Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sending a Guardian Angel & Pretty Palettes for November

My Aunt Mary recently went through what I can only imagine felt like a nightmare. She lost the use of her right arm, and after some tests, a tumor was found in her brain. Cancer is a harsh and ruthless predator, and it has been prowling about my family more than its fair share in these past years.

Her surgery this past Monday to have the tumor removed tested her strength and faith, but thankfully, she's making a wonderful recovery, and--as amazing as this sounds--she's planning to continue on to her previously planned trip to Disneyworld with her granddaughter this Friday! 

Before the surgery I had been praying, but I wanted to do something more concrete with my hands, and send her something in the mail since a visit wasn't possible before the surgery. Matthew made a wonderful card for her. It said "We all love you <BIG red colored-pencil heart> Stay Tough."

We all signed it, and then I went to my studio to make something that I hoped would give her a little more strength and serve as a pick-me-up to let her know that we were thinking of her. I started by searching through my stash for a bead or charm with an inspirational image or word.

The perfect thing was this Guardian Angel charm from Green Girl Studios. In the same cubby was one of their bird toggles. Birds have always been a hopeful symbol for me, so I decided to use that as well. I knew that I wanted to make a long necklace that could also be worn wrapped around the wrist, making it a little more versatile, or it could even hang from a hook on a window as a reminder of all of us who are thinking of her while she's in the hospital.

My aunt has a wonderful sense of style. She likes to wear colors, and she has a sophisticated color sense. I decided to use the colors in Erin Prais-Hintz' Market palette that she shared on the Halcraft USA blog because they're earthy and went well with the tiny gemstone beads I wanted to use in the necklace. I didn't want anything too large so that the piece would be comfortable when worn, and I also wanted the necklace to be able to fit in the palm of my aunt's hand when wound around itself.

Here's the design I came up with. I love the color palette, and I ended up adding more orange, just because it felt right with the other gemstone colors. Because of the warmth of the gemstone colors I used gold tinted tiny seed beads--15/0, I think--between the faceted gemstones and also gold jumprings to attach the pendant to the necklace.

Here's a link to Halcraft's November Pretty Palettes page, so that you can see others' interpretation of the palettes.


Taking the time to string these beads was therapeutic for me. I thought of my aunt with each tiny bead and sent prayers her way as I watched the string lengthen.

Do you ever craft as a form of prayer or meditation?