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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
To all you beaders out there. What a cracking book. It's one of those must open, must read, must try books. I got it and immediately when I got home set to work. Instructions are clear and easy to follow. I am facinated by the designs for the crackers and the table decorations. I have made one of them and looking forward to making others. Not as fiddly as some of the other works I have recommended in the past and it is easy to see your progress. These designs are great for your own Christmas decorations or to pass on to loved ones (who will appreciate the time and effort involved).
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2009
I purchased this book for myself with a view to making some beaded Christmas decorations for next Christmas. It cost me a little over £7 including postage. I hoped that it would be full of special creations that would make an impact. I was not disappointed. This book is absolutely spectacular. I am a beading novice I have to say but I carnt wait to have a go at the items therein. There are some simple decorations and others that are probably for the more experienced. It is a very inspiring book, beautifully laid out with clear, concise instructions. There are beaded adornments for Christmas stockings, crackers, candles, candle holders, gift bags, twirly decorations for the tree .. the list goes on. There is also a section on making beaded jewelry. The projects in this book could easily be given as special gifts too. Not like too many other books with a Christmas theme, there is no twee here, it is just crammed with the prettiest things you ever did see. I carnt imagine there being a better book out there than this one on the subject of Christmas Beading. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2011
I ordered this book mainly because in the Preview Pages there were some stunning snowflakes. Now that I have the book, I realise that you have to buy pre-made frames for the snowflakes. As I don't live in the UK but in the Netherlands these are very difficult (and expensive) to get (I just ordered them on eBay). I would have liked alternatives to make your own snowflake wires.

Also I do miss some clear patters - meaning you will have to flip forwards/ backwards all the time when making the items. The three tealights for example have 1 clear diagram for the bottom part of the tealight, but then you will have to follow the pictures to finish it off. The other 2 tealights have only word descriptions. This will work very well if you are an experienced beader, but if you are not a pro (and the title Simply Sparkling does suggest a bit Simple) it will be daunting.

The Star Crackers (these are bead stars and hearts to decorate Christmas Crackers) are absolutely lovely and would be great in a X-mas tree as well, but again there is no diagram -for the fairy and chicken (sorry, Robin!) there is which makes it a more approacheable project for me.

I do like the clear list of Ingredients though, and the details in the back are also handy.

I will surely make some of the designs, but will draw the diagrams/ patterns first - which will not be difficult to do - but I would have loved detailed diagrams at the back of the book, where there are templates for other projects
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2009
This is a lovely book, full of many different types of beading projects in wide variety of styles and colours, something for everyone!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2010
This book is very direct and the patterns are beautiful. I very clearly made out how I can make flowers from seed beads. All projects can be made quite easily.
I enjoyed it very much especially now that it is christmas.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2012
I was delighted to find this book at a very reasonable price. It has lots of projects with good photographs and diagrams to help someone like me who, although not an absolute beginner, is venturing into using jewellery making skills for home decor. I haven't actually made up any of the designs yet - but they look very achievable and well thought out. A small criticism I might have about the book is that it does not appear to be printed on the best quality paper. Not an issue and the pictures and text are colourful and clear but I have a friend for whom this would make an excellent gift but I would be put off presenting it to her because of the quality. As indicated in my review title - I hope to have some of these designs completed before the Christmas rush begins! Hope this helps.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2012
I just bought this book and it's the best fiver I've spent in a long time. I'm a total beginner with beading and needed simple patterns and ideas to get me started. There isn't one single dud pattern here, every single one is a winner and what's more, they all look easy to do provided you buy the right gear and follow the instructions correctly. There's a couple that require complete concentration, not because they are difficult, but because they're just easy to make a mistake on if you're surrounded by distractions. I thoroughly recommend this book to beginners and experienced beaders alike, this book is worth every single penny. Another book I would recommend for BEGINNERS is the one titled The Encyclopedia of Beading Techniques by Sara Withers & Stephanie Burnham. There's no patterns, just a library full of illustrated techniques and a a good section explaining tools and materials.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Has some lovely festive ideas using easily accessible materials. A basic knowledge of beading would probably be advantageous as I think it could be a little bit confusing for a beginner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2014
I love this bead book. Great for beginners as everything is explained, illustrated and played out clearly.
The usual sources, address of supplies in the book.
I find this book very inspiring and I've already made pieces with my own adaptations.
I recommend this book because I think it is unusual.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 March 2014
I'm slowly collecting all of her beading books because of the excellent way she presents beautiful projects that teach or refresh beading skills that can be shifted to many other projects. I love the way she encourages beaders of all skill levels to get stuck in, and inspires readers to take the techniques to their own designs. This book is the same and I'm so glad I bought it!

Nearly all of the projects can be done for other seasonal celebrations or for everyday home decor, especially the tealight cups, the candle baubles, and the darling fringed and beaded gift bags. And several of the projects, for example the crackers, can become tree ornaments very easily.

The projects in this book require a bit of beading knowledge but a determined beginner with the willingness to give it a go could manage several of these gorgeous Christmas decorations because the photos lead the beader through most of the assembly - with an open beading reference (try one of her great beginner books like 'Simple Glass Beading' or 'Simply Sensational Glass Beading') alongside the beginner could achieve any of these.

The first project in the book I'll be doing will be the stunning little tealight cups (We Three Kings) and then I'll probably be moving onto the beautiful pearl spiral tree baubles on page 47, but by Christmas 2014 I expect I'll have done nearly all of the projects several times over to give our home an extra sparkle!
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