Books in Review

Nora Creeach 2004

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One Bead at a Time

Exploring Creativity with Bead Embroidery

by Robin Atkins

ISBN: 0-9705538-2-X

This is not my usual book review because this is not the usual book. I was expecting a book that taught me how to bead or use beads in my embroidery. Admittedly in the last 4 or 5 pages Robin shows us the four basic stitches and we learn that using them and their variations we will be able to achieve the look we want.

Instead of a technique driven book, this is a journey to creativity. We see how it is possible to allow our inner child to play, pick colors, fabric and beads, just because they are liked. We don't have to justify our hobby by selling our works. We are worth the cost of our supplies and the fact we made something we like is the only justification needed. This is often a very difficult lesson for women to learn because it goes against what most of us have been taught all our lives.

There is a definition of "Improvisational" on page 13 that stood out in my mind. "Improvisational doesn't mean abstract. It just means working without a plan, with no design and no outcome, either on paper or in your mind".

This will be difficult for me. I look at the supplies and see a finished project in my minds eye and then work backwards to 'see' how to make it into a reality. Reading this book has inspired me to use that piece of fabric I got just because I liked it, go shopping for beads. buttons and "things" just because I like the color, shape or texture. Then I will start putting together those elements I like without any preconceived plan. I will let you know how it works out.

The pictures are many and in full color to provide inspiration and show us what can be achieved, "One Bead at a Time".

Even if you are not inspired to bead this book is a very interesting, easy to read but hard to put down journey to creativity.

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