Free Jewelry Making Tutorial: Sterling Silver Wire S-Hook Clasp with Hammered Ends by Art Jewelry Magazine

One of the best ways to make your handcrafted beaded or wire work jewelry feel unique is to learn how to make your own clasps. Not only does a handcrafted clasp add a personal touch, but it saves on material costs. This free jewelry making tutorial from Art Jewelry Magazine demonstrates how to take 14 gauge sterling silver wire and turn it into an S-Hook clasp with hammered ends. It's super simple and only takes a few tools -- chasing hammer, steel bench block, round nose pliers, and needle file. 

One helpful tip is that when you are first learning how to make clasps, practice your technique on less expensive materials such as copper wire and then when you feel more confident switch to sterling silver.

The Enlightening Mat: Paying for Yoga Class & Paying for Peace

strings of peace

For fifteen years I never paid for a yoga class. I thought paying for yoga was a silly expense when I was on a starving artist budget. I bought books, watched DVDs, listened to audio tapes, etc. To me yoga was the equivalent of running or riding a bike. If I can do it on my own, why should I pay someone to teach me?

Then I moved to Portland, Oregon, where it's always wet and cold...well except for maybe that one glorious week in August, and I had to find a way to stay warm. I love saunas and had done Bikram yoga before so it was pretty easy to sell myself on the idea of going to a 105 degree hot room a couple times a week to feel like a warm-blooded creature again.

Nevertheless, even after I had justified the expense in my head with things like the heat and the fact that I no longer needed to see my chiropractor, acupuncturist, and massage therapist for lower back pain, beyond self-care my second reason for paying for yoga is the extraordinary opportunity to contribute to building a community of like-minded people. Togetherness in the yoga room is a highly comforting concept to me.

When I tell people I do Bikram yoga 5 or 6 times a week, I imagine seeing the dollar signs registering in their heads. However, it's actually pretty affordable if you have a regular on-going practice. On a monthly or yearly package I can take yoga class every day for about $4.00 probably less than the price of a Starbucks latte and muffin. In the end the savings is more then you can imagine because I rarely get sick, only see a doctor for preventative care, never need a gym membership, and no longer spend money on things like Advil and chiropractors for muscle and joint pain.

If you aren't sold on how it can actually save you money in the long run by investing in your well-being, then here's another thing that might peak your interest. Where in the world can you spend 90 minutes with a group of people who are all moving their minds and bodies in one direction -- peace? To me this is worth paying for and experiencing over and over again.

The Enlightening Mat is a blog series exploring moments of awareness that come to Beth Hemmila while practicing Bikram Yoga.

New E-Book Asymmetry Made Easy by Lorelei Eurto

I saw Lorelei Eurto's e-book Asymmetry Made Easy on her blog the other day and thought it was such a clever class to teach. After watching art students scratch their heads over the concept of asymmetry and feeling completely inadequate as a teacher to give them tools to make it understandable, finding a resource like Lorelei Eurto's e-book is quite a treat.

I get so jazzed when someone can take an elusive subject and make it simple and doable. That's what Lorelei does with her new e-book Asymmetry Made Easy. If you make jewelry, you will walk away with definite tools to change your designs from symmetrical to asymmetrical. Through her book you will "have a better understanding of how the unbalance creates balance in a piece of jewelry."

In her e-book Asymmetry Made Easy, Lorelei Eurto reveals tips such as thinking about the size of beads, using different textures, and how to choose placement for elements. Things that I like best about Asymmetry Made Easy is her "Think in Threes" concept, starting with a symmetrical design and changing it to asymmetrical, and her killer asymmetrical diagrams that pretty much make the process a no-brainer.

As always, Lorelei Eurto's jewelry inspires, so you won't be lacking for gorgeous eye candy in her design examples as well as some of her suggested links for exploring color palettes. Even if you don't create jewelry, I'm thinking Asymmetry Made Easy could be a creative resource for other design pursuits like painting, knitting, gardening, cooking, writing, etc. Lorelei Eurto has made asymmetry accessible to everyone!

