Sunday, January 15, 2017

Beautiful Bead Weaving
Fran Ortmeyer & Carol C. Porter
Design Originals

These authors have hit a home run with this book.  I have previously reviewed their book “Bead Weaving on a Loom” and this one also meets my expectations. They present a wonderful array of patterns for lovely beaded loom jewelry.

The mini loom is featured and one is instructed on the continuous warping process.  We are also introduced to the standard loom, its parts, and the continuous warped method in addition to the multiple warp method.

Increasing and decreasing techniques are also presented. These are followed by additional techniques along with various interesting patterns.

There are many creative possibilities presented for on-loom beading.  Each beader can look forward to many fun hands-on bead weaving experiences. Clear pictures and instructions guide the beader every step of the way.

Razine


Jewel Loom Inspirations
Julianna C. Avelar
Fons&Porter

This book presents a myriad of “quick and fun beading and jewelry projects.”  I consider myself a creative person and look forward to each day creative opportunities when I sit before my various looms and shimmering beads.

All of the necessary beading components are listed in this book.  There is also a section describing the stringing materials, adhesives, findings, tools, etc.

The Jewel Loom is the loom of choice for the various projects in this book. Its light weight properties makes it very portable.  Excellent visual instructions enable the beader to quickly warp the loom and proceed to weave their “masterpiece.”

Both the beginner and advanced beader can learn and utilize several new techniques. Lovely bracelets, necklaces and other unique beaded accessories are doable.

Enjoy!


Razine 
INSPIRATIONS Beaded Bags
Deb Bergs
Design Originals

Lovely array of beaded bags utilizing the “brick stitch.” Diagrams provide the beader with the basic steps to create the brick stitch, join the seams and add a fringe. One can also work the various patterns in peyote stitch.

Nothing is left to chance. The author gives us all of the visual and verbal tools to complete each pattern. Size, color charts, and finished bags are vividly displayed. One can make his own statement when incorporating a strap or various elements on them.

I would highly recommend this book to all bead enthusiasts. Your finished articles will receive lots of OH’s and AH’s. Plus, your bags will be a joy to have or to gift.

Razine



Saturday, January 7, 2017

500 BEAD WEAVING PATTERNS FOR BRACELETS
Emilie Ramon
The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group


This book with its overwhelming array of patterns is a bead weaver’s delight. I just purchased a Mirrix Tapestry Loom and can’t wait to warp it and incorporate some of these designs into my woven beaded structures.

It is very interesting how the author completely changes the appearance of many of the pieces.  She has a wonderful eye for design and modifies many of her patterns with the introduction of new colors and hues.

She utilizes Miyuki delica cylinder beads in all of her woven structures.  These beads are readily available in a wide range of colors which can be purchased in either bags or tubes. Fil One-G-0.25 mm. beige nylon beading thread is recommended. But, I have used Fireline 6lb S-Lon,C-Lon, Nymo B thread.

Enjoy!  This is an exciting book for every bead weaver to explore. By the way, keep on beading and you can complete more than a bracelet with this wonderful compilation of patterns.


Razine
 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

LEARN BEADED KUMIHIMO ON THE MARUDAI (DVD)

MORE BEADED KUMIJIMO ON THE MARUDAI (DVD)

With Adrienne Gaskell
Kalmbach Publishing Company

I had been eagerly awaiting receipt of these two DVDs after I learned of their availability.  My experience was solely with making the wonderful Kumihimo braids on the Marudai, but had never incorporated beads into their silky structures.  Now, I had no excuse for not determining the braid pattern, measuring out my cords, filling same with my favorite beads, wrapping the tama, adjusting the counter weight, and just following the wonderful visual and extremely well-articulated directions on these two DVDs.

Adrienne Gaskell is a wonderful instructor.  She conducts workshops all over the country for people interested in learning all of the intricacies of this wonderful creative art happening.  The viewer is taught all of the steps to create these beautiful beaded braided  cords on these two recently published DVDs.  If one cannot take a workshop with Adrienne, these DVDs provide a one-on-one experience of “how to” bead kumihimo.  We are taken through the planning stages regarding measuring and determining length of each cord for bead braiding  necklaces and bracelets.  How long to cut cord?  She gives us a very definitive answer.  Can be particularly frustrating when necklace cord ends up the wrong length.

