Monday, June 20, 2011

Art Spark Designer of the Week....

by MaryAnn Carroll

Not exactly a bead story..... (The story follows at the end)....  Thanks :O)

......I love this piece that was created with a memory that many of us can relate to.......
It made me smile.... and for creativity.....

You get an A+, Mallory!!

Thank-you Mallory for taking some time to reflect and come up with this fantastically creative bracelet!!

kick the can

A study using aluminum discs
Bent discs
As a child we played lots of kick the can
The cans were very much dented when we were finished with them.
I also loved then and now
charm bracelets.
Red is one of my 10,000 favorite colors
I've always loved sparkly things.
This piece works for me.

This month's Art Spark Challenge
not exactly a beady story...

I guess this challenge was a tough one.  Every day when I'm at my teaching job, my friend Cathy and I walk during our lunch.  I told her about this challenge, and my reasoning behind it.  I won't go into my life story, but after experiencing a very unfortunate time for my children and me, I was able to turn that around. One part of that journey was when I was asked by my sister, Colleen Carroll, a published author to write a dating violence curriculum for New Jersey Battered Women's Services
in Morristown, NJ.  I always believe that things happen for reasons and this could not have come at a better time.  I was not only fortunate enough to be able to reflect and write about my own young life as a teenager, but I was able to use what I know today to, hopefully, help young people understand when they are in relationships involving abuse. 

Anyhow, I went on to teach workshops on the topic to adults (mostly teachers).  During my opening, I asked that each person (women) write something that they had accomplished and were proud of.  I told them that we would go around the room and share what that was.  What I realized the first time I tried this opener, was that it seemed very difficult for almost every single woman in the room to complete that task. Most responses were really about something that they were proud of regarding someone else...

Of course, like everything else that puzzles me, I reflected on why that might be.  I thought back to going to my own weekly therapy sessions and being asked, "When is the earliest time that you can remember that what other people had to say about you really didn't matter enough to stick?"  I thought at the time that maybe it was around the age of ten.

I'm a middle school resource teacher which simply means that I teach "typical" children in small groups who benefit from different methods of learning material.  They typically come to see me one period a day.  Sometimes, I go into the classrooms as well.  Since they are in small groups and I always have them for at least two years, I get to know them at a personal level.  I can assure you that the time that what others have to say definitely starts at the end of 6th grade and intensifies in 7th grade.  At that time, so many of us start to define who we are by what everyone else says we are. 

Here is an example:

Little Susie comes to school proudly adorned with her new hair cut and outfit.  She walks down the hall looking and feeling great.  She meets up with some "friends" and no one comments.  She goes to morning classes....  a few whispers are exchanged and then it is time for lunch. Time passes and then someone says to Susie, "Why did you get your hair cut so short?  It makes you look like a boy.  I would never have come to school looking like that...especially with that shirt on!!!"


I'm not saying this is true for absolutely everyone, but it is for many.  And for many, those little "stings" continue.

As Cathy and I talked while walking around the track, she thought perhaps the reason that people have a hard time talking about their successes is modesty....

Perhaps?  Perhaps, it is more than that.

We still have one more week to enter this challenge and I hope that you can think back to those times when life was not as complicated.

Pick out just little snippet of your life, whether it was home, in school, etc. that you were proud. 

Maybe it was that morning before you headed out to school with your new hair cut and brand new outfit.......

Thanks for reading.....


rosebud101 said...

Woooohoooo! How exciting! Thank you very much!

Kristen said...


Anonymous said...

The bracelet is just adorable. Nice job.

mairedodd said...

what an original bracelet! really fun and eco-friendly!! :0) the questions and thoughts you pose mary ann are really so important... i have been thinking on them quite a bit... thank you -

VanBeads said...

Love those recycled aluminum discs! I know a gal who makes beautiful jewelry out of 100% upcycled and recycled materials up here in the Adirondacks. I own a whole bunch of her pieces because I just love that style of jewelry. Nicely done!

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