Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, and Mother Henna's heART exchange

I participated in Mother Henna's heART Christmas art exchange last month. I was paired up with Bev Baird for this fun endeavor. She was so thoughtful in sending me a watercolor she has painted that will match my teaching studio perfectly. I love it and hopefullyBev and I will continue to keep in touch by visiting each other's blogs. It was fun to meet her through this swap.
I struggled with what to send her way for a little while. You see, I got distracted.

I have signed up to walk the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for a Cure in 2010. This is a huge fundraising commitment. In order to participate, I need to raise $2,300. I feel very strongly about the importance of funding the fight for a cure. I also like the 3-day events because they raise breast cancer awareness as well as funds. Some of you may know I have been involved with the 3-day events since 2004 as both a walker and a crew member. When I walk in San Diego it will be my 13th event. I'm terrified at the prospect of raising so much money in Michigan with the state of our economy, but I am committed. I have done some brainstorming for fundraisers and have constructed a list of both tried and true things, and a few things I'm hoping will work. One of my brainstorms was to compile a cd of me performing Christmas music. I have 2 degree's in music and make my living playing and teaching music so this was something I thought this would be a wonderful way to share my talents and help me toward my fundraising. I did a quick investigation on what kind of copyright laws there are and a quick look through my many stacks of Christmas music. I found out I'd need a mechanical license to be copyright legit, and one of the publisher's who I have a bunch of music from had an online form to apply for the license. I quickly filled it out, just glancing through the music and thinking, "Well, that looks like it'd be nice." To my suprise, I got a reply back within hours telling me the fee that would be involved for my very limited production run and it seemed very reasonable so I started practicing. (Silly me had picked out some songs I'd never even played through before!) I bought a USB mic and set things up in my office so I could record at home on my beloved piano. Things were going slow, but they were progressing when disastor struck. The motherboard in my laptop quit working. Done, kaput, finite. Oh Crap!

My sis came to my rescue and loaned me her laptop for the rest of the recording process. Recording really is much harder than I thought, but I'm starting to get the hang of all the levels and tricks. Since it was already late November, I was on a very tight schedule. I wanted these out in time that people would buy them for this Christmas season. My stress level was pretty high but I kept working at it. When I needed a break from actually playing/recording the music I was working on liner notes and buying the blank cd's and labels.

I sat down one morning to design the cover art for the cd. I kept tossing around ideas that involved the pink ribbon, but nothing was sparking my interest enough to get to work. Then I was thinking about Christmas in general and the idea of a simple snowflake jumped in my head. It wouldn't leave so I pulled out my paints, made a pink, mottled backgroun with watercolors and then used acrylics and gel pens to make the actual snowflake. From there I scanned it, photoshopped my title and name and this is what it looks like.

I ended up making 2 volumes of music. Vol. I is a grouping of upbeat, faster music with some jazz added into the mix. Vol. II is full of soft, flowing "pretty" music. I have sold out of my Vol. II's and only have about 4 Vol. I's left. This fundraiser has been a wonderful start and I am now over half way to my goal! Not only that, I have recorded my first 2 CD's and gotten incredible feedback from people that have purchased them! What a great experience.
So, to make the connection to the start of this post, Bev received a copy of each CD for her gift in the exchange. It wasn't a typical art exchange item, but I sure put my heart and soul into making the gift. I received a nice email saying how much she enjoys them and that makes me very happy.
If you've never heard of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure I urge you to look into it. It is a life changing event.


  1. Brandy, I'll add link of this post, even though belated, to the solstice blog fest -- I did the same for Ines, too, so it's all good.

    And for the water pen, yes, I just squeeze water thru, wipe, and move to next color. It really works remarkably well. I also keep a little bottle of extra water with a dropper top in my bag, so I can refill my water pen up to 3 more times while out and about. It really is soooooo convenient! They are great for blending colors, too.


  2. Brandy...what an awesome gift. Art from the hands and art from the heart. Nothing could have been any better. (I love the pink snowflake)

    Thank you so much for stopping my blog on your Magic Carpet Ride. It's always so nice to meet fellow artist. I hope we just keep playing "tag" and see what the other is up to..LOL!! GOod luck in the giveaway.


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