Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Online Holiday Trunk Show #2

So happy to say that everyone had a great time at my first trunk show a couple weeks ago. They had lots of fun bidding on items and asked if there would be another show before Christmas. I had fun too and there were a whole bunch of items I didn't get posted for the first one so I figured 'Why not?'

If you're still looking for special gifts or things to treat yourself, stop by my current Holiday Trunk Show happening now on Facebook.

I finished putting the rest of the items up last night so now there are about 200 items available at super savings! I'm running this one in auction format too so there are Buy Now and Starting Bid prices listed. The starting bid prices are at least 50% off retail so you can get great deals on beautiful gifts.

Come by and save money on your holiday shopping! And please share the event with your friends and family. Thank you!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Designs by Debi Online Holiday Trunk Show

If you love giving meaningful gifts to loved ones at the holidays, you really need to check out the Artisans Open Market page on Facebook. It was started by my friend Nikki Rogalski of Bastille Bleu Lampwork and so far has been a huge hit! 

It's an online Open Market for artisans of handcrafted glass, jewelry and metal arts/jewelry to share and sell their wares with those who appreciate, search for, and purchase unique handcrafted items; making it easy for you to buy, sell, and give the gift of handmade!

There are shows scheduled every day through December 23rd and, after a short break for Christmas, they will resume on the 26th. It has been going so well that Nikki is planning to continue scheduling weekend shows after the holidays and, if things continue to thrive, more dates will open up and quite likely more varieties of handcrafts will be showcased, too.

I'm hosting my Trunk Show there this weekend... from Small Business Saturday 11/24 until Cyber Monday at 11pm. I have over 150 items in my show!! I'm running it in an auction format so there are Buy Now and Starting Bid prices listed. The starting bid prices are at least 50% off retail so you can get great deals on beautiful gifts.

I'm planning a huge relocation in 2013 and I have to do inventory reduction so I decided to do it now and save you money on your holiday shopping! I hope you'll stop by and please share the event with your friends and family. Thank you!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween and Some OOAK Halloween Jewelry

Happy Halloween!

Ok I'm a day early, but I have something exciting for you! Last time I showed you the jewelry set I designed for the Lady Gaga Creative Call for Oddities Event. When I was designing that set, I decided to do a similar one for my Jewelry for Charity Program. 

It's not exactly the same, but very close. So, for those of you who like Halloween and themed jewelry, this is for you...

I had a lot of fun designing for that challenge, even though I hate Halloween LOL. More importantly though, the reason for making this set a Jewelry for Charity set is because I want to call attention to and actively support Lady Gaga's charity, Born This Way Foundation. That's where the donation from the sale will be going :)

Bullying is out of control. BTWF is a movement for change and I think it's AWESOME! Individuality should be celebrated and we should create a world more accepting and tolerant of differences, so I commend her and her Mom, Cynthia Germanotta, for what they're creating and wish them much success.

You can read more about the charity set here. And I hope you'll visit www.BornThisWayFoundation.org and support their work.

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Big Reveal: Jewelry for Lady Gaga's Challenge

Ok, it's time for the big reveal! 

In my last post I showed you some of the parts on my workbench for the Lady Gaga Creative Call for Oddities Halloween Event I was participating in thanks to being contacted by Black Diamond Celebrity Gifting.

Well, the jewelry is finished and has been mailed off. I've edited the images and it's time to let you see what I designed!

I put together a collage of the jewelry along with the Lady Gaga graphic that inspired me...

She asked for "Think outside the box...outside the hemisphere. Things that make me go WOW!" So... do you think I succeeded? I hope I did!

Opportunity for You
If you like Halloween and the set I designed, you're going to LOVE this... You could own a similar set!

I made a second jewelry set similar to the one for the design challenge for my October 2012 Jewelry for Charity Set. The donation from the sale will be going to Lady Gaga's charity, Born This Way Foundation!

They're not exactly the same. Each set is a one-of-a-kind, and they're the only 2 sets like this I'll ever make so, if you're interested, keep an eye on the Designs by Debi website. The charity set will be going up soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Some Lady Gaga Halloween Excitement

Thanks to being contacted by Black Diamond Celebrity Gifting, I have the opportunity to participate in a design challenge from Lady Gaga!! How exciting is that?!?

