Thursday, February 28, 2013

Francesca Watson Art Jewelry Elements Components Challenge

About 4 weeks ago, I entered a challenge on Art Jewelry Elements blog.  Every month they have a designer offer up some of their components to winners chosen from the comments to design something with them.  This month it was a great enameled disc from Francesca Watson.  I was notified on the 12th I was one of the winners. All I had to do was design something with the component and post about it at the end of the month.  Unfortunately, Francesca wasn't able to get the components mailed to us until about the 12th and I didn't receive it until about the 16th.  I was out of town until then and then had 2 weeks worth of volunteer work that I had signed up for.  So this has been really tight for me. And then my Dad (who is 83) had to have an emergency appendectomy last Thursday (which they tell us is very unusual for anyone his age), so I lost Thursday and Friday, being at the hospital with him and my mom. So, the first idea I had for the component wasn't going to work as it involved some cutting and torch work, which I had never done and didn't have time for once I received the disc. (I wanted to try something with an old/vintage spoon, but had never tried this before)  So on to a new idea. I had started working with my new Kumihimo flat disc, and thought the colors in the braid I was working on would go great with the disc.  Unfortunately, I've been so busy, I haven't gotten to work on it as much as I thought I would.  And I have the dickens of a time finding endings for my Kumihimo braids. Hopefully these will work and hold up alright.  Anyway, I made my Kumihimo braid, wire-wrapped some small pearls to attach to the disc, wrapped small silver chain around the Kumihimo braid and attached the disc to one of the links of the chain that is wrapped around the braid.  I finished it off with a sweet little silver heart toggle clasp I won from another giveaway Blue Moon Beads.  Hopefully you like it and my picture shows up well. I was running out of light by the time I got this finished. (The material I used for the braid was actually strips of material for quilting that I cut into strips.  I liked all the color and design in them, although it doesn't show up as well as I was hoping in the braid.)  So, without further ado, here's my piece with Francesca's great enameled disc:  "All Wrapped Up"

Here's the list of the Participating AJE Contributors:

Jenny Davies-Reazor -

Susan Kennedy -

Linda Landig -

Francesca Watson -

And here's the list of the Guest Designers.  Please be sure to visit each blog to see what they created:

Dawn Horner -

Sandi Volpe -
Thanks Francesca for letting me play along with one of your fantastic enameled discs. I love it.

If you're looking for some of my other jewelry pieces or my Stained Glass, Mosaics or Fused Glass kreations for your Home or Garden, check my shop, KayzKreationz.  If you're looking for the Zinio magazine giveaway, check here. It goes to Sunday.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Zinio Magazine Giveaway!

Looking for the winner of the Steampunk Emporium Book giveaway?  Click HERE.
Hey readers!  Zinio contacted me a couple of weeks ago about their current specials and are letting me offer my readers 9 Digital Magazine GIVEAWAYS!  What a great deal.  They have just about every magazine under the sun in digital form for your iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets, laptop or Desktop computer.  What a deal.  As part of this deal, they're also offering 2 years for the price of 1 on select magazine titles, like iPhone/iPad Life, Popular Photography, the Hollywood Reporter and more .  Isn't that great?  But you've got to hurry. That deal ends March 4th.

Now for the giveaway:  9 of my great readers will get a chance to get a free Digital subscription from Zinio to their favorite magazine.  Here's the deal.  You must be a blog follower, either on your google reader or clicking the button to the right or RSS feed.  Just leave me a comment to let me know which one.  The go to Zinnio and check out their magazines like these: (I found these under art and the crafts in the drop down box). 

Come back and leave me the name of the magazine you'd like to receive as your subscription. Some are only one issue, others are a years subscription, so be careful when you choose.  Also, you MUST leave me a way to contact you and your first and last name for me to send to Zinio for your subscription to go through.  The giveaway ends March 3rd.  Winners will be posted March 4th.  So RUN, don't walk to my blog button and Zinio to get a chance to get a free magazine subscription.

If you're looking for my book review from Interweave on Rustic Wrappings, by Kerry Bogert, click here.

