Thursday, October 26, 2017


“Bead Crochet Jewelry” is extremely well presented and informative.  The photographs are clear and the instructions leaves nothing to chance.  Beautiful examples and projects for all bead enthusiasts to (oh! and ah! about.)  Great resource list provided in case one does not have a stash of these materials in their goody box.  I definitely was hooked as I perused this book.  Great source of reference for anybody interested in creating beaded crochet jewelry.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Beaded Crochet Spiral Rope Jig

Have you ever tried to create a beaded spiral rope?  Well I have!  Found that there were many YouTube videos available, but they were of little help.  On some, either the beads were too small to visualize, stringing thread same color of beads, poor sounds, directions not always consistent from one video to the next.  Unfortunately, all too often the instructor’s fingers obstructed the critical step.

Then, Marion Larsen came to my rescue.  She introduced me to the Tubular Bead Crochet Kit with its wonderful jig, tools, and fabulous CD which I proceeded to insert into my computer.  There I was able to follow the well-defined instructions which included using the color coded beads to crochet a sample of the beaded rope.   In addition, kit contained sufficient beads to complete a 7 1/2” bracelet by transferring the crocheting knowledge obtained when creating the swatch.    A  C-Lon spool of thread, size 7 crochet hook and big eye needles, etc. were the additional tools in the kit.  Also, if one was interrupted during the crocheting adventure, there was a small clip to secure the pending stitch.    NOTHING WAS LEFT TO CHANCE!

The Kit with all supplies, thread, and a multitude of other materials can be purchased at  (Click to view kit with jig.)  The site is a beader’s delight.  Jig took me on a very rewarding creative journey.  If I had any questions, Marion was always very helpful.

Happy Tubular Bead Crocheting.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Scott Miller

Psionic Press

I have played Mahjong for several years.  Many of my fellow purists follow the rules set out by the NML.  Other groups make up their own games and rules and if you want to join, you can be their guest.

Scott Miller has written the definitive tome “Mahjong from A to Zhu.  In his book there are over 40 versions of Mahjong, which includes many “esoteric” games.  We are initially introduced to Core Rules, Tiles and Equipment, Wall information, and Game Play.  This is followed by an extensive list of information that he contributes to convey that the game is both a challenge and a fascinating compilation of rules, patterns, scoring, etc.

Whether one is a novice or an experienced player, this book tell its all.  Rack em up and ENJOY!

Razine Wenneker


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.


Jewel Loom Inspirations
Julianna C. Avelar

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.


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.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

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.


Thursday, December 8, 2016



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


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     


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