Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ears To You

I don't do a lot of blog hops but when Amy at Copper Diem organized this one, I knew I wanted to do it. Had to do it. . Ears to You is a non-profit organisation that gifts earrings to women undergoing chemo as a way of helping to lift their spirits. If  you've been around this blog over the past few months, you probably  know that I finished chemo for breast cancer treatment not too long ago. So this blog hop seemed a natural for me and a way to give back just a little tiny bit of the love that sustained me through the months of treatment.

Amy asked us to make 3-5 pairs of earrings to donate to Ears to You. I started with what I knew best and that's my ceramic beads with some little bronze nuggets and garnets.

A lot of you out there were so kind and one of the things that meant so much to me were the earrings you all sent. All sorts of handmade ones that made me feel very special. Because lets just face it, when you have chemo you are probably going to loose your hair (and your eye brows and lashes). I did. Pretty much overnight I went to completely naked on my head. And a lot of the time that naked head of mine made me feel kind of naked all over.

Earrings were the answer for me. I hadn't actually worn earrings much in the past. But when it came to bald, even with my head covered in scarves, earrings were one of the things that made me feel good. It gave me something to focus on, rather than how strange I looked to myself.

I made this pair thinking how much I loved long dangly earrings. Something that went with the turban look. The turban look can be hard to pull off without looking like a chemo patient. But add some long dangly earrings and you've got an instant 'I am an artist, somewhat bohemian look.' You shout,  'I am not a victim of cancer, I am exotic.' Well even if you don't really look it, you can feel it and that is kinda important :-)

This last pair is a technique I learned from Staci Florer when I was at ArtBliss only I turned the copper hoops up side down. The ones I learned how to make, which I really wanted to do, required soldering. Ones like these. Well the soldering station has been over taken by the not anymore Secret Project which has made a momentous coup of my studio and my time. So in a stroke of something approaching a light bulb going off (dimly), I used sterling jump rings. And now that I think about a little more, I could actually turn these upside down again. A hint here, if you want to do something like this style of ring hoopy thing, wire together the top ends temporarily and then punch the hole. Much easier to get the hole lined up that way and the jump ring in. I know this from experience and one or two cuss words.

By the way, I do have hair again (and eye brows and lashes). It's almost an inch long and so very curly. I look a little like Richard Simmons but not as fit and perky. The earrings, especially long dangly ones, are what I am using to combat the post chemo, your hair is growing in look.

If you want to do something special, donations are always welcome at Ears to You. If you know a woman who's undergoing chemo, earrings are a very special way of saying I am thinking of you.

Just one last thing. My heart and soul, prayers, and thoughts are with all of you who have endured so much and lost so much in Hurricane Sandy. Blessings be with you.

Thanks, Amy, for organizing this blog hop! 

Have a look at what some sweet people have made:

Copper Diem
My Addictions
Beads, Tea and Sweets
Juls Beads
Fabric of my Life
Blogging Business Artisans
Jeannie's Blog
Lorelei's Blog
One Kiss Creations
Backstory Beads
According to Katie
Cherish Designs
Beads: Rolling Downhill
Falling Into The Sky
Garden Path Beads
Antiquity Travelers
Sissy and Jacks
Erin Siegel Jewelry/Art Bead Scene
Northwood Creative Studio
SilverRose Designs
Dreamin of Beads/SAS Jewelry Design
Cabe Woman
Summers Studio
Honey from the Bee
Shaiha's Ramblings
Mama's Got to Doodle
Beads for Busy Gals
Tanya McGuire
Creative Atelier


Anonymous said...

Good thing your joined this hop because those earrings are beauitful and will brighten someone's day. I wish you well.

Marie Cramp said...

Wonderful earrings!! I was gifted a couple pairs as well and wear them all the time. It does make you feel better when you have no hair :)
<3 from all of us women going through chemo... Thank you! <3

Michelle said...

What a lovely post and such a great cause! I smiled when I saw those paddled hoops. ;)

As for your hair, I thought you looked lovely in September.

Thanks for this post. I must look into this - great early XMas gift too...

