Book Reviews

Perfect Match - Earring Designs for Every Occasion

Perfect Match - Earring Designs for Every Occasion 
by Sara Schwittek 160 pages with hundreds of illustrations. The staff here at A Grain of Sand just loves all the wonderful inspiring designs in this book. We just love earrings here! Don’t you? Many of the designs in this book are simple and reasonable to make. There are also more complex designs for all levels of jewelry designing. The illustrations and directions are well presented so that you can follow them. We are really impressed with this book. Way to go Sara!


The Art of Bead Embroidery

by Heidi Kummli & Sherry Serafini 
This 112 page book covers technique, design and inspiration! Ten fabulous projects demonstration the authors’ unique approaches as well as a gorgeous design gallery to ohh and ahh over. This book is simply a must for those beaders that like to sew and or quilt.



I had such a wonderful time with this book that I had to make the Glam Glitz Cuff Bracelet you see here. It was so much fun to make. I used Vintage Swarovski Rivolis as well as the Swarovski 2mm crystal article #5000 beads (fyi - these are about the size of a size 11/0 seed bead). I added vintage seed beads and vintage bugle beads with contemporary ones to come up with this piece.



Here is a close up of the side of the cuff. I really like the extra bling that the 2mm crystal beads give the work. After I finished this one, my daughter Lauren, just had to have it. So off I have to go and get busy making some other designs using the techniques in this wonderful book. It’s my new favorite book!


The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving

by: Carol Wilcox Wells. This 160 page advanced book shows the reader some new jewelry designs with classic stitches. You can expand your creative boundaries with the variations of tried and true stitches shown in this book. This soft cover book is priced quite nicely at $14.95.



We have expanded on some of the designs shown in the book. The image to the left is of a pair of earrings made using the technique shown on page 43 titled Woven Beads. We used tri-cut focal beads instead of the fire polished beads used in the book example. The beads are fun to make. They are self supporting and hollow inside, so they can easily be incorporated into many design projects. 


Here is another sample of a project described on page 117 of the book. The "Choker with a Secret" is a a great design. The secret is that the clasp is hidden under the decorative accent bead. This accent bead slides over the clasp to hide it in the front while adding that secret special interest to the design. We used faux pearls instead of fire polished beads in this design. Have yourself a good time with this book! 

Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald

This book takes a look at creating dimensional jewelry with the peyote stitch. I found this book to be easy to follow because of the great illustrations for each shape and technique. Diane incorporates antique or vintage nailhead beads, vintage buttons and vintage cabochons and crystals into many of the projects shown in this book that are similar to items you may find at A Grain of Sand.



Here is an example of a necklace made that uses several of the design elements described in the book. The centerpiece is a "mood stone cabochon" available at A Grain of Sand that is bezel set using the peyote basic hexagon technique described on page 63 - Jeweled Necklace project. I then used the Basic Square technique with antique nailhead beads as seen in the Turkoman Temple Pendant Necklace example on pages 21 - 22 of the book.



Vintage German nailhead beads are used to embellish this example.



I used a free form netting design to make the design my own and a vintage German button for the clasp. (also available at A Grain of Sand.) This was a fun book to read and use as a tool to create some style and shape in my own jewelry designs. If you enjoy working with seed beads, you will really enjoy this book. Diane has done a fantastic job with this new book. 

Beaded Treasures by Robin Atkins

This is a really terrific book for all beaders. It’s a 60 page book filled with easy to understand, step by step instructions and illustrations. The book is well written. . . really! Robin knows how to teach the art of macrame with beads in a easy, fun and creative way. You can take this basic technique and add your own personal style to the techniques she teaches. I have enjoyed playing around with this finger weaving technique. You will get some use out of some of those beads that have been hanging around just waiting to be designed with. The staff at A Grain of Sand has all given this book a thumbs up. It’s a must have book. We think you will enjoy this book as well! (scroll down)



Here are a couple of examples of bracelets that we created here at A Grain of Sand using the techniques in the book. It’s easy to see how much fun this macrame and bead technique can be. Use pearls, seed beads, buttons, sequins, vintage glass beads, crystals, rose montees, semi precious beads and more to create jewelry designs that will turn heads. 


Since this book is highly recommend to our friends, we have made sure that you can get the supplies you need to get started. We have a full range of  64 colors of C-Lon bead cord in a rainbow of colors!



We carry all the beading supplies you will need to work with including Fray Check, tapestry needles, push pins, Hypo Cement, and beads of all kinds are also available. We hope you enjoy this book and leave us comments and post your creations made with this macrame weaving technique in the AGOS Designers Gallery . Many thanks to Robin Atkins for inspiring us!