She issued a creative call for oddities as a Halloween event and that was a challenge I just could not pass up! The requirement.. "Think outside the box...outside the hemisphere. Things that make me go WOW!" Even though admittedly I hate Halloween, this is an opportunity to do something quite artistic and unusual and really indulge my creative side :)

I'm finishing up the project and mailing it off this week, but I thought I'd share a sneak peek with you. These are some of the parts I purchased for the challenge laid out on my workbench... 

I'll share photos once the set is finished. And, if you DO like Halloween, here's a special opportunity for you....
I'm making a second jewelry set similar to the one for the design challenge. It will be the October 2012 Jewelry for Charity Set on the Designs by Debi website (going up late obviously) and the donation will be going to Lady Gaga's Charity, Born This Way Foundation!

They won't be exactly the same. Each set will be a one-of-a-kind, but they'll be the only 2 sets like this I'll ever make so, if you're interested, keep an eye on the website.

And, speaking of the website, I'm still working on the upgrades. That's why there hasn't been anything going on there for awhile.

My fur baby, Niko, had major surgery and I almost lost him this summer. They removed his spleen and a mass from his belly. He's sick again and it looks like he may need another surgery. Here he is at work in the dining room with me (see the legs of my office chair) the day after his surgery. This was the first time he gave a smiley face to Mommy after surgery... oh how wonderful it felt to see that! He's my baby and it's been a heart-wrenching, rough 5 months here.

Anyway, most of my business is custom designs and my customers take priority always, even over website programming so the upgrades are still a work in progress.

I do expect to have the site finished within the next 4 weeks though in time for Holiday shopping and I'll be adding quite a lot of jewelry to the site and my ArtFire Studio.

You still have time to give me input, too, if you have some. Don't be shy. Take a second and tell me because I do this for YOU. The website and jewelry are for you.

Is there anything I can do to make the site, blog and/or newsletter better for YOU?

There's still a giveaway attached to this request. It doesn't matter how or where you choose to give me your input... responding by email, on the blog, on my Facebook wall... I'll be jotting it down and someone will win a set of jewelry.

Thank you once again for your purchases; for trusting me to design precious keepsakes for you; and for your repeat business and referrals.

And thank you for understanding how important it is for me to take care of Niko and to all of you who send well wishes to us. That's precious and truly appreciated.

I'll have photos of the finished jewelry for the Lady Gaga design challenge by next week so don't forget to check back. It's going to be really unique!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

Today I'm thinking about all the victims of  9/11 and their families. I can't believe it's been 11 years... 11 years... wow. The shock and horror are still fresh enough to move me to tears. Everyone always asks if you remember where you were on 9/11. Do you remember where you were? I do. 

I remember exactly where I was standing, who I was with and who told me when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. I remember watching on the TV in the patient waiting area in shock as the second plane hit. And I remember going back to take care of my veteran patients with a terrified student who was afraid any government building could be next... I was working at the VA Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island on that day. I remember it as vividly as if it were yesterday.

Little did I know at the time, but there was someone I knew on the plane I had just watched crash into the WTC. Amy Jarret was a Flight Attendant on United Airlines Flight 175. I knew her from high school at Mount St Charles Academy in Woonsocket, RI. Two years younger than I and her life gone in a flash...

In honor of Amy and all of those lost on that horrible day, I designed my Remember 9/11 Memorial Bracelets. A portion of the proceeds from each one sold is donated to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund to help children who lost one or both parents on September 11th.

If  you lost someone or want to share memories, please feel free to do so.... even if it's just a simple RIP comment... let's honor and remember the wonderful people lost that day ♥ I'll go first :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Getting Ready for Fall?

Are you getting ready for fall? Personally, I'm a summer person so the thought of the fall season coming so fast has me less than thrilled to say the least. But I have friends who can't wait for the cooler weather to come. And I have to admit even I get excited about the fall coffee flavors at Dunkin' and Honey Dew ^.^ For those who don't know... my blood type is coffee... LOL.

If you like fall and the colors that come with it, take a look at this beautiful ArtFire Collection put together by JewelryByBeaJae. She was kind enough to include my Falling Leaves Toggle Bracelet so a huge thank you goes out to her.