(As part of this offer, per FTC regulations, I was compensated with one free digital magazine subscription for myself.  However the opinions expressed here are my own and I was not compensated for those.)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rustic Wrappings Book Review

The second of the books I received from Interweave/F+W Media , On Sale Now, is Rustic Wrappings by Kerry Bogert.  I had been eyeing this book for quite a while. It looked so interesting and I love wire/metal work.  Kerry is a jewelry maker that focus' on glass and wire. She has authored Totally Twisted, as well as written numerous articles for more than a dozen trade publications.  She has also contributed designs to five other books.  She lives in upstate New York.  Every time I see some of her work, I fall in love with it all over again.  It's fantastic.  And she doesn't let the reader down with this book, Rustic Wrappings.  This book is fantastic. She starts out in the intor with what inspired her to go with rustic jewelry and the things she'll cover in the book to get that rustic feel. (I love rustic)  Then Kerry writes about the basic tools we'll need to re-created these rustic beauties.  And she's all about using what you have around the house in place of some tools.  She describes each one briefly and pictures them so you know what you're looking for/at. She goes into 'Beyond the Basics' after that.  The next chapter is all about the metal. She explains the terminology and what gauge/type she recommends or likes. There's a wide variety here, Sterling Silver, Copper, Brass, Steel, even Anodized Color copper wire which is becoming widely used/loved.  It adds that POP of color.  She then describes Basic Techniques and has quite a few short tutorials on how to make your own loops, ear wires, clasps, etc. to make your jewelry not just your own, but unique.  One thing she mentioned that I really liked is to find a style of clasp you really love and use it all the time in your jewelry as a 'signature' for your jewelry.  I love this idea and intend to implement it in my jewelry design.  After that we get into the Patina recipes. I love patina (especially on copper, which is my wire/metal of choice) and have been wanting to figure out different types of patina for my jewelry.  This chapter is great. She tells us what is the best patina for the wire we're using and how to do it.  Most are very simple, easy methods, although care is always needed as all the chemicals can be harmful.  One of the next things she discusses is Wire Embroidery, which she has been experimenting with for a while, but saved for this book.  I actually have done a couple of pieces using this technique, but not to the extent she describes and uses in the book. It will add a very unique look to your jewelry.  She then describes exploring rustic color and places/things to use to get that rustic color.  For instance, Seasons, Places, the Elements, even Emotions.  Finally we get to the projects. I have to say, they are all so wonderful, I had a hard time trying to figure out any one 'favorite' project.  I can't wait to try them all in one degree or another.  A great thing about her projects (to me) is that while reading about how to create them, you immediately start thinking about how to 'tweak' this or that to make it different or your own.  That is what a great book/teacher is all about and this book had me doing that immediately.  It helps you create your own look.  One of my favorites though, was Aurora Necklace.  I loved the wrapped loops, the beads, the technique, everything. I can't wait to try this one, as well as the Sprockets in Pockets bracelet. I have actually tried to make the loops she has in this bracelet, but with the tips in this book, I think my next try will turn out much easier to do and much better looking. The Western Ways bracelet at the end of the book is another fantastic design I can't wait to try especially since it adds fiber to the piece.  I've started using silk, ribbon in my designs and love it.  This is a must have book in your library. It is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Interweave. Here's a sample page of some of the fantastic projects in this book.

(The book above was provided by F+W Media for review. The author of this blog has not received any other payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.)

Check out my shop, KayzKreationz, for my wire-wrapped jewelry, Stained Glass, Mosaics and Fused Glass items for your Home and Garden.  If you're looking for my review of Steampunk Emporium and the giveaway, go here.  Giveaway will end tonight.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bead Soup 7 and my Partner

Yay! I'm participating in Lori Anderson's 7th Bead Soup Blog party.  I got my notice of my partner last week.  It's Ann Sherwood from Wisconsin.  To find out more about her, check out her blog, Ann's Blog.  I had already started putting some soup to simmer on the stove, but wanted to check with her that there went any ingredients she just couldn't handle or wouldn't enjoy.  She assured me she was up for pretty much anything.  So I put the finishing touches/spices in the soup and got it mailed off to her last week.  If everything goes right with the Post Office (LOL) it should be arriving at her house today.  Her soup to me is also scheduled to be delivered today.  But knowing my post office,  that's a big IF.  They sometimes decide packages won't fit in my LARGE mailbox without even trying and just leave me a message that I have a package waiting for me in town, 12-15 miles away.  So we'll see when I go up the road to the main road to check my mail this afternoon.  Hopefully it will be there for me to sample.  Stay tuned for all the reveals.  This party was so large Lori had to divide it into 3 reveals.  I'm in the last reveal in April.  Check the button on the left of my blog for the 3 reveal dates.  There was over 500 participating in the Blog Hop party, plus some participating on Facebook because they don't have blogs.  It's a blast.  There's tons of awesome designers and designs in these parties.  Lastly, here's a peek at the soup I sent Ann.
If you're interested in some of my Wire-wrapped, beaded jewelry or my Stained Glass, Mosaics and Fused Glass items for your Home or Garden, check out my shop, KayzKreationz.  You'll be glad you did. LOL
If you're looking for my Steampunk Emporium book review and giveaway, click HERE

