Monday, February 16, 2015

Crocheting...It's Not Just for Afghans, Scarves and Doilies

As long as I can remember, my Mother always had a crochet project or ten by her side.  She was extremely talented and I like to think I got my creativity from her.  She made so many beautiful things!!  Unfortunately, she passed away long before I became interesting in crochet so I didn't get the opportunity to learn from her.  But, I believe her being gone is what made me all the more motivated to learn the craft and carry on her legacy.

I taught myself how to crochet back in 2010 and, once I got the hang of it and passed the frustration stage(s), I fell in love.  Since then, I've made a few lap-ghans (my attention span is not long enough to make a full afghan), a lot of scarves but...never a doily.  My most favorite crochet items to make are not necessarily the most traditional.  Over the holidays I made a TON of 100% cotton, eco-friendly dishcloths...they were definitely my most popular gift item.  I also make a spa line consisting of soap savers, spa cloths, face scrubbies, and reusable cotton rounds...which are all absolutely fantastic if I do say so myself!  I am always looking for more sustainable/eco-friendly products so I even crochet myself a reusable Swiffer WetJet pad.

Lately, in between projects for myself,  I've been working on earrings made from vintage thread I found in a thrift store.  I must say, I'm thrilled with the way they have been turning out.  However, I do find myself wondering why these supplies ended up being donated in the first place.  Maybe the person just gave up on the project or maybe the owner passed away before they were able to finish.  Whatever the reason, it makes me feel good to be able to, in a way, finish it for them. Whether it be how they intended or not, I am making those discarded supplies into something fabulous.

So, a big thank you to my Mom is in order for, along with a million other things, introducing me to the world of crochet and passing on her talent and passion to create beautiful things by example.

I work very hard and am extremely proud of all of my creations and I know she would be proud of me and my accomplishments too  :)

Please visit DMDesigns to see more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

From Outdated and Discarded to Renewed and Fabulous!

Some call it upcycling, others call it reclaiming, I call it refabulousing (refabbing for short). One of my most favorite things to do, besides designing, is browsing antique and thrift stores for that special find. Whether it be something I can refab into a new creation, or something just perfect the way it is, I enjoy the hunt.

I knew when I saw this vintage double sided, butterfly and floral clutch shape pendant at an antique market, I had stumbled across something pretty special.  And when I learned it was found in a 1920-1940's Singer sewing machine cabinet, I was sold!

After some research, I found out that this style of jewelry is called Cloisonné and it is stunningly intricate. When I got it home and cleaned up I couldn't stop looking at it and, every time I did, I noticed a new detail...the butterflies, scrolls, vibrant colors, the slight scalloped shape.

I put on an 18" gold plate chain with a gold plate infinity ring and handmade front closure. I have done some extensive searching on this type of jewelry and have yet to see one as uniquely shaped as this one. It is absolutely gorgeous.

I also found these beautiful leaf shaped Cloisonné earrings alongside the pendant.  I removed the old ear wire, added a gold plate infinity ring and attached them to handmade brass ear wires.

Here are a couple more of my favorite refabbed buried treasures.  I found these outdated and discarded earrings and bracelet while out browsing thrift stores for hidden treasures. They were just destined for a DMDesigns makeover and they just so happened to match!

The unique jade colored bracelet link was refabbed into a beautiful necklace. I added it to a 18" gold filled chain with gold plate infinity circles and a handmade clasp.

The jade colored teardrops were removed from their tired old posts, hung from gold plate ovals and added to some handmade brass ear wires.  They are refabulous!

Don't you just love happy endings?!  I do!!

To see more of my vintage picks and designs visit DMDesigns

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dear Crazy Lace, You're Awesome!!

Crazy Lace Agate has quickly become one of my most favorite gemstones to work with.  I mean, just look at's gorgeous!!

Crazy Lace is called the Laugher Stone, or "Happy Lace".  It is associated with sunny Mexican fiestas and dancing and brings joy to those who wear it.  It is not a stone of protection, but of support and encouragement...elevating thoughts and promoting optimism.  Its graceful design in random lacy patterns creates a circular flow of energy...stimulating for the mind and attitude.

It is a variety of banded Chalcedony, a mineral of the Quartz family.  It is predominantly white with laters of creamy browns, blacks and grays.  Some may include layers yellow ochre, gold, scarlet and red.  Agate is sometimes called the earth rainbow because, in its various forms, the concentric bands in nature form nearly every color the earth can produce...including a colorless form.

You can check out my Crazy Lace designs @ DMDesigns

Necklace Lengths

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Power of Agate

The agate is one of the oldest stones in recorded history and has been used in jewelry since Biblical Babylonian times.  They were prized gems in antiquity and were used to ward off storms.  The agates with banded colors were placed at the head of a sleeper to give rich and varied dreams.

Agate is believed to:

Attract strength. 
Protect from bad dreams. 
Protect from stress and energy drains. 
Harden the gums.

Agate is used for stomach upsets. Place the agate on the solar plexus. The agate can't change emotions, but helps to change our level of acceptance of the emotion. Such as when you are very sad the agate will let you know that this will pass and help you get on to another and better day. This is why the Agate is considered so powerful as it gives us the strength to carry on. Carry an agate when you have to make an important decision.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day from DMDesigns!!

Ahh, love is in the air.  For the entire month of February (while supplies last) every $50 or more order will received a FREE crochet hot/cold heart cozy like the one shown below!! A $10 value!!  Please visit DMDesigns on Facebook for more info and lots of uniquely handmade awesomeness :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

How to Measure Your Ring Size

To measure your ring size, follow these steps:
  1. Wrap a piece of string or paper strip around the base of your finger, be sure to allow for the size of your knuckle.
  2. Mark the point where the two ends meet.
  3. Measure the length of the string or paper against a ruler.
  4. Compare your measurement with this chart to determine your ring size. 

Measurement Ring Size Equivalents
Inches mm. US British French German Swiss Japanese
1  7/16 36.5 0
1  19/32 39.1 1
1 5/8 41.6 2
1 3/4 44.5 3 F 44 14.0 4 4
1 25/32 45.2 3 1/2 G 45 14.5 5 1/2 6
1 13/16 46.0 4 H 47 15.0 7 7
1 7/8 47.6 4 1/2 I 48 15.5 9 8
1 15/16 49.2 5 J 50 15.8 10 9
2 50.8 5 1/2 K 52 16.0 12 10
2 1/16 52.4 6 L 53 16.5 13 12
2 3/32 53.2 6 1/2 M 54 17.0 14 13
2 1/8 54.0 7 N 55 17.3 15 14
2 3/16 55.6 7 1/2 O 57 17.8 16 1/2 15
2 1/4 57.2 8 P 58 18.0 18 16
2 5/32 54.8 8 1/2 Q 59 18.5 19 17
2 5/16 58.7 9 R 60 19.0 20 18
2 3/8 60.3 9 1/2 S 61 19.5 21 1/2 19
2 7/16 61.9 10 T 62 20.3 22 20
2 1/2 63.5 10 1/2 U 63 20.8 23 1/2 22
2 9/16 65.1 11 W 64 21.0 25 23
2 19/32 65.9 11 1/2 X 66 21.3 26 24
2 5/8 66.7 12 Y 67 21.8 27 1/2 25
2 11/16 68.3 12 1/2 Z 69 22.0 29 26
2 3/4 69.9 13 -- -- -- -- 27