "usual" activity.  Then when I try to log in even once I'm home, my account is already locked.  I'm stuck and I'd have to play the Identify.Yourself.Game.From.H... well you know the rest of the story!

Hope you find this helpful... save yourself some time and help others too by simply tagging photos correctly.

I want to take a moment to thank all of those men & women who are and have served our country.  What a sacrifice you and your family has made.  And to those that have lost someone as a result of serving... our hearts go out to you!  

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!  Sending love, prayers and gratitude to the men & women who are innocently serving our country!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tales from the Beading Room

Yesterday was the first time I've gotten to sit down and bead since we've gotten Bella.  I have to say, it was so theraputic for all of us.  When I'm beading, I'm in complete peace.  As such both of my big dogs end up laying on the couch and falling asleep.

Adding a pint size Bella who is FULL of puppy energy to the mix I didn't know just how it would work.  She tends to want to wake up either of the other dogs that are sleeping just for the sake of saying she could.  LOL

SO I decided this would be a good opportunity to practice our crate training.  She does sleep in the crate at night, and in the morning when I'm doing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen I'll put her in there so she learns it's a "den" not punishment.

I put her little crate in the library with me, put her in it and started to put together the piece I was going to bead.  She fell asleep... sound asleep.  So as I worked on my piece, I had 3 perfectly peaceful sleeping dogs.  AMAZING!  To me the most wonderful feeling is knowing I as their owner am so at peace and giving off such a relaxed energy while I'm beading that all 3 dogs feel that energy and clunk out.  Priceless!

While my beading piece is far from finished, I got a solid 2 1/2 hours of quality bead time.  I think we're really gonna figure this out!  YEAH!

Hope your day is splendid!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How a trip for coffee led to a puppy?!?!

Bella Marie - Click to enlarge
Sleeping after a hard day of play
A relaxing Sunday afternoon... Chris and I decided to grab a coffee and spread out a blanket in the park to enjoy the first signs of summer watching the lake.

We headed down to Williams Bay figuring it would be more quiet and relaxing than Lake Geneva.  BUT... our favorite coffee shop in The Bay is closed on Sundays... until next weekend - but that really is a long time to wait for a cup of coffee.  Seeing as it's the ONLY coffee shop in Williams Bay, off to Lake Geneva we go!

Woot, Woot!  It's BOGO day at Caribou!  WINNNER WINNNNNNER!!!  Chris buys and Dawn drinks for free!  YEAH!  But Large Mocha Lattes can be a bit too much caffeine...

Wandering around Lake Geneva we pretend like we're tourists... stopping in the shops, seeing what boutiques are new this season and looking at anybody that may be a possible fit to approach about selling my Beaded Dreams collection.  After not finding anything in particular (and not looking too hard, rather just enjoying a day off in the sunshine) it was time to turn back and chill for a bit.

So we decided to go back to the park by the lake where we parked the van, get our our picnic blanket, books and enjoy a bit of sun.  No parking ticket... good, plug in a few more quarters for insurance and we're set.

No sooner had we settled down, then a little 4-legged critter comes bounding at us.  Little furry critter jumps up in my lap and immediately starts kissing me like crazy.  Behind her, her brother and 2 young girls came running up.

As it turns out these two adorable little creatures are 14 week old Silky Yorkshire Terrier puppies.  Yes, the one that jumped in my lap was a little female and they called her Foxy.  She went from kissing my face to nuzzling into my neck to laying on the blanket next to me... on her back sunning her tummy.

As her owners came chasing behind their two girls, we found out a bit more about the dogs.  They were born the day before Grandpa's birthday, February 1st.

Let's fast forward...

The owners were going to grab some lunch, Chris and I were going to discuss if having a puppy was even possible and we were parting ways.

That sounded simple...
What really happened was that this little puppy girl began to cry and wiggle trying to get out of her owners arms to come back to me.  The wife brought her back over and immediately she stopped crying and tried jumping to me.  I held her she nuzzled in and let me know that this is where she was meant to be.

Now I know I'm nuts... like caramel cashew ice cream nuts... but a tiny dog... a puppy, what the heck was I thinking?  We brought the little one home with us along with the plan that the owners would meet us at their house after they got a bite to eat.  Once we got home, Cody and Brandi both looked at us with that "Really?  A puppy, c'mon mom... you've to be kidding!"

