Friday, May 6, 2016

2016 Art Charm Swap and Beads of Courage Benefit Sign-Ups are Open

2014 charm by Niky Sayers

For several years I have coordinated an art charm swap with people from all over the world  participating. Each year is assigned a specific theme that artists interpret into their charms any way they want. Some of the previous themes include: Play, Laugh, Love, and in 2014, it was Soar. You will see examples from some of our own AJE team members sprinkled throughout this post from that theme. 

This years theme is.... Fairy Tales. I'm actually really excited about this one. 

2014 charm by Lesley Watt
In addition to the fun and exciting charm swap, I decided early on to add a charity auction via ebay, which makes the swap that much more fun. We have raised over $3000 for Beads of Courage through our auctions. Why BOC? Because I love their mission, which is "providing innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them." Oh, and because BEADS. What's not to love?

2014 Charm by Jenny Davies-Reazor

So how does this art charm swap thing work anyway? First, there are rules to read and the sign-up process to go through. 

Next, each participant makes 10 charms to swap, plus 1 extra to be auctioned off on ebay, which is done through giving works, with 100% of the bid price going to Beads of Courage. 

Then everyone sends their charms into me, and I get to count, sort, separate, and store until all charms arrive by the deadline. 

2014 charm by Sue Kennedy

Once I have all the charms, I lay them all out on my table and swap them in a very un-scientific manner so that every participant ends up with 10 charms from 10 different artists. 

Then I get to package and ship all these charms out across the world. There are usually between 40-50 packages to send. 

But that's not the end. I get to take photos of all the charms for the auction and write up the listings. We have a blog hop about 2-3 weeks after I ship the charms, and the auctions go live close to the same time as the blog hop to help promote the auction and share the charms they made and possibly  show off all the cool charms they got from other artists. 

Once the auction is over, I ship those charms all over the world. 

2014 charm by Jen Cameron

If this sounds like something you would love to participate in, sign-ups are going on right now on my personal blog. Be sure to READ EVERY SINGLE WORD so that you know the procedure for signing up. It isn't difficult, but there can easily be misunderstandings.  Sign-ups end May 9 at 11:59pm. 

2014 charm by Caroline Dewison

FYI~ there are additional ways to raise money for Beads of Courage other than directly donating (although donating directly is definitely appreciated by the organization!). One of those ways is through Amazon Smile. Simply go to this link: and shop as usual. Make sure you select Beads of Courage as your charity of choice and they will get a small percentage of the money you spend at Amazon.

If you're interested in signing up, here is the link again. Sign-ups end Monday May 9 at 11:59 pm.

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