ArtFire is always a great place to go if you're looking for special gifts. You can find many top notch artisans there. Make it part of your awesome-gift-giving arsenal, especially for the holidays, and you'll be known for the thoughtful and amazing presents you give to family and friends ;)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Be Inspired by 100 Change Makers in 100 Days

Today I'd like to introduce you to Natalie Sisson. Some of you may know her. And, if you've been around here at all, you've heard me talk about her. Natalie is The Suitcase Entrepreneur. She spends her time travelling the world, having all kinds of great adventures and raising money for worthy causes, all the while running her business from her laptop!

You may have heard about one of her recent EPIC adventures: Natalie rode in the Tour d'Afrique. Yup, she rode her bike 4,000 miles across Africa and raised $12,612 for Women Win in the process. Pretty amazing, huh?

More recently, she was in Portland, Oregon for the World Domination Summit. At the end of the weekend, Chris Guillebeau gave everyone who attended $100 (basically gave away $100,000 in 7 minutes!) and asked them to do something with it - start a project, surprise someone or do something entirely different.

Natalie dreams BIG... and does BIG. She's also passionate about helping others, especially women entrepreneurs. So, with her $100, she decided to start a whole new HUGE initiative to make as big of a difference with that $100 as she possibly can. (You can read the post on her blog about how she came to the decision.)

This initiative is called $100 Change. It's designed to change hundreds of entrepreneurs' lives and to show people that they can achieve major change in their lives and the lives of others with $100.

$100 Change initiativeHere are the details in Natalie's own words: "I’m going to get 100 change-makers to share 100 pieces of amazing insight and resources (in different formats from video, to text, to audio and even bonus giveaways). I’m then going to provide these in a set of daily kick-ass emails that ensure you get one step closer to creating your ideal lifestyle business.

These short and sweet nuggets of wisdom will guide you towards making significant change in your life and business so that at the end of 100 days you are inspired to take bold and purposeful action.

I’m going to do this, I promise you that. It’s big and bold and daunting but many change-makers have already stepped up and I’m thrilled."

The initiative launches on September 1, 2012. You’ll get 100 inspiring emails for 100 days containing insight, wisdom and advice from 100 Change-Makers for $1 a day.

Over the course of 100 days you’ll be guided on how to make significant change in your life and start a business or project that matters and at the end of the 100 days you’ll get all of these emails in a beautiful digital guide to keep.

These emails will be short and sweet, but oh so valuable. Some will contain written wisdom, some short videos, audios or even gifts.

Plus at the end of this 100 day period you’ll have the opportunity to apply for 1 of 10 scholarships to get your business or project off the ground (details to come)!

And, as if that weren't enough, everyone who gets on her early notification list and completes a couple simple tasks to spread the word, will be entered in a drawing to win a ticket to the 2013 World Domination Summit (value = $500) that will take place Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 6pm EDT!!

Are you inspired? Then head on over and check it out!

I think this is so amazing and inspiring. One of my favorite quotes is "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" by Mahatma Gandhi. Congratulations to Natalie on an awesome idea for change and I wish her the best of luck and success!!

Much success,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Get to Know Your Customers Day!


Did you know that today is Get to Know Your Customers Day? Well, it is. We actually celebrate this day 4 times every year. For Designs by Debi, I want to make this one extra special... but I need YOUR help.

As you probably have seen, there hasn't been a whole lot of activity on the website. That's because I've been working on making it better. Unfortunately, there's a lot of programming involved and it's taking longer than expected because, as I explained in my last post, Niko is very sick. As a matter of fact, he'll be having surgery soon to remove the mass in his belly. So, for now, the website renovation is on hold. I've been focusing on fulfilling orders and direct customer care because that always has to come first. So the website will wait a bit longer.

But that also gives us a wonderful opportunity! The jewelry I design is for YOU. The Designs by Debi website is for YOU. So I'm hoping to turn this delay into something productive. I'm hoping that you will take a minute (or as long as you want... I LOVE hearing from you!), and leave a comment below or send me an email or write on the Designs by Debi Facebook wall... and tell me what YOU want to see.

What do you like? What don't you like? 

What should I keep around? What should go? What would you like to see added?

What would make the site, blog and/or newsletter better for YOU?

