Thinking Outside The Box, Or In A Pouch

When it comes to having a JDRF Walk Team, it is challenging to get and keep people interested year after year.  Asking the same people to donate money, asking people to walk, asking people who are walking to please raise money, it isn’t easy, and involves a lot of asking.

I met my dear friend Kerry, my first day of college (Yes, a long time ago.  Dinosaurs carried our books.  They were very helpful). She is a wonderful friend and will be walking with me again on September 29th.  A few months ago, she started a new business venture with Initials, Inc.  At the time, I was carrying my blood glucose supplies in a ziplock bag (yes, it was convenient-ish, ok, not really).  When I looked over her website, I thought this was a great opportunity to not only support and cheer-on my friend, but also time to try out a *NEW* blood glucose carry case.

Kerry sells a design called Tune Keeper which is a fabric, zippered pouch, meant to hold an iPod.  It also has a keyring and lobster claw clasps on one end.  The pouch is padded and securely fits my Verio IQ, OneTouch Delica, Verio test strips, emergency cash, and if need be, my Dexcom G4 receiver.  Yep, I love it.  It also has a tiny interior pocket (that’s where I hide the $5… there’s the info robbers.  Come and get it).



Kerry contacted me about an idea she had to help fundraise for this year’s JDRF Walk.  In separate news, her daughter is the one who reminded me to believe in miracles, when I needed a miracle believing boost.  It’s a whole story about inch worms, and bronchitis, and crying at a funeral, and the inch worms becoming moths.  I’ll save that story for another day though.  Anyway, Kerry is a special person in my life (as is her family) and this is what she’s doing (in Kerry’s words):

As a Creative Partner at Initials, Inc., I am excited to help fundraise for my friend, Alecia’s, JDRF Walkathon’s Team. This month, 25% of your Tune Keeper purchase will go towards her team, Alecia’s Stem Cells, as we walk for a cure in two weeks.

What is the Tune Keeper, you ask?  It is a cool little wallet meant to hold your iPhone & earbuds, but Alecia has found it perfect to case her diabetic supplies! We thought you might think it is handy for other uses, too. Plus it makes a great gift – never too early to start that holiday shopping!
Since being diagnosed in 1979, Alecia has benefitted from technology advances in diabetic care and treatments. Glucose monitors and insulin pumps simply did not exist when she was diagnosed, but these advances come from critical research – and research is the key component of JDRF.
I’ve set up a shopping link to purchase the Tune Keeper. Please visit my website !Click SHOP ONLINE at the top and click “Shop Now” to the right on the “Tune Keeper Fundraiser – JDRF event” link to make your purchase. I will personally donate 25% of my sales of the Tune Keeper towards my friend’s JDRF team, and will follow up with an email to you to let you know how much was raised from this sale. Please consider buying one of these great wallets and supporting JDRF!
(Please be sure to un-click “ship to host” to have your order shipped to you – otherwise it will ship to me.)
For more information about Alecia’s walk team, please go to:
Please feel free to email me with any questions about placing your order.

Pretty cool huh?

Diabetes Art Day 2013


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 .