Thursday, May 3, 2007

DOG DAY DESIGNS


(Above: The cover and an inside page of the Peace and Tranquility Necklace brochure)
(Below: The front of Lila's business card)
(Click on all images to view details)

**********

After Lila at her Indigo Pears blog posted a photo of the robin's nest necklace I sent her, it generated some interest from people wanting to purchase it, so I ran down to Lila's (yes, another Lila!) studio today to see if she would mind if I posted information about her business in my blog. She was more than happy to let me, and I am more than happy to tout her work!
I first encountered Dog Day Designs (Jewelry With Meaning) by Lila Marquart at Bismarck's Urban Harvest two years ago. I fell in love with her jewelry and her lovely presentation of it. Since Urban Harvest is held Thursdays in July and August in downtown Bismarck right next to the building where I used to work, it was easy for me to take my lunch break to admire her designs. Once I learned that her studio was right downtown too, and that she would custom-make necklaces for me, I was hooked. Soon I was walking the block and a half to her studio at lunchtime to have necklaces made with my personal input. (This is when I had money - Ha!)
Where to begin to describe this unique handmade jewelry and why do I like it so much? Lila uses gemstones that have been associated for thousands of years with special properties like healing, calming the spirit or clearing the mind. Her use of color is exquisite, and she incorporates charms that resonate deeply with the people who buy her work. She has created a number of lines, including Inspiration, Goddess, and Animal Totem necklaces, "The Fairy Garden", Zodiac Birthstone necklaces, and Well Being and Chakra jewelry.
She has charms for all religious points of view, in addition to the goddesses mentioned above. They include Catholic medallions, Ohm and Buddha. And I mustn't forget the doggy designs in 18 of the most popular breeds. There's no surprise that Lila chose a business card illustration that contains a dog. Her studio is often graced by the presence of her own little dog who snoozes as customers visit.
Equally as beautiful as Lila's jewelry are the brochures and gift enclosures. They feature floral borders, art reproductions of famous paintings (often of the Pre-Raphaelites), and the research she has done on that particular piece. For example, for the Goddess Coventina necklace Lila researched the story of this Celtic and British goddess of water. From her legend comes our practice of throwing coins into a fountain or wishing well. Originally, offerings were tossed in the water to honor or appease the goddess. The charm in this necklace is, naturally, a wishing well.
The animal totem necklaces now number 48, and include dolphins, otters, cats, bees, eagles, deer, horses, rabbits and many, many more. Lila tells me she has never seen anything like her Zodiac Birthstone necklaces on the web.
Today, a new necklace caught my eye: The Lady of the Lake, with a crown charm and the story of this famed Arthurian legend. It is on my wish list, for sure.
I love sending this jewelry to family and friends. I sent my daughter a chakra bracelet when I knew she was going through some rough times. I sent Lila the robin's nest necklace because she has helped me so much with blogging, and because robins seemed to be a theme of our correspondence for a while this spring.
Most of the Dog Day Designs necklaces are about $30.00, which I think is very reasonable. Lila will also will make earrings to match, and she fashions bracelets, anklets and pins as well. I bought two of the necklaces pictured below ready made. The cloisonne necklace celebrates my love of purple, and the second necklace from the bottom contains my birthstone, alexandrite, and my wish-it-was-my birthstone, garnet. I can proudly say that I helped pick out the gems for the fairy necklace (love that gray-blue-green stone) and my "fall" necklace, with colors to match a scarf I already had in peach, brown and sky blue. I love the leaf, acorn, cherub and especially pixie charms on this necklace.
In fact, I helped design the robin's nest necklace too. When I say "design", I mean I chose the blue and reddish-brown stones/gems, and Lila added the secondary gems and filler pieces.
Lila's website is still under construction. When it is complete you may visit it by going to http://www.dogdaystudio.com/ . In the meantime, email her at dogdaydesigns@bis.midco.net . She has photos of her work that she can email you. Or write her at 120 N. Third St., Suite 260B, Bismarck, ND 58501, or phone her at 701-391-6721.
I am proud to say that Bismarck is home to such a unique artisan!
**********
(Below: I own these necklaces by Lila Marquart)
(To see a photo of the robin's nest necklace, go to:
Indigo Pears at http://www.indigopears.blogspot.com/





2 comments:

lila said...

What a wonderful post! I love my necklace even more now that I know more about the artist!
I may have to make a doll based on the celtic goddess you mentioned...I hadn't encountered her before!

Kelli said...

Thank you so much for the information! Her jewelry is just beautiful!
Kelli