The Challenge

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This week, 2 new books arrived in the mail. Little Bead Boxes by Julia S. Pretl, and A Beaded Romance by Kelly Wiese.

The latter has 26 beadweaving patterns. I’m not feeling very excited flipping through this one. Some projects are really nice but sadly most of them aren’t to my taste even though we seem to share a love for green and purple. Nevertheless, the “Mobile Necklace and Earrings” project on page 69 is using the Chevron Stitch which I have yet to learn so I will be learning the stitch while completing this project. What’s nice about the book is that a lot of the designs have a matching bracelet or earrings. Kind of a 2 for 1 deal there. The jewelry is beautifully photographed and modeled so you can see what it looks like when worn.

Little Bead Boxes, 12 miniature boxes built with beads. The book has clearly illustrated designs and 42 pages of instructions that should be read before starting to bead the first box. The patterns have been arranged by level of complexity – from easiest to most challenging. The last pages of the book contain blank graph worksheets for each box shape, which you can use to design your own box pattern.

I have decided to use this book as my challenge book. The challenge being to complete all projects in this book in 1 year. That’s 1 box a month. I have nearly completed my first box and it is certainly a challenge. Thread tension is important and nearing the end of this first box my index finger is sore from pulling on the thread.
After completing this challenge I will have 12 tiny, pretty and useful boxes that would make great gifts. You could even put something inside the box for a gift within a gift, provided the item is small enough.

So, starting the challenge this week the last box should be completed no later than June 16, 2014.  Go!

It’s Like Julie & Julia, But With Beads!

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This is the title of today’s daily mail from Beading Daily, “it’s like Julie & Julia, but with beads” and this is precisely what I said to my fiance when I decided to start a blog.

The universe is listening.

Scheherezade Pendant

The email mentions a trend in beaders getting a book and completing every project in it, much like Julie did with Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This sounds like a cool idea and possibly a challenge I could undertake.

To date I have only completed 4 of the 30! jewelry projects in Sabine Lippert’s book Beaded Fantasies.

It is a wonderful book that I highly recommend. All 30 projects are absolutely beautiful. A lot of them require crystals so using this book for the challenge would be costly but on the plus side you’d end up with 30 pieces of gorgeous jewelry.

010 (9)

The same is true for Marcia DeCoster’s book Beaded Opulence. 4 out of 24 completed projects. I especially like the ring “Quetzal”. I made mine in green and bronze.

But again, crystals. One project use 472 4mm crystal bicones! Using the exact color as in the book would cost me 188€ but using a different color is “only” 37€. Comparatively a big difference in both beads and bead stores but it is still a small fortune for a beader on a budget. For reference I used Bricol’Art and I-Beads for a price check. I-Beads did not have the Siam ABx2 that is used in the book so I chose the Rose Gold 2x.

Beaded Colorways, Creating Freeform Beadweaving Projects and Palettes by Beverly Ash Gilbert, a birthday gift from my fiance. The book is So colorful and it comes with 2 custom color wheels. Beaded Colorways shows you how to mix beads and gems to create custom color blends called Bead Soups. The projects use mostly seed beads and other glass beads mixed with a few gemstones and pearls. The projects towards the end of the book use metal and wirework which scare me but therein lies the challenge. I have not tried any of the projects in this book yet, mainly because I don’t own enough colors of beads to make good soup. I own more greens and purples than any other color so I guess this means I can at least make bead wine.