Bead Simple: Essential Techniques for Making Jewelry Just the Way You Want It

Hooray, hooray, hooray my copy of Bead Simple: Essential Techniques for Making Jewelry Just the Way You Want It by Susan Beal finally came in the mail! My little google alert was going off with people like Tricia Royal of Wardrobe Remix and Jenny Ryan of Felt Club blogging about my bracelet and I had yet to see it in print. I emailed Susan and she pulled some strings and had a copy overnighted to me and I have hardly put it down since the Fed Ex man placed into my hot little hands.

My first impression was man this is a heavy and thick book. Most craft books seem a little thin, but this baby is chocked full of beading goodness and stays true to it’s tag line Bead Simple: 150 designs for earrings, necklaces, bracelets, embellishments and more. Plus there are 200 color pictures. Craft books without photos or a little picture section in the middle are not for me. I want tons and tons of pretty pictures to look at and this book has it in buckets. Whoa, this should keep me busy for quite some time!

I’ll just go ahead and get my own horn tooting out of the way. On page 170 is my Bric-a-Brac Charming Bracelet. I love the caption for the bracelet because it actually fits a lot of my jewelry and me in general: Designed by Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club, this colorful bracelet is one of those baubles that is all about the organized chaos. When absolutely nothing “matches”, suddenly that’s the very element that ties everything together.

One of the best things about this book is the fact that there are so many different contributers which not only makes the book more diverse it also makes it a marketing dream come true. Why you ask because everyone who is featured in the book is going to blog about it just like I am right this minute. Actually even if I wasn’t in the book I would write about it, but the fact that a ton of my crafty friends grace the pages sure does not hurt. Let me run down the list of a few favorites.

Alrighty Sparkle Cocktail Brooch by Cathy Callahan of Cathy of California caught my eye. When I read that it was her ode to Enid Collins purses which I collect I knew why. I love jewelry that encompasses more than just beads and string. Cathy busts out the fabric, paint and gem stones!

Suerte Love Charm by Kathy Cano Murillo of Crafty Chica stands out with all the dangly charms and colors. Kathy knows a thing or two about organized chaos herself. I also really like the Tassel Talisman right next door on page 201.

Christy Petterson of Ice Atlanta worked some magic on a playing card making the Player Vamp Hair Comb. I just so happen to collect wacky playing cards amoung other things so this project opened up a whole new world for me.

I totally heart the Pop Organic Low and Swingy Earrings by Tricia Royal of Bits and Bobbins. After seeing this picture of Tricia I always associate her with rainbows and these earrings just further prove my point. They also remind me of my Squirrel Trying to Get a Nut Earrings.

Hey I use those same adorable owl shaped beads on the Hoots McGee Necklace and Orangey Owl Earrings that the fantabulous Jenny Ryan of Sew Darn Cute used on her yummy Candy Shoppe One-Strand Bracelets!

Laura Stokes of Charcoal Designs and her Crown Jewels Button Brooch made my toes curl in delight. Check out her Buzzard Brand website for all kinds of fun charms and stuff so you can make your own version.

Jesse Malone from Art School Dropout is one of my favorite Indie jewelry designers so it only makes sense that I would be extra smitten on her Circles and Circles Necklace.

Other contirbuters who’s name you might know as crafty mavens include Natalie Zee Drieu of Coquette and Craft Magazine fame, Diane Gilleland who does Crafty Pod, Leah Kramer from Craftster, Faythe Levine one of the masterminds behind the upcoming Indie Craft Documentary, Torie Nguyen of PDX Super Crafty and Tontienette, Nicole Vasbinder of Queen Puff Puff and more.

There are 38 guest projects so according to my math that leaves 112 projects by the amazing Susan Beal.

Susan Beal is a woman of many talents: author, craftavist, designer and more. I’m a little partial to her because she was one of my favorite guests on Craft Lab. Susan even wore the Splashy Flower Charming Pendant Necklace from Bead Simple on her episode! Besides all of the fabulous projects in the book there is also over 20 pages about color theory, the right supplies and techniques. For instance wrapping a briolette is something that always boggles my mind, but there on page 22 are clear easy to follow instructions so there might be hope for me yet. Score yourself a copy of Bead Simple on Amazon, check out the Bead Simple Blog and peruse the Bead Simple Flickr Pool.

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