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Jelveh Designs - Glass Beads Torched One-by-One

Beads of Courage


 

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Beads of Courage -- Discussion for all things Beads of Courage; the only not-for-profit, arts-in-medicine program putting to use the talents of glass beadmakers to uplift children dealing with life threatening illnesses, their families and the people who care for them. Families, clinicians and artists alike are welcome to join in! (Thank you to Lampwork Etc. for supporting Beads of Courage and helping to foster communication!) PHOTOS OF INDIVIDUALS OR CHILDREN ONLY ALLOWED WITH THEIR SPECIFIC CONSENT.

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  #1  
Old 2010-02-13, 6:07pm
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Default Has anyone made custom beads for a child?

I was at my booth at the farmer's market today, and a lady started looking at my beads, especially at the holes. She asked if I could make them with bigger holes, and I said that I could. She said they were for her daughter, who has cancer. I'm in Canada, and our local children's hospital has a program like BOC. She said her daughter was 18 months old, and I nearly lost it. She was choking up, and so was I. I just wanted to hug her. She asked if I could make some cute little beads for her daughter with bigger holes. I feel honored to make them for her. I spent the afternoon writing ideas down for beads I think she'd like. Of course, I'm not going to charge her any money for them. I just hope and pray that her daughter recovers. My neighbour at the market does a kind of healing touch, so she is going to put her white light and positive energy into the beads when I've finished them. All I can think about is that precious baby and her dear family. I've made beads for our local hospital bead program, but I've never had a personal contact with a family before and it is a very moving experience. I'm more motivated than ever now to make beads for BOC and our local hospital.
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Old 2010-02-13, 6:17pm
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Good luck to you. I've made them for sick adults and people who lost loved ones, but not children... I always put prayers into the beads for BoC as I'm making them as well...
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Please take and post pictures, I love seeing what everyone makes... And I'd probably add one for the Mom as well, fondling beads is a source of comfort.
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Old 2010-02-14, 8:25am
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I make lots of special request beads for the kids and matching ones for the immediate care staff as well. There are several people around who help me out with this very personal effort. Usually I'll get a request for something specific that a child has asked for and either I'll make it myself or find someone who can do it better than I can. When I do a set I make an extra to keep on my own strand as a connection to the child. It's a tremendous motivator.

Robert
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Old 2010-02-14, 12:05pm
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Hi Fran.

I haven't had personal contact with any of the BOC families either. When talking to other beadmakers I often hear them say that they don't know how nurses or others who have the personal contact do it. I feel the same way. It sounds like though, that once you do have that contact you're bonded and you want to do whatever YOU can to help.

I think it's great that you have the opportunity to contribute...those little beads mean so much to families.

Robert, I love the idea of having your own meaningful strand. I have the beginnings of a few BOC strands that I've collected from events I've been at but none with really personal beads. I'm going to need to do that!
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Old 2010-02-14, 12:55pm
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I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to interact directly with hospital staffers as well as some of the kids and their families. It really does create a strong motivation to help where I can. The kids and their families are simply amazing. All of the beads take on a special meaning when you're more directly involved and the purple hearts and butterflies both become a very personal thing.

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Old 2010-02-14, 4:37pm
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I love the idea of a meaningful strand for myself. It will remind me to keep making beads for the kids.

Nikki, I was thinking the same thing to make a special bead for the Mom. I think I'm going to fire up the kiln and make some of these beads today on Valentine's Day. Tomorrow is Family Day here in Alberta, so that would be a wonderful time to make them too. I just want to hug my adult daughters and my grandchildren. I am so grateful that we're all healthy.

Peace and love to everyone
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Old 2010-02-14, 7:01pm
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My bead strand hangs from the power switch box on my exhaust blower over my hood and work bench. I look at it every time I go into my work area.

A special bead for the mom is a good idea.

Robert
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Old 2010-02-17, 5:35pm
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Here's what I have made so far. I decided to make the mom a heart-shaped tree of life bead.