Friday, February 15, 2013

Steampunk Emporium Book Review and Giveaway

Contest is closed.  The winner is (taking into account, several repeat comments)
True Random Number Generator 10Powered by RANDOM.ORG
Kim Redden who said:
I have always loved trinkets and gadgets, adore buttons of all sizes and shapes, and all types of watches and clocks. The little gimmicky do-dads on things just make me buy them. To be able to put these items together in jewelry creations just blows me away. With some guidance and ideas some truly fantastical pieces could be created! Your give-away is an inspiration! Thank you!
Kim, I'll be contacting you for your address to get you your book. Congrats everyone.
Back in December I was contacted by Interweave/F+W Media, On Sale Now about 3 books I was wanting to review.  Nicole Miller and then Tommy Semosh e-mailed me and sent me the book Steampunk Emporium by Jema "Emilly Ladybird' Hewitt.  Miss Emilly Ladybird, Adventuress, is Jema's steampunk alter ego.  She travels the world searching out artifacts for her employers, Dickens and Rivett.  She lives among the rolling hills of Derbyshire in the United Kingdom with her husband.
I've been interested in Steampunk Jewelry for a while, but wasn't quite sure what all it involved and how to make it.  But this book has been very interesting.  The intro on the front cover says "Creating Fantastical Jewelry, Devices and Oddments from Assorted Cogs, Gears and Curios".  Although I'm not really into Science Fiction (which is what I would describe this book as) it was a very interesting read.  Jema Hewitt has written this book as 'Miss Emilly Ladybird'.  You will follow 'Miss Emilly' in her harrowing antics as she records her adventures with intergalactic space pirates, undersea voyagers and Jurassic explorers.  As she encounters each of these, she will make jewelry to dazzle you from 'keys, devices, jewels, etc.' all given to her or found by her on her travels.  She uses a wide variety of gems, cogs, lace, suede, polymer clay, resin, bezels, etc. to design wonderful Steampunk jewelry.  There is sure to be something in here to catch your eye.  Two of my favorites are "Clockwork Princess's Chatelaine" and the "Cog Button Choker", both very unique pieces.  In the back she has an appendix of "Useful Items and Practical Methodology" where she describes different jewelry techniques, how to take a watch apart, how to use/make polymer clay, tools, findings, etc.  If you really love Steampunk or are just wanting to get into Steampunk Jewelry, you'll find this book a great read.

Because of a problem with my Post Office (they marked the books as delivered and then put them in a bin where no-one noticed them for about 2 weeks, and without leaving me a notice to come pick them up), F+W Media sent me a second set of books.  So one reader will receive the extra copy of this book as a gift.  Leave a comment her telling me what interests you about Steampunk.  Extra chances for following my blog, 'Liking' my facebook page, KayzKreationzGlassKreationz, or hearting my Etsy shop.  Leave a separate comment for each one. Giveaway will end Friday, Feb. 22nd at midnight.

It is available for purchase here at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or North Light.

(The book above was provided by F+W Media for review. The author of this blog has not received any other payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.) 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Classic Chain Mail Jewelry With A Twist-Book Review-Giveaway

