Friday, May 15, 2015

The Art of Awareness Blog Hop

Welcome to the Art of Awareness blog hop, a special jewelry design event created by myself and Heather Millican of Swoondimples. I've purchased a number of Heather's bean beads in the past (they're awesome little oval bean shapes) and I'd been envisioning a line of awareness jewelry with her motivational beads. I asked her if she would be interested in co-hosting a blog hop, and here we are!

Heather commissioned a special ribbon and heart stamp for these beads (thank you so much, Heather!) and I just love it. As I'm a bead hoarder ... er, collector ... some of the beads I used were from my stash so don't have the ribbon on the back side, but I didn't let that stop me! I bought a few more, and all together I had lots of colors, lots of ideas, and for two days, I worked on these pieces. I haven't made anything in AGES so it felt wonderful, and I still have some beads left, so I plan to finish up with more soon. She is still taking orders for these special beads, so if you would like your own, visit

Some I'm keeping, but some are for sale. If you would like a custom piece, feel free to email me, or leave a comment below if you would like one of the pieces you see here.  Half the proceeds will be donated to the charity of your choice.

At the bottom of this post is the list of people and their blogs or Facebook pages where they'll showcase their piece and perhaps the story of why they chose that color. As you know, there are a ton of awareness causes and only so many colors to go around, so one color can represent many different things. I used this list to go by.

So here are my pieces!

First is a piece I made for myself for Lyme Disease Awareness. 
I'm going to hang it on the rear view mirror of my car.

I believe I'll heal.
I believe I'll get through this, even though it's been a long journey.
I believe in LIFE, no matter if I'm up all day or in bed.

I also like the saying written on the back by Thoreau.

People who have Lyme disease often fear going back out into the outdoors where they more than likely got bitten by the tick that made them sick. I thought it apt to use a Green Girl Studios pendant with the Tree of Life and Thoreau's words on the back -- "Bathe in all the tides of nature, in all her streams and oceans at all seasons."

The next piece I also made with Lyme Disease Awareness in mind, but the color can also work for awareness of mental health, celiac disease, kidney disease, and environmental awareness.

Made with an ornate silver-tone tassel cap, a "fight" bead, pewter flowers, and a long green tassel.

This piece is for sale and as with all the pieces you can buy, they can be sent as shown, on a key chain, or with a length of cord to tie to your rear view mirror. It does NOT have the awareness ribbon stamped on the back of the bead.

Next is a piece I'm keeping and I made it with bone cancer awareness in mind.

I have a friend fighting this particular cancer, and she has been a complete beacon of light to me. "Be the Change" was perfect because she has made me look at things in a different light and has changed my outlook on life. I coiled the bail with wire, added an infinity symbol to represent "forever friends", and added a bird because it just called to me. I felt that talking to her gave me wings to fly over the difficult times.

The next two pieces are made with purple beads. Purple covers a lot of different causes, including general cancer awareness, but I made the first piece with suicide awareness in mind. When you're in that situation, you need a hand held out to help you with an open heart.

Once again I used a Green Girl Studios charm, and "breathe" is a reminder we all could use when things get a little scary. This piece is also a perfect to represent awareness of domestic violence, lupus, Alzheimer's awareness, pancreatic, gastric, and gynecological cancers, and awareness of fibromyalgia, chiari malformation, and migraines. Unfortunately I know someone in every category, and in some, many. 

The second purple piece I made with ADHD Awareness in mind.

ADHD can make your mind feel all scrambled and chaotic with thoughts, so I made the wire spirals to represent that. Taking some deep breaths has helped friends of mine with ADHD, and I added the heart charm because love is a huge factor in helping those with this malady.  Made with sterling silver and amethyst gemstones. 

This bead does NOT have the awareness ribbon on the back of the bead.

The next piece is made for diabetes awareness. Diabetes awareness can go with either gray or blue, but I've been doing diabetes awareness jewelry in gray for a long time and chose to stick with it for this one.


This bead has a silvery sheen to the gray, so I added some pale gray crystal and a sterling silver ribbon. One side of the ribbon charm reads "diabetes" and the other side reads "cure", and the polymer clay bead does have the ribbon and heart stamp.

My final two pieces have to deal with breast and ovarian cancer.

The first piece features a handmade lampwork bead by Kris Schaible, sterling silver, and one of Heather Millican's "believe" polymer clay beads.  

Since it doesn't have the ribbon on the back of the bead, this could be a great talisman piece for anyone who loves great beads and pink!

The last one features teal with the pink. Teal represents ovarian cancer, which often runs hand in hand with breast cancer. The handmade lampwork bead is made by Kendra Sanders, with a polymer clay Swoondimples bead. 

Lots of Swarovski crystals and the impression "grateful" on the polymer clay bead, with sterling silver accents.

A lot of the other participants will be donating, selling, or giving away items as well, so please be sure to drop by their blogs or Facebook pages and taking a look.

Thank you so much, Heather, for taking the time to make so many different beads, and thank you all for visiting.

Pretty Things (hostess)
Swoondimples (bead artist)














Evie and Beth
Bowring- Michaud
                  B.R.               Kuhlman                Mixed Mayhem Studios

                  Stephanie      Perry                      Mustard Seed by Stephanie Perry
                  Elisabeth      Auld                      Beads for Busy Gals
                  Heather       Powers                  Humblebeads Blog
                  Kepi              Rasmussen           A Little of This, A Little of That
                 Gail              Vanderster-Zwang      AngelMoose Enterprises
                 Elizabeth     Hodges                 The Whispering Seas

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Coming this Saturday -- The Art of Awareness Blog Hop

I am so excited to bring to you this Saturday the 16th a new blog hop with my friend Heather Millican of Swoondimples. I've been a fan of Heather's polymer clay work since my first trip to Bead and Button ages ago.

Recently I bought a set of word beans from Heather to make myself an awareness bracelet. (Yes, they're called beans... bead beans. Cute!) In my career, I've made a lot of awareness jewelry and always worked hard to make them unique and unlike things you often see in department stores. Lying in bed one night, I thought, "I wonder if Heather would be interested in a blog hop?".

Thankfully, she was!

On Saturday bright and early (I'll open this page) at midnight:01 on Saturday the 16th -- nothing there until then!  But after that, we'll get to see the beauties that people made and read their stories.

Heather really gave this her all. She commissioned another artist to create a one of a kind ribbon and heart stamp. She went the extra mile, so please do visit her shop at

I will be giving away a custom bead of your color choice made by Heather as a prize if you comment THAT DAY. I will also be selling some of the pieces you'll see, as will other people participating in the hop.

This list details the blogs of the individual artists who used Heather's beads to make their own creation with their own story. I hope you'll take time to look at them!

See you on Saturday! Hug the ones you love!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day with Cherry Pie a la Zack

Zack made me the most wonderful Mother's Day gift (other than just being Zack). He worked with his art teacher to make me a mouth-watering ceramic cherry pie (with one strawberry and a dollop of whipped cream).

If that's not adorable I don't know what is.

I have a great collection of pie beads that have been given to me or I've bought over the years, plus a vintage pie crust crimper (and a pie postcard that was absent on photo day) so where better place to put this?

I know there are beads from Karen Totten, Lorelei Eurto, Jade Scott, and Mallory Hoffman but I'm blanking on the others. Pie brain, I guess.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.