Monday, January 11, 2016

Jean revisits a classic beadweaving book by Melinda Barta, Mastering Peyote Stitch

Once you decide you want to learn beadweaving, one of the best stitches to begin with is peyote.
Melinda Barta has provided the reader with the basics and so much more, in Mastering Peyote Stitch, 15 Inspiring Projects. This lovely book incorporates several other stitches, edgings and embellishments to delight us.Some superstar beadweavers offer projects as well: Jean Campbell, Lisa Kan, Jean Power, Sherry Serafini and more design some amazing projects based on the peyote stitch within this book. When you note that there are 12 more variations on the 15 projects, you see what a terrific value this book is.
Great, understandable illustrations and gorgeous photos will get the reader's inspiration going right away. As Melinda says at the beginning of her introduction, "The next time you're at a bead show or class, ask the beaders around you about their favorite technique and they'll probably tell you peyote stitch is their hands-down favorite". So off we go, into the wonderful world of peyote stitch. Melinda finishes her introduction by encouraging the reader to "have fun". That is the intent of this book, and it is what it delivers. Fun, combined with some really amazingly beautiful beadweaving!
After the excellent basics chapter, you begin with flat peyote. The author's own covergirl necklace, "Walkin' After Midnight" makes its appearance here, replete with stunning pearls and beaded leaves, inspired, as the author says, "by the silvery hues of leaves in moonlight." This necklace is extremely evocative. Any reader will love to make it. The directions for it are extremely thorough and understandable, as they continue to be for each project in the book.
Another project I loved was Sherry Serafini's "Marcella Cuff", which is outstanding, with tons of rich colors and textures.The beading here employs tubular peyote as well as a few other types of stitches and the results are a total wow. Yellows, purples. turquoise blues and gold all combine artfully in this amazing cuff.
I particularly liked the "peyote extras" section, because it focuses on the next level of peyote beading by teaching freeform and sculptural stitches. After you learn this, you see how well those stitches match other types of beadweaving stitches. It is very fascinating and informative. The projects following, which incorporate what the reader has learned, are extremely fun and pretty. Jean Campbell's "Daisy Girl" is a freeform peyote delight; a flower embellishing strands of pearls. Very feminine and flirty.
Another amazing project is Jean Power's "Urban Skyline".The triangular shaped beads stack like pyramids on a silver neckwire, looking like a futuristic skyline in moody grays, greens and smokey tones. This is one you will definitely want to make!
Every project in this book is worth your while. Each one employs peyote, as you might expect, however don't be surprised to see a number of other stitches incorporated as well, as I mentioned before. It only adds even more excitement to this wonderful beadweaving book, Mastering Peyote Stitch, 15 Inspiring Projects by Melinda Barta, which you are bound to learn masses of new tips and tricks from for your own designs, and also bound to treasure.

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