Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hand-made customized grief bracelet

After the death of a loved one, we have the difficult task of living with the immense void created by our personal loss. We also need to get on with the business of living while trying to honour the memory of those whom we loved. For many of us, the natural tendency is to hang on to as much of the belongings of the departed as possible. You will know when the time has come for you to turn a corner of your grief journey and get on with the task to empty drawers and closets, and to deal with some of the personal items such as buttons, costume jewellery, sewing threads, and beads.

What I am offering here is a meaningful way to remember a loved one, by incorporating those buttons, threads, beads or even old, but not forgotten, costume jewellery, into a wearable memorial, in the form of a customized grief bracelet.The picture shown is an "example" that has been decorated with a little over 50 mid century gold and black buttons of varying sizes, a few beads and then finally it is trimmed on one side with black lace on the elasticized base. Of course, this is all a matter of choice for each person and we don’t all react the same, but for me, memories of playing with beautiful buttons as a child, made it difficult to simply throw these items away.

The bracelet pictured here was lovingly put together with buttons from my late mother's sewing box. I also included buttons that were removed from some of her treasured pieces of clothing (a tattered grey fur coat from the 1950's) that I wanted to preserve in something that is both beautiful to wear, something current, and that I would be able to cherish for many years to come.

I also want you to have the same opportunity and I will put it all together for you when you are ready. All you have to do is to provide me with a few handfuls of carefully selected buttons of your choosing, and I will show the same care and creativity in fabricating a personalized custom bracelet.

To begin, please email me ( for more information, pricing, sizing, and delivery options, but primarily it will go pretty much like the following:
After you have made your selection of buttons, simply send everything in the mail or by courier in a package that also includes a pre-postage paid envelope, (preferably a bubble envelope that has postage on it, as well as your address which will be used to send everything back to you), the exact measurements of your wrist, your email address for correspondence, and a deposit of twenty five dollars in the form of a cashiers cheque, money order, or a direct deposit, or by pay pal. Upon completion you will be notified of the remaining balance owed which after receiving payment, your customized bracelet will be sent back to you in the provided postage paid bubble envelope. Bubble envelopes are available at most places that sell stationary products. Turn around time will be a few days and generally the completed bracelets will be between 50 and 85 dollars (primarily dependant on the amount of buttons and the time it takes, so the bigger the buttons the less time and expense it will be).

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Intrinsic values getting turned on

Week before last I was solicited to donate work to an upcoming Annual Art Auction happening this March 28th at the Capital Theatre. It is for the Northumberland Child Development Centre which is a not-for-profit organization, also here in Port Hope. They provide programs and services for children who require additional support in our community. I always get excited when embarking on work that will eventually be donated. Designing and assembling the pieces is where all my time and effort went. These bodacious dazzling blue colours are spectacular and right on target for this year's spring fashion colours. I don't think I have ever done a bracelet with that many beads on it before, so it is truly a unique piece. The bracelet took the longest, but I've been working on all three pieces for the past week. I'm always wanting to please others with my work, or my creations. I have always been this way. I tend to express my love into beautiful objects and my surroundings. I do hope they love my work as much as I did making it.

I have and will continue to always support not-for-profit organizations. I have given my work to the Big Sisters/Brothers, the Rose of Durham, Hearth House and Friends of Music to name a few and I always seem to go a bit overboard, like I did when decorating the bird houses, along with 50 other artists. The bird houses went up for auction as well for a local charity and garden tour. I really loved doing them and tend to loose all sense of time really getting into it. I think I spent weeks on this particular bird house. I had even attached one of my original glass bird beads onto the back of it.

When we don't have to worry about money or worry about how much to ask, or if its going to sell, or not, and when money isn't involved, it is just so much more pleasant to work on. Its like giving a gift directly from one's heart. Seeing how difficult it was for me last year, giving from my heart really makes me feel good and I thank Karen R. from ncdcent for making me feel pretty good this week. Enough said. Hope it raises allot of money for them.

Does the pain really go away, or just manifest elsewhere?

Perhaps I shouldn't mix business with my personal life, but its been over 9 months since my last post... I'd like to explain that exactly five days after my last post, my mother passed away unexpectedly. Everything changed. Its hard to fathom that millions of people go through this at least once in their lives, but it doesn't make it easier, just that I'm not alone. 
In her memory, I'd like to share a drawing of her that I did many years back. It was my first project for an art class with Peter Kolisnyk at Glendon College. I didn't know until just this minute while searching online for his name, that he also passed away in 2009. It was not a bird course by any stretch of the imagination whatsoever. I had spent an entire week, maybe two, working on this drawing and hoping to "wow" Mr. Kolisnyk by showing him that I was a good and eager art student. I did receive my "A" but not without a lecture about originality first. 

I wish I could explain now just how original it was now that I look back at everything. I will try to explain. I did this drawing of her based on a photograph. In it was a time of celebration and she was in full gala in her krakowski stroj costume with braids and ribbons in her hair. She was joyful and happy in a school parade in Doddington EnglandI remember Mr. Kolisnyk asking me who this was and why I choose to draw her. I explained that she was a child of war and without her mother in a displacement camp for children. It was just before she came to Canada and she was about 14 years old. He seemed satisfied with the explanation. However, I drew this picture of her based on a photograph of a happy celebration? Perhaps I didn't see it back then, but somehow her pain projected to me and to my drawing of her. My mother was still grieving from her younger sister's death the year prior. You can clearly see it in her eyes. I don't think I even realized at the time, but her intense pain clearly manifest in my drawing of her from when she was quite young. I'm still trying to find the original happier photograph...
Anyway, now that I've explained my absence, I'll get to some happier news shortly. I'm just starting back up, so please bare with me.