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BE Creative - OR - BUY Creative & Unique Gifts


BE Creative - OR -  BUY Creative & Unique Gifts

By Vesta Copestakes

Sonoma County is home for many for artists. Something about the beauty, the climate, the support for creative people here. We have become a tourist destination not only for our wine and food, but also our artists. One of the tasks of the newly-formed Creative Sonoma is to help artists promote themselves as part of destination marketing. 

Every holiday season art galleries put special emphasis on making sure we have small things to buy and share, not just large paintings, sculptures and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Yes, all those things are available as well! They just want to make it easy for us to think ART GALLERY for holiday gifts. Greeting cards and prints of paintings, small sculptures and jewelry, pottery and more.

The Gazette has two areas where you can find places that sell unique works of art that make affordable gifts - our Art Galleries of Sonoma County resource guide (on our website at from a previous print edition) and our Visual Arts CALENDAR. Make sure you check out both, in print and online, to find all the places to visit. Many galleries are having Holiday shows and events to promote what they are offering.

In the mean time. - take at look at the advertisers on this page, go to their galleries to find gifts and tell them you saw their ad in the Gazette. Seriously - they will appreciate knowing, and we will appreciate you supporting our advertisers! It’s mutually beneficial!

Making your own creative gifts.

My sweetheart, Alan Joseph, is a partner in a jewelry findings company, TierraCast of Santa Rosa, that sell their products to bead stores. Back when we were first dating, I bought more beads and findings than I could use, so I always have a box to delve into to make presents. 

Bracelets are easy. Purchase elastic beading string at a local bead store (see list) and string them in patterns of color and shape. I do this with my granddaughter and she has made wonderful bracelets for her friends.

Cut the elastic beading string longer that you need. Tie on end to a large bead so what you add doesn’t fall of the far end. Add beads until it looks like your bracelet is the right length. Try it on and tie it to a length that feel right on your writs and slips off easily by stretching the bracelet. . Double knot the ends together - pull tight, clip close so strings don’t poke out - and if you have a gentle touch - delicately melt the tips of the elastic with a match or lighter. This part is tricky because you can over-melt and the whole thing falls apart!

If you want to add charms you may need to go up to the next level of beading. A class is a good idea because then you buy tools, take classes, and it becomes a hobby! Once you are hooked, you’ll find all kinds of things to make.

Earrings are the easiest. Yes, the easiest. TierraCast makes a kit they are selling to a few local bead stores - see pge 12 - go pick one up and try your skill. From easy to complex, they have instructions that take you step-by-step.

Ubeadquitous in Windsor also has kits that owner Alyx makes up herself. She’s written a book and holds classes, so even if you don’t know what you are doing, she will teach you. These are fun classes to take…mostly women, and you know how it is when women get together to work on something - TALK! 

Legendary Beads in Santa Rosa, now in Railroad Square, sells the full line of TierraCast kits. Check out their kits for simple bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Very contemporary and easy to assemble.

These bead stores also sell jewelry they make. Find a bead store and you will find not only beads and findings, but also jewelry the staff has put together. It’s fun and very creative and you get to wear it when you are finished!

Sonoma County Bead Stores

Apple Blossom Beads
168 N. Main St., Sebastopol

Beaded Arts
1120-A 4th St, Santa Rosa

Legendary Beads 
111 4th St, Santa Rosa

Out on a Whim
121 E Cotati Ave, Cotati

San Francisco Arts and Crafts
546 Broway, Sonoma

9111 Windsor Rd, Windsor