Studio Evolution

Where Magic Happens

I’ve see it! This space has held creativity and I’ve watched it ignite. It has been the backdrop to that spark that flares in the presence of an aesthetic challenge.

Jump ahead to see 2 sites every creative person will love!

It boggles my mind and can drain my enthusiasm at times, but my happy little garage has played the part of storage container, she-shed, party room, studio, and even garage…sometimes in frighteningly fast succession.

Covid-19 surreality, is a mental, political, logistic, economic, and health crisis that we WILL overcome. Still, nearly everyday I catch myself planning things that would tempt fate. Craving to create with others safely has launched JOE’S Garage into a studio evolution.

But gone are the days of quaint rafters and bare sheetrock. No more elbow to elbow crafting under one big fluorescent light. Social distancing brings a new opportunity to clean up and reinvent.

It has taken several false starts to settle into my current more open floor plan. The drawing board that I kept returning to was not a figure of speech. I rearranged every post-it note fixture over and over. One plan allowed 8 students spaced out along the walls, one allowed a car.

It started with a fresh coat of paint. I wanted a sky of tiny rice lights against a comfy blue ceiling, while still able to flood the work areas with excellent lighting surrounded by a clean and friendly glow.

I removed all non-essential everything, and replaced many buckets and stacks with cupboards and drawers. The result is wider passage and happier tools. Tim finished off a hidden mystery door into a anteroom for canvases and my own fuse box—very convenient. I have added wheels to several pieces allowing flexibility, too.

I settled on 2 work stations, plus my hutch bench, with wiggle room for more.

Yes, I’m breathing easier now, with my studio’s cosmetic upgrades, and from my new extractor ventilation fan moving over 400 cfm! I have been wanting this for some time. We can comfortably and safely solder all winter with the garage door up or down.

You will see most of my CLASSES listed as before. What has changed is class size. Think intimate: small groups of one or two, and each class will be individually scheduled, so you can choose a time that works for you.

You can’t see it very well, intentionally, but I’m wearing a full face shield.

Today JOE’S Garage is more inviting than ever, safer than ever, and open for business! 🇺🇸

I will continue teaching through Community Ed, and utilizing ZOOM, and Youtube to reach those beyond my studio.

You have been my light at the end of this tunnel. I hope you will find your path through with the help of creative outlets, from the support of other humans and the comfort of furry friends, and from the confidence we all feel from level-headed doers who jump in and care for us, or protect us, or plan for our safe and secure future.

I’ve felt your support over the past months. Know that I am here for you, too! Thank you especially for Kim York, who supports me on Patreon; Ali Ecklund, Deb Haar, and Nancy Hurley for helping me feel the creative love whenever that spirit calls, as well as Andy Bacharach for that and all the ways she keeps my studio producing and populated! And I am thankful for Sioux Falls Community Ed (and Melanie Erickson—remember the Bead Co.?), that shines above all my twinkle lights to spread healing to our distance-weariness.

I’m also thankful for these creative roads less traveled that never disappoint. These websites always take me somewhere I never imagined, and leave me contemplating something new. MyModernMet and

I’d love to hear what you’re thankful for!

Stay well, my masked crafters!

January at JOE’S

It’s a new year, a new decade, and a fresh time to feed your right brain. Get ready because great things are beginning. Couples are encouraged, bring the kids, find your ME zone, or share with friends! There are many ways to add value to your life at JOE’S Garage—February will bring cozy crafts. Watch for what interests you and register to reserve your spot. Class sizes are always small, personal attention is what it’s about.

Japanese Apron

February 5, 2020, 6PM

You’ve been to  JOE’S Garage. Jewelry is probably not your only thing. I get that, I’m like that, too. When the jewelry studio is a bit chilly I focus on cozy things.
Sewing is one of those things for me. Aprons really work, and I love a functional apron, that protects and carries, and looks good while doing it. Jewelry designers, as well as cooks, crafters, shoppers, and gardeners, will love my Japanese Apron! Its no-closure design, straight seams, and easy construction, make it a pleasure to sew. The design is one of my favorites, a stylish wardrobe go-to in 100% linen, making it beautiful and incredibly durable.

Wear your apron with jeans and a T just for fashion.  Choose from two solid colors: Sand Dove, and Blue Autumn. Please request other colors if you have a preference! Share the Japanese Apron Facebook Event with your sewing friends. 

Once you complete your Japanese Apron, you may be interested in a new EMBROIDERY PRIMERMarch 18, 6PM, offered through ComEd. Crewel embroidery is fast and unfussy. Learn key stitches in this class, and then use them to charm the pants off your apron! Apron charming not required!

If you are receiving this as an email it is because of the great time we had together at JOE’S Garage, or through a mutual meeting of creativity and sharing that helped you find your way to my list. It’s all in the MAKING, and I thank you for your past support!

TOP 10 Things to do at OPEN STUDIO

OPEN STUDIOS are for you, students of JOE’S Garage. Use the tools you know, connect with other artists (like yourself), and leave the expense out of this fun you-time out!

