Carolyn Cave and Kalmbach Books have provided an outstanding
new offering in the world of beading: Stitching with a Handful
of Beads. One look at the cover says it all: this is a unique
guide to making some of the loveliest necklaces, bracelets,
earrings, pendants and rings around. At first blush, the designs
are so beautiful that I was sure they’d be too difficult
for me to make, but with Ms. Cave’s illustrated instructions,
making these designs was less daunting than I thought. The
wonderful intro section covers beads, tools and materials,
as well as basic techniques and terms. I especially appreciated
the section on making chains and the various stitches, a few
of which were new to me, such as the St. Petersburg Chain
and the Albion Stitch.
the full color photos of the finished designs, as well as
the intricate illustrations that make it easy to follow the
various stitches to make the designs. I have to say, Ms. Cave
makes following her instructions easy. The designs are all
exquisite and many of the resulting necklaces and earrings
are simply breathtaking. Of course, I have my favorites: “The
Waterfall Necklace” using the St. Petersburg chain stitch,
the magnificent and eye-catching “Khione Bracelet”,
and the superb “Serenity Bracelet” using pearls
and seed beads. All these designs would make wonderful presents
for friends and family, but don’t tell anyone: many
of these finished pieces are so magnificent that I’m
keeping a few for myself!
with a Handful of Beads is a book you’ll want to
keep by your side, next to your jewelry supplies. It’s
one you’ll refer to again and again as a source of inspiration
and one that will stir your creative ideas for years to come.
Carolyn Cave is an award-winning bead artist and the author
of Beautiful Designs with SuperDuos and Twin
Beads from Kalmbach Publishing.