And then sniffing chipmunks around the downspouts became SOOOO much more exciting.

Since Sunday we've learned Nyla Bones save flip flops, squeeky toys start out frightening and end up ringing in your ears and 3:30 am isn't such a bad time to wake up if it means we don't have to clean an accident up out of the crate.

We've both always been big dog lovers, but this little tiny Bella has stolen our heart... and my pink flip flops.  Apparently the bling is irresistible!  Can you blame her?  So be cautious when going out for a coffee... you could get much more than you intended!

Looking forward to sharing Bella Marie with you.
Much Highly Caffeinated Love,
Dawn, Chris
  along with Small, Medium & Large!
Bella, Brandi & Cody
Our Kids - Cody, Brandi and Bella
Sneaking a lick from Cody's bowl

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wait Monday Don't Lose me...

I can't believe we're headed into the evening already.  My Monday has been NUTS... wait, back up... the last 3 days have been nuts.  But heck, I should be used to nuts and since I have a hankerin' for caramel cashew ice cream... I'll roll with the nuts.

Suffice it to say, Open House transition to going for coffee, coming home with a puppy and today has been adjustment day... wait, did I just say went for coffee came home with puppy?

No wonder I'm nuts!  Yes... and I'll tell you how serendipical that story is another day, but first, I have to share a piece I made that I myself am still drooling over.

Curly Girl by Designs by Dawn Marie
I call her Curly Girl.  I love purple... like almost as much as ice cream... somedays maybe more, just depends on if the bathroom scale is broken or not.  Broken = ICE CREAM bliss.  But purple speaks to me and has my entire life.  Pair it with a rich, coppery bronze... mmmmmm, now that leads to drool.

The idea for this necklace came from a set of beads I got from my favorite lampwork artist - JulsBeads.  I saw them the day she posted and said GIMMEEEEEEE, I couldn't log into paypal fast enough.  They were just shouting my name.  So they alone are each incredible works of art.  They are cylindrical in shape and surrounded with a coil of raised glass creating to me what looks like a curl... like my curls.

So once I had them in my hands, all the rest of the beads had a big 'ole party and made one heck of a piece.  I have to say, it turned out just how I hoped it would.  It will be in my Etsy store tomorrow (or later) it just depends when the puppy is napping.

I hope you enjoy Curly Girl as much as I do.  She's a looker that girl. :)  Thanks Juls for always making really, really special glass beads.  Honestly, your pieces make me smile just looking at them!

FYI, I'm also working on another Facebook Friday post for this week.  It's really, really an important tip that you will definitely want to read if you are on facebook at all (not just for your business, but personal too).  So stay tuned... okay, I must dash!

Thanks for checking in and hope your week is wonderful!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tomorrow, Tomorrow - I love ya tomorrow

You're always a day away! :)  Yes tomorrow, I'm participating in a girls night out at a dear friends house to celebrate the opening of her own salon.  I visited the salon on Monday to check it out and I'm absolutely over the moon that's she's realizing her dream.

I'm all about spreading the love and celebrating those people that have become dear friends from around the globe.  So here's some great blog reads that are hot this week... and I really hope you take a moment to check them out.  You'll thank me... swear. :~)

Stacy Petersen - In this post she blogged about the importance of forming a team or a tribe of online supporters that continue to motivate, inspire and help each other out.

Juli Cannon - JulsBeads is having an incredible sale... well she's really got 2 great deals going on.  A sale in her Etsy Store that ends TONIGHT, but also you can own her skills for a day... and let me tell you, what that woman accomplishes in 8 hours will AMAZE you.  I've done this with her and am STILL using up what she sent me.  Seriously!

Meg Carter - as a sea glass artist, Meg always aims for natural in her photos.  Well this week she blogged about tips for taking great beach photos.

Kristen Stevens - as a seed beader, Kristen does a pattern review this week of an incredible necklace.  The message behind the design from the artist is so inspiring.  You'll love it!

Nicole Campanella - the Beadwright is creating like crazy!  She's finished several new beading patterns that are just stunning!

