Saturday, 23 June 2012

Is it possible... have too many books on a subject? I've spent the beginning of this weekend seeding my latest book purchace (Goldwork by Hazel Everett and A-Z of Stumpwork). Both include a few bead embroideries/embellishments (or designs that would look good with a touch of beadwork), which made me think of starting a new bead embroidery project. And then, at the end of the A-Z book there was a page with other books from the series. Which included A-Z of Bead Embroidery. "That might be an interesting book. I should add it to my wishlist just in case or at least check it out."

Now, do I need another bead embroidery book? I have three. Three very different ones: The Art of Bead Embroidery by Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini, Designs for Bead Embroidery by Kenneth King and Bead Embroidery: The Complete Guide by Jane Davis. (I also have the free download of Robin Atkins' One Bead at a Time, but I haven't read it all yet...) Isn't that enough? Of cause not!

First of all, many book have different profiles, styles and ideas. My books span over bead embroidery jewellery (Kummli and Serafini), bead embellished clothes and home décor (King) and beaded "traditional" embroidery stitches (Davis). Bead embroidery is such a wide subject that even three books can't encompass all faces of it. Also, I''m always looking for new ideas, inspirations, applications and points of view.

So what bead embroidery books can be found on my too long craft book wishlist? Below is a list of books I for some reason or another have added to the list. Some I'm just dying to buy, others I know very little of and just added because the seemed more or less interesting.

The bead embroidery book wishlist

Dimensional Bead Embroidery by Jamie Cloud Eakin: interested in her jewellery style and I've seen this stitch index (pdf) for her two books, which looked promising. A complement to my Kummli & Serafini book.

La broderie de perles by Yukiko Ogura: Have seen a few pretty pics from the pages of this book. Lots of flowers, which I like. I do believe this is the french version of a japanese book that's called Bead Embroidery in the english version. The english version appears to be out of print as I can't find it in my usual online book shops so that's why I'm listing the french version eventhough I don't speak french. (You don't always need to be able to read a craft book to enjoy it and find it useful -- I have books in japanese and dutch too.) Update: Ignore that -- I was wrong. Have since bought this book and seen a preview of the english book -- which I know can find again -- and it's not the same. This is a great book, though, no doubt about it! So glad I couldn't resist the urge to buy it.

Bead Embroidery by Yukiko Ogura: Another book by the same japanese embroiderer. This one focuses more on techniques while the french book is all about flower patterns. A book that's gotten many good reviews and based on what I've seen in her other book, I'm sure it's very much worth buying one day.

Bead Embroidery by Valerie Campbell-Harding & Pamela Watts:  Found it while stumbling on an embroidery technique called "trapped beads". Description says it also includes machine embroidery. Not that I touch a sewing machine if it can be avoided (always have preferred hand tools in all materials), but it's interesting and not that usual in books [I've blogged -- on my other blog -- about machine bead embroidery if you want to learn more.]

Bead and Sequin Embroidery Stitches by Stanley Levy: A book mentioned on Saturday Sequins in her bead embroidery resource post (good read if you want to give bead embroidery a try!). Why not expand and learn some more about sequin stitches/techniques too?

A-Z of Bead Embroidery: Ah, yes, this is the book mentioned in the beginning of this post. Flipped through the preview at the publisher's website and it seems of some interest.

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples by CRK Design and Yasuko Endo: I've only seen the cover of this book. Maybe it's not that interesting, maybe it's just like Jane Davis' book. But I like the cover. [UPDATE: I found a short preview at the Interweave store -- it isn't released yet, by the way.]

Beaded Dimensional Embroidery (Milner Craft Series) by Helan Pearce: Have I seen pages from this book? I must have since it's included in my list, but I can't pinpoint exactly what it was that made me list this one... (Both Pearce and Davis seem to be in the A-Z book too.)

 Finishing Techniques for Bead Embroidery Projects by Robin Atkins: Always useful to learn and consider how to finish a project properly. And I want to do wall hangings or something, which needs good framing/finishing/suspension and that's not always like finishing jewellery. (This book can be bought directly from the author. No ISBN = not sold in book shops.)

