Monday, January 21, 2013

The Adventure Project

 Have you heard about The Adventure Project? No? Well, let me tell you a little bit about them. From their website, because they can say it better than I can: "The Adventure Project is a non-profit organization established to increase investments in positive social enterprises around the world. Founded in 2010 by Becky Straw & Jody Landers, who met while traveling through Liberia, West Africa. They have joined forces to raise awareness and funds to support the world’s most-effective social ventures. Our vision is simple. We believe we can end extreme poverty in our lifetime by reinventing how we give. Ways that spur economic opportunity, promote dignity, & save lives."

I found out about The Adventure Project through a blog I read regularly - Meg Duerksen of Whatever. Meg is who I'd like to be when I grow up, except that I'm a lot older than Meg. Meg is a woman of faith who loves her family and gives back. She's traveling to Haiti soon to witness first-hand what the folks at The Adventure Project are doing. Meg has previously traveled to Africa, Sierra Leone, with Jody and a group of women. Now, she's traveling to Haiti. Have you forgotten about Haiti and the devastation from the earthquake that happened just over three years ago?
There are several different causes you can donate to through The Adventure Project. The project Meg has blogged about, and her reason for traveling to Haiti, is to raise money for efficient coal-burning stoves to help the air these folks are breathing in, create jobs, and help them save money. A $20 contribution purchases one stove. Most everyone I know, even those with not much money, can afford to donate $20. It can, will, change lives. This is the perfect day to make a donation to do something to change lives, the Inauguration of the President of the United States and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. And you know what, I received a personal thank-you from Jody. That really touched me, I didn't expect it.

We live in an age where we're riveted to and dismayed by what what we see on the news. It's then replaced by the next event that happens. However, the devastation and struggle still remain. Over 500,000 - half a million - people, folks are still living in tents in Haiti. They have no plumbing, no electricity. It's difficult to comprehend living in this country that we are lucky enough to live in. Our country isn't perfect, but we are so blessed - and take so much for granted.

Please, go here and donate. Create your own page and donate, or go to Meg's page and donate in her name. You'll feel great and make a difference all at the same time.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Memories and Thanks Blog Hop

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
They stay in our lives for awhile,
leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.
T.J. 1 week old. 
And so it is when you give birth to your first child.

Good morning and welcome to the reveal of Lori Anderson's Memories and Thanks Blog Hop. If you're not family with the story about why Lori initiated this blog hop, it's heart-wrenching. Lori Marianna wished to participate in the Bead Soup Blog Hop but didn't have a blog. Lori helped her with this and Mari began blogging. When the date for sign-ups came and went, yet Mari hadn't signed up, Lori became worried and sent her several emails. Then one day her daughter contacted Lori to let her know Marianna had passed away unexpectedly. To say it threw Lori for a loop is an understatement.

Marianna's daughter forwarded a package to Lori that her mother had intended to send before her death. Lori had known about the package. She hadn't been prepared, though, for each bead/set in the box to be individually wrapped with a note in Mari's handwriting about each bead. That's when Lori decided to make a very special piece using these treasures and to invite anyone who would like to remember someone living or passed to participate in this very special blog hop. I knew, immediately, that I wanted to participate. I knew who I wanted to remember and I knew with what. This is something that is very near and dear to my heart.
T.J. at 15
We lost our beautiful 19 year old son T.J., our oldest, 8 1/2 years go, very suddenly, very tragically. I've written about T, briefly, on his own page here on the blog. T was big, strong, and healthy. The irony was not lost on us that the only part of him that was injured was his brain, his brain was the part of him that didn't "function" right. T was an organ donor; 5 people who were dying are alive today because of his gift of life, 2 people who were going blind can now see. Countless others will be healed with his gift of tissue and bone.

