I'm not sure what I expected when I opened this book and started to read, but this is what I found: wonderful historical and cultural information about traditional Turkish embellishment techniques, a wide range of projects using bead crochet, and inspiration to pick up my crochet hooks and beads again.
The book was authored by Midori Nishida, a professional Japanese craft artist, and the design team of CRK Design, composed of six Japanese graphic designers.
The first section of the book is really a gallery of bead crochet edging designs, all of which are outlined at the back of the book. This threw me off at first, until I realized that the directions for each type of edging and project were compiled at the end of the book, along with the information on basics and materials.
There are 18 bead crochet edging designs in this book, along with an additional 12 pages of project ideas for home decor and accessories. Most of the beaded edgings are used to embellish clothing and accessories like scarves and purses, but there is a bead crochet lariat and necklace for the jewelry lovers like me.
While the projects themselves are beautiful and inspiring, I found the directions to be a little confusing. Directions for these projects were written up in a style that I've seen in many of my Japanese beading books, but have always found a little more difficult to follow than the directions in some of the American beading books. Instructions for basic crochet stitches like chain stitch, single crochet and double crochet appeared in with the first few sets of project directions, but did not appear anywhere else. That meant that when I needed to refresh my memory about a particular stitch, I had to flip back through the first few sets of instructions until I found what I was looking for.
The section on Materials and Tools was brief, without a lot of detailed information. Again, I found myself confused when the text under the photo of threads and needles said that the needle to the left of the photograph was good for stringing beads, but then failed to identify what type of needle it actually was. (I later realized that it was a flexible big-hole needle, similar to a dental floss threader.)
While this book may not be for beginners who are not familiar with basic bead crochet or crochet techniques, the projects in the book are fresh, beautiful and can be used in many, many ways. This book, with it's background information about the traditional Turkish decorative edgings that inspired it, is a perfect example of how to add a few more beads to your daily life through clothing embellishment and wonderful home decor crafting projects.