Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Book review: Bead pendants and necklaces by Susan Beal

Happy New Year!

We took a well-deserved break from the beads over Christmas at The Beading Library and I have to admit that I struggled this new year to find my creativity. I think focusing on decorating the house and other craft projects in the lead up to Christmas gave my beading mojo a bit of a knock. 

If you sometimes find it hard to get started on something new, it's often a good idea to turn to your beading book library. Look for a nice simple project where you have all the beads and findings you need and that will give you a quick finished piece. The process of making will kickstart your creativity but without the stress of having to come up with a design yourself.

This pamphlet (rather than book) from Susan Beal is a new publication of selected designs from her previous book 'Bead Simple: Essential Techniques for Making Jewelry Just the Way You Want it'. It includes 20 quick and easy projects from Susan and a few other designers, all for necklaces and pendants. Whilst accomplished jewellery makers will find the tutorials rather straightforward, those new to the hobby will appreciate the simplicity and clarity of the projects. Materials are all easily sourced or substituted for something similar and the main photographs of the pieces are beautifully clear (you could almost make most pieces from the image alone!).

Aside from the wide variety of styles in the projects, there is also a comprehensive section at the back with all the techniques and skills you will need to complete the pieces. These are all clearly written with nice illustrated steps. 

As you know, I always like to try out a project from the books I review. This time, I was pleased to be able to pick something really easy and quick to make. It felt good to finish my first piece of the year! I chose the 'Smooth and Jagged Necklace' but gave the design a colour boost with some Sea Bamboo and Magnesite to complement the neutral Jasper.

I was tickled to also spot that the colours were a good match to the Pantone Colors of Flame, Island Sky and Hazlenut!

Bead Pendants and Necklaces 20 Beautiful Jewelry Designs is available from GMC Publications, priced £5.99

We have a copy to give away. Leave a comment on this blog post to be in the draw. Winner will be picked at random after midday (GMT) 31st January 2017.