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Crystal Jewelry Inspiration from the CREATE YOUR STYLE Ambassadors
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Crystal Jewelry Inspiration from the CREATE YOUR STYLE Ambassadors features projects from 30 of these talented designers from North America. The CREATE YOUR STYLE Ambassadors approach crystals from every conceivable angle in projects as diverse as the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS they’ve used. Wide-ranging techniques, from modern bead stitching and elegant stringing to intricate wire crochet, help beaders polish their favorite skills plus learn something new. Styles range from vintage to funky to show-stopping glam, all sporting the sparkle that only crystals can provide. Jewelry makers will get first-hand information, expertise, and instruction from the most enthusiastic and passionate crystal jewelry designers working today. The gallery will inspire you with projects from Ambassadors around the world.
144 pages • 250 color photos
Price: $24.95
Product Number: 67019
ISBN: 9780871167019
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Did you know there are nearly 50 jewelry designers from around the world in Swarovski's Create Your Style Ambassador program? These designers were recruited to promote the beautiful crystals and components since most teach and many are published authors.

A new book I just received for review shows just why these designers were handpicked for the program. The Crystal Jewelry Inspiration From the Create Your Style Ambassadors book is full of innovative designs sure to set ablaze creative embers everywhere. It certainly did get my mind going!

Few books fall into the category where almost every single design project sparked off ideas and in so many different fields. Wire work, bead work, mixed media, metal work, metal and resin clay are all featured.

What's more, some of the the 30 projects introduce the less commonly used Swarovski elements especially those for the fashion industry such as the flat back elements. There were also great ideas - who would have thought o-rings and bead work go well together?

One of my favorite designs from the book was the Czarina necklace (shown above on the left) by Diane Whiting. Pure genius! The 3D pendant featured 2 types of bezels - beading and 4 fleur-de-lis filigree components - to hold the navette sew-on crystals circling the base round filigree and connect with the checkerboard flat back crystal at the top.

Metal clay field was represented by Tamara Honaman's original ribbon ring.

Some of the designs also featured epoxy resin clay which do showcase the embedded chaton montees well. One example is the Snow Princess necklace by Debra Saucier. Using the crystal embellished clay to wrap around the top of a tear drop pendant was not something I would have thought of!

The mixed media projects were delightful too such as the Whitewashed Garden Bib by Renata Sanchez Ramos - a vision in pearls, crystals, epoxy clay, ribbon and elastic mesh! Other projects included a clever felt and crystal design and a brooch one which featured a unique use of encaustic wax which is typically used for hot wax painting.

Crystals really do make the designs pop such as the forged pendant by Kim St Jean, one of my favorite metal smiths!

Every design in the book includes a "meet the designer" page where the creator shares how they got into jewelry making, their favorite tools and Swarovski Elements and even advice. These were fun to read but the inclusion probably cut down on the number of available how-to pictures here and there. This is not a problem - it just requires careful reading of the written instructions!

Stephanie Dixon's comment really does hit home at what this book is about. She said, "Life's not about the money - it's about the sparkle!"

-Pearl Blay, The Beading Gem's Journal

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.

It’s 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 Draeger’s 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 Hertzler’s 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 DaSilva’s 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. It’s really hard to pick a favorite. Monica Han’s Totally In Love wire necklace is a lot of fun. I also really like Sandra Lupo’s colorful lariat like necklace Cornucopia. Jamie Hogsett’s 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 you’re 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 Potter’s piece Trashionista is my personal favorite project in the whole book. It’s sparkling, bold and has the completely unexpected element of decoupaged images. It’s 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.

-Shala Kerrigan,
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