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The Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girl’s Guide to Handmade Jewelry

Reported by Donna Lannerd

Okay, the title of this book is great at catching your attention and if you do a Google search for it you will probably find some very interesting sites that have nothing to do with jewelry but the book is definitely worth taking a look at. This is the product of the original Naughty Secretary herself, Jennifer Perkins, who started her jewelry business while working (and making jewelry) as a secretary. Bad, bad secretary but great for us that she is sharing her jewelry knowledge in this very unique book that was just released in August.

There are two things about this book that has me wearing the edges of the pages off already. It has gorgeous photography and the instructions are accompanied by even more great photos. It also has a quirky writing style that makes it a blast to read. She provides a great introduction on tools, supplies and a beginner how-to section on jewelry making basics she calls “Secretary School”. There are “Take A Memo” side bars interspersed with projects that provide tidbits of trivia and helpful hints like the one on all the uses for a ripped pair of pantyhose. The projects in this book are very whimsical using found objects, office supplies and scrapbooking items to create unique pieces that are on the funky side of life and will put smiles on anyone who wears them. However, if the pieces are a little too quirky for you, you will still find this book helpful for learning how to make jewelry. I am by no means an expert but I found the projects very inspirational. For example, I love the beads on the cover of the book. They are made from shredded junk mail. As you can see by my try at this technique, I used scraps of my scrapbook paper and made them more stripey.

Some of the supplies used: 1″ wooden beads, Traditions natural gallery black beads from Hobby Lobby, 1MM On-A-String Necklace Kit

I was also intrigued by jewelry she made from rub-ons from the scrapbooking aisle. In the book she says, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” since there are so many supplies to to choose from. I used rub-ons here to make a few embellished connectors to put with a chain. I was totally impressed with myself.

Some of the supplies used: chain by Metal Madness from Horizon Group USA, Rainbow Shell Connector by Traditions natural gallery from Hobby Lobby, Starburst Flowers Rub-ons by E-Z Rub-on Transfers

The last thing I tried was using covered button kits to make jewelry pieces. I was wanting to do a bracelet like was shown in the book but I was unable to find a bracelet blank in a local store so instead I made these hair barrettes for my daughter. Let me tell you, absolutely everyone can do these. In the book she used a vintage hankie but I just used a small amount of fabric I had on hand.

Some of the upplies used: 50mm nickel hair clip from Hobby Lobby, Dritz 7/8″ cover button kit. Liquid Fusion Glue

Pros

  • Lots of photos
  • Step-by-step photo instructions
  • Fun to read even if you don’t make anything
  • Inspiring

Cons

  • Cover may get you some bizarre looks from strangers while reading
  • I did have trouble finding one item from the materials list I was using

Although the style of projects are not my style, I am so happy that I have this book to inspire me and show me the basic skills of simple jewelry making in a fun, helpful way. It is a 9 out of 10 for me.

It is published by North Light Books division of F&W Publications and price is $16.99 US ($18.75 CAN). You can find it for purchase at The Naughty Secretary Club website, Amazon and F&W Publications Bookstore.

What do you think of the Naughty Secrectary? Do you have a favorite book or place to find inspiration for jewelry making with found objects?

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2 Responses to The Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girl’s Guide to Handmade Jewelry

  1. Avatar
    Elizabeth >^..^< September 4, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    Oh how fun! Thanks for sharing. Will have to take a peek. My favorite style is funky! As witnessed by my website.
    http://www.beadsonthebrain.net
    Elizabeth

  2. Avatar
    Annie September 4, 2008 at 3:11 pm #

    Donna – I’m not a jewelery maker, but your review of this book made me go to the website and order it right away. I can’t wait. I’m a papercrafter, but trying to teach myself beading, so this should give me a good laugh I hope! An ything this unusual intrigues me. thanks for your review