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Art of Beaded Beads, The Paperback – 7 Jun 2010
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About the Author
Editor Jean Campbell is the former editor of Beadwork Magazine. She has also authored numerous books.
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This is a very good book in almost every respect. Many of the beaded beads are beautiful and unusual in shape, and there is a wide variety in design. Don't judge the book by its cover photograph.
If you have never beaded before and plan to start from zero like I did, you will learn at least five different beading techniques by making a handful of different beaded beads. The instructions include diagrams with thread paths, and I found them clear and easy to follow. All instructions are accompanied by photographs which show what the finished bead will look like. There is also a short but concise chapter on basic tools and techniques.
Between the various instructions, there are gallery pictures which are artistic and a pleasure to look at.
The book has thick and glossy paper with large print, and it lies flat when opened.
And it's the perfect book for those of us with short attention spans: The individual beaded beads are small and don't take long to finish, and they don't require too much tedious repetition. If you notice a mistake too late or if a beaded bead doesn't turn out as expected, it's no great loss. And if you use a consistent colour scheme for working your way through the book, you can string your little practice projects afterwards and make a striking necklace. Just put the uglier lumps in the back ;-)
On the downside, there is hardly anything on colour even though the title claims it. Many of the colour combinations used in the various beaded beads are downright awful. I am also not sure whether the book has a lot to offer to the advanced beader.
Here are some additional hints based on my experience with the beaded beads (I used seed beads only):
- The author uses mostly size 14°, 11° and 8° seed beads. If you can't get these exact same sizes, just use any "small", "medium" and "large". If you don't have triangle-shaped or cylinder seed beads, it doesn't matter either. Round beads work just as well, except maybe for the polyhedrons.
- Don't make the thread too long, and NEVER double the thread even if it says so. It will tangle horribly if you do. It's much easier to attach a new thread now and again.
- Limp or crooked beaded beads get in shape if you pass the thread through the beaded bead again "on your way back" and pull a little harder.
- Good starter projects which really can't go wrong are the Lava Lamp Bead and Baroque Bead (both use herringbone stitch and are very pretty), and the Bird's Nest Bead (use of netting stitch).
All in all, the book is good value for money. If you want to try your hand at beading, get the book, get a few tubes of seed beads, and enjoy!
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