Added Open Studios in November

I have added 5 possible open studios in November. Please text me “OPEN STUDIO” and the date(s) you’d like to attend to hold that date open. The first three dates that get interest will remain on the calendar.

Thursday, November 2, 6:00-7:30
Friday, November 3, 6:00-7:30
Thursday, November 9, 6:00-7:30
Wednesday, November 15, 6:00-7:30
Friday, November 17, 6:00-7:30

open studios are back

If you have ever taken a jewelry class at JOE’S Garage you are welcome to come to scheduled OPEN STUDIOS. Use my studio to work on current class projects, past class projects, and even personal projects as long as you’re using tools you’ve used. I will be working on my projects right by your side.

Need a little something? Bring a buck for the Studio Consumables Jar. $1 will buy whatever solder, compounds, or blades you might need.

The season is mostly done, but I feel there will be a couple more closed-door sessions (cold). This reminds me: If it’s cold, knock on the garage door, or call/text. If I have an announcement or update you will see a post here.

It’s great to be back. See you at the Garage.

Pointer’s Ridge Pre-post

Here is my plein air take on Deb Klebanoff’s The Retreat at Pointer’s Ridge in Baltic.

A few of us have been planning and prepping for months to take our “craft” out to the solitude of the Retreat, because Melanie of Community Ed dreamed of getting mind and body creatives together where everyone can benefit from the NATURE and the NURTURE that can happen.

And now we are here, it’s on Saturday! As of this writing there are 3 spots open!

If you’re reading this via JOE’S Garage I know you’ll love this day.

There is an easy schedule of mind-pampering, and body-friendly things to do from 8:30am to 4pm. It’s all geared for a WELL you. Attend at will, or wander:

8:30AM Morning Mingle

9:00AM Gentle Yoga Stretch & Meditation with Maria Travers. I am looking forward to this already! I have gotten away from yogo, but to get back to it at the grounds of the Retreat will be amazing.

10:30AM Intro to Journaling Techniques and Journal Creations by Bound to Journal. I saw these very creative journals, they’re created from unusual repurposed pages, and they guide you through—you’ll never have artists block again!

12:00PM Lunch and Learn – Bring your lunch! Enjoy a dessert created for you by local author Lonnette Kelley. She will be discussing her culinary travels in her book Day Trips. I love to travel, too but I’m sad to say I have not explored our area more. Day trips sounds like a meaningful and yummy plan!

1:30PM Painting en Plein Air with Natalie Sorenson— that’s me! Think Bubbles, Blooms and Clouds. Be happy to sit inside with a view to paint, or paint shoulder to shoulder with me just outside, or take a pochade box out into the wild—just be back in time for Boho Bracelets!

3:00PM Boho Bracelets with Acorn19, this is Melanie—I won’t let you miss this jewelry lover’s treat!

4-5 Mix & Mingle around the grounds.

Hope to see you there!

Fall 2023 Community Ed Classes at JOE’S Garage

All of these classes, Painting and Jewelry, will be available through the Sioux Falls Community Ed Catalog, and online in September 2023. If you have any questions about what I will cover during one of these classes, please message me and I will tell you everything you want to know!


12 Wet Watercolor Washes
Dive into the wonderful wet world of watercolor by adding these flowing backgrounds to your watercolor knowledge. These studies illustrate 12 unique ways to let water and pigment make magic on paper. After, choose 4 to make into artistic note cards!

Watch the video and then take the class!
Arches 9” x 12” Watercolor paper, juicy brushes and quality paint make this the watercolor experience you need to fall in love.

$38 Class Fee, 11/7/23 or 11/8/23  6PM-8PM

Wet Techniques that WORK
9 Watercolor tricks! Dab a perfect cloud, sprinkle frost, and blow bubbles! Each technique is perfectly paired with a likely application in these small studies. Keep the cheat sheet as is, or choose 4 to make into artistic note cards.

Watch the video and take the class!
Arches 9” x 12” Watercolor paper, juicy brushes and quality paint make this the watercolor experience that will change you forever!