I've enjoyed these reads this week and I hope you do too!
Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - around my yard

Crab Apple Blossoms

Magnolia Tree
Another type of Magnolia Tree

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Black Tie Affair - part deux or dos or 2

Whichever your language... late last week I blogged about Nicole's BeadBacking which is my base of choice for bead embroidery.  You can read why back here.  And since we're on the topic, this is a sneak peak of a design I've be working on made with N.B.B.s purple shade... which is COMPLETELY wonderful.  More on that (because it'll be finished with JulsBeads you are going to LOVE!) Seriously!

But more on this next time...

In the mean time, I want to share with you the compliment to the Black Tie Affair Necklace I shared with you in the NBB review post.  Using shades of black, pewter, silver and finally a creamy white, I've created a pearl bracelet that is the perfect accompaniment!  Hence, calling it Black Tie Affair Part 2! Using Delica Seed Beads, Fire-Polished Czech glass rounds, and glass pearls, this bracelet was born.  I finished it on a 20 ga. full-hard wire with a wire wrap so it wears stiff like a bangle bracelet.  I love it!  More to come with this pearl netted style.  Wouldn't it be the perfect rope to display a bead embroidery pendant... maybe, just maybe? :)

Available in my Etsy Store
Hope your day is full of sunshine!  I've baked cookies (rhubarb coconut w/ a cream cheese frosting - sorry about the drool), I've blogged, I've gotten laundry done and now I'm off to bead!

Have a fantastic afternoon!
Sherry Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery: 25 Inspiring Jewelry Projects (Beadweaving Master Class)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Artbeads.com Design Challenge Reveal - Peeking into Paradise

I'm so excited to share something new with you this morning.  A few weeks ago I was accepted to be part of the Artbeads.com Design Partners team.  What this means is that we're given a subject/theme and asked to design a piece of jewelry that highlights that theme and features Artbeads.com products, and then sharing my honest opinion about the products I used.

This challenge was call "What's Old is New Again" and the challenge was to bring a vintage element up to modern day usefulness.  I'm so excited to share my creation with you.  I call it "Peeking Into Paradise."
Peeking into Paradise

I've used a vintage keyhole as my muse for this piece.  I also have a vintage key that goes with the keyhole, but found that using both pieces was way too heavy for the necklace.  So in staying with the vintage design, I've used an antique brass oval chain from Artbeads.  I love the texture on the oval links and it gives the necklace the perfect drape on the neck.

For the splash of color, I chose a mix of Swarovski crystals - Capri Blue, Indicolite, Erinite, Montana Blue Sky and Aquamarine.  This mix reminds me of the Caribbean... crystal clear, beautiful azul waters - a true tropical paradise.  There's no comparison once you've seen Swarovski crystals.  Their fire and sparkle are unparalleled - seriously!

As a finishing touch for Peeking Into Paradise, I chose a Tierracast Brass Oxide Pewter Lock and Key toggle.  It's the perfect finishing touch for this vintage inspired piece.  I really love how well the Tierracast closures are made, they are a good sturdy metal that will withstand even the heaviest of jewelry designs.

I also received two Tierracast Pewter charms that were not featured in this necklace.  One is a hummingbird, the other a dragonfly.  Both are of exceptional quality just like the toggle.  I anticipate showing you those in the near future, in another creation - like a bracelet to match the necklace!

I'd like to thank Artbeads for giving me the opportunity to share these great products with you.  It was such a great creative process bringing in something old with the keyhole and then turning it into something new.  It's like letting history tell a story!

Necessary Legal Stuff:  I have received the following products for this jewelry design free of charge from Artbeads.com and I am honestly reviewing them.  I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received:  Tierracast Brass Oxide Lock and Key Toggle, Swarovski Crystal Bicones in Erinite, Indicolite, Montana Blue Sky, Swarovski Crystal 6 mm rounds in Capri Blue and Aquamarine, Antique Brass Oval Link Chain, Antique Brass head pins, eye pins and jump rings.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Review: Nicole's BeadBacking from The Beadwright

Black Tie Affair
Available in my Etsy Store.
I started falling in love with bead embroidery by following suggestions made in printed publications from the best bead embroidery artists.  It was a great place to start... but if we aren't learning something new on a daily basis then we aren't growing.

Recently I faced a quality challenge.  I had been using Lacy's Stiff Stuff (LSS) which is available through all the bead suppliers because it was recommended in the book.  What I found was that in larger, more detailed pieces, the more you pass over, around and through it, the more "fuzzy" for frayed it became.  (And to this curly girl... fuzzy is to close to frizzy and it makes me cringe)

So after putting countless hours into my masterpiece, I still had to go over it with a tweezers getting all of the fuzzies and straggler fibers off to make sure it looked perfect.

