Get Creative With New Jewellery Trends

This month’s selection of craft books features some of our latest jewellery books and magazines, which come packed with ideas and inspiration to challenge the most artistic minds. Draw creative energy from this fabulous selection of imaginative new books, presenting beautiful leather jewellery, bead and wire designs, as well as, gorgeous photography from top artists around the world. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverBeautiful leather jewelry : timeless techniques for today’s trends / Melissa Cable.
“Melissa Cable has a knack for taking traditional jewelry-making techniques and applying them to various materials in an upscale, modern way. In Beautiful Leather Jewelry, she shares new methods for altering leather to create unique textures and patterns in a variety of necklaces, bracelets, cuffs, pendants, and more. Proper finishing techniques, such as snap setting, will ensure polished, professional results. Aspiring leather jewelry designers will appreciate learning how to combine familiar materials such as Swarovski crystals, metals, wood, felt, and resin with leather cuffs, cords, and more. This is leather jewelry like you’ve never seen before!” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe jewelry maker’s field guide : tools and essential techniques / Helen I. Driggs.
“Discover a thorough reference guide to metalworking tools and techniques with multiple demos, tutorials, cross-references, and supportive skill-building exercises and projects. Helen Driggs, a regular contributor to “Lapidary Journal,” brings her down-to-earth approach and strong metalworking knowledge base in this overview of basic and not-so-basic metalworking techniques. “Jewelry Makers Field Guide” walks you through the variety of metalworking tools available and offers guidance on setting up a studio, buying and organizing supplies, and determining what tools to buy and when. Organizing tools along basic functions, Helen offers a solid and logical overview of metalworking techniques, and teaches sets of related skills, showing how different tools can sometimes achieve the same end. Each chapter includes stepped demos and applied techniques for using particular tools. The book culminates in projects that combine a variety of techniques, and allow the reader to further apply and practice their metalworking skills.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverJewelry for all seasons : 24 bead and wire designs inspired by nature / Linzi Alford.
“Brighten up your wardrobe, mark the changing seasons and make your own fabulous jewelry using nature as your guide. In this imaginative new book, stunning photography provides the inspiration for 24 unique and stylish pieces of jewelry that capture the beauty of nature throughout the year. Most projects are easy enough for complete beginners but intermediate and advanced jewelry-makers will also be inspired by these strikingly original designs and gorgeous photography.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk.)

Syndetics book coverSmall beads, big jewellery / Jean Power.
“A book created especially for those who want to put zing into their beading projects, this wonderful compendium of modern pieces offers the beader a chance to do something a little bit different. Created by Jean Power, whose Compendium of Beading Techniques has become a bible for anyone seeking the inside skinny on the technical aspects of beading. Neatly organised by the technique used in making the piece, there are some simple projects for the beginner beader and more complicated designs that will richly reward more ambitious beaders. What these projects have in common is that they are quirky, different, and undoubtedly distinguished. Includes easy-to-follow diagrams and corresponding photographs, and plenty of alternative colourways.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk.)

Syndetics book coverShaped beadwork & beyond : dimensional jewelry in peyote stitch / Diane Fitzgerald.
“Diane Fitzgerald is the world’s biggest and best-loved name in beading—and now she’s back with a new book that will “shape” your jewelry-making for years to come! Focusing on geometric figures formed into three-dimensional beaded pieces, this gorgeous follow-up to her bestselling Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork builds on Diane’s earlier ideas with 40 stunning projects. In each chapter, Diane explores a different shape—from starry necklaces and heart pins to a Pirate Eyes Bracelet—and she goes in exciting new directions with imaginative and beautifully complex designs that play with patterns, crystals, and more.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSteampunk jewelry / Spurgeon Vaughn Ratcliffe.
“From the author of “Steampunk Fashion,” a stunning collection of steampunk jewelry from top artists around the globe No artform has been more influenced in recent years by steampunk than that of the jeweler. Initially just an arcane collection of clocks and gears, the art has developed into an astounding hotbed of craftsmanship and creativity, blurring the lines between man and nature, and achieving a handmade intricacy which never ceases to fascinate. In the process some of the most valuable and inventive objects of the steampunk movement have been created. In the vanguard were the aficionados of steampunk who needed to accessorize their costumes. More recently, serious silversmiths, goldsmiths, and metal workers, as well as sculptors in miniature, have entered the fray. The best from around the world are featured here, with astonishing photography and insights from each artist. This volume, in the same format as “Steampunk Fashion,” will appeal to professional and amateur jewelers alike (whether in the movement or not), to anyone working with steampunk, but also to all steampunk enthusiasts, who seem to have an insatiable appetite for the latest aesthetic manifestations of this remarkable genre.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

