Monday, March 30, 2009

What I Did This Weekend, Part 1

This weekend we attended a benefit for my brother-in-law Larry, who I've talked about before once or twice.  To recap briefly, Larry suffed a spinal injury in late November and is still working toward what we still hope will be a full recovery (one never knows with these things).  

It's now been four months since Larry's car accident, and he's been sent home from the rehab hospital; the insurance will no longer cover it.  Unfortunately, insurance will also not cover the home nursing care he requires, so my niece Courtney pulled together a benefit for her uncle complete with two bands, two t-shirts designed just for the occasion, a live auction, silent auction, BBQ lunch, jumping castle for the kids, and assorted other attractions.  I have no idea how she did it all in two months.

Her request to me was simple: could I please make a jewelry set for the silent auction?  Why yes, Courtney, I believe I can handle that.

What, you just meant one set?  I believe you're talking to the wrong person.  I only wish I could have done more.

This first necklace is green Czech glass with some unknown brown gemstone bead and black rondelles.  As with most of the jewelry, my mother-in-law outbid the competition and walked away with it.

The next necklace is the only one I was unsure of.  It's unusual enough that I wasn't sure anyone would really go for it.  Apparently I needn't have worried; there were several bids.

When I showed him what I'd made, my roommate pointed out that I didn't have anything in spring colors; it was all earth tones.  So this pink and purple glass necklace was the last one I made.  I love pink and purple and have always loved the bead I used as a pendant; I had a hard time giving this one away.

Turquoise will always make people happy in Texas.  This is turquoise, onyx, and blue lace agate -- a lovely stone with bands of light blue and white.  Pretty sure this one ended up with my mother-in-law too.

The long animal-print-looking beads in the next one came from my friend Cindy, who helped me bead several of these.  We wanted strong colors to go with the black and white beads, so she picked the malachite.  We had a hard time finding another strong color after that though; red was too Christmasy, and most other things looked wrong.  Fortunately I had these great royal blue cats-eye glass beads that were just right.  Larry's niece, who lives near me, bought this one.

I loved this necklace, made with unakite and garnets. I felt the bidding was too low, so I bid on it myself -- and won it! I haven't decided whether I'll keep it or use it as an item for another silent auction (for my church's women's retreat) in a month.

Again in this necklace, the main beads were my friend Cindy's.  She had looked for beads to go with the striking striped wavy yellow beads, but nothing seemed right until she found my oval wavy black beads. A match made in heaven! My mother-in-law thought so too.

Courtney had specifically asked me to create a necklace using beads I made, and this is it: there are three of "my" beads in this one (the pendant and the two lentils).  The base glass is dark purple, with lots of decoration in the silver glass I've been enjoying so much.  They're strung with purple shells, neon pink pearls, and green aventurine.  This one was the most popular of my pieces; my mother-in-law complained that it was priced out of her range.  The winner beamed and the woman with the second place bid was none too pleased (I did give her a business card, of course).

These simple black and white earrings are striking and fun.

These purple earrings have gold dots on them and purple Swarovski crystal dangles.  Again with the purple!  I wanted to keep them too, but they looked great on my mother-in-law; she wore them to dinner that night.

And last but not least, I really did love these beads when I made them.  I wanted them but always had a sense they wouldn't be mine.  I'm glad they went to a good cause.  They are three different types of the fun silvered glass -- sort of an experiment that turned out really well.

So now you've seen what I made for the benefit.  Tomorrow I'll post the pics I took while I was there and tell you a bit about the day.  It's really too much for one post.  It was a LONG day.

Ah... I will leave you with one more thing.  This is the web site for Larry's benefit.  You can click around and see some of the different stuff... but don't miss the video under the "Larry's pics & videos" link.  He's come a long way.  He has a long way to go, but he's come a long way. 

[Note that I had to view the video using Internet Explorer; it wouldn't work for me using another browser.  It's kind of picky that way.  But it was worth it, at least to me, to see it.]


Matt said...

I know you know this, but you really are getting pretty good with the lampwork.

Austin Chick said...

Those are gorgeous!!! Beautiful to use your gift in that way. Hope the benefit was very successful!