The Bottom Line
- Great, easy to follow illustrations
- Lots of projects at various skill levels
- Offers suggestions for a variety of uses from, jewlery to book covers
- The materials should be easily found in most chain craft stores
- A degree of skill is assumed for most of the designs
- The patterns really look like old fashioned heirloom beaded flowers, without the price tag.
- Fitzgerald starts with the basics of what tools you'll need and how to get started.
- The beaded flowers are constructed in actual flower parts, like petals, stamens and pistils.
- A 'Gallery of Inspiration' provides photos of other beaders handiwork, showing what's possible.
- The flowers are beautiful, but the insects may be even more charming.
Guide Review - Book - The Beaded Garden
Beaded jewelry has been making a big come back lately and Fitzgerald's designs and Gallery of Inspiration are sure to have something that catches your eye. Orchids to Dragonflies are broken down into step-by-step instructions accompanied by decipherable illustrations.
Fitzgerald uses a needle and thread to craft her creations, rather than florist wire. This gives the pieces a softness and flexibility and makes them more comfortable when worn.
I am not a particularly gifted crafter and I am not blessed with the patience to become one, but I dabble anyway. Many of Fitzgerald's designs will require more skill than a dabbler can provide, but that is not the fault of her instructions. The Collage Necklace on page 46 is simply stunning, but the Simply Leaves Necklace on page 26 is much more my speed.
If you are looking for a way to wear your love of the garden on your sleeve (or collar or around your neck) and you like working with your hands, The Beaded Garden could become an addition. Get started now and you'll have all your Christmas presents done by Thanksgiving.