$38 Class Fee, 11/1/23, 11/10/23, or 11/11/23 6PM-8PM

Oil Painting Masters START. HERE.
On a medium stretched canvas in a color-controlled exercise, explore techniques of blending, the uses of stand oil, and how to use a mop brush to achieve velvety softness. Use a palette knife to blend and apply paint in starkly contrasting textures. Finally, choose to glaze areas to vignette or alter the mood, or add a shock of metallic to give your work that certain pop! Your finished work will be a framable abstract landscape.

$39 Class Fee, 11/18/23 or 11/21/23 6PM-8PM

Itsy Bitsy Oil Painting
Explore a tiny world in oil. Pastoral or urban, we will block it out, and choose colors that create teeny tiny depth in your creation. Your canvas board doubles as a magnet, and your class fee covers the cost of your painting’s own itsy bitsy easel, too! (Frame not included)

$39 Class Fee, 11/25/23 or 11/28/23 6PM-8PM

Brain to Brush Oil Painting
Overcome whatever is standing in the way of your inner Ingres. If your van Gogh got up and went, if you want to express yourself and you can’t show me the Monet, this beginning painting class will guide you through the steps to complete a work of art! You will learn to work one color into another. Blending is the goal of this small scale first-try painting. Everything will be provided, including a tiny display easel.

$39 Class Fee, 11/14/23 or 11/16/23 6PM-8PM


Chain Gang #1: PAPERCLIP
Soldering and advanced techniques combine to create a one-of-a-kind bracelet of solid sterling silver links. Coveted ARGENTIUM will be used for strong, almost tarnish-free links. The PAPERCLIP link begins as a circle, and is pulled into shape after soldering. This gives unlimited levels of elongation, and design control, to the links. Choose from magnetic, traditional, and jig-made clasps.

$44 Class Fee, 10/10/23, 10/14/23, or 10/24/23 6PM-8PM

Also known as Whitney BOHO and Autumn Lengths, this extremely versatile jewelry concept cleverly combines 3 lengths of beaded chain to create an ensemble that takes you from summer festival to SOHO soiré. A bracelet, anklet and necklace combine to make a single dramatic chain, approximately 36” long, or a multi-wristwrap. Share the love! Bring a friend, I’ll supply the vibe. Try the ARGENTIUM NO-BEAD option for a more elegant presentation.  

Beaded Copper $42 Class Fee, Un-beaded Argentium Silver $55 Class Fee,
10/17/23 or 10/21/23 6PM-8PM

Square Forged Cuff
Blow torch­—quench—beat the anneal right outta that thing—REPEAT. Take out your frustrations on this hefty 4 gauge copper cuff. Hammer in edgy angles and personality using specialty hammers and anvils. Finish with files and rotary tools. This piece can be fire painted and varnished, or left to age naturally.

$38 Class Fee, 9/26/23 or 9/30/23 6PM-8PM

All Hallows Charms
On this night of saints and calaveras make two charms: a sweet sugar skull and a textured twisted cross. Learn to use some awesome jewelry studio tools! You will use the rolling mill, do some stamping, punching and dapping, and one solder joint.

$46 Class Fee, 10/27/23 or 10/31/23 (Trick or Treat!) 6PM-8PM

in Progress

In preparation for one of my spring painting classes I’m putting myself through a 3-day, 6 hour oil painting. A labor of love. My goal for this class is first to invite would-be oil painters to the easel, and next, to offer a win—an end product to love, by starting from yummy source material.

Heavy on impact on a sofa scale, I am using a 30″ x 40″ canvas, and limiting my colors. The painting is sure to please—me at least, since it is born of an image I love.

I shot the source image of a spent dandelion, and then filtered it to obscure it.

Soft layers of blended drama create almost effortless nuance. This work-in-progress represents Day 1 and Day 2. Slide the image divider to see SOURCE PHOTO on the left and OIL PAINTING on the right.

In the subsequent class students will see works by Georgia O’Keeffe whose florals offer many wonderful examples of the techniques I feel can progress any artist’s development.

Look for my this class and all my SPRING Painting offerings in the 2023 Sioux Falls Community Ed Catalog.

Try these painting classes NOW

Jump right in by yourself, or bring 3 friends for a group rate!

Abstract Painting

Mini Oil Painting

Getting the Glow


South Dakota in Oils

Impressivism (like IMPRESSIONISM)

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.