New Classes for March and April and a look back at 2014!

New classes for March and April! The new schedule is out and classes fill up fast as there is a max of 4 students per class! I love that I get to teach in a small group like this! It makes for a great learning experience for the student but also a great teaching experience for me! I have also made the decision to limit my teaching to 6 months out of the year! My teaching months will be Feb-Apr and Aug-Oct. This will allow me to focus the other 6 months of the year on my own work and learning experiences. I am learning that balance in my life is key. I love to give my time and knowledge to others but I also need to nourish my personal work and passion for learning. I think this is good for everyone! While I continue to grow as an artist I will have more to offer to you, my students, as well! NOTE: I will still be open to hosting a private party or class for a special event as well as open studio time. So please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested in these! To register for classes visit:

New class schedule for March and April! Max class size of 4! So Hurry! Register online:

New class schedule for March and April! Max class size of 4! So Hurry! Register online:

Looking back over the past year has made me realize two things. One that time goes by way too fast and two that a whole lot can happen in one year! As I take inventory of all that has happened my heart swells with gratitude. Thankfulness for all the people in my life that support my dream and that continue to encourage and push me to go further. Without all of you I could not continue to do what I love. I am beyond excited to see what this year has in store for my little piece of the world. I hope you continue to join me on this ride and see for yourself! Since it has been way too long since my last post…almost a year to be exact, I decided that a look back over the past year of my business was warranted. Here are some highlights:

Fun In the Studio!


Day One Leanne and Tammy and their finished projects!

It was so great to host two of my favorite people this week for a class in my new studio! Leanne (Assemblage Jewelry) and Tammy (Sunny Creek Jewelry) are fellow jewelers and close friends. I admire each of them for many different reasons and It was an honor to help them learn new skills to incorporate into their work.

The fun started on Sunday at the Minneapolis Gem Show! Amanda, Leanne, Tammy and I found lots of treasures and inspiration to fuel our work in the upcoming months! It is always so great to see all the familiar faces, peers and friends at the show. Everyone excited about the next treasure they might find. Even after going to this show for almost 10 years I still feel my heart race with anticipation of seeing the beautiful stones and finding that one (or 10, 😉  perfect things to add to my artist pallet. We even had a new addition to our little posse this year! Little Poppy, Amanda’s little bundle- only a year old! All in all we had a great time!


Old Treasures


Tables and tables of color!


My Favorite! TURQUOISE!


More cool OLD stuff!

Monday we got to work! I taught them how to create their own tube bezels to set faceted stones into their work. Leanne received a grant last year to advance her work and one of her goals was to learn new ways to set faceted stones into her work! She made two pairs of earrings and a pendant to get started! Tammy was excited to acquire a new tool in her belt to use in her designs. She made a beautifully simple ring for her daughter Gracie.

Leanne at work:)

Leanne at work:)

On Tuesday we covered Gypsy/ Flush setting. Leanne was a natural at this! Gypsy setting is tricky and takes a lot of patience. There is a lot of trial and error! The key here is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Leanne melted a bunch of my scrap from my Papel Picado series into little balls and we used those to make little pebble stacking rings. She set a CZ in hers! And she had time to make a special little ring for her grand daughter Tilly! We had a great day 2 in the studio! I think she is set to create some beautiful pieces for her up coming Gallery exhibition at the NAG (Northfield Arts Guild) this coming fall! I am so excited to see it!

All the Pieces coming together!

All the Pieces coming together!

stackable pebble rings

Completed stackable pebble rings


Fun stack I made for Kristina! She Loved it!

Reflecting today about the past couple days has helped me to know that it is more important than ever for me to continue to teach. In turn I have also realized that it is equally important for me to continue to learn! I have always loved teaching and I think I always will! My heart swells when I see my student succeed.  It’s my way of saying thank you to the universe for bringing this gift into my life. I also will always have something to learn. I get giddy when I get the chance to sign up for a class and have the chance to be on the other side of learning. It is a chance for me to play and grow too. I am looking forward to getting started on writing my first grant proposal to help me do more of both! I look forward to sharing more of that process with you all in the near future!

Go out and explore and learn something new today!

Let’s get personal

Words to remember!

Words to remember!

I can’t believe it’s almost APRIL. It seems as if I am always chasing time and I can’t seem to catch it! Growing two boys, two creatures, a relationship and a new studio is both a blessing and the challenge of a lifetime.

This morning I was inspired by another woman’s blog. The honesty and rawness in her blog imprinted on me and gave me the strength to start writing here. Her sharing her life reminded me that I am not alone and that there is always something to be hopeful about. Thank you Lisa Leonard!

This blog has primarily been about my work. I don’t usually share much about my personal life here but I think it’s time. I have feared that being totally honest and open on here for everyone to see would be to much. That it would make me too vulnerable. I am starting to realize that everything I do is all so interwoven. My personal and family life are at the core of my journey. When I try to keep everything so separate I start to feel insincere and less genuine. I am who I am, why try to hide that?

I have always believed that we as people carry a light in us. If that light is bright others are drawn to it, it warms them and feeds their soul. If it is dim, others can’t see them as well. They are left confused and wonder away. I feel that my light has been dim for a while now, my heart heavy with worry and sadness for things that I cannot control. I am usually able to stay positive despite the challenges that present themselves. But these past couple of years have pushed me past any limits I thought I had. They forced me to pull in. Hold tight to my children and close loved ones and create a tightly woven cocoon.

Good Point!

Good Point!

Amidst the struggles of being a single parent and raising two children with very different special needs, embarking on a journey with a partner to find and create a safe place to call home, and revitalizing a business, I am starting to feel my light return. Much like my anticipation for spring to finally arrive here in Minnesota after a long hard winter, I am ready to emerge from this tightly woven cocoon and begin again. Creating has always been an integral part of my light. It feeds me like nothing else. It has healed me and It has brought opportunities for new beginnings and special connections I would not otherwise have.

Now more than ever I feel like my studio is my “happy place.” It is a place where mistakes are opportunities and failure and worries are far from my mind. I am so thankful to have it right in my backyard. Being free of anxiety about being away from my children brings some much needed peace. I am looking forward. I am growing excitement in my heart for the good things to come.

These days I am working hard on developing new pieces for my lines and stocking my inventory for upcoming shows. My neck and fingers are sore from the intensity of the work but I am welcoming the pains of the bench and my mind and hands are full of energy once again! My newest line of jewelry, the PAPEL PICADO (cut paper art) series, is blooming day by day. I am even dreaming of new ides. When I dream about it I know I am on the right track! This series is so special to me because it originates from a tradition in my culture that has deep roots. It is a treasured folk art from Mexico that often involves complicated designs being transferred to tissue paper or other surfaces and then cut, or punched out with special tools by local artisans. These are then turned into banners or flags and used to decorate on special celebrations such as weddings, life celebrations, and holidays. To me they represent a reminder to celebrate life everyday.

Yreina of Ay Mujer at work!

/ Yreina of Ay Mujer at work!

Many contemporary papel picado artists like the amazing Yreina Ortiz of Ay Mujer! create much more elaborate designs and have taken to laser cutting their work in order to grow their businesses. For now I am enjoying the process of hand sawing out my designs in sterling silver with a tiny jeweler’s saw blade. The process is very slow and tedious but it helps calm my mind and fill my soul.

Follow me on Facebook/marisa or Intsagram/marisa to see my progress!