Some years ago, I reviewed the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Stitching Beaded Jewelry.  It still is a book I would recommend to total novices. But what if you are not just started out but wanting to improve your basic beading skills a bit more....and have some fun while doing so.  This book might just do the trick.

I recently received Carol Huber Cypher's Mastering Beadwork which aims to be a comprehensive guide. It is an Interweave/F+W publication. There are digital as well as hard copies of the book.  It's not often a beading publication includes a spiral bound version.  It's particularly helpful to have this thick 240 page book be laid open in this way.

The book is packed with 63 projects and is nearly comprehensive.  The St Petersburg stitch, for example, did not appear in this book.  But many of the most popular basic stitches are included.

The projects were for bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings as well as non- jewelry items like the beaded card case and a net fringed scarf (no shown). Toggle closures and the ever popular beaded beads are also covered.  The eyeglass leash was also noteworthy because the author teaches an alternative to the ladder stitch foundation.


The inspirational designs are often colorful, fun to make without having to invest a huge amount of time.  It's clear the designer has experience in teaching because she offers tips, variations and alternative suggestions for all the techniques covered.

Double Spiral Roll-on Bangle

Packing so many projects in this book reduced the number of step of step pictures it could hold. For most part, reading the text sufficed although a rank beginner might be put off with some of the more complicated projects.  One project I thought could definitely do with more pictures was the bead crochet one. It is tricky to get the first round and correct hooking done so the beads lie correctly.

I was also surprised to see soldering mentioned but not thoroughly covered in this book.  The author solders jump rings to close them.  I suspect most beaders will not be keen on any hot technique so purchase closed jump rings instead!

Joy Squared Cuff (Peyote)
Starry Night Card Case
Flaming Cocktail Ring ( Triangle Weave)

Marigold Fan Earrings (Brick Stitch)

Saffron and Crimson Necklace (South African Scallop)
All in all, this is a useful stitch reference guide especially for those who need a refresher from time to time. It benefits most those who have already started along the beading path although determined novices will also be inspired. With so many projects, this book is the best value for the price I've seen in a long while.

If you'd like to win a copy of Mastering Beadwork please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

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This giveaway is international. 
If the winner has a non-post box US address, the prize will be a physical book.  Otherwise it will be an eBook.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, January 4 , 2016 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

I receive books and products for review.  I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links.   The opinions expressed are solely my own.  They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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