Thursday, February 24, 2011

WAJW Preview Copy Arrived!

It's always a thrill getting a new book in the mail, and never more so than when the book is your own! Seeing my name on the cover of the newly redesigned Wire Art Jewelry Workshop (Interweave Press) is an honor, and I never take for granted how lucky I am to have found such a terrific publisher.
After self-publishing my book Wire Art Jewelry through "Create Space" (affiliated with, I found that my readers were very disappointed in the b&w pages and the poor quality paper. The cover looked great and the projects are lots of fun, but it's hard to tell how beautiful everything is when the presentation is in black and white. So a few months ago I took my book out of circulation and sold it to Interweave Press.
Now you can see it's been beautifully rephotographed and redesigned with a smashing new layout that's very easy to read.
I love the "Wrap a Rock" pendant project; the rock pictured looks heavy but it's actually quite lightweight. I picked it up on a rocky beach on the island of Santorini when I was teaching a workshop there in October 2008. I took the rock home, and later made a wire wrap for it so that I could wear it on my favorite sterling silver ball-chain necklace.
Here's the cover piece: Dancing Man Pendant. This necklace would be extremely expensive to make now! Tons of silver wire, plus turquoise and Peruvian opal, and big chunky Thai-silver shell beads. Given the price of silver today, I would suggest making something similar using copper wire instead!
This project is one of my favorites: Triangle-Drop earrings. I used to teach them all the time, and my students always came out with some terrific variations of their own. 
This photo shows a series of step-by-step photos that I took for the book; Interweave Press has reproduced them in full color, quite large. I was surprised that my original text, which came out to 200 pages, was faithfully redone in the newly designed book at 160 pages without the loss of a single technique or project.
AND, Wire Art Jewelry Workshop comes packaged with a one-hour DVD! The contents include an introduction, and then techniques: jump rings, jump-ring rosettes, figure-8 links, freeform knotless netting, twisting fine-gauge wire, worm beads (featured on the cover), and double-coil wrapped beads.
The retail price is $26.95, but you can pre-order it on for $17.79 by clicking here.
Happy wrapping,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Beautiful, Snowy Day!

We had a gorgeous "snow dump" a few days ago and I took photos before all the magic melted away (as it's doing right now). Normally when we do get snow up here in Idyllwild, it's just a few inches at a time. But as you can see below, there was at least a foot of snow on my entryway and railings this week.
Ivy wanted to go out, and normally I don't allow it (coyotes in the neighborhood, not to mention the bobcat who owns the territory where my house is situated). But I had a feeling she'd come right back inside, and I was right about that. Ivy isn't too keen on getting her paws wet!
I always find it challenging to convey just how beautiful my workshop/studio is now that I've completed the remodel. New 5x8-foot windows take in the surrounding national forest, and when it snows the sunlight bounces off the whiteness and fills my creativity room with a cheerful light.
Here's a funny sight: My birdbath! Mom got it for me last summer; you attach it to the railing and fill it with water, or with nuts and seeds. It gets so hot and dry up here in the summertime, those of us who are fortunate enough to live here enjoy providing water for the birds and chipmunks and gray squirrels.
The snow is melting fast now, but we're expecting another big storm this Saturday with snow levels down to 1,500 feet in elevation! My house is at 5,000 feet, so I'm sure to get at least a foot of snow. I'll take more photos and post them.
Once spring arrives, the daffies will start poking up their yellow heads and the California Poppies and other wildflowers will bloom all over the mountains. We'll see brand-new baby deer, raucous young woodpeckers, squirrels, and who knows what else! Oh, lots of hummingbirds. Believe it or not, I just saw a hummingbird today. That's how quickly the sun warms even a snowy winter day in Idyllwild.
Happy wrapping,
p.s. I have lots of openings in my Wild Wire Women retreats. Spring and summer are perfect times to visit Idyllwild and take a weekend workshop in the mountains... if you're interested, visit my informational blog by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Day of Earrings

Well, I'm back to blogging after a long hiatus, apologies for the delay to all of my followers! The past month has been very busy, as I am in the final stages of a very intensive book project (more on that in a future post), and then last week I got waylaid by a bad flu bug that's been circulating the mountain.
But I'm back now, and feeling perfect, and ready to teach a fun workshop this Thursday at Monica's Quilt & Bead Creations in Palm Desert.
"A Day of Earrings" includes instruction on the four earring designs featured in this post, and it's very intensive so I cannot guaranty that we will finish four complete pairs. But, we'll certainly make at least one of each style and you will go home with the know-how and the handouts to complete them at home.
The four designs include (from the top): Squiggle earrings, Angel's Earrings (both featured in my new book-with-DVD, Wire Art Jewelry Workshop), Ripple earrings (from Arty Jewelry II), and Snake Vertebra Earrings (pictured below)—this design is very similar to the one in Wire Art Jewelry Workshop but I have since added a few techniques to make them even more beautiful.
For a supply list, click here.
The class costs $90 including a full day of instruction and detailed workshop handout. You will need to provide your own wire and beads, headpins, bead caps, etc. and jewelry tools, but if you make your earrings using copper wire they won't be very expensive at all. I estimate about $25 for all materials if working in copper.
My earrings are all made of sterling silver wire so they would be pricey to make now, with silver at $30 a troy ounce. You can of course also work in gold-filled if that is your preference, but I discourage using brass wire because it's very tough and hard to manipulate.
Hope to see you at Monica's!
To register for the class, call 760-772-2400.
Happy wrapping,