T had a huge heart. All he wanted was to be happy and love/be loved. He didn't think that anyone other than his family loved or cared about him. He was so wrong about that. The funeral home stopped counting at 1,400 the day of his wake; the church was filled to overflowing - he touched so many lives in so many ways. He still does. We love him and miss him every minute of every day, but we go on and we try to do it with as much happiness as we can muster, because it's what he'd want.
When I saw this heart pendant on Ebay in 2005 I was immediately drawn to it. It was made by Aimee of Lakeside Lampwork. I'm not sure if she's still making beads or not, I couldn't find any active links. It's a beautiful sculpted, electroformed lampwork heart with a citrine chip dangling in the middle of the opening. I believe the heart was formed on a heart-shaped mandrel - it really is so perfect.
I love me some sparkle and vintage beads so I've included Swarovski crystals in purple velvet and crystal copper, vintage amber colored lucite, some beautiful iridescent copper/iris pearls, some Unicorne Beads drops, amethyst rondelles and some amethyst and copper beads. Amethyst is T.J.'s birthstone, I think it's the perfect accent for the copper and amber. Copper is healing and increases energy - necessary on so many levels.
 Heart of My Heart
Sorry for the dark pics, it's overcast and rainy this morning. Thanks for stopping by! Please visit these other wonderful artists to read the stories behind the art they've created in memory of someone they love.

  Hostess, Lori Anderson       Pretty Things
 Adlinah Kamsir                   Dream Struck Designs
 Aimee Biondolillo               Aimee's Jewelry Treasures
 Alicia Marinache                 All the Pretty Things 
 Andra Marasteanu               Handmade by Indra Marasteanu 
 Andrea Trank                      Heaven Lane Creations
 April Grinaway                   Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Barb Solem                         Vivi Magoo Presents
Becky Pancake                    Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Beth Emery                         Stories by Indigo Heart
Bonnie Coursolle                Jasper's Gems
Cassi Paslick                       Beads: Rolling Downhill
Catherine King                    Catherine's Musings
Cece Cormier                      The Beading Yogini
Chandra Leitz                     Juniper Goods
Charissa Nesler                   FireStorm Designs
Charlie Jacka                       Clay Space
Christina Hickman              Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Stonefield            Sweet Girl Design
Chrizette Bayman               Bead Soup Mix
Cindy Wilson                      It's My Sea of Dreams
Crystal Thain                      Here Bead Dragons
Cyndi Lavin                        Beading Arts
Debbie Rasmussen             A little of this, a little of that
Denielle Hagerman             Some Beads... and other things I like
Diana Gonzalez                  Arte y Poemas
Diane Hawkey                    diane hawkey
Dita Basu                            ankarshilpa
Donetta Farrington             Simply Gorgeous
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell     Deeliteful Jewelry Creations
Emma Todd                        A Polymer Penchant
Erin Kenny                         beadiful therapy
Erin Prais-Hintz                  Treasures Found
Gina Hockett                      Freestyle Elements
Gloria Allen                        Innovative Dreams Jewelry
Heather Marston                 CSW Designs
Inge von Roos                    Inge's Blog
Jacqueline Marchant          Fiddledeedee Jewelry
Jami Shipp                         Celebrating Life!
Jean Yates                          Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading to Do!
Jennifer Reno                     Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Jenny Robledo                   Peppa's Dream
Jennifer VanBenschoten    Jewelry, Art and Life
Jessica Klaaren                  Cellar Door Jewelry
Jessica Murray                   Whimsical Monkey
Joan Williams                     lilruby jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton            It's a Beadiful Creation
Joanne Browne                   josjewels1
Jodie Marshall                    Jodie Marshall Lampwork Beads Wearable Art
Johanna Rhodes                 Fire Phoenix Creations
John Rasmussen                 Rasumussen Gems and Jewelry LLC
JuLee Wolfe                       The Polymer Penguin
Julie Bean                           Blue Pig Blog
Karen Mitchell                   Over the Moon Designs
Karin King                         The Sparklie Things Blog
Karin Slaton                       Backstory Beads
Kat Douglas                       Washoe Kat's
Kay Bolton                        Toodles and Binks
Kelly Hosford Patterson     The Traveling SideShow
Kim Ballor                          Vitamin C ... A Daily Does of Creativity
Kim Dworak                       CianciBlue
Kim Houston                       The Pink Martini
Kym Hunter                         Kym Hunter Designs
Laren Dee Barton                Laren Dee Designs
Lea Avroch                          LA Jewelry Designs
Leanne Loftus                      First Impression Design
Lena Adams (Mari's daughter) -- TBA
Liddy McLaughlin               Liddy McLaughlin Art
Linda Florian                       Lily's of the Valley Jewelry & Creative Creations
Linda Inhelder                     Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Hamilton                      Simply Irresistable Jewelry
Lisa Suver                            Fancee That
Lori Bowring Michaud        Artfully Ornamental
Lori Poppe                           Adventures in Creativity with Lorillijean
LouAnn Elwell                    Southpass Beads
Mandi Effron                       Craft-o-licious
Marcia DeCoster                 MadDesigns
Marcia Dunne                     The Alternative Foundry
Marie Covert                      Creating Interest
Marjorie Savill Linthwaite     bennubirdrising
Marlene Cupo                        Amazing Designs by Marlene
Martha Aleo                           Ornamento
Marti Conrad                          Marti's Buttons -n- Beads
Mary Ellen Parker                  BeeTree by m.e.
Mary Govaars                        MLH Jewelry Designs
Mary Lindell                          Mary Lindell Artisan Jewelry
Maureen Connolly                 Mrs Beadsley's Workshop
Maybeline Tay                       The Jewelry Larder
Melissa Elgin                         The Addicted Beader
Melissa Mesara                      one-eared pig beads
Menka Gupta                         Menka's Jewelry
Michaela Pabeschitz              la mar de bonita
Mischelle Fanucchi               Micheladas Musings
Mona Rae Baroody               Who Does She Bead She Is?
Nan Emmett                          Spirit Rattles -- Spirited Earth
Nancy Pedersen                    Something Heartfelt by Nancy
Natalie Davidson                  NorthShore Days
Nikki Douglas                      Bead It and Weep
Pam Farren                           re-maker
Pam, the Crazier Sister        The Crazy Creative Corner
 Priya Krish                           Hellopalz 
Rebecca Anderson               Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag                 Becca's Place
Robin Kae Reed                   Artistry HCBD
Rochelle Brisson                  a creative chelle
Sabine Dittrich                     perlendschungel
Sandi Volpe                          Sandi Volpe
Sandra McGriff                    Creative Chaos
Sarah Goode                         Pookledo
Sarah Singer                         String a Song of Sixpence
Serena Trent                         All Things Made Jewelry
Shai Williams                       Shaiha's Ramblings
Sharon Palac                        Sharon's Jewelry Garden
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson    Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
Sheila Davis                         Stone Designs
Shelley Graham Turner        Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey                       Knot Just Macrame
Sherry Baun                         Unicorns Jewels
Skylar Bre'z                         Brising Beads
Stephanie Haussler              Pixybug Designs
Tania Spivey                        Moobie Grace Designs
Terri G.                                Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter                         Tapping Flamingo
Terry Matuszyk                    Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry
Toltec Jewels                       Jewel School Friends
Tracy Kruse                         Goldkisses Art
Tracy Martin                        Nutkitten's Jewelry 
Zia Parks                              Anzi~Panzi's Work Shoppe 
Zoe Marcin                          Beads, Tea and Sweets

