Category Archives: books

Book Feature: Mastering the Art of Embroidery

A new book arrived from the UK today!

Mastering the Art of Embroidery

by Sophie Long.

mastering the art of embroidery sophie long uk contemporary beadwork beading the lone beader

This is a gorgeous 288-page hardcover book outlining ‘traditional techniques and contemporary applications for hand and machine embroidery’. There are 8 chapters which cover Surface Embroidery, Counted Surface Embroidery, Embellishment, Stumpwork, Whitework, Three-dimensional Embroidery, Free-Motion Embroidery, and Digital Embroidery.

beadwork primer mastering the art of embroidery sophie long beading uk

Each chapter covers a number of embroidery techniques including a brief history as well as vibrant photos, illustrations, patterns, and tutorials. I was pleased to see a number of pages about bead embroidery in the Embellishment chapter. I also enjoyed the sections about Canvas Work, Blackwork, and Figures.. I had no idea there were so many stitches to learn!

book feature mastering the art of embroidery beadwork bead sophie long uk

Each chapter also features a number of inspiring artist profiles which explain their tips and techniques – mine is on page 134! I am honoured that my beadwork is featured in such a beautiful and extensive book about the fine art of embroidery:)

mastering the art of embroidery book sophie long scottie dog brooch beadwork bead

If you are looking for a modern book which covers all aspects of hand and machine embroidery, this is definitely the one to get! You can order a signed hardcover copy directly from Sophie’s website. You will also find a softcover version at Amazon.com here in the USA. Enjoy!

Bead Embroidery eBook for Amazon’s Kindle Fire

Basic Bead Embroidery tutorial eBook book Amazon Amazon.com Kindle Fire

Just a quick post today to announce that my Intro to Extreme Bead Embroidery tutorial is now available for sale on Amazon.com’s Kindle Store and with a new low price. Click HERE to see.. This is the same PDF file that I sell at my Etsy shop, just converted to the Kindle format. I checked out the conversion on my Kindle Previewer, and it looks great on the Kindle Fire! This is my first experiment with selling on Amazon so any feedback you can provide would be most appreciated. I hope this will encourage even more people to try the art of bead embroidery:)

Beaded Book Review: Woodrose Mountain

Today, a different kind of blog post – a book review! I don’t usually have much time for reading because I’m always busy beading, but Woodrose Mountain by RaeAnne Thayne sounded like a book I had to read.

Woodrose Mountain RaeAnne Thayne quit your job work at a bead shop fiction book review

An emotional year caused Evie Blanchard to walk away from her busy life in Los Angeles where she worked as a physical therapist. In desperate need of change, she moved to a quiet Colorado town called Hope’s Crossing where she began working at a bead shop. There she met a man named Brodie and his daughter Taryn, who had been seriously wounded in a car crash. Against her better judgment, Evie agreed to help Taryn begin an extensive rehabilitation program, which included going to the bead shop and making bracelets. Still recovering from the shadows of her past, Evie tried not to get emotionally involved, but Brodie & Taryn tugged at her heart and in the end, she couldn’t help but to fall for both of them..

Woodrose Mountain is a story about healing, recovery, and second chances – a story which I could relate to in my own personal way. Coincidentally, I have experienced an emotional year myself – mourning the loss of a friend who died of skin cancer while suffering excruciating heartbreak and the loss of a best friend at the same time. For many months, I have felt emotionally shut down, just going through the motions at my day job in the theatre, riding home on the bus with tears streaming down my face. Beading has been my only solace through it all.

So, like Evie, I have decided to change the direction of my life entirely. If all goes well, I will soon be moving back home to Pennsylvania to be closer to family and lifelong friends who I have missed so much. I have asked my sister if she would like to work with me as my Etsy business grows. Who knows, maybe I will teach classes at the bead shop, too.. Perhaps I will find my own Hope’s Crossing. A new place to begin again..

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*Please note: I have received the above book free of charge. This is my honest review of the product and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

>Win a Free Copy of ‘Creative Paper Jewelry’!

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giveaway creative paper jewelry book beads Dafna Yarom wearable art Sixth & Spring Books

Time to spread a little holiday cheer! Here’s your chance to win a free copy of Creative Paper Jewelry by Dafna Yarom. Before reading through this book, I never knew that so much could be done with paper! The projects in this book show you how to creative beautiful paper necklaces, earrings, brooches from materials that you probably already have at home. Then, add a little acrylic paint and a few accent beads, and you will have unique pieces that really sparkle! Perfect for any jewelry designer! :D

giveaway creative paper jewelry book beads Dafna Yarom wearable art Sixth & Spring Books
To enter to win:




*Please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, December 25, 2010.

*Please leave your email address in your comment, or make sure your email address is posted on your Blogger profile so that I have a way to contact you if you are the winner. Entries without email addresses will not be eligible.

*To enter more than once:

Please post the news about this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, and/or your own blog by clicking the Share button at the bottom of this post. Don’t forget to let me know where you have posted the news in your comment on this blog post!