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Old 2010-02-17, 5:53pm
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Beautiful work! There's a Gallery thread in this section, too, if you want to add it to the collection there?
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Old 2010-02-17, 6:29pm
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Very nice work. Your Tree of Life is especially cool.

Robert
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Old 2010-02-17, 9:33pm
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Beautiful beads, Fran...glad you were inspired and that you shared your story!
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Old 2010-02-21, 5:01pm
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Red face mommy of BOC participant

I hope you guys don't mind me intruding here
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, but I was referred here by a beadworker that I contacted on Etsy. My son is in the Beads of Courage Program. He is 2, and about to have his 2nd open-heart surgery.

I was looking to have several specific beads made, a bed=nursing home stay, a sneaker=a heartwalk missed because he is in isolation before surgery, a doctor=losing his pediatric cardiologist when he moved, and some houses/hotel=each night spent at a hotel or Ronald McDonald House because of medical procedures/surgeries. Also, if possible, a heart fimo bead? The fimo bead is for being on ECMO (heart/lung bypass machine), but the fimo beads I got were like a little blond girl, and a tiger, and I'd much rather have a heart. I purchased one from ebay, but didn't realize how big it was, and it is like 38 mm!! I was looking for one more like 20mm??

I have found an Etsy artist who feels confident in her skills to make the bed and sneaker, but she is hesitant to try the doctor or the houses.

I would be so grateful if anyone here would consider doing the doctor and house beads. The doctor is male, black, with a receding hairline. I'm thinking just a head and torso is fine, maybe with a lab coat and stethoscope? I would of course pay for any time and materials invested.

I have to admit, I have been lurking here today, and reading all the posts about the BOC, and I am very moved. I never imagined that the beads that mean so much to us, as recipients, also mean so much to those that design and donate them. Without you guys, there could be no program.

When I first learned about the program, online, I thought "How nice..." Our hospital doesn't participate, so I called the BOC program to find out why. They offered to do Beads from a Distance, and I e-mail them a tally sheet and they ship the beads to me. Surprisingly, I found myself eagerly checking the mail for the first shipment, and actually cried when I opened them and could tell how much time and effort went into the special beads. I immediately sat down to string them, and was amazed by the therapeutic value. I have had his beads since June 2009, and have restrung them about 8 times, just because I like to do it. I take them out at least once every few weeks, and count them, and feel them, and examine them, remembering what each one stands for. It gives me a tangible THING to see, and each bead is something that he's overcome, whether it was open-heart surgery, a sedated MRI, an echocardiogram, blood transfusion, dressing change, or just an IV or therapy visit. Each bead is a victory over his heart defects, each one is something that he, and I, have accomplished.

The BOC program has been as wonderful for me as it has been for him, and I'm amazed at how much they mean to us. I was reading a post earlier about how some of your bead artists pray while making the beads for the BOC program, and it brought tears to my eyes. To think that not only you guys unselfishly donate your materials, time, and talent for our children, but also pieces of your souls, that is so amazing and I wanted to say thank you.

I know you rarely get to speak with any of the actual recipients of your beads, and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions, whether of a general or personal nature. I am not shy (can't you tell?) and it doesn't bother me to talk about his health, or my emotions, or his long-term prognosis. It actually helps sometimes. He is only 2, so he doesn't understand what his beads mean, but I do, and they mean more to me than I ever thought they would. To someone else, they may be just pieces of glass, but to me they are symbols of pride, strength, courage, and patience.

Again, sorry to intrude on your forum, but I hate to bother Robert and send him on a chase for beads that I really doubt they'll have at the warehouse/office. I have these pictures in my head of what I want, and would LOVE to see them brought to life.

You can e-mail me directly at
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or call at 409-728-1650.

Tamara Lemus
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Old 2010-02-23, 2:25pm
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I'd love to try to make them for you, Tamara.
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