Tag 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 jewelrylessons.com 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.

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 amazon.com 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.



This week, I have been reading the Rio Grande TOOLS & EQUIPMENT catalog. I’ve also been looking at the Euro Tool catalog. Who would believe that there could be so many tools to want in there. I’ve been happy with my small collection of tools:
round nose pliers
chain nose pliers
side cutter
flush cutter
crimp pliers
Magic tool
safety pin (yes)

Now, I see that there are many many more tools to want and need – tools it never occurred to me to want, but that I can easily see that I need. Would that I had a big studio instead of boxes on a shelf!

I have also been reading The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall, and The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons. Both of these books are very interesting for their color pictures of stones as well as their details on metaphysical properties of the stones they list.

Today, I received the Heaven & Earth LLC Minerals, Jewelry & Gems fall catalog. I always keep this catalog around as it contains excerpts from Robert Simmons’ book, as well as pictures of a number of different stones which often help me identify visualize stones whose identity I am unsure of.

Then, too, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Fire Mountain Gems catalog – the one I had to order $100 worth of product to get!! I’ve always enjoyed the FMG catalog for its stone pictures (very educational), its comments on stone properties, and its design ideas.  I cannot wait to see my $100 catalog!!!