by Susan Beal

The Taunton Press, $19.95, 220 pages

Jewelry makers are always looking for new ideas and inspiration for their work. Susan Beal has gathered together 150 designs for earrings, necklaces, bracelets, embellishments and more in her book Bead Simple. Unlike other beading guides, the designs presented in Beal’s book can be completely customized with the crafter’s choice of beads and stringing materials. Each pattern can be altered according to ability level, available materials and unique taste. Bead Simple includes instructions on basic techniques, tools, terminology and bead types. The 200 full color photos are gorgeous. Take pictures of your own bead collection to capture the colors and variety. While making your masterpieces, consult the color wheel to find flattering combinations.

The book showcases 50 projects that then have two additional variations (for a total of 150 designs). Each project has icons that show difficulty, cost, materials and time commitment and include special design tips that top jewelry crafters use! Crafters will love the Fiery Heart Necklace and the Triple-Tiered Filigree Necklace. Give old brooches a new twist with the Pink Fizz Sparkle Cocktail Brooch. The Caribbean Earrings and Vintage Button Bracelet will compliment any wardrobe. Let your own sense of style shine!

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin