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 


  1. so many pretty pieces, my dear. Always such an inspiration <3

  2. They are all beautiful and the first one really speaks to me. What a perfect talismans.

  3. What a beautiful collection Lori! I hope you raise tons :-)

  4. Anonymous2:38 AM

    All of your pieces are beautiful and have such life in them. Thank you for this blog hop and to Heather for making these wonderful beads. I will cherish mine.

  5. Anonymous4:40 AM

    Gorgeous collection Lori, and so much meaning behind each piece. Here's to you raising lots for all of these worthy causes!

  6. Wonderful pieces! I love that you created key fobs. I throughly enjoyed this hop! I was truly inspired and created two pieces: one for Autism and one for breast cancer. I didn't show the breast cancer awareness today, but will showcase in the future. This was my first time creating awareness jewelry, but it won't be my last:) I too could go crazy for these bean many words:) Thank you!

  7. Thanks for hostessing. This was a wonderful idea. I love all the dangles on your pieces. I think some, maybe all, could also be lovely pendants on long necklaces, in addition to key fobs. Thanks also for introducing me to Heather's beads. They are fabulous.

  8. I ended up without enough time to participate in this hop, but as usual, looking over your pieces inspires me --I bought a bead and I need to make some time to use it!

  9. Thank you for hosting this awesome blog hop, Lori! Your creations are beautiful as always! I was proud to order Heather's beads to give a shout to another PC artist!! :)

  10. Anonymous8:10 AM

    Lori, all of these are beautiful but I think my favorite is the Lyme disease with it's message....believe..... Attitude plays such in important part in healing that believe is a very important message.

  11. WOW!! you have outdone yourself :) I LOVE the wispy green tassle design! Thank you to the moon and back for inviting me to partner up on such an incredible venture.

  12. I love all the pieces you made! I think you touched on some very important awareness topics. Thank you for organizing this blog hop! I am learning about a lot of important diseases. Everyone has their own battles to fight and important causes. You never know what others are going through.

  13. I love all the pieces you made! I think you touched on some very important awareness topics. Thank you for organizing this blog hop! I am learning about a lot of important diseases. Everyone has their own battles to fight and important causes. You never know what others are going through.

  14. Anonymous9:01 AM

    All so beautiful, and so powerful! Thank you for hosting this touching and thought provoking blog hop - as always, I so enjoyed participating.

  15. Another wonderful blog hop. Thank you and Heather for hosting. Love your collection of inspirational art. You never fail to inspire all of us.

  16. They are all beautiful and very meaningful but my vote goes to fight - as we should never give up when the going gets tough

  17. Thanks for hosting this blog hop. You pieces are just beautiful and I believe they will give people hope and comfort.

  18. Lori - your work is always stunning and these are no exception. Thanks so much to you and Heather for making this fab blog hop possible.

  19. Lori these are all beautiful. I'm glad you were able to create, I know how much I missed it when I couldn't. Thank you so much for hosting the hop.

  20. Bravo Lori!!! Your courage and tenacity are a bright and shining light for all who struggle. Your artistic integrity is beyond compare. What an honor to know you and a joy to be a part of this adventure!!!

  21. Lori, thank you so much for this blog hop and for being such an inspiration.
    I love all you pieces!

  22. I just love all of your designs Lori, they are beautiful!! Wish I could have been part of the hop too!

  23. I love all the designs you came up with, Lori. They are all very beautiful and support wonderful causes. Thanks for hosting this hop. ♥

  24. I really love the pink and teal one. I have both lupus and FM so I guess purple is my go to awareness color. I'd love to win a bead, I've been thinking of getting one made.

  25. Those are great! You were so busy. The fact that all of them can be hung where they'll always be seen is fantastic.

  26. Lori Dear I am thrilled that you were able to create these beautiful and meaningful pieces of HeART. Blessings and as always...Healing Energy!

  27. Oh Lori! I love these in this format, it's so brilliant! Something you can hang where you can see it all the time is just perfect. Each one is so beautiful and so MEANINGFUL. I absolutely love them all. Big hugs and so much love to you, thank you so much for hosting this. Of all the hops I've done with you, this is the one that struck my heart hardest, thank you for that. I love you, lady, you are one of my greatest inspirations. Thank you for everything.

  28. Thank you so much for hosting us Lori. It was a pleasure to participate. Your pieces are wonderful and full of meaning.

  29. Hi Lori, You are so amazing. It is wonderful to see you creating again. This hop was a wonderful idea.I like the fight one the best.Fighting against the disease that troubles someone could stand for any cause.

  30. Wow, wow, wow, just when did you find the time to create all these, sneaky woman! I love them all.♥ Also, so great and thoughtful of you to sell some of these and donate the money to a cause.
    I'm still a little sad I wasn't able to join this hop, but I'll try my utmost to hop (shipping costs and time broke it for me) and comment on all participating blogs within the next few days. Thank you so much for organizing this hop, to Swoondimples for providing the beads, and to all participants for their creativity and time and telling their story.

    You. Are. Amazing.


  31. Wow - what a lot of pieces to bring awareness to many different subjects! Thanks for explaining each one! They are gorgeous and I love the versatility of each piece! Thank you again for hosting this amazing blog hop Lori!

  32. Lori you have been an inspiration to me, ever since I first found you and read your story. You went all out with your creations and they are all beautiful.

    Thank you and Heather for hosting this blog hop. Continue to fight. One day you'll be better, I'm certain of it.

  33. Making talismans is thoughtful and making them so beautiful is inspiring. They will certainly make somebody happier and more hopeful. We learn from your courage.

  34. This is such a great idea for a hop, Miss Lori. I really wish that I could have participated. I love Heather's beads and you know that powerful words are my thing. I would have selected something for Alzheimer's awareness. Purple works for that one, too! I think I will seek that out from Miss Heather, even though it would be breaking my self-imposed bead diet! Thanks for sharing these pieces of great hope made with much love and intention. Enjoy the day! Erin

  35. Lori all your pieces, and I am amazed at how many you created are absolutely gorgeous. I am so thankful that you thought to have this hop, it has enlightened me a great deal. Each story was so personal and so touching. I wish you continued success with your battle and hopefully it will be beaten very soon. You are such an inspiration.

  36. Your Lyme awareness Piece really spoke to my heart. You are an amazing person and your work for this bloghop is very inspirational!

  37. Beautiful and really meaningful!

    Claire xo

    Beads Jar UK

  38. I really like your beads of encouragement. Everyone needs encouragement in life. I began making beaded angels for special people in my life and now I sell them and have met a lot of wonderful people.


I appreciate comments! Thank you for contributing to the conversation.