Parade Of Souls

Parade Of Souls

Friday, August 31, 2012

Meet Mary Heldenbrand

Mary Heldenbrand
Twisted Sisters' Designs
  In my younger years, creativity was never a focal point for me.  I was always interested in sports, anything that was physically challenging.  But, as my years progressed, I realized I would not be able to keep that up forever.  When I volunteered to be the Chairman of my church festival, I needed to come up with projects for the ladies to make during the year.  I found that I actually could come up with creative ideas, and the ladies enjoyed the projects I found for them.
                It was now time to broaden my horizons, especially because my physical activity was curtailed due to two hip replacements.  A friend was telling me about a beading class she was taking, and since I had always wanted to do beading, this was a good time to start.  I took one class, followed by another, then another—you can see the pattern—I was hooked.


The beading classes were followed by Precious Metal Clay classes, which were followed by classes in making dichroic glass cabochons to put into the PMC. The dichroic glass classes segued into making lampwork beads, which led to glass fusing—lots of chances to work in many different colors—I love colors.  I started doing chainmaille in copper, brass and silver, and am now incorporating colored niobium rings into my chainmaille pieces.  While participating in classes, two of my friends asked me to partner with them and form a business, Twisted Sisters’ Designs. 

I was delighted and we now have a beautiful web site,
Please visit and  take a look at our offerings and our class schedule.

Now I find that I am able to combine all the mediums I’ve learned, beading, PMC, glass fusing, chainmaille, wire twisting, and fashion unique designs.  I take great pride in each piece I make and revel in the notion that I have creativity within me; I just need to let it out.  I know there are many doors I have yet to open in my art, and I look forward to my continued enrichment.
Mary Heldenbrand, Twisted Sisters’ Designs

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meet Debra McKee

Meet Debra McKee
Twisted Sisters' Designs 
I grew up in Iowa so Halloween usually was "freezing" as I would say as a child.
I always had to wear winter clothes under my costume.  It seems like I was a witch most
of the time.  At least that is what I remember.  Once in a while I was a "Hobo".  You know...
charcoal on the face, black hat, crummy clothes and a nap sack tied to a stick.  Nothing
store bought or exotic. 
Creating art is a personal choice, and for me, life revolves around art.  Whether it is dance, music, drawing, painting or jewelry design, the arts draw me in.
    My jewelry design began with a workshop on twisted wire bangle bracelets.  This workshop launched me on a path that has gone in many directions.  After months of designing jewelry with beads made by other artists, I decided it was time to have my pieces made entirely by me so I began classes in lampwork bead design.  I am now several years into lampworking and find that I learn something new each time I sit down at my torch.
     Next came the medium of Precious Metal Clay (PMC).  PMC is a fairly new medium.  The product originates in clay form.  The clay is the binder for tiny particles of silver.  When fired in a kiln, the clay burns away and the pure silver remains.  PMC is an incredible and versatile  product which also comes in copper and bronze.
Most recently I have been delving into the world of enameling, soldering, resin and found object jewelry.  I love anything old and unusual.  To incorporate that into my jewelry design is very exciting.  
My art studio is located in a building that was originally a blacksmith shop.  The adobe building was built in 1911 and is now home to Twisted Sisters’ Designs.    We are located at 48 South Robson, Suite 102 in historic downtown Mesa.
For more information about classes at Twisted Sisters Designs click HERE
     It is very important to me for each of my designs to reflect my personality and love of art.
Debra McKee,
 Twisted Sisters’ Designs
for more information about
Debra and Twisted Sister's designs

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Meet Linda Hubbard

Linda will be bringing her whimsical wood creations to the
Parade of Souls Art Show
Oct 13th
My name is Linda Hubbard. I have been married forty years, and have one daughter, three wonderful grandchildren and my sweet dog Spike.

I have been working full time as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist for over thirty seven years. My job is very complex and carving has become a great stress reliever.

I began woodcarving in the late eighties after being inspired by a friend and wonderful woodcarver. Thinking I would just carve a few things....well twenty some years later I still love carving. Seeing what becomes of a block of wood is challenging and exciting.  I carve a variety of subjects, but I must say I have a soft spot for Santa.  I have lost count of all that I have carved and usually have given them to family and friends for Christmas gifts. I am always looking for new ideas and projects; a great place to look is at the local annual carving show.  My friends and I go every year and love to see the carvings that have been entered in the contest; and I try to load up on enough wood to hopefully last me until the next year's show.
 Fall is one of my favorite seasons.  As a child I remember on Halloween going into the neighbor’s houses for our treats.  There were always homemade popcorn balls, cookies and cider.  Most of our costumes were created from what we had at home; but one year I was a mouse and had what I thought was an awesome mask made out of plastic.

My other hobbies include drawing, watercolor and needle felting.  After working long days it is nice to relax and be creative.  Because I am always looking for new inspiration, I love to take classes and connect with friends who enjoy art.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Meet Rita Offutt

Rita will be bringing her Wonderful Woodcarvings to the
Parade of Souls Art Show
October 13th!
My name is Rita Offutt.  My whole life I have loved to make things with my hands. As a little girl I could entertain myself for hours creating and it has continued through my adult life. I want to try everything and as a result I have an abundance of hobbies and more projects than I can ever finish in a lifetime. I honestly believe that all of these endeavors have helped me to grow artistically.

  About 25 years ago I wandered into a tole painting shop and they were offering a wood carving class.  Of course, I signed up on the spot and have been carving ever since. I love the feel of wood and discovering the endless possibilities of creating a piece of art. Often I spend time carving with friends.  We sometimes carve the same project and they all turn out so differently because of our own unique style. I am fascinated with carving tools.  If I see a knife with an unusual or pretty handle I am a sucker for purchasing it!!  As with any art or craft, tools are very important. Keeping my knives sharp and in good condition is essential. I prefer using knives and gouges when carving; I feel that I have more control than when using power tools.
My other love is creating jewelry.  I am in partnership with Debra McKee and Mary Heldenbrand in Twisted Sister Designs located in Mesa, Arizona.  We create unusual one of a kind jewelry designs and teach classes.  Check out our website: 
  Preparing for Parade of Souls has been very fun. I have always loved Halloween and remember my brother and me, as children getting ready for Trick or Treating. Living in the Midwest was a challenge deciding which costume to wear. Because of the cold weather, my mother always vetoed the beautiful princess and superman costumes in the stores, so we usually wore my dad’s clothes and dressed as hobos. We rubbed charcoal all over our faces to give us a heavy beard. I loved carving my jack-o-lantern…maybe that is where my love of carving originated.
I am originally from Illinois; after living in seven states I settled in Arizona.  I have two grown children and two handsome grandsons with a granddaughter due in October. My cats, Patchy and Samantha keep me company and are very interested in what I am doing; they are always right in the middle of my wood chips!!