French beading is a simple yet lovely art, beautifully described here and illustrated in color with more than 70 close-up, how-to photos that show how to grow a garden of 30 flowers with delicate seed beads. Forty additional illustrations present the exact bead placement for each particular flower part. Just string the beads on wires and bend them into realistic, three-dimensional shapes; a helpful introductory section covers all the basics. Craft a budding dogwood branch, frame a mirror with wisteria blooms, or make a holiday wreath of holly and gold-tipped pinecones. A gallery of vintage pieces illustrates the rich history of the craft.
Knitting wizard Chin, author of Urban Knitter (2002) and Mosaic Magic (1999), concentrates her third how-to book on the myriad ways to incorporate beads into knit and crochet projects–more than 25, ranging from a bespangled Grace Kelly-style collar to a wondrous Homage to [Keith] Haring jacket in purple chenille. In essence, she separates the book into techniques, differentiated between three interpretations of beads entangled in yarn: those integrated into the fabric, individual strands with beads woven in, and beads applied onto the finished fabric. Each pattern features at least one color photograph, charts or illustrations, and directions that even a beginner could follow. A bit advanced for the rank novice, yet enticing designs for anyone to try. Glossary, suppliers, and further reading appended.
Doelp takes the art of beading quite literally, using as her inspirational springboard the extraordinary, intricate immortelles, or French Victorian beaded mourning wreaths. Giving kudos to her mentor Virginia Nathanson, she briefly covers the history, then expounds on the basics and four techniques (continuous loops, continuous crossover loops, basic frame, and continuous wraparound loops), with accompanying directions. Project number 1, the classic poppy pin, features excellent step-by-step photographs that capture the beading process. From that, readers are encouraged to try the other 29, whether it’s a lifelike draping wisteria or a 150 percent fantasy bouquet. New techniques are flagged and explained well, such as outlining and striping; occasional design tips enhance the do-it-yourselfer’s pride of accomplishment. Metric conversions and information on contributing designers appended. Barbara Jacobs
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