Simple Lace Beaded Jewelry Book Review
Simple Lace and Other Jewelry Patterns is a basic instruction book for creating beaded jewelry using seed beads. If you've ever wondered how to make those delicate, lacey beaded necklaces, bracelets, and finger rings, this is the manual for you. You'll learn how to create the basic chain and lace patterns, daisy chain, and the ever-useful beaded ball and loop clasp. Slightly more complicated projects are also stepped-out, with tempting names like "Hula Hoop Necklace" and "Empress Choker Necklace."
Author Mary Ellen Harte has a diverse background as a marine biologist, folk dancer, and mother, which seems to inspire the creativity of her designs and her ability to explain techniques in a very methodical, easy-to-understand manner.
I'm especially impressed by the great big, simple illustrations for each step of every method and project. Seed beads are drawn many times their actual size, with big swooping threads moving through them. Thread directions are shown by arrows.
Although the drawn illustrations are printed in black and white, key bead locations are cleverly identified by shading. (For example, the beads in a pattern that will be threaded-through twice are shaded, providing a clear "map" of how the design works.) The center pages of the book are full color photos of several featured projects. (I typically jump to those first for inspiration.)
Harte subtitles the book: "(For Ages 7 to 70)." If you have little ones interested in beadwork, and they're old enough to safely handle a beading needle and small beads, this is a great book to share with them. That said, I recommend working through the methods and projects with a child while they're learning - rather than leaving her alone with an instruction book. It will help curb frustration while creating a wonderful reason to spend some fun time together.
Simple Lace and Other Beaded Jewelry Projects is available at Amazon.com (link provided below) and other online book sellers. It may not be available at your local book store, so it's best to call ahead and ask before making a trip to pick it up.
Simple Lace and Other Beaded Jewelry Patterns (Amazon.com)
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Chris Franchetti Michaels is a writer and jewelry artisan specializing in beaded designs, wire work, and metal fabrication. She is the author of the books Teach Yourself Visually: Jewelry Making and Beading, Beading Quick Tips, and Wire Jewelry Quick Tips. Visit her website BeadJewelry.net for more jewelry-making help and inspiration.
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