Artists for Life

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

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vegetative patients able to communicate with brain waves

London (Reuters) - A man in a deeply unconscious state for five years has been able to communicate with doctors using just his thoughts in a study scientists say is a "game changer" for care of vegetative state patients.
(Continue reading... )

Monday, February 22, 2010

Keepsake Jewelry Made from Flowers...

The inspiration for the work of JNJ Keepsakes blossomed out of tragedy. Jessica was only 19-years old when she died in an alcohol related car accident. One source of comfort to her family was having keepsake jewelry made out of her funeral flowers. These keepsakes are cherished by her family and Renate and Arlene started a business in Jessica's memory to provide the same special remembrance for others.


I have been fascinated with this idea ever since Arlene first approached me about membership in Handmade for Life. How many different times have I wished for some way to make our special flowers and accompanying memories last a little bit longer? Petals pressed in prayer books. Stemmed roses hanging to dry in the garage. Photographs. And that bittersweet moment when I finally and reluctantly relinquish those dying blooms to the trash can.

I recently contacted JNJ Keepsakes  to inquire about a custom order I would eventually like to make. Each time my husbands gives me roses, I am reminded of his love and fidelity. I don't need those roses to know he loves me because he shows it in so many ways but he knows I love roses and I'm always delighted. What if I could capture this symbol of his faithfulness and care and pass it on in a keepsake to a child on a wedding day? (You are standing here with your beloved today because of your Father's love and care. Every moment that he sacrificed for me and for you in love has helped to make you who you are and bring you to this beautiful day. May your marriage be as cherished and fruitful...) I thought a rosary or a pretty bracelet for the bride might be a perfect use for beads made from the flowers their daddy gave to me.

JNJ Keepsakes' shop on Etsy features pre-made jewelry in addition to the custom requests that they love to fulfill. They can create your perfect custom piece or just the beads ( 8mm-4mm) for you to incorporate into your own projects. The amount of flower needed for a bead varies according to type of flower and petals but a single rose will make 8 to 10 beads. The dried petals are then ground into a powder before being given a second life in the beads. The extra powder is then saved for 2 years in case the customer would like to order more items.


In addition to their passion for building up a culture of Life, Arlene and Renate also donate all profits from The Jessica Necklace to MADD to help prevent another tragedy like the one they suffered in the loss of their beloved Jessica.

I can think of so many special uses for the talented artists at JNJ.  A gift for a new mother. Memorial of the loss of a preborn baby or in memory of another loved one. First Communion or weddings. Memory of a special trip or event. I'm sure there are as many different ideas as there are special occasions.

Thanks Arlene and Renate for bringing your life and gifts to the Handmade for Life family!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

the parallels are everywhere

I wrote as I did because as a woman, as a mother, I was oppressed and broken-hearted with the sorrow and injustice I saw, because as a Christian I felt the dishonor to Christianity, because as a lover of my country I trembled in the coming day of wrath. It is no merit in the sorrowful that they weep, or in the oppressed and smothering that they grasp and struggle, nor to me that I must speak for the oppressed - who cannot speak for themselves.
 - Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin

This is Black History Month. I'm not one for celebrating any particular month by government-endorsed, small interest group designation, and when I see announcements like the one I just wrote, my brain usually tunes out and says "borrrrring..." But I happened to watch one of my favorite movies at the beginning of the month and couldn't help but notice the coincidence.

I'm also not one for doing movie reviews, so stick with me here...Ever seen Amazing Grace? It came out a few years ago, and chronicles some of the efforts of William Wilberforce and his contemporaries in their work to abolish slavery. As I watched it, I could not help but notice the parallels between the previous abolition movement - that of slavery - to the current abolition movement... that of abortion.

In the abolition debate, people were reminded that God made men equal. In the abortion debate, we remind them that God made men...period. The parallels are everywhere in history. Watch with me:

Frederick Douglass:
Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave I will...dare to call into question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery - the great sin and shame of America.

The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

John Jay:
To contend for our own liberty, and to deny the blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton:
When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.

Margaret Sanger - but wait, lest you suffer intellectual whiplash, let me qualify this author by reminding you that she was the founder of a little business called Planned Parenthood, and she has been no friend of black people or women. This is what she said:
"We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the negro population."

