Coming Up With New Designs

There are times when you sit down to create and you feel empty, out of ideas, spent of all of your brilliance. But you sit anyway looking at your tools and beads and wire trying to conjure up some jewelry making magic. Nothing comes. Just the very thought of beading motivates you, but in this moment for some reason your mind is dry, dripping nothing. Yes, your jewelry design repertoire is full, but you have been there done that a thousand times. Your claim to fame is 1-of-a-Kind handmade jewelry designs and although making the same style with different beads makes this statement true, you want to give your customers something else, something amazing, outstanding and positively breathtaking. Something that needs no explanation because it speaks for itself. After several minutes of pondering you walk away. Not because you can’t create but because you need something new, different, exciting … at least that is what you are thinking. This need is really more for yourself than your customers because how many times have you heard, “I’ve never seen jewelry like this”. You want to keep hearing that statement for it is what sets you apart from other jewelry businesses.
The reason you are so adamant about coming up with “new” is because that is what is expected. It has become the “norm”, whether your customers know it or not. So now, you do what you always do … go to the internet and browse photos of jewelry, get out your jewelry magazines and stalk the pages, peruse your favorite jewelry websites for fresh ideas till you find something you can’t take your eyes off of trying to imagine how it was done. There she is, that’s it, she is speaking your “create me” language. Eureka! It’s time to go back to your tools, beads, and wire because you are armed with a new design idea. But wait, you don’t have the same supplies or beads or tools the other jeweler used. That is a fact that works to your advantage. You don’t want your creation to look exactly like theirs, you just want to tweak the design to reflect your unique approach to jewelry making. After an hour or two you’re done with your interpretation of what you saw. You’ve succeeded in refashioning someone else’s design to reflect you and your esteemed customers. Your face lights up, your heart is singing and your hands are busy making your next creation. Life is beautiful when it is filled with tools, wire and beads.
Find my creations at

Wonderful Wire Works

There are many ways to use wire, as electrical conduits, in garments, for garments, in electronic devices, etc. Yes, wire is a supply that serves many purposes for mankind. At Slc’s Sacred Gemz we find that wire is most utilitarian when it is worked in the jewelry designs. Yes, jewelry … made with wire only or as an accent to compliment beads. Wire, wire, wonderful wire! Copper, Brass and Silver wire, 10,12,14, 16, 18 and 20 gauge wire. The thinner gauges of wire can become earring hooks, toggle clasps, jump rings, eye pins, earrings, 16 gauge rings, and string for beads. The thicker gauges can be curved, curled, squiggled and bent into shapes then hammered for shape-keeping and longevity. The 10 and 12 gauge copper, brass and silver wire makes great chokers, bangles, bracelets, arm cuffs, anklets and can be beautifully fashioned into focals and pendants. Wire is a staple in Slc’s Sacred Gemz bijouterie (jewelry) and one of the things we love most is wire-wrapping beads together for a necklace, bracelet or earrings. The most exquisite designs are when we wire-wrap Cowry Shells together for a stunning piece that we consider art. In fact, that is how we see our jewelry, as wearable art.
It is the wire element that gives our jewelry its handmade uniqueness. From the beginning to the end of an idea there is sure to be wire inside and/or out. Wire is more durable than stretchy string and fishing line, an elegant touch when wrapped around the outside of beads, and easy to work with using simple tools and fingers. If you want to see how we incorporate wire into our jewelry designs, go to our boutique at We hope that this information encourages you to expand your jewelry collection to include wire pieces.


Jewelry Making is Therapeutic

What is it about colorful beads, copper, brass, silver wire? What is it about turning them into wearable art created with your own two hands? What is it indeed? There is more to jewelry making than just stringing and wire-wrapping beads. More than forming wire shapes and then hammering them stiff. It is the process from beginning to end. It is the look and the feel of quality gemstones made by the earth. It is the rough and smooth of recycled glass and paper fashioned into irresistible beads. It is the way wire bends and curves to your will. It is shopping for just the right accents to compliment all your wonderful gems. Yes, there is more to beading than the finished product. There is an absolute connection between the jewelry designer and their jewelry making supplies. This can be more of a spiritual experience and creative kind of therapy. How can jewelry making be therapeutic and/or spiritual? Well, letting one’s creative juices flow can soothe the soul, calm the mind and make the body smile. The healing in handling what the earth gives birth to can be liberating. The curling, curving and hammering wire can be a stress reliever. You can love yourself enough to creatively reduce the stress of the day with beads, wire and a few tools. By the time you reach the less-stressed level you will more than likely have something beautiful to wear, share, sell. Beading can serve as therapy and at Slc’s Sacred Gemz jewelry making is our therapeutic passion. We hope you can find yours!

