Meet Sheri Murray from Glass Matrix

This week I am introducing you to Sheri Murray from Glass Matrix who lives in Duluth, MN with her daughter.  Sheri makes our glass necklace pendents, earrings, bracelets, and hair clips.
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How did you get started making glass jewelry?
Glass jewelry was a natural progression of learning how to play with glass.  I took a stained glass class back in 2000 and was hooked on glass as a medium.  From there I learned how to fuse glass (which is how I make my jewelry) and made plates, vases and naturally jewelry came out of it because I would have small scraps I didn’t want to waste.

You say your favorite color is dichroic. Can you explain what that is to folks?
Dichroic is technically the type of glass, not necessarily a color.  It comes in lots of colors.  Dichroic means 2-color, you will notice this when you hold it.  If you move the piece, the color seems to change.  This processes was invented by NASA.  It is a way of depositing metal oxides onto glass. Each oxide brings a new color to the party.  If you have ever seen the space helmets with the orangey shield, that is dichroic coating.

How is your jewelry made?
Each piece is cut, ground, fired in a kiln, re-ground and re-fired by me.  I start off with sheets of glass and using a straight edge I cut the square shapes. If I want an irregular piece I will use mosaic snips.  After my pieces are cut, I may grind the edges so they are a bit smoother.  Once they are shaped as I like, I will stack the pieces and put into my kiln.  There are numerous temperatures I fire my glass at. Each one gives me the flexibility to melt it entirely or leave some dimension to it. Each piece may be fired up to 3 times and takes about 12 hours to complete one cycle.

Out of everything you’ve crafted/created so far, what is your favorite and why?
I have made some large bowls that I use at home.  Those are fun.  Of course I love the earrings and pendants because the colors catch our eye and people always comment on how colorful they are.

There have been a few projects though that meant a lot.  I am able to encase cremains into glass beads.  Using this technique I have made Pandora style beads for people.  I made a set of 3 for a gentleman and his sisters.  Each had a simple yellow rose design on it (that was their mother’s fav flower.)

Do you still make the glass jewelry? If not, are you working on anything now?
I do make some from time to time. I always have ideas in my head, I just need the time to sit down and create.  Currently I am a single mom, working full time (55+ hours during tax season) and going back to school. I am not sure what I want to be when I grow up but I have to start somewhere.

If you have new work, can you explain what got you started on something new?
I have been taking metalsmithing classes for my art requirement.  I have always wanted to learn how to incorporate metal with my glass so why not take a hands on class.  I have made rings and pendants and I can’t wait till I find some time so I can create some for the shop.

Is this a full time goal?
I wish!  Of course I would love to do art full time but right now I have to take care of other things.

Anything else you’d like to include?
I do love creating and collaborating with others.  I have worked with blacksmiths & leathersmiths to add my glass to their projects.  There is always something that makes my mind wander and sparks a little glimmer of artsy insanity.

Do you have a Facebook page for your business? If so what is it?
I have actually changed my business name (and am in the process of another re-vamp) but my Facebook page is under Glass Matrix.  Unfortunately I have not updated it in a while (divorce and life will do that to ya) but there are some example of past items.  Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or have an idea of a special project.

Sheri’s Facebook page can be found here:  https://www.facebook.com/Glass-Matrix-292227347696/

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Hello Crafty B aka Laura Bachschneider

This week let me introduce you to Crafty B other wise known as Laura Bachschneider!  Seriously have no idea how this lovely lady finds time to do the number of crafty items she does as she works full time and has some very active high schoolers!  Laura lives in Virginia, MN with her hubby and two daughters.

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Where do you get your craftiness from?
I’ve always been interested in how things are created. I watched my mom and grandma sew, knit and crochet. I never figured out how to do any of those things, but branched out in other areas.

How do you come up with what you make?
My family and I used to own Country Roads in the late 1990’s- early 2000’s and I really loved going to market and spotting the trends. I still like researching what is up and coming and try to adapt those concepts to what would work for people I know.

Can you give us an idea of what types of things you make?
I do all types of small scale vinyl and embroidery. I do lots of custom work. My most popular sellers are the character hooded bath towels, dish towels, whimsical socks, and custom ornaments. I customize lots of items such as a variety of cups, picture frames, and clothing.

How do you craft while working a full time job, and having very active children?
It is a definite juggling act and I have been known to drop a ball or two. My husband Paul is great at household tasks freeing up time for me. My daughters Holly and Annie also help out by assisting with craft shows and with many of the projects. We have “all hands on deck” during busy times or when there is a big order due.

