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QUICK AND EASY CRAFTS – BEADWORK (article first published : 2004-12-13)

Quick and Easy Crafts have brought out a series of wonderful step-by-step projects, which are simple to make and the results are stunning. The books are aimed at new crafters looking for clear, practical advice on popular craft subjects, as well as skilled crafters looking for new ideas. A crafts expert has written each book in the series with a passion for his/her particular subject. These books would be suitable for community projects.

One of these exciting craft books is Beadwork by Robin Bellingham, Hana Glover and Jema Hewitt. The book contains 15 step-by-step projects, all with clear instructions and beautifully clear colour photographs. Projects are made using different techniques, and most projects give theme variations, hints and tips.

The materials used in the projects are all readily available from hobby and craft shops, and a list of suppliers in South Africa and their addresses are given at the back of the book. Beads are also available from dressmaking shops, and are seen on stalls at many of our local flea markets.

Each project has an index showing the level of expertise needed to make the product, and in the front of the book there are detailed instructions on the Tools, Materials and Techniques used for the projects.

Beadwork is the perfect book for anyone new to working with beads, as well as the more experienced crafter. Beads are used to embellish cushions and bags and to create delicate jewellery items.

The project for a Turquoise charm bracelet, which is suitable for the beginner level crafter, is a lovely gift which can be added to by the recipient or the giver. The beaded Cushion Tassels is a project for a Level 2 crafter, and a simple variation on this could be earrings. Anything is possible, and it is exciting to use one’s imagination to such advantage. The Spiral Rope Bracelet on pg.62 is another Level 2 project, which is a stunning piece of costume jewellery and an interesting variation is to change the bracelet into a choker. Colours play a major part in the making of this item, and once again the imagination can really run wild.

The Knotted Pearl Necklace on pg. 66 is aimed at skill level 3, but a beginner can also make this exquisite jewellery item. The three-stranded necklace is a timeless classic, has a simple elegance and doesn’t necessarily need an occasion to be worn. Pearls have always been spaced with knots to prevent them chipping when knocked together while being worn. This knotting is what takes the time and patience.

Beadwork is published by New Holland Publishers (U.K.) Ltd. and is available at a retail price of R109.95. – Sue Holloway




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