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French-Inspired Jewelry: Creating with Vintage Beads, Buttons & Baubles Hardcover – September 1, 2007

41 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Books (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600590969
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600590962
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 9.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kaari Meng is the owner and designer of French General, a vintage craft workshop located in Los Angeles, California. Inspired by the South of France, Kaari designs quilting fabric and patterns for Moda, home decorating fabric and trim for Fabricut and paper craft materials for Sizzix. French General offers creative workshops in Los Angeles and France. Visit us at or @frenchgeneral

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 89 people found the following review helpful By S. L. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hot diggity ... It's books like these that will keep me (occasionally) gambling and making risky purchases based on a title and its cover. And what a bargain, even if you were to pay the full US price.

I tend not to follow instructions, using books as inspiration and stepping stones to final projects. But if you prefer great detailed how-tos, I think you will be pleased here, without being overwhelmed. The materials lists are exhaustive, and the design tips with each project are quite useful and readable.

And the photos - ooohh la la, what a treat. Each project gets at least three different visuals, and if you drool over vintage bits and pieces, you will certainly need a napkin as you peruse this feast.

In the into, Meng defines "vintage", but I am still not sure just what makes these tidbits "French", except that the author runs a shop called "French General". But this book is not a hard sell for the shop, or even for things a la France. Instead, think turn-of-the-century vintage, or maybe a bit Victorian, if you want to understand the flavor of this book.

And if you like scrapbooking or other forms of memory-making, you will be inspired by the page layouts. Very creative, beautiful, and sublime. I love using buttons in my jewelry gifts, and the subtitle really sold me on this book: "Creating with vintage beads, buttons, & baubles". The word "Celery Sticks" could have been included, and I still would have snapped this one up.

Trust me on this one, or trust the other reviewers!! You will be googling and eBaying all over the world to collect items to use in your own creations.

Superb. If you liked "Beautiful Button Jewelry" or "Charmed", or even if you never heard of those titles, you will find this a tasty and economical treat.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Jean Leslie on September 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This has to be one of the most visually stunning books on beaded jewelry I've seen. There are no step by step photos but the graphics and layout gives this book a coffee-table look. The jewelry is practical and easy to do.
French vintage jewelry is more colorful than American and British style which was influenced by the somber colors of Victorian and Edwardian England. The book start with the usual discussion of tools, supplies and techniques but the layout and photos makes this a treat. Even the wire wrapping tuturial has vintage type artwork.
The book is divided into chapters based on themes such as sea (La Mer),
which uses soft blues and corals, marketplace (La Marche) which uses fruit beads, garden (Le Jardin)using vintage flower beads, the churchyard, (La cimetiere) using buttons and subdued colors.
Many of the projects use antique-type chain and buttons, stampings and perforated disks. The many side-bars thoughout the book give hints on using vintage type findings and materials, making substitutions and design hints. The back of the book gives sources for finding vintage-type beads and findings.
All in all, French Inspired jewelry is a good read and user friendly book at the same time.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Jean Baldridge Yates VINE VOICE on October 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had no idea a jewelry book could be so perfect in so many ways until I opened this gorgeous creation by Kaari Meng. French-Inspired Jewelery is exquisite. In its photographs, layout, inspiration, and concept, it is so stunning I feel when looking at it as if I am being handed over some form of beauty I have never experienced before.

The photos are almost 3-D and the arrangements are extravagant and luxurious. All are appropriate to French rural life in the old days, and are split up into sections, such as The Sea, The Circus, Vines, and so on. The projects are not terribly difficult. Actually I found the author's website in her book. You can go there and replicate certain ones if you choose. I make my own jewelry, but I certainly respect good design and Kaari Meng really knows her way around vintage beads and lovely bracelets and necklaces!
It is a total pleasure to own and read this book. I recommend it thoroughly to any sybarite who loves beauty of any sort, and in particular to anyone who loves to make jewelry!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kathy S on October 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As title says - very different from the other jewelry books I have acquired in the last few years. And the staging of the pictures - WOW.
If you are NOT familar with jewelry assembly processes though its not a "beginner" book. But there are a lot of those out there already. This is definitely one to spark ideas because its mostly vintage pieces which are limited so the buyer of the book has to be prepared to be creative to try a couple techinques. Of course you can buy some of the parts at French General over the interet.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rick on October 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Wow, great jewelry book! Must have for your library. I've been making jewelry for almost 10 years so I'm selective about the books I buy for my personal library.
There is a good intro with basics covered. Info on findings, tools & vintage items. As for the projects, there are over 70 included. This book is jam packed. I'd make just about every project listed. I usually buy books & use them as jumping off points. I love books where I intend on making a majority of the projects.
The photography is stunning with lots of vintage items for inspiration. Instructions are clear & well written. She adds additional design tips with many of her projects.
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