Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Rachel Nelson-Smith's Bead Riffs - and a Giveaway!

Okay, so first off, I just want to say: this book is a masterpiece. Being a musician myself, I totally related to how Rachel drew comparisons between music (in her case, jazz) and the art and craft of beadweaving. I loved the way she used names from her favorite jazz standards as names for her beaded creations. I loved the way she used Swarovski crystals - instead of over-the-top bling (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just something I'm not personally fond of) she uses them as accents, undertones to the rich colors of seed beads that take center stage.

The materials that Rachel chooses for these projects are relatively easy to find, too. For most of the projects, you probably have the necessary seed beads and findings already in your stash. (The only things I really need to purchase are the rose montees and the chaton montees.) Seed beads in various colors? Check. Loads of Swarovski bicones? Check. Loads of Swarovski Rivolis? Double check. I'm pretty much ready to roll!

The book itself is visually striking. Lark does such an amazing job of layouts and photographs and formatting, you will want to read this book over and over.

And speaking of reading this book over and over...

After the first look-through, I felt this desire to make every single project in it. And I've been watching the movie "Julie/Julia" a lot lately. So why not, I thought, bead my way through every project in this book and blog about it? Rachel is such a pioneer in creative beadweaving that it would be an amazing learning experience to actually make all 23 projects in this book. I realized what a truly brilliant artist Rachel was while I was working my way through a series of kits for the projects in her first book, Seed Bead Fusion. If I worked my way through every project in this book, I would learn a heck of a lot.

So I'm going to do it. The first thing that I did was to set up a database that had a list of all the materials needed for each project and sources for them. (And if anyone has a good source for those rose montees and chaton montees, please share!)

Rondo Neckpiece from Rachel Nelson-Smith's Bead Riffs. If anyone has a good online source for those sparkly rose montees, PLEASE share it with me!

I'm giving myself a year to complete all the projects, which I think should be plenty of time, considering everything else that needs to get done on a daily basis around here. That breaks down to two projects per month, approximately. For some of the more intricate projects, I'll probably have to multi-task and work on more than one project at a time. We'll see how that works out!

At any rate, in my haste to get my copy of Rachel's new book, I wound up with two copies of Seed Bead Riffs. Guess what that means? I'm giving one of them away! Here ya go: leave a comment on this post, along with an email where I can contact you. Tell me what you love the most about beads and beadweaving, and on Monday, September 12, I'll randomly pick a winner. If you want more than once chance to win, spread the love: share this link on Facebook, Twitter or your own blog and come back and leave a comment telling me where you shared it with the link.

Have you ever enjoyed a good beading challenge? What kind of project was it? How did you do?


Beadwoman3 said...

I would LOVE to win a copy of this book! I love everything about seed beads, in particular that they help me relax (and with kids, relaxation is a must!). Cant wait to read about your experiences trying out the projects!


kmemho said...

I have a lot of bead books - but I can't seem to get enough of the seed bead ones. And like Beadwoman ... they help me relax. Looks like a great book!

kmemho said...

whoops - forgot to leave my email addr. kristen{dot}ho{at}gmail{dot}com

Chris Maj said...

That's such a great idea to work through a book like that! Can't wait to hear about all the adventures. I just couldn't live without seed beads now. They really are like seeds...every tiny bead holds within it the potential to become a part of a work of art. I would love this book!!
Chris chrismaj@triad.rr.com

NEDbeads said...

Beads beads beads - of course I want a copy!! This looks fantastic, and your idea of beading it from cover to cover and blogging about it is AWESOME, I can't wait to see!!!! (And read...)

The thing I love most about beads and beading can be completely summed up with a quote from Valerie Hector: "...One of the most exciting things about beadwork is that it's infinite - we will never be able to learn as much as there is to know about the past of this medium, not to mention its present. And we will never be able to make all the pieces we;d like to make, learn all the techniques there are to know, or obtain all the beads we'd like to have." Oh YEAH.

NEDbeads said...

...and shared your link on FB. :)
(email - nedale67@aol.com)

Amy said...

This would be a dreamy win! And this is just one more thing I love about beads and beadweaving - just when I think I don't need any more bead books - another book I want comes along! :) I'll surely post another comment when I blog about this great giveaway!

3 Peeps Designs said...

I would love to win this book. Seed beads are my passion and there's just never enough time to work with them. I loved Rachel Nelson-Smith's last book and I bet this one is even better.


Eva Maria Keiser said...

Super book review about a most creative artisan...
-Eva Maria

Beads By Becs said...

I was looking at this book on Amazon the other day... and added it to my wish list! Looks beautiful!
I've used seed bead work in the past as a distraction, a form of meditation, a way to make me happy, and of course, a way to make other happy with the jewellery I make to give as gifts.
Yours sounds like an interesting and exciting challenge - I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out!

lleilani said...

I would love to win this book - it's on my amazon wish list!

I haven't tried a knead challenge yet, but follow the blogs of people that do, and I think I may...once I get a Bolger set up.