And, just in case you need a little incentive, there will be a giveaway attached to this. It doesn't matter how or where you choose to give me your input, I will be writing it down or printing it out and, once Niko is well enough for me to continue the site renovation, I will select a set of jewelry and one of you will win it. Sound good? Ok then, share your thoughts with me.

And I not only want to get to know you today, I also want to say THANK YOU! That's why I chose a magenta rose to make that image for you, and why the rose in my logo is magenta... dark pink roses symbolize appreciation... and I don't think there are words to express how much I appreciate you!

Without you, there would be no Designs by Debi at all. Thank you for your purchases. Thank you for trusting me to design precious keepsakes for you. Thank you to all of you over the past month who so graciously told me to "take care of Niko. He comes first. I can wait." And thank you to all of you who have sent prayers and well-wishes to us and those of you who donated to Niko's fundraiser. All of these things mean more than I can say. In a time when so many people are struggling, I feel truly blessed for the business (and repeat business!) that you've given me. Thank you SO very much!

Ok, now get sharing!! I want Designs by Debi to be a truly awesome experience for you always!

C'mon... you can do it... click on comments below and tell me what you're thinking :) Yes, I really DO want to know...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Take Your Dog to Work Day

It's Take Your Dog to Work Day! Did you get to take your dog to work? Are you one of the lucky ones who gets to take their dog to work every day? I'd love you to share your photos and stories with me!

As most of you know, I'm an Eskie Mom. And, since I run my company from home, I'm very blessed because I get to have my dog at work with me every day! I must admit it is wonderful :)

Niko is my little assistant. He's by my side or behind my chair whether I'm working on the computer or making jewelry. Here he is in the dining room overseeing a jewelry-making session...

And he's hysterical... if I get up for any reason, he moves under the table like it's his duty to guard everything. Here he is with his best "don't-even-think-about-touching-my-Mommy's-stuff" face on...

He's so adorable and he's the light of my life. I love the fact that I can have him with me while I'm working. Right now though, I'm devastated because Niko is sick and we could really use your help.

Letting You Know Why I'm Scarce Lately

Forgive me for going off-topic today, but I need to share something so you know that I haven't just disappeared. You may notice I'm not online as much right now and I want you to know why. This is my Eskie... Niko... and this very special little boy is the reason for my absence.

On Wednesday, June 13th I had to rush my precious Niko to the vet; unsure if he possibly had stepped on something or hurt himself; thinking maybe a splinter in his paw, a leg cramp or a dislocated knee or hip. 

I carried him in and Dr Jeff examined his leg. Definite injury... he blew the cruciate ligament in his left hind knee. That was terrible news, but it got a whole lot worse.

As Dr Jeff was checking him out further, he said he felt something in his belly and that, before we deal with the knee, he needed to get x-rays to look at his belly and get some labwork.

When he brought me to look at the x-rays, my jaw dropped. He said "He has a mass in his belly." I was devastated. It felt like someone had shot me in the heart. He said it appears to be in his spleen, but we would need to get an ultrasound to be sure what we're dealing with so we scheduled one.
We need to deal with the mass before he can have the surgery he needs on his knee. So all he could do for his knee right now is give him pain meds and told me to try to keep him off it.

He needs to be monitored 24/7 for signs of a rupture and brought in immediately if I see any of them. 

He also found a bladder stone that is too large for him to pass. That will also have to be dealt with. It's 3rd on the priority list... unless it moves and obstructs his urethra.

He had his ultrasound and orthopedic work-up on Wednesday. We can't make any decisions until we get the pathology results of the fine needle aspiration they did during the ultrasound. And when they did his knee x-rays, they found cruciate ligament tears in BOTH knees. That makes things a whole lot more complicated.

Any way we look at it Niko needs surgery... at least 2, more likely 3 or 4. Right now he's home with me on 24/7 observation and pain meds while we wait.

Niko and I Would Appreciate Your Help

I decided, at friends' urging, to do fundraising for Niko. However, I cannot just take money or ask people to donate for auctions like we see all the time on Facebook. I wanted something better... a way that I could reward people and make their lives easier for helping me save Niko's life. 

I'm quite likely looking at well over $10,000 of vet bills before we're done and Niko's already had surgery twice in the last year. But he has been there for me through some really bad stuff so I have to try everything I can to save him.

