Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Challenge of MUSIC - Blog Leap to Celebrate Music

When we were challenged by my good friend Erin Prais-Hintz from Treasures Found, to find a piece of music that spoke to us and turn that inspiration into a piece of jewelry, I dug into the recesses of my brain and yet, inspiration hit when I was driving.  Firefall's Just Remember I Love You came on XM and I was there... transported to a place of inspiration and seeing the jewelry I wanted to create.  So before we go further, doncha think you want to hear the song?  Yep, I thought so!  So here it is...

This song just speaks to me every time it comes on the stereo.  I'm a romantic at heart, so you KNOW that this is about to get all sappy up in here.  When Chris & I first started dating, he had gotten new truck.  He showed up at my work to surprise me.  Low and behold, when we got in the truck this song was playing on the radio.  Ever since then whenever it comes on the radio, up goes the volume and flutter goes my heart. 

The piece I created started with the focal.  The cab features a couple looking like they are saying goodbye before this man heads off to war.  It just really talked to me and I chose to pull out many of the colors from that focal to make the rest of the necklace.  I made a few accents featuring the green, pink and peach.  Then since the necklace was of fairly large scale I created a chain of beaded rings on either side of the necklace.

Pulling from the dark grey black & white vibe of the couple pictured, I pulled in some gunmetal chain and a gunmetal toggle to finish this design.  The toggle is a beautifully stamped Love toggle that has a heart charm dangling off it.  The beaded rings I created for the chain were adapted from Cynthia Rutledge's pattern in the June/July 2011 Beadwork Magazine. 

If you like the design, I have to give a big thank you to Sandy Spivey for creating this beautiful focal.  I loved this focal, and the one with the wolves that I used for a custom order prior to Christmas.  I went back to Sandy to ask her if she'd make a few custom cabs for me featuring my furbabies.  She was superb and worked with me to get the photos just right in the cabs.  SO if you'd like to connect with Sandy, she has an etsy store at:

Special thank you to Erin for organizing another wonderful challenge.  I love it when Erin pushes us to think outside of the box.  I hope you enjoy hearing my inspiration and seeing my bead embroidered jewelry I created from the heart.


To continue blog hopping, here's a list of all the other participants that have been inspired by music!
Malin de Koning
Dawn Doucette <--- YOU ARE HERE

Monday, February 27, 2012

Carnival - All Sorts of Fun in a Bead Embroidery Masterpiece

Am I the only one that finds doing what one shouldn't be doing rather than focusing on the task that's really important to finish really fun and slightly naughty??  Okay, I've always been a procrastinator and I've always said I do my best work under pressure (insert Queen & David Bowie humming lyrics here.)

So why would it be any different for packing and moving my studio, right?

That's what I thought!  So rather than trying to pack and move all my itty bitty treasures in my studio, I found this wonderful lampwork treasure from my friend Juli ( StudioJuls if you're new to my blog, or you've been hiding under a rock).  The swirly iridescent spiral on that focal just mesmerized me... so much so I forgot (wink, wink) that I should be packing.

Instead I pulled out all my purples and greens and just lost all track of time (days, weeks even) but the end result is total worth it.  SO in lieu of throwing caution to the wind and pushing all packing aside allow me to introduce you to Carnival!  A splash of fun in every bead!

Available in my Etsy Store:

Thanks all for taking the mind wandering journey with me!  And now back to your regularily scheduled program.

FYI, if you'd like to try your hand a bead embroidery, THIS is STILL the best book I've found to help you get started.  Why?  Because it shows you two different methods and allows you to create your own style, stitches and method by blending the two!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ssshhhh It's a Secret - But I'm giving you a sneak peek

I'm so excited!!!  I have finished my entry for the Challenge of Music that was organized by Erin Prais-Hintz.  Which is really, really good because I am officially packing my studio (sadness ensues) to move over the weekend to our new home (smile returns). 

The funny thing is that one never realizes how many beads they have until they start laying out boxes and tubs to pack it... then the thought of "Holy Shit, when did I purchase all of these" kicks in.  I love finding those beads you forgot you bought because they were on sale at or to make the 15th item at Fire Mountain Gems to get the quantity price discount.  So I'm finding treasures as I sift & sort.

