Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Art Charm Exchange and Charity Auction, 2014 edition - the reveal!

Welcome to a new event: the reveal for the Art Charm Exchange and Charity Auction, hosted by Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions.

As you might know from previous posts, once a year Jen is organizing a charm exchange. With a twist, everybody makes an extra charm, which Jen is auctioning, and the profit goes to Beads of Courage. Every year, to make the challenge more interesting, Jen chooses a theme and this year the theme was 'Soar'.

Of course I turned the word over and over: a feather, a bird, a wing... the word itself stamped... nothing felt good. Or interesting. Or right. So I put it aside and went on with my summer.

During our travels we stopped for a long while in Pennsylvania, where our campsite is by a small creek. A creek we swim at the end of the day, to relax the muscles in the cold water. And then, at the end of the day, when you try to relax not only muscles, but your brain too, when you simply absorb nature and you just 'are' for a few moments (before both the kid and the dog ask for attention, how do you dare to get away from them for 30 milliseconds?)... then I saw them and found my inspiration. Pennsylvania is a magic place for me: one with fireflies and stars (we are almost at the top of the Appalachians there). And now, after many years, the place is offering me something as special as the fireflies:

Art Charm Exchange (Bead of Courage): Soar! Dragonflies :: All Pretty Things

Dragonflies! I watched them for minutes in a row: their translucent, fairy-like wings, their hovering flight, precise, delicate, yet very strong, their humming. And it occurred to me: maybe they aren't exactly eagles, but keeping proportions they sure can soar!

Light bulb on. I only had to get back home to implement it. And that I did - after I managed to buy all the Vintaj metal from Buffalo's Hobby Lobby :) I used a technique I only used twice before: embossing the metal charms, then patina with Color Me + polishing, buffing, the whole 9 yards.

In the end, this is what I sent Jen:
Catching dragonflies!
I wonder where he
has gone today.
~ by Chiyo of Kaga

Art Charm Exchange (Bead of Courage): Soar! Dragonflies: vintaj, embossing, patina, metal work :: All Pretty Things

Purple dragonflies...

Dyed he is with the
Color of Autumnal days,
O red dragonfly.
~ by Bakusui

Art Charm Exchange (Bead of Courage): Soar! Dragonflies: vintaj, embossing, patina, metal work :: All Pretty Things
Red dragonflies...

The dragonfly!
Distant mountains reflected
in his eyes.
~ by Issa

Art Charm Exchange (Bead of Courage): Soar! Dragonflies: vintaj, embossing, patina, metal work :: All Pretty Things
Blue dragonflies...

Art Charm Exchange (Bead of Courage): Soar! Dragonflies: vintaj, embossing, patina, metal work, ooak art charm :: All Pretty Things

All sent with a dragonfly haiku (the most known - to the west - form of Japanese poetry). As delicate as the insect itself.

Wait... what's the big one, you ask? Oh... I decided instead of making an extra charm to make an extra something else. A bit bigger than a charm: a pendant. A dragonfly pendant :)

Art Charm Exchange (Bead of Courage): Soar! Dragonflies: wirework, copper, facetted agate, ooak pendant :: All Pretty Things

This is the story of my dragonflies. They came to visit me one calm afternoon on the bed of a creek close to Susquehanna. I invited them to Soar! for Jen's challenge and they quietly accepted the challenge. Then they revealed their beauty in unique forms - and hopefully they'll do a good job in raising good money for the kids who suffer.

I am not going to show you what I have received ~ you'll have to visit them and the entire group. Trust me, it's a visit for the soul, you won't regret taking the time!

Before you go visit - remember: there is an auction taking place right now, right on this ebay auction site. Every year there are some serious beauties there and just in time for Christmas too!

Thank you, Jen, for all the incredible work that's behind the group - and thank you all for sending such beautiful and special charms!

Our host: Jennifer Cameron
Alicia Marinache <- you are here
Andrea Glick <- One of the charms I received
Cassi Paslick <- One of the charms I received
Lennis Carrier <- One of the charms I received
Michelle McCarthy <- One of the charms I received
Moriah Betterly <- One of the charms I received
Nancy Smith <- One of the charms I received
Niky Sayers <- One of the charms I received
Susan Delaney <- One of the charms I received
Terri DelSignore <- One of the charms I received


  1. What wonderful charms, such lovely colours and I love your inspiration so beautifully written!

  2. Lovely charms. I'm so pleased I received one :)

  3. These are lovely, Alicia, and pairing each of them with a haiku is perfect :-) Dragonfly wings are beautiful and it is easy to see how they inspire. We have always had them around here but over the past few years, they have exploded in population. I think it is because the bat population is declining so there are so many more mosquitoes for the dragonflies to dine on. While I know the necessity of bats, I definitely prefer seeing the dragonflies instead ;-)

  4. They are just so lovely! I especially love the vibrant coloring you chose, and the explanation of your inspiration. I LOVE the idea of making a pendant for the extra charm!! Next year I may follow you up!

  5. Those are gorgeous charms, and I love how you packaged them --so special.

  6. I loved the last Haiku, it is perfect. distant mountains reflected in his eye. Its just beautiful. Thank you for showing me this

  7. Splendid, joyful charms. The dragonfly is a sacred animal to American Indians in the SW desert. They "flag" where water can be found.

  8. Beautiful, I love your inspiration!

  9. So much thoughtful reflection went into your designs, making them even more precious to the recipients :) If I am honest, I just adore the big wire design you made, his lines are really beautiful, Alicia :)

  10. Awwwwww, you got one of my charms! YAY! I'm glad it found a home with a fellow haiku lover. I used to write them a long time ago. :)


  11. Great charms and thoughtful post! I just love dragonflies! Since moving to a new province, I see the biggest, most gorgeous dragonflies! The best part - they eat mosquitoes and garden pests!! Since dragonflies entered my life I no longer worry about any bugs destroying garden plants! I never got one of yours but I did just bid on one;)

  12. Love your charms Alicia! Each one painted by hand, in a multitude of color. Just beautiful. Dragonflies are one of my favorites as well ... we see them all summer long up at our camp - flying about the water and off into the dusk at night. Really wonderful post!

  13. I was lucky enough to get one of your dragonflies and boy is he handsome. He's even more special now that I know the story behind him.

  14. I loved your charms before, but now that I know the story behind them, I love them even more. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I really like the composition of your charms - so the dragonfly is abstracted a bit as a design, very cool!

  16. You made such beautiful dragonfly charms, Alicia. I love the effect you got with the Color Me patina. I have a set of Lisa's colours but haven't used them yet. Your work has inspired me to try them! Your embossed butterfly is lovely!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate and love to read your comments!