I recently received a copy of
“Jewel Loom Inspirations,” authored by Julianna Avelar and published by FW
Media.The front cover features a couple
of interesting pieces of jewelry along with the small compact loom which is an integral
part of this creative process.The
author states that she initially gathers all of her items together which in
turn inspires her as she contemplates all of the wonderful jewelry possibilities
they present. She goes on to advise the beadier about the myriad assortment of
crystals, gemstones and beads available.Stringing material is also discussed in the book, plus tools, adhesives,
clasps, and additional sundry items.
I own the Jewel Loom and it
has been a wonderful portable and easy to dress loom.It is quite flexible and its possibilities as
a simple but effective loom are limitless.Setting up is very simple and no guess work is involved.The author’s step-by-step pictures of the
process make the task go very quickly.
Julianna also introduces the
reader to several finishing techniques, all of which make one’s beaded work
look very professional.I loved the
charming projects presented in this book.She chose a variety of beads from her stash and displayed many appealing
adornments for all occasions.We are
further advised which materials and tools to use in each and every bead warping
and weaving adventure.Cuffs, beaded
bands, headbands, a ring, a choker, and many other items are featured.
This small “Jewel Loom” is
waiting for the bead artist’s nimble fingers and creative ideas.This book “Jewel Loom Inspirations will help
lead the way.
If you haven't had the
fantastic opportunity to dine at Zahav in Philadelphia, you are missing a
gastronomical wonderland. The dishes are beautifully presented and laden with
ingredients to enhance each and every culinary experience.
The author with his book, “Zahav,”
takes us on our own extraordinary tour of discovery inside this fabled
restaurant’s recipes. The book also presents the authors own path to self-discovery,
both past and present. He was born in Israel, but his family moved to the
United States when he was quite young. At the age of 15, his family moved back
with him to Israel, but for Michael, the US was his designated home. And so,
his journey began.
First of all, he awakened all
of our senses with the beautiful photographs in his book. I felt I was out in a
heavenly garden surrounded by fields of grains, seeds, and vegetables. The fish
and fowl are presented in all their glory and many are enhanced with “tehina,”
a sesame paste, which he blends with garlic, lemon, water and salt.
All ingredients are listed so
the “cook” in your kitchen will find the format easy to follow. None of this “a
pinch of this and a pinch of that” lingo. As I perused the book my salivary
glands were working overtime.
Chapter after chapter
convinced me that “Zahav” was a cooking book to treasure. It is the next best
thing to embarking on a journey to their fabled restaurant in Philadelphia.
Neilson and I recently had some engaging conversations.Inasmuch as I had experimented with a variety
of Kumihimo patterns, her Kongō Gumi book whet my appetite even further.The cover with the colorful binary patterns
elicited a subtle tactile experience. The inscription read “For Ray – Enjoy
these designs! Rosalie Neilson – and enjoy I did.
studied this art form in Japan in the 80’s and subsequently passed down her
expertise to many new braiders throughout the years.As she proceeded with the exploration of the
16 element braid structures, she concluded that in order to avoid a very
expensive outlay of funds for the silk threads, a template would have to be
created replicating the movement of the 16 element design opportunities.Rosalie consulted with Bob Keats, developer
of a weaving software program.Together
they came up with the definitive number of two color designs for the 16 element
braid known as Kongō Gumi.The total
number is 1,157 designs consisting of both 1 and 8 spot configurations.
“Kongō Gumi” contains an amazing collection of braids featuring spots, coils,
zigzags, and lines.The historical
bibliographical sections are very informative.A tremendous amount of thought, concentration, and observation produced
this book of discovery.It further
enhanced my thoughts about the multitude of paths one’s threaded adventure can
Many years ago my son was a pitcher for his Khoury League
baseball team.There were some euphoric
moments when the ball sailed out of his hand, right on target, and the final
batter was called out. You could hear
the thump as the catcher made a perfect move slightly to the left and held up
the ball with his gloved hand. The
parents cheered and both catcher and pitcher grinned from ear to ear.There were other times not so glorious, but
that’s the name of the game.
