Thursday, August 30, 2012

So Many WIP - So Little Time

My motto through college (or should we say my excuse for procrastination) was "I work better under pressure!"  Have you ever said the same thing?

In this case, it really is about many, many projects all going on simultaneously!  I have "online" work that makes my eyes go batty... then I have my commissioned jewelry orders that make my artisan heart go pitter patter.

Because my to do list is thissssssssssssssssssssssssssss long, I'm going to get back to it and leave you with pictures of just 3 of my current projects that I've organized and have ready to start.

Coral, Turquoise and Gold Ensemble

Bold & Festive

Don't call me proud... I'm a peacock!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Win a Designs by Dawn Marie Artisan Jewelry Set in Lake Geneva WI this Weekend

This weekend, the Geneva Lake Women's Association is hosting a grand, gala event in Lake Geneva, WI.  The GLWA organization supports so many good causes and helps so many people in our local area, that I knew I wanted to do something special to give back and they'd put my something special to good use!

GLWA every year gives out a scholarship to a young woman in the area that has been active in her community, done well in her academics and is going on to further her education in order to give back to her community.  As a scholarship recipient when I went off to college, I know just how helpful opportunities like the GLWA scholarship are. 

As part of The Big Easy Jazz Cocktail Cruise, they are having a New Orleans Mardi Gras style event.  To make this event really special it all takes place on the Lady of the Lake - a grand and glorious old boat from the Lake Geneva Cruise Line fleet.  From cocktails and hours d'oeuveres to fantastic music, dancing and legal gaming the entire event culminates with the Venetian Festival boat parade and watching fireworks on the water.  Originally Chris & I were planning on attending the event as it's sure to be a great time, but since Brandi is still healing and we can't leave her alone, I've created something really special as a donation for their auction prizes.

This necklace is called Embrace Your Inner Beauty!

I was inspired to create a piece that speaks to the young women that are applying and receiving the scholarships from the GLWA.  At an age where messages from society are coming at us so fast - where to eat, what to wear, what you should be, who you should hang around with - and our decisions become the foundation for our future, I wanted to showcase being true to yourself.

We're all unique, made special and we all have a gift to share with the world.  The bold colors in this design along with the hint of asymmetry showcase an individual style.  This is for the woman that's not afraid to share her voice with the world.  She's not afraid to be noticed and she's sure to make a difference in the lives she touches. 

At the bottom is a cute little charm that says "Be Yourself" a gentle reminder that who you are is really special.  I hope the woman that wins this necklace (or a smart man who's going to give his wife an awesome gift) continues to share her message with the world.  Follow her heart and make a difference in the lives she touches. 

If you're local and still need to get your tickets to The Big Easy Jazz Cocktail Cruise on Lake Geneva, visit the GLWA website at:  Funny side note, I'm about to publish this blog post and I hear The Morning Blend in the background a featuring this special event!  Serendipity... I think so!

Embrace Your Inner Beauty ... and let your glow be seen!

Friday, August 10, 2012

I Just Experienced a True Miracle and I'm Overcome with Gratitude

Be forewarned, this story has a happy ending and a wiggly butt! :)
Really?  I'm not having a baby?? I feel like it...

So over the last week, my beloved springer Brandi developed a finicky appetite.  Odd for a dog that is normally ravenous... but it's exactly the same symptom she had when we found a bladder infection in her back in May.  Felt her tummy, it felt full, so it must be a little bloating.  Wednesday we went to the vet for what I thought was a check for a bladder infection, more antibiotics and rest.

We took X-rays and found a huge mass in Brandi's abdomen.  Yes... M-A-S-S and I saw the x-ray, it was very big.  Because we can't tell from an x-ray just how it decided to grow in there our only option was a mass removal surgery.   I knew going into surgery it was a life or death surgery.  And I was only going to do right by Brandi... I would never put my baby through discomfort or unnecessary pain if she couldn't live a quality of life.  Note:  Back in May when she had the bladder infection, we did a full ultrasound specifically looking for any abnormalities or growths.  There were NONE!

Yesterday was surgery... I'll spare you all the emotional moments as there were many.  Suffice it to say, the surgery took 2 hours.  They removed a tumor that weighed 7.3 lbs.  (She was only 40 lbs including the tumor going into surgery.)  The tumor had grown around one of her kidneys and adhered to her spleen, so she had them removed.  The following 24 hours would be critical.  We needed to keep her blood pressure down so she doesn't throw a blood clot.... more waiting, praying all the prayers I could pray... and wait.
You have GOT to be kidding me...

