Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Book Review-Irina's Inspirations

I was recently sent the book Irina's Inspirations by Irina Miech.  It is published by Kalmbach Books.  It is a fascinating book. I had never seen any of her designs or jewelry, but from the cover to the end of the book I was hooked. She takes her inspiration from everything.  She starts out with how to recognize inspiration, then moves into Materials and Design, then the Tools and Techniques you'll need.  And finally the projects.  It is amazing.  As I looked at the photos of her inspiration and then the pieces she made I was just in awe.  She also talks about how to achieve balance and then watching the trends to know what is or will be in fashion. 
After that comes the projects.  I love the fact that with each project she posts the photo or inspiration behind it.  It really helped me to see how to see the inspiration and then how to draw from it to make a design.  She starts with simpler projects/inspiration and moves on into harder, more difficult ones towards the back of the book.  She outlines each tip/technique very well, so you can understand exactly what she's doing.  She also includes step by step photos to help.
There's something for everyone in the book.  But my 2 favorite projects would have to be the Hawaiian Isles bracelet, made with Wire mesh (which I have not been able to find yet) on page 64.  It is a contrast (with the mesh) of the lava fields of Hawaii and the tropical flowers you find there.  Even the clasp carries out the theme, since it is a floral clasp. I love it. 
My other favorite piece is the Botanical Tiles bracelet on page 88.  I love metal and she uses copper square discs that she textures as the background 'tile' for the botanical 'focal' pieces on top of them.  She uses a variety of components to achieve those botanical pieces.  It is wonderful. In fact, both of my favorite pieces can be seen in the photo of the cover of the book at the top of this post.
So if you're looking for a way to kick up your inspiration a notch, or just some wonderful designs, check out Kalmbach books and get this book.  You'll love it.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A BIG Giveaway! on Pretty Things

I love Lori's Pretty Things Blog! She always has such inspiring posts, ideas, giveaways, Blog Hops and more.  This time she's outdone herself.  She's having a BIG giveaway.  A (Five) Bead and Button Bead Giveaways!  She's got 5 different giveaways going at the same time.  They're all great.  But she makes it SOOOO difficult.  When you post a comment, you have to let her know which one of the 5 is your favorite!  I just couldn't decide.  I had it narrowed down to 3, but still couldn't decide my favorite.  So rush right over to her blog, Pretty Things and check out the giveaways, her ideas, and leave a comment to win.
This is just one of the giveaways she's got going.  Aren't they fabulous?