Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book review: Beaded lace snowflake ornaments by Sandra D.Halpenny

Title: Beaded lace snowflake ornaments 
Author: Sandra D. Halpenny 
Rating: 9/10 
Number of pages: 88 
Subject: Beaded snowflakes 
Level: intermediate 
Main techniques: Circular netting 

Beaded lace snowflake ornaments is a  very detailed and specific book. It mainly is a pattern paperback, with a small introduction on materials and techniques (7 pages), followed by 14 beautiful snowflakes (see more snowflake ideas here).

Each project is clearly illustrated with extremely precise drawings. They are so intuitive that I almost didn’t read the written instructions while stitching. Sandra D. Halpenny did an amazing job in making every step crystal clear and in creating an incredible variety on such a narrow topic.

The only downside of the book is represented by pictures of the finished items, which are not very good quality. Furthermore, there are not many  tips on how to use the creations or change effects by using different bead sizes and finishes (but you can find some in the next paragraphs :-) ). However, as I said earlier, this is mainly a pattern book and it does an excellent job at fulfilling this purpose.

I must point out that the text can be quite pricey, if you don’t find it on sale. If you are interested in few patterns, though,  you can purchase them individually on the author’s website here and then create a large amount of different looks by changing color, size and finishes of beads.

In the pictures below, you can see some examples: on the top left, snowflake #2 was made with size 11/0 Ornela Czech transparent and silver-lined beads. On the top right I used slightly larger silver lined and white beads with a pearl finish, together with Swarovski crystals and Czech firepolished 4mm beads to bring to life snowflake #4. On the bottom left, with the same beads (except for the crystals), I made snowflakes #7, while the last one (snowflake #12) was created with the same seed beads of the first, adding some 4mm firepolished beads.

Once you finish, you can use the snowflakes to make cute holiday and winter decorations: from Christmas tree ornaments, to gift cards and boxes embellishments; from festive earrings to icy wreaths…let your creativity fly!

…and have a wonderful day! 

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