My phone rang at 9:05 last night... it was the vet.  I was expecting an evening update, but wasn't prepared for what happened next.

"How's Brandi? Is she doing okay?"
"Um, Dawn, you live close to the clinic right?"
"Yes" a pit building in my stomach
"Well I think you should come down here and get her."
"Okay.... is she okay?"
"Yes, she's recovering fine.  But she's a true springer and getting very antsy.  She's actually standing on her own and walking.  She's not letting the morphine sedate her so I'm concerned her anxiety will raise her blood pressure.  I think if she was in a familiar, quiet environment she'd sleep much better."
"Okay... I'll be right there."

Fast forward, I wake up this morning at 5:45 to a loving, happy Springer cuddling me in bed with beautiful, bright eyes.  She's amazingly strong.  She's amazingly mine... my baby girl. 
Sorry it's fuzzy, cell phone in a dark bedroom

What happened was a miracle... even talking with the vet today at a follow up check up... the fact he was able to get the solid, dense mass out of such a small frame without damaging vital organs was a miracle.  To me, the fact he kept going was a miracle.  Brandi will be 13 in November, most vets would have seen the entire abdomen filled with tumor and not have gone on thinking she's just an old girl, she'll never recover.  But Dr. Chris saw the twinkle in Brandi's eye and her spirited, feisty demeanor prior to surgery.  She spent the morning at the vet clinic before her surgery keeping the front desk ladies company while they waited for her blood work results.  She was lovin up on all of them!  So he knew, she was a fighter... if he could just get that tumor out.

I physically saw the tumor when I picked her up last night... I'm still in awe.  THAT was in THERE???? Really?  (I took pictures but am not putting them here for my queasy stomached sister AMY and brother) If you're into ER dramas and want to see them, e-mail me.

Special THANK YOU to Dr. Chris Welch and his wife Dr. Kelly Roy at Geneva Lakes Animal Hospital who both helped Brandi.  You BOTH treated Brandi as if she was one of your own.  She's my baby and your unending determination to make sure she was in the best place possible is priceless to me.  To have my baby girl home, happy and healing after what most people would never have attempted is so special.  From the bottom of my heart... Thank You.

So for now... I'm going to be spending time being a Licking Referee, keeping Bella otherwise occupied so she's calm and being grateful for the many, many blessings I received this week. 

Hugs & Love!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Lovin with a Twist of Heavy Metal

Metallic finishes are everywhere right now... from faux finishes on jeans to shoes and other accessories, not to mention the metal surrounding the 2012 Olympics (gold, silver and bronze).  The metallic finishes I'm not so fond of are the kind in my teeth commonly called fillings - but we won't discuss that here.

This design challenge excited me when I saw the kit that Amy Severino of Amybeads put together.  I've had the intention of creating something in metallics for a long time and just never had the inspiration on where or what that piece would be.  Enter Amy's challenge kit and voila... then a plan and a design were born.

I loved the tree pendant Amy included in the kit.  To me, it spoke of being rooted in something bigger than ourselves, of staying connected to our spirit guides, faith and the universe.  As leaves on a tree change colors going from summer to fall, then drifting slowly to the ground, becoming one with the earth that we too are to leave a piece of ourselves wherever we go making it a better place than it was before we got there.

I posted this sign on my FB page the other day.  
It struck me in that we shouldn't just leave (EXIT), rather we should do something while we're here in order to leave a legacy! EXIST!

That's a feeling, an energy I embodied while creating this necklace.  The copper leaves slowly cascade from the pendant and rustle like the pile of leaves we used to play in as kids playing in the yard.  I pulled in shades of pewter, silver, brass, bronze, gold and copper to embody all the precious metals.  This too reminding us how precious our life is and how truly fleeting it can be.

Root ~ Stay Connected ~ Do Something Wonderful ~ Pass it On

This piece came together over several months.  As time went on and I watched my design grow, it took on a life of it's own, literally.  I could see it blossoming into something bigger.  I could see more components being added.  In the end, this piece is the perfect depiction of a life well lived... it's beautiful while it's here and continues to spread beauty for generations to come!

Thanks for stopping by!   Hope you feel more inspired after stopping by!
{Hugs!} ~ Dawn


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