Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: Break the Rules Bead Embroidery

Diane's Beaded Dolly from the gallery section of the book
This book is awesome! It has everything I love -- beads, Frozen Charlotte dolls, and obscure Beatles references! Just out by Diane Hyde, it contains nearly two dozen projects that combine all kinds of non-bead materials in jewelry pieces that rely on bead stitching and bead embroidery to tie everything together.

Shells, thimbles, miniature dollhouse accessories, spoons, pen nibs, corks, eyeglass lenses -- all are captured and tamed in Diane's deft, original designs for pendants, necklaces, art dolls, earrings, bracelets, and more. I especially like her instructions for working with parts of porcelain trinkets. You should see the hens and chicks cuff bracelet. Seriously!

The materials are clearly listed along the outer page margins. My slight complaint is that tools aren't listed separately from supplies, but they are mostly contained toward the bottom of each list. The book contains abundant photographs and full-color illustrations, with instructions listed step-by-step, and headers for separate parts of the project.

Smart, smart creations by a gifted designer. It's not easy to integrate beads with objects, but Diane's use of color and proportion make the pieces work. If you're not into found objects, this book would not be for you. If you're fairly new to general jewelry and finishing techniques (for example, resins, sealers, drills), you will learn a lot with this book. As far as beading level of difficulty, I would recommend this book for intermediate level beaders who can manage a needle and thread and perhaps know a couple of simple stitches already.

Break the Rules Bead Embroidery: 22 Jewelry Projects Featuring Innovative Materials, by Diane Hyde (Lark Crafts)

Grade A+ Break the Rules Bead Embroidery: 22 Jewelry Projects Featuring Innovative Materials

Diane's website is While you're there, check out her very classy beadpunk gallery