Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Book Review: Not Your Mama’s Beading by Kate Shoup Welsh

I discovered this book a few years ago while browsing in the local library. After bringing it home and flicking through it, I instantly went online and bought myself a copy! As you can see from the cover it’s not your typical beading book.

What I liked most about this book, and I have to admit that it was the main reason for buying it, is that it’s a lot of fun to read! But along with all the witty banter there is a lot of useful information and tips. The other reason was that I fell in love with “Billy Idol Called-He Wants His Bracelet Back”, a punk style cuff made with Swarovski bicones.

The book is divided into three parts:

  • Part one is “Brushing up on Beading” which contains the history of beading, information on different types of beads and findings and instructions for the basics such as stringing, crimping, knotting and beadweaving.
  • Part two contains all the project chapters: Necklace Drivers, Cuff Stuff, With This Ring (And These Earrings) I Thee Thread, Ornamentation Nation and Gifts Flair For Your Pied a Terre.
  • And part three is an appendix of resourses such as recommended beading books, magazines, online bead suppliers and bead shows. Unfortunately it appears that the author has forgotten the rest of the world as they are all US based. There are also a couple of peyote and RAW graph sheets for designing your own patterns, seed beads per inch tables, life size bead charts to check your bead size, average bracelet and necklace lengths and a guide to wire gauges.

The majority of the book is printed in black, white and blue and for the most part has only drawings and diagrams. The photos of the projects are all in the middle, in full colour glossy pages. In a way, it’s nice to see them all together but it could make working the projects a little difficult if you have to flick back and forth between the project and its accompanying photo. There are little black and white photos on the project’s page but they’re too small to be of much use.

I feel this is very much a beginners book. Many of the projects are fairly easy with the use of wire wrapped dangles and stringing but there’s also some beadweaving projects. But as with most books there's usually something you don't like. For me it's that this book may be trying a little too hard to be cool and different and the way it's written can be annoying after a while! And part from my initial excitement I haven’t gone back to this book to create any of the projects, not even the cuff I fell in love with. Overall, a nice book with a lot of really useful information but because I feel that the designs let it down, I wish I’d stuck to getting it on loan from the library.

Not Your Mama's Beading
By Kate Shoup Welsh
Published by John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Reviewed by Liz


Dorisanne said...

:) This was the first beading book I ever read, so it has a special place in my heart. I loved the clever titles and thought it was fun to read, too. Great job on the review Liz!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dorisanne!