Our Tribute to the Supreme Court Marriage Equality Decision!

Posted on July 01, 2015 by Abraham Silverman | 1 comment

Only in Takoma Park, MD do merchants festoon their shop windows with commentary on judicial decisions. S & A Beads (www.beadstore.com) has composed a beaded tribute to the Supreme Court June 26 marriage equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, in its shop window at 6929 Laurel Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912.

How do you illustrate a 100+ page decision of the Unites Supreme Court with beads? Well see for yourself how Emily Silverman, General Manager of the small shop that has been a fixture of downtown Takoma for nearly 30 years, did it in her shop window. Emily celebrates this decision with a celebration of color as only a bead artist like her can celebrate it. Floating among the floating beads, like a libretto of an opera, are short quotes from Mr. Justice Kennedy’s landmark decision. The quotes down to the typeface are the product of Emily’s brother Abe, an attorney in Princeton, NJ, who suggested this theme. 

Speaking of Justice, try as we might, our photos don’t do the window justice. Enjoy the photos but come to S & A Beads to see for yourself, and make your own celebration of color. We are on the July 4 parade route and will be open 12 to 5:00pm that day. 

Posted in Equality

S&A Beads Art Hop Artist 2015: Dr. Sky

Posted on March 31, 2015 by Larry Silverman | 0 comments

ART HOP 2015:
Website | Events | Map

Mark your calendars for the annual Takoma Park Art Hop on April 24 - 26, from 10am to 4pm. Every year at the end of April, Takoma Park transforms itself into an arts district. This year over 70 distinguished artists from around the Capitol region will be showing and selling some of their best work in the shops, restaurants, galleries and on the streets of Takoma – from Takoma Park, MD to Takoma, DC. For more details on events, artists and transportation see Mainstreet Takoma.

This year, S & A Beads is especially delighted and honored to be displaying the bead and fabric work of Dr. Sirkku M. Sky Hiltunen, known to friends and admirers as Dr. Sky.

Dr. Sky is a long time customer of S & A Beads. We especially love her ability to work with rare large pieces that so many of our customers admire but don’t quite know what to do with. Her sense of color and balance is impeccable. In addition to being a great bead artist, she is an outstanding painter, set designer and clothing maker, among other gifts. In addition and most importantly, there is a spiritual side of her work, which while impossible to describe, is hard not to feel when in the presence of her work.


There is another side to Dr. Sky, which while separate and apart from her jewelry line, will be of great interest to our customers. Dr. Sky is a pioneer in using art to heal wounded souls. If the field of Art Therapy had a guru, Dr. Sky would be it.  Dr. Sky is one of the visionaries behind The Art and Drama Therapy Institute, a facility in northeast Washington, DC that works with intellectually disabled adults.  When I visited last December, I was blown away by the vibrant intellectual and artistic buzz that permeated the place. Everybody there, staff and patients alike, was actively engaged in creating and enjoying beautiful things. Not what you would expect at a place for autistic, brain injured and other seriously disabled persons. I have been to fabulous galleries and museums, I have visited art studios and theaters, and I have spent time in facilities for severely handicapped people; but not all at once and not in the same place before.

As the Institute’s mission statement puts it, “Individuals with Differing Abilities are highly evolved teachers and … creativity is a Divine gift, given as a birth right to each one of us. ADTI tirelessly nurtures their creativity and shares their special gifts with others through ... concerts ...and plays [and other artistic activities]. Most importantly, ADTI aims to change the attitudes of others in society, to value the Individuals with Differing Abilities as our teachers of patience, unconditional acceptance, and unconditional love.”

You don’t have to be a great artist to be an excellent therapist. And certainly many fine artists have little in the way of therapeutic abilities.

But every once in a very long while, a great healer is also a brilliant artist. Such a person is Dr. Sky. Come see her work and meet her in person during Art Hop. We promise you: you will be inspired and delighted.

Larry Silverman



Posted in art hop, dr. sky, takoma park

Give us your Feedback!

Posted on March 28, 2015 by Larry Silverman | 2 comments

Tell us what you think! Comment here. We appreciate your feedback. This blog is a direct line to the stores management. Let us know how we can serve you better!


You may also review us on these sites: 

Posted in

Snow Day!

Posted on March 06, 2015 by Larry Silverman | 0 comments

We were able to open today but only for a few hours thanks to the intrepid Lisa O‘Brien, who usually walks or bikes to work at our shop at 6929 Laurel Avenue. She is our snow person, living within walking distance and most important willing to help out as she can in the store, when others can’t get there, in addition to her regular shift.

Tomorrow she and her husband, sister and mother are going to Boston, to visit another sister who has been under siege from the relentless Boston snows for a long time. Lisa had three hours for us. In addition to serving the intrepid customers who made it through the door, she spent the time fixing the broken jewelry of her Boston sister. Worked out great for all of us.