IMG_2052Don’t miss out our fantastic range of Craft Magazines, including the latest issues on jewellery and beading, packed with fabulous projects, step – by – step instructions, tips and techniques to help you learn, discover and enjoy.
Ask at your local library for the latest issue.

A day of crafting

I had a wonderful day on Friday. No work, no family, just craft. It was bliss! Highly recommended for all crafters a day to your self. Benefits include lowering stress levels, increased appreciation of family, and increased relaxation. Downside: increased annoyance at why you cannot do this more often. For planning your own Craft Day check out our some of our new books:

Syndetics book coverArt quilts. Vol. 2 : major works by leading artists / curated by Martha Sielman. Sorry to say I am not a quilter, there is something about trying to make corners meet and failing that annoys me. However the quilts in this book are gorgeous and almost make me want to have another go. – (Librarian)

Syndetics book coverThe encyclopedia of greeting card tools & techniques / Susan Pickering Rothamel. A great one stop shop if you love making cards, great techniques and ideas for the beginners and some interesting tricks for the more advanced. – (Librarian)

Syndetics book coverMaggie Meister’s classical elegance : 20 beaded jewelry designs.
By combining multiple beadweaving stitches, designer Maggie Meister captures patterns and motifs inspired by ancient jewelry, mosaics and architectural elements in 20 sophisticated jewelry designs. … The Matriarch’s Cuff builds on the design of a 17th century Jewish wedding ring; the Sappho Necklace incorporates designs from ancient mosaics; and the Santa Sofia Pendant borrows shapes from the onion-dome churches of Eastern Europe. – (adapted from publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverWrapagami : the art of fabric gift wraps / Jennifer Playford.
“Presents wrapped in cloth are highly prized in Japan. The secret is to use a cloth large enough to make a decorative tie. Illustrator and graphic designer Playford’s projects are wraps for many differently shaped objects, all using a single square of fabric and some decorative trinkets such as toys or chopsticks. These are wonderful for using up a fabric stash.(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.” – (adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverContemporary Irish knits / Carol Feller ; [photography, Joseph Feller].
Includes 20 Irish knitting projects that also discuss the remaining yarn mills and hand dyers in Ireland. – (adapted from Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverWeekend handmade : more than 40 projects + ideas for inspired crafting / Kelly Wilkinson ; photographs by Thayer Allyson Gowdy. Some great ideas in this book, well worth a look, especially if you like to recycle and make homemade gifts for friends. – (Librarian)

Yeah it is Winter! (well Autumn, same thing!)

I am sure all the crafters out there are rejoicing in the cold weather, nothing like staying in and crafting the weekend away. Which leads me to a question, why is my jobs list longer than my weekend? So much craft so little time.

Syndetics book coverMaking vintage jewellery : 25 original designs, from earrings to corsages / Emma Brennan.
“The vintage look is hot. Beginning jewellers can update their own collections with these timeless, handmade pieces that bring individual flair to even the most basic outfit…. There is also a comprehensive techniques section with lavish photography to guide the novice through all the basics, from working with wire to sewing on sequins.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLinen and thread : creating homewares embellished with embroidery and ribbon / Monique Lyonnet ; photography by Frederic Lucano.
I have not got my hands on this one yet, but I loved “made in France’s” black work book, if this is half as good I will be impressed!

Syndetics book coverCoffee cozies.
“What does the well-dressed coffee pot wear? All knitters are sure to have their favourite among the 30 colourful, fun designs in this great new addition to the popular “Cozy “series. The cozies–all created and contributed by the readers of “Knitting” magazine–use a wide range of techniques, …And because cozies are small and quick to knit…. –it’s a great place for beginners or experienced knitters to polish their skills and learn new techniques.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTimeless quilts : / designs by Ruth van Haeff and Janine Flew.
A friend did one of the quilts from this book and it turned out beautifully!

