Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway-Irina's Inspirations for Jewelry


*Please read to the end if you want to win this book and participate in a weekly inspiration challenge.*

Irina Miech's Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders 1 &2 are two favorites in my book collection. So when Kalmbach sent me Irina's Inspirations for Jewelry to review, I was excited to see what was between the covers. I was not disappointed.

The introduction page is very informative about finding inspiration. While there are a few small photos along the side of the page that could be used for inspiration, the text is the "meat and potatoes" about being more observant of your surroundings and finding inspiration in things as varied as color, shape, texture, music, books, lyrics, fabrics, nature, etc.

Miech continues finding the right components. It may be that you are inspired by a component, or that you have to search or create a component to go with your inspiration. She includes short lessons on using color, creating balance, and trends. 

Next up is four pages of tools and techniques. The list is made up primarily of the basic tools you probably already have if you make jewelry, but also includes some extras. 

Then we get to the fun stuff...the projects. There are 24 projects. Every single project includes a photo of the inspiration plus a write-up describing why it was inspiring. Inspirations included fall leaves, paintings, beach stones, architectural details, weddings, travel, the night sky, a special outfit, lush Hawaiian foliage, and much more. 

Each project also includes a photograph of a variation of the project with a short caption. However, there are no specific instructions on how to recreate the variation. It's more of an inspiration for the reader to recreate a similar look with different components. 

And while this book is about finding your own inspiration and creating something beautiful and wearable based on what inspires you, I still would have liked to have seen a listing of where to buy some of the components she uses. Perhaps there is a piece that is perfect for something you want to try. You are left to  either find the sources yourself, or use something else all together. Otherwise, I love the book.

When the team and I were kicking around ideas for this blog, we thought it would be fun to do a weekly "Inspired by" blog post. Reviewing this books seems like the perfect time to introduce this idea to our lovely readers. How it works is this...on Mondays one of us will post a photo or lyrics, or a link to something that inspired us recently and the result of that inspiration.

For example, I was inspired to create these earrings:


Lantern Tassel Earrings Glass Addictions by Jennifer Cameron


Based on Chinese lanterns:



Chinese Lantern

We will be using Linky Tools so everyone easily join in and see what inspired you. Hopefully this exercise will help grow every person's ability to be inspired and recreate that inspiration in some form.

Now. About that giveaway. Kalmbach Publishing provided, free of charge, the copy of Irina's Inspirations. I did not receive any form of payment or services except the enjoyment of reading the book. I am going to send  one lucky reader my copy. 

To enter to win the book, you must leave a comment below about one thing that inspires your creativity.  

For additional chances to win, do one or all of the following tasks, and leave a separate comment for each task plus a link.

1-click on "join this site" to follow the AJE blog (to the left)
2-Blog about this giveaway
3-Follow the AJE facebook page
6-Share the giveaway on Facebook or Twitter

That is 7 chances to win! Comments must be in by 10pm Sunday, April 22. The winner will be announced on Monday April 23 in the first Inspired By post. Please stop by to see if you won. 

87 comments :

  1. I guess I have the honor of being the 1st to post. :) Congrats on the new venture! Looking forward to future posts from all the amazing talents!

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  2. Ohh, great new blog. I'm a new follower. And I'm totally inapired by architecture. Love the shapes there.

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  3. Looks like a great book. Right up my inspirational alley! I put on my very first solo art exhibit in 2010 called "Inspired by..." I took 11 works of art by 7 local artists, contacted 13 different art bead makers from around the world and had them create art beads and components for me based solely on the art and when I got it back I created 78 pieces of jewelry for this one of a kind exhibit. It was so much fun! I would do it all over again! There is no shortage of inspiration for me. Nature, architecture, colors, patterns, light, fashion, art... but mostly I am inspired by words. Words can wound or heal. I want to bring to life the power of a mantra or even a single word that speaks to the soul of the wearer. I want to tell the story of my clients that they can wear. That is my inspiration. Enjoy the day!
    Erin

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  4. Inspiration sources are amazing! Right now, one of the necklaces that I did with creative inspiration is one I call "Twilight". Yes, I love the Twilight movies!!! Not everyone does. To each their own. However, even though my friend, who purchased the necklace, can't stand Twilight whatsoever, she bought it because she loves the design and the colors! I did the necklace in the Twilight colors - Red, Silver, and Black and did red teardrops as well (symbolizing blood). And, yes, I was watching a Twilight marathon while I was making it! =)

    Anyhow, I think it would be great to win a book that gives you other ideas of where to gather inspiration from! Love your earring example!!!

    So, now all my posts:

    I have joined the site and look forward to keeping up with the blog!

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  5. I have joined AJE on Facebook! Didn't know ya'll had a FB page - glad to have found it! =)

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  6. I am following AJE on Twitter! =) One of the few it looks like! Hopefully more will come soon! =)

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  7. I have shared the giveaway on my FB page! =)

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  8. Which, when I shared it on my FB page, also shared it on Twitter! =)

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  9. Wow - ticked all those boxes and will blog today :)

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  10. I've joined your blog as a follower. Art jewelry is what I love to make, and I find inspirations in all kinds of things. One of my recent creations, for example, was inspired by some scrap fabric remnants I got from a tailor in China, and I posted pictures of it on my blog. I like your idea of showing the inspirations behind the pieces, and am looking forward to your future posts. :)

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  11. I am now following on Pinterest! =)

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  12. I already follow your blog and am inspired by people. Who they are, what they like, what they wear, how they move, their laugh ... the more personal I can make a piece of jewelry, the more beautiful it becomes.

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  13. Following you on Facebook ...

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  14. Following you on Twitter ...

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  15. Following you on Pinterest ...