Krobo Beads From Ghana

Krobo Beads are made by artisans in the Krobo mountains of Ghana, West Africa. These artists use bottles, broken windows, etc. to make these fabulous colorful beads. The glass is separated by color, broken into smaller pieces and then ground down into a fine powder. The powder will be used to make translucent or ceramic dyed beads. The glass powder is poured into clay molds and cassava stalks are inserted for the holes. The pre-beads are cooked in a kiln (translucent beads cook longer), then colored beads are painted with a colored glass powder and water paste and cooked again to seal the colorful designs.

If you look up Krobo beads you will see that they are called by many names, such as sand cast beads, sand beads, glass beads, recycled glass beads, trade beads, African trade beads etc. The art of making beads in the Krobo mountains is a tradition that has been practiced for years by the artisans of Krobo. At Slc’s Sacred Gemz we appreciate the craftmanship of these artists and as producers of art we will honor the Kroboans by calling these beads by their rightful name. This is how we pay our respect, honor and give credit to those who continue the tradition of bead making in West Africa. Some of our Slc’s Sacred Gemz designs are adorned with Krobo beads and we only recently discovered the proper moniker. Using their rightful name is how we pay homage to those who keep the Krobo bead making praxis alive. Say their name … “Krobo Beads”!

Go to for more info.

For Jewelry Designs go to

By Sandra Laraine Coleman

For the Love of Cowries

We absolutely love working with and wearing cowry shells at Slc’s Sacred Gemz. At one time these magnificent specimens were used for currency in Africa, China and India. The shells are home to sea snails that are mainly found off the coast of India and Africa. Along with their representing money in some cultures they have also become symbols of African spirituality and prosperity. In West Africa, the cowry shell is believed to be shaped like a woman and the bulbed back is the shape of her pregnant belly which makes it a symbol of fertility.

The Cowry shell’s consistent shape comes in different sizes, they can be the size of a dime or as large as a tennis ball. These beautiful shells are used in jewelry, on garments and for household items. It is also interesting that the cowry is one of the few, still living creatures, that can boast a prehistoric existence. The cowry shells that are used in our designs have the backs cut off. This makes it easier to wire-wrap them together.

In our research of cowry shells we found that there are many people and museums who collect them because of their amazing detail. There are cowry shells that are extremely rare and may be worth millions. What makes them valuable at Slc’s Sacred Gemz is that we can design and wear shells that have substance and meaning as historical prosperity, ornamentation and African spiritual symbolism.

For more information on Cowry Shells

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Black Body Rage (NaPoWriMo #9)

her black body raged against

enslavements’ unnatural conditions

an oppressively repressive

hostile environment that

mutilated her majesty

warped her warrior woman

branded her bein’

with scars that still sting

wounds that won’t heal

he created a livin’ label

that tagged her torrid temptress

scorchin’ seductress

harlotin’ half-naked heathen

the excuse he used to defile

her femininity frequently

cuz ownership gives irrefutable rights

and he paid good money for that wench

investin’ in human flesh

besides …

it’s all her black body fault

he forced himself on her

paradin’ his possession during daylight

gettin’ lost in her liquid loveliness at night

she has one recourse … submit

cuz that’s what subjugated black bondwomen do


now here she come

black body ragin’ … all wrong

wagin’ war on poverty

erroneously pimped by society


conveniently contortin’ erogenous energy

into fast cash

she would gladly suffer the lash of his whip

for a whip

than die penniless in the gutter

givin’ her black body like it’s Christmas everyday

prostratin’ her person and principles

perpetuatin’ false prophecy

a lingerin’ over her livin’ lie

like self-hatred

hoverin’ over her humanity

questionin’ her existence

she offers no resistence

how come a comfort girl is soooooo uncomfortable

in her skin?

