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??