Consider doing this at an OPEN STUDIO:

  1. Put the finishing touches on ANY JOE’S Garage class project because you couldn’t finish in time since Natalie has parameter challenges.
  2. Go for a TUMBLE, because it’s so darn fun to clean ANY silver jewelry with steel pellets!
  3. GLOW in the Creative Vibe.
  4. Add a brand spanking new satin finish to a dingy old charm.
  5. LISTEN to Imagine Dragons Pandora Station.
  6. ROUND out ANY ring while taking out your pent up frustrations, with the use of one of the Studio’s Featured Mallets.
  7. FIX or REPLACE jump rings and clasps on ALL your jewelry. I have lots of chain, clasps, & ear wires. Do it DIY or do it Old School: BUY IT.
  8. RESET a stone.
  9. RE-CREATE a lost earring, or make a charm bracelet with all your Onesies.
  10. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THIS? I can make a brooch with a handmade PIN BACK!

Or, make something completely NEW! I can set you up!

Check the calendar for the next OPEN STUDIO.

Classes pictured above: Aluminum Kisses,
Enameled Wave Spinner, Forever Bracelet.

C’mon, Gang!

C’mon, GANG! Give me everything you’ve got. Load up on arm candy in every flavor. Ganging up textures and maximizing mass is artistically satisfying, and just plain FUN!

Shown from left : Twisted Loop Cuff silver, and copper, Tapered Finial Cuff, Etched Clasp/Catch Clasp Collectibles, Crash Bangle, One-Off Bracelet, Ball + Loop Bangles, Knotted Cord, and Charm Tapered Finial Cuff.

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved to wear multiples. Rings, bracelets, anklets, or necklaces seem to enjoy being together…on my wrist, or ankle, or wherever. It started with braided plastic gymp, embroidery floss, and thongs (be careful with that one!). But the aesthetic was not restricted to hobby store materials, it worked even better the higher up the precious scale you could climb. Pop culture chains, or fine jewelry pearls, equally got better when hanging out together.

Hope Milner, Bohemian Bracelets

In checking out Etsy offerings I found the lovely Hope Milner, owner of Bohemian Bracelets. She has a charming business story and a focused collection of bracelets that would play wonderfully with …everything I own!

I chose this bracelet group not only because it has an inspired palette, and had that Bohemian Je ne sais quoi that I love, but also because it comes as a set, and when not used as the striking 10-stack ensemble, I imagined how it would perfect a silver bangle grouping, with just the right amount of frosting. Just keep adding bohemian bands until you’re in Nirvana.

They are surprisingly reasonably priced. Check out her entire line!

10 Stretch Bracelets

10 Stretch Bracelets by Hope Milner

Ross + Simons caught my eye with their BOLO BRACELETS. you know how I can’t resist a little drape and dangle—many in their collection had both. For me this is a good example of what I’ve been missing, and I’m glad I stumbled on it. I now see that does carry slider clasps, so we may have to travel a little further down this path.

When I searched for Lisa Leonard bracelets to stack on PINTEREST; because I love her, her story, her artistic style… I found her wonderful stacking children’s name rings—which I do love, but chose to don blinders for this BRACELET story.

I continued to  Pinterest’s suggestion of Lizzy James bracelets. These wrap bracelets have everything I love: a little textural contrast, a rugged yet feminine brutalisms, and even a little dangle in the Handmade tag. I also like that they use some very creative knotting without overdoing it…such a simple, yet important balance. I’d love to pair this with my INSIDE THE BOXCHAIN bracelet!

Community education in Sioux Falls is offering about 11 different bracelet classes in their Summer Catalog (see a PDF of the current catalog here) from various artist instructors. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 53364401_10155964438091630_5150636240059498496_o.jpg

Acorn19/Bead Co.’s Ladder Bracelet Class through Sioux Falls Community Ed, with instructor and store owner Melanie Erickson, is coming up!

Her store has been in downtown Sioux Falls for 19 years, and is where I began having faith in my own jewelry design. Look for her on Etsy, and Facebook.

Several of the Community Ed projects can be either bracelets or necklaces. I speak FLEXIBLE—bring it on! One of my favorite jewelry situations is to multi-wrap a necklace into a bracelet. I will also use magnetic clasps so one long strand is comprised of a bracelet, an anklet, and a short necklace as in the <a href=”http://<a href=”http://

<a href=”http://<a href=”http://“>Whitney Chain. The best of both worlds!

When you GANG UP is it with leather and metals, beads and chains, found objects and fabric strips? Let the creativity flow!

If you have a favorite gang, snap a pic and I’ll post it here!

Thanks for viewing!

Much love and precious elemental dreams,



What a joy! What a blessing! It’s the season to celebrate family, belonging, and unity.

Silve spinner rings

Gather your sisters and mothers, your brothers and uncles, and what the heck bring your friends and neighbors too!

We hunger to surround ourselves with loved ones, but the house-guest honeymoon only lasts a short while. Share an experience with your family— together. Check out these possibilities!

Try soldered jewelry, guided painting, and ingenious Cicuit Sewing classes…or have something special designed just for your group, during your time frame.

Don’t let the short time you have with family fritter away. Make a plan, lock in a date at JOE’S Garage. Join the Google calendar for easy info on classes! Show those dear humans that you value your time with them. I promise you’ll savor the memories forever. (I take pictures!)

Click here to email me.

PMC Empath Ring

Among the new techniques added to JOE’S Garage is Precious Metal Clay—that magical substance that molds like dough, but fires into fine silver works of tiny art.

Slow drying PMC Silver clay is used to mold a memory into fine silver. After curing you will slowly torch fire the dull gray into lustrous fine silver, heating away the organic binder.

You may impress stamps into the soft clay, as in the photo. Names, symbols, leaves, and thumbprints are some possibilities. You may choose, as I have, my Grow Peace stamp as a texture.

Check the calendar for times, and REGISTER for this 2-part class.