The above book is a wonderful history of the outstanding catchers
of this great American pastime, both for the audience and its legend of
players.And they are what legends are made
of as exemplified in this book written by Bo Smolka and published by ABDO
The greats are all here:Gabby Hartnett, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella,
Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Thurman Munson, Gary Carter, Ivan Rodriguez, Mike
Piazza, Jorge Posada, Joe Mauer, and Yadier Molina.They played for all the exciting Pennant and
World Series teams.They came from
various parts of the country and represented an outstanding team spirit and
talent.Regardless of the weather,
crowd, or stadium, they were there time after time to get the job done and help
produce a winning game.
I recently met, Noah, an eleven year old.He is the catcher for his baseball team. Even
though squatting for so many innings is sometimes hard, I could see the excitement
in his eyes as he talked about his favorite baseball position.This is a great book for young baseball team
players, even those that don’t have strong knees, thighs, and great eye hand
coordination. Noah stated he was looking
forward to receiving this book “The Best MLB Catchers of All Times.”It will be my pleasure to share it with
him.Exciting game and exciting book!
Several months ago, I received this book from the author. I had contacted her and explained that I had a blog site www.rite-it.blogspot.com where my craft book reviews appear. She graciously sent me a copy. I began to peruse the book and was blow away. The pictures, details, instructions, chain mail designs, etc., are perfection personified. Each and every project is presented in a very well organized manner and all tools, and materials are listed. One can also order all the supplies from the author for the various designs. Takes away the frustration of "where to source the materials." The colorful jewelry examples illustrated on the cover tease one to look inside and get lost in a remarkable assortment of projects utilizing aluminum jump rings, scales, and disks. All of the designs are doable even for a novice chain mailer. I can't wait to complete and wear the "Goddess of the Sun" collar. It's striking elegance will make me feel like royalty.
When I think
of stitching, I think of all the wonderful skeins of thread and countless
embroidery stitches I learned as a child.My interest in this form of embellishment even continued into my
adulthood.The hoops were both large and
small and occupied my lap or a stand on the floor.
enough, many of the patterns in this delightful book by Beth Stone and
published by Kalmbach Books remind me of this long ago interest.The tiny seed beads creations reintroduced me
to many of my embroidery stitches such as the French knot, which to me was an
integral part of the Russian spiral variations featured on pages 82 and
85.The bugle bead bracelets reminded me
of the feather stitches which I practiced on a newly starched pillow case.I vividly remember the charming little daisy chains
which I embellished on my mother’s tea towels as I viewed the jewelry presented
in the various projects in this book.
Beth Stone, many of the seed bead patterns rekindled my love of stitchery from
the past, and a new appreciation of the transformation of “stitchery” with beads
into the present.Very good explanation
of various types of seed beads and supplies needed to start and complete all of
definitely offers the young and old beader “creative variations on traditional
techniques” using the peyote stitch, brick stitch, right angle weave, and tri
and quad stitches.
Have you had trouble finding the right method or material to finish one of your creations. On several occasions the right finding just isn't "right." Completed, or should I say incomplete necklaces, bracelets, and earrings spread out on my bench, eager to become a treasured accessory, to no avail.
"Decorative Wire Findings" recently came to my rescue. Published by Kalmbach Books, and authored by Melody MacDuffee, it has a plethora of "how to" create custom clasps, connectors, and more. The instructions are very easy to follow and full blown up photos of completed projects are presented in "living color" at the start of each and every project. All tools and materials are listed in a box next to the various designs. After perusing the book, I was inspired by the variety of choices I had to "close" this jewelry chapter in my inventory.
There are various segments at the end of the book starting with "TECHNICAL BASICS and continuing on with beautifully illustrated and explained COMPONENTS, CLASPS AND CLOSURES, BAILS, WRAPS AND CAPS, LINKS, CONNECTORS AND SPACER BARS, BEZELS, PIN BACKS, and WIRE BEADS. There is also a most helpful resource list provided in the book.
Dilemma solved! No more half-finished jewelry pinning for an end to it all.
I am a retired school teacher and jewelry designer. In 1995 I founded The Society for Midwest Metalsmiths, a not-for-profit metalsmithing guild.
I write book reviews for LARK BOOKS, KALMBACH PUB., and INTERWEAVE PRESS on this blog site.
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