Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Art Charms for Fun and for a great cause

Doing swaps with other artists is really fun, which is why I organize an art charm swap every year. However, last year I decided that in order to participate in the swap, each person needed to send an extra charm to be auctioned off to benefit Beads of Courage.

I love what Beads of Courage does for sick children and their families, and I especially love that they use beads to accomplish their mission. I try to help the organization when I can. 

Last year's charm swap  had about 6 or so participants. Imagine my shock when nearly 50 people signed up this year and every one of them was just as excited to help BoC as to get charms from other talented people. 

Basically how it works is each person made 11 charms. 10 to exchange, 1 to donate. They sent their charms to me for sorting and shipping. Once the deadline had come (and gone!) I sorted, boxed, and shipped. I scheduled to have them picked up from my porch:

Charm swap

Each time I organize a swap, I learn new things to get more organized. Here are a few of those tips:

-add the email of each person to a specific category in your address book as they sign up. I used "2012 charm swap" 

-start a "secret" Facebook group. I want it to be secret so we can share info like addresses, etc that we don't necessarily want the general public to know.

-add files (documents) to the group with the info they need to know. There are docs for blog addresses, shipping instructions, dates to remember, art charm guidelines (what makes an art charm), blog hop and reveal info. 

-use the Facebook group to chat and get to know your fellow swappers. 

2012 Art Charm Swap
The charms I made for this year's swap

-I tried to email info AND post it in the facebook group because not every person checks both places everyday. 

-Be prepared to answer lots of questions because what sounds perfectly fine to you will make no sense whatsoever to others. 

-If in the US, use to print labels. That made life SO much easier! 

-Also, use the small flat rate boxes. Again, made life much simpler. And if you do it online, it's about 20 cents less and includes free delivery confirmation.

-People are depending on you, so don't flake out! You don't get to keep all the pretty charms no matter how much you want to. 

-Don't stress out. Remember, this is FUN!

Here's how you can help Beads of Courage...the auction is going on RIGHT NOW. The holiday season is pretty much here and you have lots of shopping to do and things to make. Why not buy handmade art charms? 100% of the purchase price will be donated to Beads of Courage. So everyone wins!

Here is a very small sample of some of the charms available:

Small sign says "break for emergency laugh" by Deb Kauzlarich

Darling bucket and shovel by Shelby Foxwell

Unfortunately my photo of Marsha Neal's charm is not very good. The blog post about the process she used to arrive at this design is very good. See it on her blog

This one by Mallory Hoffman just makes me laugh every single time.

Charm by fellow AJE contributor Kristi Bowman

You will have to visit the auction to see some of the other incredible artwork.

1 comment :

  1. Hey, Jennifer, do you have any of your OWN charms to list on the auction? I know you were taking a break from listing!


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