Great Designs for Shaped Beads includes 25 projects, 15 projects originally available only as digital downloads and 10 new projects designed exclusively for this book — that’s less than $1 a project! Plus, with loads of alternate designs and variations, beaders get a grand total of more than 50 shaped-bead jewelry ideas!
“I was inspired to write this book after hearing some people in a bead store wondering what to do with Tila beads. I knew that beaders were interested in other shaped beads too.”
— Anna Elizabeth Draeger
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Author: Anna Draeger
Softcover; 8 1/4 x 10 3/4; 88 pages; 75 color photos; ISBN: 9780871164957
Anna Elizabeth Draeger is a well-known jewelry designer and the author of Crystal Brilliance. Since 2009, Anna has been an ambassador for the CREATE YOUR STYLE with CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements program, a handpicked worldwide network of designers who are known for their unusually creative use of these Austrian crystal beauties.
TILES & TILAS
St. Pete Meets Tila
PEANUTS & BERRIES
DAGGERS & DROPS
Drop Dead Daggers
Dagger & Pearl Pairing
Anna Elizabeth Draeger's Great Designs for Shaped Beads focuses on the wonderful shapes and colors coming out for beaders like two hole tile beads, daggers, peanuts, berries and lentils. The projects are designed for beadweavers.
She starts with a very short introduction which covers the various bead types she'll be using. It explains the differences between Tila beads from Japan and the molded Czech two-hole tile beads. It discusses the various sizes of daggers available and introduces shapes like half daggers and berry beads. It also offers tips about working with peanut beads.
Then straight into the projects. The very first project is my favorite. Using Tilas set on the edge to create open diamonds for a bracelet. The stitch works well stacked up into a wide cuff, but also can be used to make stackable wrist candy bracelets.
You will find projects using right angle weave, St. Petersburg chain and peyote. Using the bead shapes creates different looks than you've seen before.
The various techniques can be used as components in pieces of your own design as well, which makes it my favorite kind of beading book. One that can inspire. The wonderful cubes made using Tilas, seed beads and crystals are very sharp looking beaded beads that are quick to make. The chevron chain variation is a light look that could be embellished easily to create something very intricate. I'm envisioning it as the base of a statement necklace.
I also really like the petal pendant which uses daggers and drops to create a piece that reminds me of the 1950s-1960s costume jewelry I love.
The diagrams are clear and easy to follow, and the written instructions make sense. The supplies for the pieces are easy to find and fairly inexpensive. I do recommend this book for every level of beadweaver. It's clear, concise, with lots of designs that look great as shown but use techniques that can be incorporated in your own designs.
-Shala Kerrigan, BellaOnline
I really liked Anna Elizabeth Draeger's Crystal Brilliance book where she introduced delightful Swarovski crystal designs. But bead work can really shine without the bling factor especially if one were to explore the increasingly diverse types of beads. It's not all about seed beads either.
Her latest book Great Designs for Shaped Beads: Tilas, Peanuts, and Daggers which I received for review, encourages beaders of all levels to try those new shapes. None of the projects are particularly time consuming. The title is misleading because she also uses lentil drops, magatama fringe beads, tear drops and petal shaped ones too.
The projects are not complicated so beginners need not be intimidated. More experienced beaders are inspired to think about geometric shapes and combining these beads for new designs. There are necklace, bracelet, rings and earring projects.
Tila beads from Miyuki and Czech two hole beads are different. Tila beads are flatter while the Czech ones are more rounded. Most of the two hole bead designs can accommodate either but the designer specifies only one make if that works better for a particular project.
I didn't realize there were so many alternative names for farfalle beads - peanut, bowtie, dogbone, butterfly, bubble or double bubble beads! Like the two hole beads, there are differences depending on which manufacturer it is. It is okay to mix them but the designer does recommend beaders don't.
I particularly enjoyed seeing designs where dagger beads were used to create 3-dimensional designs like the Drop Dead Daggers bracelet below and the layered dagger pendant shown in the top right picture on the cover. I also liked her Cubic Cuties (not shown) which she used tila beads to create cubes.
All in all, a great book for easy yet satisfying projects. If you've used just seed beads before and want to explore the world of tila, daggers and farfalle, then try this book!
-Pearl Blay, The Beading Gem's Journal
Great Designs for Shaped Beads packs in some fifty ideas for stitching Tila beads, peanuts and more into various kinds of bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, and is a pick for anyone who would learn techniques for working with shaped beads. Projects offer supplies lists, stitching specifications, and come packed with full color step-by-step photos and completed images, while the narrowed focus on three common shaped beads assures quick and easy understanding of basic beading approaches. Any jewelry-making library needs this.
-The Midwest Book Review