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Beaded Berry Collection
by Lauren Harpster and Suzanne Steffenson
Review by Roberta Hakala
I purchased this beautiful pattern in early October. Did I say pattern? I mean patterns. This full color, 45 page pattern booklet includes detailed instructions for French beaded raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and a Victorian beaded strawberry as well as leaves, sepals and blossoms to go with them. They can be combined to create the most beautiful and realistic creations.
The blueberry pattern couldn't be any easier, but I think my first project will be a strawberry plant 'planted' in a tea cup.
Instructions are straight forward, however, basic knowledge of French Beaded Flower methods is required. So, if you are a beginner, check out the free tutorials on Lauren's website for the basics.
Face it, we all have more jewelry creations than we can ever wear, am I right? Why not find an alternate use for all your gorgeous seed beads (or use as an excuse to purchase more) and add a new skill set to your repertoire? Come to think of it, you could use these beauties as a lovely focal for a piece of jewelry. I highly recommend you add this pattern booklet to your library.
Thank you Suzanne and Lauren for this wonderful contribution to our beading world. Your hard work and dedication shine through!
Visit Lauren's website to purchase this pattern:
The Traveller - New Kumihimo Stand
Reviewed by Becky Pancake
Our own Maggie Thompson has done it again! “The Traveller” is her new kumihimo stand and it allows you to take your kumihimo projects anywhere. The stand leaves your hands free to concentrate on moving the cords instead of holding on to the disc. There are four velcro circles on the top, which keep your disc secured in place. Note: By keeping the disc in place, I found that I needed to adjust my cords much less often, and this helped me to have better tension in my kumihimo pieces.
As with all things Maggie, the stand is beautifully designed for its purpose. At just 7 ½ inches tall with a 5 inch square base, its compact size is perfect. The stand breaks down for transport, fitting into a quart-size ziplock bag. The bottom of the base is foam covered to protect the work surface. There is a 5 inch tape measure on one side of the base to assist you in measuring cords. The price of under $20.00 makes it affordable. This is the best tool I’ve added to my toolbox this year!
If you are interested in doing kumihimo, I highly recommend purchasing this outstanding product. Go to Maggie's Etsy shop where the stand will be available.
Wood Bead Spinners by Jerry Ritter
Reviewed by Suzanne Steffenson
I wanted to let you know about the bead spinners being designed and hand made by Jerry Ritter. If you use a bead spinner, you know how quickly and easily you can string beads on a wire or thread with this tool, and how easy it is to see which beads are imperfect before you incorporate them in your project. For the past several years I’ve looked for a smaller size spinner for small amounts of beads and for smaller beads like 15/0s and 16/0s. Most of what is being imported is either plastic, which doesn’t work well, or larger wooden beech spinners, all of which are too large and heavy – even the mini model. I asked Jerry to design smaller spinners and they are a complete revelation. The small bowl spins above the base so they are very responsive. The different woods he uses are beautiful, but not fragile. Jerry says each one spinner is different, but there are design variations. One design is cupped a little on top so that beads don’t go off into space if the wire hits them at a bad angle. The spinners are reasonably priced – I purchased three. Jerry is also selling the base separately from the bowls so you can buy multiple bowls and one base. The base is great also – a sturdy design that works so well with the easy-glide bowls. Because these spinners are hand turned and finished, there are no rough spots in the bowl, much like the imports. Interested? Go to JAR Crafts on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/JarCrafts/