Friday, April 10, 2009

New Jewelry Making Book

One of the best things about my job is that I get to see book projects progress from the very beginning to the final, published book. Even before the proposal stage, we get hints of what's to come. There's a query, either formal, or usually informal ("I was thinking of ... what do you think?") Then we get the proposal, and a few project samples. Finally, the manuscript arrives with all the completed work. But that's not the end. We see the projects -- first on the editor's desk, then en route to art and photography, then back again -- over a six-month period.

When the rumors started that there might be a book in the works by Cathy Jakicic, BeadStyle editor, we were all curious. Imagine our delight when Hip, Handmade Memory Jewelry arrived! From a distance, the projects looked like beautiful -- but really fun -- jewelry. Close up, though, every piece revealed a story.

While jewelry making remains dear to my heart, I am a craft dabbler. There isn't a technique I don't want to try. This book combines the best of the best -- there are scrapbooking elements, decoupage, lots of things to do with photos, resin-set charms and pendants, and even simple laminating. We've all made paper beads before, but how great would it be to have a necklace made from the special wrapping paper from a bridal or baby shower? Cathy's "Gifts of Style" project combines these special beads with luminous coin pearls for an elegant keepsake necklace. Two of my personal favorite collectibles -- sea glass and smooshed pennies -- are both given their due. The "Sea-Glass Celebration" set is a beautiful presentation. But what I like the most is Cathy's idea to make your own "sea" glass with a rock tumbler and a broken bottle. I'll have to look at special occasions a little differently! "Cent-imental Style" looks like a lovely copper-toned necklace from a distance, but a closer look reveals links made from my favorite 51-cent souvenir.

Those of you who know me well know about my home-decorating adventures and particularly the faux painting exploits. There was the blood-red-and-metallic-gold extravaganza in the powder room, the Tuscan-like (well, in my mind) guest bedroom, and the glistening gold dining room, to name a few. How I wish now that I had photos of those walls, since I've moved more than I like to think. Cathy was smart enough to photograph her walls and decoupage the results into a beautiful textured bangle bracelet, called "Home Fires." It brings new meaning to the phrase "if these walls could talk..."

Hip Handmade Memory Jewelry should be in stores soon, but you can always order a copy from Kalmbach.

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