Being a self-taught bead artist has its benefits.  For one thing, there is no teacher to say what you can or cannot do.  That's one reason why Laura McCabe can come up with such innovative designs. Some of her unique pieces look free form and complex.  The secret to her approach is the layering of beaded embellishments to provide textures.

Her latest masterclass book which I received for review, Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving
teaches beaders how to add that kind of detail to make designs truly their own. 

The beginning of the book covers the basic stitches - peyote including tubular,spiral rope, lacy (netting) and ndebele (herringbone stitches) . She also has good instructions on how to bead a toggle closure.

However,  the heart of the book has to be her chapter which features a comprehensive guide to embellishments.  Laura covers how to make bead fringes, clusters, fronds, leaves and different floral types.

It's so clear she is inspired by nature.  The section on sea form embellishments is delightful as she makes such embellishments like tentacle mandalas. One of the 18 projects includes a lovely dagger bead bracelet inspired by real life nudibranchs or sea slugs - one of the ocean's most beautiful creatures.

Nudibranch Bracelet

Her color combinations are also distinctive as shown in her Eye Flower Pendant Necklace. The  beaded bezel cabochon and the surrounding "eye lashes" does resemble an eye!

There are some free tutorials which will enable you to preview what her book and beading style would be like.

One of my favorite projects is her eclectic Star Flower Earrings. These are flowers that could only come from Laura's creative mind! These motifs can also be seen in the above necklace.

Star Flower Earrings
The complexity she builds into her designs can be seen with her Herringbone Cluster earrings.

Her Well-Kept Secret pendant necklace also has Laura's touch - the pendant is an embellished beaded vessel "to hold your secret treasures."

Well Kept Secret Necklace
The book is a visual delight filled with many inspirational pieces besides the project ones.  They all show Laura's talent for coming up with original and funky designs and for teaching beaders how to be adventurous with their bead work. 


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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