I started a page for Niko on Facebook so family, friends and supporters can follow our journey and get updates on his progress. I share photos and post updates as I get them. I also entered a note on his page telling our story if you want to read more than the bits I've written in this post. I hope you'll come over, 'like' his page and join Team Niko.

I also set up a fundraiser for him on GiveForward.com called Team Niko. You can find it here... http://www.giveforward.com/teamniko. I posted our story, some photos and updates there as well. And there's a GiveForward widget on the right side of my blog.

Giving Back

As I said, I cannot just take and it was very hard for me to ask for help. So, I need to give thanks by giving back. And I'm doing that two ways...

1) Everyone who donates will receive a code for 20% off any purchase made through my ArtFire Studio at http://www.DesignsByDebi.artfire.com, even clearance items.

2) Everyone who donates $10 or more will get a "Dinner and a Movie Discount Card" which is actually good for a whole lot more than dinner and a movie... It's an all access discount card good for thousands of deals on dining, shopping, travel, recreation and services all over the USA (including online) for an entire year to use as many times as you want.

Ways to Help

I appreciate any and all help I can get for my sweet Niko. Prayers and well wishes are wonderful... and seem to be helping :)

If you can donate, I'm eternally grateful and you will receive the items mentioned above.

And, if you could share this post, Niko's Facebook page and/or his Team Niko GiveForward page that would be FABULOUS. I know that time are tough, but I believe that those who are able to help will find us by the generous sharing of these pages. So, I thank you very much in advance for sharing ♥

Here are some short links to help:
The Team Niko facebook page... on.fb.me/MCuW19
Niko's Team Niko GiveForward page... bit.ly/MPgbpL

And I AM Working

I may not be posting as often as usual, but please know that I AM here and I AM working. I'm just spending my work time making sure to take care of my customers. I'm still accepting orders, including custom orders, and that's what I'm focusing on. 

But, I'm not taking any time off.. I need to pay those vet bills! I just change my work hours around Niko's needs ...so if you need something, by all means please contact me Debi (at) designs-by-debi (dot) com. I'm still doing my best to answer all emails within 24 hours :)

Thank you!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hibiscus and Flip Flops ~ Two of My Favorite Things

Do you know what today is?

It's National Flip Flop Day!! 

I LOVE flip flops!! I have tons of them... oh I dunno somewhere probably around 100 pairs. Nope... no joke. Not only do I have every color, I have shades of every color because of course they need to match whatever I'm wearing... LOL  ;-)

But I do live in New England right now so unfortunately my flip flops have to get put away for half the year and my hibiscus (another of my favorite things) are afraid of the cold too :-(

But check this out.... My friend Faye and her daughter Lesli over at Ye Olde Chandler are introducing a 2 new products today...

Aren't they sooooooo cute?? I'm VERY excited because this means that I'm going to be able to have flip flops and hibiscus all year long (even if it's just in the soap dishes in my house for now)!! 

These are so new, they're not even up on the Ye Olde Chandler website yet! They're putting together a list of their soap-safe scents and starting off with Hawaiian Suntan and Tropical Romance. I have them both and they smell wonderful :) They're also available in different colors....

If you want to order some of these amazing soaps for yourself, just send them an email and you can talk scents and colors one-on-one! You can email Faye and Lesli at info(at)yeoldechandler(dot)com and you can stop by their Ye Olde Chandler Facebook page, too. 

The hibiscus soap is $5 and the flip flop soap is $4... a great deal because these are large soaps! The hibiscus soap is 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick! The flip flop soap is 4 1/4 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide and well over 1/2 inch thick... and that's not counting the straps and hibiscus! 

They make great gifts! And you can use them for wedding favors, shower favors... lots of cute possibilities here!

I hope you're having a great summer so far! Enjoy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gorgeous Patriotic Jewelry Collection

Wow, I was really blessed today... I had 3 of my jewelry pieces included in Member-Curated Collections on ArtFire!! I'm honored! And, in honor of all our men and women in the military, I thought I'd share this one with you...

Isn't it a beautiful collection? I love flags and these pieces are just gorgeous! I also decided to share this one because it's May... and May is National Military Appreciation Month.

So I'm shouting out a huge THANK YOU to all our 
soldiers, veterans and military families
for all they do for us and all the sacrifices they make 
~ ♥ ~