The official challenge of music reveal is February 29th.  Which is Leap Day.  So does that make this a blog LEAP instead of a blog hop?? 

Well this is all you get for now!  Just a tiny sneak peek.  Trust me, you'll want to come back next Wednesday to see the full design and hear the inspiration behind it.  I know you'll want to... but until then, I hope this has you drooling!

If you find yourself on Facebook today, feel free to pop over and share a link to your blog or your Facebook page with my fans. I love sharing beautiful creations with my followers and as of late, cardboard boxes aren't exactly the excitement they've been looking for.  SO I think they'd like what YOU create better!  So share and share alike!

Have a fabulous weekend all! {Hugs!}

Monday, February 20, 2012

Believe - Custom Beaded Jewelry with a genuine message

If you believe it, you can achieve it!

That is a saying that I firmly believe it.  It goes hand in hand with the power of positive thinking, eternal optimism and it is the motto of nearly every business person I've ever met.  Building a business is never a straight line.  Rather it would resemble a bowl of spaghetti if we had to be really honest about it.  And sometimes it's really just about the meatballs... but we won't talk about that here. :o)

So when my dear friend Kathy, a true entrepreneur asked me to design a special piece of custom beaded jewelry for an event she's participating in coming up in March, I let the beads talk!  After all, they are usually smarter than my logical brain, so the beads should have a bigger voice in the design.

What I created for Kathy exemplifies classic with a pop of modern.  I used a round donut and filled it with bavarian creme... oh wait, wrong dream.  I filled it with a Swarovski rivoli button so the bling in the middle is blinding!  Kathy loves sparkly pieces and if she's going to be on stage I want all eyes in the room on her!

I used the believe charm because it too says "Kathy" all over it!  Kathy is an incredible business woman, but even more importantly a loving mother, grandmother, wife and dear friend.  This is a woman that ran a lawn mowing service better than all the boys in her childhood!  Yes ma'am!  It's because Kathy operates from the heart and she's believes with all her might that she can achieve anything.  I can attest to knowing her for years, she can and DOES achieve anything she sets her mind to.

Now if you want to hear HOW she kicked all the boys butts, you have to read about it in a book she recently co-authored called "Smart Women Live their Why - How Women Entrepreneurs are Living on Purpose and In Passion" and it's a truly INSPIRATIONAL book!  Every woman in business should have this in their arsenal for support, encouragement and inspiration!

I BELIEVE we're going to have a fantastic week and I hope you'll join me in that outlook!
I know this piece is something Kathy will wear time and time again!

Don't forget that my 25% off moving sale in my Etsy Store runs through today!  Get an early Mother's Day gift for the mom in your life (or daughter or grandmother).  Use Coupon Code MOVING25 at checkout!


Friday, February 17, 2012


Hear ye, hear ye... The Queen of Cardboard is here to make a decree...

I decree that in honor of moving, I am having a moving sale.  Less to pack is good by me!  SO for this weekend through Monday at midnight, I am offering a 25% discount off of all the inventory in my Etsy Store.  These are my bead embroidered jewelry pieces that I never put on sale. 

So for you to take advantage of the mind that I lost (or packed somewhere in a box) Go to my Etsy store at: and use coupon code MOVING25 at checkout!

That's it!  BUT you have to use the coupon code to get the discount.  Refunds are way too much work and I don't have that kind of time.  :o)  These pieces will never be on sale again so now is your only chance.  Sale ends Monday night and then the sale is gone.... gone... gone! (Like my mind.)

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Awareness Jewelry with a Dual Purpose

Recently I was contacted via my Designs by Dawn Marie Facebook page about a custom order.  The woman saw the awareness jewelry I had created in the past and wanted me to make something really special as a gift.  I cannot tell you her story because I did create these as a gift, and the recipient has not yet received the gift.  BUT what I can say is she asked me to create an awareness bracelet that would represent both diabetes awareness and breast cancer awareness.

I love creating something so special, so near to one's heart.  So I jumped at the chance and truly let my creativity run.

The pink ribbon represents breast cancer awareness and the gray ribbon symbolizes diabetes awareness.  Coincidentally, pink and grey are a GREAT color combination together.  I created not one, but two bracelets.  Each one has it's own message and is slightly different while both symbolize hope, strength and love.

