Saturday, July 26, 2008

Girls' Night Out

Vintage buttons at the Cottage Jewel in Danville.
What's in your button jar? What can you do with it?

I have a stash of small found objects, bits and pieces that I haven't found a use for yet. I think now and then, "This would make a good necklace," or "Someday I'm going to use these to decorate the top of my jewelry box..." Instead of lamenting a broken china cup, I've begun to speculate how I can re-use pieces that are still beautiful with their hand-painted flowers and designs. I have jars and bowls of shells, sea glass, beads and broken baubles. I admire the frugality and ingeniousness of making something out of items others might consider useless.

Marcia Harmon, owner of the Cottage Jewel in Danville, shares my enthusiasm. In fact, she often holds workshops in her store every Thursday evening until 8pm. A sort of Girls' Night Out where people looking for ideas, tools and a few new skills gather and get creative. In June, for instance, they were introduced to bead embroidery and mosaics.

Other nights are devoted to showings of the work of local artists, such as jewelry maker Karen Rice. You can inspire yourself, adorn yourself... Or both! Sounds like more fun than Ladies' Night at the BoyToy Club, and you might have something to show for it in the morning besides a hangover.

Elegant one-of-a-kind beaded pendant by Karen Rice comes with its own display stand so it can be shown off for the unique work of art it is. See her selection at Cottage Jewel's store or website

Marcia is also the instigator of the new Heartland Danville Antiques & Art Faire, Labor Day Monday, Sept 1 at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley on Railroad Ave. Spaces are still available, she reports, and are going for the best prices around. Call for details, (925) 837-2664.

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