Ugh.... and then about the time you take Eleventy-billion photos, you realize there was one itty bitty thread that my eye didn't catch, but the magnified, detailed photos highlighted like a zit on your wedding day... it became a glaring object in my photo.

My search began for a better alternative... And by better, I mean MUCH better!  I've been a follower of Nicole Campanella's blog (The Beadwright) for quite some time now.  For a while I just read and drooled over her designs and saying "Someday I want to be able to do that."  Then I had this little mishap with LSS and had the perfect opportunity to try Nicole's signature product, her beadbacking.

Can I tell you... I LOVE it?!?!  It doesn't fray at all.  It's nice and stiff, and your needle slides through it like buttah... seriously.  It comes in a whole host of colors making messy dying a thing of the past (thank goodness).  And can you tell, I just love it? 

So if you are a bead embroiderer or you're thinking about trying bead embroidery, don't waste time on LSS.  Just use Nicole's BeadBacking.  It really is that much better and looks so much more professional!  Nicole's BeadBacking is sold in her Etsy store, which is where I bought it, and I think she has another online venue as well.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/beadwright

Thanks Nicole for organizing a custom package for me with the colors I use most often.  I sincerely appreciate it and can wait to share more with you.


P.S.  The photos above are of the first piece I finished with Nicole's BeadBacking.  What a difference black backing, with black thread makes in how a finished piece looks.  Black Tie Affair is the name of the piece and you can see it in person in my etsy store.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pearls are a Girls Best Friend

Well Diamonds really fit that bill... but pearls rhymes with girls and rolls of the tongue beautifully!  So that's it... we'll stick with pearls!

WHY?  This is why...
This custom made jewelry set of pewter pearls with Czech FP rounds is striking... classy yet trendy with a pop of WOW!  I had gotten an e-mail from my website asking if I did custom orders.  It was from another jewelry artisan so I was immediately intrigued.  She creates jewelry, but doesn't work with seed beads, but she's always wanted a rope style necklace and bracelet that used Delicas and pearls.  So after making the copper and pearl bracelet, I sent her photos to see what she thought of that style!

It was a hit and is now en-route to it's new owner.  I know she'll love the way the pearl necklace sits on her collarbones!  It's really striking!

Today is the last day to vote for the Artbeads Make it for Mom Challenge.  If you haven't yet gotten in your vote, would you consider voting for my design Hope Eternal?  It was a labor of love from my heart with a very inspired message.  I greatly appreciate all those that have already voted and shared with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

I hope you are having an inspired week!
Peace ♥ Happiness,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Voting starts TODAY for Artbeads Beading Contest

The Contest: Make it for Mom Challenge sponsored by Artbeads.com.

The rules: 
  • I have to be at least 18 years of age - check
  • The design had to include at least 50% materials and components from Artbeads.com - check
  • Only one entry per person is allowed - check

The Entry:  Hope Eternal by Dawn Doucette
Hope Eternal by Dawn Doucette - Designs by Dawn Marie
Here's my description and inspiration for the design for this beautiful piece:  This design is inspired by someone that is like a mom to me. The courage that she exhibited through her personal battle against cancer and through her routine follow-ups is remarkable.

The name of this piece is called Hope Eternal – because until there is a cure, we all hold on to HOPE!

The gunmetal chain I used as a symbol of strength as a chain links us all together and is unbreakable.

The charms are a mix of delicate and bold in shades of pink. Representing woman as a whole and individuality by the mix of fire-polished czech glass beads, pearls and druk beads.

The pendant is 2 pieces. A silver disk with HOPE on either side. The second part is a beautiful pink enameled ribbon that moves freely in front of the Hope disk.

The finishing touch on Hope Eternal is a beautiful gunmetal toggle in a leaf motif. The artistic leaves met with the soft curve of the toggle bar add a creative pop at the collar bones.

While celebrating women around the world, this particular design is in honor of one special lady. Her optimism and hope have been an example for her family, friends and all those in her life!

