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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Monthly Archives: November 2014


I found this ladder at a garage sale in Madison, WI in 1976, during medical school.

It was oak, very well made, and already gently worn.

During my internship, in 1977, I added a hook and eye and a handle, to allow me to carry it easily. I placed the handle, which I took from a screen door, at its balance point. The hook and eye, from the same screen door, kept it closed when I carried it by the handle.

Life went on. In 2000, when I began to joyfully consider how much better my life would be if I were single again, I painted it white and, in the Christmas season, strung it with white lights.

In 2001, I filed for divorce, and that Christmas, again strung it with white lights.

In 2002, my freedom regained, I painted it hot pink, with sea blue “olives” with magenta “pimentos”, after a Mexican folk art design I admired. I strung it with pink lights under the eaves of my new house.

I did so every year.

Unfortunately, one year not long ago, I left it out in the rain and its “feet” rotted.

I was grief stricken.

Fortunately, my son-in-love came to the rescue. He cut off the bad parts and reset the braces. I am so grateful.

I have a kit to repair the wood rot, but for now I have strung it with hot pink Christmas lights.

It is in my sunroom, just off the kitchen, where I can enjoy it safe from the elements.

I am so grateful to have it!


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I am a HUGE supporter of Beads of Courage, an organization that gives very sick kids a bead to mark every needle stick, every x-ray, every milestone.

I make Beads of Courage from ALL of my scrap polymer clay. Many times I sit down and make beads for the kids with “new” clay.

I have sent in 24 pounds of Beads of Courage. My punch bowl, which holds 8 pounds of beads is 2/3 full, so I’ll be shipping off Beads of Courage again soon.

Every November I participate in a charity auction to benefit Beads of Courage. Artists like me create Art Charms for the auction. We raised $1500 last year for Beads of Courage!

One of the cool parts of this Art Charm Auction is the Art Charm Exchange.

I sent in 11 charms. One will be auctioned off for BOC, the others have gone to other artists participating. I got back one of my charms and NINE charms from other artists.

The theme for the charms this year was SOAR.

I decided to make a butterfly wing with my opal clay. I mixed up four colors of iridescent blue, translucent clay, chopped them finely and made a long tube. I wrapped the blue tube in a layer of thin black clay, rolled the tube thinner and cut sections to create my butterfly wing.

Light shines right through the wings.

Here is a pair of earrings I made from the charms I made:


One of these wings will be in the auction. So will dozens of other charms. These are the ones I received.




Here is a necklace I made from a charm from Caroline, at Bluberribeads. I knotted the pearls on silk the color of Caroline’s charm:


Here is the link to the auction. Click over and see if there are any Art Charms that you just have to own. Art Charms make fantastic Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers!

Here are the participants in the Art Charm Exchange. Hop on over to their blogs.

Jennifer Cameron:

Alenka Obid:

Alicia Marinache:

Andrea Glick:

Caroline Dewison:

Cassi Paslick:

Cate van Alphen:

Cheri Reed:

Chris Eisenberg:

Cory Tompkins:

Elisabeth Auld:

Genevieve Gabbert:

Jami Shipp:

Jenny Davies-Reazor:

Jill Bradley:

Kim Dworak:

Lee Koopman:

Lennis Carrier:

Lesley Watt:

Mallory Hoffman:

Melissa Trudinger:

Michelle McCarthy:

Monique Urquhart:

Moriah Betterly:

Nancy Dale:

Nancy Smith:

Niky Sayers:

Perri Jackson:

Renetha Stanziano:

Shai Williams:

Sheila Prosterman:

Susan Delaney:

Susan Kennedy:

Terri DelSignore:

Toltec Jewels:

Vanessa Gilkes:


Earrings Everyday,, has a challenge every month: to create earrings based on a visual prompt. Sometimes it is a photo, sometimes a painting, sometimes a drawing. This month’s prompt was a short animation film created by French film students. Just below find a collage of images from the enchanting film. (you can see the three minute film if you got to the above url.)


I chose the bottom left frame as my inspiration.

I saw the story as a metaphor for the girl’s own maturation, her own sprouting of wings that will allow her to fly away into her own life.

I wanted to create a clay that showed the tender pink in the frame, a metaphor for the girl’s innocence. I saw earrings that would be translucent. I mixed two shades of pink from some of my “opal” clay on hand (from another challenge, of course). I further diluted some of each pink with translucent clay. I mixed a little silver polymer clay into translucent clay for a fifth layer. I stacked the five clays, twisted them and put the swirled cane that resulted into my smallest goddess mold.

Taking a photo of the earrings was a challenge. I wanted to capture their translucency and also the ribbons of pink and silver. One of the many photos I took photo processed into an image that captured the translucency of the earrings.

Once I’d made the clay for the earrings above, I couldn’t stop. I made two more five-somes of clay, each set in a little deeper shade of pink.


I look forward to making earrings of these pairs. I have also started a “goddess tree” made from a 12″ earring tree my daughter gave me years ago. I am using my round nose pliers to make ornament hooks from Christmas tree ornament hooks. When it is “finished” I’ll post a photo.

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