I am the other walking distance staff member at S & A Beads. So this morning Kathleen and I and our granddaughter’s dog, a Beagle named Waffle, so-called for the color of his fur, hiked to the shop, and spent some hours there. Fortunately, all the hardy souls that wandered in the shop liked dogs, in particular beagles. Which was a good thing. I told Waffle that he had NO FUTURE in retail. Although he is very interested in and very friendly to customers, which is a good quality for a sales person, he tends to howl inappropriately, which is definitely a negative in closing sales. He also paces and stares out the front door of the shop. We all abandoned the field around 2:30, at the urging of our daughter and General Manager, Emily. Kathleen concurred. We had a lovely walk back home, though chillier than the morning walk.

Friday, March 6, our people made it in. Meanwhile, our web store is lots of fun. www.beadstore.com . Happy to report views are up in this weather. Lots of window shopping (and Apple shopping as well) from the comfort of home.

Thank you,


Posted in larry, lisa, snow, snowday

Jewish New Year Horn

Posted on September 14, 2014 by Larry Silverman | 1 comment

This September and October, Jews around the world will celebrate the New Year of 5775. The High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) are ushered in and out by mighty blasts of the ram’s horn, known as the shofar. The blasts of the shofar were first heard on Mount Sinai as Moses received the Ten Commandments from on High. And from that days thousands of years ago to this day, Jews have sounded the shofar to commemorate great spiritual occasions. We are pleased this year to offer a real shofar from Israel (for $145).

Click here to view more photos!

This is our way of wishing all our customers and friends the traditional New Year’s greeting:

L’Shanah Tovah Tikatavu

May You be Inscribed for a Good Year.

Posted in celebration, good year, holy, horn, israel, jewish, new year, ram, shofar, yom kippur

How to at S&A Beads:

Posted on June 09, 2014 by Kimberly Arnold | 1 comment

Waist Beads
Culture, Style & Healing

Spring and summer are the most popular seasons for buying waist beads. Many people have come in searching for them and left with bags filled with colorful beads and inspiration to make their own!

We don't sell pre-made waist beads in store because its best to custom make them to fit each individual for size but also to personalize it to your style and needs. Some people wear them to keep their waistline in check, others wear them for cultural, spiritual or motivational reasons; adding charms or beads symbolizing things that empower them. It is said that certain stones carry healing powers or characteristics which can be passed on to the wearer of the beads. Style, of course is another big reason people wear waist beads. They compliment any torso and liven up your summer look!


Now that you're inspired to make your own waist beads,

Here's how:

There are two options,either we can do it for you (skip this section and scroll down) or do it yourself! Beading is its own form of therapy. We detail the steps below:



1. Choose your beads and clasp:
We recommend smooth, round, or flat beads that are not scratchy.

Dangling charms is a good way to express yourself or add meaning to your waist beads. We have a TON of charms and pendants in store that are sure to express the uniqueness of each individual!

2. Get your beading wire.
Visit the service desk to get measured for your wire. Consider how you want the waist beads to fit, snug? loose? and where you want them to sit on your hips.

The cost for the wire and findings would cost approximately $7.50 and up.

3. Bead away! String up your waist beads.

We recommend using one of our beading mats to use as a smooth surface while beading, it prevents your beads from rolling away, Don't you hate it when that happens? Try to string them on an open flat surface in an area which is not disturbed by others in case you have to "pause" the beading you want to know that they'll still be there when you return!

4. You're at the finish!

After the beads have been strung its time to finish off with your clasp. We can end/clasp the waist beads for you for a nominal fee of $3-$4, if the finishing is more complex it may cost more. If you know how to apply crimp beads and finish off your waist beads go ahead and work your magic!

You can learn to string your own waist beads by attending our Bead Stringing I class.


Let us do it for you:

We can professionally string your waist beads! The cost for this service is the labor fee (Beginning at $25) plus the cost of materials. The labor fee may be higher depending on the size of the beads and the level of skill to string them.

You choose the beads and clasp, we measure you and professionally string it for you. Its as simple as that. Visit the service desk in store to learn more.





Posted in style, waist

30 Days of Earrings!

Posted on June 01, 2014 by Larry Silverman | 0 comments

Psst! Come closer. I have a secret to whisper. Your ears are bored. They are getting tired of the same pair of earrings, every day, week after week, every outfit, sometimes year after year. Oh we know you’ve loved them since the day you first held them up to your ears. And they will always be a part of your personal repertoire. But a little variety might perk up your ears and your spirits.

To drive home this point the artists at S & A Beads will create and display for sale one pair of earrings every day in the month of June. We will be posting to Facebook and Instagram. Come, look, try, maybe buy, or maybe just be inspired to make your own.  



Day 1
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 2
in store artist: Kimberly Arnold

Day 3
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 4
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 5
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 6
in store artist: Kimberly Arnold

Day 7
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 8
in store artist: Kimberly Arnold

Day 9
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 10
in store artist: Lisa O'Brien

Day 11
in store artist: Lisa O'Brien

Day 12
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 13
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 14
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 15
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 16
in store artist: Kimberly Arnold

Day 17
in store artist: Lisa O'Brien

Day 18
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 19
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 20
in store artist: Kimberly Arnold

Day 21
in store artist: Lisa O'Brien

Day 22
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 23
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 24
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 25
in store artist: Lisa O'Brien

Day 26
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 27
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 28
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 29
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 30
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Posted in carlista, cheryl, earring, earwire, emily, june, kimberly, lisa