I found these beautiful rose shaped beads that truly just embodied the message in these bracelets.  They are soft and elegant representing the true feminine self.  Roses are truly a beautiful flower and so are the women involved in this custom order.  And of course, the pink and grey ribbon are the awareness ribbons for breast cancer awareness and diabetes awareness.

I feel so blessed to be able to use my creativity to create something so special.  If you are looking to have a piece of custom beaded jewelry created with a symbolic message, feel free to e-mail me.  I have a chart of awareness ribbon colors on my website at: for you to reference if you are looking for something special.

I can't wait to hear the reaction when this gift is given.  I only wish I could be a fly on the wall to hear the squeal of happiness!
Have a day full of love!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Who Needs a Brazilian Butt Lift if You have one of THESE

There are very few things in life that can truly serve more than one purpose... alas let me demonstrate.
Kristen Stevens Adaptation of Tutorial Diamonds are Forever by Nancy Dale

You see, I have a very good friend Kristen that we often have beading discussions and bounce ideas off of each other.  Well my darling friend decided to surprise me with an artisan crafted gift.  Imagine my delighted squeal as I opened my mailbox and found a padded envelope shipped directly from New York.

Within the package was the most beautiful bracelet.  You see, dear Kristen knows I have very small wrists.  We've discussed why I don't use tutorials or even the examples in Beadwork magazine.  She put on her artist's hat and took a tutorial created by beader Nancy Dale and modified it.  That's the beauty of being a real artist.  It's not about using somebody's pattern, it's about learning something from doing the tutorial then making it your own.

For those interested in learning how this bracelet was made, you can purchase Nancy's Diamonds are Forever tutorial for yourself from her etsy store here:

Now... what else makes this bracelet so special?  Well... as I opened the package I was so giddy, I tried right away to put it on.  I couldn't get the frickin clasp open.  I was on the phone with Kristen at the time and she started laughing... imagine that, laughing at me, her dear friend.  (Just kidding Kristen!) 

Kristen had used the most incredibly strong magnetic clasp I have ever seen!  Seriously, if I had a necklace on with one of these, and had the other end attached to my butt, honest to goodness, I'd never need a Brazilian Butt Lift!  It would pick that tooshie up so it would be nice and perky all day long!

I was laughing so hard as we talked... my brain wandered to so many other uses for said magnetic clasp.  But I won't get into those right here... LOL  Needless to say, you'll have to get intouch with Kristen to find out what planet she got those on, because they are outta this world!! 

Kristen, I feel so very honored to have such a beautiful creation.  You know I love purple, but the detail you put into this bracelet was impeccable!  I love, love, love the crystals and the fit is perfect!  Everytime I wear it, it'll remind me what a wonderful friendship we share!


Nancy's Blog:
Nancy's Etsy Store:
Kristen's Blog:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Ads - Just My Opinion on a Monday Morning

First, let me ask... did you watch the Super Bowl or the Puppy Bowl (or both) last night?  We had the Super Bowl on and didn't personally have a vested interest in either team.  We do have very good friends that are die hard "Big Blue" fans and other dear friends that will bleed New England blood.  But with Chris a Packer fan, and I a Bear fan... we hoped it would be a great game (a true nail biter) and that the commercials would live up to their hype.

So with a degree in marketing and a love of GOOD commercials, I just had to tell you I loved the dog* commercials this year.  (*Provided all dogs were represented fairly and compensated according to their acting experience.)  Actually, I thought the dogs took the cake and the human commercials stunk! (Just my opinion - it's my blog and I can voice that here, k?)

But here's where my mind wanders... overall, I thought 10% of the ads were good.  I thought there were too many commercials for upcoming television shows and movies.  I get it, they need to be promoted too.  BUT they did nothing about even peeking my interest during the Super Bowl - where I'm watching for and expecting funny.  Sorry...

Really though, when I was growing up, the ads were about eating, drinking and having fun.  Not about the new series of blah, blah, blah reality show on TV.  It was about selling more potato chips, or drinking more beer and even which brand of cars are the best.  But really, the next reality tv show or doom movie on the big screen... I give it a big YAWN during the Super Bowl! 

