Link It! Book Review and Project Results

 jewelry making  Comments Off on Link It! Book Review and Project Results
May 252009

I recently received Link It! (Susan C. Thomas) as a gift from my daughter, along with a great bracelet she created using one of the project tutorials in the book.  Link It! uses stretchy rubber or neoprene rings with metal rings to create colorful and unique chainmaille designs.

I was instantly intrigued…I’d made “stretchy” maille bracelets before, but nothing like the projects in the book.  My previous projects had been mainly metal with some rubber tossed in for stretchability…Thomas’s projects were mainly stretch rings!

The book starts out with some basic techniques, including tools and supplies needed to complete the projects in the book.  Basic techniques include how to make the “elements” that comprise the great looking jewelry pictured in the book.  Also included in the book are lists of suggested suppliers (I use Fire Mountain Gems to purchase rubber rings.)

Speaking of pictures, the photos in Link It! are great.  Colors used by the author for the various projects are imaginative, and you’ll be tempted to go out and buy hundreds of colored rubber and aluminum rings.

I have to admit, being an experienced chainmailler, I thought making the projects in Link It! would be a piece of cake.  However, this is *not* your average maille, and it’s more challenging than I expected!

I did find Thomas’s instructions somewhat difficult to follow, even with colorful pictures to accompany the text.  My daughter said she had the same problem, but was able to figure out the patterns between the picture of the finished project and the directions.

Regardless, I recommend Link It! as a starting point for making jewelry using these techniques.  I quickly moved from creating pieces using Thomas’s patterns to making up my own, like Black and Blue, and Rubber and Road (green, black and copper) men’s bracelets.  Jewelry inspired by Link It! is great for anyone – men, women, teens – and no clasp is needed!

Oct 202008

It’s always fun to get good stuff in the mail. Today, amongst the credit card offers, grocery ads and a statement from my dentist, I got two small packages.

And you know what they say about small packages 😉

The first was a pack of 10 lampwork pumpkins that I ordered from an eBay seller. They were a little larger than I’d thought, but will still work swell for some fall/Halloween earrings.

The second was a small box of rings from The Ring Lord…although I like making my own rings, I do order specialty and tiny rings from TRL – in my opinion, they have The Best Rings out there! This order included some tiny (3/32) sterling rings, some 14k gold filled and some rose gold rings. MMMMMMMMMMM I was drooling all over the table!

A couple of things to keep in mind if you are ordering rings from TRL. First, if you want nice, flush cut rings (suitable for jewelry), you need to order SAW cut, not MACHINE cut. It sounds backward to me, but believe me, you don’t want to make this mistake! With the saw cut rings, properly joined jump rings will appear to have no cut – I pride myself in nearly invisible joins and have had fellow jewelers compliment me on my joins.

Also, make sure you add a note in the comment field to mark gauge, metal type and ring size for all rings. If you don’t, TRL will just drop your rings in the bags and you’ll be on your own to figure out what’s what.

What’s in YOUR mail box today?