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Beaders Guide to Color Book - Jewelry Making at Bloglander
If you use a lot of different seed beads in your jewelry, you might be interested in The Beader’s Guide To Color by Margie Deeb. This professionally designed beading book is a great information resource for both novices to color theory and expert designers alike. There are 20 different jewelry/art projects, 75 color palettes and instructions for beginning beaders on loom techniques. I have to admit that personally we haven’t really gotten into using seed beads in this way yet, but this book is still on my wish list for future inspiration.

From the author’s website:

Author and artist Margie Deeb discusses in depth the psychological and symbolic associations of all the colors of the spectrum, and the ways in which color can be used to create and accentuate pattern, rhythm, and movement.

The illustrations in the book seem to be really well done. The color palettes actually use Delica numbers (a classification for the Miyuki seed beads) and cover a wide range of different color combinations. I think some of the reviews I read of the book seem to think this is less of a standard “how-to” book and more of a presentation of the choice of color in seed bead projects. Still, most both beginners and advanced jewelry makers seem to think it’s a worthwhile addition to their libraries.

I had meant to post this last week but got sidetracked. About.com’s Jewelry Making guide Tammy Powley (who we interviewed earlier for Bloglander Jewelry Making) tipped me off about a potential opportunity for aspiring jewelry peeps out there.

She has a new book in the works that is going to be about “Mixed-Media Jewelry” and they are currently soliciting project contributions to be printed in it! If selected, your piece will be photographed in full color and will be included with project instructions and/or full captions.

Now, before you get all discouraged that you can’t POSSIBLY make something spectacular enough to be included in a jewelry book you should know that what they are looking for are projects that involve standard jewelry findings or simple wire-working along with threads, fiber, and leather… basically any sort of mixed-media jewelry project. The requirements for the project are that it should be simple enough for the average home artist to make, and not necessarily someone with full access to soldering/casting methods or other complex jewelry making techniques.

One other thing to note is that this isn’t a CONTEST per se… this is an opportunity to be included in an actual book on jewelry making. Actually, in my mind this is potentially BETTER than winning a contest.

Here are the project categories that you can choose from:

* fiber and fabric jewelry
* paper jewelry
* found object jewelry (incorporating recycled/found materials)
* jewelry featuring unique and/or unusual combinations of materials (bones, shells, glass, wood, beads, chain etc.)
* memory jewelry (incorporating photos, charms, imagery

They are accepting entries up until April 30 of this year. The full details about this jewelry making opportunity can be found on Tammy’s website. If you decide to enter a project, good luck and please let us know if you’re accepted so we can post about it here!

Summary: Wide variety of simple necklace, bracelet and earrings projects plus basic techniques
Price: Cover price - $4.95
Product Rating: 3.5/5
Pros: Plenty of useful photos in how-to projects. Fairly cheap.
Cons: Occasionally unfocused. Only 6 issues/yr. Lots of ads.

The Bottom Line
This is a good beginner magazine to get when you’re first starting off beading or making jewelry. Clear and detailed instructions plus a handy “basics” guide. More advanced jewelry makers will probably only glance at the projects for ideas.

Description
Bead Style Magazine has 6 issues a year. The magazine is devoted to beginner jewelry and beading projects, usually 6-10 full step-by-step project articles of which a few contain 5-10 “mini-projects” related to the article. Sections include a Fashion Forecast, Reader Tips, Project Articles, What’s New section, Beader’s Glossary, Basic Techniques, Calendar, and Shop Directory. Approximately 100-130 pages long

Review
When we first started out making our own jewelry, we had almost no idea where to start. There are millions of books out there that contain projects and how-to guides but so many of them were far beyond our abilities at the time. So we decided to give BeadStyle Magazine a shot and subscribed for a year’s worth of issues.

In the beginning, this was an excellent way to get ideas on how to make simple projects. The magazine’s focus is indeed on the beginning beader and jewelry maker. Most of the projects require only the beading materials and simple wire techniques, such as Making a Plain Loop and Simple Wirewrapping.

Once in awhile there are projects that show how to do slightly more advanced things like making and hammering your own clasps out of silver wire but for the most part they stick with stringing colorful beads together.

Look for Bead Style Magazine on Amazon

One of the most overlooked parts of this magazine is the handy "Beader's Glossary" and "Basic Techniques" section at the end of the magazine. The Beader's Glossary gives you a sort of visual guide to the different types of tools, stones, beads and findings that are featured in that particular issue of the magazine in case you have any doubt as to which ones to use. The Basic Techniques reference contains several step-by-step jewelry techniques with photos. Though the pictures are small and it's extremely brief, these were very helpful when we didn't know what the heck we were doing.

As time went on, however, we found that we weren't paying as much attention to working through all the actual projects rather than getting design and technique ideas. In addition, we found that because of the HUGE variety of styles touched upon, we would in general only be interested in maybe 2-3 of the 30 projects in the magazine. But that weakness is also it's greatest strength; you're bound to find at least ONE project in each magazine that strikes your fancy.

Continue reading “BeadStyle Magazine Review” …

(Note: I originally wrote this review on Epinions.com but decided it’d probably be of more use over here, so I’ve moved it over.)

Summary: Very pretty pictures of beaded accessories but lacks full instructional technique.
Product Rating: 3.0/5
Pros: Beautiful photos, some great design ideas
Cons: Too short. Illustrations sloppy, instructions a bit vague

The Bottom Line
Unless you’re already experienced in making these designs or just looking for ideas rather than a start-to-finish project blueprint, you’re better off buying a few of the latest beading magazines.

Description
Antique Style Bead Accessories is written by bead shop owner and jewelry artist Matsuko Sawanobori. I didn’t look up further info on her, but in the “About the author” section in back of the book it says she’s been involved with jewelry design for near 15 years and has had her work featured both in television and magazines. So she probably knows a thing or two about making jewelry.

Continue reading “Antique Style Bead Accessories” …