Syndetics book coverNew decoupage : transforming your home with paper, glue, and scissors / Durwin Rice ; photographs by George Ross.
“Inexpensive and remarkably easy to do, decoupage is enjoying a resurgence of popularity …..With a brief history of the art and a review of all the fundamental decoupage techniques, plus an exciting look at the future of decoupage, New Decoupage puts a fresh face on an ever-popular traditional craft. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSweet treats in cross-stitch : 53 delightful projects to embroider / Tinou Le Joly Sénoville ; photography by Frédéric Lucano ; styling by Sonia Lucano ; [translator, Melissa McMahon].
The “recipes” in this are lovely, but they do make you hungry!

We are having a number of events through May so keep an eye on the craft blog and see you there!

And MORE procrastinating….

The ironing pile is getting bigger, and I am perfecting the art of procrastination!

Syndetics book cover30-minute earrings : 60 quick & creative projects for jewelers / Marthe Le Van.
“”Sixty to make in thirty!” …This 60-piece collection showcases an array of inspired and stylish projects that don’t demand a large investment of time or money, but do give jewellers the pleasure of sharpening their skills and enjoying spectacular results. The imaginative and diverse designs feature everything from elegant gold, pearls, and sterling silver to nontraditional and repurposed materials. Every one is gorgeous! …” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe children’s year : seasonal crafts and clothes / Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton, Marije Rowling. Keep the kids occupied over a wet weekend!

Syndetics book coverBig little felt universe : sew it, stuff it, squeeze it, fun! / Jeanette Lim.
“Enter the imaginative universe of felting, with this irresistible collection featuring a super-cute Asian-inspired aesthetic. Twelve “sets” include more than 60 projects, from fruits and a felt knife for “slicing” them to a show-stopping birthday cake with decorations and detachable candles. Hundreds of photos and full-size templates make the crafting easy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitted socks east & west : 30 designs inspired by Japanese stitch patterns / Judy Sumner ; photography by Yoko Inoue.
“… Whether short or long, fine or bulky, simple or complex, each of the 30 designs in “Knitted Socks” “East and West” is named after an intriguing aspect of Japanese culture. For example, the leg of the Origami crew socks appears to fold in and out; and the Ikebana knee socks highlight a textural floral design. Step-by-step text and easy-to-read charts are included for each design,….” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beaded edge : inspired designs for crocheted edgings and trims / Midori Nishida & CRK Design ; [English translation, Sean Gaston … [et al.]].
“… Add a personal touch with beautiful beaded trims. … 18 designs that range from delicate and classic to modern and bold…Each trim is illustrated with clear stitch diagrams that demonstrate the patterns, and the detailed step-by-step instructions will teach you to combine basic crochet techniques with beadwork for gorgeous edges and embellishments. …If you have a passion for personalizing and embellishing, you will find a treasure trove of new techniques in The Beaded Edge.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTwelve by twelve : the International Art Quilt Challenge / Deborah Boschert … [et al.]. If you need some inspiration this is your book!

To craft or not to craft… CRAFT

Having a very interesting weekend, I am seeing how high the ironing can get before I end up having to do it…….here are some of my many ways I am procrastinating…..

Syndetics book coverSoft toys : 36 characters to knit and crochet.
This collection of 36 soft toys in knitting and crochet will inspire delight in children and the young at heart. Simple elegant design with full page photographs of each project.

Syndetics book coverAnodized! : brilliant colors & bold designs for aluminum jewelry / Clare Stiles.
Loved the many patterns in this, there is something for everyone in this book.

