Monday, April 4, 2011

Bead Journal Project 2011 - March - Joyful Heart

THE PROJECT: I am so excited to share my latest beaded cuff creation for the 2011 Bead Journal Challenge.  My theme for this collection is character traits I admire in a strong woman.   My cuffs for January & February featured spirit and confidence.  This March piece pays tribute to The Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization that focuses on healing, educating and empowering survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.  

THE INSPIRATION:  This organization was founded by one of the strongest, most inspiring, most emphatically passionate advocates of our time, Mariska Hargitay.  Mariska’s life was dramatically changed by the response she got playing special victims detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU.  The letters she received from victims, many of whom still held their secret inside, disclosed stories of abuse.  Mariska took this turning point in her life as her true calling.  She realized she wasn’t just meant  to act and bring the dramatic stories to life but to help shine light on subject matter that is often hidden and considered taboo.  

Mariska Hargitay founded the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 as a means of healing survivors and helping them to reclaim their lives.  Thousands of participants have had the opportunity to take part in their healing retreats and wellness programs.  Joyful Heart is at the forefront of awareness campaigns and they have opened up millions of eyes to issues that have stayed hidden for far too long.  One of their ongoing crusades is to end the backlog of untested rape kits.  Earlier this season, SVU aired “Behave,” a phenomenal episode guest starring Jennifer Love Hewitt which dealt with this horrible epidemic.   This episode was inspired by a true story shared at a Joyful Heart Celebration Gala.  Mariska and her fellow cast mates delivered a call to action which aired at the beginning of this episode.   

Together, Mariska & the Joyful Heart Foundation have made ending the backlog their priority.  Their work has led to the testing of thousands of rape kits that had been shelved for many years.   Mariska delivered a powerful testimony in front of congress about how we are failing the test of providing justice to sexual assault survivors.

I am not only a fan of her work as an actress, I also hold a deep respect for the passionate heart Mariska has and how she's making a difference in so many lives.  She’s taken a stand and used her visibility to deliver a program that provides support, encouragement and a new beginning.  To me, this exemplifies what it is to be a strong, powerful and inspiration woman.

THE DESIGN PROCESS:  At first, I was unsure of how to approach this design theme.   I wanted to make sure I did the foundation justice.  The idea to recreate the official Joyful Heart logo with beads seemed like the perfect solution.  There is so much carried through in those simple lines and letters…. so many shades, so much life and beauty.  To me, the blocks of color represent the differences in the individuals whose lives are being touched by Mariska and the Joyful Heart Foundation.   I think that joy and vitality transferred well into a piece of wearable art.

I am excited to share that this bracelet was created as a personal gift for Mariska.  Her inspiration is unmatched and I’m honored that my craft will allow her to quite literally wear her heart on her sleeve.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT:  Please visit these links for more information about Mariska Hargitay and the ongoing efforts of The Joyful Heart Foundation:
They can also be followed on Twitter at @Mariska and @TheJHF
My jewelry designs to help End the Backlog can be found here: . 100% of proceeds will be donated to the foundation.

Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement throughout this creative challenge.  I am really enjoying bringing these pieces to life.  I am honored to create them and feel truly proud of this collection.  I welcome your thoughts and comments.

“When people are abused and assaulted, it is like the doors to their souls slam shut. The goal of Joyful Heart is to let the light, and the life, back in--to banish the darkness and let the healing begin."

  – Mariska Hargitay


  1. It's make it that much more gorgeous with such special meaning behind it. A labor of love, indeed! Thanks for sharing :-)

  2. So this is what kept you so busy lovely Lisa! Well worth every minute of love your poured into it. Wonderful piece of wearable art and it was very nice to learn more about this foundation through your writing as well. Congratulations on completing this wonderful piece , I have a feeling we;ll see it soon on tv/in magazines.
    Take care,Kinga

  3. Great cause and great cuff! Congratulations!

  4. Beautiful blog post, Lisa - very moving. And your cuff is beautiful!

  5. Ladies, thank you all so much for your warm response to my project. This piece was a long time in coming and it means a lot to get such positive feedback. Your encouragement helps me press along through the challenge and lean more about myself in the process. I appreciate your time and consideration in sharing your comments!


  6. Awesome piece for an wonderful cause!

  7. Beautiful, both the piece and the cause!

  8. Thank you all! I am so grateful this piece has received such a warm response. It's such a deserving and beautiful organization. I'm honored to have been able to capture even a *bit* of that specialness in this piece.