I know, we have an obesity epidemic in this country.  But many of the "junk food" companies are coming out with healthier options - so they can advertise those, especially in a humorous way.  And moderation is the key.  But before I get on that soapbox, I still think people that watch the Super Bowl for the ads, we really aren't giving a rat's patoosey about the next reality tv show or movie.  Those commercials air every.other.night.of.the.year.

If you didn't get to see the commercials, NBC has set up a youtube channel with all the ads.  I know from chatting with some Canadian friends last year that Canada blocks out some commercials for US products.  Here's a link to their channel:  The ones I thought were awesome for you to check out were the Sketchers ad, both Doritos ads were great, VW ad and the Bud Light rescue dog "Herewego" LOL  I'm laughing just typing that!  Oh my....

Bella however, she frowns upon (and barks at) any dog in our house... especially those that come in via the television (no matter if they are real or cartoon).  Yes, she didn't like the Budweiser Clydesdales either.  In her mind, she could take on the whole team of those horses!  LOL  Oh little/big dog syndrome - how funny you are.

The one ad that I laughed my rear off at was in the opening commercial break. This in addition to the several commercials featuring dogs was the M&Ms commercial.  It had me holding my stomach in laughter.

So which ads were your favorites?  Hope you got a laugh or two... after all, laughter IS the best medicine!
Have a fantastic week!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Designs By Dawn Marie Custom Beaded Jewelry is Going to Jamaica AND Barbados

I only wish I could hand deliver the packages!!

Two of my pieces are traveling abroad in the next few weeks.  Remember the Grandmother's necklace I created for a special Christmas gift?  I received a call from the woman that she's so excited to take the piece on vacation with her to Barbados!  Seriously, can I please shrink and fit in the jewelry box with the necklace?

I had another woman that is going on vacation to Jamaica this month.  Swoon... palm trees, sandy beaches, umbrella drinks... no snow.... ahh, bliss.  Oops, sorry, you lost me in a daydream for a moment there.  She wanted a beaded ankle bracelet that was earthy toned and simple.  Nothing to chunky or big.

So I pondered the thought for a while and used some seashells from a Hawaiian shell lei to add a true, natural beachy feel.  Using beachy charms I brought in the feel of tropical and using the silver combined with earthy toned beads she can wear it with other gold or silver (or even brassy) jewelry!  So it's multi-purpose!

While I sit and daydream about being on vacation (the moving boxes quickly bring me back to reality) it sounds like we'll be able to take residency of our new home in less than two weeks!  YEAH!!!  So I best be hustling my bustle for the Challenge of Music I'm participating in with Erin Prais-Hintz!  :o)  I know the reveal isn't until Leap Day (so does that make it a blog leap instead of a blog hop?) but there's a pretty good chance my beads will be in transit at that time.  So I'm going to get right on that!

If you haven't signed up for Erin's challenge yet, what the heck are you waiting for.  There's no judging, no prizes.  It's truly just for fun and to help us all break our creativity out of the winter blues.  So head over to her blog right this very minute and sign up!  Sign ups close tomorrow (Feb. 4th!)

Have yourself a merry little weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Are you up to a Challenge

Today is the big reveal day for my friend Erin's Challenge of... Contest.  The last challenge Erin put together was a challenge of color.  We were asked to pick a color family and then assigned a color palette in that family to design a unique piece of jewelry from.  That was a BOATLOAD of fun and it really helped me think outside of my normal old shoes rut (purple, turquoise and brown). 

So when I heard that Erin wold be making the announcement TODAY for this round of Challenge (which I love Challenge on the Food Network) I actually wrote it in my planner (yes the real paper version) to make sure to check out Erin's blog AND get my butt signed up because I know there's a limited number of spaces.

This morning Erin posted a great blog post to introduce The Challenge of Music.  You have to read her post because honestly, it paints you the perfect picture of inspiration for this challenge.  I know I'm crazy despite packing and moving to think I can do a challenge... But like the Little Red Caboose, I think I can, I think I can!"

I love challenges of any sort... it stimulates growth and growing is always a good thing!  SO if you would like to participate in The Challenge of Music by Erin Prais-Hintz, go to her blog post, take a read and be ready for a wonderful, creative journey!  Sign ups are limited and only open from today (2/1) through February 4th.

Look forward to seeing what YOU come up with!

Challenge of Color Entry - A Walk in the Woods

Challenge of Color Entry A Walk in the Woods is available in my Online Store!


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