March is National Craft Month, and in the spirit of that, I was overjoyed to receive a copy of Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects (Lark Crafts, 2012, ISBN 9781600599224). The first word that popped into my head when I first flipped through it was 'color'. Fitzgerald's prolific use of bright shades of both primary colors and jewel colors, as well as beads in fun and unique shapes, make this not only a great beading craft book but also just an enjoyable read.
You may recognize the author: Diane Fitzgerald has written many popular beading and craft books such as Shaped Beadwork, The Beaded Garden, and Zulu Inspired Beadwork. She is a 2012 Designer of the Year for Beadwork magazine and is also a 2011 Spun Gold Award recipient from the Textile Center of Minnesota to honor a lifetime dedication in a textile field.
Diving right in to the many projects, my favorite ones include the fun May Baskets that can be turned into pendants or a pin (this uses the fun vertical Zulu stitch), the Tassel Necklace (yes, tassels! using a flat peyote stitch), and the Hard Candy Bracelet and all its variations. For those that enjoy knots, the Knotty Necklace is both delicate and versatile and can be made with a spiraling knot, braided knot, or be fashioned into a single extra long, continuous strand. Not interested in jewelry at the moment? Her fun Button Doll Ornament would make great gifts.
Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects Overview and Chapters
The Foreword was written by Jean Campbell and gives an overview on Fitzgerald's work, how she got started in beading, and backgrounds on both her work as a designer and a teacher. The book then starts right into the two dozen jewelry and beading projects. Each project has a supply list, and introduction on the piece and any stitches that will be involved, the overall finished dimensions, and step-by-step instructions. The variations for some of the projects are photographed separately so you can see what it looks like with different beads, different colors, or even different beading techniques.
Overall, a great evening read if you are looking to relax with a cup of tea. The photographer, Lynne Harty, I think really did a fantastic job capturing the colors of the work since that is what really drew me into the book in the first place. Or, if you are looking for inspiration for a jewelry beading project, Fitzgerald's placement of the beads in her many projects will give countless ideas.
- Lark Crafts has given readers a great bonus: Fortune Teller Beads Necklace from Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects.
- Dian Fitzgerald has created a printable calendar for her fans featuring her beautiful works each month. Note - this link will take you directly to the pdf file for the free calendar.
- Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects: Designs from Stringing to Beadweaving; By Diane Fitzgerald
- Lark Crafts, an Imprint of Sterling Publishing; 2012
- ISBN13: 9781600599224
- Hardcover, 128 pages
For further reading:
- Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects: Designs from Stringing to Beadweaving is available on Amazon.
- Sterling Pub publisher's details for the book
- Diane Fitzgerald's author page with her books, upcoming classes, and kits for sale.
Disclosure: This book was provided to the author by the publisher. Any opinions are the author's own.