Friday 15 November 2013

'Beads of Courage' Art Charm Exchange and Auction...

This year for the first time I am taking part in an Art Charm Exchange and Auction organised by the talented and indefatigable Jennifer Cameron in support of 'Beads of Courage' a charity providing innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them.

The premise of the exchange is that each participant makes 11 charms based on a given theme and sends them to Jen, who then sends each of us a collection of 10 charms including one of our own. The 11th charm goes up for auction for BOC and you can find details of the auction later in this post.

The theme for this year was 'Love' and as I'm not much of a romantic and a bit of a free spirit I went to music for my inspiration. I decided on the Sting song 'If you love somebody set them free' because I've always been intrigued by that part of the human psyche that draws us to people and then sometimes causes us to try and change the very characteristics we found so attractive in the first place. I made my charms in the form of bronze clay doves and impressed the 'set them free' lyric across the wingspan, highlighting it with alcohol ink.

On the other side I added a tiny heart...

I felt the lyric also held a second message relating to the work done by Beads of Courage and how this can maybe set the children free from some of their pain...

So those are my charms but what about the ones I was sent...? Well what a fabulous selection in all sorts of media and here they are...

Beautiful lampwork...

Lovely ceramic...

Wonderful detailed beadwork...

Fabulous and  intricate wire work..

And last but not least, fun and colourful Polymer Clay...

You can find out more about the inspiration behind these charms by visiting the makers blogs below along with those of the other participants. All participants will have a charm up for auction so If you'd like the opportunity to get your hands on one... including my design, while donating to a fantastic cause, you can take part in the auction which starts at 7am EST today >>here<< and will be staggered 2 minutes apart. There will be further staggered starts from 9am EST Saturday am 8pm EST Sunday. You can buy each of the charms individually and the listings will be staggered through the day so keep checking back for new ones!

We’re hoping to raise $1000 dollars for the Beads of Courage project, so dig deep!

Note: I will have a few of my Dove charms for sale after the auction with the proceeds also going to BOC but having managed to fall last week and put myself in hospital with a broken ankle I've not yet managed to list them. If you're interested please e mail me at

Caroline Dewison:
Alicia Marinache:
Terri Del Signore:
Cheryl (Lee) Koopman:
Jacqueline Carlson:
Charlene Bausinger Jacka:



  1. I love your charms Lesley and the ones you got in return are beautiful!

    Fingers crossed for making loads for BOC.

  2. Oh I am SO happy to get to read your post, and I love your charm! It took me a long time's worth of thinking to come up with what I *thought* your charm meant - and I am so happy that at least I came close to your intent, lol! It's a wonderful premise, and your charms are gorgeous!

  3. Dear friend I gasped when I saw your charms! I love the sentiment and love behind them!!!

  4. I really love your charms Lesely! I have had "free, free, set them free...set them freeeeee" in my head for the last few hours (I saw your charm first thing this morning on the eBay auction). I may just have to bid one one since I didn't get one in my swap.

  5. Gorgeous charm! I aspire to be able to take photos like yours! Bravo x 2

  6. I consider myself fortunate to have received one of these beautiful bird charms in the swap. I already have an idea of how it will fit into a "stocking stuffer" gift for my daughter who loves birds. Beautiful work.

  7. Great message in your charm! I wasn't lucky enough to receive one but am glad that you received one of mine. :)

  8. I love how personal the charm is to you. Great message! I particularly love the detail in the heart underneath. I'm also glad to know that my charm found a good home! - Julie

  9. Beautiful charm with a very inspiring message!

  10. I love every single thing you make, and this is no exception. I'm sorry you broke your ankle, but maybe it gives you more time to fondle the goodies? Gosh...that sounds really dirty...Thanks for participating and for helping to raise money for beads of courage.

  11. I feel lucky to have received one of your charms, Lesley, and I already have plans for it. I am so sorry you broke your ankle --I hope that you will still be able to hobble around your studio and create, and that it heals quickly!

  12. A beautiful sentiment - I adore your flight of fancy and affection! Glad that you like your charm, too!

  13. I adore your little bird on the wing, Lesley... sorry your own "wings" are clipped right now but so happy you were able to join us for the hop!

  14. What a beautiful charity and I love the charms you created. I hope you feel better soon and that your ankle heals very quickly.

  15. Excellent symbolism, when I first saw the 'set it free' I thought "set the kids free of pain"... such a lovely message - gorgeous charms, I wasn't lucky enough to get one (but lucky to get other beauties :) )

  16. I'm not really a "heart' person myself so I really love the idea/symbolism for your charm and will wear it proudly. I hope you feel better soon and am so glad you were able to participate.

  17. Your charm reminds of a song called freebird. It brought me loving memories of a friend.


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