Tell Me What You Think For A Chance To Win A Free Book!

Let Me Know What I Can Do That Would Help You Most, And You Could Win A Copy Of Kat Wisniewski’s Book New Connections

New Connections by Kat Wisniewski

UPDATE: Winner selected. Congrats Deborah B of Houston TX!

I recently reviewed Kat Wisniewski’s first book, New Connections In Chain Mail Jewelry With Rubber and Glass Rings. When I placed my order for her book, little did I know that Kat was planning on sending me a complimentary copy! So I received 2 copies, and I’m honored to share one of them with you – especially since you’ve all been SO patient with my long delay in publishing my recommended chainmaille suppliers post (coming within a week, I promise!).

As I move forward with the next chapter of Blue Buddha, I’d like some input from you. I want to make sure I’m doing things YOU are interested in – and I figured a good way to find out what those things are, is to ask. :-)

Please take a moment to consider some of the items below, and let me know what you think in the comments section (or complete an online survey). One commenter chosen at random will receive a FREE copy of Kat Wisniewski’s book. I can ship the book worldwide. (Because I’d love to hear from chainmaille fans in all parts of the world!) Post your comment, or complete the survey, by end of day Sunday July 17, as the winner will be selected on Monday July 18.

What’s Next For Sure and For Maybe

In all honestly, I’m looking for ways to continue to share my knowledge with you, and at the same time, to monetize my skills. I love chainmaille, but love alone doesn’t feed me, heh.  I am eager to hear from you about what you’d like to see me do, and also, what you’re willing to pay for. Because if you aren’t willing to pay for certain things, that’s important for me to know. I’d rather turn chainmaille back into a hobby, have fun with it on my own time and nix the website completely, than pour my efforts into making something that either no one wants, or no one will pay for.

The things that are keeping me busy right now include:

  • * “downgrading” to a sole proprietorship and tying up loose ends from corporate B3 (etsymore time-consuming than I’d expected!)
  • * reviving Blue Buddha’s Etsy shop – adding more instructions as well as posting the remaining project samples which we didn’t liquidate during our in-person clearance sales
  • * creating a Rebeca Mojica Etsy shop and updating RebecaMojica.com, including adding a TON of sale jewelry–prototypes, leftovers from book and magazine projects, and discontinued designs
  • * preparing for Bead Fest Summer 2016 and releasing kits/tutorials for colorful Rondo a la Byzantine and Pirouette in August/September
    * working on my über secret project !!! (to be announced in 2017)
  • * my secret project is keeping me mostly busy these days, but once things settle a bit, I’ll start working on a sequel to CHAINED

Below are additional things I’m planning or considering doing — and here’s where I’d like your input. What sounds good and exciting to you? What aren’t you interested in? Do any of my attempts to make money doing this stuff rub you the wrong way? What other ideas/suggestions do you have?

  • * creating video tutorials for projects – Perhaps I could offer some easy projects or tips for free. Longer, more extensive projects would be paid content. Or I could set up a Patreon account and offer additional content and perks to Patreon supporters.
  • * working with chainmaille suppliers to release kits for some of my designs – If this is something you’d be interested in, let me know what kits, or what types of kits, you’re most likely to purchase. I would likely receive a flat fee from the supplier per project, or a commission for each kit that sells.
  • * becoming an Amazon Associate by providing links to products I like and recommend – If folks use my Amazon links (like the ones in this blog post) to make purchases, I’ll earn a small commission on those purchases. I’d be interested in being affiliates for specific crafting companies that I believe in as well.
  • * reviewing books, videos and products in the chainmaille industry – these don’t make any money in and of themselves, but I could provide Amazon Associate (or other affiliate) links and receive a kickback for purchases.
  • * providing coupons, information and/or promotions for other vendors -Though the B3 blog, social media and newsletter, I’d love to share information and promotions from other chainmaille suppliers and possibly even other vendors that are a good fit with most of my audience. I’d receive a kickback from the vendors for purchases made using the coupon codes I provide.
  • * purging email addresses from our mailing list – I never plan on selling the Blue Buddha mailing list, but right now it costs $1,000/year to maintain. So clearly, I’ve got to do some changes: purging the email addresses of the folks who haven’t opened any of the past 4 mailings and figuring out how to make the newsletter worthwhile if I’m not selling products. The previous 2 bullet points (coupons/reviews) would be one way to make the newsletter more viable.
  • * makI-Heart-Mailleing the occasional T-shirt – Remember our I [pliers] Chainmaille T-shirt? We had a few runner ups to this design that folks were interested in, and we never made them. Plus I have other ideas floating around (like one based off my I <3 Maille badge, a Weapons of Craft Creation shirt, and more)
  • * offering paid online classes and webinars – I’d be really excited to do this, but I think teaching chainmaille remotely is difficult for my teaching style. So I’m not sure how much of this I’d do. I would love to do a webinar on Aspect Ratio, though!
  • * having a generic “donate” button – Once I bring back all the useful charts/widgets and data that our website used to have, I’ve considered having a PayPal button where someone could send me a buck (or however much they wanted) if they felt like the information was helpful. The website would continue to host free content, and no one would ever be under any obligation to donate. But for those who had the means to contribute, and who wanted to, would be able to.