somethin’ ain’t right within

de-crowned jewels


forget they have shine

and what was once violently enforced

is now a freer enterprise

don’t you know a sistah’s soul can die

from broken rhythms

and 500 years of pain she can’t get past

black body rage

been fightin’ continuously

for forward mobility

a refreshed memory

and factual represenatation

but our boycottin and protestin’ don’t mean shit

if we don’t possess

proper knowledge of ourselves

they have continuously suppressed

our original feminine truth

while black body rage

is waitin’ for us to remember

who she is

and the cruelties, circumstances, situations

that allow her to exist

Sandra Laraine Coleman


Poetry Tastes Good (NaPoWriMo #8)

words sounds rhythms

parts of poetspeech

and spokenwordpreach

come from brain

ooze into pen

then lips breach

prolific ponderin’s

givin’ birth to

copious conversations

that become delicious dialect for the tongue

we be sprung on food for thought

high on histrionic healin’

dinin’ daily on a menu of cerebral deliberations

we write our fight for freedom on restaurant reciepts

chicken scratch confessions on cardboard

noodle knowledge on napkins

gotta let these lipsmackin’ limericks loose

proof is in proverbial puddin’

delicacies composed on parchment

become lyrical lifelines we love tastin’

we ain’t wastin’ no words

leftovers make perfect poetic pastries

of the palatable kind

homegrown medleys

seasoned with reasonin’

we be skillful artisans

predicatin’ subjects

subjectin’ predicates

stewin’ and brewin’

culturin’ poetic pearls

in progressive

prophetic roux

we transcribe

thoughtful tangy treasures

as masterful verbal chefs

craftin’ poetry

that tastes good!


Sandra Laraine Coleman

April 8, 2015

Old People (NaPoWriMo #7)

livin’ long enuf

to age gracefully … sometimes


reflexes don’t respond as fast

and memories don’t last as long


needin’ fingers n toes

to count grandchildren

while watchin your own offspring

grow old


brightly lit eyes begin to blur

and bi-focal prescriptions increase

with each passin’ year


skin turns loose and acts lazy

providin’ a geriatric perspective on saggin’


road trips in your car

redefine land cruiser


body releases scents and sounds

you don’t recognize … frequently


comments like, “if I knew then/what I know now”

color your conversation

that uses fewer and shorter words


the latest technologies

can’t cure what ails you


realizin’ an established eldership

garners extreme levels of respect


knowin’ one day 

you will transition this space

and here’s one to glow on

wise old people

were once immature fools!!!


Sandra Laraine Coleman

April 8, 2015

Ecstasy (NaPoWriMo #6)

he drew me in

quietly powerful

respectable rhythm

gentle momentum


he was foreign and familiar

i was indulgent veneration momentarily transformed

into neoteric atmosphere

flavorin’ his space

waiting patiently for him to





soothin’, refreshin’, reaffirmin’ air

yes, my magnificent melanin love

inhale … me

exhale … we

all in one beautifully fluid breathtaking motion

feelin’ like

ecstasy …

Sandra Laraine Coleman

April 5, 2015

Spherically Speakin’ (NaPoWriMo #5)

spherically speakin’

we be circular bein’s

ring shoutin’ our way thru existin’

“old” fashioned after 360 degrees of perfection

GOD governs

our quintessential center

the universal space where antiquity sited holiness

we gravitate around/from/in divine synergy

located where beginnin’ began

spiritual spirals

curving ever upward, outward

like trees rooted


in a rounded earth

even conversation

is an orbitin’ verbal dance

a romance with super-natur-ality

we continue communicatin’ after-livin’

with hundredsofthousandsofyearsold African Worldview skillfully sculpted in the rhythmic realm of deepest brown round sound linear logic sought to destroy

oh, but our circular sway like endless echo o o o

a neverendin’ flow


carvin’ the curvature of forever

for sovereign souls

experiencin’ alternate realities



in salvation

spherically speakin’


Sandra Laraine Coleman

April 15, 2015