Monday, November 23, 2009

NEW Book Available Now!

I'm so excited to announce today that, at long last, my new book Wire Art Jewelry is available to order!
I just received the "proof copy" today, and it looks great. Full-color glossy paperback cover, black & white interior, 200 pages, 16 projects, 19 chapters on basics, plus resources.
Wire Art Jewelry retails for $24.95. To order, click here.
If you'd like to see full-color photos of all the projects you will learn in this book, click here.
Here's the table of contents:
Tools & Materials
Basic Techniques:
Cleaning wire
Jump rings
Cage beads
Spiral headpins
Heart-shaped headpins
Celtic knot links
Rosette jump-ring clusters
French ear hooks
Hook & eye clasp
Twisting fine-gauge wire
Worm beads
Simple (unwrapped) eye-pin-loop bead connectors
Bead dangle with single-wrapped eye-pin loop
Bead connectors with double-wrapped eye-pin loops
Bead dangles with double-wrapped eye-pin loops
Coil-wrapped bead connectors
Freeform knotless netting
Using liver of sulfur & polishing jewelry with a tumbler
Bird's nest bangles
Cage-bead bracelet
Snake vertebra bracelet
Faux 4-in-1 bracelet
Double-spiral bangle
Celtic knot bracelet
Stacked washer-link bracelet
Gypsy-stick earrings
Angel's earrings
Triangle drop earrings
Squiggle earrings
Snake vertebra earrings
Thai heart pendant
Grateful heart necklace
Wrap a rock pendant
Dancing man necklace
If you have any questions about my new book or would just like to comment, please feel free to email me at
Happy wrapping,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Getting ready to teach tomorrow...

Tonight I'm getting ready to teach my Grateful Heart Necklace workshop at Brea Bead Works in Brea, California. (To see a photo of the class sample, click here.) The necklace comes from my newest book, Wire Art Jewelry, which will be available to order within a few days!
What I'm really excited about is seeing some very good friends afterward: Kathy, Sylvia, Tonya, and possibly Lisa. We all used to work together for a magazine publisher, and now that we've gone in different directions with our lives, it's a rare pleasure when we can get together.
Hence the bracelet photos in this post; they are my little Christmas gifts for my dear friends. We'll meet for dinner at Peppino's in Lake Forest after class tomorrow, and catch up on all the latest news. Kathy told me not to bring any gifts, but I couldn't resist making each of my friends a little something.
We hope that Lisa can make it, and perhaps our friend Nancy as well (although she tells us she already has plans to see the New Moon movie). This is what I love about the holidays—instead of shopping til I drop, I make things with my favorite beads and sterling silver wire. Later I have the joy of knowing that my friends will always have a little part of me with them.
Since Thanksgiving is next week, this is a good time to pause and think about what we're grateful for. It's funny how being in a long economic recession can help lend focus to the things that really matter, like the people we love and the art we are able to pursue. I'm also grateful for my students, who continue to make beautiful things with their hands. What a gift, and how easy to share!
Happy wrapping,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A lazy Saturday afternoon...

So this is what we're up to today... not much. Sparkle is her usual animated self...
But Ivy wants to get in on the action, if there is any...
...when she's not busy gazing off into space...
...she's hanging out in her favorite perch...
"I mean, wah-wah-wah-wassup?"
"I may appear to be posing nicely for the camera, but I'm actually getting ready to pounce on..."
Rosy, who is less than thrilled with all the camera action going on this afternoon!
Happy Saturday, everybody...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Organizing again?

A friend called me today to ask what I was up to, and I somewhat sheepishly admitted that I was reorganizing my stuff... again.
It's a never-ending process, and the only justification for it is the end result. When my art studio (I'm so grateful to have one!) is clean and tidy, with all my beads, jewelry tools, wire, paintbrushes and paints, fabrics, and fibers all neatly organized, I work so much more efficiently. I'm more creative and certainly less frustrated when I can find my tools and materials quickly and easily.
The latest organizational problem that I have noticed has to do with my beads, which I have been storing for years in small fishing-tackle boxes. Nice for travel-teaching, but not so great for working at home! So I've gone back to my original system of storing my bead collection in small clear plastic baggies. These are then divided into color groupings (black beads, metallic beads, Thai silver, pearls, etc.) and stored in drawers, one color to a drawer. I believe this will help me to keep track of what I actually have, and I hope this will in turn keep me from purchasing duplicates of beads and supplies that I don't really need.
My other task is to write up the instructions for the Grateful Heart Necklace pictured above, which I'm teaching at Brea Bead Works in Brea (southern California) on November 21. I don't know if there are any openings in this class, which is suited for intermediate wire artists (for instance, you must know how to make a simple wrapped loop). But if you're interested in attending, by all means give the store a call: 714 671-9976.
I recently revamped my two Web sites ( and and I think they look great. Of course, I'm also anticipating the release of my brand-new book, Wire Art Jewelry, which will be published any day now. The Grateful Heart Necklace is featured in my new book, just in case you're interested in making it but unable to attend the class.
I've also scheduled several workshops to be held at Monica's Quilt & Bead Creations in Palm Desert this winter, beginning December 5 with my Faux Metals Necklace workshop. If you'd like to see what I'm teaching in the near future, you can access my workshop schedule by clicking here. I hope to see you in a workshop soon!
Happy wrapping,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Book Review: Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders

