Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Art Charm Swap 2014 Reveal

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**THIS EVENT HAS CONCLUDED! Thanks everyone who supported us by visiting, bidding and buying. It was a great success again thanks to Jen Cameron's hard work!!**

Welcome to the reveal and blog hop for the 2014 Art Charm Swap and fundraising auction for the Beads of Courage program, which supports seriously ill children in many hospitals internationally. This year thirty-six bead artists have participated, each creating original charms on the theme of "Soar", and exchanging them under the inspired guidance of Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions. This event culminates today with the opening of the Ebay auction, selling charms donated by each artist, with all funds being donated to Beads of Courage. So visit our blogs, check out the charms on eBay, and bid on any or all... they make amazing one-of-a-kind Holiday gifts!

I wish to thank Jennifer for her dedicated efforts, year after year, in making this an event I eagerly anticipate. Thanks also to my fellow participants for sharing your beautiful designs and wonderful stories. A complete list including links can be found at the end of this post.

I had a hard time deciding which "soaring" creature/object I would feature (there are so many beautiful ones, as you will see), but finally chose the delicate honey bee... which, it has been argued, can barely fly, let alone soar :)

To report that bees are in trouble, with some species even verging on extinction, is probably NOT news to any of you. Domesticated bees provide not only honey, but pollination to a wide array of food plants, and their care is of the utmost importance.

What do the bees want from us? It may interest you to read this amusing but poignant bee Manifesto from a politically astute honey bee, translated by Rusty Burlew, the thoughtful Washington scientist, bee advocate and writer of Honey Bee Suite.

So (finally) here are my charms, lovingly hand-shaped using artist-quality (Kato) polymer clay. Designed exclusively for this event, they are a tribute to our irreplaceable garden friend, the hardworking honey bee.

The charm up for auction is in the right-hand column, at bottom

Jen takes awesome photos, so I couldn't help sharing these she took of the charm for sale:

Thanks so much for all your hard work, Jennifer!

There are many awesome expressions out there, urging us to "reach for the top", and I appreciate them all, but I took a slightly different slant. Here are MY TOP PICKS FOR REFLECTIONS ON "SOAR" (the ones that inspired my original motto found on the back of the charm):

"Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar."
  -William Wordsworth, British Poet Laureate, 1798. A favorite of gardeners.

"Be wise; soar not too high to fall; but stoop to rise."

   -Philip Massinger, English satirical dramatist, from a 1621 play. An admonition to  politicians and others "serving the public".


One last linkie :)

**About six weeks ago, as I was getting ready to pack up my charms, I was thrilled to discover this awesome bee box made by Therese Frank. Take a peak! Isn't this the coolest? It is like the big sister to my charms.**


Most of our designers are presenting their charms today. Please check in with them when you get a chance. Thank you for viewing and, hopefully, participating in our auction supporting a wonderful program :)

Jennifer Cameron: Glass Addictions
Alenka Obid: Pepita Handmade Art
Alicia Marinache: All the PrettyThings
Andrea Glick: ZenithJade Creations
Caroline Dewison: BlueberriBeads
Cassi Paslick: Bad at Being Mom
Cate van Alphen: Fulgorine
Chris Eisenberg: Wanderware
Cory Tompkins: Tealwater Designs 
Elizabeth Auld Beads for Busy Gals
Genevieve Gabbert: MasuDesigns (FB post)
Jami Shipp: Celebrating Life
Jenny Davies-Reazor: Jenny Davies-Reazor
Kim Dworak: CianciBlue
Lennis Carrier: Windbent
Lesley Watt: The Gossiping Goddess
Mallory Hoffman: For the Love of Beads
Melissa Trudinger: Beadrecipes
Michelle McCarthy: Firefly Design Studio
*YOU ARE HERE* Monique Urquhart: A Half-Baked Notion*****
Nancy Dale: NEDbeads
Nancy Smith: Nanmade
Niky Sayers: Silver NikNats 
Renetha Stanziano: Lamplight Craft
Shai Williams: Shaiha's Ramblings
Sheila Prosterman: catswithbeads/cheap charms
Susan Delaney: SusanDolphinDelaney
Susan Kennedy: Sue Beads
Terri DelSignore: artisticaos
Toltec Jewels: Jewel School Friends
Vanessa Gilkes: Culturezine


  1. I was increadably lucky to get one of your amazing charms Monique, I love it! I have a soft spot for bee's and really enjoy watching them buzzing around. The detail on your charm is just amazing and oh my those lovely little wings!

