Artists for Life

.........Scroll down the right hand column for artist links...

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Testimony of Jane Roe...

We all know the result of her testimony in the fateful 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade. But have you seen her testimony since becoming a pro-life Christian?

Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe) is now telling the world about her decision to spend her life defending the lives of the unborn. She runs a pro-life ministry called Roe No More and you can read her testimony there. She was recently seen walking Notre Dame's campus arm-in-arm with Fr. Norman Weslin moments before his arrest for peacefully protesting the University's decision to honor President Obama.

It is possible to change the pro-abortion mentality of this country but it is going to happen one heart at a time. Thank you to Norma McCorvey for your message of inspiration and hope.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bethany Kerr Fine Art...

Handmade for Life has had a tremendous month of growth with 8 new member artists! I'm pleased to introduce one of our new fine artists to you today.

Bethany Kerr has a tremendous amount of talent and a real heart for Christ and for His little innocents. She's a homeschooling mom with 3 kids and married to "the sweetest man in the world" for 9 years. She also has two little blessings in Heaven. With her permission, I'm sharing an article that first appeared on Jill Stanek's blog. Please take some time out to enjoy reading and exploring the world of this woman of many loves and talents. We are proud to have her as part of our team.

Bethany's mission: Memorial sketches
by Bethany Kerr

Those who know me here know I draw portraits for a hobby.

But sometimes, it's more than just a hobby....

It seems this year, more than ever, I've been asked to sketch memorial portraits for people who have lost a child, a husband, a wife, or a friend. It is sobering, but at the same time it strengthens my faith, because through the years I have learned from people who have enough faith and character to turn their losses into gains for others.

I started doing memorial portraits in 2001 when a woman named Doris asked me if I could draw a picture of her son who had died. He had hydrancephaly.

I cried while first reading the story she sent me about her dear son, Andrew:
A few days before he passed away, Andrew got the flu.

The doctors said there was nothing they could do, and they would just have to let it run its course. The night before he passed away, Andrew's grandparents kept Andrew's sister, so his mommy and daddy could give Andrew their full attention because he was so ill.

That night, Andrew's mommy was writing something with a pen and Andrew said, "Mommy, write on my hand." (His grandpa would always draw on his hands and she said she used to always yell at them for that.)

Andrew's mommy smiled and on one hand she drew a heart and told him "Mommy will always love you" and on the other hand she drew a cross and told him "Jesus will always take care of you."

He was so proud of [the drawings] because he had never been allowed to do that before.

The next day he passed away due to aspiration unrelated to his hydrancephaly. He still had the heart and cross on his hand...
Upon his mother's request, the cross and heart were not taken off, and he was buried knowing his mommy would always love him and Jesus would always take care of him!

I drew 2 portraits of Andrew. It meant so much to his mother. Even though I know I could never repair the grief she's gone through in losing a child, I was thankful God gave me something I could do to give her a bit of comfort.

After drawing Andrew's portrait, I started getting more requests for memorial portraits. At first I wasn't sure whether I could emotionally handle doing these over and over. It seemed like orders came at once - sometimes none, sometimes 5-6 at a time. I couldn't turn them down.

Every time I created a memorial portrait, I was given the opportunity to meet someone exceptional, someone who had gone through one of the worst things imaginable and yet maintained a deep faith in God. I am learning so much from listening to everyone's stories.
I learned from Debra, who lost precious Isabel Hope at birth and yet praises God for His goodness and grace, and Laura, who lost her baby Sofija also at birth, and has used her story to comfort others. There are many more amazing people, too many to count.

I remember nearly every mother, child, friend, and relative by name, and their stories. I have a small number of them listed on my site's memorial page, Sketches by Bethany.

If you know anyone who has lost a loved one, I encourage you to take time and use whatever gifts God has given you to show them you care (especially with it being so soon after Mother's Day).

So many people are grieving silently and even something as small as a kind word can lift their spirits.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Link Between Abortion and Breast Cancer...

If there's one cause that has rallied America under it's banner it is the Pink Ribbon Campaign which is the effort to prevent and cure breast cancer. And while we walk and donate and educate about this tragic disease, most of America is in the dark about one of the highly preventable causes of breast cancer....Abortion.

In 1986, a government scientist wrote "Induced abortion before first term pregnancy increases the risk of breast cancer."

In 2003, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons issued a statement calling on doctors to inform patients about the "highly plausible" relationship between abortion and breast cancer.

As of 2006, eight medical organizations recognized that abortion raises a woman's risk for breast cancer.

These facts which appear on the home page of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer are only the very tip of the iceberg. Dig a little deeper and the studies, statistics, and medical information start to take on volcanic proportions. But why is this information being suppressed?