What do you think? Do you have other ideas? How can I help you? Leave your comments below or complete the online survey for a chance to win a copy of New Connections In Chain Mail Jewelry With Rubber and Glass Rings by Kat Wisniewski.

  • Thanks so much for any feedback you have. If you prefer to respond via email, please send an email to [email protected]. You’ll be included in the drawing for a free book as well!
maillethankyou

Book Review: New Connections In Chain Mail Jewelry With Rubber And Glass Rings by Kat Wisniewski

An Excellent Introduction to Using Different Materials To Spice Up Your Chainmaille

newconnections-book

In this how-to book, author Kat Wisniewski shows how to add rubber and glass rings to traditional metal jump rings, creating eye-catching chainmaille designs for all levels.

Disclaimer – I know Kat and consider her a friend. We worked together at Blue Buddha for more than 7 years! So of course I’m biased. But that’s because over those many years, I got to see what an amazing artist Kat is, and how devoted to teaching this artform she is. Not only to teaching chainmaille, but teaching it properly. She is honest and thorough in her work and if she states something as fact, I guarantee that she researched and did her homework. I was honored to receive a complimentary copy of the book and a kit to make a project. Know that I only support things I’m passionate about – I can assure you that if I felt this book was anything less than stellar, I would’ve chosen to not write about it at all. OK, now that that’s out of the way… on to the review!

New Connections In Chain Mail Jewelry With Rubber and Glass Rings begins with an informative “Basics” section which anyone new to chainmail weaving will want to read. Even veteran weavers may learn a few tips and tricks in the extensive Materials, Tools and Techniques sections.

The projects begin with very quick and basic designs, perfect for someone brand new to chainmaille (let alone new to rubbermaille or glassmaille). If you’re more advanced, you may still want to give some of these projects a go for the instant gratification they bring. As noted on the inner cover page, Kat “encourages you to make these beautiful pieces of jewelry to share with others or sell for profit if you so wish.” Some of these quick & easy earrings may be great for selling at craft shows–you can crank out many of them in an hour, and give them a price point that allows you to make a nice profit! You can change colors, add charms and modify the basic patterns to put your own creative spin on the designs. For many projects, Kat shows additional colorways for an added boost of inspiration.

Mid-book, the designs begin to increase in complexity. Some of my favorite bracelets are the Celtic Crossroads Bracelet, a variation of Celtic Visions, Encapsulated Delicacy Bracelet, a drool-worthy variation of my X-Lock Byzantine weave and the challenging Arctic Sphere Bracelet which is a mesmerizing dance of orbital aluminum rings and ice blue glass rings.

By far, though, my favorites are the pendants – from the Fold & Gather Linear Star Pendant which teaches several basic rubbermaille techniques, the densely intricate Lock & Twist Pendant, the geometric Interstellar Pendant, and my absolute favorite, the Space Oddity Pendant.

Space Oddity Rubbermaille Pendant in black purple and pink

Space Oddity pendant designed by Kat Wisniewski, made by Rebeca Mojica

The step-by-step photos throughout the book are crystal clear and easy to follow. Kat makes it easy for beginners to succeed by clearly and succinctly explaining each step. As is typically the case in publishing, mistakes are made – and to eliminate confusion, Kat has created an online Errata listing of corrections on her book’s website. Do check it out before you begin any projects in case there is an adjustment that you’ll need to make.

Overall, the book is refreshing and inspiring. I love being challenged to work outside of my comfort zone and use materials, such as glass rings, that I don’t normally work with. Even though I’ve been making chainmaille for many years, this book gave me the chance to look at the artform with new eyes and feel refreshed, rejuvenated and excited to create. Thank you, Kat, for writing this book and helping make this artform accessible to all!

Purchasing Kits and Materials

If you’re looking to purchase kits, Mhai O Mhai beads is the exclusive supplier for all the project kits. The rubber rings used in the book photos were exclusive to Blue Buddha Boutique at the time Kat was writing the book. These rings are now available through Spiderchain.com. (So if you have old B3 rubber rings on hand and are wondering if they’ll work for the projects, the answer is yes! I used Blue Buddha’s black rings to make my Space Oddity Pendant.)

Kat sells the book (including autographed versions!) on her New Connections website and it is also available on Amazon.

I wish you happy weaving and encourage you to try the projects in this book. It’s a fun and colorful journey! Happy weaving,

Rebeca

 

Space Oddity Pendant by Kat Wisniewski using glass rings and rubber rings

Close up of Space Oddity Pendant. For this version, I used Blue Buddha’s rubber rings (T16 black and C19 fucshia) now available at Spiderchain.com, along with anodized aluminum rings in purple and black. I believe the glass rings are Light Pink and Softest Plum (both available, along with many, many other colors of glass rings, from Mhai o Mhai Beads)


 

DISCLAIMER #2 – The amazon links above are affiliate links, which mean I earn a few pennies for any transactions you make on Amazon after following those links. Any little bit helps keep the lights on over here with my now-tiny operation, so I appreciate your clicks and purchases very much.

