Beading For a Cure

My finished piece of bead embroidery for Beading For a Cure.

A couple of years ago, I sat in my favorite coffee shop one morning looking for something to blog about. Betcey Ventrella of Beyond Beadery suggested that I check out the amazing projects that were about to go up for auction to benefit Beading For a Cure, so I went on over to eBay and took a look at what it was all about. What I saw inspired and amazed me.

The story behind Beading For a Cure is all about Layne Shilling. Layne was a beader who lost her battle with colorectal cancer in 2002. To keep her memory and spirit alive, her friends got together to found Layne's Legacy: Beading For a Cure to raise money for colorectal cancer research. Every year, a limited number of kits are made available from Beading For a Cure. Participants purchase a kit and have a few months to create a piece of beaded artwork. The resulting beadwork is both beautiful and inspirational and is created by some of today's best and emerging bead artists.

This year, I actually managed to get a kit to participate in the Beading For a Cure challenge and fund-raiser! Getting one of these kits is hard – after the initial small offering is made to the previous year's participants, there is a long waiting list. Along with the kit, I received a copy of the rules:

I can't believe I actually managed to use at least one of every single type of bead included in that kit! What a challenge!

1. You must use at least one of each bead in the kit.

2. You may add one bead type of your own, like a single additional color seed bead in one size; an additional accent bead type; or a cohesive set of art beads. You can't add more than one single size or type of bead.

3. You may add findings as needed to complete your project.

4. You may use fibers, pendants, sequins or other non-bead items to complete your project.

5. You may add forms to bead on or around such as ornaments, pillows, totes, stuffed forms or purses.

6. And of course, only one kit per participant.

I was totally stumped when I saw the colors in this year's kit. The green beads were very much in my comfort zone, but those bright sapphire blues were not something that I would have considered using before! Still, I sat down with the beads and started playing with them.

Because it had been a while since I did any bead embroidery, I dug through my stash of gemstone cabochons and came up with a set of three deep green cabochons that matched the other colors perfectly. I chose a bag of forest green cylinder beads as the one bead that I could add and got to work!

My finished bead embroidery piece was called Vertigo, after my first experience with the disorder earlier this year. I finished it with a twisted herringbone rope attached with a few seed bead loops and added an antique brass hook-and-eye clasp from my stash. The piece turned out to be very light and comfortable to wear, and I was happy with the way the colors worked together in the finished piece.

All of the gorgeous beaded pieces will be up for auction on eBay in the spring of 2012 to raise money for the National Colorectal Cancer Research Association. You can find more information about the auctions, about Bead For a Cure, and about the beading competition and fund-raiser on the Beading For a Cure website

Have you ever beaded for a cause? Leave a comment here on the blog and share your experiences with us!

Bead Happy,


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