  2. Amazing work Monique. A really beautiful intricate charm with an unusual shape and pretty colours.

  3. Great charms. I love all the detail.

  4. Gorgeous depth and color and artistry ~ these are beautiful Monique! Funny about Therese's bee box :-)

  5. I can't tell you how excited I was to see another of your charms in my swap lot this year - I totally adore your work, and this year's charm is just as gorgeous as last year's. I am completely in love with it!! I love your post, too, and the thoughtfulness that goes into your pieces.

  6. Monique,
    Love love love your charm. The bee is so vital tour existence on this planet. If there were no bees, there would be no fresh fruits and vegetables, and no pretty flowers. We need pollinators. Ok, I am fascinated by insects, most probably because I taught about them for years. Now to the art part of the charm. Very creative and inspirational. You done good!!!! Vanessa

  7. I still treasure your charm from last year. I never dreamed that a person could create one even better for this year, but you did. Go girl!

  8. I enjoyed your quotes. Now might bee a good time to pause and think about the awesome blog posts I've been reading

  9. Gorgeous charms Monique! What a fantastic contribution to such a worthy cause!

  10. Monique, your design is just amazing! It's like a beautiful miniature garden sculpture --truly wonderful.

  11. Each one of your charms is a perfect little work of art! Love all the delicate colors and details. Fantastic, Monique!

  12. Great initiative!!! I love your work!!!
    Have a nice day!! and my g+ for you!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

    1. I follow you by Bloglovin too!!!
      and my like in bloglovin for your post!!!:)))

  13. Oh Monique your bee charm amazing and not to mention beautiful. All who receive this charm are going to be amazed with your artistry. I hope that yours and the others charms bring lots of money to the Beads of Courage. Thank you for the shot out the big sister bead holds nothing in comparison to the little sister bee..

  14. I'm amazed by the detail in your charms and was thrilled that I received one... thank you!

  15. Monique
    I posted a comment twice to your blog but they did not show up. That was from my phone so now I am using my tablet hoping this one will post!!
    I was so thrilled to receive a charm from you again this year! I just hold it and stare at it in total awe! My son and his buddy took some interest in going through my charms and they both stopped at yours in total amazement -I thought that was cute! They were trying to figure out how one could make that by hand and I smiled because I wonder the same thing:)
    I love the quotes you posted -really made me think!

  16. love your bee charms Monique! they are so sweet, and such good awareness for what is happening to bees! Hope you guys are able to raise lots of money for Beads of Courage!

  17. Monique, I am soooooooo Thrilled to be one of the lucky people who received this charm. I LOVE IT! Thank you!!!

  18. What beautiful charms! They are so sweet even though I am terrified of bees.

  19. Your charms are beautiful, Monique!!! And I'm a happy owner of one of them :-)
    While flying over the Ocean to Slovenia the bee was a little injured, one of her wings is broken, but I'll fix that with a drop of glue medicine, don't worry.

  20. Monique, I totally blown away at the level of detail you managed in one small charm. It's so beautiful. Thanks you so much for participating!

  21. Monique, these charms are truly delightful! I wish I had received one. I have serious charm envy! I love the reflections on "soar" you quoted and the quote on the back of your charm is excellent. Your artistry and skill with polymer clay is amazing. How long have you been working with it?

  22. Oh. My. Gosh. Monique, this is beautiful!! And I am so, so late seeing it. :(
    I am just in awe.


I love your comments and read each one! I am happy to reply to anyone who has an email attached to their profile, and I love doing just that (plus I was brought up to say "thanks" LOL). I don't usually reply here on the blog, but I will if you are a "no-reply blogger" with a question. Know that I appreciate EVERYONE who takes time to drop me a line!

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