a review of
Jewel Loom Inspirations
Quick and Fun Beading
and Jewelry Projects
Julianna C. Avelar
On the back cover of this vibrant, cheery, and appealingly colorful book is the question, "How will the Jewel Loom inspire you?"
If you haven't yet heard of the Jewel Loom, it is an extremely reasonably priced, easily portable loom invented by the author of this book, Julianna C. Avelar.
In Jewel Loom Inspirations, the author will begin by showing you how to use the loom, and then offer you the projects in this book. If you don't wish to purchase the loom (it is easy to locate), you may use other looms. However the Jewel Loom paired up with this book will definitely make for the best and easiest experience from this delightful and energetic author.
Julianna, or as she is also known in the beading community, "Jewels", introduces her vision of creativity in the book's introduction in this manner: "I think of my life as a creative Ferris Wheel, constantly rotating with inspiring ideas to help people live their lives happily." This lady is a true giver, and her enthusiasm leaps off each page,
The reader will be using all sorts of materials, as is shown in the Getting Started Section. Beads such as seed beads, Swarovskis, gemstones, two-hole beads and decorative beads will all have a place in your creations. Different kinds of stringing materials, adhesives, and tools will be explained as well.
Then comes the Jewel Loom itself, It is easy to pack when you are on a trip, it is primarily made of flexible plastic (polyethylene), and it comes with a metal rod to give it structure. You set up your warp threads on the loom in the manner which is very clearly explained and photographed. I have done off loom weaving and this loom is a snap and very economical, After the setting up of the loom is explained , the finishing techniques for various projects are offered.
When the reader has read this section, he or she is ready for the projects.
Even if you are a beginner, there will be plenty of bracelets, rings, headbands and necklaces you will be able to make. Some are sophisticated, some are chic, some are flirty, and some are earthy. It is all a question of who you are and what you like!
The very first project is an offering of three different colorways of the "Checkered Cuff", similar to the beautiful bracelet shown on the cover, only narrower. These bracelets are really pretty in tones of lavenders with opal, or topaz browns,whites and purple, or misty opal blue with caramel brown. The beads which you'll be using are the 2-hole glass beads from the Czech Republic. According to the author, the reader will be able to make these bracelets in 1 1/2 to 2 hours "once you get the rhythm down".
Another stunning project is the "Monochromatic Diamond Bracelet", which has a subtle diamond and chevron pattern in gorgeous dark and light purple. It is woven from size 11/0 seed beads. As with many of the projects, there is a chart to assist the reader when weaving the pattern. This is a wide 1 7/8" bracelet you can't help but fall for.
The "Elegant Pearl Bracelet" is an interesting change, as the pearls are round and the clasp is golden toned filigree. This is a quick one to make and perfect for those fancy occasions we all attend from time to time. As beading artists, do we ever have enough jewelry for those? Make this and don't worry any more!
Another project which I found especially interesting was the "Victorian Choker", which demonstrates, with its measurements of the entire length if the loom (10 1/2") plus a second smaller piece which you will sew to the first one, that you can make a necklace using this loom. This one is lovely in black with a front fringe of trails of black and silver beads and bugle beads.
Then there's the irresistible roaring red "Goddess Amulet", which, as the author says, "screams red-hot love". This is a one-of-a-kind treasure for you to have and to hold.
Some fantastic earrings and a great Swarovski Crystal Brooch were also on my list to try from this addictive book. The gallery is a great source of further inspiration as well.
This book is a wellspring of creativity, just as the author hoped it would be. For anyone who has never tried off loom weaving perhaps consider starting here. For anyone who is familiar with off loom weaving, try Jewel Loom Inspirations, Quick and Fun Beading and Jewelry Projects by Julianna C. Avelar, and you may never go back!
Fons & Porter/F+W; $19.99