Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Spotlight: Lovable Beaded Creatures

Do you remember berry beads? Not to be confused with Miyuki’s answer to the peanut seed bead, these little plastic beads with bubbly surfaces were all the rage for crafting in the 70’s and 80’s. Most craft stores carried them in abundance, along with fun little booklets for making all kinds of 3-D animals and objects with them. I used to think berry beads were ultimate.

Then I discovered seed beads, and everything else got swept aside. But it was those first pipe cleaner and plastic projects that inspired my love of 3-D beading, though I’ve mostly admired the work of other artists in that area. So when I picked up a copy of Lovable Beaded Creatures, I was instantly transported to the 80’s. Although these creatures are made with totally different materials, they still have a very charming, very vintage look.

Loveable Beaded Creaturescontains nearly thirty different 3-D animal designs by artist Anja Freese. Each creature is constructed with 8/o seed beads and wire, using a simple cross weave approach. The structures look so lively and elaborate, it’s almost hard to image how they can come together with such straightforward techniques.

Anja begins with a detailed overview of the materials and tools needed to create your own beaded creatures, and provides instructions and tips for weaving the beads together, assembling the designs, and adding embellishments. The steps are very clear, and include easy to follow diagrams to help guide you through the process of building animals from beads.

Animal lovers will be absolutely delighted with the projects. There are a wide variety of creatures to choose from, including insects, fish, barnyard animals, and exotic beasts like anteaters and poison arrow frogs. Each one is so charming that it’s hard to choose a favorite, or decide which one to try first!

Each project includes a color and weaving chart to follow that will guide you through the construction of the animal, plus written instructions and tips for putting each creature together. There are plenty of close-up photographs of finished designs to help guide and inspire you as well.

At the end of the book, Anja Freese gives a brief overview of loom weaving, then shares some fantastic beaded animal patterns like birds and snakes, which can be used to make traditional-looking bracelets. She also includes instructions for creating brooches and hair barrettes with 3-D beaded animals.

If you ever get bored of the same old thing, and want to try using your beads in a whole new way, this book will provide you with hours of fun!

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading and Anja Freese
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get Inspired on Facebook


  1. What adorable animals! And what a fun way to work with beads. I typically shy away from any kind of 3D application of the medium, but I think it would be fun to give it a try!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Inspiration Topics

accessories amulet Ancient Worlds Modern Beads animals April's Army art ArtFire astrology astronomy autumn awards awareness bangle beach Bead Inspired Bead Shops bead soup bead spotlight bead stash Bead Trays beaded beads beading theory beads belt bezel birthstones black blog spotlight blue boho bone book spotlight bracelet Bracelet A Week branch fringe brick stitch brown bugles buttons cabochon ceramic chain maille challenge charity chevron chain christmas collar Collections color Color Ideas color triads conservation craft shows crafts crochet crystals cuff Culled Beads current events Current Faves daggers Daily Sets daisy chain Delicas Destash drops Dutch spiral earrings Egypt Egyptian Gods embellishing embroidery environment etsy exotic fair trade fantasy fashion Favorite Beads Favorite Techniques feminine fibers film findings fire polish fixtures Flashback Test flickr inspiration flowers food found object free form fringe Geek Jewels geekery gemstones geography giveaway glass gold gray Greece green herringbone hex cuts history holiday home decor insects inspiration tip inspired beader Inspired by... Inspiring Links ivory Jewelry Stash knitting ladder stitch lampwork lariat leaf fringe leather lights literature loomwork macrame magatamas Master Class Medallions metal free metalwork Mini Collar a Week mixed media mixture Mood Board MOP multi-color multi-strand music natural beads nature necklace Necklace a Day Nepal chain netting New Beads ocean ombre orange paint paper patterns pearls pendant peyote photography Picasso finish pink Pinspiration PMC polymer clay poster sketch purple quick inspiration rainbow RAW red resin ring Ring a Day rivoli Rome Russian spiral scarf science seed beads shell silver soutache spiral rope spring square stitch St. Petersburg steampunk stringing stripes summer tagua TBT The Elements thread Tilas Time Capsule tools trade beads triangle weave tribal tropical turquoise tutorial two-hole beads Ugly vintage Wear it Twice weather white winter WIP wire wishlist wood World Beaders yellow
Blog Home * About * Beading Tutorials * Advertise

Learn About Sponsoring Inspirational Beading with Project Wonderful
Affiliated With ShareASale.com and Amazon.com