Woohoo We Are At It Again!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I can't believe it has been over a month since I last posted. I surely apologize and will try to do better indeed. One reason that I have not been on the computer, is that I have been in the midst of creating another artbra. We had a short deadline and I had to really dig in and get busy. An artbra - what is that, you ask? Well, over the past few years, I have been involved with an incredibly talented lady of great vision, Victoria Adams Brown. Vic is the proprietor of an online business called RibbonSmyth which sells silk ribbons, laces, buttons, and all kinds of embellishments. She is also an author of ribbon embroidery books, a teacher, an amazing artist, and the founder of A Way to Women's Wellness, a charitable foundation to benefit breast cancer awareness and research. Vic is also the original creator of the artbras concept. Artbras are just that - we take a simple 36C bra and create a piece of art to inspire and encourage all women, but especially those who have in some way, been affected by breast cancer. A group of us began making artbras several years ago, a interesting undertaking indeed. The bras have travelled the country to many venues the past few years raising breast cancer awareness and funds for research. An artbra calendar with amazing artbra creations was published in 2005, 2006, and 2007 proceeds of which went to benefit breast cancer research. Here are a couple of snapshots of the event held in Lubbock, Texas I attended where a sizable check was donated to the Joe Arrington Breast Cancer Research Center there.
This is just half the bras that were exhibited at the banquet at the cancer center. Then, a picture of several "designers", me in the middle, as we autographed calendars ....what a hoot! And, finally a picture of Vic (in the middle) as she presents the check to the Surgical Doctor and Head of the Joe Arrington Breast Cancer Research Center.

Then.... since we are all lover's of ribbon embroidery and stitching, we began making themed silk ribbon embroidery quilts which are donated to breast cancer hospitals with the goal of encouraging and supporting those women who are facing this challenge every day. Here is the wall-hanging quilt done for 2009. The theme was roses.

A decision was made recently to do a 2010 calendar and many new artbras will adorn its pages along with pictures of three of our breast cancer wall-hanging quilts. The blocks which comprise our quilts are made by fabric and silk ribbon artists from all over the world - New Zealand, Turkey, Canada, the USA, to name a few. Vic is just amazing at pulling together sponsors and other interested parties to work in partnership to benefit breast cancer research. It is a tremendous undertaking - she is just a dynamo! Here is one of the ads announcing the October Gala in Pennsylvania.
The bras will be featured at the Byer's Choice Gala. They will be professionally photographed to appear in the 2010 calendar; and along with each bra, a fun story about the bra and its possible wearer, has been created by its designer. The techniques and supplies used in its creation is also provided. This calendar will be available online for $14 each plus postage and will begin to ship the last week of September. The proceeds will go directly to breast cancer research. Byer's will be donating the monies received at the October 2nd. Gala to the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Pennsylvania and Vic has other breast health centers lined up as well. More information on those health centers receiving the proceeds will be in the calendar. Please visit this Flickr site "ArtBra" to see some of the gorgeous creations which will appear at the Gala Event October 2 in Pennsylvania and the new 2010 Calendar. I am so honored to be among the designers. I will be travelling to Pennsylvania with my friend and fellow artbra designer, Barbara Blankenship, to attend the Gala and the designer signing event at the James Michener Museum. I am so excited to be able to see all the wonderful creations up close and personal. Although the professional pictures are gorgeous, you just can't fully appreciate the amazing details and workmanship that goes into each individual piece until you put your nose about 8 inches in front of it :-) What a thrill!

Here are pictures of my three earlier bras and then a picture of the bra I just designed. My first bra is "Fowl Play", composed of genuine peacock feathers, silk velvets, rolled ribbon roses, beading (the sides of the bra have beaded peacock feather motifs). My second bra is "Sweet Seduction", composed of various fabrics for the chocolates, hand-dyed silk rolled ribbon roses and lace motifs, beaded straps and motifs on the side of the bra and some broken bits of jewelry to adorn the chocolates. My third bra - I don't know what I was thinking - thought I would try a bit of fantasy and came up with "Be Lifted Up, But Don't Touch My Honey". It is composed of various fabrics, flowers, beaded fabric leaves, wired organza wings, and the honey combs are made of form core, painted, sealed with a glossy glaze and covered with a honey-combed netting for affect. That is what is fun about these creations; you don't really know where they will take you - it is an adventure - a creative journey.
Lastly, here is my latest creation. This bra is "Morning Has Broken", one of my favorite songs. And, because of this, the inside lining of the bra is done in musical note fabric. The outside background of the bra is done in purple dupioni fabric with hand-dyed silk for the leaves and branches which extend to both sides and the straps of the bra. Fabric motif butterflies were cut out, painted front and back and stiffened - then I gold leafed their edges and added sworovski crystals to their wings and scattered them over the bra. The bird nests are made from an armature of foil covered with clay and then baked. Dried grasses, twigs, feathers, glitter were then added and sealed. The eggs are painted silk cocoons. The baby bird is also formed of clay, painted and sealed.
The flowers are silk millinery flowers from a vintage hat. The feathers were generously donated from my Quaker parrot, JJ.

Please check back for the website and specific details for purchasing these calendars. I will post it as soon as I have this information.

I usually like to leave you with a bit of inspiration - a few words or a video. This short clip speaks to God's mystery. We can't imagine why some things happen, but we should never give up. God provides hope and courage deep within us...it is there in all of us, just ask Him - He will provide. Click here to see....Inspirational video.

Blessings till next time!


FredaB said...

Jules what can I say. The work of all you gals is just wonderful and I know how much time it must take to make one of these. Even the planning must take a ton of time. It is good to have you back again and have a great time at the Byers Choice Gallery.

I will be watching for the announcement of when we can order the calender.



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