And that's my list. At least my list as it looks on the evening of June 23rd. Of cause, this list only includes bead embroidery books. I also have books that partially includes beads that's on my wishlist, but for this post I drew the line at bead embroidery only titles.


If you have a good bead embroidery book that you think I should add to the list, don't hesitate to comment (preferrably with a reason for why it's so good). Or if you have read one of the above books, I'd love to hear what you thought of it: would you recommend it or should I buy something else? All and any tips and/or comments more than welcome!


  1. Hi! I'm the happy owner of some of the books listed. Some tips on books you might enjoy: First of all, Jamie Cloud Eakin's Dimensional Bead Embroidery is one of the real must haves even to a seasoned bead embroiderer. The instructions are superb and there are many useful tips too. I've found some wonderful projects to try despite the fact that I'm usually not so fond of her style. The gallery of other artists's work is really inspiring too. A good complement to her book Beading with Cabochons. It is a comprehensive guide making bead embroidered jewellery.I also love Sherry Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery.It's one of the Beadweaving MasterClass books from Lark Crafts. I've got them all. I've modified some of Serafini's designs to suit my petite frame and am very pleased with them. I think you'll just love the book in A-Z series. The designs are romantic and there are lots of flowers among them.Of course we need to learn how to embellish our clothes etc. with beads and sequins. Levy's book is a handy guide to this kind of embroidery. I'm very pleased with King's book as well as Kummli and Serafini's mentioned in your post. As you love embroidery,flowers and plants and are planning to start stumpwork, I'd recommend you to take a look at my absolute favourites in stumpwork: Jane Nicholas is a master embroider whose The Complete Book of Stumpwork Embroidery and Stumpwork:Medieval Flora are something really special. But only if you love illuminated manuscripts and the like. I think there is no way for stumpwork to get more beautiful. These books are rather expensive but worth the money. I tried to write about all the bead embroidery books I have. I hope I got the titles right. Thank you for sharing your wish list. There are some interesting books there...Is it possible to have too many books on this or any other beading subject? Milka PS Unfortunately it was not possible to make corrections to this text. I hope it is readable.

  2. Stanley Levy's Bead&Sequin Embroidery Stitches keeps the title's promise to teach us the stitches needed in bead and sequin embroidery. And there is more: how to choose beads and sequins for different lavish effects like shading, sparkle and subtle shine.There are diagrams and photos that explain the stitches and how to create various visual effects. The correct placement of the sequins is crucial and it is better to learn it from a master instead of trial and error. My only complaint is that the beautiful designs featured in life size diagrams are rather large. It's not a big deal: the author recommends us to create our own designs. Some sequins could easily be added as highlights to a beaded embroidery design. Or we could use Mr Levy's glamorous designs in some gorgeous accessories.Milka

  3. Thanks for the mention! This is a great list of books you've put together -- I see several, including the French one, that I want to add to my list.

    I have Dimensional Bead Embroidery, and it's one of my favorites -- I could look at it every day and not get tired of it! There's just so much to learn. I also have read, but do not yet own, Sherri Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery. It's a gorgeous book full of beautiful designs and clear instructions. I've met Sherry in person, and she's one of the nicest people I've ever met. :)

  4. Thank you both for your great comments! Your input is really appreciated and help me in my efforts to try and make some sort of ranking of what books I should consider buying first. Hard because I want them all, but reality doesn't work that way. We can never get all we want and get it when we want it (oh, imagine being able to buy all the books you want just like that!).

  5. Thanks for this comprehensive, annotated list! There are a couple I don't have and will need to add to my collection soon!

    While my book, Finishing Techniques for Bead Embroidery, is not available on-line, three of my other bead embroidery books are:

    Beaded Embellishment
    Heart to Hands Bead Embroidery
    The Complete Photo Guide to Beading

    These are available on Amazon and a few other sites as well. They all have ISBN numbers.


A few words can mean so much. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

PS! Feel free to email me if you don't want to comment publicly -- look under Contact (under the header)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...