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Happy 4th of July!

It’s so easy in our busy day-to-day lives to take for granted, the existence we are afforded here in America. More and more I experience moments of awareness of how lucky I am to have this life… to have a home of my own, a vehicle that drives me anywhere I wish to go, the abundance of good healthy food to eat, a safe friendly community, and the conveniences that make our lives easy.

On this weekend celebrating the birth of our country, I am grateful and aware of the sacrifices made by all, both past and present, that afford me this wonderful life. From the visionaries who sacrificed their status as royalty to create our country to the soldiers who protect it. Whether we are at war or at peace, the mere fact that soldiers exist in and of itself protects our freedom.

To all those we live among; our friends neighbors and family, to those we have yet to meet, to those who’ve come to our country for a better life (including my grandfather, now deceased) and to those who risk their lives to protect our country and way of life… happy 4th of July. We are so blessed to live here.

As always, bead happy!

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So how did I end up here in this creative place?

I just wanted to take a small break from jewelry making to pay tribute to the one who taught me from a young age to love arts and crafts.  Despite challenges in her life, my Mother has lived life to the fullest and taught me to have an incredible hunger for life experiences and learning.  She helped me overcame my extreme shyness, and showed me how to listen to my inner voice rather than those external voices that would criticize,  and she persistently whispered: “don’t be afraid to try new things.”

Like most kids, I learned so many great practical things from my mother. For example: at age 8 she suggested, on a visit to the craft store that if I purchased my beads at a bulk discount, I could repackage them into smaller quantities and sell them to my friends at a better price than the craft store and still make enough to support my bead habit.  Funny, how what goes around, comes around.

In the racially charged society of the 1960′ my Mother sought out the elements/diversity of other cultures and helped me see beyond our ultra conservative environment with appreciation beyond the then small town of Salt Lake .  At family reunions rather than criticizing those that spoke with an accent, she would remark on how wonderful it was to hear their speech patterns and different pronunciations.  We would lunch at restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world where she would always point out how beautiful people were, regardless of their race or station in life.  This was a strong message which has given me the yearning to know and experience all I can about those who share our planet.

My Mom has tackled every kind of craft with zest and artistry.  To this day, I have not found anyone who can pull design elements together with such consistently great results.  And although her works have not appeared in galleries or museums, those who are lucky enough to experience her art are amazed that someone so unassuming has created such work.

Mom,  I’m proud to call you a “wild woman” in the way you think outside, upside down and underneath the box.  Thank you for the tangible gifts and for the intangible ones as well, the ones that continue to give.  Thank you for teaching me it’s OK to question, OK to dream big and it’s OK to look around to see what else is possible.  I hope you know that I love you not only as my Mom but for the person you are beyond that.

Happy birthday Mom.

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Soldered glass window box pendant workshop

learn to make these whimsical window box penants

learn to make these whimsical window box penants at this workshop

Create this vintage inspired window box pendant.  Bring your own image, or use images available at class.  Capture dimensional elements & charms between beveled and patterned art glass.  Finish and secure your box by soldering around the edges.  Choose charms and beads to embellish your pendant.

Your necklace chain will be made using sterling silver chain/beads with glass beads and pearls.

You will be cutting images, arranging and gluing elements together and using a hot soldering iron.  For your chain, you will be using the wire loop method.  This is an intermediate class.    Click here for more info, calendar or to register for class:

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Hand made focal bead necklace workshop

learn how to make this adorable necklace at our workshop

Utilize focal point pieces to make your jewelry designs pop!

Come to our workshop and make this necklace show casing a gorgeous hand made glass bead by artist Deb Behrends.

In this class you will turn your focal point bead into a pendant using the wire loop technique.  Create the necklace strand from Czech glass and gem quality black onyx embellished with a sprinkling of sterling silver filigree.

The focal point bead is offered in your choice of  black or lime.  See the coordinating bracelet for an image of the black bead.   Click here for more info, calendar or to register for this class:

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Double strand bracelet workshop

Learn how to make this beautiful bracelet at our workshopYou will love making and wearing this double strand bracelet showcasing a gorgeous hand made glass bead by artist Deb Behrends.  In this workshop you will turn your focal point bead into a link using the wire wrap technique.  Create the double strand bracelet from Czech glass and gem quality black onyx capped by a generous sprinkling of sterling silver filigree.  Add an adorable cluster of charms and finish it all with a sterling silver toggle clasp.   This is a high-end art piece that I know will become one of your favorites.

