Craft Book Reviews!

Monday April 26, 2010

Making Beautiful Jewelry
by Tone Rorseth
Available now
Martingale & Company
Chock full of fun and funky designs this book is definitely not for the faint of heart or traditionalist when it comes to jewelry, Making Beautiful Jewelry takes a look at jewelry at a whole new level!

When we think of making jewelry most of us think of the traditional materials like an assortment of various glass beads, stringing materials and wire...well Making Beautiful Jewelry will have you looking at something like a discarded button or an old piece of lace and wondering "What can I make with that?"

Some of my favorite ideas:
  • Making hearts out of colored spools of wire
  • Crocheted wire beaded pendant
  • Using felt and shells
  • Rose-petal hearts (with real rose petals!)
Even if you are an experienced beader and/or jewelry-maker I think this is a great book to help pull you out of rut and inspire you with new ideas! Some of the jewelry may not appeal to you but I'm sure you can take an idea from each piece and make something new and unique.

The tools and materials section is pretty limited so if you are fairly new to beading you may want to also buy a beginning beader's book to help you get started!

Your Seed Bead Style: Accents, Embellishments, Adornments
From the publisher of Bead & Button Magazine
Available now
Kalmbach Books
Do you ever wish you could have all your favorite seed bead projects in one place? Well here it is :) Each project featured in Your Seed Bead Style has been previously published in Bead & Button Magazine.

I have been making beads and jewelry for about ten years and bead weaving is something I just never tried. So this review will be from the perspective of an experienced beader new to bead weaving!
Up front there is a very  nice section on the basics:
  • Threads and Stitches
  • Knots
  • Wirework
Complete with nice graphics and fairly detailed descriptions.

Next up is the Tools and Materials section. As a beader I already had most of them I just had to purchase a bigger variety of seed beads (I usually just use them as an accent beads and in these projects they are the main ingredient!) I also bought some additional stringing materials so I had a more of a variety of colors, thickness etc.

The projects are seperated by the materials used and featured:
  • Crystals and Glass
  • Pearls and Shells
  • Metals
  • Gemstones
  • Fibers
Each project provides clear instructions with color pictures and illustrations. Being new to these projects I understood the directions and progressed nicely on my first project. Now, stating that, I think that if you are fairly new to beading you might want to also get a book that is strictly about learning the various stitches and also explains the various types of beads better. For instance as a newby, would you know what the instructions mean when they say: "Choose two similar colors of size 11 cylinder beads." 

With 27 projects in all you will find projects that range in difficulty from beginner to intricate designs better suited for more experienced bead weavers.  Here is a picture of the next project I'm going to try!
I like it!