Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Beads of Courage and the Art Charm Exchange

A couple of years ago, I joined in the Art Charm Exchange, a swap and auction organized by Jen Cameron to raise money for Beads of Courage. This year Jen decided to run it again (the last time she will do so), and I jumped right in to take part again.

Beads of Courage is a program based in the US, which enables seriously ill children to collect beads representing milestones and procedures. The organization behind it runs a number of different programs, including commissioning special beads to be made by artists each year.

Jen’s Beads of Courage Art Charm Swap is a benefit for Beads of Courage, involving a big group of jewellery designers and bead makers from the US and around the world. Each participant provides 11 art charms made with handmade components such as lampwork beads or ceramic, polymer or metal clay, or mixed media. One charm is kept aside to auction off on eBay, and the remaining 10 are distributed amongst 10 of the other artists.

The charm auctions were meant to start today, but Jen has run into a snag there and has delayed the auction while she works out the best way forward.

Each year, Jen chooses a theme for the charms, and this year it was Fairytales. I thought about various different things I could do but in the end, I kept coming back to the idea of a book. After a bit of a search on Etsy and Pinterest for inspiration, I purchased some little brass book locket charms that were exactly the right size, with a bezel on both sides when the locket was open. I also found some digital book covers I could use to embellish the lockets. So I got to work. First the covers were glued onto the lockets using mod podge, and covered with several more coats. I love how the brush I use to apply the mod podge gives the covers a texture. I had two different versions of the cover, one says Enchanted and the other says English Fairy Tales.

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Inside the locket I glued a slip of paper with the words Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After into the bezels and then used a small amount of ice resin to partially fill the bezels. I was careful as I didn’t want to overfill the bezels and I was a bit worried that the resin would flow into the innards of the locket and then out the corners, but it all worked just fine!

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Finally I added a tiny key and a petite glass flower to the charms, and made sure they each had jump rings. Here’s a picture of the whole collection.

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I sent them off and waited impatiently to receive my collection of charms back. I’ll post about what I received in a separate post, perhaps when the auctions go live. In the mean time, hop around to see what others made inspired by the fairytale theme.

Alenka Obid
Andrea Glick
Angelique Gentry
Brooke Bock
Caroline Dewison
Cassi Paslick
Catherine van Alphen
Charlene Jacka
Helena Hatten
Jen Cameron
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Kathy Lindemer
Leona Smith
Lesley Watt
Lori Anderson
Marianne Baxter
Melissa Trudinger <– me!
Michelle McCarthy
Patty Miller
Shai Williams
Sheila Prosterman
Susan Kennedy
Terri Del Signore
Vanessa Gilkes

 

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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Art Charm Exchange: the charms I received!

Last week I showed you the charms I contributed to the Beads of Courage Art Charm Exchange. So I thought it was only fair I should show you the beautiful charms I received too. There were ten in total, as one of the artists made 2 charms, (plus I received one of my own back, so 11 altogether). And I have to say, they are all really, really beautiful!

Art charms collage 1

The first three here are from Andrea Glick (Zenith Jade Creations), Toltec Jewels (who sent two charms!) and Lennis Carrier (Windbent).

Art charms collage 2

These three charms from left to right are from Lesley Watt (THEA Elements), Kristi Bowman (Kristi Bowman Design) and Jenny Davies-Reazor.

Art charms collage 3

And finally these three charms are from Terri Delsignore (Artisticaos), Cate van Alphen (Fulgorine) and Vanessa Gilkes (Culturezine).

All of these charms and more are available in the auction, which is happening right now on eBay! There are still a few bargains available, and bidding ends on Monday night East Coast US time. What are you waiting for??

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

The Beads of Courage Art Charms auction is live!

I recently told you about the Art Charm Exchange and Charity Auction to raise money for Beads of Courage. Well, today is the day the auction goes live and also the day of the blog hop, where I get to tell you about the charms I made for the exchange.

This year’s theme was SOAR. To me, the word evokes a bird high up in the sky, wings outstretched, soaring through the sky, or hovering. I decided that this was an image I wanted to incorporate into my charms. I had some small Vintaj bezel charms that I could use, but the back of them was not flat and finished-looking. And also, I really wanted to include the word soar into my design. So I decided to go for a mixed media design.

On the back side of the charm, I pressed a small lump of turquoise-coloured polymer clay to cover the grooves. I gave it some texture, used some rubber stamps to press the word soar into it and baked it. I used acrylic paint (in a burnt umber colour) to highlight the texture and words without covering up the lovely colour, and sealed with Renaissance wax.

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Then I pasted and sealed the images into the bezel side of the charm and finished it off with resin. The images, which I got from Piddix on Etsy, are quite fun, they show the silhouette of a soaring bird over a background of rusty, patinaed metal.

