In 2007, Marlies Mercil was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her radiation treatments, she took up beading as a way of passing time and keeping her mind occupied. She has been in remission for the last seven years, and her jewelry designs have taken off.
You can find ThisNThat Jewelry at Mesa Arts and Crafts Festival, better known as MACFest, on Feb. 1 and 15 in downtown Mesa.
Mercil jokes that her husband, Dan, became jealous of the hobby she took up during radiation, so he started wire-wrapping.
About four years ago, a customer of theirs asked if Dan and Marlies could create a special bracelet for her. They took on that challenge, and today, the Mercils take pride in the bracelets, watches, rings, and earrings they have fashioned from silverware, some of which is more than 100 years old.
The Mercils hail from Vancouver, Wash., where they sell their jewelry in the warmer months. This winter is their first in Mesa, and they have grown so fond of the weather, the artisan communities, and the MACFest family that they plan to return next winter.
Booth registration for MACFest is still available for $20 per event. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: MACFest, a free arts and crafts street fair
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, and every first and third Saturday of the month through April
Where: On North MacDonald near the Arizona Museum of Natural History in downtown Mesa
Cost: Free admission
Information: (480) 644-6500 or MACfestMesa.com
• Jessica Laughlin, a communications major in her senior year at ASU, serves on the MACFest Organizing Committee.