Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s a great day to tell all the people who’ve been your support network (I’m talking to you DOC), just how very much you love and appreciate them! xo
Thanks to Diabetes Art Day 2012, I expanded my designs for a OneTouch Ultra cast resin ring, to a series of used test strip rings and then OneTouch Ultra bangle bracelets. In December I discovered my health insurance covered the Verio IQ meter (and those gorgeous gold and silver test strips have jewelry-potential written all over them plus the meter lights up in the dark). I’ve now completed one necklace, cast using the plastic insert that held my Animas Ping pump securely in it’s shipping container (One man’s trash is another woman’s treasure right?).
Some photos of my test strip designs were used by OneTouch on their Facebook page for their coverage of Diabetes Art Day 2012 which was pretty cool. There were people who commented the designs were ugly (I agreed, diabetes can be a really ugly disease) and people who actually thought I was wasting “good” test strips even though I pointed out that they were MY USED strips. We all know the cost of test strips is daunting and we are also well aware of the amount of trash that comes with diabetes. BG testing supplies, pump supplies, Dexcom inserters, and the packaging for all these items.
My goal with the jewelry (aside from challenging myself as a designer) is complex. I read Diabetes Forecast’s article on Anatomy of A Test Strip and was intrigued. I see beauty in test strips as not only a life saving device but also beauty as a product of technology, engineering and industrial design (my undergrad degree is in Industrial design and I launched a jewelry design business in 2009).
Back to my test strip jewelry goals… I have worn many of the pieces (especially the bangle bracelets on Blue Fridays). I often find them to be a segue to conversations on diabetes much like my “blinged” Dexcom sensor was on my arm this summer. If wearing some of my test strip designs gives me a chance to explain and educate and even bond with someone about diabetes, then great, bring it on.
I wore my Angled OneTouch Ultra ring to a T1 meet-up at my local JDRF chapter. A woman came into the meeting, sat next to me and recognized the ring. It was the first time someone said, “You’re Surfacefine”. It was totally weird for me but this was the same woman who had asked about a foot issue months prior on Twitter. I knew she lived in NYC and recommended my podiatrist (who I LOVE) and who also happens to be a fellow T1D. We clicked immediately at the meeting and I was thrilled we got to chat in “real life”. Way to go jewelry!
As an artist, making one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces intrigues me. The majority of my professional life involves working in mass production. The combination of mass produced diabetes equipment (specifically all the disposable items that have a one-time use), made into one of a kind mold and a one of a kind layered resin design fascinates me.
Since my supplies are used, I am now collecting stuff like crazy (read: I’m a hoarder x10). The finishing work on these pieces is time intensive (which I love). I have 4 molds I am currently pouring and utilizing used pump supplies along with test strips. My used diabetes supplies have become my jewels (please note I still like diamonds).
As very special shout to Lee Ann Thill who started Diabetes Art Day, The Diabetes Postcard Exchange and writes The Butter Compartment. You can read more about Lee Ann and her latest projects at her About Me .
From Top Left: Another pump site, another bruise. This was earlier in the week but I had a site change this morning and once again… another site, another bruise. This is starting to become my norm. Site worked great though. At least the bruises are small and this isn’t bikini weather!
Blood glucose check where an old pricked spot bleeds along with the new one. there’s a cartoonish like quality to that, as if I will drink a glass of water and my (bruised) pump sites will look like a sprinkler.
New diabetes themed-used-Verio IQ-test strip jewelry. The reaction this from the non-D crowd has been kind of awesome. love hearing what people “think” the material is. My account (T2) took a minute and guessed it correctly.
I woke-up on Thursday to this view. Remote control, Glucolift (Wildberry is my fave) container (empty), Dexcom G4 reciever, Froggie, and my pooch (with creeptastic looking eyes in this pic). A strange Wednesday night snuggle-fest indeed.
A few weeks ago I made two rings out of used OneTouch and OneTouch Ultra test strips (side note: I have been using a OneTouch Ultra meter with my Ping pump for YEARS and YEARS. Finding 2 old regular OneTouch strips (black ones) in the bottom of a drawer proves I need to do some serious house cleaning). This idea has been in my mind for awhile, years maybe, but it wasn’t until a DSMA chat about the upcoming Diabetes Art Day 2012, that I finally made some ring designs.
The response to the rings has been pretty incredible and encouraging (OK not totally true but to the lady who said they were “ugly”, I feel that diabetes isn’t pretty either so I couldn’t really take it as an insult, more poignant to what I’d designed actually). OneTouch contacted me for permission to use one of my images on their Facebook page for a post about Diabetes Art Day which was pretty cool. Anyway, since Sunday afternoon/evening is when I plan to clean-up but lately has been my messiest time of the week, I got my designer groove on today.
Here’s a preview of my next OneTouch Ultra Used Test Strip Jewelry experiment (It’s going to be a bangle bracelet… well if this actually works)
My submission(s) for Diabetes Art Day 2012 – Yes, I’m crafty. Not in a Beastie Boy’s song kind of way but in a index-card-epoxy-resin-tape-used-OneTouch-test-strips-sandpaper art making kind of way. I’ve been designing and making jewelry for a LONG time but I haven’t done much resin work in years. Having used strips EVERYWHERE is actually useful! Happy #DArtDay !
Tomorrow is diabetes art day Since I am one heck of a crafty lady, I have something exciting in the works for tomorrow and this is my inspiration.