Unfortunately for her, the word has gotten out. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, her business has had some success in carrying out her vision for society. Let us consider...
African-American deaths by cause, since 1973:
- AIDS - 0.2 million
- Cancer - 1.6 million
- Heart Disease - 2.25 million
- Abortion - 14 million
In short, in America, a black baby is almost as likely to be aborted as it is to be born.

Back to the movie. Remember? I was talking about Amazing Grace. There is a scene that takes place around a huge dinner table shortly after Wilberforce becomes a Christian. He is with a bunch of radical abolitionists and has been struggling with his purpose - whether he should do the work of God and focus his life on the abolition of slavery, or continue his growing career in Parliament. His friends challenge him to do both - and he does. And he succeeds. Eventually.

William Lloyd Garrison was another abolitionist who considered his purpose. Here's what he said about it:

Abolitionism is not a hobby, got up for political or associated aggrandisements; it is not a political ruse; it is not a spasm of sympathy, which lasts but for a moment, leaving the system weak and worn; it is not a fever of enthusiasm; it is not the fruit of fanaticism; it is not a spirit of faction. It is of heaven, not of men. It lies in the heart as a vital principle. It is an essential part of Christianity, and aside from it there can be no humanity. Its scope is not confined to the slave population of the United States, but embraces mankind. Opposition cannot weary it, force cannot put it down, fire cannot consume it.

In considering my own purpose...I confess I am tired of hearing those who think that doing God's work means that they can be aloof to the political scene around them. I am bored with the comfortable Christianity that challenges people only to pitiful introspection and a ten percent tithe. And I am disgusted with churches that push God's passion for the orphan and widow aside for mere discussions on doctrine.

I will speak more. I will pray more. I will give more. I will make people uncomfortable. But I will make myself uncomfortable, first...because I, too, have been shown amazing grace.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Friends for Life...

(Leah, Catherine and Anastasia)

It is the primary mission of Handmade for Life to give artists and crafters a way to stand up publicly in defense of the unborn. It is a huge bonus that many of us have become good friends along the way.

This post is the story of 3 friends who all happen to share a passion for handmade art, their faith in Jesus Christ, and the sanctity of life. They've been online and phone friends for a very long time and recently had the opportunity to meet face to face.

The first of these friends is Princess Daffy (otherwise know as Catherine). 
She runs two online boutiques featuring her lovely handmade gifts. Abbas Girl showcases many faith-based creations while Sweet heart Studio offers "pretty little things to bless your heart and home". Let it be said that Catherine is not only talented but is also one of the most thoughtful and generous souls to inhabit Etsy and the worldwide web. She has blessed many, many people through her time and treasure. And her beautiful custom artwork does hang happily on my wall!

The second friend is Anastasia who is a fiber arts magician. Her beautiful scarves and hats can be found in her two shops: Matt's Crafty Wife and Breath of Dawn Studio. Last Winter, I asked Anastasia to create a set of custom matching hats for my daughter and me (yes, she still wants to match mommy!). We were certainly not disappointed! Gorgeous creations from a true lover of life and the sweetest and most loving hands imaginable...

The third of the group is certainly not the least! Leah's creative passion overflows into so many different mediums that I'm sure I've lost track! She's on Etsy as Matic Studio (fiber/crochet/knit creations), Sugarfoots (fiber arts for baby!), The Dream Giver (luxurious products for pain relief and relaxation), and Leah Moerschel (original art prints). Did I mention that I own some her her work as well? Her Saucy Senorita (pictured below left w/Leah of the haunting eyes) is one of my favorite accessories. Lovely Leah puts her whole heart into her life and work!

These three ladies recently met for the first time in Florida (at Anastasia's home) with the other two traveling many hours from their home states. What a sweet surprise for Anastasia when not only her expected company (Catherine) arrived, but also Leah. With squeals, hugs and giggles so typical of the fairer sex, they settled down to a feast of food, friendship and joy as if the miles had never held them apart.