The focal point bead is offered in your choice of  black or lime.  See the coordinating necklace  for an image of the lime bead.   Click here for more info, calendar or to register for this class:

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Embellishing a strand of pearls – workshop

learn how to make your pearls pop with charms and silk ribbon

embellish a strand of pearls at this workshop

In this workshop you will create a strand of freshwater pearls then have fun embellishing it with gorgeous hand dyed silk ribbon, sterling silver wire wrap embellishments, charms and wire wrapped bead charms that you’ll make yourself.

You will have your choice of fused glass pendants, sterling silver locket, pendant watch or dazzling cubic zirconia setting as well as your choice of pearl colors.  Click here for more info, calendar and to register for this workshop:

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Stamped sterling silver chain workshop

Texture and stamp embellishments in this jewelry making workshop

Stamp and texture sterling silver links to create this chain

This wonderful blend of sentiment and industrial style make for a singularly unique necklace chain.  In this workshop, you will hand forge sterling silver chain links and stamp your own mini embellishments and messages.  Click here for more info:

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Images on sea glass pendant workshop

Learn how to add your own images onto sea glass for pendants & charms

Sea glass pendant workshop

This class is a fantastic value and a lot of fun (if I do say so myself).  Not only will you learn how to transfer images by making your own sea glass pendant, you will receive “take home”  supplies so you can make more!  And believe me, you’ll want to make more, it’s downright addictive.

After you transfer your image, you will make a double strand of genuine freshwater pearls (your choice of colors) and learn how to wire wrap your pendant then finish the look with a cute silver charm.

You will also learn alternative finishes for your take home projects as well as other uses for this technology.  It really is a lot of fun.  You won’t be disappointed.  Click here for more info, calendar or to register for this workshop:

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Add your own images to seaglass and other jewelry components

Have you heard of this?  ITS (image transfer solution) allows you to add your own images to jewelry making components such as sea glass and/or metal.  I’ve just started experimenting with this new medium and can I say… I can’t stop.  It is so fun and easy.   Here is a step-by-step and a couple of examples.  I’m excited to create some keepsake jewelry pieces showcasing some of  my own vintage black & white photos for this years Mothers Day gifts.

Bead Happy,


EDITORS NOTE: Welcome back Sherry … we missed you more than you know!

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Warn your friends & family…forward this to anyone you care about


Warn your friends of the secret dangers of jigsaw puzzles!

I feel it incumbent upon me to warn you of the secret dangers of jig saw puzzling!  The reason there is a lack of posts lately is due to my jig saw puzzle injury.  You may be asking yourself… what on earth ???   No, really!

Let me put it this way:   How out of shape do you have to be to sustain an injury doing a jigsaw puzzle?  And yet, I’ve been solidly out of commission for over 3 weeks (and that doesn’t include the previous weeks of undiagnosed pain and suffering).

The Doctors say that this condition is common but they don’t have a clear idea of what actually causes it.  I’ve had 2 diagnosis, an MRI, physical therapy and lots of meds & doctor visits (I’m not fond of either).

Now I will admit, it wasn’t just one puzzle that caused this physical conundrum.  Maybe it has something to do with the holiday season, (Christmas & New years) but I had been on a real obsessive compulsive puzzle bender for days.  I dunno, once I start one of those things, I can’t seem to stop.  By the way if you’re a puzzle lover, I recommend Eric Dowdle puzzles.  They are a lot of fun.  But I digress.

So be warned… I could happen to you without provocation &  without warning.  Don’t fall victim to jigsaw induced Sciatica.  It will change your life.

In the meantime, I’ve had plenty of time to think up ideas.  So… once I get back to it, you will see some fresh jewelry making ideas and I’ll even start teaching some classes so stay tuned.  I look forward to being able to offer something more in the near future.  And I promise after this, I will only puzzle in moderation!

Bead happy!


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