Category Archives: Books

CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN…you never know….

I’m always trying to figure out how to do whatever has popped into my mind, so I try to look at a lot of people’s work (hence, I get way too many emails, and have a lot of facebook and pinterest stuff to scroll through!).  

I do look at a lot of tutorials, but not necessarily because I want to make the item the tutorial is teaching about.  Sometimes, it’s just one little detail that I can’t figure out from the picture.  A case in point would be this free necklace tutorial from Facet Jewelry that showed up in my email today;
Jade twists
Not my style at all, but I was interested in the little loops that were strung somehow onto the necklace cord, so I read through the tutorial, and found the cutest, simplest little trick, that I will use somehow, some way, probably sometime soon.

I go through a lot of jewelry-making books that have step-by-step tutorials, too. My two latest favorites are Wirework Jewelry Workshop, by Sian Hamilton, and Wire Jewelry Master Class, by Abby Hook. I got both of these books mostly just to learn the techniques of several pieces they showed… I will probably not make anything that looks like anything in either book; I’ll just incorporate some ideas into a piece here and there. These are books I can go back to when I’m drawing blanks. 

I’m also revisiting old tutorials in my collection. Now that I’ve put them into labeled 3-ring binders, they are more organized, and easier to access. It’s like having more books to leaf through.


SNOW! Sitting at home looking at beads!

It’s snowing to beat the band! Not big pretty fluffy snow, just relentless little bitty snowflakes. My New York City street is covered. Just as well! I want to make something today.

Product DetailsI got Abby Hook’s book Wire Jewelry Master Class in the mail yesterday. Stayed up looking through it, reading the really clear instructions, thinking about what I’m willing to do, what I might do right away, and what I’ll probably never do, even though I wish I could bring myself to do it. Then, of course, thinking about how I could get away with not doing what she says to do and still get a similar look. Then thinking about what she shows, and what I probably will actually do. Woo! Tired myself out just looking! Then woke up this morning and started again.

I’m very happy with this book, excited to have it. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if the book included the two tutorials (KrissKross ring and Kriss Kross bracelet) I had bought from Abby back when was in business and before my computer crashed and died, taking with it my precious hoard of tutorials. I bought several of Abby’s tutorials, but these are the ones I’d really like to have back. The book does have another tutorial that I had bought, which now looks like something I might like to do. Oh well. Never mind! There is so much information in this book! Then, there are all the pretty pictures. This may be the best jewelry-making book I’ve ever bought.

I actually saw my prehnite/amethyst/silver bracelet in bright sunlight yesterday. I hadn’t realized that the colors were actually so brilliant!  Now, I want to make a similar necklace with the prehnite and amethyst left over from the bracelet. I haven’t had a new necklace in quite some time. This will be simple. I think I’ll make some figure eight connectors, as I’m out of jump rings, and I’ll make a stab at making my own S-hook clasp, to jazz it up a little.


Okay, interestingly, the day before I go to court because the landlord hasn’t fixed things in my apartment, so.. lots of things, the super showed up willing to work, but he wanted *me* to move the sofa. Okay, I can do what two big fat guys can’t do, so I moved the sofa myself, and…… lo and behold! There was my copy of Love is in the Earth!  I’ve been looking for it ever so long, and it had gone off and hidden behind the sofa!

If you don’t know Love is in the Earth, you should definitely check it out. When I saw it the first time, I knew I had to have it, but it was way pricey even 25 years ago! (yep! that’ s how old my copy is!)  Interestingly, you can still get a new copy of the 1995 edition, the one I have, for about what I paid for it way back when!  There is a newer version which costs upwards of $80, but this book still works for me, and I’m sure it will work for you – it covers just about every stone you can find, and some surprise ones, as well (I discovered hypersthene a couple of years ago – no one was talking about it, but it was in LIITE. Almost anything I come up with is in there. 

What I like is that it gives the metaphysical qualities of the stones, as well as horoscope correspondences, and other information. Even with all the information you can find on the internet these days, I will still go to this book first, because it probably has everything I need, and, anyway, most times, when I go to a website, most times it turns out that they are referencing this book.

Best crystal book I have ever purchased (and I have scads of them!)

