Tag Archives: katie dean

Beaded Christmas – A Book Review

I have been busy this week reading three new books by Katie Dean – all are themed around a Beaded Christmas and the three sub topics are Gifts & Cards, Table and Decorations.  The books are published by Vivebooks https://www.facebook.com/Vivebooks

katie dean beaded christmas table

I found the ebooks really easy to read on my Mac, and even though I prefer paper for tutorials, it was just as easy to read on my screen, and even better was being able to zoom in as much as I needed to on the diagrams themselves.  This feature would be a huge bonus to those with sight challenges.

Whilst reading through the intro I found myself reading…. now that may sound odd but it isn’t really.  With beading books I usually skip the intro and parts about materials,  beads etc and skip right through to the projects.  Not this time.  The information and detail in the first section of all three books is brilliant and so easy to read, and sometimes we all need a reminder to go back to the basics.   I was delighted to see that when I clicked on the video part within the book I could see a video showing the technique I had selected, so cool and so useful for beginners or someone needing a memory jog on how to get started.

I had to try something out from the books, and I went for a project from Gifts & Cards, the piece that is on the cover actually!  I haven’t finished it yet, but a photo of my work in progress is below.  I didn’t have size 8 beads in the right colours so I went down a size for the beads required and the design still worked perfectly!  The instructions are clearly written, the diagrams are perfectly understandable and best of it was how quick the first wreath was to make, it took me a little over 30 mins.  I can see that I will likely be making a few in the sizes in the book for tree decorations soon



If you are a beader looking for inspirational gifts, table decorations and sweet motifs to bead and add to cards (and I thought for bookmarks too) then you must invest in these three books, you will not be disappointed.  For those that know me well, you’ll know that avoid wire work but I think I may be tempted to try a little after reading Katie’s book!

Thanks for reading.



Shows, Sales and Book Reviews

It has been a while since my last blog… sounds like I should be in a church doesn’t it?

I had been extra busy getting ready for the Big Bead Show at Sandown where I was selling my cabochons.  I had a fantastic time and it was amazing to be the other side of the stand for a change.  Friends new and old came along, as well as the Medway Beaders group I belong to.  It was a very long day but was worthwhile so I will definitely be repeating it.  I saw lots of familiar names, and now faces, in the Bead Show Awards and it was a thrill to realise I feel I “know” many of them through facebook and in person contact.


I hope to be at future bead shows and more news on that will follow once I have details confirmed.

I didn’t get too far along in the Battle of the BeadSmith 2013, but I haven’t let that get me down and I have signed up again for next year and had my place confirmed.  I am desperately trying to come up with an idea, but it alludes me right now, but I have lots of time to think but again just the 2-3 months to bead the final piece.

I also had a stall at Spitalfields Market this month on a Saturday (pic below), mum came along to help me out again, as she did for the Sandown show, honestly it wouldn’t be the same without her by my side helping out, thanks Mum xxx.  Although it was fun to peoplewatch the actual sales were slow and that made for a long day.  I have to decide if I will go back in December, I think I will wait on the weather nearer the time to help with that decision.  There were a lot of very similar, if not same, stalls there stocking the same things – mostly Chinese imports with bargain basement prices and for me with my  handmade, time intensive, labour of love work it was not a fair battle.


I have been asked by the fabulous Katie Dean to review her new books, and so my next blog will be about those.  I was fortunate enough to meet Katie in person at Sandown and to see her battle piece as well.   Katie bought one of my cabochons and I am nervously waiting to see what she does with it…   More on that can be found here on Katie’s blog.  http://beadflowers.co.uk/2013/10/a-quick-update/