The Voting:  Voting runs from today through Tuesday, May 10th at 11:59 p.m.
You can vote via their website which will have you log in with your Facebook account.
You can also vote directly on Facebook via the apphttp://apps.facebook.com/promotionshq/contests/112034/voteable_entries/21067254

The Winner:  One grand prize winner will be announced on May 12th and will win a $250 gift certificate to Artbeads.com

To all Mom's, Fur Moms, Foster Moms, and Expectant Moms I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day surrounded in the love of your kids... whether two-legged or four-legged.  :)

Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Have a beautiful day!
Peace & Love,

Friday, May 6, 2011

Time for a makeover

A listing make over that is.  I've become a perpetual student of photography.  Always learning something new, reading online articles and blogs trying to gain more insight into the wonderful world of photographing inanimate objects - i.e. my jewelry.

So after learning a few new tricks, then the seasons change here in WI which also means my natural light changes and I find myself re-evaluating my current listing photos, seeing which ones I can improve and giving said listings makeovers... all while wearing pink fuzzy slippers. :)

Isn't it funny how just 30 days can make such a difference in the lighting in your home?  I find myself amazed (and seriously laughing at myself) as I take my special photo set up... you'd laugh if you really saw it... to the "BEST" spot for the perfect light that I'm looking for.  It's a seasonal thing, so for now it's about 4 times a year. 

Am I the only one that gives listing makeovers?  Seriously though... here's why:
Before Photo
After photo
See... isn't it so much better?

So whether you think I'm crazy... or you're joining me on the USS CrazyShip I hope you take a moment to appreciate those simple things around you... like sunlight!

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Mother's Day to all the mom's out there.  My fur children have promised I get to sleep in on Sunday! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Of Pearl Bridal Jewelry and Lightening

Sometimes inspiration strikes at very odd times... like in the middle of the night.  BUT it usually ends up being a great design.  

This was the case with this pearl necklace.  I made the turquoise and copper pearl bracelet using 6mm pearls a while back and "filled" my beaded netting.  I experimented using different size pearls to create a beaded bead.  And voila... it work out! YEAH!

So what do I do with a beaded bead... well I make another one of course.  Because if one is good, two is better.

Then both beads sit side by side on my beading mat until I was struck with inspiration lightening again.  Which I was (side note: that's why my hair is curly).  So I finished this piece with a double strand of pearls in the front with the largest centering the strands and graduating to smaller pearls at the edges. 

I finished the necklace with single strands of pearls and a toggle clasp.  Perfect for the classic romantic bride.  If you are a bride and this is your dream necklace e-mail me designsbydawnmd@gmail.com.  It is for sale and I'd be happy to make matching earrings.  Pearl Bridal Jewelry is a classic design, by adding crystals or beaded beads it's the perfect blend of traditional with contemporary.

Hope your day is filled with love!

Monday, May 2, 2011

YEAH - I fueled up - no more E

Finally, this weekend, spring decided to show up... Mother Nature has been traveling blindfolded and backwards since the "official" start of spring back in MARCH... Yes, it's remained cold, we've gotten snow and my tulips and daffodils have been crying - until this past Friday.

Friday brought glorious skies, warm sunshine and lobster red forearms from sitting out on the patio of a local coffee shop catching up with a dear friend for a few hours.  Seriously 2 hours turned my very pale, freckled Irish arms to the likes of Sebastion on My Little Mermaid. :)

I was able to hand deliver the chocolate swirls necklace and earrings this weekend.  I have to share, seeing the reaction on Jenna's face when she actually saw the jewelry in person for the first time was priceless.  If gas wasn't EightyBazillionJillion dollars per gallon, I'd hand deliver all my orders... everywhere.  But it is, so I won't be doing that anytime soon.

The sun also completely refilled my creativity tank.  When I have too many days in a row of no sunshine, the fuel meter on my creativity tank dips lower and lower and l-o-w-e-r... get the drift.  So after more than a week... I was running on E.  These last 72 hours of sunshine have be so very welcome.

I have designed a special piece for the Mother's Day Challenge at Artbeads.  No pictures yet.... I'll keep you waiting with baited breath! :)  I also designed a beautiful Ivory pearl necklace with special hand beaded focal beads.  Looking forward to sharing that with you as well!

For now... I'll share with you a photo of a new pair of earrings I created with some beautiful lampwork beads by JulsBeads!  These will be available in my Artfire Store shortly!

Hope your week is filled with creativity!


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