Hint Jewelry Spring Charms Back In Stock

sterling silver charms hint jewelry
sterling silver charms Hint Jewelry

I just received a new batch of charms that had been out of stock at Hint Jewelry. Here's a picture of some of the charms that had disappeared over the last several months. Just for spring and summer, I brought back my sun, daisy, bee, snake, ladybug, fox, plum blossom, and gazelle.

Also featured is my dragon charm in honor of 2012 the Chinese Year of the Dragon.

Raw Food Recipe: Olive Caper Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade

olive caper sun-dried tomato tapenade
When you're looking to increase your raw food intake, blended spreads are a great way to add variety to your salad-filled life. You can dollop it on cut veggies like carrots, celery, and cucumber, stuff fresh mushrooms with it, or spread it on leafy greens like lettuce, kale, and chard for a quick sandwich-like wrap.

Marinated items such as olives and capers are part of the raw foodie diet and add quite a lot of zing to dishes, so I've been enjoying this tapenade recipe that I adapted from the cookbook Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. It keeps for about a week in the refrigerator, so making a big batch and then eating it for snacks and lunches can make your life almost cooking free for several days. It's also perfect for taking to parties and sharing with friends. 

Raw Food Recipe: Olive Caper Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade  
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup green ripe pitted olives, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes softened in warm water & drained
1 1/2 cups stemmed parsley
3/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons lemon juice

Throw everything in a food processor and blend until a smooth consistency. Store in the refrigerator.

[On Sale!] Everything Bracelet: "Perfect Match"

 "Perfect Match"
DSK Jewelry Everything Bracelet
7" .925 Italian Sterling Silver Heart Link
Engraved Silver DSK Jewelry Tag
Swarovski Crystals, Swarovski Pearls
*One Available*
On Sale: $75
Free Shipping Worldwide

I would like to give a special thanks to Angela from the DSK Jewelry Facebook Page for naming this bracelet for me! ^_^

Flower Garden Necklace

"Flower Garden 16" Necklace"
16" (40cm) .925 Sterling Silver Heart Link Necklace
Engraved Silver DSK Jewelry Tag
Swarovski Crystals

DSK Signature Heart Necklace! Free Shipping!

DSK Signature Heart Necklace!
18" (45cm) .925 Sterling Silver Necklace
Engraved Silver DSK Jewelry Trademark Tag
Swarovski Crystal Heart
[SALE]: $39

I'm offering free worldwide shipping on this necklace! ^_^
Thank you for visiting!

Free Beginning Jewelry Making Tutorial: Basic Wire Loop

Beaducation Free Jewelry Making Tutorial: Basic Wire Loop

If you're just starting out stringing beads and making your own jewelry. You may want to learn a few wire techniques to add variety to your designs. Beaducation has a great FREE video tutorial for how to make basic wire loops online. You can play it by clicking here. The class goes over how to use tools and solving common problems. This simple wire technique is perfect for connecting beads together to make necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

The Enlightening Mat: Changing Your Grip in Yoga

Blossom of Change: Beth Hemmila

What happens when you change your grip?

It's such a tiny detail, but the way you grip your hands in yoga class can often be a habit that doesn't help to balance your body. Are you a lefty or a righty? Does your brain resist changing your grip in yoga class to having your left thumb in front of your right?

I've been playing with changing my grip in Bikram yoga particularly during the half moon pose when you bend your body sideways to the right and left. Boy, it can be a painful stretch in the morning and sticking with my happy little method of letting my right hand dominate everything that I do is easy and comfortable.

Nevertheless, I've been knitting more these days and my right forearm has felt a worn-out so on the spur of the moment I decided to switch my grip and see if letting my left hand take the lead provided any relief. I did feel better, but even more then the muscle relief I noticed my stretch was different -- a little bit deeper and with straighter arms.

Sometimes you never know what is lurking in your non-dominant hand. If you are right-handed then this would be your left and vice versa. In my book Lemonade Mantras, I incorporated an exercise adapted from Lucia Capacchione’s The Power of Your Other Hand: A Course in Channeling the Inner Wisdom of the Right Brain where you tap into the voice of your inner child by writing with your non-dominant hand. This exercise is something I employ weekly in my journal as a way to be more creative.