How long have you been crafting?
I suppose since I was a teenager– in some form or another.

What are some of your favorite things to make?
Anything with the poop emoji makes me laugh 💩. I also love custom work that people order for friends and themselves. Its heartwarming to know a little piece of what you did will be cherished by someone.

What’s your favorite crafting machine? Embroidery Machine, Cricut, Heat press, etc?
I can’t play favorites– it could hurt their feelings and then they will misbehave. Yes– they are like kids to me. I treat them with love hoping they will not behave badly. Nothing worse than a machine down!

Anything else you’d like to include about you and your craftiness that you want folks to know?
I’m so very thankful to all my loyal customers and I love what I do. It’s so wonderful for our community to have a store like Smith’s Infusion where artists and crafters can showcase their talents.

Thank you to Laura for taking time out of her very chaotic schedule to answer some questions for us!  You can follow Laura’s Craftiness on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/craftybach/  and as always when new work is added to the shop you can check out Smith’s Infusion’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/smithsinfusion/

Jill from Gilley’s Naturals

This week we are introducing you to Jill Gilley owner and mastermind behind Gilley’s Naturals of Cook, MN.  Jill makes all natural products as well as sells Essential Oils.
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Can you tell me how you got started making the items that became Gilley’s Naturals?
A friend encouraged me to make skin care things when she heard about some herbal remedies I was putting together. She thought something a little more “user friendly” for everyone could be a big hit since she was just beginning to be interested in natural products.

Your items are all natural?
Most things are all natural, some organic. If they aren’t completely natural, they are definitely healthier & safer than the store options! 

How so?
They are free from harmful ingredients that are known to be toxic or carcinogenic. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates all ingredients and we never use anything with a rating that is considered unsafe.

Why do you make all natural vs the other option?
Our environment is toxic enough as it is. Since our skin is the biggest organ on our body, what we put on it and what’s absorbed is important! We should be careful not add more to the load we encounter every day.

How do you decide what to make all natural?
Generally I look at things used regularly and try to make them healthier & less harmful, even more helpful! Then research what I want that product to do and find natural alternatives for the unnatural ingredients in them.

You also sell Essential Oils.  Can you tell me about them?
Gilley’s oils are therapeutic grade, undiluted and harvested from ethical farms that don’t use pesticides or chemicals. We buy from a huge wholesaler in bulk.
How do you choose where to get them from?
 We basically buy from the same company because we’ve become so impressed with their quality and integrity over the past 10 years.

Are they 100% pure?
 
yes  
How do you know this?
The company offers MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) information for all their oils, butters and bases. This information comes from independent testing.

Are they ingestible?
yes

Would you ingest them?
We have for years! A customer recently needed to make a change from the company she’d been with for a long time because of finances. She ingested 5 oils daily for specific things. She used Gilley’s oils for 3 months and found absolutely no difference in quality or efficiency from oils generally costing up to 5 times as much. She’s a faithful user now!

Is Gilley’s Naturals a Full Time Job?
oh yes

You have a store in Cook.  What is the address? 

The Natural Choice   5 north River St, across from Frank’s Pharmacy 
Hours/days you are open?
During the winter MWF from 9-5

 Do you know what you’ll be making in February for the Make-n-take on the 28th?
Oh yes….Chocolate Massage Truffles for Pain Relief….yum

Is there anything else you would like folks to know about Gilley’s Naturals?

Our family run business is dedicated to making products people can afford & use consistently. We’re always open to suggestions!

Jill is teaching a Intro to Essential Oils class at Smith’s Infusion on Saturday, February 18th from 10a-12pm.  In this class you will learn about the basics of the core set of essential oils, what they are  useful for and then make a all natural cleaner, an immune booster, and a perfume.  The cost of this class is $25 per person.  You must pre-register for this class.  Deadline to sign up is Friday, Feb. 17th by 5pm.

Jill is also taking over the last Tuesday make-n-take of each month to do essential oil make-n-takes!  As always these are $10 each week.

You can follow Gilley’s Natural’s on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/gilleysnaturals/
You can also shop her store online here: http://gilleysnaturals.com
And as always you can find her items in our shop!

