I picked up French Inspired Jewelry at my local Barnes & Nobel in Zona Rosa (name dropping in hopes that they never close) for eight bucks. Jewelry falls in between being a legitimate craft book and coffee table read. In other words, if you are a crafter you won’t necessarily follow the pattern instructions as much as you look at all of Kaari Meng’s wares for inspiration. As such the book is worth a look.
First and foremost the photography is beautiful; however there were places within several of the pages where the photo publishing looked as if mistakes had been made. These gaffes were so noticeable that it effected my overall appreciation of the otherwise nicely organized themed visual essays.
I adored the inspiration boards Meng provided for her projects most of which did not seem overly difficult. Her layouts were funky artistic versions of things that would appear in a Martha Stewart magazine. I left this book wanting to check out the sites she endorsed at the end. She worked with some great beads which has inspired me to attempt working with chain instead of just beading wire. I also learned more about creating bezels.
I recommend French Inspired Jewelry if you are a crafter or want to give a crafter a present (thus hinting that they should make you something based on the cool projects in the book). Meng owns French General which is based in Hollywood and has designed accessories for the clothing/home style store Anthropologie.
Here are some websites she suggested to her readers. Happy reading!