Beads are fabulous for making jewelry, but their usefulness does not end there.  Beads are also great for making tassels and beaded trim that can be used to decorate clothing and home accents.  I made the tassel that adorns this little evening bag out of tiny cylindrical beads called Delicas.  I made it using a tassel making technique created by Ava Farrington in her book Tassel O’ Beads.  The technique is a good one because you can make a fairly thick tassel without any bunching at the top that you can get with other techniques.

I’ve made a few other beaded tassels.  One of them is made of several tassels like the one on this purse that are then beaded into one larger tassel.  It hangs from a floor lamp in my bedroom.  Two others form columns that frame some beadwork in an art piece I made.  I’ve also made tassels as the centerpiece of necklaces.  And while I have not outfitted any strippers or belly dancers yet, who knows…

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Project from Bugle Bead Bonanza

A reader whose screen name is beadnfun is the winner of a signed copy of Bugle Bead Bonanza from Lark Books.  I’m sure they will have lots of fun with bugle beads and the projects in this book.  I’ll put photos up if I receive them.

Above is another project from the book – a colorful bracelet that uses black to separate and emphasize the beautiful opaque bugle beads.  Thank you to Lark Books for allowing me the privilege of sharing four awesome books with my readers.  The community of beaders and jewelry designers is one that I’m passionate about and I love that four lucky winners will have the chance to expand upon their skills and knowledge with these books.

The books for the giveaways were provided by Lark Books.  The opinions I have expressed about the books are my own.

Project from Bugle Bead Bonanza

Bugle beads – those long, thin cousins of seed beads – have been flying under the radar for quite a while, at least from my perspective.  They’re pretty, from a beading point of view one bead covers a lot of ground, and they are usually reasonably priced.  So, when I heard about Jamie Cloud Eakin’s new book Bugle Bead Bonanza from Lark Books, I was interested to see if there would be a new spin on bugle beads.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  The projects are gorgeous and in addition to the usual suspects – necklaces, bracelets, and earrings – there are also projects to make rings.  The book has excellent instructions and diagrams and once you master some basics in putting bugle and seed beads together, you are well-equipped to conquer all of the projects.  I like that each piece is shown in three different color variations showing the versatility of the projects.

Bugle beads do have one “gotcha”.  They can be somewhat sharp on the ends and a thread that passes through a bugle bead and then makes a right-angle turn is subject to being frayed and cut over time.  Every project in this book is designed such that this type of turn is never made and the problem is avoided.

If you’d like to enter the giveaway for this book, please leave a comment along with a valid e-mail address.  The winner will be picked on Friday 12/18/09 at 7:00pm EST (GMT -5).

The book has been provided by Lark Books and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Image and Beadwork from Beaded Opulence

I am pleased to announce that Lisa from Odessa, TX won a signed copy of Beaded Opulence, written by Marcia DeCoster and published by Lark Books.  Lisa is just thrilled and is anxiously awaiting the book so she can begin making jewelry using the right-angle weave stitch.  I’m sure she will enjoy the book and hope she’ll send a photo of something she makes so I can share it here.

Thank you to Lark Books for providing such lovely, informative, and inspiring books.  I have one more book to giveaway to another lucky reader who can begin or continue their journey to work with beads and make jewelry.  The giveaway will be announced on Monday 12/14/09.

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Photo of a project in Beaded Opulence

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that square stitch is my favorite off-loom bead-weaving stitch.  I know and use the other stitches, square stitch is just my favorite.  However, looking at the gorgeous pieces in Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence book that all feature right-angle weave, it too is a stitch that definitely deserves some attention.  Each of the bead-weaving stitches has its strengths and right-angle weave’s strength is its ability to result in beadwork that is very supple, with an almost fabric-like feel to it.  Marcia DeCoster takes this strength to full advantage in the projects in this book especially those where the beadwork is woven around some sort of armature like in the photo above.

The books starts with the basics – terminology, tools, selecting the right thread, and how to do right-angle weave.  It then progresses through chapters that tell how to use right-angle weave in various ways such as making ropes, covering armatures, embellishments, and making curves.  The projects are gorgeous and well-explained.  If you’d like a chance to win this beautiful and inspiring book published by Lark Books, please leave a comment in this blog post along with a valid e-mail address.  The winner will be selected Tuesday 12/8/09 at 7:00 PM EST (GMT -5).

Photo Courtesy of Lark Books

The book for this giveaway was provided by Lark Books.

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Winners have been selected for the giveaway of two signed copies of Creative Native American Beading.  One winner is Christine from Tallahassee, FL and the other is Piroska from Ontario, Canada.  Two very delighted winners will be working on Native American beading projects at two opposite ends of North America.  I hope they both enjoy this lovely and educational book and I’ve asked them both to send photos of something they make from the book.  Thanks to Lark Books for providing such exceptional books to all of us artisans and craftspersons so eager to learn and be inspired.

My next book giveaway will be announced on Saturday, 12/5/09.

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Photo and book courtesy of Lark Books

I’m excited to announce another signed book giveaway.  The book is Creative Native American Beading – Contemporary Interpretations of Traditional Motifs by Theresa Flores Geary, Ph.D.  It’s from Lark Books and is a beautiful book that teaches traditional Native American beadwork using contemporary materials and tools.  There are beautiful and fun projects for all skill levels, ranging from beginner to advanced.  The projects include jewelry and decorative items for the home.

One of the projects in the book is Huichol-Lace Sun Catchers.  They are very pretty, could be made with beads in whatever size you are comfortable working with, and then hung in a window or used as ornaments.  I made a pair of earrings using this technique.  I modified the project a little bit by adding a dangle at the bottom and a loop up top for the earwires.  To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this blog post sometime before Tuesday 11/24/09 at 7:00 p.m. EST (GMT-5) and leave a valid e-mail address.  Good luck to everyone, I think this is a book you’ll enjoy.

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