*One winner will be randomly chosen & notified on Sunday, December 26, 2010.

Thanks for your interest, and good luck! :)

*Please note: I have received the above book free of charge from Sixth & Spring Books. This is my honest review of the product and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

>New Jewelry, New Book Giveaway

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Aside from my beaded Radio City Music Hall, I have a few other other small projects to work on, and even more swirling around in my mind! Over the weekend, I worked on my Etsy shop. I completed a new pair of dangly earrings which feature real carob leaves that have been plated in copper. These match the Falling Leaves copper freeform beaded necklace & bracelet also listed for sale in my Etsy shop. How do they look? 

You’ll also notice that I listed a beaded Snowflake Lace choker in my shop. This piece is actually one of my early works. Each snowflake was woven one at a time,  then woven together to create the finished piece. This was created entirely from tiny glass seed beads & nylon thread. The snowflakes are soft & pliable, but very elegant nonetheless. Perfect for any Ice Queen or beautiful young Snow Princess! Click the pic to view the listing. I also listed my beaded Boston trolley painting, Gasoline District. You can view that listing HEREDon’t forget, there is 10%-off coupon code (posted on the sidebar of my blog) which can be used at my Etsy shop through the end of the year. In addition, layaway plans will be accepted for items priced over $200. Thanks for looking! 

beaded snowflake lace choker necklace ice queen snow princess beadweaving wearable bead art etsy

Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for, I have a new Lark Books giveaway to announce. This week, one lucky reader will win a brand new copy of 500 Judaica: Innovative Contemporary Ritual Art (500 Series) by Ray Hemachandra. This beautiful softcover book features a diverse collection of handmade Jewish ritual art pieces which reflect a wide range of materials, object types, and techniques, including beadwork! If you are interested in contemporary Judaica, this book is a must-have! 

To enter to win:


*Please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, December 18, 2010.

*Please leave your email address in your comment, or make sure your email address is posted on your Blogger profile so that I have a way to contact you if you are the winner. Entries without email addresses will not be eligible.

*To enter more than once:

Please post the news about this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, and/or your own blog by clicking the Share button at the bottom of this post. Don’t forget to let me know where you have posted the news in your comment on this blog post!

*One winner will be randomly chosen & notified on Sunday, December 19, 2010.

Thanks for your interest, and good luck! :)

*Please note: I have received the above book free of charge from Lark Books. This is my honest review of the product and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

>Weekend Book Review: Tapestry Bead Crochet

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I have been meaning to do a couple of new book reviews lately! Here is the latest one sent to me by Lark Books: Tapestry Bead Crochet: Projects & Techniques by Ann Benson.

This book is very interesting to me because I love anything that is bead crochet, but never had the chance to learn how to crochet. I always tell myself I want to take a class (I still hope to at some point), but I don’t know when I will have time to do it! I believe this is when a great book can be useful! 

Tapestry Bead Crochet provides detailed lists of materials & tools you’ll need to begin basic bead crochet, as well as basic stitches, techniques, and patterns. The photos & diagrams are easy to understand, but if that isn’t enough, there is also an instructional DVD included which helps to put some of it to better visualization. 

Overall, this is a very inspiring book. If you’re thinking about taking a bead crochet class, I recommend reading this book beforehand. I’m hoping to someday create the Castle Tapestry Bag pictured above. So many beads, so little time! :o

*Please note: I have received the above book free of charge from Lark Books. This is my honest review of the product and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

>Dad Loves Beaded Dogs

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I just realized that next Sunday is Father’s Day! I never know what to get for my Dad because he already has everything. So this year, I went to Amazon.com and ordered a copy of Great Dogs Amazing Artists by Jan Irving. I figure my Dad will like it since 2 of my beaded pet portraits have been published in it. Check it out:



I am honoured to be published in such a beautiful book! This is a very nice softcover publication which features dog artists from all over the world. It also lists contact information if you are interested in a particular artists’ work! Perfect for those who are seeking commissioned pet portraits! Also a great conversation piece for my father’s coffee table! What are you getting your dad for Father’s Day? :)

>Celebrating 4 Years of Blogging & 1000 Posts!

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I just realized that my blog turned 4 years old last month! Time Flies! Also, my last post was my 1000th post! Two reasons to celebrate! So, this week, I will be running another Lark Books giveaway! Here is your chance to win a copy of Laura McCabe‘s latest book – Embellished Beadweaving!

Lark Books blogaversary giveaway Laura McCabe Beaded Embellishment artist beading beadwork bead embroidery jewelry making book

For those who may not be familiar with Laura’s beadwork, let me just say that she really was the first beader who opened my eyes to the possibilities of beading as an art form. Her works are uniquely ambitious and oddly beautiful. Embellished Beadweaving gives readers an insight into her creative soul as well as her educational background. Here’s a sneek peak:

Lark Books blogaversary giveaway Laura McCabe Beaded Embellishment artist beading beadwork bead embroidery jewelry making book

First, I love the beginning chapter entitled ‘Beads Through History’. To really gain a full understanding of the ancient craft of beading, you must first learn about its origins and why humans are continually drawn to beads.