The evidence suggests that exposing the link between abortion and breast cancer would damage the abortion industry and blow the cover on an industry that hides behind it's "safe and legal" mantra. The ABC site presents enough information to do that and more but it's fighting against an industry that depends on misinformation for it's survival.

I strongly encourage you to go to the Coalition's web site. Read everything you can there so that you can make this information your own and pass it on to others. We can't save everyone from cancer...But imagine if we could even save some. And don't all women have the right to be fully informed on the effects (short and long term) of a medical procedure on their own bodies?

Let's spread the word about the good work that the Coalition is doing. Their site is packed full of information that will help us do just that....

*Biological explanation: How abortion causes breast cancer
*Medical groups recognizing the link and quotes from the experts
*Abortion-Premature Birth link
*Bio-Ethics Journal: U.S. National Cancer Institute Covers up Abortion-Cancer Link

....To share just a little.

The Coalition also exposes the disturbing link between oral contraceptives and cancer. If the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies Oral Contraceptives as carcinogens, then why aren't we looking at their use more carefully?

They also add their voice to the mounting opposition to the Komen Foundation which has been identified repeatedly as a financial supporter of Planned Parenthood.

None of this information is easy to digest. We are asked to face and examine our own lives and actions in light of the knowledge that we are given and that can be a painful journey. But women have a right to be informed about the benefits or risks that are associated with medical procedures they receive and medication they ingest. They also have a right to know where their hard-earned money goes.

My deepest gratitude to people at the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer for their courageous and tireless work for women!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spring Flowers Etsy Contest...

Handmade for Life's own Swan Mountain Soaps is featured in a new Etsy vote. Etsy wants to know:

"Which Flowers Make Your Garden Grow? Please vote for your favorite flower!"
Go HERE to vote!

It is so fantastic to see such a talented advocate for life being promoted in the mainstream Etsy venue. If you're an Etsy member, please give Swan Mountain Soaps your vote for her Spring Flowers soap trio! Voting is open for another 6 days.

If you've never tried handmade soap, you don't know what you've been missing! I took the leap several months ago and have never looked back. And supporting family businesses and pro-life artists is the icing on the cake!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Notre Dame Commencement Recap...

But as the president began his commencement address, at least three protesters interrupted it. One yelled, "Stop killing our children!"

The graduates responded by chanting, "Yes we can," the slogan that became synonymous with Obama's presidential campaign.

~ Buffalo News, May 17

I know that many of us have been closely following the events at Notre Dame over the past few weeks and through commencement weekend. Unfortunately, much of the coverage that we have seen has been from major media outlets. I recommend taking some time to visit the blog of Jill Stanek for an excellent look into this historic event from the pro-life persepective.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Butterfly Kiss Crochet...

One of the things that I love about Handmade for Life is that our members really do walk the talk. Getting to know the each one is a journey in itself...Discovering the beauty of each creative fingerprint and what drives their passion.

Kimberlyna is one of those artists whose work reflects the joy and passion of her heart.I have admired her crochet creations for a long time but was even more excited to discover what a warrior for life she is!

When you make a purchase from Butterfly Kiss Crochet, you are helping to build a culture of Life...

Kimberlyna is a client advocate at her local Pregnancy Care Center so she knows a thing or two about the challenge of loving mamas and babies in need. She was an integral part of an effort that raised $13,000 for the Center last year!

She is also a working mother to a beautiful little girl who has special needs. One of her goals is to build up her business enough so that she can become a stay-at-home mom to her "precious butterfly".

Along with her original handiwork, Kimberlyna also also sells Raggedy Ann dolls that were lovingly handcrafted by her late Grandmother Viola. I was absolutely smitten when I saw these and can't imagine the hours of labor that went into crafting them.

Kimberlyna has been crocheting since she was 10 years old, she loves crafting of all kinds and sewing beautiful aprons and dresses. She plays 11 instruments, loves anything Victorian, yearns for the countryside, and gives Jesus Christ all the glory for her talents.

Thank you, Kimberlyna, for sharing your gifts with us and giving so much of yourself for the unborn!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Little Soles...

Creative inspiration comes in so many forms and I was recently introduced to a very special pro-life work of "art" that is unlike any I've seen...And touched me deeply.

Rosemary O'Connor and Ron Van Tassel of Kankakee, Illinois are the creators of the "Little Soles" display of 3500 baby shoes representing the number of innocents slaughtered each day by legalized abortion. Originally inspired by a display of shoes of the victims of Auschwitz, Rosemary and Ron have been presenting their work for the past eight years throughout Illinois churches, schools, and conferences as a "Project of Love, Forgiveness and Healing".