Syndetics book cover175 fresh card ideas : designs to make and give throughout the year / by Kimber McGray.
“Share joy with handmade cards! Handmade cards are fun to give and receive! “175 Fresh Card Ideas” is packed with ideas for all occasions—from kid-friendly themes and milestone birthdays to holidays, bridal and baby showers and sweet sentiments—so you’ll never be stuck without a design idea for any card-giving occasion. …Let “175 Fresh Card Ideas” help you celebrate any occasion!” (Syndetics summary)

Cut it, paste it, sew it : a mixed-media collage sourcebook / [edited by] Chisa Itou.
“”Cut It, Paste It, Sew It” offers both insight into the materials, techniques (both familiar and experimental), and inspiration from a collection of 10 international artists who bring their own distinct style and methodology to the art of collage. …This book offers completely original materials and methodology from talented designers and artists that have not been seen before. The content is presented in an easy and fun presentation that makes it accessible to beginners while at the same time inspiring to more experienced artists with content that isn’t available through online blogging or magazines.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFresh quilting : fearless color, design, & inspiration / Malka Dubrawsky.
“Brighten up any room with fun, contemporary, and functional projects exploding with sensational color! “Fresh Quilting” presents 21 brilliant designs featuring quilt artist Malka Dubrawsky’s intoxicating colours and unexpected palettes. Learn to create beautiful and lively pieces for you and your home–from modern quilts and fun pillows to flirty bags and scarves.. …You’ll be inspired to infuse your own brilliant palettes into each project and discover just how irresistible and beautiful contemporary quilting can be!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting over the edge : unique ribs, cords, appliqués, colours, nouveau : the second essential collection of decorative borders / Nicky Epstein.
Library note: Our last copy was so well used we had to replace it! HIGHLY recommended!

Another excuse to craft

Oh dear, it is wet…….I might just have to stay in tonight and do my crafts. What a pity. If you need a new wet weather project check out some of the new books that have just arrived…

Syndetics book coverScandinavian stitches : 21 playful projects with seasonal flair / Kajsa Wikman.
“The first flowers of spring, the smell of the sea, the warm colors of the maple leaves… inspire Kajsa to stitch, sew, and share. Each season is a new beginning and a great excuse to take on a new project. Her bright, colorful designs are sure to make you smile.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandcrafting chain and bead jewelry : techniques for creating dimensional necklaces and bracelets / Scott David Plumlee.
“From the classic Byzantine pattern to never-before-seen original designs, Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry provides everything you need to know to create beautiful chain and bead jewelry from start to finish. ….Guided by clear step-by-step instructions and photographs, you’ll learn how to: find and use the right tools, select the best wire and beads, wrap and cut quality-controlled jump rings, handcraft clasps and ear backings, assemble and bead more than 25 unique necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. … This truly is the complete chain and bead jewelry book. Book jacket.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLuxe knits : the accessories : couture adornments to knit & crochet / Laura Zukaite ; photograpy by Cathrine Westergaard.
“More luxury for the knitter! … These stunning scarves, hats, gloves, bags, and more are what Zukaite calls “memorable little statement pieces to decorate our lives,” and they’re a pleasure to knit.High-fashion photography, the author’s own sketches, and styling suggestions round out this beautiful package.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHomemade gifts : easy techniques and great projects / Nicki Trench.
“Here are 20 projects that encompass crafting, baking, and gift wrapping–all designed to make any occasion memorable! First, check out the chapter on “Birthday Treats,” which features funky knitted camping socks and a beaded corsage. Turn to “Little Ones,” to learn how to make a cuddly stuffed bunny and an heirloom-quality baby blanket. “Special Occasions” offers up his-and-hers wedding night pillowcases and a Christmas jelly bean garland. And because there’s never a bad time to give a gift, the “Just Because” chapter provides instructions for making your own lavender bath oils and simply scrumptious peppermint creams.” (Syndetics summary)

Stitch! / Cath Kidston ; photography by Pia Tryde. For all those who need a new cross stitch or needle point project try Cath’s new book. Cath is very popular in the UK for her new take on floral design.

Chain-mail

Craft, it’s not just about fibres, paper and glue, but also indulges in the hard stuff.  Metals that have been beaten into panels, rolled into sheets extruded into wires and drops of solder to hold stuff together.  This post is a product of wire, consecutive loops conjoined to form chain mail that can be presented as adornment or battle dress. You probably could use #8 fencing wire if you wanted to make a colloquial statement.  Wearable Arts ideas anyone?
So break out your pliers and try your hand at a technique over 2000 years old.

Sources on library shelves vary from the practical instruction manual to visual inspiration and ideas for utilising other media.   Anticraft : knitting, beading, and stitching for the slightly sinisteroffers clear instructions in chain-mail creation.  The instructions in the back of the book can be adapted for any form you choose to assemble.
The authors have also posted more information online about chain-mail.

