Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Spotlight: Fashion Beading

Even though I am a seed beader at heart, my all time favorite beading magazine is Jewelry Stringing, by Interweave. I find that simple jewelry is a fantastic source of inspiration, because it perfectly highlights unique beads and combinations of materials or colors. The beads themselves are just as important as the techniques, and simply made designs offer a very close look at how different sizes, shapes, and colors work together. This is why I never hesitate to flip through even the most basic beading books, in the hopes of finding some beautiful combinations.

On the same note, Fashion Beadingby Kim Ballor really delivers in the inspiration department. This book is full of fun and easy jewelry designs, using a variety of beads and materials in beautiful ways. The projects are divided into four categories: stringing, wire-wrapping, stitching, and combinations. The final two chapters display a wonderful marriage of basic jewelry techniques with beginner-friendly beadweaving and fringe.

The beginner’s section of Fashion Beading is rather extensive, and includes a list of common birthstones and their colors, tips for designing with and without focal points, symmetry, and texture, and a quick overview of the color wheel and how to use it in jewelry design. Beginners will appreciate the detailed descriptions and tips on choosing beads, thread, and tools. There’s even a tutorial on creating your own toggle clasps with wire.

There are more than 50 beading projects in all, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches suitable for all skill levels. There are even instructions for making unique accessories like purse handles and belts, and embellishing clothing with beads. Each project includes a full materials list, step-by-step instructions, and clear photographs to guide you through the techniques.

Fashion Beadingalso includes a rare and useful alphabetical index so you can quickly browse for your favorite materials and techniques, and a handy metric conversion chart. This book is an excellent resource for new beaders, and a fun source of inspiration for anyone who loves to work with beads.

Copyright 2013 Inspirational Beading
Kim Ballor and Sterling Publishing
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