Anna Elizabeth Draeger has already written one totally stunning book (Crystal Brilliance), so it should come as no surprise that her newest, Great Designs for Shaped Beads is...well, great! Anna is a beadweaver, so she writes wonderful books for beadweavers who want to move ahead with their designs.
There is a short introduction which shows examples of many of the new shapes: tilas, daggers, peanuts, lentils, drops, and berries. What I really appreciate is the information about how some of the beads differ depending upon country of origin. Then it's straight into the projects! And what a great group of projects they are. Anna breaks it down into Tiles and Tilas, Peanuts and Berries, Daggers and Drops, and Creative Combinations. This last chapter is especially enticing, with six projects that combine the shaped beads in really fun ways.
As with all Kalmbach books, there is a section which reviews all the basic stitches and techniques for you. The payoff with this book is, though, that you've never seen the stitches looking quite like this before! The new shapes of beads will inspire you to pick up that needle and try stitches that perhaps you previously thought you were tired of.
I don't think this is the first beadweaving book that you should buy, since the skill level looks to be more on the order of intermediate. However, a highly motivated novice beadweaver could follow the instructions and clear illustrations with very little difficulty, so I'd have to say that this is a book that many levels will enjoy. There are also lots of tips given for changing it up a bit, so the 24 projects easily become many many more. I think that all the beadweavers out there will really appreciate this book.
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