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'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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Monday, April 14, 2014

Bead crochet yourself a happy bracelet!

I realized it had been a couple of years since I sat down and made some crocheted bead bracelets, and now I had the perfect opportunity!  The bright pink rubberized faceted glass beads from Fire Mountain Gems were the inspiration.

Using a #4 crochet hook and some C-Lon cord from Marion Jewelry in Fiber, I strung on all of the FMG beads plus some size 6/0 seed beads in between.  Then I sat down to crochet while a certain show that I won't admit to watching was playing in the background :-)

I found that one stitch was fine for each of the seed beads, but I needed to add an extra stitch on each side of the larger beads.  The bracelet grew and grew, which made me really happy!  I wanted one which wrapped four times around my wrist, and it turned out to be exactly the right length, without me having to add extra chain stitches.  Lucky me!

Such a simple, easy project...and just perfect for spring.

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received some of the above products free of charge from Fire Mountain Gems in order to write a review and/or create a project free of charge for you. 

Copyright 2014 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Blue Glass Sculpture With Glass Beads 
Cherie makes a glass sculpture with dollar store beads, bud vases, and blue charger plates.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi puts the finishing touches, including beads, on a small slashed and woven quilt.

Spring and Easter Craft Projects for You Crafty Peeps
Find directions for everything from unique Easter eggs to holiday table d├ęcor and jewelry at The Artful Crafter.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews PATINA by the wonderful author Matthew Runfola! What a book!

Art Bead Scene
Take a peek at Mary's etsy picks, inspired by this month's challenge piece from Degas.

Carmi's Art/Life World
I am very excited to share my recently published necklace project in Perles et Cetera magazine!

Resin Crafts Blog
It is wonderful to know that you can embellish any blank surface with some Jewelry Clay. This shawl pin needed a little bit of bling.

No Stitchin'!
Like fabric but your sewing skills are not up to snuff? Or maybe you are looking for some fast fabric loving projects. This book maybe just what you need in your crafting library.

A Bead A Day
Spring has finally arrived which means time for new jewelry! Lisa shares her beach inspired necklace. What are YOU making?

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Book review: Enameling Made Easy

A small hand-held butane torch...that's not so scary, is it?  You don't have to have a large torch set-up or a kiln to made gorgeous enamel projects, thanks to Anat Silvera and her new Kalmbach publication, Enameling Made Easy.

This is a great book for beginners because Anat starts with the absolute basics.  But not just enameling basics: metalworking techniques too!  There is so much more than just basics, though, and every technique is backed up by an included DVD!!  The book also has a clever spiral-bound design so that you can leave it open as you work through the techniques and projects.

And the projects...oh, the projects!  You might not want to do every single one of them, but it would a really good idea to look at all of them and read through carefully since the skills build upon earlier skills.  I said before that it's not a book just for beginners.  If you follow along the journey, you can try your hand at cloisonne, plique-a-jour, sgraffito, stenciling, and more.  Not baby stuff, huh?  But the directions are so clear, I swear even I could do it (maybe!).


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