I recently received the book, Classic Chain Mail Jewelry with a Twist by Sue Ripsch from Kalmbach Books
I've been interested in trying my hand at Chainmaille for a while, but haven't had any books, classes or tutorials on it so I could try it.  This book is great, although I think I might have been better off to try Sue's first book first.  But she goes into great detail about how to make your own jumprings if you want, along with hints on how to do that and even mentions a professional jump ring maker if you are going to be doing this a lot.  She has the support of her family, especially her husband who makes the jump rings for her and even sells them on their site.  Plus her daughter, Megan has been developing her own chainmaille weaves.  She also describes how to clean and polish your jump rings/jewelry in tumblers and mentions the 2 diffferent types of tumblers available and how they work. She then gives you info on what to use in your tumbler to get the most out of it and where to get the supplies you need.  Then she gets into the part that made me think I should have started with the first book. She has a great chart in there about the different gauges of wire jump rings and what their wire diameter in MM would be as well as a chart showing the conversion for jump rings made out of different gauges of wire. Then she explains what the aspect ration is, how to figure it and how to change it for a weave to get it to work/lay right.  However, math has never been my strong point, so I had to read this 3 or 4 times before I 'got' it. LOL  But she does such a good job explaining it, that I finally figured it out.  Then the fun begins.  She has sections fro Beginner Weaves, Intermediate Weaves and Advanced Weaves.  They all look like so much fun.  Like the European Rosette Bracelet weave.  This is the one I want to try as soon as I can find some jump rings. I'm a little disappointed it's been so hard to try to find jump rings locally, (and I'm not wanting to make a couple of hundred jump rings right now) so I'll have to order some so I can try my first Chainmaille bracelet.  Plus she gives ideas on the different weaves to change them up, add some extra bling to them, use twisted jump rings for a different look, etc.  Her descriptions, pictures and explanations are so throrough, even a beginner like me will be able to make some great Chainmaille pieces.  I can't wait to get some jump rings and get started.  The illustrations are wonderful and really enhance the weaves and descriptions.  Even if you haven't been thinking about trying Chainmaille, after reading this book, you'll want to dive right in. 
Sue shares her expertise in workshops across the country and her and her husband have an online business, "Jewwelry by Sue" where you can find her finished jewelry, kits and jub rings made by them for your chainmaille adventure.  Check this book out. You're going to love it.
Kalmbach books has such a great selection of books for every type of craft/crafter.  You need to check out their site for this great book if you're interested in Chainmaille or other books in your favorite craft.  Also, for another perspective of this book, check out Texas Pepper Jams. She's done a review of the book and is having a GIVEAWAY!
(The book above was provided by Kalmbach Books for review. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Vintage Lucite and Clay Blog Hop

Several months ago, Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasures asked for people  who wanted  to order a small package of either vintage Lucite or Beads and design something with them for a blog hop. I have to say, these beads have been eating my lunch since I received them. I love them, but everything I've tried to design/make with them has turned out terrible. I've started over about 4 different times.  I'm still not pleased with this design (it's not how I had envisioned it) but I was running out of time, so here it is.  First is the beads I received from Lisa.  It's not a great picture, but it got dark on me before I could get a good one.
And here is my bracelet I made. I had gotten a disc for the flat Kumihimo braid and wanted to incorporate the beads right into the weave, but try as I might, I could never figure out how to get those beads with the little bitty holes in the weave. I really wanted them to fit where the groove was, but they weren't holding no matter what I did.  So I had to give in and make the weave (which I did twice and they both came out too short.  Not sure what I'm doing wrong.)  So I attached some chain I had, put the dangles with the lucite and dyed howlite beads on one end and an S-clasp on the other end for the bracelet. Since I now had another piece of weave done (the 2 together made the bracelet too long) I made some purse jewelry with it. I added one of the gold swivel clasps to one end and the lucite and howlite dangles to the other end to attach to my purse strap/zipper.  I was also doing this as part of my Family design challenge. I felt these beads were the right color to fit in with the colors my daughter-in-law, her mother,Karla Morgan of Texas Pepper Jams and I had picked to challenge ourselves.  We had decided to make something with these colors and post it by the end of January.  My daughter-in-law had something come up and couldn't finish the challenge.  But here's my piece for both challenges.  The color palette we used is from Design Seeds.  I love her color palettes.  This one is Feathered Love.  Here it is:

And here is my bracelet  and purse jewelry for both challenges.
Thanks so much for following along.  Hope you like it.  Be sure to check out Lisa's blog for the list of other participants and see what they did with they're Vintage Lucite or Clay beads.  To see what Karla did with her family challenge check out Texas Pepper Jams. (She's been having internet issues, so keep checking back if it's not posted yet.)   And if you're looking for some Stained Glass, Mosaics, Fused Glass or other Copper, Wire-wrapped jewelry, check out my Etsy shop, KayzKreationz.