Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fabulous Giveaway!

KayzKreationz is offering a wonderful giveaway by Zinio Magazine. She gets to give away 9 digital subscriptions to a magazine for your iPad, iPhone, Android phones or tablets, laptop or Desktop computers. It is a fabulous deal! Zinio is also offering 2 years for the price of 1 on selected magazine titles. The giveaway ends March 3rd. So HURRY to comment on KayzKreationz' blog to win. Just click on her name for the link. You can also check out the magazines by Zinio by clicking on the link above.

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!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Family Challenge W/ KayzKreationz!

A month ago, my daughter's mother-in-law, KayzKreationz, & myself decided to challenge ourselves to our own Blog Hop since we had so much fun with the Challenge of Color Blog Hop in November, 2012. 
Kay & I decided to use a color palette from design-seeds. Our choice is called Feathered Love. It's a beautiful palette.

We were suppose to get this posted by the end of January, but I'm running late with the post! I did, however, get my project done on time.

I decided to stitch seed beads, tube beads, crystals, & glass beads from the techniques I learned reviewing the book published by Kalmbach, Easy Crystal Stitching Sophisticated Jewelry by Nikia Angel.

My Project

I really like lariat style necklaces and wanted to see what I could do with stitching one. So I made the square components from the book & incorporated them into the necklace. I put my own twist on it! That was fun but a lot of stitching!

I used green/gray tube beads, orange flower glass beads, green glass beads & crystals, light green, dark green, gray, & light grayish/white seed beads of various sizes.

I hope you like what I created. Let me know what you think!

Kay combined this Family Challenge with another project she was working on; Vintage Lucite & Clay Blog Hop. Check out her blog and let us how we did!