Art of Awareness Blog Hop – the power of purple


Lori Anderson is one of my favourite people – in addition to being uber-talented and creative, she’s a huge inspiration to me. So when she announced she was taking a break from the Bead Soup Blog Hop and changing things up this spring, I knew I wanted to participate. Anything Lori organizes is going to be fun.

This time, Lori teamed up with Heather Millican, of Swoondimples, for the Art of Awareness Blog Hop. Heather made a gorgeous one-of-a-kind awareness bean bead for each participant. Our job was to use our imaginations and make a piece of jewelry (although we weren’t limited just to jewelry). Given M’s challenges, ADHD seemed like a logical choice for me. Except the awareness colour is orange – not one of my favourite colours (I like it on other people but it looks horrible on me). As I was browsing through the list thoughtfully provided by Lori, I noticed that purple signifies migraine awareness. Not only is purple is my favourite colour, but I’m a chronic migraine sufferer.

I asked Heather to print “in the moment” on my bead.


This is a reminder that my headaches, however nasty, will pass. I’m also a generic worrywort, so my bean is also a good motto for every day.

As it happens, I had a particularly nasty migraine the day I planned to make my piece. Normally, I’m not very creative or efficient when I have a headache, but the design came together quickly and relatively painlessly. I finally found my long-lost cache of jump rings, which helped make the whole project go easier.

I originally planned to make a bracelet but when I looked at my bean, I realized that the hole was drilled up and down, instead of across the bead. I decided to go with a mixed metal necklace, with my lovely purple bean as the focal.  I made a series of dangles with little bits of chain saved from previous projects  (you never know when an inch of chain will come in handy) and goodies recently acquired from Yvonne Irvin-Faus of MyELEMENTS, a lovely purple leaf bead from Heather Powers of Humblebeads and a tiny brass key. I added a length of beaded chain that I cut from a bracelet purchased from Michaels and a small piece of purple enamel chain, also from MyELEMENTS, to my “tassel”.


I strung a couple of copper-coloured spacers, a large purple plastic trixie (from Yvonne) and a furnace glass bead with a hint of purple and gold highlights from my stash (origins unknown) with my focal. The chain came from my stash, along with a black enamelled toggle clasp from MissFickleMedia.



It took me about 2 hours, from start to finish, which is relatively fast for me. My headache was mostly gone by the time I finished my necklace, which was a bonus.


While I really enjoyed participating in Lori’s Bead Soup Blog Hops, I think the Art of Awareness Blog Hop is my favourite. Maybe it was the colour of my bean or just taking the time to truly be “in the moment”, but the process of making my necklace was energizing. I didn’t struggle with coming up with a design, nor did I have any problems with execution.  It’s not a super-complicated design. With the exception of my awareness bean, everything came from my own stash. The end result is a funky, one-of-a-kind necklace with lots of movement and texture. I wore it today and I expect it will be a go-to piece for me all year round.


Please check out Lori’s blog, Pretty Things, for a full list of participants and to see what she made. Enjoy your weekend!



18 responses »

  1. Beautifully done. I love all the dangles from your focal bead. You’d never know you were working through the pain when you made it. I thought about asking Heather to put the hole in my bead horizontal because I planned to make bracelet. In the end, I just went with it.

  2. I really love your necklace. It’s really a fun piece but with a secret. Your whole post resonated with me. I also posted about migraine and am on a total tassel kick lately. I try to keep a little humor about migraine (because what else are you gonna do?) and I thought of the little purple spike on your tassel as a secret nod to migraine because I often feel like a spike (I usually say an icepick) is stabbing me in the eye. I’m so glad this was a positive experience. I feel that way too. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Your design is beautiful! Thank for sharing your story. I’m glad, despite the pain of a headache, you could work through it and create such a wonderful work of art to share in the blog hop.

  4. I love your necklace, I can’t believe you made it while you had a migraine. I love in the moment for your bean. Perfect!

  5. Migraines are cruel and demanding. It’s nice you are able to work through them, though I’m sure its not always that way. Your necklace is a lovely tribute to your determination

  6. It is always great when you get into the zone and a piece just materializes. Wonderful creation with your word bean! I hope the words help with the migraines!

  7. I’m honored by what you said about me — you have no idea what that means to me. And I’m so glad you participated, and I hope that some of your pain left you when you made your piece. You probably know I suffer horrific migraines myself and I can handle pain with no pain meds, have HAD to for over a year now, but migraines are a special kind of hell.

    Thanks so much for participating!

  8. Love the colors, it’s a very cheerful piece! Migraines are the worst, I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing your story.

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