Thus, you can imagine how disturbed I have been over the year or so that I have not been able to find it (it should have been on the shelf with the crystal books!  Did the old roommate take it when she moved out?)  No, no subterfuge, other than that somehow the book went to hide behind the couch.  Now it is back.

BOOK: BODY GUARD by Desmond Morris

I mentioned that I had gotten this book in my last post.

The reason I wanted it, and spent good food money ($5.00) to get it, is that I have been making a line of jewelry which I call BodyGuards, because the elements I use, i.e., the stones, and the metals, and, sometimes the shapes, are considered, in folklore, or else, metaphysically, to have protective properties. 

I figured that a respected socio-biologist such as Desmond Morris, might be on to something.  Actually, this is a lovely “coffee-table” book, mostly, however it does have some good information, and the pictures sure are pretty.

Morris touches on only a few stones (granted, they are the most popular ones for most people), but he does give a lot of background information.  He also goes into shapes, and other information.

If you are into talismans or charms or protective items, this is a very interesting and pretty book to have.  We might even consider it a beginner book on the topic (Although I have been working in this field for some time, I find this book useful, and am glad to have it).

If you want to go further though, you can look at other books on stones, or even just research “protection” stones on the Internet.


Yesterday, I received my copy of The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, by George Frederick Kunz.   This is an old book, originally published in 1913. My edition was re-published in 1971.  (I used to have this book in the 1970s, but it got away from me, so I am very happy to have it again). This is kind of a scholarly look into the lore of stones, i.e, what it is said they will do.  Still, it has a lot of information.

Today, I got this very beautiful coffee table-type book by Desmond Morris, called Bodyguards.  This was published in 1999, but I knew nothing about it when I began to name my line of protective stone jewelry pieces “bodyguards”. (Desmond Morris is, perhaps, most famous for his book ,The Naked Ape.) I picked up this book from my mailbox about 2 hours ago, and I am working my way through it. It is another “academic” type book, yet it has been laid out with lovely photos, making it more the sort of thing you would set out on your coffee table.  The information within it is definitely worthwhile if you are working with stones and their properties .  I got this hardcover edition on for $4.00, including shipping.  It is used, but the person who used it didn’t use it much – it looked totally new when I received it.  I’m about halfway through, and I just can’t stop! The pictures are beautiful, and the information is so useful!

BLAST FROM THE PAST – two old books on stones

My mom just sent me two old books on metaphysical properties of stones, that I had accumulated as a kid (and, I guess, had left at home when I left, and she had saved).  These books are from the early 1970s – one was published in 1968, and the other is a self-published project which must date from about the same time (another seemingly larger edition was published in 1988, according to Amazon)

They are Stone Power by Dorothee L. Mella and Precious Stones: Their Occult Power & Hidden Significance, by W.B. Crow.  

I don’t really remember them fondly, but, going on this afternoon’s quick perusal, they do have some cool info in them, and they inspired me to buy The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, by George Kunz, which is a book I remember loving (nabbed it for $6.00 on Amazon Prime – that’s with the free two-day shipping).

I do have a lot of books on the metaphysical uses of stones, but having these old classics is nice.


Great new book! Weave, Wrap, and Coil by Jodi Bombardier

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To tell you the truth, I have never been quite so inspired by a jewelry-making book as I have been by Weave, Wrap, and Coil: Creating Artisan Wire Jewelry, by Jodi Bombardier.

For years now, I have been following Bombardier’s work on, where she has published quite a few jewelry-making tutorials, so I was excited to see her new book.  Just the cover picture made me drool (I have seen a lot of jewelry-making tutorials since I started making jewelry, but Bombardier’s projects in this book are the only ones that have caught my interest as much as those of my first teacher, Eni Oken, the founder of JewelryLessons). 

Weave, Wrap, and Coil has 25 very clear tutorials for creating dazzling pieces.  The projects, which are grouped by level of difficulty, are very clearly described step-by-step, and photographed so that anyone can make any one of them.  (As my first assay into jewelry-making was with an “advanced” bracelet tutorial by Eni Oken, I am here to tell you that, if you know how to hold pliers and a piece of wire, and if you can see and read, you can manage any of these tutorials, and you will learn a great deal with each piece that you make).

If you fancy bold wire-wrapped jewelry, you’ll love Weave, Wrap, and Coil