While I'm waiting patiently for my next new book to come out (the graphic designer is finishing it today!), I thought I'd re-post a book review that I did last July on my other blog.
What prompted this idea? Well, the publishers (Kalmbach) contacted me today asking if they might quote parts of my review in some of their marketing materials for Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders. I said sure, why not? Then I got to thinking that it might not be a bad idea to re-post the review on this blog for those of you who are regular readers.
I feel really confident recommending this book to you—and I don't often say that about jewelry books in general, wire-jewelry books in particular. Anyway, here's what I had to say about the book:
This is such a terrific book, I can hardly wait to tell you about it! A friend of mine purchased a copy of Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders, and she recently loaned it to me because she was curious to see what I thought of it. I've seen all the jewelry making books out there, you see, and I own many of them, too. Would I be inspired by the author's designs, or bored by the same-old, same-old content that is typical of so many jewelry books these days?
Well, I'm so happy to report that this truly is a stand-out book on wire jewelry! Many of the author's designs are quite original and refreshing, such as her Whimsical Pins on page 48, her unique Wire Wrapped Heart on page 55, fantastic Zigazag Rings on page 65, and—my personal fav—the Beaded Leaf on page 78.
You know, when I first started perusing the book, I thought it was going to be ordinary. That's because the first 46 pages are taken up with the usual stuff: tools & materials, a discussion on wire, etc. plus lots of beginner-basics that we've all seen before: wrapped loops, spirals, attaching commercial chains to wire to make jewelry pieces, and lots of simple, easy projects for newbies.
Since I have written six art & craft books myself, I understand the importance of providing this information and instruction. It levels the field, making jewelry techniques more accessible to everyone. But sometimes, after picking up one book after another that is taken up with beginner basics, I just want to say, "please, no more wrapped loops!!!" Can't we get beyond that?
Well, no. I myself included plenty of beginner-basic instruction in my most recent book,Contemporary Copper Jewelry, which released in September. I had to do it—there's no way around it. But getting back to this terrific new book by Irina Miech: If you're an intermediate to advanced (experienced) wire jewelry artist, once you get past the first half of the book you'll be rewarded with some very rich and satisfying content.
I love the author's fun and whimsical yet sophisticated and feminine approach to jewelry design. Irina offers some really cute projects, some challenging ideas, designs that can easily be altered to your own taste, and—best of all—a wealth of creative options. I like her step-by-step instruction with full-color photos, her galleries of art jewelry that follow each project, and her originality. You'll find no copies of other artists' work here. The author shares some really terrific new designs that I have not seen elsewhere in other books or magazines.
One of the best features of this book is that the projects have been divided into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced groupings. The publisher color-coded the pages with a strip of color to alert the reader: a burgundy strip for beginner projects, brown for intermediate, and green for advanced. This way, you can easily find the type of project you'd like to tackle based on your skill level. Brilliant idea!
I don't often find a book that captures my respect the way that Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders has done. This title gets a very high recommendation from me! To order it for just $14.93, click here.
Happy wrapping,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wire Art Jewelry: the latest news...

Some of my friends and students have been asking for the latest news on my new book release, and I can understand their anxiety because, after all, I did promise to make it available by October 31!
I just ran into a little snag on the production end, and decided to go with a different printer. It's no big deal, but my decision has delayed the book's release by a few days. My talented friend, Nancy Oh, is redesigning the layout (yet again!) to fit the parameters of the new printer's requirements. Once her work is done, Wire Art Jewelry will be ready to order—we expect by November 10.
I'm really very proud of this latest endeavor: my sixth art-instruction book and the first to be self-published. I learned a tremendous amount in the process of creating a new book full of my favorite designs, with my own photographs and (naturally) self-edited text. I have an ISBN code and a Library of Congress number, making me feel like an official book publisher. Who knows what this could lead to? More books, perhaps...
Wire Art Jewelry turned out to be much larger than I had originally intended. Instead of the 148 pages max I had planned for, it finished at 199! There are literally hundreds of step-out photos accompanied by detailed text describing how to make 16 new projects. In addition, you'll find a helpful guide to my favorite tools and materials and a big "basics" section up front, with 19 chapters on the various techniques you need in order to make the finished jewelry projects.
Is there some content overlap between this new jewelry making book and my previous ones (Bead on a Wire, Contemporary Copper Jewelry)? Well, yes, there is—by absolute necessity. It would be terrific if I could present a how-to book that presumed all potential readers had already read my previous books and mastered all the basic techniques. But, unfortunately, you just can't do that. So yes, there is some repeat info (how to make jump rings, wrapped eye-pin loops, etc.), but there are also some new ideas as well, even in the Basic Techniques section.
If you'd like to see all the jewelry samples from Wire Art Jewelry in full color, click here.
I hope you like it! It's coming out very soon now...
Happy wrapping,