Book Review: Beader’s Stash by Laura Levaas

The editors of Beadwork magazine culled through over 300 submissions from bead shops throughout North America to select the 39 projects presented in this collection that not only includes instructions, but also introduces the shop owners, their philosophies and reflections on beading. The majority of projects such as the “Stretchy Button Vines” are understandably suited to the novice beader as they are typically the group that comes to a shop in search of direction. The “Bohemian Breeze Lantern”, “Textured Links Necklace” and assorted lariats get beginners started on bead stringing basics while those looking to learn beaded wirework will find inspiration in the “Kiwi Serpentine” bracelet or “Spirals and Squiggles Earrings”.

A few projects like the “Loopy Ladders” which makes delightful use of dagger, cube and seed beads, will appeal to experienced bead workers as will an intertwining, interchangeable “Optical Illusion Cuff” design that requires familiarity with the 2-drop peyote or gourd stitch. The “Koi Lagoon Mosaic” serving tray takes beadwork in a different direction as the beads are cut in half with glass nippers before use. Pay attention to the assortment of useful tips scattered throughout as they carry the weight of experience in them and can save time, money and beads.

From buttons to bolos, napkin rings to martini sticks, whatever your bead interest or ability there are projects to instruct and inspire in this collection patterned after the popular 2001 release “Knitter’s Stash: Favorite Patterns from America’s Yarn Shops”. Included with each design is a comprehensive materials and tools list along with the technique and finished size in addition to line drawing illustrations clarifying thread or wire paths. Kudos to Interweave Press for adding the “Projects by Type” index located next to the main index, this is a nice time saver when you are searching for specific design type.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.