From the most basic to the complex, these necklaces are all beautifulThe first thing that struck me about this book, and about Sandra's designs in general, is the absolute lack of fuss in their contents. The projects are designed using just seed beads and either a bicone crystal or a Czech firepolish bead. But don't let that fool you - there is enough sparkly and beauty in these designs for even the most unabashed crystal lover. Always elegant but never, ever overwhelming, these are classic and elegant beaded necklace patterns, with something for everyone.
All of Sandra's designs are based on a basic form of netting, a framework that she teaches in the first couple of patterns in this book. After a brief introduction, some good tips and tricks, a list of supplies, Sandra gets right down to business with the bead patterns and with teaching the technique.
And she does a great job of teaching! With easy-to-follow graphs for each project, the reader can visualize the thread path and work through the elements of the design easily. Each project is also accompanied by a photograph of the finished project. All of the projects were test-beaded by the delightful Sherry Wayt, proprietress of the bead kit Web site, Ready To Bead, where you can find kits by Sandra and many other talented beading designers.
Projects to Spare, and A Beautiful LayoutThe projects in this book are sumptuously photographed and are worked in compelling color combinations, using both types of crystal and a selection of seed beads. It is very easy to envision the necklaces beaded in a variety of colors other than those shown, and prompting beaders to come up with their own colors can't help but encourage creativity.
I recommend this book for new beaders and for the veteran beaders, too. By utilizing two simple "ingredients" and demonstrating a number of beautiful patterns created with these basic elements, this book is a perfect volume and lesson-set for a new beaders and makes a great workshop interlude for those beaders who have already adopted a style and methods of their own. I believe that beading can be a very Zen=like occupation, and Sandra proves that with these designs.
If one did not already know of Sandra's work, it would be hard to imagine 16 very different designs, each with its own character, shape, and "footprint", all from the same beads. I am impressed with this book not just for the beaded necklaces, but for the lesson in minimalism that accompanies the beautiful patterns. Just looking through the book imparts a certain serenity, as does the working of the projects.