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Art Bead Love Tour - The Winner!!

Renetha of Lamplight Crafts!!

Congratulations Renetha! I've sent you an email for your address so I can get this sweet package moving along to you!

Thanks to those who stopped by and commented - good luck to you in the next round!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

One Little Word - 2013

Hello! I've watched over the last several years as a number of artists whose blogs I read have chosen a word to focus on and grow with throughout the year. Ali Edwards started her "one little word" back in 2006. I have to admit, initially I thought it was silly. However, I've watched these women embrace their words, and grow and thrive. I feel in a rut. I have for quite some time. When I'm at work, I'm thinking about what I'd like to be doing if I were home (don't worry, I get plenty of my work done while thinking about being somewhere else ;) ), yet when I'm at home and could be working on all (or some) of the projects that I have swirling around in my head and heart I don't focus my energy. I sit on the internet, shop, watch tv, perform piddly projects at home. I want to lose weight and exercise, yet I do nothing about it. You get the picture, right?
I've had a business in my mind for a lot of years; I make things that I haven't seen elsewhere. Do I create them and sell them? No. Well, it's time. I'm 50; my life is, most likely (though my grandmother will be 97 next month!), more than half over. I had wanted to firmly have my crap together by the time I turned 50. I certainly have lots of it together, but there's lots I don't. I'm the only person who can create the life I want - it won't happen while I sit back and watch. So, I'm picking a word for this year and I'm going to join Ali in a year-long One Little Word 2013 journey.

My word? FOCUS!