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Posts Tagged ‘Beth Stone

Add to Your LibraryWell, here is Beth’s “follow up” to her Seed Bead Stitching book I reviewed previously.  I have to tell you there are no “duds” from Kalmbach when it comes to beading books.

I really like Beth’s very informal writing style; it’s like she’s sitting right here with me talking about beads and designs.  Her personality and sense of humor really come through.  Somehow, it makes the designs and her instructions less intimidating.  Which, for this book, that’s good.
The designs are more difficult, incorporating triangles, several examples of toggles (I definitely have ideas for using these, maybe as a bracelet focal point), medallions with layers of beads, drops and more.  I had another pattern for creating branches and dangles and could never figure it out, but Beth made it sound very simple in this book.

One thing about working with seed bead patterns is the list of exact beads you need to make the item.  Beth commented on a reader wanting to know exact bead names and colors used in the projects.  Beth quickly set that concern to rest, telling us she doesn’t know. “…years ago I transferred most of my beads to those really cute little flip-top containers and did not transfer
any names or numbers.”  She encourages us to simply go thru and pick what we like.  So, if you are an exacting seed beader, and work from precise plans and measurements, you may not appreciate Beth’s approach in this book.  BUT, for me, I’m less intimidated.

The colors and designs range from bead soup projects to optically precise bead combinations.  She has a set of triangles, some closed and some open in the center, that form a toggle bracelet.  There are black and white triangles, separated by red and black, yellow/black and blue/black.  Very
eye-catching, and I loved the contrast of different size and shape of triangles in the design.

I do have to admit that I am not someone who know peyote from herringbone from brick stitch, so I have to really read through a design to understand what it needs.  One thing Beth explains is how to ring 1 bead with a circle of smaller ones and how to do that regardless of the size of the center bead.  Finally, don’t miss page 86, where Beth shows examples of circles formed from coils of beads.  She links a few of these.
With the right colors, these would be dramatic, one of a kind pendants, or even a cool bracelet!  They are on my “to do” list.  If I don’t like them linked, I’ll have plenty of unique toggle clasp rounds for something else.

Now, I guess I need to find my really strong magnifying glasses so I can see these tiny buggers!  As I recall my years crocheting, maintaining a steady, consistent tension is not always my strength, so I suspect that will be a struggle with this too.  Don’t miss this book, I like it far more than
her first one and I liked that one too!

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Buy NowKalmbach Books produced
this book and I scored a copy to review!  This book includes an
introduction to basic seed bead information and stitches. It begins with a
concise overview of seed beads, as well as needles, thread conditioner, and
terms.  Everyone will appreciate this; if you aren’t sure of the different
sizes and types of beads then it will be useful and informative.  But you
won’t find that half of the book is consumed with descriptions and terminology,
instead of projects! Don’t assume this is a beginner book only!  There are
innovative examples of ways to expand your use of a particular stitch into new creations.

It is almost impossible to count the number of projects in this book.  A new stitch is introduced but then she immediately begins to show you several modifications you can do.  By including so many examples of how to vary a stitch, how different the pattern will be by using different
sizes and styles of beads, this book gives you tons of information.  Many other beading books tend to have a finite list of projects, with very few ways to vary the design.  Not here!  Beth is sharing her love of beads and stitch designs with all of us.  Even if you know some basic stitches, you
will still be inspired with new designs by exploring  all the examples included.  Beth also tells how she managed to turn some “mistakes” into designs.

There were 2 additions I was pleased to find.  First was how Beth included instructions on adding
drops to your designs, with top drilled beads and teardrop shapes.  Second was a section on incorporating your own toggle clasp in your design.  I think this really adds a cohesive finishing touch to a piece, since you aren’t adding an outside component at all.  In fact, in one example, the toggle looks almost like a pendant!  My favorite piece is called the “Nona Collar.”  It has 5 rows of beads in different colors and shapes.  The combinations of just this one pattern are absolutely endless in variations.

Don’t miss this one.

I was delighted at the quality and variety in this book.  It’s slim with slightly under 100 pages
but you will find lots of information and designs packed inside.  She is very free with her expertise and open with how to take any pattern in this book and alter it to fit your needs.  I found her suggestion to work with a new pattern to make earrings a great idea; you can practice a pattern but work on smaller projects.  While her initial stitch instructions begin with basic patterns all the extras included in this book take it far beyond the beginner stage.  Seed Bead Stitching provides something for everyone who does or wants to work with seed bead stitching.


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