Don't miss our beads giveaway, running until April 28! Visit the link above to enter.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Basics - information and tutorials to get you started beading and jewelry-making!

Everyone has to start somewhere, and since we've covered so many different materials and styles over the years, I thought that I would put together a short list of my best resources and easiest tutorials for people who are just starting out.  Don't be intimidated!  Just pick a something and dive right in!


Beginner tutorials and resources in different media:

Making a textured polymer clay pendant

Wirework basics

Wire up some button earrings

Hammered wire earrings

Lampwork basics

Simple lampwork bead earrings

Easy lampwork bead necklaces

Knotted cord necklace

Metal stamped bracelet

CopprClay basics

Knotting a continuous necklace

Seed bead basics

Two-drop peyote beaded beads

Bead embroidery basics

Bottle cap pins

Optical lens pendant


Other resources: 

Design series

Jewelry and beading education

Know your jewelry terms

Suppliers

Best books

Online color training and tools

Online jewelry design tools

Online creativity tools

Online bead and jewelry forums


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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book review: Packaging Your Crafts



Your beautiful handmade gift is finished...now what?  Do you ever wonder how to make the package as beautiful and unique as the contents?  Wonder no more, my friends!  Viola Sutanto has a brand new Lark Book called Packaging Your Crafts.  Whether you make jewelry, clothing, edibles, or decorative items, you'll find fabulous ideas for adding a professional edge to your packaging.

There are three sections to this book: materials and how to use them, designing for your specific contents, and a resource guide.  The first two sections are really fun to leaf through while fantasizing about your own work.  There are so many examples given, plus helpful tips from experienced designers, that this book is a good introduction to the fine art of branding as well as being a helpful how-to.


The resources section has a selection of printable packaging templates, sizing charts, and measurement conversion charts to help you bring your own packaging to light.  



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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mixed media and recycled jewelry artist profiles


You will find some of these artists' profiles listed in other categories as well, but some of them will be found only here.  So many different styles are represented in this group of talented people, you'll want to visit all of them!

Pat Krauchune

Jill Lawrence

Marta Townsend

Jodie Atherton

Joan Babcock

Susan Sorrell

Denise Perreault

Jadyn's Jewelbox

Robin Humphrey

Benjamin John Coleman

Dayle Doroshow

Vicki Dehne

Betsy Howard

Love Heals

Genevieve Crabe

Rebecca Brown

Mary Tafoya

Margaux Lange

Tina Koyama

Phaedra Torres

Beth Cummings


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Beads giveaway!



I've made a couple of giveaway packets from the new product stash I received from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads last month, and here's the first that's up for grabs!  Stay tuned...the next gift packet will be metal!

Rubberized faceted glass beads

Glass Beads - Celestial Crystal


GIVEAWAY ALERT!!! 

Would you like to win these bead strands? Here's what you need to do...please read this carefully. Leave me a comment here and include your email address. If I don't see your email address, I won't be able to contact you. No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person. You are welcome to spell it out if you'd prefer, for example, cyndi at mazeltovjewelry dot com. If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice! Deadline: April 28, 2014  




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Friday, April 18, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!



Mixed Media Artist
You can never have too many image transfer methods in your bag of tricks. Cyndi has gathered up all her tutorials for you!

Spring Postcard Art
Cherie makes a postcard for June's spring challenge.

From Dollar Store Plastic to Elegant Easter Eggs
By the time you're done, no one would ever know these elegant Easter eggs are made from cheap plastic eggs!

Snap Out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reposts a review of Jamie Cloud Eakins most recent Bead Embroidery book, and exceptional work!

Crochet Cuteness
The Crafty Princess cracks open a new super cute crochet book.

A Bead A Day
New ideas for summer jewelry are circulating over on a bead a day blog. Lisa's thinking about summertime pearls and ankle-bracelets as necklaces!

Resin Crafts Blog
With Jewelry Clay as a new medium in my jewelry zone I have found that I can create so many new wearable pieces.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The best books on mixed media and recycled jewelry


I tried to stick with books for this list that really embodied what I consider the spirit of working with mixed materials and recycled components.  There are many other books that could have been included, but you'll find them listed under the major media that they deal with: polymer clay, wire, metal clay, etc.  I hope the reviews linked below will help you!

Enameling Made Easy by Anat Silvera

Patina by Matthew Runfola

Simple Soldered Jewelry & Accessories by Lisa Bluhm

The Jewelry Maker's Design Book: an alchemy of objects by Deryn Mentock

Foxy Epoxy by Kristal Wick

Soutache by Anneta Valious

Resin Alchemy by Susan Lenart Kazmer

Vintage Revised Jewelry by Co-Co Nicole Bush

Heat, Color, Set and Fire by Mary Hettmansperger

Bohemian Inspired Jewelry by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel

Vintage-Style Beaded Jewelry by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell

Vintage Redux by Brenda Schweder

Custom Cool Jewelry by Melinda Barta

Semiprecious Salvage by Stephanie Lee

Beadalicious by Sonya Nimri

The Naughty Secretary Club by Jennifer Perkins

A Charming Exchange by Kelly Snelling and Ruth Rae

Making Designer Mixed-Media and Memory Jewelry by Tammy Powley


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book review: Create Three Dimensional Jewelry



Gazing at a book that featured the jewelry of Miriam Haskell provided Heather DeSimone with her big "light-bulb moment," showing her that jewelry could be built in more than just one direction, thus in more than just two dimensions.  But her turning point was when she acquired a huge warehouse full of Lucite beads and jewelry components.  Now she wanted to not only build really cool 3D jewelry, but she also wanted to show the world that plastic is not a dirty word!  Create Three Dimensional Jewelry, published by Kalmbach Press, will help to make that dream a reality.  


This is a really fun book.  The organization is excellent, teaching you first how to build some of the basic pieces that will be the "building blocks" of dimensional design.  The materials are a little different from what you might be used to, so Heather has gone into quite a bit of detail in this section.  Section two has the projects, with step-by-step instructions, but also lots of suggestions for using alternate materials or colorways.  The last section covers some of the basics of jewelry making that you'll always find in Kalmbach books, so never fear, even if you are a complete beginner!

Heather stresses that there is no "one way" to do things.  In the step-by-step photos and instructions for the 21 projects, you'll learn how to effectively layer components, make beaded clusters, rivet metal pieces, and lots lots more!


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