52 little things week 52 and a 2013 round up

On the very last day of 2013 I thought  would be nice to reflect on the past year and some of the lovely things that have happened. It has been a wonderful year for Be Child Cancer Aware and Beads of Courage here in the UK.

It has been a very special year for me too and also a pretty special year for these little beep beep robot beads.  The very first one I ever made was for week 1 in my 52 little things project (to make a special bead each week for a  Beads of Courage child). I thought it would be lovely to finish the year with a little family of Beep Beeps because Childhood Cancer affects every member of a family and turns their world upside down.

I sent a picture of some of my little BoC Robots to Diane Woodall offering a tutorial for them for the Beads of Courage section of The Soda Lime Times magazine and they inspired her to create an ebook called Hot Glass for Cool Kids to raise funds for Beads of Courage in America. It has 20 wonderful tutorials written by artists from all over he world. So far the book has raised almost $14,000. I am so proud to have been part of that super special project.

The first time I began to fully appreciate the significance of the beads that I make and donate is when I happened to see a picture on Facebook with a note from one of the BoC Mums showing her daughter holding one of  the 50 little little robot beads that I made to fund raise in the run up to the summer Beadathon. She explained how that her daughter talks to her little robot bead. I honestly cried, it was so lovely.

This summer 11 amazing, lovely and talented UK bead makers gathered at my house for the second year running and we took turns to make beads solidly for 24 hours on two torches. We streamed the whole 24 hour event live across the internet, raised over £900 and made 165 beads to donate to BCCA.  I loved hosting the Beadathon, such hard work but such great fun and fingers crossed we will get another one organised in 2014. Below is my fave beady snap of 2013, taken by Marlene Minhas. We ran two kilns at the Beadathon, the first was kindly donated for the event by www.Kilncare.co.uk and this shows Sandy Kelly, a huge grin on her face, fetching the some of the first batch of Beadathon beads out of the kiln mid morning on the second day.

Through the latter part of 2012 and the start of 2013 I was working hard learning how to write with glass stringer on beads so that I could make and donate beads with kids names on to Beads of Courage. In April this year I had my first lampwork tutorial published in Beads and Beyond magazine, sharing the writing with glass technique. A huge thank you to Julie Fountain for recommending me to the editor for this project. It was thrilling to see my work in print in a British magazine and it spurred me on to submit more ideas and have two further tutorials published this year.

Another fab project that I have been helping with this year was the Walk of Courage. I put out a call for volunteer bead makers to create pairs of fire colour beads for brave folks to carry whilst walking over hot coals. The ones being shown off here by Ted Drummond were made by Elaine Hunter of Galloway beads (to see all of the beautiful fire walk beads click here). The event was a brilliant success, raising over £7800 and bringing some amazing beads to kids  on the Beads of Courage program.

This brilliant picture shows Ethan Drummond preparing to walk across the coals, he was the very first and youngest courageous fire walker.

2013 has been an amazing year full of wonderful projects that I feel so privileged to be part of. The cherry on the cake for me was an invitation to be the featured artists in the January 2014 issue of the Soda Lime Times. What a wonderful way to begin 2014.

It has been the most wonderful year of teamwork and achievements and laughter and I have a feeling that next year will be even more rewarding.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and an amazing 2014, Jolene xx


  1. WOW! I didn't realise the beads were made especially for the Beads of Courage programme. That's so special x

  2. I am just playing catch up on blog posts. This year hasn't had to good a start for me but time I tried to keep up with my friends more. Great year for you, you are such a busy bee and a truely wonderful lady. xx Have a wonderful 2014 ♡

    1. Sorry to hear you have been having a tough time Elaine, hugs xx