Tuesday, 6 November 2012

OTTBS: Bead, Book & Bounce- Little Bead Boxes

Welcome to this month's Bead, Book and Bounce, a beading and book review project we are taking part in over on Operation Tackle That Bead Stash. This is the third review in the series and we are reviewing 'Little Bead Boxes' by Julia S. Pretl. (Check out the introductory post over on OTTBS if you want to know more about the BB&B project.)

Now when Clair announced this book as our project I did not own the book. Oooops! I may have bought it just so I can play too. It didn't help that several members of our facebook group showed us loads of gorgeous boxes they'd already made. They can be viewed here (you need to be a member of the group to view pictures, I think, but anyone can request to join us, so please do!) I had seen this book in the past but never bought it because I'm not sure what I would do with all the little boxes if I made them but I decided that the construction techniques would be invaluable to learn. I decided to try it out on the kindle. First time buying a crafting book on it. It was fab that I could read it the instant I purchased it but it was occasionally faffier to use than a print book would be and the layout didn't always make total sense.

I would not recommend this book for the beginner. You could do with being very familiar with peyote stitch as that's what they are all based on. You could also do with a stash of delicas. The instructions are fab, as are the diagrams, but it is fiddly. There are times when you know exactly what you are supposed to be doing but you're really not sure how you are going to achieve it. I have been beading for many years now, and beadweaving in particular for at least 16 years and I did not find my first box easy to make, in particular the hem. Beads breaking were a major problem. Its a high tension project and I ended up making unpicking and restarting the hem on the box 3 times and on the lid at least 5.  Julia does suggest a way to replace broken beads but in my opinion it never looks right and its best just to pull the whole thing back to your broken bead and start again. It really turned in to a labour of love I'm not going to let this &^$£* thing beat me!
But I got there! Eventually...
I was hoping to get a couple of them done for this review but I only just finished my first one this morning so no time to get another out before this review needed to be published. I decided on the 'Star' box. Partly because I loved the design and partly because Julia says that the pentagons lie the flattest. I decided I didn't want feet. Personally, I'm not convinced on the look of them. I might change my mind though. All delicas for this box were from the lovely Rachel of RB Beads.

To make it, especially as I mostly read the pattern from my kindle, I tended to use the word maps (all box designs are given in word map and diagram form). Sometimes, I did use the kindle reading app on my laptop though when I needed to see the images in colour. One major tip though, actually sit down and read the book before jumping in with both feet. A large proportion of the book talks about the general box construction. The 'patterns' don't really make sense unless you understand how the boxes are put together. I read these parts of the book several times to get my head around them before even selecting my beads and which box to make. The patterns then made much more sense. Its probably the first book in many years that I've actually read the technique bit before actually starting!
So will I make more? Probably, yes, when the memory of the frustration of breaking beads on the hem fades! It does feel great to actually have finished it, especially given the pain it was at time....literally....fiddly and high tension = many stabbings of Gemma with needle. Oh and make sure you have a few needles to spare. I broke 3 doing this one box alone (I used size 13 short needles.) I would recommend short needles and a heavily used wiggly one is VERY handy for the hems!
Oh and I suppose I better make more seen as though my finger has just slipped on Julia's website, ooops. Well she is having a sale today and 'Blue Bloom' and 'Olive' are soooooo pretty. ;o) 
Check out other members boxes and reviews here!


Peapod Beads said...

I love your 'footless' version- adding the feet was another rather tricky step, although I was mine in the end. I might do another couple as presents and omit the feet (especially as finding suitable foot beads is not too easy in my stash, plenty of little beads not much in the 6mm type size)

Beads By Becs said...

True gorgeousness! Your colours are phenomenal. I love these designs, and I can't wait to see the others that you make. x

Cat said...

Your box turned out wonderful! I like it without the feet too.

Jenny Totterdell said...

Lovely box love your colours

Clair said...

Gemma, I absolutely love reading your reviews. You always manage to convey the wonderful and the troublesome aspects of each book so well.

I am so impressed with your perseverance. You have ended up with a exceedingly beautiful, beaded box and I really do hope that there will be more in your future! xxx

Anonymous said...

A wonderful review and I love your box so much! The colours are gorgeous and it's so neat. I like how it looks without the feet too : )

Sarah said...

Great review Gemma and I love the colours you used! Really wishing I'd got off my bum & joined in now!

Gemma said...

Thanks ladies! Blushing here :o) xxx

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