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  16. My inspiration usually comes from found objects, the sea/beaches, and flowers. Can you tell I live on an island?

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  17. I'm already a follower of your blog.

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  18. Posted to my blog and Facebook! Congrats you guys!

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  19. Wow, quite an accomplishment! Congrats! I have joined the blog and will follow on pinterest and facebook. I think the thing that inspires me most is the ocean, the colors, the way the light plays off the water, the power of the waves, the tranquility of a calm sea. I love doing the enamels because I feel like I can capture some of that and combine it with other coastal elements.

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  20. The one thing that inspires me is searching for and finding wonderful items that I would like to create with my own twist. I really do hope to one day be able to take a workshop with you.

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  21. Blogged.... http://artziehodgepodge.blogspot.com/2012/04/wonderful-new-blog-and-giveaway.html

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  22. shared on fb https://www.facebook.com/ArtZhodgepodge?ref=tn_tnmn

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  23. following on fb.. https://www.facebook.com/ArtZhodgepodge?ref=tn_tnmn

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  24. following on pinterest.. http://pinterest.com/artzhodgepodge/

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  25. I have to walk through my garden to get to my studio, so like a lot of you out there I am inspired by nature. I collect pods for bead shape ideas and jot down color combinations that I see in the garden on the way to the studio. Good luck with this new blog, another great source of inspiration.

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  26. I am now a follower of your blog.

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  27. shared on Fb ... https://www.facebook.com/greenpatrick

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  28. Colour and texture are my biggest inspirations. Just like a little kid I gotta touch everything. Living fibre and sari silk ATM.

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  29. I find inspiration in every day life - brightly coloured clothes on a washing line, sun setting over the vineyards, the mountains surrounding my hometown, someone walking past me wearing interesting clothes - ordinary events, simple things! When I open myself up to really LOOK at things, inspiration comes by itself.

    Congratulations - I'm looking forward to read your blog posts.

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  30. I'm a new follower. Thanks for creating this inspiring blog! And PS: I find your blog text a little hard to read because the gray doesn't have much contrast with the white background - any chance you can change the text color to something darker? Thanks!

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  31. Blogged!
    http://sweetfreedom-designs.blogspot.com/2012/04/want-to-win-inspiring-book.html

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  32. As you stated the key is to take the time and look around for inspiration. I am inspired by nature, the colors, shapes, designs, and smells. Thanks for a chance to win. I really like the earrings that you made.

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  33. I am a follower of your blog. Thanks for the second chance!

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  34. Congratulations! What a great idea....all your talent in one place! I'm inspired by color first, then texture. Happy to join your site.

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  35. What a great idea! All your talent in one place! I've joined your site and am inspired first by color, then by texture.

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  36. Inspirations?....music, music, music! :-) And I say it in just that way, as I am currently working on a necklace inspired by Teresa Brewer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXYwP6PNYRA&feature=fvst

    I was a member of your blog before this contest. :-)

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  37. Followed you on Facebook...happily!

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  38. Followed you on Pinterest :-)

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  39. Posted on FB about the contest!

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  40. I'm a follower of your blog (was before the contest) :-) Would love to have this book, Irina is a favorite of mine.

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  41. I'm inspired by color, nature...well, inspiration is everywhere!

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  42. ...and I blogged about you and the contest LOL...that should cover all my bases!

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  43. I have posted about the giveaway on my blog.

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  44. I have posted about the giveaway on Twitter. Renetha aka DW

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  45. I shared your post from your Facebook page.

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  46. I now follow your AJE blog.

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  47. I "Liked" your FB page as well. I don't Pinterest.

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  48. I inspire a lot by national day celebration in my country. So much challange every month =)

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  49. I just wrote about this giveaway on my Manik Jawa Inc's blog. Check it here...

    http://manikjawainc.blogspot.com/2012/04/soo-much.html

    From the blog, it will direct link in twitter @manikjawa, from twitter it will direct link to www.facebook.com/manikjawa

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  50. I am now following!
    csdillman at gmail dot com

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  51. I am most inspired by color everywhere.

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  52. Following the Facebook Page (I LIKE!)

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  53. Posted the giveaway on my FB page! Wish I did more (like blogging and twitter)! Wish you wonderful ladies the very best and look forward to MORE art jewelry!

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  54. Joined the blog, following on twitter and facebook.

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  55. Joined the blog, following on twitter and facebook. Love the idea and can always use more inspiration.

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  56. Congratualtions! I have joined the blog and I am following on pinterest and facebook. what a wonderful site you have. Love the photographs and the color and especially the open and sharing environment. it is wonderful to share techniques and to provide inspiration for one another's creative endeavors.

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  57. I am following on pininterest and facebook and I have shared on facebook. thanks for making this forum for sharing and posting ourideas. such wonderful and creative work.

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  58. We're moving in two days and all I had time to do was join the site. Best wishes for your new project. I'm looking forward to what develops!

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  59. I find I'm inspired most by colors and metal right now, but my sources of inspiration change all the time!

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  60. One thing that inspires my creativity is being around other jewelry artists.
    I am following on Facebook
    Julie

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  61. I am following on Pinterest. One thing that inspires my creativity is being with other jewelry artists.
    Julie

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  62. Another thing that inspires my creativity is reading jewelry artist blogs.
    Julie

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  63. One thing that inspires my creativity is being around other jewelry artists.
    I am following on Facebook
    Julie

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  64. Just joined today and I am following your blog and I just subscribed.

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  65. I just recently found this site and I love it! Seeing what other people are doing is very inspirational and the blog posts are informative for newbies like me.

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  66. I really enjoy this marvelous site, it's inspirational & informative. The photos are gorgeous too!

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