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Book review: Rachel Nelson-Smith's Bead Riffs

I love all the books that are included in Lark's Beadweaving Master Class series, and Bead Riffs is no exception.  This time it's kind of funny though, because I really don't like jazz at all, and jazz metaphors and imagery is what anchors and inspires this book.  Rachel Nelson-Smith, besides being an amazing bead artist (remember Seed Bead Fusion?  brilliant!) is also a jazz singer, so it makes perfect sense to me that one passion would end up being the inspiration for another.  I can totally get behind that.

With Rachel, you expect that you're going to see wonderful seed bead designs, using peyote or right angle weave, or more frequently a combination of the two.  Combining stitches is what allows her to construct deceptively intricate forms which usually break down to be quite attainable for anyone with some experience in the two stitches.  There are 23 gorgeous projects to challenge you. 

One thing that I really like about the approach in this book is the way Rachel approaches color.  She has put together "collections" of colors and given them (of course!) jazz-inspired names.  Throughout the book, you'll find examples of the projects that are beaded in different colorways so that you can get an idea of just how different your pieces can look as you vary the colors and the exact details.  After all, that's what riffs are :-)

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