1st Jewelry Kits Are Listed!

Blogged under Crafty Biz,Crafty Products,Publications from Moi by Tammy on Wednesday 16 June 2010 at 3:18 pm

My first jewelry kits are complete and listed in my Etsy shop.  Both are earring kits using ceramic Raku beads, natural mother of pearl beads, copper beads, and copper findings. One jewelry kit is what I call a “full” kit because it has all the materials (except tools) needed to make the jewelry piece as well as a detailed full-color instructional tutorial. This is a beginning level kit designed for someone who has made little to no jewelry at all.

The second jewelry kit makes the same earring design but is geared towards someone with more experience who may want to make the earrings but doesn’t need the tutorial included the the full kit, so the kit includes all the materials but no tutorial.

I have two more earring kits in the works that are now in the testing phases where I actually have people make the kits and follow the instructions so I can make extra sure they are super clear before I start selling them. And then, the fourth earring kit I have plan is still in the design stage.

What do you think about this first kit? I’d love to hear some feedback, and if you know of anyone who has wanted to start making jewelry but wasn’t sure how to get started, please pass along the links to the kits above. These earrings are very easy to make, so it would be a great way for a newbie to get started with this fun hobby.

Being a Bead Star

Blogged under Publications from Moi by Tammy on Tuesday 11 May 2010 at 5:53 pm

I was able to view the the “proofs” today of a necklace project I submitted to BeadStyle magazine for its “All Star” issue coming out this summer. I believe it’s scheduled for June or July. Of course, one of the the issues with publishing designs off-line is that you have to wait until the hardcopy is out before anyone gets to see your work! I can tell you the theme was where you live, and since I live in Florida, it was a no brainer to use the beach an ocean as my inspiration.

So keep an eye out for it in the next few weeks. When I have more information to share, I will (of course!).

My New Book on Amazon!

Blogged under Publications from Moi by Tammy on Thursday 25 March 2010 at 8:55 am

Woot! I’m so excited to see that my new book, The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making, is already up for early ordering on Amazon.com!

I have only seen a mock-up of the cover, and the publisher was going to change a few things at that point. So this is really the first time I’ve seen the cover. I can’t wait to get it into my hot little hands!

Last of the Jewelry, Bye-Bye

Blogged under Publications from Moi by Tammy on Saturday 6 March 2010 at 11:07 am

I wish I could show you more than a box filled with bubble wrap, but that’s one of the downsides to doing a jewelry book. You can’t show off the finished goods until the book is published. This is the last of the jewelry for my next book, Complete Photo Guide to Making Jewelry.

This box has about 10 pieces for the gallery section as well as about 15 for three of the 10 how-to sections (bead stringing, wire work, chain making, fabrication, soldering, resin, fiber, metal clay, polymer clay, and mixed media). The total number of projects is 47, wow! Look for the book out in fall 2010, published by Creative Publishing International.

Jewelry Book Update

Blogged under Publications from Moi by Tammy on Thursday 18 February 2010 at 9:18 am

I haven’t been as chatty about my latest book project as some might have expected me to be. Some of it is because I don’t like to give away too many details until it is all put to bed, but also, I’ve just been worked my you-know-what off so much on it that I haven’t had time to blog about it! However when I look ahead on the horizon, I see the end is near.

The last major deadline is only weeks away at this point, and unfortunately, I have a lot more to do than I would normally like to at this point.  Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot done. I should actually say “we” because my husband is helping me on this project, especially when it comes to some of the metal sections. So we have a lot done. Still, this project has been so large that it has just about done me in. It includes 10 sections, each with a different type of jewelry: bead stringing, wire, chains, soldering, fabrication, fiber, resin, mixed media, polymer clay, and metal clay. Three of the ten sections I contracted out, and now that I look back, I probably should have done that for a few more sections, just to give myself a little break. Each section includes techniques and then 4 to 5 projects. Yes, do the math, 10×4 = 40, and actually, there are a number of sections with 5 projects, so there will be more than 40 projects total when all of this is wrapped up.

We are finishing up the soldering chapter and will take lots of pictures for that this weekend. My husband actually did all of the projects for that, and boy, they are very cool. He really has a good sense of design. Now getting him to explain his process to me so that I can write it down has been challenging, but we are managing to do it.

I’m also in the middle of the metal clay section, so I have projects in various stages, some drying, some ready to fire, some still rolling around in my head. Again, looking back, I should have done this section sooner because of the time involved with drying and firing pieces. It’s not a huge amount, but you are talking at least a few days. For other types of jewelry, you don’t always have to figure in an extra day or two for stuff like that. We will also be taking metal clay pictures too this weekend.  So, Saturday and Sunday will be pictures, pictures, pictures!

Book Ideas from Unexpected Places

Blogged under Getting Craft Work Published,Publications from Moi by Tammy on Monday 25 January 2010 at 1:23 pm

Admittedly, I need another idea for a book like I need a hole in the head. I mean it. I have tons and tons of ideas, especially when it comes to making jewelry. I have even written on here previously about how I don’t need people to give me their ideas.

Sometimes these ideas come when I do not expect them, when I’m really trying not to even think about the next book. I’m in the thick of things right now with a book project that has taken over my life, more so than I remember ever happening with previous books. In fact, my husband is helping me a lot with this book project, so he also has no life. We are prisoners until this puppy gets done.

So as I said, I have really, really been trying not to think about future book projects right now because this current one has been all-consuming. However, it happened just the same. My mom has started to make jewelry, and after various emails and phone calls from her with questions, I finally suggested she try to use one of the 7 books of mine that she has in her possession. I mean, hello! I actually have given her books on this; why all the questions?

