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Book Review- Crystal Jewelry Inspiration

Crystal Jewelry Inspiration from the Create Your Style Ambassadors

Crystal Jewelry Inspiration is a collection of projects designed by and written by the designers in the Swarovski Create Your Own Style Ambassadors program. The jewelry presented is designed to show off Swarovski Elements.

Itís a great collection featuring designs from jewelry makers like Diane Fitzgerald, Macia DeCoster, Margot Potter and Lisa Pavelka. The projects cover a wide range of techniques, methods and materials. The book is large scale, a bit bigger than most beading books with gorgeous photographs and well written and illustrated instructions. The instructions do assume some basic knowledge of basic beading techniques, but a lot of them are simple and fairly quick as long as you know the basics.

There are several bead woven projects for seed beaders, such as Anna Elizabeth Draegerís Netted Twin Necklace which combines sparkling Swarovski crystals with Czech seed beads. I really like that fairly quick to stitch necklace, and love the use of Czech Twin beads in a classic netting to open it up and create a different look. My favorite beadweaving project is Diane Hertzlerís Simply Toggles with peyote stitch and seed bead accents on the crystals.

Another very popular thing with the designs is epoxy clay. The Check It Out pendant by Lisa Pavelka uses epoxy clay in a wonderful way, inset into a ring shaped element and set with smaller elements for a striking look that would be easy to customize. Fernando DaSilvaís Mandala of Glamour also uses epoxy clay in a very different way to create a dramatic and bold necklace.

Wirework and stringing are also featured by several designers in earrings, necklaces and bracelets. While many of the projects combine the two, there are a few projects that are one or the other. Itís really hard to pick a favorite. Monica Hanís Totally In Love wire necklace is a lot of fun. I also really like Sandra Lupoís colorful lariat like necklace Cornucopia. Jamie Hogsettís Fabulous Fade uses a lot of crystals to great effect in a very wearable and pretty design.

Basically, if you have an interest in a specific type of jewelry making, or youíre looking for inspiration in other mediums, you might really like this book. The wide variety of designers means there is a lot of variation in the projects offers. Felting, metal fabrication, metal clay and sewing are all used for projects as well.

Margot Potterís piece Trashionista is my personal favorite project in the whole book. Itís sparkling, bold and has the completely unexpected element of decoupaged images. Itís interesting and fun.

I love Swarovski Elements, and they can be pricey. This book has lots of ideas for how to show them off to their best effect.
U.S.A. U.K.

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Kalmbach Books provided this review copy of Crystal Jewelry Inspiration to me free of charge for review purposes, my reviews are always my honest opinion.
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