Hello all! It's my turn here at Art Bead Scene today, and I wanted to share a blog hop that I'm taking part in today - and I'd guess a few of you may well be also! I'm posting this over at my own blog too but wanted to share this hop here today with you guys also. If you want to read a more personal side of this hop from me, check out my post here. And if you are taking part also, then I am really looking forward to seeing what you've created!
Today is a special day - it's the Art of Awareness blog hop, organised by Lori Anderson and Heather Millican. I expect most of you are familiar with both of these wonderful ladies - Lori of the infamous Bead Soup Blog Parties and Heather is the bead artist behind Swoondimples, some of my absolute favourite art beads to work with. More importantly, they are two of the sweetest people that I have the good fortune to know, and I'm so glad that the art bead world has allowed me to get to know both of them and call them my friends!
This hop was definitely a blog hop with a twist. Everyone who signed up got to choose and purchase a very special bean bead from Heather, in the colour and with wording of their choice. Because this is the Art of Awareness blog hop though, each colour had certain significance, and would have a special ribbon stamp on the back.
I've never made any awareness jewellery before - I don't think it's quite such a trend over here in the UK, in fact the only awareness colour I knew off the top of my head was pink for breast cancer awareness. But what some of you may not know is that my wife has MS, having being diagnosed back in 2010. She's very well with it the majority of the time, and although she has certain ongoing symptoms from previous attacks, for the most part she's - we've - been very fortunate. Other than the old having MS in the first place. That's still quite a bummer, it must be said!
The MS awareness colour is orange, and as you can see...
....orange is what I went for!
I've spoken more about MS and living with it in our lives, and why I chose the words I did over on my own blog, but I thought here that I'd talk more about actually designing the piece - something I found surprisingly hard!
I first of all got it into my head that I wanted to make a bracelet with my bean bead. And I tried and tried and tried.....but she just *did*not* want to become a bracelet. She dug her heels in good and proper!
I also found the orange quite a tricky colour to work with. Frequent visitors here and/or to my own blog will no doubt be puzzled by that, as orange is a colour I work with often - I love it, and the effect it has on other colours especially. But this orange was just slightly different to those with which I usually work - slightly softer, just the tiniest hint of peach to it, perhaps more of a tint (a colour mixed with white) than a fully saturated hue - the type of orange I would usually reach for.
I also put extra pressure on myself for wanting to create something specifically for Helen herself. She is pretty fussy when it comes to jewellery, and I am still (after almost 9 years!) often surprised by the pieces of mine which she wants to wear, as opposed to just appreciate as a finished piece of jewellery. And I wanted to tell the story of the words - the story behind the words - with my piece. No small order then!
Finally, yesterday afternoon I decided to have a hunt through a box of ceramic beads and see if I could find something to pair it with. And as sometimes happens (very happily, with a looming deadline!), my finished piece fell together.
A simple combination of Kylie Parry ceramic bird and feather, Irish waxed linen cord and some new super-cute puffed daisies which arrived with me last week. The bird and the feather representing that strange juxtaposition of freedom and sense of home that seem to constantly pull against one another, and yet are both so important to both myself and Helen. And quite a different colour palette to that with which I would usually work - softer, more muted tones. Gentler, somehow. Accepting. Welcoming. (Plus, Helen wore it last night - win all round!)
Thanks Lori and Heather for organising this great event. Quite a personal one for me! Now take a minute if you can to check out what some of the others created: