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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Beads of Courage


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:



I got the most amazing news this morning.

If I log onto instead of, 0.5% of my purchase will go to the charity of my choice!

Of course I chose Beads of Courage!

Beads of Courage is a charity that provides beads to very sick kids for every needle stick, every X-ray, every procedure, every milestone in their treatment. The beads document the child’s courageous battle with their illness, sadly the illness is often cancer.

I MAKE Beads of Courage every week. Wednesday I made 46 of them. I put them in a punch bowl and when it is full, I ship them to the home office of Beads of Courage in Tucson. Here is a photo of the 8 pounds of Beads of Courage that I shipped last week:


I FREQUENTLY  make Beads of Courage.

I FREQUENTLY buy from Amazon.

I hate shopping and so I buy all of my shampoo, skin care products, office supplies, books, TV episodes and most of my craft supplies from Amazon.

I am thrilled that all of my purchases will generate a donation to Beads of Courage!

Sign up right now. Click here:

Amazon will know just who you are.

Select your charity. That’s all there is to it!

Every time you sign on to Amazon will send 0.5% of your purchase price to Beads of Courage or the charity you selected.

It only works if you type It won’t work if you just type

I’ve used a permanent marker to write on the frame of my computer screen. Once it is automatic for me to type, I’ll use some rubbing alcohol to remove the reminder.

Click now!



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This year, I am honored to be participating in a Beads of Courage Fundraiser.

Bead artists like myself have made 11 Art Charms. One will be auctioned to raise money for Beads of Courage, an organization that provides seriously ill children with a bead to document every step of their courageous fights against their disease.

The other ten beads will be distributed to contributing artists.

We artists are all sharing our private angst on a members-only Facebook page.

November 15 is the date of the big “reveal”. On that day I will show you the charms I made, photographed on the Japanese brush painting (“enso”) I made that you see above.

The theme for the charms this year is “Love”.

Watch this space for our blog hop and the link to the auction that will raise money for the kids.

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My punchbowl runneth over. I have made another seven pounds of Beads of Courage to send into the Tucson office. (400 beads)

Beads of Courage are presented to very sick kids in 60 hospitals across the US every time they have a needle stick or an x-ray or another procedure. The beads serve as a record of their courageous journey.

I make them from my scrap polymer clay at the end of every clay day.

It is a privilege to serve these kids as they struggle courageously against life-threatening illness, often cancer, but many other conditions as well.

If you make beads, I hope you will visit and learn how you may serve these precious kids as well.

If you scroll down on this blog you can find a free tutorial on how I use scrap clay to make my beads.

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Today is Nelson Mandela International Day, his 95th birthday. To honor the 67 years of public service of this Nobel laureate we are invited to spend 67 minutes volunteering today.

I decided to make some Beads of Courage for my 67 minutes. Because I will miss my polymer clay guild’s workshop on Saturday, which will teach about spiral beads, I decided to make some spiral beads from a little pile of scrap clay that I had on hand.

Swirling the clay under a glass plate was very soothing. I am tickled at how the beads turned out.


The Nelson Mandela Turquoise that I made recently, also from polymer clay, continues to get kind and generous comments. You can read some of them here:

So, if it feels right, get out there (or in there, like I did) and give back to the world today, 67 minutes.

Mandela’s contribution to our world was in the area of reconciliation. If you can’t give 67 minutes of time to your favorite charity, consider reconciling with someone today.

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When my daughter was in college she had a wonderful Chemistry teacher who gave a special award to any student who scored above 100 on an exam. The award inducted the student into the Royal Order of the Pink Flamingo.

I shared a photo of flamingos with my daughter yesterday on our private Pinterest board.


We got to emailing about the Royal Order of the Pink Flamingo.

Meanwhile I had been admiring some polymer clay beads I’d seen on Flickr which the artist called “Flamingo”. I’d already been studying photos of flamingos to see what colors I would use for MY flamingo necklace.

It became clear to me that I had to make a flamingo necklace for my daughter to commemorate her induction into the Royal Order of the Pink Flamingo so long ago.

This morning I sat down and composed a stack of flamingo-ey colors. I took three good slices from it and made the necklace and earrings below. I used a “feathery” texture stamp on the solid hot flamingo backing on the pieces.


This picture is a good one but it does not capture the sizzling, vibrant interplay between the colors I chose, which included Florescent Pink; Lively Medium Purple; Orange; Magenta Pearl and Candy Pink.

As I made my stack of colors, I began to think of the Damascus cane, a polymer clay technique adopted from a technique Japanese sword makers use. I had enough of the stack left after the slices you see above to do the cane. The technique involves twisting the stack three full turns. I made the beads and earrings below from the Damascus cane:


I still had trimmings from the original stack and the Damascus cane. I had made some gorgeous marbles last week from some flamingo-ey colors topped with my lacy white clay. I got the idea of mixing the bits of flamingo colors with lacy white clay. I made the pieces below:



I still had clay…it was starting to feel like Groundhog Day, the movie!

So I made six marbles for my patients and 18 Beads of Courage for the kids.

I am going to give all three sets of flamingo jewelry to my daughter tomorrow when we have lunch at a tapas bar. I am so proud of her.

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I’ve continued to make a few new “barflies” every evening.

These are the ones I have made so far. I am making an extra of each one for a gift.

I ordered the eye pins that will let me attach them to the memory wire that will complete them as drink markers today.

In the upper left corner you can see the wing cane I made. Next to it, it is tiny, is the eye cane for the bug eyes.

This has been a blast. I grin the whole time I make these. I made six more Beads of Courage with the scraps from todays barfly-a-thon.

BTW, I just got an email from Beads of Courage. They received my beads today and all 415 of them are OK to be given to kids. Yes! I admit I was a little worried.

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