Chain mail jewelry is on order, so get your reserve in and be the new kid on the block with chain mail creations.   This book offers techniques and designs for links, which brings us neatly to the next book title: Links.  These techniques might be incorporated in something you’re creating that evokes the days of yore.  In fact the name chainmail dates back to the gothic revival of the Victorian era (thank you Wikipedia).

If you want some visual inspiration for a revival of your own there are some great resources to dip your senses in. The Medieval World Complete.   Another great source of visual kicks is Princely Feasts and Festivals; this portrayal of mind blowing  extravagance is worth a peek.
Often the look of an item, the visual impact doses the viewer with a package of era specific resonance.  Stage costuming often relies on audience perception rather than dutiful replication.  Piecework magazine, the January/February 2010 ‘Historical Knitting Issue’ has an article on knitting for the stage which includes a pattern for a short chain-mail hood or coif.  There’s more info on theatrical costuming and other chain-mail creations through our Ebsco databases: MasterFILE Premier.  Searching with the keywords “chain mail” brings up links to articles on mesh purses from the 1800’s to 1960’s iconic dresses.

Let us know if these ideas inspire you or if you’ve found other sources through the library for chain mail or other metal crafting. Ever seen those suitcases made from re-purposed cans?…They’re clever!

Variety is the spice of life! New craft books

The variety of craft books we have coming in at the moment is EPIC! “Design your own tees” more felting, wire and fabric projects and quick jewellery designs.

Syndetics book coverDesign your own tees : techniques and inspiration to stitch, stamp, stencil, and silk-screen your very own t-shirts / Jennifer Cooke.
I love the look of this one! T-shirts form a basis of my wardrobe but sometimes they need a little something extra!

Syndetics book coverFresh fashion knits : more than 20 must-have designs from Rowan’s Studio Collection / designs by Sarah Hatton ; edited by Kate Buller. I know another Rowan knitting book, but I love the detailing in the Rowan patterns even if they can be a challenge at times!

Syndetics book coverFelting fashion : creative and inspirational techniques for felt-makers / Lizzie Houghton.
“Crafters and fashionistas alike will go wild about this inspiration-packed book, which offers several ways to make felt and a wide range of patterns for stylish felt garments and accessories. The fashions include everything from hats to lavish full-length coats, and the instructions cover techniques for creating Nuno felt (a lightweight modern type that drapes) as well as traditional felts–plus methods for dyeing wool, ruching, and making cords, spikes, balls, and other embellishments.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCreative bloom : projects and inspiration with fabric and wire / Jennifer Swift.
“Cultivate Your Inner Artist! Prepare your own garden of self-expression with the creative fabric and wire projects inside “Creative Bloom.” The seeds of inspiration will be planted as you learn how to make a butterfly-adorned lamp, a sweet bird sculpture, an inspired canvas bag and a sparkling cloud cuff. Each project features innovative techniques that you can use again in your personal artwork. “Creative Bloom” features: – 21 pretty projects for your art studio, home and wardrobe – Vignettes and advice on gathering the right tools, forcing creative growth, finding inspiration in the seasons and staying motivated – Step-by-step techniques that show you how sculpt wire, stitch fabric to wire, make fabric pages and more! Grab some wire and rummage through your fabric stash. It’s time to unearth your creative potential!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover30 minute necklaces : 60 quick & creative projects for jewelers / Martha Le Van.
“Lark does have its finger on the pulse of contemporary crafts; look no further for proof than in this second-of-a-series jewelry craft collection. This book is packed with 60 necklaces, to be fashioned in a half hour or less. (Assumed here is that readers will know their wire and soldering and tool techniques, not to mention having a good familiarity with photo editing and imaging software.) Even if fingers are less than practiced in sawing, filing, planishing, and riveting, a few of the projects don’t mandate metalworking know-how. As to be expected, all feature color photographs, a list of required techniques and materials, and good step-by-step instructions with occasional variations and designer notes. Now to the design choices, which truly range from sedate to boldly twenty-first century, all using materials as disparate as green-gold pearls and 14-karat gold to recycled plastic bags and white table-tennis balls. Mark this as intended for intermediate jewelers.–Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2010 Booklist From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)