Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Project of Love

PS: Even if you did not cross paths with Kelli or know her well, I would still love for you to join in this book! The online art community is special in that we tend to support our fellow artists even when we never meet in person! So please do feel free to contribute to this special book to celebrate one of our own who has flown on to her next artistic adventure! :)
On Wednesday January 26th at 10:35PM my artsy friend Kelli Schwert (click on her name to visit her page) passed away due to complications of Stage IV Breast Cancer at the age of 39. She fought this cancer for over seven years with everything she had and then some! She used humor (sometimes "colorful"), many different medical therapies, prayer, cuddling with her cats, the love and support of family and friends (especially her beloved niece Julia) and art to help her through the bad days. I came to know her several years ago through her art, when she joined an online art group I had started. Right away I could feel what an amazing woman she was. She had spunk, an infectious humor, a real love of beading and miniature ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) and best of all, she shared a love of furry critters (most notably her beloved cats!) that rivaled my own. She was wonderful and I felt truly lucky to have her in my life. I'll never forget her courage and strength in the light of such a difficult illness and I hope that others will share her story to inspire others. Because if strength, smiles and a positive attitude was all it took to cure breast cancer, she could have cured the world of it!

To honor this wonderful woman, I have decided to create a collaborative chunky book to give to her family. She absolutely loved creating and sharing art with others and many people have something they treasure that she had made and given them. And making a book about her is just a small way that we can pay back her generosity. To thank her for being a part of our community.

Below is the info for this chunky book project. Please email me at: scomerford(@)comcast(dot)net to sign up for this project, ask any questions and get my mailing address. And thank you for being a part of this gift for our Sweet Kelli Girl!

The Project: A 4"x4" Chunky Book. The theme is, of course, KELLI, but you can touch on any part of her life or loves that you wish to (see below for "about Kelli" section). You may also simply create an artistic page about friends, daughters, artists, angels, strength, love, life, etc. etc. Anything that would honor her life or bring comfort to her family. The page should contain the color PINK, but you can include any and all other colors. Our Kelli girl certainly loved colors and patterns!

What to Make: A 4"x4" page that is decorated on both sides. This should be on a heavy cardstock so it can be sturdy. But please do not use book board or chipboard. A piece of cardstock folded in half is quite sturdy and perfect for this project. You may add your personal info to the back or not, your choice. PLEASE leave aprox. 1/2" on the front left margin of the page (and the back right margin) free of embellishments or important pieces of your art. This book will be coil bound together as a lasting keepsake so there needs to be room to punch holes.
Due Date: Please have them in my hands somewhere around the end of Feb. (the 27th is the last Sat. of the month). That will give you several weeks to create something wonderful.

About Kelli: These are just a few of the things Kelli enjoyed:

  • Beads of all sorts, shapes and colors. She loved to make beads too with wonderful designs and colors.

  • The Summer and the beach. She really disliked winter.

  • Her favorite book was To Kill A Mockingbird

  • She loved camp songs and making up silly songs about her beloved cats.

  • She believed in God and in her own words said: "God is Love. Jesus would have never bombed any country, ever."

  • She absolutely loved 80's punk and new wave music like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, New Order and newer stuff like The Killers, Barenaked Ladies, Lucinda Williams and My Chemical Romance

  • Humor and laughter of all sorts. However, she did not like clowns!

  • The song Fix You by Coldplay always made her cry

  • CATS! She loved her furry children with devotion! In fact, I learned that one of the last things she did in this life was to make sure that her two remaining children were placed together in a loving home.

  • Color and patterns. Her hand-made beads were always colorful and fun, full of flowers, swirls, checkers, stripes and great color combinations (like orange and pink).

That should get you started. Thank you again for taking part in this collaborative project! I know Kelli will be looking down and loving all the creativity going on in her honor! She was such a special woman!

Please do not hesitate to ask me questions! Much Love, Tamara