Book Review: Quick and Easy Stitched Jewelry

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Wednesday 4 May 2016 at 9:57 am

Quick & Easy Stitched Jewelry: 20+ Projects to Make by Cathy Jakicic is published by Kalmback Books (2016) and retails for US $21.99 and CAN $22.99. It is a softcover book with a little over 100 pages to it and lots of color photos as well as some diagrams.

When most jewelry makers think of bead weaving, the idea of very tedious and time-consuming projects often come to mind. Of course, making large-scale bead weaving projects can give you hours of enjoyment as the maker of the jewelry piece; however, for those who want to make jewelry a little faster, it can be a turn off. This is especially true if you want to sell your finished jewelry designs since the time you put into a piece can be difficult, if not impossible, to get paid for when pricing your work. These are all issues that Cathy Jakicic considered while designing jewelry projects for this book. You can scale them up, and she shows you how to do this, but you can also construct a lot of simple to make jewelry items as well. Simple most often means less time when it comes to beadweaving.

Besides the time issue, another solution that the author has provided is the fact that she clearly states in the introduction that she will allow jewelry makers to resell items they construct with her design instructions. This tends to be a hot issue with some people claiming it is okay to do this anyway since they made the piece and others saying that they should get permission from the designer before doing this. Either way you want to look at this dilemma, though, it is always polite to ask (IMHO), and Jakicic tells you up front that she is giving you permission. How cool is that?!

As far as the 20 plus projects go, the idea of “plus” comes because she may show one design but then also spins off variations. For example, on page 74, she shows an Ombre Reef necklace, that is fairly complex and includes lots of branch fringe. However, her tones down spin includes branch fringe earrings and another necklace with less fringe on it.

I often had issues like this when I used to participate in arts and crafts shows. I enjoyed beadweaving but found the time input would not translate well into profits. While I was able to come up with a few seed bead type designs myself back then, they were pretty limiting. The projects in this book really answer that issue of time versus profit, and even if you don’t plan on selling your work, it is nice to spend less time on the “making” of a piece and more then the “wearing” of it.

Note: As with most books and crafting products reviewed on this blog, this book was provided as a review copy by the publisher.

Doll and Crafting Giveaway for May 2016

Blogged under CFEs/Contests by Tammy on Tuesday 3 May 2016 at 3:55 pm

I have a fun little giveaway going on for May 2016! Come by and enter. It’s super duper easy!

Note: Comments are turned off on this blog post so that participants will post their comments directly on my YouTube channel post in order to enter the giveaway.



Bead Vlog: Random Acts of Jewelry

Blogged under Crafty Videos, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Monday 2 May 2016 at 8:21 am

I have been giving away jewelry to random strangers and friends too, of course. I talk about what I’ve started called “Random Acts of Jewelry” in this short video:


Mother’s Day Crafting Ideas & More

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Monday 2 May 2016 at 8:19 am

Dress Card for Mother’s Day

If you have or know a model mom who does her very best for her kids and sets an example you admire, tell her with a “priceless” dress card like this.

Make Bulky Yarn Out of Medium Weight Yarn

Using worsted weight yarn and a spool knitter, you can make bulky yarn that you can then knit with. A great stash buster!

Wire Headpins How-To

Learn how to make these easy wire headpins that have three wire loops on the end.

Beading Arts

Do you know how to stitch the Dutch spiral? It’s really not too hard…

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!

Jean reviews Quick & Easy Stitched Jewelry, 20+ Projects to Make, by Cathy Jakicic–it’s wonderful!

Video: Make Wire Headpins with Triple Loops

Blogged under Crafty Videos, Free Craft Projects, Jewelry Designing, beading by Tammy on Thursday 28 April 2016 at 8:18 am


Blythe Doll Poseable Body Unboxing

Blogged under Crafty Videos, dolls art/collecting by Tammy on Sunday 24 April 2016 at 11:37 am

I will be doing some doll operations this summer, and this unboxing shows off the first of a few projects I have planned.



Upcycled Crafs and Freebies

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 24 April 2016 at 11:34 am

Upcycled Recycling Box

Do you recycle in the bathroom? Many people don’t, and it’s often because there’s no go place to put recyclables there. Here’s an easy upcycled box to hold items for recycling in the bathroom or anywhere else.

Crochet Designing

If you have the right tools and a little crochet knowledge, you can design your own crocheted afghan pretty easily.

Jewelry Creations Using Bead Box Bargain April 2016

I had a viewer ask me, “What do I make with the Bead Box Bargain shipment…well, here is what I made with the April 2016 goodies.

