Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beady Books!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I'd like to start off with a reminder that there are only a few days left to sign up for Sequintastic September! If you're still deciding, check out my Sequinspiration post and my list of Sequin Sources, which I've expanded since last Monday. There, you'll find more temptation than one person can resist. In a good way.

I'd also like to thank everyone who's signed up. Your participation and enthusiasm mean so much to me! I wish I could send a herd of cuddly puppies to snuggle each and every one of you, because that's how happy I am.

And now...

Beady Books!

Thanks to my awesome library and the generosity of friends, I've gotten my sparkly little fingers on some awesome books lately. Here are some of my favorites:

Sensational Bead Embroidery

(Sherry Serafini)

I was so, so excited to see that my library had a copy of this book! As you know, I'm a huge fan of Sherry as an artist and as a person. I checked this book out, renewed it twice, and then ended up buying my own copy -- which is high praise, coming from someone who's notoriously picky about books.

This book is worth reading for the eye candy, alone. The pieces are absolutely stunning, and yes, sequins make a few appearances. It's also worth reading for the techniques and for the actual-sized design templates she shares.

That said, I'd say this is more of an intermediate/advanced book. Before you tackle any of the projects, check out my Bead Embroidery Resources post to make sure you have the basics down.

Bead and Sequin Embroidery Stitches

(Stanley Levy)

I've mentioned this book before. This was another one I checked out of the library and kept forever. I'm happy to announce that I finally have my own copy to read and snuggle and drool over!

I love this book because Stanley is very thorough in describing his techniques, including the way he picks up beads. His section on design transfer is especially useful, and he has some ideas I'd never considered before. He also has a wonderful selection of patterns and a gallery section featuring student work.

And... it's a book about sequins. Need I say more?

Beading on Fabric

(Larkin Van Horn)

Here's another one I checked out of the library. A copy may very soon find its way into my private collection.

If you're looking to add beads to your fabric art, then this is the book for you. It's very, very thorough, there's plenty of eye candy, and there are a few techniques I haven't found in other books -- and I've read a lot of them by now! I also love that it's more technique than project-based.

I'd recommend this more for fabric art like wall hangings and garments than jewelry, although Larkin does some fantastic jewelry work. One of her pieces in Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry made my jaw drop.

Freeform Peyote Beading

(Karen Williams)

I'd wanted this book for months and months, and Karen gave me one as a gift (!!!). I plan to post a more detailed review here and on Amazon, where it's for sale, so I'll just say that I love it, it's taught me so much, and Karen is a talented book designer and writer.

Seriously, you want this book. Even if you already know how to do freeform.

Handcrafted Wire Findings

(Denise Peck, Jane Dickerson)

I'm a DIY kind of girl. I figure, why buy clasps, earring wires and connectors when I can just buy lots of wire? It's been awhile since I've worked with wire or made findings, and this book inspired me to go right down to my basement and start playing again.

Even if you work mostly with seed beads, like I do, you'll enjoy this book. It's a great introduction to working with metal, and there's nothing like a gorgeous handmade clasp to really make a design stand out.

Handheld Pies

(Sarah Billingsley)

If you want to get technical, this isn't a book about jewelry or beading. But it is a book about tiny pies, and at the moment, it's at the tippity top of my Want List. I've looked through it twice, and each time, I've squealed and bounced up and down and declared that I will become a tiny pie expert.

There are three crust recipes in this book, and at least three different types of pies -- including one that's called freeform! There are sweet pies, and there are savory pies. And did I mention it's about little pies?

Little pies. Little Pies.

And that's what I've been reading. I hope you'll consider adopting these books into your home, or at the very least, looking for them at your local library. Now, it's your turn: What have you been reading?

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a handheld pie!

Oops. I mean, have a sequintastic day.

PS: We have another participant, Toltec Jewelry, who has blogged about Sequintastic September!


  1. I not sure if I'm glad I read this post or not...LOL!
    Great information and informative book reviews.
    But, I just had to hurry off and buy the "Freeform Peyote Beading " book .
    Not sure if I'll ever master that art form,but a girl can dream ....
    m.e. :)

    1. Oh, I'm so glad you bought it!

      I think you'll do just fine at freeform. Most beadweaving intimidates me, but freeform is so much fun! And much easier, in some ways, than trying to follow a pattern.

  2. I am still pondering how I can incorporate sequins into a piece for the end of September, forget the fancy beading reading for me. But as always, you have great sources for everything to do with your beloved sequins. xox

    1. One thing I like to do is sew them to canvas paintings. I've done that with beads, too. And if you don't like sewing, gluing will do the trick!

  3. Hi Sarah,
    I own Sherry's and Karen's books and they are great. Thank you for sharing the others I will have to check them out. Also thank you for the reminder to your challenge I really need to get craking on that one.

    1. I'm so glad you like Sherry and Karen's books! :)

  4. You know my thoughts about my current library. BLEH. Of course, they don't have the Levy or Van Horn books. BOO!!!!

    I'm getting ready to start a book on organizing your quilting stash. I don't remember the exact title, but I think it was something like "Organizing Your Quilting Stash." :P Although, my son noticed I was reading it yesterday and promptly took the book from my hands and brought me a comic book to read instead, so maybe I'll be catching up on my graphic novels this weekend? :)

    1. I'll send you the instructions for my sequin embroidery class proposals. And if you have any questions, we can chat on Skype. :)

      Your son has great taste in books!

  5. Oh, I love bead books! And pie. With beads. And ice cream. Always ice cream. :)

    1. So do I -- I was really excited to read your review of Heidi's new book!

      Pie is always better with ice cream, isn't it? So are most things, when I think about it. ;)

  6. Thanks Sarah, you always have such great information and resources to turn to. Hmmm I think I want to make tiny pies too!

    1. You're welcome! :)

      I think you'll really enjoy the tiny pie book. I bought it this week, and just from reading the first few pages I've learned a lot.

  7. Sarah, thanks for including my book in this list! I'm so glad you like it!

    I have Larkin's Beading on Fabric and Heartily recommend it. Will have to check out several of the other books, including the one on mini-pies my husban's the pie maker in the family, I'll have to come up with a clever way to leave it in his path! ;-)

    1. You're welcome! Thank you again for the gift. :)

      You have a pie maker in the family! How awesome. Mr. Sequin is the bread maker in the family, and also the pizza maker, so we've decided that pies will be my "thing."


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