Life is good and love blesses us unexpectedly. These three Handmade for Life members know how to open their hearts to life and bless the world with the fruits that blossom!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Unexpected Pro-Life Moment of the Super Bowl


The commercial was cool. I particularly loved how it exposed the anti-life forces for what they truly are since only crazy or mean people would object to such a gentle message. But the pro-life event of this game had to be the post game images of Drew Brees with his son. I barely watched the game but did catch the celebration and this man's love for his little boy melted my heart. With tears in his eyes, he tenderly kissed those baby cheeks over and over again. This winning quarterback not only had the courage to say "God is great" on national television but to show that true manhood honors the smallest and most vulnerable among us. Watch the video below to see the moment that made me so glad I hadn't gone to bed...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Life and Hope Concert...Give me a ride?


If I could only find a way to get to Indianapolis on April 11th...
...I would be a very happy woman.

Not that I'm not rather happy now, but getting to see two of my all-time favorite musicians while supporting the cause of Life? Well, there's simply no question that I might be a wee bit happier!

The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation is hosting the Life and Hope Concert on Sunday, April 11th, 2010 at the Murat Theatre in Indianapolis, IN. Did I mention that Randy Travis will be performing? AND Collin Raye? Two incredibly talented musicians with hearts of gold and totally devoted to defending the sanctity Life. Seriously, this is not to be missed if you can swing it.

Want a sneak peak? Please watch these videos and allow your heart to love a little deeper than it did yesterday. In the first, Collin Raye sings about loving his special needs granddaughter. The second is Randy Travis singing about sacrificial love.

(Click here or on the picture Below to Listen to "Raise Him Up") 

Would these guys not be perfect HFL artist members? :)
Anyone able to go? I'd love an autograph for our Handmade for Life wall!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Embryonic stem cell research a failure

LOS ANGELES, California, January 29, 2010 ( - California's Institute for Regenerative Medicine came into being five years ago, fueled by a conviction that the Bush administration's restriction on embryo-destructive research in the National Institutes of Health was stifling the progress of science. 
But after years of fruitless work, the Institute has now quietly diverted funds from embryonic stem cell research (ESCr) to adult stem cell research - which has already produced dozens of treatments and all-out cures for maladies ranging from spinal cord injury, to Alzheimer's, to type I diabetes.
The California government - which is again teetering on the brink of bankruptcy - in 2004 passed the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, or Proposition 71.  The initiative pumped $3 billion into research seeking some medical use for stem cells harvested from human embryos, which are killed in the process. 
But an editorial in the Los Angeles-based Investor's Business Daily magazine January 12 pointed out the abysmal failure of the state's massive investment in research that has procured no effective treatments to date. 
"Five years after a budget-busting $3 billion was allocated to embryonic stem cell research, there have been no cures, no therapies and little progress," notes the IBD editors.... (continue reading) 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

HFL artist keeps famous babies warm

Sarah Palin's grandson, Tripp, was spotted this Winter wearing a Handmade for Life creation! 
In this picture (from the MSNBC website ), you can see Bristol's little guy sporting a cap made by our own Shannon of Baruch's Lullaby . 


In spite of the sad story that accompanies the headline, we honor the Palins' commitment to life and know that the joy of this child's presence offers consolation in a broken adult world. 

Both the Palins and Baruch's Lullaby are Alaskan residents and likely know how to keep little heads and fingers warm. I have seen and touched Shannon's work and know that to be true!

A percentage of the sales on Shannon's site support the Heartreach Pregnancy Center in Wasilla Alaska. Check out the section of her shop titled Heartreach Benefit.

Shannon is also donating all proceeds from her felted baby booties to Haiti relief through Samaritan's Purse.


Surprise in San Francisco

Take 5 minutes to listen to Michael Savage 's account of the 2010 Pro-Life March in San Francisco. He was surprised by what he saw and I found his account incredibly encouraging.

A grateful nod to Pat Madrid for posting this on his blog.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pro-Life Valentine Giveaway!

Cecilia at Hair Bows 4 Life is giving away one of her beautiful bows this month in honor of St. Valentine's Day. Email your favorite quote about love to and be entered to win this pretty bow .

Cecilia and her family use their bows to raise awareness and support for the unborn and the sanctity of human life by giving back 10% of each sale to the Pro-Life community.


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