I took the kids to the bookstore before dinner and grocery store yesterday (GEEZ - teenagers eat a lot!) and picked up this book for me, Beyond The Bead, by Margot Potter. I really like it. There's so much information, if you want to invest the $22.99. I needed some eye candy and some boredom busters and some new ideas, so I bought it. I like the I'll Fly Away - Creating Faux Enameled Jewelry section the most, I think. It's the bird earring and necklace set on the front cover. I have a lot of stamps from my life BK (before kids) so I think I have at least one thing on the list of things I would have to buy to make the project!!! I can say I recommend the book, if you are looking to expand your creativity beyond the typical beaded necklace/earrings! You may have to invest in some supplies, but if you are looking to take the jewelry you make and sell to a different level or in a different direction, then this book is for you!
Months ago, I took a class at ArtBliss given by Barbara Lewis of Painting with Fire. It involved learning how to make torch-fired enamel beads. I loved it - as you may be able to guess. Barbara did teach us how to fuse items into a flat pendant, but we didn't spend a lot of time on that process, as the day seemed to go so fast! I was making enameled pieces the other night, and due to my own ineptness (remember the big toe burn???) I was able to fuse these two pieces together totally by accident. Now of course, it isn't a usable piece. However, now that I know how to do it, I can see some pieces like this in my future! I can't wait to get more copper cutouts!