Thanks for the contest!


Karen Firnberg said...

I have the book but would also love to know a good source for the rose montees and chaton montees. Please share when you find some sources.


VanishingPearl said...

I too would like a copy of this book. I haven't bought in any so long that I've almost completely forgotten the excitement of a new beading book! Like Nancy, I will share one of my favorite quotes.

"People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes."
-Neil Gaiman

Beading full time is my dream job. There is a certain richness to creating that no other occupation can come close to achieving.

VanishingPearl said...

Also shared on my Facebook. :-)

Kristen said...

You so know I want this one! I totally did not know you had a blog but I do now!!!! Thanks for the opportunity!

Anonymous said...

Thank you I would LOVE this book!!!

Anonymous said...

I would love this book! Thank you!

Pam said...


Looks like a great book. I KNOW lucky girl, Kristen will win - lol

Amy B. said...

OOH! Pick me, Pick me !

I'll be your Julia sidekick ;)
We can share notes.

I <3 Rachel's work. Just love it!

Amy B. said...

And I FB'd for ya !


Just Beady Jules said...

Jennifer, I knew there was a reason I hadn't ordered Rachel's book yet, what a great way to have a chance to receive it before I do. Thanks for your generousity. I love bead challenges, I finally had the chance to finish one for the Texas Beaders Bead Retreat even though it was last year's challenge LOLOL!! Yea!! Thanks Again. Thanks Amy for sharing!

Julie Vasquez

My Life Under the Bus said...

This looks absolutely delicious....inan eye candy sort of way *crosses fingers*

My Life Under the Bus said...

Shared on FB!
(My Life Under the Bus)

Marianna said...

Gorgeous cover I can only imagine all there is to drool over inside!

Marianna said...

shared on FB!

Marianna said...

tweeted about it!

Cathey said...

Love RNS's beadwork. I have her other book and can't wait to get this one. That's a great idea you have to work through the book. My problem is I get too easily distracted...oh, look, sparkley...now, what was I saying?
Oh well, I'd love to win the book. Thanks.
Cathey Rimmer

Cathey said...

And I posted it on FB.

Beth said...

Hi Jennifer!! Okay, I'm gonna throw my hand up too and holler, "Pick me, pick me!!" I am not mainly a beader (as you know), but have loved to use them in conjunction with other media (mainly embroidery, but also in weaving and have some upcoming ideas to cross them into ceramics, too.)

I have wanted to learn to truly beadweave --- it has been a recurring desire this year, especially since I am becoming less mobile --- but I tend to learn best from either watching another person or from a book. Online is not the best way for me.

But, horrors! The one thing I don't have is any books on the subject. So.... here is my comment (email is beth at wingedblue dot com), plus I have posted about it on FB (https://www.facebook.com/ajax/sharer/?s=99&appid=2309869772&p%5B0%5D=1126983358&p%5B1%5D=191977607537580) WingedBlue on FB (https://www.facebook.com/pages/WingedBlue-Arts/209468039091193), Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/PotterBeth), and my blog (http://wingedblue.blogspot.com/2011/09/love-beading.html).

Here's hoping that random chance rolls me way, but I know whoever gets the book will be thrilled! :-D

gaga4graphix said...

Yes, please put my beret in the ring to win Rachel's new book! After some surgery last year I told my daughter she would know I was better when I started beading again...and I have been back to beading for a while now, so it's time to be inspired by Rachel. Thank you for the opportunity to have a chance to win her book.

Happy Trails,

Tanya said...

I would like to participate, I love beading, I just started about a year ago and have not stopped ever since, I search the internet every day for new ideas and there are so many people making exquisite pieces!! I would like to get better everyday and am sure that this book would help. I have a full time job and 3 kids, so people ask me how I get the time to bead, well, I do not know myself, but I have to do something every day!! Thanks for the opportunity, good luck to everyone!!! tperezchavez@hotmail.com

Wildcard said...

I love bead books, this one looks great. You can use seed beads for almost any project.

Wildcard said...

I just tweeted contest on Twitter.

cw said...

Good beading challenge??? Yes, I am in the midst of one right now from Seed Bead Fusion. I am working on O. Mosaic Cuff. I love a good challenge! I am a Gemini and to prove it, I have a few projects going at the same time. I would love to own her new book Bead Riffs. Pick me! =)

Kim said...

I love beading and making pieces that catch the eye. I am new to weaving but can't wait to be able to do it with my eyes closed. I have a lot of ideas in my head so the quicker I learn weaving, the quicker I can make the pieces that are racing through my mind! I hope I win the book so I can get started. My email address is kimaklew@yahoo.com.

Janice said...

I have the first book and would be thrilled to have her second -- it looks even better. mostitcher@yahoo.com

Karen said...

I NEED another bead book! More inspiration! Thanks

Tee said...

Being a lover of Jazz Music and Beading, I believe the combination of the 2 in this book will inspire me to be more creative.