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

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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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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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mixed media and recycled jewelry tutorials

Time to Run...both mixed media AND recycled materials!


This is probably the biggest and most inclusive category of posts that I have to share with you.  You will find that there is some overlap between this list of mixed media and recycled jewelry and some of the tutorials that have been assigned to other categories.  Well of course...it's unavoidable!  If a project uses found objects and bead embroidery, it will inevitably show up on both the mixed media list and the seed bead list.  There's a lot to share with you, so let's get started:

Mixed media earrings

Christmas Memories pendants

Hanukkah earrings

Hinged metal bracelet with resin

Drum Beat necklace

Resin-polymer clay bezel

Wired button earrings

Insulator pendant

Metal mesh pins

Beaded polymer clay pendant

Ammonite necklace

Brass wire flower necklace

Antique key and lampwork necklace

My Heart's Chatelaine

She Walks in Beauty

Ethiopian crosses

Easy bezel for watch face

Mixed metals and resin necklace

Passion flower necklace

Cuff bracelet

Framed necklace

The White Woman from Rosenegg

Wild Caterpillar bracelet

Sublime Spring bracelet

Blow a Fuse necklace

Sea glass necklace

Rubber glass necklace

Always Time for Cats bracelet

Resin paper

Autumn Vines necklace

Found Objects and Unusual Materials

CopprClay disc necklace

Fishing for Trout necklace

Stamped resin pendant

Wrapped paua shell necklace

Wire and ribbon necklace

Optical lens pendants

Treasure necklace

Key to My Heart pins

Assemblage necklace

Cracking Copper

Treasure Chest necklace

Cigar box handbag

Multi-strand necklace

Beaded assemblage

Polymer clay frame necklace

Vintage treasure necklaces

Tape measure bracelet

Pink bubble earrings

Fun in the Sun

Time to Run

Carnelian pendant

Champagne Bubbles necklace

Freeform beaded necklace on silver wire

Piano keys necklace

Destiny bracelet

Bottle cap pins




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