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'...my 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 it...read what the amazingly talented Triz also had to say about Nicole's kit.
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.