Another Review at MyShelf.Com

100 Beaded Flowers, Trinkets and Charms
Amanda Brooke Murr-Hinson

Search Press
14 December 2011 / ISBN: 9781844486939
Non-Fiction/ How-to / Beadwork
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Rocailles (or seed beads) are those tiny beads that come in every color and finish. They are ubiquitous, being found for sale in all kinds of unlikely places, and thus the most easily available type of bead. These are the building blocks for many of the world·s varieties of traditional beadwork, and here they are made into what the author rightly describes as ·tiny treasures.·

This is a lovely book, and when I look back at the end of the year, it will still be one of my favorites, I am sure. As well as being a user-friendly guide to making these bead and wire charms, it is also beautifully and imaginatively laid out. Basically, this is a book showing how to make beaded charms in the shape of flowers, insects, storybook characters, festival decorations, animals and more. Use them to adorn jewelry, garments, the pages of scrapbooks and cards. As they are easy, you are sure to be able to make up your own, too, after making a few.

The book starts by giving a basic guide to rocailles and the tools you will need to get crafting (not very many). There is a double page spread on how to work the basic technique, which are shown very clearly and directly, as well as how to assemble more complex pieces. As with most Search Press books there is a guide to using the book, projects are grouped in themes as well as graded for difficulty, all beads and materials given, as well as a nice clear diagram showing what to do. All this is perhaps enough, but the best thing for me is the layout of the pattern selector pages. Each has a theme (bug·s world, in the garden, nature trail, Happy Christmas, once upon a time, etc), and the relevant charms are laid out against a glorious background of fabric stitched down and embellished with hand and machine embroidery. This needs to be seen to be appreciated, and truly brings the work to life, as well as giving inspiration for memory album projects, cards and appliqué fabric items. At the back are a few pages giving ideas for the charms· use; these also have these stitched backgrounds. Make jewelry, cards, drink markers, charm bracelets, decorate clothing etc. There is also a list of stockists if you live in the UK, US, Australia or New Zealand. By the time you come to the last page (index) you ought to be feeling thoroughly inspired to create something.

You find out more about UK reviewer Rachel Hyde at her blog: Green Thoughts
Reviewed 2012