Chainmaille Tutorials on Etsy

50+ Patterns & Instructions by Blue Buddha Now On Our Etsy Shop!

chainmail patterns by Rebeca MojicaThis week I added several tutorials to Blue Buddha’s Etsy shop, bringing the total number of B3 chainmaille patterns available for sale to more than 50. Woo-hoo! Shorter tutorials as well as patterns that were formerly in our sale section have also been priced accordingly; you’ll notice they range from $1.95 – $5.95 instead of our standard $6.95.

I still have about 20 more tutorials to add (some of which need a bit of cleaning up/updating before I add them). Plus, a brand new tutorial for my Pirouette weave will be out in August or September (after I teach the weave at Bead Fest).

And, in other news, I’ll be doing a couple giveaways in the next few months, finally writing that blog post of recommended suppliers, bringing back some of the stats/uses/info pages formerly found on B3’s website, and creating a Rebeca Mojica jewelry shop on Etsy. So stay tuned! (Sorry for the massive delay with all of these updates…I’ve had my hands full with moving/unpacking and still tying up loose ends from the first era of Blue Buddha. Thank you for your patience!)

If there’s a project you’d like to see me add to our Etsy shop, or any weave you’d like to see me make a tutorial/video for, please leave a comment below!

New Chainmaille Tattoo: Perfect Combination of Beauty and Bad-Assery!

Colorful Pendant Inked On My Shoulder

About a month ago, as Blue Buddha’s operations were winding down, I finally decided to get the chainmaille tattoo I’d wanted for, like ever. I thought it would be a nice way to commemorate what we accomplished in 13 years of being in business. Plus, I had a gift certificate from Insight Studios that I’d won in a raffle that I wanted to use before I moved away from Chicago. :-)

Originally I wanted a chainmaille bracelet of Rondo a la Byzantine, arguably my most well-known design. (Seriously, I’m kind of in awe of all the Rondo a la Byzantine bracelets for sale on Etsy at any given time!) However after consulting with tattoo artist Ryan Gutekunst, I decided to go with a bigger piece that would wear better over time. The Quantum Rose pendant is one of my signature pieces, and it had been on the Blue Buddha buttons and business cards, so it seemed appropriate to use that design.

And that’s how this mega-huge gauge, colorful version of one of my best-selling pieces came to be!

chainmaille shoulder tattoo
I’m so pleased with the result. When I saw the first post-tattoo photo of my upper body, I had the feeling that the tattoo had been there for years, like it was always a part of me. I love that I was able to bring this chapter of my life to a close with this image. And, heh, I’m already planning my next chainmaille tattoo. :-)

Do you have a chainamille/jewelry tattoo, or have you seen one that you like? Leave a comment, tag @aerobeca on Instagram, or shoot me an email at [email protected] with a link.

colorful quantum rose chain mail tattoo

 

Relocated & Taking A Bit of A Break

On Hiatus, But Not Gone!

empty-studioThe dust has settled at Blue Buddha. All orders have long shipped. Our final liquidation and clearance sales are over… and the studio is empty.

I’m still checking customer care emails about once every day or so, because I know there are still some lingering questions about orders (and some overseas customers have yet to receive their final order).

Other than that, though, I’m taking a bit of a hiatus.

I relocated to Los Angeles the last week of April (though it’ll be another week or so before my stuff arrives). I plan on taking most of May to settle into my new home, tie up some loose ends from Blue Buddha … and figure out what the heck is next.

Quite a different view than I've been used to for the past 40 years of my life. And I love it!

Quite a different view than I’ve been used to for the past 40 years. And I love it!

Summer Projects

OK, to be honest, I’ve already know what’s next, or at least, immediately next. I’m working with some folks back in Chicago on a project that I’m VERY excited about. As I’m allowed to reveal details, I definitely will. (It’ll be several months at least, though, before you’ll hear me make more than a peep about it. We’re waiting for a BIG reveal!)

Once June rolls around, I’ll be updating rebecamojica.com with my current inventory and possibly creating an Etsy page for my jewelry. I have lots of sale items (including precious metal pieces) which I’d like to photograph and put online.

I’ll also reach out to other jump ring suppliers who expressed an interest in working with me on various tutorials, videos, designs and other projects. I’m super excited about collaborations and partnerships not just in the chainmaille industry but also in the general jewelry and crafts world. And yes, I’ll finally sort through all the product samples I bought from other vendors so I can create a list of recommended suppliers.

Essentially, I’m writing this post so you know that you haven’t heard the last of me, even if I wind up being pretty quiet for the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to taking a MUCH needed break and refreshing my creative soul so I can come back better than ever.

See you soon!

P.S. My older cat is already quite comfortable with his new digs. I should take some lessons from him on how to take a break, as clearly he has perfected this skill… heh.

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