‘Ya Can’t Please Everyone, So Ya Got to Please Yourself’

Don’t compare your efforts with those of accomplished crafters and think you’re not good enough. If you give up, you’ll never get better. This is the voice of experience speaking.

Free Cat Trio Pattern

Like cats? Connie’s got a free pattern that will be perfect for you!

Beading Arts

Upcycling old plastic bracelet bangles into something fun and wearable has become Cyndi’s mission!

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!

Jean reviews Jeweler’s Enameling Workshop Techniques and Projects for Making Enameled Jewelry by Pauline Warg. Get the full basics on this wonderful technique and make something pretty!

No Brainer Crochet Afghan Designing

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Thursday 21 April 2016 at 8:49 am

Years ago before I eventually learned how to read crochet patterns, most of my crochet was freestyle, which included lots of afghans. I knew Granny Square, of course, and I knew various stitches that I had picked up here and there. I would simply pick up a skein of yarn and hook and go at it, and that means repeating a stitch or stitch pattern over and over until I had an afghan. I made lots of rectangles, as in afghans and scarves.

I finally managed to get the hang of following patterns, which opened up a new world of crochet to me, such as amigurumi. However, returning to my freestyle crochet and designing on the fly is still something I enjoy doing, and it really is pretty easy if you know a few stitches or can follow basic instructions from a stitch dictionary. One of my favorite crochet stitch dictionaries is Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet (Leisure Arts #15906) (Donna Kooler’s Series). It includes written as well as diagram instructions, so between the two of them, I can usually come up with something.


I have a few relatives expecting babies in the coming months, and that means I get to make baby items for them. Baby afghans are a must, so after picking up this massive skein of yarn, in the Country Pink colorway, I cracked open my dictionary and experimented with a few different stitches before deciding on a shell stitch.


While I think a good crochet stitch dictionary is a good investment, you can also find similar information online at various sites for free, such as the Lion Brand web site.


Book Review: How to Create Your Own Jewelry Line

Blogged under Crafty Biz, Good Books by Tammy on Tuesday 19 April 2016 at 6:58 am


How to Create Your Own Jewelry Line: Design – Production – Finance – Marketing & More by Emilie Shaprio is published by Lark with a copyright date of 2016. It’s a hardback 178 text that, as the author explains, is pretty much everything Shaprio knows about the jewelry industry and how jewelry designers can not only create their own line of jewelry but go on to sell it. Obviously, this means there is a lot of information in this book, so it is not a casual read. I found myself hopping around to different parts and using it more of a reference guide. However, those with no jewelry business knowledge could start at the beginning where basics are covered such as taxes and how to set up a jewelry business and move on as each of the many areas required for this are covered in detail.

Because of the title, I thought this book would focus only on creating a jewelry line, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that much more is covered. In fact, the subtitle is “Design/Production/Finance/Marking and More,” and all of these subject areas are included in the book. It can be a little overwhelming, but again, I see this more as a reference book to go to when needed versus a step by step manual. It takes awhile to get to the actual idea of creating a “marketable collection,” which does not show up until page 41.

If this book’s purpose is to describe every single item you need to know for a successful jewelry business, then the only area I felt was a little weak is the part concerning social media. It seems to gloss over this, but there are books written about social media and business, thus this is understandable.

Clearly, Emilie Shapiro has a wealth of information, and in an industry that sometimes can be a little tight with information, it is refreshing to see a successful designer and business person like her step forward and share.

Flowers, Beads, and Stitching Fun

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 17 April 2016 at 2:36 pm

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton

Take a look at what arrived in Andrew’s mailbox! An advance copy of Series 2400 of Beads, Baubles and Jewels! So exciting!

April’s Bargain Beads!

Tammy un-bags her April shipment of bargain beads.

Embellish a Tote Bag with Circles

Cover up the logo on a cloth bag (or a crafty mistake) by cutting out fabric shapes and applying them to the bag. Easy!

Watercolor Passion Flower Cards

Painting something several times teaches you a lot about the subject. How to make it a bit quicker with templates.

Comfy Quilt Pattern

The free Comfy Quilt pattern was one of the first freebies Connie added to the site. Check it out and be sure to look for all the other free patterns she offers.

Beading Arts

Do you have any old plastic bangle bracelets hanging around? Don’t throw them out! Let Cyndi show you how to quickly and easily upcycle them into something you’ll love to wear!

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!

Jean reviews the book More Lovely Knitted Lace Contemporary Patterns in Geometric Shapes by Brooke Nico. So pretty!

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