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Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski: 65 Sparkling Designs with Crystal Beads and Stones Paperback – 1 Feb 2008
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I just received this book today so haven't made any of the projects yet, but I have throughly read through the book and instructions, and each project is gorgeous and unique! I pre-ordered this book back in June, so was eagerly looking forward to it since I love Laura McCabe's designs. If you love sparkly, yet elegant jewelry, then you will love this book! The book starts out with a chapter devoted to covering all of the beading stitches you'll need to make the projects, such as peyote stitch, ndebele, etc. (If you're a beginner, however, you may need more instruction in these stitches than this book provides.) It then moves into sections that demonstrate how to bezel, make closures, and embellish, before moving into the 20 projects. Each project and technique has clear, detailed instructions (including an estimate of how long the project will take), along with excellent diagrams to guide you in your beading. The projects also use more traditional Swarovski shapes such as bicones and rivolis, along with non-traditional shapes like squares. The only drawback seems to be that some of the projects call for vintage crystals, which can be hard to find. There are some resources given for finding vintage crystals, however, along with information about modern-day equivalents. All in all, it's a lovely book, and I can't wait to get started on some of the projects! --Leanne
Excellent eye candy. Good directions. I especially like the charts of how many beads to use to start the bezel depending on the size of the crystal you are bezeling. My only problem with this book is that it caused me to start buying more and more crystals, before I finished the first project I started. I've admired Laura's work for a while, it's really nice to page through the book and see how she did things. The instructions make good sense, and being left handed, I have a hard time interpreting some other bead author's directions. I'm buying a copy for a friend who uses crystals all the time but hasn't discovered this book.Robbie Elklow, quilt artist. Seems like there's a million beginner books for the beaded jewelry craze, but there are very few good books that teach more advanced/intricate designs. Great job showing the multiple variations of each design! I can't think of another book that's done this so thoroughly. That's a huge plus and show's the potential of color play. I appreciated the approximate time to make each piece as well. I absolutely love this book and will probably have a go at making at least one of each and every project! Definitely a top favorite in my collection of almost 200 craft and jewelry books.NSmith. This book not only supplies beautiful beading projects but it does so in a way that can be followed by any beader with some experience in the basic off loom stitches. I have bought many bead books where the details were so sketchy or vague as to be almost useless. Not so here. Laura does the directions very well and quite clearly. On her web site there is even an addendum in which she tells you exactly what beads she used in each project. I have NEVER seen that before in a bead book! Thanks for the great book, Laura! --Joaniebeadgood
THIS IS ONE OF THE FINEST BEADING BOOKS I HAVE EVER PURCHASED. LAURA McCABE IS ONE OF THE GREATS IN THE BEADING INDUSTRY. HER DESIGNS ARE SUPERB, BUT EVEN BETTER HER DIRECTIONS ARE CLEAR AND VERY EASY TO FOLLOW. SHE ALSO PRESENTS GENERIC INFORMATION SO YOU CAN CREATE DESIGNS OF YOUR OWN. IT IS NOT A BOOK FOR BEGINNERS BUT RATHER FOR THOSE EXPERIENCED BEADERS THAT ARE LOOKING FOR NEW TECHNIQUES THAT WILL SET YOUR WORK APART FROM THE AVERAGE EVERYDAY RUN OF THE MILL JEWELERY THAT YOU SEE EVERYWHERE. I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK MORE HIGHLY --HTW Experienced Bead Crocheter
Working with world-famous Swarovski cut-crystal beads, author Laura McCabe creates luminous necklaces, earrings, pendants, rings and brooches for beaders of every skill level. Laura provides complete step-by-step instruction for 20 projects (10 for beginners) and presents 50 more in a photo gallery of design variations, teaching readers how to vary colours and shapes to create custom effects. All 70 designs are made with only three simple beadwork techniques: flat peyote stitch, tubular peyote stitch and spiral rope. Laura also provides a chapter on making decorative embellishments, such as bezels, beaded leaves, star flowers, berry clusters and fringe. The concise instructions are illustrated with easy-to-follow illustrations.See all Product description
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The book opens with a history of the Swarovski company and the crystals they produce. Seed beads, crystal and the various tools needed are dealt with over Chapters Two and Three. Ms McCabe gives instructions for four basic bead-threading/stitching techniques, shows how to make a bead bezel to support a cabochon or crystal and various ways of making beaded clasps or closures for necklaces and bracelets. She shows different ways one can embellish beaded chains or surrounds.
There are twenty projects to make: necklaces, rings, bracelets, brooches and earrings, each with large, clear diagrams and full-colour photographs of the finished pieces. Many are spectacular. Ms McCabe suggests how long each project might take to complete, the average being between ten to twelve hours and offers us different colour combinations that give a different 'look' to the same pattern.
I liked the initial impact of the jewellery although some of the pieces look over-elaborate to me, almost using crystals for their own sake rather than as a means to an end. A bit, how many can I pack into this piece? I thought to try a necklace but when I looked more closely at the list of materials for the Crystal Burst Necklace I saw it calls for around ten gross of Swarovski crystals - that's almost fifteen hundred pieces - as well as eleven rivolis and various seed beads. Ten gross is a lot of crystals.
A glance at the other necklaces showed substantial numbers of crystals needed; the Crystal Dahlia necklace, lovely as it is, takes twelve gross pieces, which, if one adds the rivolis needed as well, is beyond my budget. I wonder about the weight of such crystal-heavy pieces. Having never held so many in my hand, I can't say how they would feel as a necklace. I made a beaded headdress many years ago, sumptuous and grand; it was too heavy to wear and gave me a blinding headache after half an hour. I would be nervous of a repeat performance with some of Ms McCabe's pieces. Maybe I'll have to content myself with a pair of earrings or a simple ring.
It is a lovely book to look at, beautifully produced and a fine example of what can be achieved when money and time are freely available.
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