Finally, I spoke with her again on the phone and tried to explain about crimp beads this time. As I tried to explain to her about how it basically works with crimp beads and the different sizes and crimp tubes versus the actual round bead type crimps, I directed her to a page in one of my books.

But she continued to ask questions, and at first, I wouldn’t listen to her because the instructions and illustrations are right there, and in fact, she was asking about other jewelry techniques now that had nothing to do with crimp beads. She was all over the road. It reminded me of when I have gone out to eat with her sometimes, and she wants to order something that isn’t on the menu. If it isn’t there on the menu or if there isn’t something remotely close, then why would you even think of ordering a different dish?

Finally, after I was probably almost yelling at her over the phone in frustration, I realized what she was trying to explain to me. She was lost. She was trying to navigate through the books like someone who was ordering a dish that isn’t on the menu. And, ding! the light went on in my head, and I have to give her all the credit for my latest book idea.

I probably have said too much already, so I won’t go into more details. I’ve done this before and gotten sort of “bitten in the you-know-what” by it, so you would think I’d learned my lesson. Any way, I have yet another idea to add to my list, and it just reminds me that sometimes I really need to shut up and listen, even to or perhaps especially to people who know nothing about something I know tons about.

Jewelry Book Milestone No. 2

Blogged under Publications from Moi by Tammy on Friday 15 January 2010 at 2:29 pm

Ah, so I made my second deadline for the jewelry book today. And, boy, does it feel good! Of course, I can’t get too cocky yet because I have one more big push before it is over. If it sounds like I’m giving birth, I can only imagine, but at least to me, that is what it feels like. There is a lot of pain involved in writing a book but also a great deal of satisfaction and joy as well, even more so when I am able to hold it in my arms!

This past section of the book has required my husband and I to collaborate more than ever because it has a few metal related sections in it, and his metal skills are better than mine. That’s the “engineer” in him. Everything must be exact! However, it is still very much a creative process, and I have to admit that he has designed some really cool projects. I didn’t know he had it in him!

While it has been challenging working with someone else on a project when I normally work solo, even more challenging because we are married to each other, we have done pretty well not trying to kill each other. It is weird how we can collaborate on this, but if I need him to explain how to use the blue ray remote, it can turn into WWII around here. I guess I’m lucky that when it is important, we can successful work together.

Amazing Chic Metal Jewerly

Blogged under Good Books,Jewelry Designers/Artists,Publications from Moi by Tammy on Wednesday 9 December 2009 at 7:18 am


I have been on the look-out for select jewelry designers to participate in the gallery section of the new book I’m working on. In particular, I need pieces to reflex the various techniques in the book, one of which is metal work, fabrication and also soldering. Of course, the first person I thought of for fabulous metal jewelry is Victoria Tillotson. Her work has been sold in HSN, through various boutiques, and her web site as well; Plus she has an excellent book out, which I reviewed a while ago.

Anyway, I received her jewelry submissions for the book the other day, and I was totally wow-ed by them. I mean…they look great in her on-line shop, but when you see them in person, there’s just no comparison. They are hefty pieces, well-constructed, and finished to perfection. Even my husband, the extra meticulous engineer, was very impressed. I’m so honored to be able to include some of her jewelry in my book’s gallery!

Photographing Crafts

Blogged under Crafty Biz,Getting Craft Work Published,Publications from Moi by Tammy on Friday 27 November 2009 at 10:53 am

One of the reasons we didn’t have any company like we usually do during Thanksgiving – other than the fact that I’m writing like a wild woman lately and my house is a disaster because of this – is because our guest room (aka sewing room, storage room, etc.) is now a photo studio. We have set it up in order to take photographs of the jewelry we are making for a new book my husband and I are working on together.

Above is a picture of the set up. All of this, other than the extra table lamp in the center, came in a very cool kit I got off Amazon.com. It includes the tent, white and black backdrops, and two adjustable lamps with two special high out-put photographic fluorescent bulbs, 45 watts each. This kit got some excellent customer reviews, and I have to admit that I agree. It has really made a difference to have this set up while working on this book.

I know photographing crafts and jewelry especially can be very challenging, and while there are lots of way to make a tent yourself, I think considering this whole set up (not including extra lamp, camera, and of course, camera tripod) is worth the money.

Where Is Crafty Princess?!

Blogged under Charity Crafting,Publications from Moi,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Wednesday 4 November 2009 at 5:36 pm

I have been so busy lately, that you may have noticed I’m not posting like I usually do over here. Between everything else on my plate and the new book, I have zero extra time, nada, zippo! It has gotten to the point that I am pretty much hiding from family and friends.

I’m reminded of a scene in one of my favorite movies, Somethings Gotta Give. Diane Keaton is a playwright whose sister makes a comment at the dinner table while guests are there that Keaton stays home “night after night after night” alone. Keaton later complains to her sister that the reason she’s home all the time is that she’s writing, and the only reason she ever managed to get married and have a child was because she ended up marrying the director of her plays, who was the only man she ever saw because, again, she was busy writing all the time.

Writing is really a solitary life. And, for the most part, I really don’t mind that other than the fact that I feel pressure from people who don’t understand why I can’t drop everything and go to lunch, go shopping, or whatever. If it weren’t for my husband and day job, I would probably also be like Keaton’s character and rarely see anyone when I’m into the heavy full-throttle writing mode.

I mean: you just can’t. No little fairies show up in the middle of the night and magically toss words onto your page. It’ all up to YOU!

So I apologize ahead of time to all my friends, family, associates, and readers if you find me missing now and then for the next few months. I’m here. I’m just writing and crafting and writing, and I’ll be back on board and posting again more regularly very soon! Promise!

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