Spotlight On - Local Bead Group

9:00 AM

Audrey Spector and Lynn Richards have been offering weekly art sessions with Berkeley Food and Housing Project (BFHP) since early 2011. They are deeply committed to bringing creative opportunities that foster self-expression to the women at the North County Women's through a variety of hands-on arts materials.

Their hope is to offer the women a couple hours weekly respite from their current situations. Audrey and Lynn have found that something magical happens when the women get engrossed in their creative efforts and are working side by side with their peers. Sometimes the women share their situations and sometimes there is almost complete silence in the room as they delve into their projects. It is not unusual for the office and kitchen staff to wander by and admire the talent among the women and the variety of projects being made!

Making beaded jewelry is a favorite activity. The women eagerly make necklaces, bracelets and earrings since these handmade items are small treasures they can easily carry with them and proudly wear. The pleasure that beading brings to these women is beyond measure. When you hear a 70 plus year old woman, who is blind in one eye, say that she waits eagerly each week so she can attend the art session and that this is the only thing that brings her some joy, it touches your heart in a way nothing else can.

Audrey and Lynn know they are making a positive impact on the lives of women and children at the shelter. They feel honored to share their time with the women who often return week after week and express such gratitude and enthusiasm about the art sessions. "We can come in with one idea, but it's such a joy to see the women always take it to another level," Lynn cheerfully explains.

The BFHP beading sessions would not be possible without the generous donation of wire received from Soft Flex Company, in Sonoma County. We want to express our extreme appreciation for their donation.

Lynn Richards 

Audrey Spector

Blog contributor Thomas Soles is the Trade Show Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. His favorite stones are Lapis and Pietersite. His favorite hobby is day dreaming. And his favorite mustache is Tom Selleck's. As you can see, he has a healthy (or possibly unhealthy) sense of humor. You can write to him at

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