Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Review of Nicole's Layered Flatwork Kit

I am not one for tutorials.  Never have been.  I like to learn the hard way, figure things out for myself.  It is MY failure, or MY success.  This tendency for stubbornness can probably be attributed to my Scottish ancestry!

So imagine my surprise when a package arrived from my good friend Nicole Campanella, and in the package was one of her Layered Flatwork Brooch Kits!  

My surprise quickly turned to curiosity and then to delight as I opened my little parcel and was confronted with these delicious goodies:

I decided on the spot that perhaps I could bend my 'Never-Try-A-Tutorial' rule a little.  But just this once.  

Nicole's kit contained everything I needed to get started immediately...a dichro cabochon, seed beads in various complementary tones, Nicole's BeadBacking (which is far nicer than Lacy's Stiff Stuff...and comes in a range of colours too), leather, a needle, thread, brooch back, and even a piece of beeswax to condition my thread!  The only basics that I had to supply were some glue, scissors, and a craft knife (for cutting two small holes in the leather)...oh, and a couple of hours of my time!

I had never used dichro before.  In fact, I had never even SEEN dichro in person before.  I was blown away by the colour, the sparkle, the beauty of it...I was like Gollum in 'Lord of the Rings' preciousssssss....

Isn't it pretty!  I *heart* it very much.

Once I had stopped fondling my pretty dichro cabochon, I set to work on my gorgeous brooch kit.

Nicole's instructions were clear and easy to follow, and each step of the process was accompanied by a clear photo or two.  Everything in the kit was clearly labelled so I knew exactly what I would be using with each step.  Honestly, it couldn't have been ANY easier.  Nicole held my hand all the way.

And I know you want to see the end result.  Ready?  Here it is - a beautiful, elegant, top quality brooch.  I love it to pieces!

My photos don't do justice to the beautiful colours and sparkle of the brooch.  This colourway isn't called 'Golden Sunrise' for nothing!

The best thing about this kit?  Aside from the end result which is a stunning, wearable work of art, for me it was the years of experience and knowledge that Nicole shares so freely.  We're talking Beading Royalty here, people.  This lady knows her stuff...and she even knows what you think you know, but you don't really know.  You know?

The chance to learn from a master should never be under-estimated.  I thought I knew a sufficient amount about bead embroidery and the like.  But having completed Nicole's kit, I can now take my work to the next level and incorporate her wonderful, unique Layered Flatwork techniques into my own creations.

But don't just take my word for what the amazingly talented Triz also had to say about Nicole's kit.

Nicole's links:

Thanks for looking, and be well!

Disclosure:  The above kit has been provided to me for review free of charge by Nicole Campanella.  This review represents my honest opinion, and I have not received compensation from Nicole Campanella as my endorsement pertains to the kit received and reviewed.


  1. This is all my favorite colors and with you breaking your rules and your review of Nicole's tutorials, it sounds like a beginner could do this! I *heart* this piece too!

  2. What a gorgeous bright brooch! you did a wonderful job! great review and thanks for the mention! :-) I gave my brooch to my mother for her birthday and she loved it! how could she not! :-)

  3. OKaaay so I am sitting here with tears rolling down my face and chuckling at the comedian in you. I am so taken by how you created with my kit. For never doing this type of beadwork or the leather work your talent goes beyond what I simply provided. I am so proud of you!!!! To know that you learned from me and will be able to take this to other levels of bead art makes my heart happy. To inspire, to encourage, to make it a bit easier for artists has and will always be one of my goals in life. Thank you for helping me accomplish this.
    You and Triz make me feel worthy.


  4. These are wonderful colors! I work a lot with cabs lately and it is always fun, because one never knows what the piece will look like.

  5. You've done a marvelous job Belinda. I have been eyeing off Nicole's kits for a while now and this confirms it... I must get one! Just gorgeous.


  6. Kristen, aren't the colours just fabulous! You know what...Nicole's kit includes a spare piece of her BeadBacking and there are enough extra beads for you to practice before you start the kit. So I am confident that even a beginner could do this kit!

    Thanks for stopping by,'re so sweet ♥ I bet your mother loves her brooch, it's so beautiful! I couldn't bear to part with mine LOL

    Nicole, oh I'm sorry to make you cry...hopefully my attempt at comedy made you smile through the tears ;-) I can't tell you how much I LOVED your kit! And I learnt so, so much. Seriously! I can't wait to apply your techniques to my own work. You are an inspiration, as always ♥

    Kokopelli, I love cabs but Nicole's dichro cab was one of the nicest I have ever seen...the depth of colour is amazing!

    Thanks Karyn! You will learn so much from Nicole's kit...I know that you do a lot of work with cabs, so learning Nicole's techniques will absolutely benefit you :-)

  7. FABULOUS!!! I love this brooch!


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