My shelves are jam-packed with all manner of books. There are books about technique, those using unexpected materials and found objects, tomes showing 1000 different designs... I even buy books that are outside of my chosen medium... things like paper crafting and journaling, fabric and painting. I think that if you have a wide variety of resources, there is no way that you cannot be inspired. I can't get enough of good resources.
The one thing that I will say about all the books on my shelves is that they don't just sit there idle. When I am stuck and need a push, I pick up a technique book of something I am not comfortable with and explore the possibilities. Even if it is not something that I can produce due to lack of materials or knowledge, I let the idea be the spark to propel me forward.
But there are some books that are more frequently accessed more than others. These are books that are not only a feast for the eyes and provide a wealth of intriguing designs, but ones that challenge my notions of design and style and do so with great attention to detail and clear concise instructions.
The new book Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry by authors Erin Siegel and Lorelei Eurto is that sort of book.
I can tell that this will be an oft-referenced resource in my library. There are enough projects in here that delight my senses and tickle my fancy that I will keep coming back for more.
I love fonts and colors and the layout on this book is just beautiful. The designs are fresh and full of interesting textures and beads and components.
I can tell that I will be inspired by a book for a long time to come when I find that I put sticky notes all over the outside marking the pages I want to revisit. And the ones on the inside where I sketch a bit of a design that this jump starts. I did that on many pages.
I appreciate that the instructions are on the same page or facing page of the gorgeous pictures. These are designs that can be made with very precious art beads or just those things that you have lying around. The techniques have been around for a long time, but these feel fresh and inspired. I especially love books that have collaborations with other artists, and this one brings together some of the finest talent in the beading community today. Each contributor has a distinct style personality that truly shines, and I give a lot of credit to Erin and Lorelei for being willing to open up this opportunity to some rising stars.
For all the books on my shelf, I never make anything exactly from them. I pick up one piece from this design and marry it with another to morph it into something that feels more like me. I cannot even imagine trying to make an exact replica of anything I would see published, and part of being an artist is trusting your instincts to go above and beyond what you see.
So I challenged myself to take three of the pieces in the book and make my own interpretations of them.
First I started with the necklace Ocean Love by Lorelei Eurto. This is one of my favorite designs in the book because of the color, the texture, the asymmetry that Lorelei does so effortlessly. I was working with a design I had been stewing for awhile based on Marsha Neal's Silk Palette Challenge.
I had already created a beaded section with one of Marsha's pretty pendants and I wanted to do something soft with the cords in the back, I was just not sure what. When I spied the simple yet substantial braiding in Ocean Love, I knew that was the way to go. Since my beads were not quite as chunky, I opted for less strands, but the effect is still the same.
Usually with cords like this I would use wire to secure them, so I thought that the idea to use waxed linen in a coordinating color using a hitch stitch was inspired. And the wax really helps secure it. I just so happened to have bought a pretty lavender thread and used that technique to dress up the hook clasp with the same stitch as well.
Next, I was intrigued by the Copper Antiquity earrings by Erin Siegel.
But making a pair of earrings like those would just be too easy, so I decided to challenge myself to come up with a different way to use that technique: make a necklace instead. And use a different shape.
I chose a little leaf shape from Vintaj and some sweet Czech glass flower beads. I had to punch a few more holes in the links and then connected them all with some pretty chain.
I modified the instructions a bit and the number of beads to suit the size and shape of my links.
Finally, I was inspired by the sweet and delicate nature of Sakura by Erin Siegel.
I truly have never worked with waxed linen thread before, and I made sure that I picked some up at the Bead & Button show to play with in anticipation of this event. I bought a spool of it from Royalwood that was a nut brown color and was discounted because it had too much wax. It was a bit sticky but it is a good practice spool. I decided to take my color palette in a totally different direction and started with my inspiration pendant: one of my Simple Truths Woodsy Owls.
I have to admit that I had to read through the instructions a few times in order to understand it all, but once I got started I found that it was quite simple. Anyone can braid, right?
My palette included impression jasper, brass leaves instead of the stone dangles and an antique button for a closure.
I actually beaded this last night while watching my daughter's softball game! I did not think to bring tools other than my hands and a clipboard.
I hope you enjoyed my little stop on the Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry book tour. Thank you to Miss Lorelei and Miss Erin and Interweave for inviting me to the party.
I highly recommend this book. And it’s on sale right now – both the print and eBook! Print edition on sale for $13.77 ebook on sale for $10.77 and available for immediate download.
Please head over to Beading Daily to get to the other stops on the book tour and to find out more about the cool Polyvore design challenge that sounds really fun!
But what is a party without a gift? I have a signed copy of the new book Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry and I would like to gift it to one lucky commenter. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post, plus be sure that your email is turned on in your profile or add it to your comment (sorry... if you do not provide a way to contact you your entry will be invalid. How do you know if you are entered? I will send you an email reply.). I will select a random winner from all eligible comments on Monday, June 25th.