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Sweet Earth hosts Bead-a-thon

Sweet Earth will host its fourth annual Bead-a-thon during Sycamore and DeKalb’s spring break, March 22 through 30.

Bead-a-thon is a week-long event with more than 25 classes in making jewelry. This year’s theme is “Gotta Bead.” Learn to make jewelry, refresh your skills or see the latest techniques.

Sweet Earth’s jewelry design and repair staff, lead by owner Rich Para, GIA graduate gemologist, will teach most of the classes.

The event kicks off Friday with a class in the art of Kumihimo, a Japanese braiding technique to make decorative jewelry cords. All ages can learn how to make these colorful braids that can be used for necklaces or bracelets. Later in the week a more advanced technique will be taught using beads. Other popular weaving classes include using a macrame technique to create a Shamballa-style bracelet with gemstones. Middle, high school and college-age students can use parachute cord to create a bracelet in their school colors.

This year, there will be new classes in metals, Wire Wrapping and Chain Maille, with a new instructor, Jen Wallis. Wallis will teach students to wrap gemstones artistically in wire. Later in the week, she will teach the techniques of linking jump rings and beads to create jewelry called chain maille.

In the Chakra Class, students will make a pendant using gemstone beads representing the chakras, or energy centers, within the body, finished with a silver spiral wire wrap.

A glass fusing glass will be taught by Christy Klein, owner of Sweet Earth’s neighbor, Glass Gardens Inc. Students will create a piece of art glass that can be used for jewelry.

Last year’s most popular class, Wine and Bead Night, is back on Thursday evening, March 28. Participants can wind down the week, creating jewelry while enjoying wine and conversation.

Other classes include metal stamping, knotting, earrings and bracelets, including stretchy bracelets and cross weave. On weekdays, a free demonstration on basic technique will be offered. Registration is requested for most classes. Classes range in price from free to $50.

Sweet Earth will hold its first trunk show of the year, featuring gemstones, pearls, Murano-style glass, bone, horn, sea glass, pave beads and more. All trunk show items are priced at special discount prices.

New this year is an entire day set aside from classes for shopping. On March 26, customers shopping using their Sweet Earth Green bag will receive 20 percent off almost everything at Sweet Earth. Bags are available for purchase at Sweet Earth.

Kenneth Holcomb, owner of Landmark Games in Sycamore and inventor of the dice game Pinzique, will be at Sweet Earth from 1 to 3 p.m. March 23 to teach people how to play his game based on the card game pinochle. Pinzique is for ages 10 and older.

Visit for a complete listing of Bead-a-thon classes and Green Bag details. For more information or to register, call 815-895-3011.

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