We are instructed how to create several visual clues on the marudai to keep us on track and important information about documentation, winding tama, movement of hands across the mirror, threads, beads, counterweight, needles, etc.  DVDs also provides a lively discussion of the use of a bead spinning tool which is an indispensable aid for the kumihimo bead weaver.

I would highly recommend both of these DVDs.  In fact my new RCA compact DVD player is just the right tool for them.

Razine Wenneker   



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

PILOT FRIXION BALL PEN (Gel Roller)

Are you a crossword, word game, Sudoku, dot-to-dot, word puzzle, or any other type of paper/pen game player?  If so, you will love the Pilot Frixion ball erasable gel roller pens.  They come in an assortment of colors and tips. Make a mistake – no problem, like magic, the erasable top comes to one’s rescue.  I recently worked a dot-to-dot book on a four hour flight to California.  Didn’t mind the cramped seats, poor ventilation, and coughing and sneezing surrounding my space.  Had my favorite Pilot Frixion Ball Gel Roller erasable pen and I was able to enjoy my trip with this wonderful instrument?

Word of caution though, don’t sign any checks with this pen for over $1.00.

Razine Wenneker     



HOW TO MAKE 50 FABULOUS KUMIHIMO BRAIDS

Beth Kemp

Barron’s Educational Series


This beginner’s guide to making flat braids includes a Kumihimo square disk.  The book is a unique reference source on a subject that has captured the creative imagination of worldwide weavers.  I too was introduced to this exciting “gathering of threads” technique many years ago and have collected a substantial assortment of books and videos on this subject.

Beth Kemp’s book offers the braider all of the information necessary to lead them on this explorative journey.  Each chapter describes step by step visual and written instructions on how to proceed with the construction of the various braids.  All materials are listed and basic techniques are presented in beautiful illustrations and easy to follow instructions. 
                      
I was particularly captivated by the spectacular “Sunset Splendor” necklace.  But, one can always start with the simple “Friendship” bracelet project and proceed from there. 

I would highly recommend this book as a “fabulous” introduction of creative Kumihimo braiding possibilities.


Razine Wenneker

Friday, November 4, 2016

GUIDE TO BEADING WITH A LOOM
Jamie Cloud Eakin
JCE Publishing

When I started creating loom beaded jewelry several years ago, there was a scarcity of definitive books about the technique. I recently received this book and it is truly a start to finish and beyond product.

The first chapter begins with an introduction to the various types of looms. The following chapters cover information pertaining to the process, finishing, edging techniques, project, etc. Chapter 7 takes the reader on an adventure beyond traditional loom work with wonderfully instructive and boldly colored illustrations. Many well-conceived projects are presented.  The section entitled “projects beyond tradition” are an amazing example utilizing dagger beads instead of delicas. The end results are mind boggling examples outside the norm.

Each project contains instructions, supply list, and finishing techniques. I agree as I read the last part of a project that one has to carefully pull and pray that each warped thread yields to our nimble fingers.

Chapter 10 on Troubleshooting soothes our wrinkled brow. Reminds me of the section in  the instruction book that came with my microwave oven. If you are having trouble “do the following,” and you might easily continue on your bead weaving adventure.


Razine
BEAD PLAY WITH TASSELS
Jamie Cloud Eakin
JCE Publishing

I love tassels. They are flirty, fluid and great conversation pieces. Many of my Kumihimo jewelry is completed with these swinging beaded tassels, which add an interesting appendage to the finished project.

Jamie Cloud Eakin introduces the beader to a myriad of these playful tassels in this book. We learn about techniques and designs of various projects. There are minimum tassels containing less than seven fringed strands followed by instructions and illustrations of the standard tassel. The Pom Pom tassel would be a great addition to any young girl’s backpack.  “What fun?”

The instructions and illustrations in this book are excellent. I can’t wait to enhance my beaded jewelry with this extra special beaded tassel touch.


Razine
CASUAL BEAD ELEGANCE
Eve Leder
Kalmbach Books

The author has written an easy to follow beading book. After the introduction and basics section, one is introduced to the various beading stitches. I have explored many videos in an attempt to master these stitches. With this book, one doesn’t have to stop or pause.  The ladder stitch, right angle weave, cubic right angle weaves, herring bone, square stitch, circular brick stitch, and peyote stitch are all introduced and incorporated in the beautifully photographed examples.

