During October we celebrate (or at least I do!) a relatively unknown observance in the United States, National Sarcastic Awareness Month. Although some people like to refer to sarcasm as the “lowest form of humor” according to the Sarcasm Society, it actually requires a quick wit and the ability to extract the finest points of weakness in a conversation. I personally celebrate it as a month-long “I can get away with anything in a conversation-fest.”
In case you haven’t already noticed, Sarcasm has gone Purple. October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. As a survivor of domestic violence, it is a cause extremely close to me, and one that I will crusade for until the end of my days.
If you will further notice, Sarcasm has a pink ribbon background for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 23 years ago, I had an extremely close call, resulting in a double lumpectomy and oral chemotherapy for months. I had just lost my grandmother to breast cancer. 1 in 8 women (about 12%) in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over her lifetime. A man’s risk is about 1 in 1,000. For women, breast cancer death rates are higher than any other cancer than lung cancer. A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it. About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations. The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
So, every year I pick a designer’s work and turn it pink as not only my annual tribute to breast cancer, but 100% of all proceeds from the sale of it go to the breast cancer charity of the buyer’s choice. Last year I chose Nichole Starman’s “Tessella” bracelet, which I did in all pink Czechmate Tiles and Matubo beads. The recipient was a local teenage girl who wanted to show it off as a sign of support for the breast cancer cause to all her friends at school. I thought that was very sweet of her. A lot of teens now will not take the time or take away from their sense of fashion or style to wear something to celebrate and show awareness for a cause.
This year, I chose Eileen Barker’s “Portalegre” bracelet. It is a structurally built bracelet, done in layers with Czechmate tiles, Quadratiles, Czechmate Triangles, and Czechmate Druks. In mine, I used Tiles in Milky Alexandrite Pink, and Quadratiles and Czechmate Triangles in Pink Metallic Suede with 6mm Czechmate Druks in Gold Sueded Rosaline and Pink Marbled 8/0, Rose Gold 11/0 and Dark Orchid Luster 15/0 seed beads. The pattern called for 8mm melon or 6mm Firepolished beads where I had the 6mm Druks, but I did not have either, and wanted to stick with the overall color theme for breast cancer awareness.
I want to thank Erika Sandor, The Storytelling Jeweller and fantastic designer herself, for profiling me in her article, which you can find HERE.
Ladies (and gents), I can’t stress enough how important early detection is. Get those mammograms and EVERYONE do those self exams! The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chances that treatment will work. Breast cancers that are found because they can be felt tend to be larger and are more likely to have already spread outside the breast. But screening exams can often find breast cancers when they are small and still confined to the breast. The size of a breast cancer and how far it has spread are some of the most important factors in predicting the outlook (prognosis) of a woman with this disease. Most doctors feel that early detection tests for breast cancer save thousands of lives each year. Many more lives probably could be saved if even more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests.
And for those of you in a hurtful domestic situation, please GET OUT or GET HELP! Tell a family member, a friend, a neighbor, your clergyperson, anyone, just please do not stay in a situation that is hurting you or hurting your children. and make no mistake about it, even if you are the only one being physically hurt, your children are being hurt too, by seeing their parent be hurt by someone they love. It is damaging to the child.
I want to thank the following people for donating to my blog in September to keep it going: Larry L., Vickie F., JoAnna S., Sheryl D., Betty R., Laurin L., Michelle K., and Trudy M. Without all of you, this blog could not keep going, and I sincerely appreciate each and every one of you. I have monthly fees, so those of you so inclined, please hit that Paypal button, and thank you in advance.
Until next time, stay smart or stay smart sassy!