This morning, despite two days of pretty heavy depression and the killer headache from hell, I am remembering, reminding, and feeling very grateful indeed. In my last post, I talked about how lucky I am to have such a wonderful friend in Julie Cowan of UniquelyJuls, and how generous she was with me, to take the time to take an online class with me, and to gift me the gorgeous result of her inspiration. (If you were interested in seeing the goddess I made from the class, I posted pics on my Facebook page a bit ago…) Two days or so after that, I met another Julie - and found more generosity and matched an artist with a blog.
I am participating in an Art Charm Swap this year, which is hosted by Jennifer Stout Cameron of Glass Addictions. (If you'd like to read more about the swap, here is the sign up blog post, where Jennifer includes all of the information on it.) It includes an auction of art charms, with all proceeds going to benefit Beads of Courage, an arts in medicine program for children with serious illness. The swap consists of ten folks per group, with each making 11 charms - nine charms are swapped with the other participants, one goes to the auction, and one comes back home to you. I've received my charms now, and will be writing a blog to reveal both my charms and those I received as swaps and linking to the auction on November 15th - and I can guarantee you will REALLY want to come back and look and buy yourself a charm - they are gorgeous! I am looking forward to the auction a great deal, and plan to purchase several more charms myself! There will be plenty to choose from, as there are 39 people (or more?) that participated, and extra charms donated just for the auction, as well.
The charm group has a Facebook group to chat in, and I was, as usual, worrying about whether what I came up with would be good enough or if anyone would like them - a lot of the charms in the past have been made with mixed media, polymer clay, metals and glass, and not so many seed beads. One of the ladies participating, Julie Schmidt Bowen, left me a really sweet reply, so I thanked her, and since we hadn't connected yet on FB, asked if she would 'friend' me there. She did, and I immediately went in search of links to see her work.
I have been following the Autochthonous Evolved blog for while; I originally found the blog when I spotted the artist's work during a blog hop. It totally didn't matter that 1) I couldn't pronounce it (ah-TOCK-thuh-nuss) and 2) I had no idea what it meant (found in the place where formed, when referring to natural resources): I loooooove the jewelry. I looooooove the beads. I loooove that the author shares such in-depth tutorials on methods and projects, free, right there on the blog. (Generosity!!) I was just overjoyed to learn that JULIE was Autochthonous Evolved - and very touched that she had left me such a lovely comment in the group. Julie does amazing things, creates beautiful constantly, and had taken the time to reassure me. Feast upon just a taste of the amazing…
Gorgeous lamp work!!
Teardrop Link Necklace - this is a tutorial on Julie's blog
Beach Ball Treasure Necklaces - I lust after the garnet sand filled one...
And, not only did she send me that incredible bead above, but she also sent me A WHOLE SET of beads in another color way, just because!!! They are wonderful - and challenging, as they include orange. (Yes, I did say orange.) I don't have a pic of the beads, but I have plans, ohhhhh yes, I have plans for them!! Then, to top it all off, Julie made a blog post about meeting me, and said way too many nice things about me. Wayyyyy too many. The blog post concludes with Julie musing that she wants to interact more online, and I'm excited about that - because she has so much to offer. Thank you so much, Julie - and I am so glad we finally 'met' and I am looking forward to working with my beads so much! (And there is a small packet headed your way, too… ;) )
Another example of the generosity I am surrounded with; Marcia DeCoster has done many, many kind and generous things for me, and now one more - she has written another book and asked me to be a part of it. I am so humbled - this book is FULL of awesome. I'm not even going to try to name them all, because I know I will inadvertently leave someone out if I do, but some of my best friends, and some of the world's best beaders (THIRTY of them!!!), are included in this book, and I have to keep pinching myself to remind myself it's real, that I'm really in there, too. One very very very special artist is in this book as well - one that I miss daily, and think of constantly with a great deal of love; Linda L. Jones will be featured in Marcia DeCoster Presents, allowing her art to finally be shared with the world in a way that would make Linda so happy. She will inspire millions of beaders with her pieces, and with her words. Just typing about it makes me cry a little, but they're good tears.
I am so happy that Linda's work will be shared beyond the social media and photo sites. Marcia, thank you - thank you SO much for including Linda, and for including me, too. And thank you for meeting with me when you came to NH, and for all of the 'small' kindnesses you do me all the time. The book has publication date of February 4th, 2014, but is available for preorder HERE. :)
Last but not least on the NEDbeads list of things I wanted to share, the original charm I designed for the Art Charm Swap is available as a tutorial in my shop. I loved my hearts, but I also felt that they were kind of too common - I wanted something different, so I scrapped them for the art charm swap and designed something else (I'll Show and Tell on the 15th!). These are fairly quick and lots of fun, and if you want to make some too, they're here. :) If you don't want to make any, but want one, some of these will be available in the auction to benefit Beads Of Courage, so please come and bid!!
The Summertime Wrap Bracelet tutorial that was published in Digital Beading Magazine (Australia) has been released, so it is available for sale in my shop as well, if you didn't get the chance to grab the magazine issue.
And in more personal news, for those of you who have followed the blog for awhile now, my Dad is now finally HOME again, and has left the rehab hospital behind! He is breathing on his own, no ventilator, and is walking a little, although he still has both wheelchair and walker if he needs them. He's settling into a routine in his own apartment again, and is doing really well. Thank you so much for the generous support during his illness, and for being there to listen.
It's all generosity - and it's all around me. I'm so grateful.
And now I'm off to take more headache medicine. yow...