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I picked out the 11 best to send to Jennifer Cameron. She then sent 10 of them out to participants (including me, as we each got one of our own back), and kept the last one for the auction. And here is a nice close up picture of my charm that is being auctioned right here right now!

Soar auction collage

At the time of writing this blog post it has a starting price of USD$9.99. If you like it, please bid on it and help raise some funds for Beads of Courage. 100% of the sale price goes to Beads of Courage—I would love to see it sell for a good price! The auction goes for seven days, and this one will be ending next Monday night December 1st, at 10:17pm EST or Tuesday afternoon AEST if you happen to live in Australia like me (note: you should check the auction end-time in your own time zone).

A few more things. I will post the charms I received in a few days (maybe this weekend). And also, this post is part of the Art Charm Exchange blog hop. Here is a list of the rest of the participants. Please take some time to visit their blogs and the other auctions and see what they were inspired to make!

2014 Art Charm Exchange Participants

Jennifer Cameron: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog

Alenka Obid: http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com

Alicia Marinache: http://www.allprettythings.ca

Andrea Glick: http://zenithjade.blogspot.com

Caroline Dewison: http://blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk

Cassi Paslick: http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/

Cate van Alphen: http://fulgorine.wordpress.com

Cheri Reed: http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com

Chris Eisenberg: http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com

Cory Tompkins: http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com

Elizabeth Auld: http://www.beadsforbusygals.com

Genevieve Gabbert: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog

Jami Shipp: http://celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com

Jenny Davies-Reazor: http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog

Jill Bradley: http://www.jillybeads.blogspot.com

Kim Dworak: http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com

Lee Koopman: http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com

Lennis Carrier: http://www.windbent.net

Lesley Watt: http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com

Mallory Hoffman: http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com

Melissa Trudinger: https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com <– YOU ARE HERE

Michelle McCarthy: http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com

Monique Urquhart: http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com/

Moriah Betterly: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com

Nancy Dale: http://nedbeads.blogspot.com

Nancy Smith: http://wirednan.blogspot.ca

Niky Sayers: http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk

Perri Jackson: http://ShaktipajDesigns.com/blog/

Renetha Stanziano: http://www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com

Shai Williams: http://www.shaihasramblings.com/2014/11/art-charm-exchange-auction.html

Sheila Prosterman: http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com

Susan Delaney: http://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com

Susan Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Terri DelSignore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com

Toltec Jewels: http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com

Vanessa Gilkes: http://culturezine.com/blog/

Beads, Markets

Three upcoming markets and an auction date postponed

It’s a busy time of the year here, the school year is drawing to a close and summer holidays are just around the corner. And with the holiday season just about upon us, it’s also market season for me. I’ve got three coming up in the next couple of weeks, two of them this coming weekend and all local to me!

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This Saturday is The Handmade Show, my regular monthly market. It’s literally just around the corner from home—I can walk there! It’s on from 10:30am-3:30pm if you happen to be in the area. Oh, and my Mum, who is a talented potter, will also be there with me!

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On Sunday I’m participating in a brand new market at The Breslin Gallery, a café and gallery down the street from me in the other direction! It’s a funky little gallery in a converted church and I’m looking forward to it. Just gotta hope the weather holds out, as the forecast is looking damp! It’s going to run from 9am-1pm.

Breslin gallery promo

Then on Saturday 29th September our local primary school is holding its annual Craft Market, from 9am-2pm. It’s strategically timed to coincide with the school hall’s use as a polling place in our state elections, so I’m hoping that means plenty of people will come by.

CPS craft market

If you live in Melbourne, and want to get a head start on your Christmas shopping, I’d love to see you at one or another of these upcoming markets! Tell me you saw this blog post and I’ll give you a coupon to use on your purchase.

Art Charm Exchange new date

Finally, the Art Charm Auction for Beads of Courage has been postponed for a couple of weeks. Instead of kicking off this weekend, it will now be starting on Monday 24th November, in the evening, and the blog hop will follow on Tuesday 25th November.

Beads, online shop

Facebook auctions are live

In the last few months, a number of Facebook groups devoted to buying and selling jewellery and supplies have popped up. This week marks the debut of the Aussie Artisan Jewellery Buy and Sell group, which as the name suggests, will provide a marketplace for Australian jewellery designers to showcase their wares.

It’s a straightforward concept with an auction approach to selling. The designer lists each piece with a starting price and a Buy it Now (BIN) price and gives a time and date for the auction to finish. Then potential buyers can bid until the auction ends or the BIN price is reached.

Here are the pieces I’ve listed today. If you click on them, it should open up the appropriate photo in Facebook! They are available until Sunday 15 July at noon Australian Eastern time. And the prices are listed in Australian dollars, but don’t let that stop you from bidding. One other thing—I will always post at the most inexpensive rate available, but due to the fragile nature of the components, I have to package them as securely as I can.

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