Other ways Capacchione encourages you to balance out your right brain is by taking mundane tasks and doing them with your non-dominant hand. This can be both hilarious and utterly frustrating when you attempt to brush your teeth, cook, get dressed, talk on the phone, etc. It's a small adventure that has a huge impact.

Remember watching a friend who broke their favored arm switching to do everything with their non-dominant hand? For awhile your friend may have been floundering, but soon he or she were naturals, adapting to their new methods. Your friend was expanding the flexibility of their brain and the motor skills of their body all at the same time.

You can do this in yoga class to create better balance and alignment. You can do this with your writing to find deeper insights. And you can do it by changing simple tasks like drying your hair, making the bed, or even switching your mouse to the other side of your keyboard to see another side of yourself. Whatever you choose to do, I hope your non-dominant hand takes the lead once in awhile so as to "surprise yourself" and delight in blossoms of change.

The Enlightening Mat is a blog series exploring moments of awareness that come to Beth Hemmila while practicing Bikram Yoga.

Raw Food Recipe: Mango Peach Strawberry Smoothie

mango, peach, strawberry smoothie

I love fresh peach cobbler in the summer, and this smoothie was my substitute for delicious flavor early in the season! This raw food smoothie is really tasty if you put more strawberries then the mango and peaches. I used frozen fruit, but if you happened to have fresh then all the better. From all the great comments I've been receiving lately, I boosted my intake of omega-3 fatty acids by adding some ground flax seeds to this smoothie. Enjoy!

Raw Food Recipe for Mango Peach Strawberry Smoothie:
Ground Flax Seeds



Wake Elizabethan Green Night

A brocade like necklace, with patterns and texture, soft green and creams, with bold onyx faceted drops. $65

Announcing! graphic

I'm so excited to announce the launch of my new website,! I've been working on it steadily over the past few months so it feels wonderful to finally share the results.

Some of the features include a Portfolio of past and present designs, detailed information on requesting a Custom Order, a Client Gallery, an in-depth About page, and an Online Shop. My online shop currently has a selection of new designs from my Spring/Summer 2012 Bridal Collection, with more to be added soon. I've also integrated many of the pages into my blog, so you can click onto them from the navigation bar at the top of this site. I'd love to hear what you think!

Happy Spring--

Mother's Day Sale: 25% OFF Hint Charms and Jewelry

personalized mother and child sterling silver charm necklace, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry)

To be a mother takes a lot of love, courage, patience, wisdom, perseverance... I could probably list about twenty more adjectives, but I'll stop there!! Being a mother is an incredible undertaking and often this valuable contribution goes without recognition.

In honor of all mothers, from today until Mother's Day, Sunday, May 13th, you are invited to take 25% off your entire purchase of Hint Jewelry charms, chains, leather cord, and gemstones by entering the following Hint Jewelry Coupon Code during your checkout process in Etsy:


During checkout from Hint Jewelry in Etsy look for the blue link in the payment section titled "Apply shop coupon code" (see picture below). Click on this link and in the empty field type the word MOTHER. To review more detailed instructions for redeeming a shop coupon code click here.

Please note that 25% will be taken off your entire purchase except shipping costs. I am unable to apply a 25% discount after your order has processed through PayPal, so be sure to enter the Coupon Code MOTHER in the correct Etsy field before proceeding to payment.

personalized mother and child sterling silver charm necklace, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry)

There are so many ways to describe the symbols of motherhood and family. Here are a few examples from my new Build Your Own Mother & Child Personalized Necklace to inspire the celebration.

personalized mother and child sterling silver charm necklace, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry)

This one would be perfect for the yoga mom who shares her joy with everyone!

personalized mother and child sterling silver charm necklace, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry)

A mother who is always the first one to help someone in need lives by this sentiment:

When sacred intent becomes action in the world, your heart and hands are unified through one divine force – kindness. Put your helping hands to work and let your love, goodwill, and charity shine forth on others.  - Beth Hemmila

personalized mother and child sterling silver charm necklace, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry)

The gift of life is precious and like a tree spreads its branches out to shelter and nourish you in ways unimaginable. May you delight in honoring the mothers in your life!
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