The goal of Little Soles is:

... to bring about changes to not only the hearts of women who may be contemplating an abortion, but also the hearts of men who may be encouraging them to have an abortion. We are interested in affecting people of all ages with a greater respect for life. In addition, we also reach out to women who may have been misled and are now struggling after having an abortion. We want them to know that there is hope and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

How does one come up with thousands of baby shoes? Each pair of shoes has it's own history and have come from all over the United States. They have come singly and in groups and Rosemary and Ron have been privileged to know the learn about many of the little ones who wore them.

One sad grandparent donated two sets of shoes – a pair for a girl with a girl’s name tucked inside and one for a boy with a boy’s name tucked inside. She related that her grandchild was aborted and these were the names that had been selected for the child.

This donation included a shoe for a handicapped child with a brace...

Many of the shoes tell of generations of family history...

Although Rosemary and Ron do not travel outside of Illinois with the Little Soles display, it is their hope that others will be inspired to take a similar work in their own communities. Other ways to help this effort can be found on the Little Soles website.

My gratitude to Arlene from the Coalition on Abortion Breast Cancer for introducing me to this beautiful effort.

Monday, May 11, 2009

American Idol finale will feature pro-life ad...

They've done it again! has produced another amazing video ad that has been accepted for broadcast on the final seasonal episode of American Idol. This beautiful ad promotes adoption by highlighting famous people who were adopted.

The first ad produced was initially accepted for broadcast during the 2009 Super Bowl but was ultimately rejected on the grounds that it included "political candidates or issues". Judge for yourself whether this beautiful and respectful video ad deserved the boot.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wedding Day Adornments from Pro-Life Artists...

Wedding season is upon us! Whether you're the bride looking for accessories for yourself and your bridesmaids or a wedding guest who needs just the right pair of earrings to go with your little black dress...You'll find some beautiful options in our Handmade for Life community. Check out our Jewelry Artists to see what we have to offer.

This necklace and hair comb set from Mum Mum's Jewelry are perfect for the bride's beautiful day!

Sue Runyon carries a lovely line of elegant jewelry and loves to create custom pieces for her customers.

With Love From Mom has created stunning jewelry designs for entire bridal parties!

Come celebrate the Grand Opening of Gentle Adornments new shop on Etsy with free shipping and a buy one, get one half off sale! She will customize her designs to match the color of your bridal party.

Here is a pair of bone, silver and quartz hair sticks from the lovely and talented LoriDelisle...

And I know that this one isn't exactly jewelry but I couldn't resist sharing this brand new design from EllieAnna Purse Company. She sells this sweet little clutch purse in many colors and I think it is just darling and perfect for any special occasion.

I obviously must stop somewhere for the purposes of this blog post but these selections are by no means the limit of what our shops have to offer. Grab a cup of tea, pull up a chair and visit with us a while!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Update on Cleveland Raffle...

In January of this year, a number of our Handmade for Life members contributed their beautiful handiwork to a fundraising effort for the Cleveland Pregnancy Center. I expected that the basket raffle would be accomplished by Spring at the latest but I think that God has other plans...

From the beginning of this project, I knew that I wanted maximum exposure for your wonderful shops and also the maximum income for the CPC. After discussing the matter with my local pro-life group (which is absolutely committed to making this the best opportunity possible), I've decided to postpone the basket raffle until the Fall when several larger venues will be available.

And even though that means a longer wait, I believe it will be a much greater opportunity for the artists involved and the CPC.

Thanks so much for your patience!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pro-life Mommy Brain...

Thank you so much to Anne at the Catholic Mommy Brain blog for featuring Handmade for Life today!

You can read the feature here.

And don't forget to take a look around the rest of Anne's blog. When I read the following, I knew I was in a good place...

“Mommy brain” is a pop culture term implying that a woman’s brain functions less efficiently after she becomes a mother. Sometimes it sure seems to. But as more and more scientists and authors are pointing out, “mommy brain” shouldn’t be synonymous with a lack of intellectual thought. A mommy’s brain actually develops a way of thinking, feeling, and responding to the world that is literally caused by the physical act of pregnancy and mothering. It means the development of new registers of intuition, emotion, and cognition. (Anyone else regularly wake up just moments before the baby does, wondering what you’re waiting for until you hear that familiar whimper?)

What a beautiful way to write about the gift of femininity and motherhood! Pro-life is most often associated with the unborn baby. But we know that it also embraces and honors the beauty of motherhood, of family and of all that is life-building and good in the world.


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