Meet Lisa Harvey from Rustic North Designs

Our artist of the week is Lisa Harvey who resides with her two sons and her husband in Virginia, MN.  Lisa also works part time but finds time to craft lovely wood signs that she sells in our shop.  Lisa does take custom orders as well!
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When you have a moment can you tell me how you got started making signs?
I have always enjoyed crafting and creating things with my hands.  I started out making signs for our home and for some family members.  At the time I was staying home with my boys, so I thought I could make extra money in my spare time and sell my things online.  I just happened to see a post from Jenni about a new shop opening and figured it was meant to be!

What/who inspires you?
I enjoy reading blogs and websites about rustic homes and decorating.  I like to make things that I would have in my own home, and use words or sayings that reflect a certain lifestyle.  I like to make custom art for people as well, since everyone has their own ideas for what works for their family or home.

How do you manage to create along with being a mom and having a job?
It gets hard to find extra time in my week, but my family always comes first.  My kids love to paint when they see me working on something!  I always have several projects in different phases of completion, and try to find a few minutes at the end of each day to design, paint, or finish a project.  It doesn’t feel like work so I am always happy to sit down and create.

Any anything else you might like to include?
I feel so fortunate to be a part of Smith’s Infusion, and to have met so many amazing women (and men) crafters! I will always be a crafter, and hope to see my kids explore their artistic side as well.

Thank you Lisa for taking time out of your schedule to give us a look at how you create and balance life at the same time!

Lisa brings in new pieces when she can, generally with a preview she posts on her Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/RusticNorthDesigns99 If I catch them in time I share to our own Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/smithsinfusion

 

Settling In, Join us for Grand Re-Opening

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We are settling in to our new space at 302 Chestnut Street, just in time for our Grand Re-Opening on Saturday, January 21st from 10-4!  We have a handful of new artists who have joined us since we moved such as Boondock Enterprises from Swatera, MN who make lovely jams, jellies, mustards, herb dips, teas, etc.  Spoiled with Oils from Ramsey, MN who is rounding out our all natural items for you in regards to bath salts, bath bombs, sun screen, immune booster & cancer creams, baby wash, sleep spray, and more!  Libbe Lane from Big Lake, MN selling deodorant, lotion bars, facial scrubs, sugar scrubs and chap stick.  Margo Hansen a local author who writes Christian Romance Novels.  Purple Frog quiet books, Ruth & John Huismann who make wood turned pens, crochet hooks, fleece mittens, American Doll Clothes.  Prairie Muffin Candles and Tie Dye Clothing, and REcreations yarn who makes lovely stuffed animals via crocheting.

For our Grand Re-opening celebration we will be tasting some of Boondock Enterprises jams, mustards, and dips.  We will have a chocolate fountain with pound cake and fruit.  You can meet and greet with some of our artists.  Find out how to sign up for drawings.  Pick up our two-year planner that tells you when our events are taking place such as our quarterly Pinterest Project Shops.  You can sign up for sewing classes.  See what we are up to on Tuesdays for Make-n-Takes and just enjoy the shop!

Starting next week, check in to see which artist you will learn about, as each week I’ll interview a different one of our artists and share it here!

We’re Moving!

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We’re moving!  This is our last week at our current address of 104 N. 3rd Ave., Virginia, MN.  We aren’t moving too far, just a half a block south to our main street of 302 Chestnut Street where we will be in a more prominent location in a much busier building.  We are currently at 47 Minnesota Artists and will be increasing to many more.  So since we are moving, and will be having a Re-Grand Opening on Saturday, January 21st our January Pinterest Project Shop will be pushed back to February 17th & 18th.

Also, new in our new location will be weekly craft classes on Tuesdays.  So from 9-5 you can stop in at your own convenience and decide if you want to sit down and make the weekly project.  Goal is to have crafts less than $10 per time and when the supplies are gone, the project is done for the day.  Granted if it grows we’ll aim for more and more supplies each week.  And we’ll post the craft online.  Sewing classes will also be a standing class.  Meaning if you want to learn to sew bring your machine in when it works for you, provided its not during a huge event and we’ll sit down with you and teach you.  These classes are $10/hr.  Bring a project or scrap fabric or we can get you started on a project with the fabric we will have available for sale!  Yes, we will have fabric available for sale at the new location.  It’s not so much right now but in time we’ll grow it and more speciality fabrics like linen, laminated cotton, modern prints, etc.

Our last week here we’re open Tuesday-Friday 10-5, Thursday 10-6, Saturday (Christmas Eve Day) 10-3.  We re-open Monday, January 9th, 2017!  Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from those of us at Smith’s Infusion!