I was so excited when this book finally arrived. Margot's work is fun, imaginative and inspires me to try and think more creatively about what I'm doing. I've done a few things in the last year that were well outside my comfort zone as a result of following her blog and admiring her work for Beadalon and Swarovski. In fact, when she made a kind comment about something I made with a Rings & Things product earlier this year (choker forms), I could hardly believe it! It helped me gain even more confidence about pushing back the edges of my creative envelope.
Well, enough about me - what about Beyond the Bead?
Basic facts: 8 1/2 by 11" full glossy color book with tons of great photographs, which is what I expect in a how to book, but the artful way the pages are composed makes each page a pleasure to the eyes. 128 numbered pages - there are a few extra pages as well that deserve attention - the acknowledgment and bio pages are not to be skipped, Margot's writing style is a joy to read.
The book starts off with sections on Building Blocks, Tools, and Techniques. Even though I'm getting fairly practiced and feel confident about most techniques, I always check these sections out - you never know when you'll pick up a new tip or get a refresher that improves your skill.
Then each of the next sections has a lovely introduction before going into the projects which are thoroughly and artfully described and illustrated. There are 26 in all. As I read I realize that almost anything you might find lying around the house could become a unique and eye-catching piece of jewelry.
Most of the projects require a bit of specialized equipment or a few specialized products that crafty people probably already have, but even if your work room only has beads and wire, you will be anxious to get out to the crafts store (or go online) and grab some new items. Rest assured, you'll use them again and again once you're hooked.
Margot is all about mixing it up - using many different media to create interest and depth. There's glitter and grunge, wire and washers (not the laundromat kind), and lots of fun with glue.
One of my favorite projects in the book is right at the front - the Vogue Slide necklace. Aside from a memory glass slide and frame you probably have all the rest of the materials on hand. The look of the piece is all about what image you choose and everything else can be adapted from there.
The other piece from this section, the next project on using embossing powder on glass, I liked was the gallery piece "Optically Stained" - Margot listed that piece on Etsy and I snapped it up the moment I read about it! It's gorgeous and gets many, many compliments when worn.
There's another project section I want to try soon, it's the "Scrapped - Working with Scrapbooking Supplies" - especially the faux enameled jewelry using chipboard shapes. You can go really big with these and they're so lightweight it won't matter. That's important to me as heavy necklaces give me horrible neck aches and sometimes even headaches.
The one piece that seemed the most complicated was the glass etching - lots of specialized materials to buy and some soldering. Even so, I can't see the tools and materials going to waste, I'm sure I'd have other ideas once I had the products.
This book was well worth the wait - but I recommend you get it right away! Here's a link (below) even - if you buy it here your purchase will add a penny or two to my piggy bank. If you'd rather the pennies go in Margot's bank - here's the link to her blog and she's got her affiliate link to the book in the sidebar.
Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed the review (enough to buy Margot's book, even!)
I'm hoping I'll have the energy to do a Friday Pick - if not, I promise to try and share something interesting.