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visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

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Amarettogirl Craft Book Review- The Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girls Guide to Handmade Jewelry by Jennifer Perkins

Since I'm big on reinventing the function of small plastic toys into jewelry (such as my Mai Sweet Shop Altered Rement line) I was beaming with intrigue when I saw the new book by Jennifer Perkins (yes the DIY network's Craft Lab host herself!) has a new book with her trademark kitschy style, entitled The Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girls Guide to Handmade Jewelry.

One day, in a hurried rush I browsed through the book in the bookstore, but I was too tired from a hard days work (teaching is not easy) and I didn't immediately purchase it. Then my fave Threadbanger podcasts had a Naughty Secretary Resin Bracelet demo on their weekly show with Jennifer Perkins and her book. The demo was so informative and thorough that the second I got on Spring Break I went back and bought the book. Boy am I glad I did, since a big chunk of my vacation was all about crafting with Jennifer!

The Naughty Secretary Club by Jennifer Perkins
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (August 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600611168
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600611162

So here are some of the many strengths and little weaknesses of the book:

Excellent for beginners and inspiring enough for experienced folk (like me). Jennifer's overall mission is to get creatives and non, to see outside the normal confines of jewelry making and in this -recycle and reuse way- to see potential in anything, and I mean anything.

excerpt from pg. 14 of The Naughty Secretary Club by Jennifer Perkins

So on the negative side, if fun colorful, larger than life kitsch, garden gnomes, telephone cords, swizzle sticks, plastic toys, eyeglass necklaces, pencil earrings and watch headbands are too over the top for your traditionalist-little-beady-jewelry-makin'-mind than this book is not for you.

Ms. Perkins applies a secretary (9-5 gal) theme throughout the book with funny little side-notes, hot-tips and blurbs on the working girls history, holidays and lore. She includes what I think are hysterical, informative tidbits on the art of true, multi-tasking ability, ie., six other uses for coffee filters and a list of eight other uses for pantyhoses!

So in honor of the first day of Spring I tried my hand at an over-the top plastic, fantastic bracelet inspired by Ms. Perkin's Secretary's Bouquet Bracelet on pg. 120. excerpt from The Naughty Secretary Club by Jennifer Perkins I was super lucky to find a cha-cha bracelet blank (yes thats what its called) at A.C. Moore (Michael's didn't have any). However the cha-cha bracelet blank that I found had only one loop running across it, as opposed to the two loops on the blank that Jennifer uses in the book. I'm sure if I would have found the correct blank my Spring Chic bracelet would have come out a lot meatier. Instead I opted for the longer hula-skirt style.

Another great aspect of the book is that is categorizes every project in chapters of difficulty. This bracelet is a three star difficulty (highest level in book). In addition, she explains that this bracelet is great for the collector and Lord knows thats what I am truly master of.

My Spring Chic Bracelet inspired by The Naughty Secretary Club Spring Chic

So if you're interested in adorning your body with original, funky, re-cycled, joyful and often whimsical jewelry BUY this book!!

Reader Comments (8)

I love this bracelet and the blog but especially the crazy rabbit with the choker!!!! You go amarettogirl!!!

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstainboy

Mai I looooove this bracelet!!! I think I may pick up this book, if not to make projects myself I like understanding what goes into the crafts of others and I'm loving the graphics she used.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTai

That should say Mari not Mai, my keyboard is begging for some compressed air.

March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTai

YOu rock Aunt Mari and the bracelet is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo coolio!


April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

oooooh, i like this.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbella

Thank you oh so much for the rave review, you are so sweet! Also your cha cha bracelet came out super rad, I love the colors and the chunkienss. Lemme know if you make anything else from the book I can't wait to see!

April 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Perkins

oh man, the bracelet is just wonderful! I am so proud of you Mari...your creative spirit is so inspiring to me!

April 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergregg emery

You are amazingly talented - that Spring Chic Bracelet is gorgeous! Jennifer Perkins and the Naughty Secretary Club designs are so fun - whimsical, light, airy, and clever. I want that book!

April 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCafe Fashionista

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