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

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, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Beads of Courage charm swap preview

BoC Art charm swap 2014I’m waiting on tenterhooks for my charms to arrive from the 2014 Beads of Courage Art Charm Swap and Benefit Auction. It’s my first time taking part in this fundraising swap, auction and blog hop, which is organized every year by Jennifer Cameron, a lampwork glass artist based in Indiana.

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 to nine of the participants plus the original maker.

Each year Jen chooses a theme word—this year it is SOAR—to provide an inspirational starting point for making the charms. I thought about the word for a while, and its clearest meaning for me was to do with birds soaring through the sky. I decided to go with a mixed media approach, and my charms involve polymer clay as well as images under resin. Are you intrigued yet?

Now I can’t reveal my charms until November 14th, even if they arrive tomorrow, but on that day I will show you what I have made, and also what I received, as well as provide information about the auction.

Beads, Markets

Cufflinks for Dad

Here in Australia it’s Father’s Day on Sunday 7th September, and if you’re looking for a handmade gift for Dad, I’ve got new cufflinks to show you.

It’s always fun to find different papers and images that work well under resin to make interesting cufflinks. And this year I came across a great set of images from Etsy seller Valentine Grimm featuring iconic images and signage from the 50s and 60s such as the Route 66 sign, Vegas signs and more. I picked out a few that I thought might work, what do you think?

Roadside collage

From the same Etsy seller, I also picked up some pretty Art Nouveau tile designs and floral designs, as well as some medieval illumination-style images. I selected ones that I thought were not too feminine, although I realize that can be very subjective. My husband said he’d wear them, so that works for me!

art nouveau collage

Finally, I made a couple of pairs using scrapbook paper with a musical theme.

musical collage

If you’re interested in buying a pair of these cufflinks, I will have them at The Handmade Show this Saturday, and on my Facebook page on Sunday or Monday. And if Father’s Day isn’t coming up for you, don’t forget there are only 19 weeks until Christmas!

Beads, Markets

Something new for The Handmade Show

I’ve got a table at The Handmade Show this weekend and I’m busy getting a few last minute things ready for it (earrings anyone??). As it’s Father’s Day in Australia at the beginning of September, I thought I would make some cufflinks.

I had some antique brass cufflinks with round bezels and some silver-plated square bezel cufflinks. At the craft show I went to a few weeks ago, I bought some Japanese paper in various colours and patterns, which I cut to fit and set in resin. All in all I have made 8 pairs for the show, enough for a trial anyway! I think they turned out well. (if you’re wondering what the black grid is, I used a baking rack to hold the bezels flat while the resin was setting!)

cufflinks Collage

I do have one small problem though, I have no idea how to display the cufflinks on my table. Any suggestions?

If you’re in Melbourne this weekend, think about coming to The Handmade Show. It’s nice and warm inside, there is great entertainment from crooner Frank Lee Darling, facepainting for the kids, plus 30 stalls packed full of great handmade stuff. And me, of course!

Saturday 17th August
10.30am – 3.30pm
St. Anthony’s Parish Hall
164 Neerim Rd Glen Huntly, Melbourne Vic

PS: this is my 99th post. Stay tuned for something fun for post number 100!!!

Beads

Christmas gifts for the family

Since I started making jewellery a couple of years ago, I have made jewellery for various family members as part of their Christmas gifts. This year, I made bracelets for my Mum and my Mother in law, as well as my sister and my sister in law.

The two bracelets for Mum and my MIL Sue were very much in the style of the bracelets I have been making recently, combining Czech and other glass beads with brass or copper findings to make a simple colourful bracelet. I really love the two-tone smooth nugget beads I used in these bracelets—I got them from a local bead shop that sadly is going out of business (so I bought as many as I could get!)—apparently they are West German glass. Mum’s uses green and orange tones, while the one for Sue was made using soft lavenders and plums.

Mum and Sue collage

The bracelets I made for my sister and sister in law I strung onto waxed linen rather than beading wire for a more organic look. My sister’s contains little chips of amber and some copper beads, while the one for my SIL has bright pops of red highlighting the earthy green Czech beads.

Em and Heidi collage

For my husband and my brother in law, I made cufflinks, using vintage-style scrapbook paper. My brother in law is half South African and half Australian, so I used images of old maps to make his pair, while my husband’s pair has a musical theme. It’s the first time I’ve played with resin since I took a class a little over a year ago, so I was a bit nervous, but it seems that it worked well.

cufflinks collage

I ran out of time to make my daughters some jewellery, so that will be our school holiday project!

Oh, and I must show you these! My mum is a potter and in the last year or so she has been dabbling in bead and pendant making. For Christmas I received several little baggies of beads from her, and they are so sweet! I also have a bag of tiny porcelain owl beads from Mum that I want to play with this summer, perhaps adding a sheen of gilders paste to perk them up!

Mumbeads collage

Thanks Mum! I can see some lovely collaborations in our future!