12 November 2012

Art Charm Swap :: Laugh

I never would have made it if I could not have laughed.
It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable.
— Viktor Frankl

Last year I got in on a special art charm swap that Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions was hosting. When I saw the sign ups this year I knew that I had to get in no matter how busy I was going to be!

This time there are way more people involved which makes the element of surprise that much greater! Miss Jen was posting pictures of packages that would come in each day and little teasers on Facebook and that was so much fun! I don't know how she did it, but she got them all, and then made each of us a set of art charms that were handmade by all the talented people. I have some really fun charms in my collection now! As if swapping handmade charms was not fun enough, Miss Jen had us send her an extra one to put in an auction on eBay to benefit Beads of Courage.

What is Beads of Courage?

I am glad you asked!

Beads of Courage is a non-profit organization that gathers beads and charms that are then gifted to children undergoing treatment for serious life threatening illnesses. The different beads signify different milestones in their treatment and the children string them on these necklaces that they wear as a sort of talisman to make it through the ordeal. It is a source of great pride and also a bit of storytelling and remembering this very important part of their lives. For our part, we were asked to make an extra charm that would be auctioned off for the Beads of Courage organization.

Jen decided our theme would be LAUGH since this is for a children's charity, and those who are facing the kinds of treatments that these kids are leave little room for being a kid, so LAUGH just made sense!

I knew that my charm would be in my 'Simple Truths' style - polymer clay in a metal bezel that has been stamped, tinted and painted, antiqued and highlighted and then sealed with a preservation wax. But what would fit the theme?

I was searching for a stamp that would evoke something lighthearted when I stumbled upon this cute little birdie cartoon in a jaunty little hat with a flower. The message on the stamp was 'Chirp Up!" As soon as I saw it I actually let out a chuckle, so right then I knew I had found my subject. And what better message to those young patients than to keep it positive. I am not a pollyanna when it comes to these tough health issues, but we all know that attitude is everything. And you have to make the most of every day while you are here. I sure as heck don't want to be wasting my time being sour, so 'chirp up' it is!

I decided to just stamp the birdie on the front and the message "chirp up, buttercup" on the back.  I hope that this gives someone a reason to smile and remember that there is nothing so bad that can't be made better by a smile.

In keeping with the playful attitude of this birdie and the theme, I decided to make them in an array of bright crayon colors: orange and blue and green and pink and purple and red and teal and yellow.

And it was very late when I took this picture, so I apologize for the fuzziness, but I thought you might like to see the cool charms that I got in my package.

Left to Right:
1: Sweet little embossed owl from Cheri Mitchell-Reed
2: Enameled flower charm from Melissa Meman of Melismatic
3: A clever 'Break In Case of Emergency Laughs' complete with hammer and grins by Deb Kauzlarich
4: A pretty glass bead the reminds me of a tulip with intricate bead embroidery by Shannon Hicks
5: A polymer clay birdie on a stamped leather disk from Cassi Paslick
6: A gorgeous polymer clay bead - do you see a funny face? - from Alenka Obid of Pepita in Slovenia (!)
7: This looks like the man in the moon to me in copper clay from Kristi Bowman
8: Funny little glass alien from our hostess Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions
9: My 'Chirp Up Buttercup' birdie charm
10: A dottie glass bead with a silver bead cap stamped 'giggle' by Carol Watson

I haven't decided yet what I am going to do with all the fun charms that I received. I think I want to live with them a bit more and enjoy them. I like to hold art beads in my hand and channel the artist who made each one and marvel at the beauty that came forth from their hands to mine. And at some point they will speak to me and I will make them into something special and worthy of their love and light!

Thank you Miss Jen, for hosting this challenge and for all the hard work that you put into it. I always enjoy partying with you!

Please go to Jennifer's blog Glass Addictions and see what all the other participants made. And be sure to visit the auction for your chance to win some beautiful art charms and know that your donation will be going to such a worthy cause to bring some cheer to those that need it most!


Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Erin, I knew you would be bringing on the cuteness and you did not disappoint!

Kepi said...

I love love your charms how very cute.

Jean said...

These really mad me laugh! Love them, can not wait for the auction to start, I was in another group, and so far, I want all the ones I did not get too!! LOL
Having a 3 year old grandson in the BOC program, so far all I have seen would be great on his strands of beads!!

Anonymous said...

I read about the art charm swap on Jen's blog and about the auction. How wonderful! Love the charms you got but really love those little birdies! How adorable! My daughter would just love those!

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

Oh. I Love the pieces you made for the swap Erin!!! And seeing the grouping of charms you received is delightful too! Fantastic as ever!!!

Alicia said...

100% charming! :) I love your 'chirp up!' message and indeed it made me laugh, along with the cute bird with a flower on it hat. Just perfect!

Shai Williams said...

I just love these charms! They do indeed put a huge smile on the face!

Anonymous said...

Those are very cute birds you made. What fun!

Anonymous said...

Those are very cute birds you made. What fun!

Unknown said...

Oh Erin I love your work and this charm is up there with my favs! I want one so I will be watching the auction! I don't think I will be able to part with my charms even if they SHOUT at me!!!

rosebud101 said...

Erin, those are great charms! I love the ones that you received, too!!!

Unknown said...

Love that little bird! So charming!

Leslie Schenkel - Twisted Chicken Beads said...

Love that it is a chicken . . .

Cheryl said...

Oh!! Great charms!

A Polymer Penchant said...

sweet little bird,very happy colours and fun, fun line - love it!

Pepita said...

I love your work, Erin! And I'm so happy that one of those little birdies is also in my hands :-)

jeanniek said...

"Chirp It Up" You made my day. No sour puss here. I love how you think and the charms are delightful

Unknown said...

I love your work, and these are especially touching. Thanks for the Pollyanna reference too. It brought back some great memories.

Unknown said...

This is just the cutest charm I've ever seen! Chirp it up Buttercup? AW! That is just adorable!

Unknown said...

Oh, I just LOVE your charm! What a precious idea!

Perri www.ShaktipajDesigns.etsy.com said...

These definitely make me smile! That jaunty little hat on the bird.....so very cute!


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