Friday, November 30, 2012

The Journey - Challenge of Color 2012

Welcome to the Challenge of Color Blog Hop.  I first want to thank Erin Prais-Hintz for her wonderful organization of this event and the encouragement to all of the participants that signed up.  Erin, this challenge always inspires me, but I had no idea just where this would take me when I signed up this year.

This year, Erin partnered with Brandi Hussey to create some amazing color palettes using the theme Earth as Art.  Each of us were assigned two and we can choose whichever one we pleased.  I revealed my two color palettes earlier this month but wasn't going to tell you which one I picked.

While I love purple, eat, sleep and breathe purple... I actually chose the second palette, Empty Quarter featuring shades of grey (not quite fifty) & burgundy.  Can I tell you, when the student is ready the teacher will appear.  In this case Erin was a teacher (literally and figuratively) in my life.  I can't even put into words how grateful I am for that.  This is how I tell the story...

 At the time of sign-up we had just discovered 3 brain tumors in my baby brother (28).  The color of the Brain Tumor Awareness ribbon is Grey.  Secondarily, in September we found out my grandma whom I'm very close with was diagnosed as having Multiple Myeloma - a blood cancer.  She's currently undergoing treatments for that as well.  Is it a coincidence that the Multiple Myeloma Awareness ribbon is Burgandy?

I've been living at my brother's home this month taking him to daily treatments.  What I've been able to help him with, he's given me back in laughter and love.  We're still undergoing treatments and on this journey together.

Therefore... since the journey continues as does my piece.  It's not finished, but I see in my soul the big picture of what it's going to be.

The necklace is featuring many bead embroidered components.  It may be a bib-style necklace when all is said and done or it could morph into a full-blown collar.  The cabochons feature photos of my brother Greg and my grandparents as well as one that says family (those need to be finished).  Both photos were taken at our September birthday party before we knew Greg's brain tumor had returned.
Awareness Ribbon color was added with nail polish!

I've added additional components that also bring in the grey and burgundy/red theme.  I've added some bling and sparkle around various cabochons using sequins (I know my friend Sarah of Saturday Sequins will love that) and a crystal link chain. 

None of the components have been edged or backed yet... so you'll see string and such in the photos.  I also didn't have my usual photo set up (doesn't work when your digital camera USB cable is at home and you're on the road) so my photos have been taken with my phone.

So as this journey continues, my beaded art necklace which was a challenge in color will continue to grow and become more beautiful with each piece of the puzzle in place.

The Journey - bringing awareness to people that have been touched by brain tumors or multiple myeloma!  We all travel The Journey together - arm in arm, heart to heart!

To see all of the rest of the participants, please do visit Erin's blog.  See her inspired designs and the other artisans that are participating in the challenge.  Allow yourself to grow and let YOUR creativity tell your story! 

As we continue treatments with Greg, just know he's in great spirits and takes great pride in making me laugh every day!  It's the best way to fight a tough fight!

Peace & love to you,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends that are celebrating.

If you aren't in the United States, I hope our holiday can remind us all to take a minute to reflect on what we are grateful for. 

This last month has been a roller coaster for my family.  This year, we are especially grateful for each and every morning where we all rise and breathe another day. 

Remember every day is special!  Tell those that you love just how precious they are to you!

From our family to yours,
Love and blessings!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Participating in the Challenge of Color again!

I'm so excited that it's time again for Erin Prais-Hintz (Treasure's Found Blog) Challenge of Color.  In lieu of recent happenings in my world, I'm finding beading to be my peace. 

Last year when I participated in Erin's challenge she gave us great color palettes from Design Seeds to use as inspiration to create something wonderful.  I still get Design Seeds e-mail color palettes everyday and love the ideas and creativity it sparks! 

This year, Erin is working with Brandi Hussey (Brandi Girl Blog) to give us color palettes in the theme Earth as Art!  We were assigned two color palettes and we could choose whichever one we wanted. 

Here were my two choices:

I'm not going to tell you which one I chose until November 30th the day of the blog hop.  I'm not sure if I'll have an entire piece finished by then, but I am taking each bead as therapy in this journey I'm currently on with my family.  Beading is my peace, so let this be called The Challenge of Peaceful Color blog hop!

Hope your week is full of creative inspiration and love!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Beaded Cuff Without a Name is Just a Cuff - or is it?

I'm at a loss for naming this bead embroidered cuff.  I shared it on my Facebook Page yesterday asking for a name.  I received several great suggestions and now I'm asking you to help me choose.  I posted a poll for everybody to vote and the person that submitted the winning name will get something super special that I created.

While I'm not usually one to post sad, emotional stuff on my blog, I feel the need to share the reason for my absence and help to create a network of love and prayer. 

We found out a few weeks ago my baby brother's brain tumor has returned after 8 years of being cancer free.  It also brought friends and they've spread their party to his spine so they could dance on the bar.  The tumors are inoperable so the only course of treatment we have is chemo and tomotherapy (which is a form of radiation that was actually developed at UW Madison where he coincidentally is being treated).

This photo was taken just 3 weeks before THE appointment.
While my baby brother (he's 28 and 6' tall, so yes bigger than me, but still my baby brother) is going through treatments, I am living with him and helping to take him to appointments.  My other two sisters have also been extremely helpful in sharing time with him and giving us each the time to regroup so we can together be strong.

Meanwhile Mama D found out her pacemaker is on it's last tick. She will be having surgery next Wed. to have her pacemaker & leads replaced.  So while I'm running West, my baby sister is running East with Mama D and we're so grateful for cell phones and wifi!

So thus the reason for my absence.  I was just about to put the backing on this cuff when the bottom of our world dropped out and we got the news.  After all, we had 8 years of clean check ups.  Why would this year be any different?

My brain stopped, I went into what I know best - love mode.  I just do what I need to do for my family, I spread love, provide humor to keep people's spirits up and in general try to balance several spinning plates.

We're a long way from the finish line and the future of this journey is beyond uncertain.  We do know one thing though - we have today, and today is a gift.  If we open that gift with excitement each morning we can make a difference to someone each an everyday.

If you'd like to help me name this cuff, I'd appreciate it!  I posted a poll on my Designs by Dawn Marie Facebook Page.  Go over to my page (make sure you like the page) and click on the the name you like best for this design. 

I appreciate all the love and prayers, positive energies and wish you a day full of wonder!
Use your gift to it's fullest!


Credits:  Family Photo by Matt Mason Photography in Lake Geneva, WI
Focal Lampwork Cab by JulsBeads
Ammonite Glass Beads from Lima Beads
Tiger's Eye & Mahogany Obsidian Cabs Fire Mountain Gems and Beads
Rainbow Casilica Square Beadology in Lake Geneva, WI
Beading Foundation - Nicole's Bead Backing by the Beadwright - Nicole Campanella


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