When I received the latest jewelry book from Kalmbach Publishing, I groaned. Not because it was a bad book. On the contrary, it got the creative cogs in my brain going so fast, I had to set the book aside before my head hurt. It was a while before I could look at it objectively!

The book in question is Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry by Peggy Krzyzewski and Christine Hansen. The new book, at 96 pages, is slender but is packed with 36 projects. What I liked about the book was the sheer range of mixed media covered - paper, found objects, polymer clay, plastic, wood, fiber, resin, metal and glass.  These art charms are not complicated - they were designed to be completed in a single sitting. Impatient beaders, take note!

The authors cover a number of techniques, often with new twist. So if you were thinking of dabbling with new crafts say, polymer clay, or soldering glass charms, it's handy to have so many methods explained in one book. It's best considered as a starting point for anyone who needs some creative ideas to make unique charms and beads no one else has.

The authors do give a number of tips and  instructions on how to drill, apply eyelets, copper foil tape around glass slides and how to solder. As there are only a few projects per media, the reader will likely need to explore other sources for more in-depth information if a particular technique appeals. But as it is the book packs in a lot of information for its size.

One cool project was the mini-lotus book - a tiny folded paper book charm where you can write in something original or add a quote. You know those vase gems?  These are inexpensive flat backed glass marbles you get in craft stores. Well, they show you how to copper foil and solder backs and edges to these marbles after adding a picture - the marble magnifies the image.

The book will appeal to those of you who love art beads, crafting and mixed media. If you are primarily say, a bead worker, wire artisan, or chain maille artisan, perhaps not. 

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