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Bead of the Week

red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


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This week I'm suggesting some amazing books you may want to check out at, especially if you're at the beginner/intermediate stage of jewelry making, or if you want to learn some of the new techniques featured here.

designThe first suggestion is The Jewelry Maker's Design Book: An Alchemy of Objects by Deryn Mentock. This book walks you through how to make bohemian, rustic, one-of-a-kind, jewelry that integrates found objects or repurposes beautiful charms and elements from your jewelry box. It not only provides techniques for making several beautiful projects, but also discusses design 'envisioning' and planning using unique objects in mixed media. (Note that although step-by-step directions are provided, and key stages are illustrated with photographs, basic jewelry-making skills and supplies are required.) The book includes a useful overview of the tools and materials you'll need to get started, as well as a reference section. The focus here is on metals, wire, beads, stones and found objects. The author also presents an overview of basic wirework (including making your own findings) and metalwork. It's a great book to both inspire and instruct! You can read more about it here and even take a sneak peak inside!

Our second featured book is Bohemian Inspired Jewelry by Lorelei Eurto. This book showcases fifty beautiful designs using cords and ribbon in jewelry. Eurto includes clear steps for incorporating these trendy materials into designs, as well as troubleshooting tips for finishing the ends using the right findings and how to care for materials such as 100% silk ribbon. The focus is on the creation of beautiful, hip designs.

bohemian 3We think the book is perfect for all levels of jewelry makers. Beginner jewelry artists will learn basic skills including, stringing, wire-wrapping, knotting, and braiding. Advanced designers are provided with a vast range of material and design ideas. The author even tackles more complicated knotting and makes it understandable for artisans at all skill levels.

The designs favor a soft, fluttery style accented with bits of silky ribbon, shiny beads and a supple leather strap or two. All the projects incorporate unique elements...buttons, lace scraps, ceramic letters, leather knots, braid scraps. The book is also beautifully illustrated and inspiring! Check it out here:

The third and last book we are recommending today is Making Jewelry with Gemstone Beads by Barbara Case.

This book, obviously, focuses on the use of gemstone beads, specifically, beautiful semi-precious stones. It features a variety of versatile ideas which can be adapted for any type of gem or bead. The book provides inspiration for over 100 projects, ranging from dazzling earrings and accessories to exquisite necklaces and bracelets. The book itself is also beautiful, and will give you a glimpse into the fascinating history and mythical properties of at least 28 semi-precious stones (including birthstones).

gemstone beads 2Projects range from the simplest stringing to more detailed beadwork, so it should be appropriate for all levels of ability. Each project is labeled by skill level and time necessary to complete. One reviewer said it best: "You will be amazed at what you can complete in less than an afternoon."

Check this one out here:

p.s. If you have a limited budget for book-buying, don't forget to check out the 'Used Copy' option. It's nice to support the authors by buying NEW if you can, but if you need to save money, you can often find very gently used books in great condition for substantially less, right there on Amazon. (Look for the fine print on 'Used and New' copies under the word 'Paperback' under the book's title. [Oh and of course, those with Kindle readers can save on costs -- as well as paper waste! as well...]

Until Next Time,


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