Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: Bead Projects from a Beading Insider

This book literally arrived in my mailbox for my review yesterday. Rather than bother reading the synopsis, I dug right in because all I saw was BEADING INSIDER on the front cover and was intrigued by the idea that I was going to get insider info.

Well....after reading it cover to cover, this book didn't exactly contain the info I thought it would, so I was disappointed. What it did contain was a wide range of basic jewelry designs and techniques with the author's personal tips to help increase success.

Probably the most intriguing thing to me personally, was the idea of dying pearls. That particular design ("Dyeing to be Stylish") was one of the two designs in the book that really appealed to my personal taste in jewelry.

The book is divided into sections based on topic. The first topic is called "Skill Building Workshops" and covers wrapped loops, wire crochet, gilding, beadweaving, plain loop, crimping, multistrand, wire-wrapped briolettes, custom color, and color combinations. Each of these topics is glossed over in two pages, large color photos, with some step-by-step photos and alternative designs or earrings, plus the "insider tips". All in two pages. Some of these topics are fine in two pages, but if you want to learn to wire crochet or how to beadweave, I wouldn't get this book specifically for those skills.

There is a section called "Creativity Boost" at the end of the skill building workshop which covers leftover beads, patterns, and materials.

The third section is called "Designing With" which covers gemstones, earthy materials, art bead, charms, lucite, crystals, chain, ribbon, bold stones, silver, gold, copper, clear (stones, crystals), exotic, and asymmetry. Again, each project is covered in two pages, with some "insider tips" sprinkled in, large photos, and alternative design or matching earrings.

There is another creativity boost section that has a memory wire project, a project encouraging you to redesign a piece that you don't love, and a project called classic update that uses pearls and chain and is the only other design in the book I really like other than the Dyeing to be Stylish necklace.

The final section is all about materials, supplies, techniques, and resources. I like that there is a resource list because I'm always looking for new suppliers that I've never heard of. However, including the sources for some of the more unusual findings in the supplies lists would be helpful.

When I do a book review, I try to be as honest as possible without being rude to the author. I know they work hard and I personally would hate to write a book and no one like it. For this particular book I highly recommend you take a look at it in a local bookstore before buying it. It might be just what you're looking for. However, after reading dozens of beading books over the last few years, I can list several others that I personally prefer.

-Jen Cameron
Glass Addictions


  1. Thanks for the honest review. I'd seen this book and was wondering what kind of inside tips I'd find. But I'll check it out in a store first to see if I will really enjoy it. I know the book I just reviewed, Multistrand Jewelry Success was fantastic, but a few times I've gotten a book I was disappointed in because it wasn't quite what I was expecting from the title.

  2. I like that you are honest in you evaluation of books. I won't be adding this to me "Must Buy" list.

  3. Thanks Jen - it sounds like a book that is well suited to someone starting out more so than some of the advanced beaders out there.


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