Lark Books blogaversary giveaway Laura McCabe Beaded Embellishment artist beading beadwork bead embroidery jewelry making book
Next, you will learn how to make some of Laura’s beaded embellishments. Instructions for these are clearly written & illustrated! Throughout the rest of the book, you will be in awe of Laura’s jewelry designs.
Lark Books blogaversary giveaway Laura McCabe Beaded Embellishment artist beading beadwork bead embroidery jewelry making book
Learn how to make elaborate earrings, bead-encrusted bracelets, and eye-popping necklaces. And, to top it all off, you will also be inspired by the gorgeous gallery of bead art featuring other artists’ beadwork at the end of the book.
Lark Books blogaversary giveaway Laura McCabe Beaded Embellishment artist beading beadwork bead embroidery jewelry making book
If you are fascinated by Laura’s beadwork as much as I am, or the art of beadweaving in general, then this book is for you. I promise you will not be disappointed!

To enter to win:

*Please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, May 29, 2010.

*Please leave your email address in your comment, or make sure your email address is posted on your Blogger profile so that I have a way to contact you if you are the winner. Entries without email addresses will not be eligible.

*To enter more than once:
Please post the news about this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, and/or your own blog by clicking the Share button at the bottom of this post. Don’t forget to let me know where you have posted the news in your comment on this blog post!

*One winner will be randomly chosen & notified on Sunday, May 30, 2010.

Thanks for your interest, and good luck! :)
*Please note: I have received the above book free of charge from Lark Books. This is my honest review of the product and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

>Weekend Book Review: Shaped Beadwork

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Today, I’d like to share with you the 3rd book I received from Lark Books, Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald.

beadweaving Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald beading bead embroidery jewelry making Lark books review

First let me say that every book Diane has ever written about beading is just awesome, and Shaped Beadwork is no exception.

beadweaving Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald beading bead embroidery jewelry making Lark books review

In this book, Diane inspires us with her bead-weaving techniques. She explains how to create beaded beads and jewelry using mainly the peyote stitch. If you have not tried this stitch yet, you can learn the basics with this book, but it quickly moves to a more advanced peyote. With a little patience, you will learn how to create circles, bezels, triangles, hexagons, squares, and other interesting shapes using Japanese seed beads, beading needles & thread.

beadweaving Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald beading bead embroidery jewelry making Lark books review

I love Diane’s books because her diagrams both intrigue & baffle my mind – mostly because I tend not to think in this methodical way of beading. It just doesn’t seem natural to do beadwork with such scientific preciseness! But, if you would like to give this technique a shot, this is a great book to start out with.

beadweaving Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald beading bead embroidery jewelry making Lark books review

Learn how to make beaded pendants, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, beaded beads, and pretty pink flowers. Once you master this technique, I bet you’ll be inspired to create something entirely new and unique that you never thought would be possible…  Happy beading! :)

beadweaving Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald beading bead embroidery jewelry making Lark books review

*Please note: I have received the above book free of charge from Lark Books. This is my honest review of the product and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

>Book Review: Metalworking 101 for Beaders

>beadweaving chainmaille Cindy Thomas Pankopf Beadmaille beading beadwork bead embroidery jewelry making Lark books

Today, I want to show you the 2nd book I received from Lark BooksMetalworking 101 for Beaders by Candie Cooper. This book is not your typical beading book! This book provides instructions for how to create your own metal findings to incorporate with your beadwork.

beadweaving chainmaille Cindy Thomas Pankopf Beadmaille beading beadwork bead embroidery jewelry making Lark books

In addition to beads, you will need basic metalworking tools such as a jeweler’s saw, flexible shaft, bench pin, center punch, scribe, divider, & pliers (just to name a few). You will also learn basic metalworking techniques such as marking, sawing, smoothing, texturing, forming, & assembling. After you master these techniques, you will be inspired to create beautiful metal findings! 

beadweaving chainmaille Cindy Thomas Pankopf Beadmaille beading beadwork bead embroidery jewelry making Lark books

Projects include necklaces, bracelets, rings & pins. These are easy to understand with clear photos & illustrations. Here are just a few of my favourite projects in the book..

beadweaving chainmaille Cindy Thomas Pankopf Beadmaille beading beadwork bead embroidery jewelry making Lark books

Overall, I think this is an interesting book for anyone wishing to learn more about metalworking. I hope that some of the projects I have posted have inspired to you to try a few of these techniques. If I had the means to start a new craft, I would want try my hand at this, as well! :)

beadweaving chainmaille Cindy Thomas Pankopf Beadmaille beading beadwork bead embroidery jewelry making Lark books

*Please note: I have received the above book free of charge from Lark Books. This is my honest review of the product and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.