Arte Es Vida

Wish List Time Machine: 2004 by arteesvida
December 3, 2006, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Book Reviews, Product Reviews

Every December at BellaOnline I would do two things. One was to create a project for each holiday tradition (Christmas, Hannukuah, Kwanzaa, and Yule) and the second was to publish a big holiday wish list for jewelry makers. Guess which was most popular and stayed popular even after the holiday season was over. All the books and products I reviewed were things that I have actually tried out myself, and I would always attempt a project from each book before reviewing it so all my readers knew what they were in for.

Although I do have some new books to review, I won’t be doing a complete wish list this year, but I am reposting wish lists from previous years because they still cover some great stuff! And thanks to the poster who found one of my reviewed books at a great discount on the web….if you have a good inexpensive source for any of these items please do post it!

Fabulous, Functional, and Under Five Bucks!

Whether you are looking for an inexpensive gift, or some ideas for filling a gift basket, here are some of my inexpensive favorites:

Future Floor Finish
A big bottle of Future can be purchased at your local supercenter in the cleaning aisle. Although it is marketed for adding shine to your floors, it is a clear, durable acrylic that makes a wonderful sealing coat on polymer clay and other surfaces!

Burt’s Bees Hand Salve
This stuff is an artist’s best friend! When you work with your hands a lot, you need to keep them moisturized but not greasy…Burt’s Bees hand salves don’t leave a nasty film over your hands, and they smell wonderful!

Wax Paper
Don’t laugh! Wax paper is super-useful as a portable, disposable work surface. Anyone who works with clay, glue, or paint is either already a fan of using wax paper, or they don’t know what they are missing! If you work in polymer clay, you don’t even have to remove your clay from the paper to bake it…just put the whole thing in the oven, less jostling of your work!

Pearl Ex Powders
Are a clay and paper artists best friends! A jar of pearl ex’s super conecentrated pigment lasts FOREVER and comes in every color imaginable. It can be brushed on dry, or mixed with gum arabic for a gorgeous watercolor effect

Blank Books
Give your favorite artist (of course that includes yourself!) a fabulous unlined blank book for them to keep an art journal or design idea book. There are blank books to fit every budget…and plenty of nicely made ones for under 5 dollars!

Pliers and Wire Cutters
A jewelry maker can never have too many sets around…mine are forever wandering off. Inexpensive needle nose and round nose pliers make a fabulous gift…as do small wire cutters!

Copper Wire
Lovely to work with, and very inexpensive…it doesn’t have to come from the craft section of the store, the copper wire from the hardware section works just fine. Gauges of wire most often used by jewelry makers are 18, 20, and 22 gauge.

Game Piece Trinkets
Dominos, scrabble tiles, Mahjohng tiles, dice, and poker tiles are only a few of the cool odds and ends jewelry makers love to use in their designs. A bag of these goodies would thrill any dremel-owning designer to pieces!

Jewelry Making How-To Books

Stamp Artistry: Combining Stamps With Beadwork, Carving, Collage, Etching, Fabric, Metalwork, Painting, Polymer Clay, Repousse, and More by Rice Freeman-Zachery
Wonderfully creative uses for rubber stamps…includes some fantastic jewelry making projects! Also check out her latest book, New Techniques For Wearable Art, and read her interview with BellaOnline!

Designer Style Jewelry By Sherri Haab
This book is a great addition to any jewelry maker’s library. If you are just starting out, you will find the directions very detailed and easy to follow (Sherri Haab’s background is in writing children’s craft books…she understands that sometimes you have to tell people to break the egg shell before adding the egg to the recipe!)…for more experienced designers, there are tons of unique ideas to play with. The book works in several different media including wire, clay, resin, leather, laminate, shrink plastic, crochet, mixed media, and image transfers. Definitely something for everyone!

The Beader’s Guide to Color by Margie Deeb
This is an exquisite, highly detailed book can hold its own against any color theory text. Besides discussing the particulars of color theory, Margie Deeb delves further in to how color theory affects beaders…everything from blending techniques to surface finishes is discussed. The book also includes over 20 beadwork projects, each with color scheme ideas for you to work with.

Books To Feed The Creative Spirit

Living Out Loud by Keri Smith
This book is wonderful and so much fun! Like a vitamin C shot for your creative self (without the annoying needle)! This book includes stickers, postcards, permission cards, and other cool punch outs besides the affirming, supportive text. Even a total scrooge will find themselves grinning and wanting to create!

Make Your Creative Dreams Real : A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, and People Who Would Really Rather Sleep All Day by Sark
This is Sark’s biggest book ever! It is full of all the sympathy and support of your best girlfriend, coupled with practical advice on how to go about achieving the life you want for yourself. The best thing about Sark is her understanding of how people work best in baby steps (or, as she calls them, ‘micro movements”), rather than in huge, leaping, goals that seem so unreachable. A “program” anyone can follow!

Urgent 2nd Class: Creating Curious Collage, Dubious Documents, And Other Art From Ephemera by Nick Bantock
This book has more wonderfully creative ideas than any paper arts book I have ever seen. If you love collage, assemblage, trash to treasure, and ephemera, you will ADORE this book. There is no time spent on how-to projects…just tons of ideas, discussion, and inspiration. I have gotten TONS of great ideas from this book…definitely one of the “must haves” on my bookshelf!

The Spirit Catchers: An Encounter with Georgia O’Keeffe (Art Encounters) by Kathleen Kudlinski
This is a wonderful book for young adults, but not to be discounted for us older ones…I read it and adored it! It is a fictional story about a young man during the depression when his life intersects with that of Georgia O’Keeffe. It is full of real life quotes by her that lends an authentic voice to the work. Besides being a look inside the life of one of America’s favorite artists, it has a very positive message about being true to your artistic spirt and living the life that feels right to you.

The Lives of Shadows: An Illustrated Novel by Barbara Hodgson
This is a simply gorgeous book…I think Barbara Hodgson’s best ever, and I have read them all. The research and attention to detail she put in to researching her setting (Damascus) is simply amazing. If you love the illustrated novels of Nick Bantock (author of the Griffin and Sabine series) you will adore Barbara Hodgson!

Cool Tools

Poetry Dog Tags: 250 Tags to Speak Your Mind With Two Chains to Hang Your Thoughts On By Clare Ultimo
This metal box includes 250 metal tags stamped with words stamped on them. Mix and match to create your own poetic jewelry!

Dremel 750D Minimite Cordless Dremel Tool
I have had this Dremel for about a year now and I don’t know how I ever lived without it! It is cordless and extremely lightweight…perfect for jewelry making endeavours!

Symbols of Ancient Mexico: 18 Rubber Stamps by Jim Paul
Of all the stamps I use in jewelry making on a regular basis…I probably use the stamps from this set the most !

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