Wednesday, July 6, 2011

BeadLit Dormancy

All's been quiet here for a bit. Quiet is good for reading and that's what I've been doing.

That and working.

And making beads.

And making jewelry.

It's time to wake up and start sharing some of my favorite books again.

BeadLit tweets the first line of bead and jewelry related books and then reviews them here. So stay tuned because I've got a back log of wonderful books just waiting to be reviewed!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

BeadLit Redux: Links by Jean Yates

I'm buried under a stack of books! So while I read and write, you can catch up on the BeadLit posts you missed with BeadLit Redux.

"What is a link? A link is a connection, whether it is a thought, a collection of letters that make a word, an Internet address or an expression of an attachment between people. A link is pretty worthless without something going before it and something following it. To make sense, it must be connected in some manner."

So exactly what is a Link? It's a book! That wonderful jewelry designer, Jean Yates, has written a beautiful book full of wonderful stories and projects, It's called "Links." Here's a picture of our intrepid jewelry designer Jean with her best beau-husband, Jim. Sweet aren't they?

Here's a little blurb from the publisher, North Light Books

Links encourages crafters to create jewelry inspired by their own lives and surroundings. You will find 35 fabulous step-by-step intermediate-level jewelry projects, including bracelets, necklaces, earrings, pins and rings. Includes the story that inspired each piece, and show you how to create your own unique jewelry based on personal experiences. Creative prompts and sidebar interviews with working crafters are sprinkled throughout for added inspiration.

About the Author

Jean Yates's designs have been featured in many jewelry magazines, including BeadStyle, Stringing, Simply Beads, Beadwork and Bead and Button, as well as Belle Armoire. She is currently designing pieces to contribute to two books. View her work online at

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Exposed! And in Tucson!

"Get ready to embark on an exciting adventure through the world of jewelry design" is the appropriate first line of a new book entitledBead and Wire Jewelry Exposed by Margot Potter, Fernando Dasilva and Katie Hacker.

A lucsious luscious book on stringing and "exposing" the unseen materials in stringing like Beadalon wire and other materials. The designs are gorgeous and the Swarovski crystals make all of them sparkle.

If you're going to Tucson, you can take a class with one of the fabulous authors of Exposed at the Create Your Style event.

Check out this beauty from the book thatMargot Potter is teaching at Tucson! I hear she's got some awesome swag for the class too!

(Above photo from the awesome Ms. Potter's blog - the rights to the picture are hers hers hers (smile!) and she deserves it - look how gorgeous it is! ;-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Secret I Can't Keep Quiet!

"The way I got into frit was really quite simple-it was my search for an intense, hot pink transparent glass."

Never has the search for the elusive vibrant pink glass yielded such a wonderful creation! I've been waiting patiently for Val Cox, the fritmaster who introduced the frit frenzy to the current glass beadmaking world, to write her book. She has unveiled it to the world on her website: Frit Secrets: A Flameworker's Guide to Using Reactive Glass Frits.

Since 1999, I've been making glass beads but I could never master frit and make it sing like Val. Always willing to share, Val opens the flood gates of her frit knowledge and shares her techniques. There are chapters on Furnance Blown Glass, Frit Manufacturers, Frit Grind Sizes, COE, Base Glass, Five Special Colors, Color Review, Applying Frit and more.

Each chapter is comprehensive and full of tips and common sense tips. The bonus is Val's recommendations that come from her extensive frit testing. I particularly appreciated the chapter on color since I've been working on using color more effectively in my work.

Val does careful color studies of each frit then takes all of the pictures herself. Her photography is luscious - I just want to reach out, pick up her beads and lick each one of them! (Oops did I say that out loud?! wink!)

I've acquired a stash of Val's frit. Although I've been unable to create a lovely frit bead, I never parted with the frit hoping that somehow the frit goddess would visit. She's finally come to visit in the form of Val's book. I'm re-energized to get the frit back out and try again. I'm thankful Val has shared her secrets and I won't keep her secrets quiet!

(All Photos courtesy of Val Cox.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Creating Crystal Jewelry

(Photo Credit: Creative Publishing International)

Laura McCabe has written a luscious volume full of vibrant Swarovski crystal jewelry. Who among us doesn't love the sparkle and color of Swarovski crystal? Bicones, faceted rounds, rings, rondelles, one of my favorites - margaritas and rivolis! Combined with seed beads to create bezels, Laura is a master at making the beads and crystals sing with color and sparkle. Included are Laura's most notable designs, the Rings and Things Necklace, the Three-Strand Rivoli Bracelet and the Crystal Burst Ring.

The book is organized into seven instructional chapters followed then by the crystal jewelry projects. Chapter one is a brief but comprehensive history of cut crystals. Chapter two is a detailed discussion of the types of seed beads and crystals used in the book's projects. Chapter three describes tools and materials. The four basic stitches needed to create the projects is the topic of chapter four.

Beaders are resourceful, they can make beads mimic almost anything a metalsmith can do. The bezel is a good example. Seed bead bezels and open-back bezels are described in chapter five. The resourcefulness continues with chapter six where the reader learns to create a toggle out of seed beads. Chapter seven is like the cherry on a sundae, a final, sweet sprinkling of sparkle - embellishments and then it's on to the projects.

In the chapters that teach a off loom technique, there are pictures of completed steps. It might have been helpful to include pictures of the step in progress but there are detailed written directions that may do just as well.

What I love about the projects is the "Beading time" given at the top of the project. It gives you an idea of how long it will take you to do a project. There's also a little synopsis that gives you an overview of the project. Sets the tone and the direction which I find very helpful. On pages 29-31 there are guidelines for bezeling rivolis and other crystals that is worth the price of the book.

The techniques in this book can be used with artbeads to vividly highlight the colors and characteristics of a special cabachon or bead. An art bead can take you in a unique and interesting direction - flameworked disks will have a distinctly modern twist. Try it, you'll like it!