It doesn't seem that long ago when two hole seed beads like the super duos and tila beads became available.  There are also other two hole beads such as the Czechmate lentils and brick beads (sort of half tilas) as well as cylindrical Rulla beads.  Just one extra hole and the beads increased design possibilities by a huge margin!

Beaders who love using two hole beads as well as other shaped beads will enjoy Anna Elizabeth Draeger's new book Creative Designs Using Shaped Beads which I recently received for review. This 24 project book focuses on not just the usual favorites like triangles, bugles, daggers and cubes but also covers less commonly used beads such as spikes, gum drops, Rizo (rice shaped) and rose petals.

This well known designer really shows how different shaped beads can add structural interest to some very innovative designs. Some designs would also be quicker to accomplish when larger shaped beads are used.

The book is well presented and almost evenly organized by jewelry type : beaded beads(5), rings (5), earrings (5), bracelets (5) and necklaces (4). Helpful boxes indicating the type of beads used occur with each project. Almost half of the book are at the intermediate level with a few of those bordering on advanced.  This author is the first I have come across who divides the beginner skill level into beginner and motivated beginner.  A good thing because there are those who are beyond the absolute basics but not yet ready to try the intermediate category.

Some of my favorite designs from the book include the Delica Delights where the tubes are formed with just Delica Beads.  The beaded Infinity Rings are also downright clever! Indeed, the ring section is outstanding.  Other fantastic rings included the rizo ringa, spinner rings, pyramid ringa and triangulation ringa where the beaded components were made to stand up.

Almost all the designs are off-loom ones using stitches like herringbone, peyote, ladder and right angle weave.  The Basics section at the back does cover how to warp and finish the project that does need a loom.

This is a worthy addition to any keen beader's book collection. It's the kind of book which will perk up a jaded beader tired of using the same old beads and inspire bead architectural thoughts!


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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