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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Tag Archives: Beads of Courage


Art Bead Scene offers a painting each month as a prompt to create beads and jewelry.

The painting this month is Self Portrait  with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, painted by Frida Kahlo in 1940.


So many of Kahlo’s paintings focus on her physical suffering as a result of terrible injuries in a bus accident.

Instead of the suffering I chose to focus on Frida as an Artistic Goddess and created beads and then earrings derived from the Jaguar in the painting. I call the beads Eye of the Jaguar Goddess Beads.

I used my emerald Opal polymer clay and layered it with black and translucent black polymer to create the Eye of the Jaguar Goddesses. They shimmer and reflect light like mineral opals. I topped them with a pair of emerald shaped vintage beads collected in Santa Fe, NM. The pale emerald beads sing with the opal clay.

Here are the earrings:


I am so grateful to Art Bead Scene ( ) for these monthly challenges. I grow so much as an artist as I respond to the challenges.


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I love a challenge!

Erin Prais-Hintz of issued an earring challenge based on her macro photographs of lichen. I was fascinated by this one of her photos:


I HAD to make earrings based on this photo!

I mixed up some of my opal clay (I’m in year two of my five year plan to make wonderful polymer opals) in a silver-turquoise-green and created these earrings.

My friend Jar Jar Binks has already bought them for his lady love.

p.s., I took the remainder of the silver-green clay and divided it into three portions. One I kept as is. I mixed one portion with silver and the other with pearl clay. Then I divided those two in half and mixed half of each with translucent clay. I layered the five colors and made the goddess you see below and 16 Beads of Courage for kids with cancer.



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Frequently I create a piece in response to the Art Bead Scene Challenge.

This month the challenge was based on Anne Redpath’s painting, Red Slippers:


I immediately keyed in on the “ruby slippers” and created the necklace above. I made some “red opal” clay. and marbled it with black opal clay and black clay.

I am in the second year of my five year plan to make splendid polymer opal clay.

I had some Swarovski dark coral pearls that matched my “red” opal clay.

Of course I made Beads of Courage for kids with cancer from the scrap clay!

I am tickled that they came out so well, and giggle every time I see them.

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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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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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I was claying today during some downtime. I decided to make some “Barflies”, drink markers.

I got 12 barflies and nine Beads of Courage from my efforts. Here’s how I used my scraps:


I rolled my bigger scraps into a sheet.


Then I laid all of my other scraps onto the sheet.

Then I rolled them with my brayer to squeeze out air pockets.


I cut it in half and stacked it. I put the plain sheets against one another in the middle. If you don’t, the beads become dominated by the color of the sheet.


I cut it in half again and stacked it.

Then I cut it into nine (9)  3/4″ cubes.

When I am ready to roll my cube into a bead I examine the top and bottom. If one color predominates I pinch the corners of the cube and push the pinched clay onto the top. I do the same if there is a boring area on one corner of the bead.

I rolled the beads and pierced them. Then into the oven.

Yesterday I mailed off 7 pounds of Beads of Courage to their office in Tucson. A lot of those beads came from scrap clay.

Visit to find out how you can participate in making Beads of Courage for kids with cancer.

I slightly modified the technique from Alice Stroppel’s great video:

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