Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review!

Crystal Jewelry Inspiration from the Create Your Style Ambassadors

compiled by Karin Van Voorhees

published by Kalmbach


I just received a  fabulous book from Kalmbach to review! It has wonderful illustrations, photographs, descriptions, details, and step-by-step instructions with a front flap and a back flap for use as bookmarks, which I found particularly exciting! I just couldn't decide which designs to mark. They are all so beautiful!

This book includes unique creations from 30 very talented designers from North America who use Swarovski Crystals in a variety of media and techniques. The designs range from simple to extravagant, easy to complex, and beautiful to gorgeous. There are necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and pins; something for everyone.

The book begins with an informative and concise history of The Swarovski Tradition. It is followed by an explanation of the Ambassador Program, which now includes 49 members from 13 countries.When you see these beautiful creations, you will see why these particular designers were picked to participate in this program. Their creations are inspiring and will wet your imagination and muse!

There is really something for everyone in this book from the beginner to the most experienced because the designs include bead stitching, stringing, wire, metal, fabric, metal clay, polymer clay, wire crochet, and much, much more. Each design is followed by a photo and an interview of the designer. It was fun to read their advice, as well as, technique tidbits.

For example, the Stepping Stones bracelet on page 30 by Diane Fitzgerald is made with the African Circle Stitch which she recreated by studying a piece she found in the Russell-Coates Museum in Bournemouth, England. Her advice is "don't follow the trends, create them."

Another example, is a beautiful necklace called the Victorian Garden Party by Valeen Hirata on page 58. It is a mixture of elements with crystals, beads, chain, filigree, wire and stitching. Valeen's favorite tools are her hands and round nose pliers. Her advice is to "go with your instinct and don't be afraid to try."
The Pink Orbits ring on page 62 by Leslie Rogalski  is delightful. It is a woven cuff of crystals inspired by Cirque de Soleil. Leslie's favorite tools are "good task lamps, magnifier glasses, and a really good pair of scissors." The best advice she ever received was "do what you love." How true!

I just loved the necklace, Whitewashed Garden Bib, on page 106 by Renata Sanchez Ramos. It has a mixture of techniques, textures, and materials with crystals, pearls, clay, filigree, beads, mesh, ribbon, wire and chain. Renata gets inspired by " the materials themselves, but also... movies, nature, fashion, music, and architecture." This can truly been seen in this beautiful necklace. 

The book ends with a gorgeous gallery of photographs from around the world. All are truly inspiring and will wet your creative genre. This book is well worth having! Who doesn't want more BLING, BLING!!


  1. This sounds like a really exciting book. I've been hearing about it. Sounds like I need to get it for myself and check all the great works out. Thanks.

  2. Wow, you have been so busy with reviews, Karla! I wanted to let you know my beautiful bracelet and earrings arrived yesterday. Only 10 days since posting... that's actually fast compared to usual for me LOL. I shared on my blog... thank you so much, Karla, I love them!


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