Mean Green Coffee-bag Bag

Love your world! Get ready to take on a day of shopping at the farmers market, downtown, or at the mall with a roomy and conscientious Coffee-Bag Bag!

Reduce your packaging footprint by using sturdy coffee bags to make a whole collection of reusable totes and pouches. Use flattened coffee bags and coordinating duct tape to make pencil sized zipper pouches to spacious open totes that keep up to 8 coffee bags each from adding to our waste collections.

Peel open the waxy seams of coffee bags to get their full size, and wipe them down. It’s interesting to note that they can go in the dishwasher. For the largest bag I make, the TOTE in the chart below, choose 8 and and tile them into a long rectangle. 

To get the rectangle, first join 2 squares of 4, then join those together.

I sew mine with a teflon foot that eliminates skipped stitches, and then I use packing tape on the inside to seal the stitches. Always sew straight so the pieces will lay flat. Trim the allowance to neaten it up.

Close the resulting rectangle into a tube, flatten, and then choose one end to sew closed. That will be the bottom. I’m not saying to turn things inside out because it doesn’t matter. Choose your own aesthetic!

Flatten mitered corners into the bottom of your bag. I wanted the points on the inside so I did turn the bad inside out for this step. You can see that this bag will have 8″ of thickness.

For the top edge, with the bag still inside out, fold about 2″ of the top down, twice.

Then turn the bag right side out to get ready to add the straps.

This part is awkward, but it does work. Rip or cut 2 pieces of 26″ duct tape (or DUCK tape if it’s cute). This is what goes over your shoulder, but the actual strap is much longer, and will be added to the shoulder piece. The longer piece is 50″-60″ depending on your bag height.

Lay the longer piece on a clean flat surface, sticky side up (obviously). Lay the short piece, sticky side to sticky side, on the longer strip in the middle of its length.

Each of these straps goes on one side. The handle should not cross over to the other side of you bag. Match the top edge to the shoulder strap end, and stick the rest down the side and under the bottom. Do this for all 4 sticky ends, hopefully overlapping the ends on the bottom.

Use some additional duct tape to anchor the handles on the inside. It’s not elegant, but it’s helpful.

I’ve been using these for years, now, and they have held up really well. I know the info is pretty raw. If you have any questions please ask! I hope you enjoy this. Please feel free to share. I’d love to see your bags!

And the winners are…

Autumn Lengths, wire and beading at its best! Friends and die-hard JOE’S Garage enthusiasts gather for a fall evening to create a multi-length strand of Czech glass beads on copper, to classical music and candle light.


At about 6:50 at JOE’S Garage Open House 2022, we drew 5 prizes from all the registration slips from students this year, and additionally 3 were drawn from only those present, which included new friends.

And the winners are:

Dave Brekke 30% OFF one $29-$99 JOE’S Garage Class

Paula Erickson 20% OFF one $29-$99 JOE’S Garage Class

Trish Bearden $10 JOE BUCKS

Barb Wilber $10 JOE BUCKS

Shari Cross $10 OFF One Class

Jeanine Reaves 30% OFF one $29-$99 JOE’S Garage Class

Donna Matzen $10 JOE BUCKS

Carol Rockwell $10 OFF One Class

Use your JOE BUCKS anytime in 2023 on any class you arrange from those you see under my CLASSES tab, or on products I may have for sale. I am not able to apply your winning amount to Community Ed classes.

Share my images from 2022! Oh, any photos that I’m in are by Juel Studios. Thank you, Caroline!!

A Jewelry STUDIO Open House

Thank You for your support over the past year! Please stop by my Jewelry Open House and let me express my gratitude!

Thursday, November 17, 2022


There will be drawings for those who attended classes over the last year, and a special drawing for those in attendance who introduce a NEWBIE to the Garage. So bring a friend! Watch a texture plate demonstration and a NEW TOOL TOUR— I’ve added a Pepe Rolling Mill and also a band bender.

REFRESHMENTS will be served. Let there be TWINKLE LIGHTS!

Check back for updates!

Fall 2022


impressions of fall

Fall is around the corner, and I couldn’t be more ready! Uh…I could be more ready, but I couldn’t want it to come more. It’s been a busy 2022 and I’d like to get to the next chapter, or maybe start a whole new book! Can I get an “AMEN!”?

I’m going to be doing just a few classes this fall. One is a simple and practical chain that has 3 lengths that can work together or individually. I made it years ago as camp-casual travel jewelry: always ready for anything, and always ready to add a dose of color.

This one is distinctly woodsy. Imagine chanterelle mushrooms, bark, and pale green walnut hulls.

Boho lengths
Bracelet, anklet, and a necklace. OR, a 5-wrap bracelet, OR a double-strand necklace, OR a belly chain, with extra to dangle (Kamarband).

Next is a pressed puff ring. I have been saving impressionables, like baby fern leaves, tiny Locust twigs, and wildflower buds and blooms. After pressing the dried bits into soft, or softened metal, you will form a hefty-looking ring with the help of some good math, and just the right sledge hammer. (I don’t want to give away all my secrets!)

The rings shown have been impressed with texture plates. The charm at the beginning of this article was impressed with a fine dried Locust branch. Either makes wonderful fun!

And finally, 6 lucky ducks will make some incredibly unique and exotic charms from an ancient Korean technique called Keum-boo. The sterling silver is heated to an exact temperature, determined by the blue color of the control steel on the heating surface. Then 14K gold is burnished to the surface, permanently bonding on a molecular level. The gold can be polished and worked after this process. We will be impressing textures, or stamping into the surface.

Hope to see you this fall!

Keum Boo is the permanent application of 14K gold to another metal. I have designed a class that elevates the beauty of distressed sterling, contrasting the gleam of gold. There will be opportunities to add dimension, and texture to your charm series. Look for Copper Keum-Boo coming soon.