Cassi Renee said...

These are beautiful. I do love your metal work :-) And I'm so glad you're on the other end of the experience.

Juli Cannon said...

Such an elegantly organic style~ absolutely love your designs and I know the women who receive them will too. I'm so glad I stopped by.

Christine Altmiller said...

I am so sorry about your first hand knowledge of how a pair of earrings can brighten a day. I hope you are on the path to good health, once again. Your connection with what woman like to help them through cancer treatment is evident in your Beautiful creations. These are Gorgeous~you have an absolutely wonderful style and knack for color combos.

Beverly Herman said...

LeAnn you have been so couragous during your treatment and getting back to life. A great example to those going through the same. Your right about the earrings. Putting them on with a little lipstick and it changes how you feel. I love the earrings you made. Blessing to you!

Copper Diem said...

What a lovely, moving post. Thank you so much for participating, and I love the earrings you made. Xoxo

Sandra said...

very pretty, all of them!

Janet Bocciardi said...

What a beautiful post! Perfect for the hop as it affirms what we're all doing. So glad you're on the other side of the treatment.

Your earrings are gorgeous! Your beads are gorgeous! I bet you are gorgeous!

Patti Van said...

You know LeAnn, I think about you EVERY SINGLE DAY...I really do. I say a little prayer that you continue on the road to Good Health. It was a wonderful time meeting you at ArtBliss, though our time was very limited. And, personally, I thought you looked gorgeous with short hair, too! I do hope to meet up with you again in the near future! You are a brave and inspiring woman!

Your earrings are FABULOUS! Fabulous! Your beads are always divine! Thanks for the design tips on the third pair - I will be trying it out soon!

I hope you are loving your new, not so secret anymore casting project and are having a wonderful weekend!

MirandAck said...

That last pair is soooooo pretty! I am not much of a metalworker, but I may attempt something similar.

Tanya McGuire said...

Honestly your post made me cry it says so much in a short space. I spent all of September with my parents helping her with her recovery and so this hop was special to me as well. I love the look of your work.

TesoriTrovati said...

Your earrings would brighten anyone's day but to know that it is from someone who has been there too will be an added comfort. I am glad that you shared this! And I bet you are rocking the little curls! Enjoy the day, friend! Erin

AliMc said...

All so beautiful both the earrings and your touching post.

Erin Siegel said...

I can't imagine what this means for you with it all hitting so close to home. You have been a special friend for years now and I'm so glad I've gotten the chance to meet you in person a few times. I wish I could give you a big hug right now! Your earrings are absolutely fantastic. It's amazing to me to think that jewelry design is not where you started from. One look at these earrings and you would think, without a doubt, jewelry and metalwork has always been your first language. I can not wait to see what you will do with your castings. I'm so excited about that and I'm really looking forward to your work.

Maria said...

GREAT JOB! I love them! The 3rd ones are my fav...

Elisabeth said...

What an incredible post - really stopped me in my tracks - and in a good way. Your earrings are stunning but your spirit is even more so.

Maplegirl said...

Thank you sharing your experience. I had never thought to donate earrings or gift them to a woman going through treatment. What a lovely thing to do.

Your earrings are fabulous. What great gifts they will make.

CherishD said...

As I was reading you blog post, I was tearing up so much that I had to take a little break and come back! :)A sweet friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer last month and I have been trying to think of something I can do for her other than the traditional hotdish help. :) I am so excited to create a variety of fun earrings for her... Thank you so much for the gift of the suggestion!

Silly that even though I am doing the hop too, I did not think of creating earrings for her! :) Your designs are incredibly beautiful!

Congratulations on you Top Secret Project!
Kris said...

What a great project to be part of, beautiful earrings too I'm sure they'll find a good home!

vicki said...

What a wonderful project---- no woman ever feels complete without her earrings!! This is an incredible project that will touch so many. Your earrings are lovely -- I know they will be loved!


windrock studio said...

Long, dangly earrings have always been my thing, these are beautiful!
What a wonderful idea for sharing.