All materials and tools are listed along with some helpful learn, practice, and apply notations. We are invited into an exciting visual class room.  The student is rewarded with a lovely assortment of beaded jewelry and beading experiences. This book goes well beyond Beading 101.

Razine



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Greatest Dot to Dot     
Monkeying Around
David Kalvitis


I recently got hooked on doing dot to dot puzzles.  The big box of puzzle books arrived the other day from Monkeying Around.  Many challenges were initially presented.  First, the surface of my desk had to be cleared away of all the notes, catalogs, scraps of paper, and sundry items.  Second, the top desk drawer had to be rearranged so I could find my mechanical pencil, erasure and ruler.  Third, I had to decide where I would begin as Monkeying Around gave me a huge variety of dot-to-do-choices.

The clever travel size “The Greatest Newspaper” dot to dot puzzles consists of 8 volumes.  They vary from sets of numbers, connect dots, odd/even, no dots, stars, and the alphabet. There is fun for all ages as one completes a puzzle and progresses on to a slightly more difficult one in each book. Several of the puzzles also have a very small section which is already completed – sort of like a teaser.

The larger dot-to-dot books cover a wide range of captivating puzzles.  Some are very straight forward (almost like follow the leader,) and others are more complex.  There are single page puzzles, dot-to-dot adventures and multiple page puzzles to tackle such as the four page foldout consisting of over 2100 dots.  Some puzzles present visual clues to follow while others consist of arrows, points on a compass, and various coordinates to connect.

If one has any “how-to” questions, Monkeying Around has a wonderful puzzle solving blog on their web site at www.MonkeyingAround.com/
There are also free samples to download and print for starters.  There is also an app for the Little Book puzzles. 

All I can say is “wow!”  David Kalvitis is a master dot to dot puzzle creator.
Pick up your tools and may your amazing journey begin.

Razine Wenneker 


Saturday, October 1, 2016

FAST PEYOTE STITCH JEWELRY
JOSIE FABRE
KALMBACH BOOKS

I am a “woven” beading artisan.  The peyote stitch is utilized in most of my “Geometric Adornment” jewelry utilizing Miyuki delica 11 ought beads. This jewelry is donated to not for profit organizations and they retain 100% of the proceeds.

“Fast Peyote Stitch Jewelry” was most helpful in speeding up the weaving process. Some of my larger designs required many beads in their foundations and were therefore very time consuming. In essence, the number of pieces I could complete became limited.  This book has educated me in the utilization of two and three drop peyote stitch.  I now feel like the energizer bunny.

There are 25 + original projects to study and complete.  The instructions are well documented and each individual photograph is beautifully presented. In addition, one can find the essential materials, tools and finished measurements for each of the projects.  There is no guesswork.  One is presented with all the necessary corresponding word charts.

Thanks to the very accomplished author, Josie Fabre, I am sure all peyote stitch beaders will enjoy their adventures with beaded structures even more.


Razine Wenneker
FINDING YOUR MOTIVATION
PREMIUM COLORING BOOK COLLECTION
SHONA BROOKS
KALMBACH BOOKS


This is a delightful book.  All of the perforated pages display a wonderful assortment of pictures to be colored. One can utilize pencils, paint, crayons or any drawing tools to enhance them.  Many contain an interesting display of zentangle patterns with swirls and circles and both straight, curved and jagged lines.  The complexity of the drawings are amazing with the intersecting lines.


There are special inspiring slogans imprinted on each of the renderings. I can envision the book being a source of enjoyment for individuals of all ages. 
CRUISIN’ ROUTE 66
Premium Dot-to-Dot Collection
Adam Turner
Kalmbach Books

Do you remember the dot-to dot books you used to enjoy as a young child?  Well, this recent incarnation is the ultimate challenge for young and old alike.

The first one I completed, “Route 66” was both an exploration and a testament to my perseverance in finding the onslaught of consecutive numbers and drawing a straight line.  All of these were easily accomplished by using a mechanical pencil (fine line), magnifying glass and a small plastic ruler.

I love this book.  It brings back many happy memories.  Wonderful way to spend one’s time.  Doesn’t take the brain power demanded by crossword puzzles, nor the skills of a poker player. “Cruisin’ Route 66” enhanced the continuation of my number recognition ability which hopefully were perfected many years ago.


Razine Wenneker