At last a bead book to review that I have actually used quite a lot! Lark Books published 'Beaded Fantasies' last year to instant acclaim. One of the 'Masters' series it has 30 projects within its covers, and what projects they are! Among my favourites are the Granada brooch (and I know others love it too: I can't tell you how many different versions I have seen. it seems to work in just about any colours!) and the Scheherezade pendant. Whilst the projects are, in general, exceedingly sparkly, Sabine's fondness for using firepolished Czech beads means they are not quite as financially crippling as they look (except that it is difficult to resist making several different colourways for each project). Swarovski crystals are also much used, but in ways to maximise their impact. The unique bezeling technique developed by Sabine means that the majority of a rivoli or chaton is showing rather than hidden by peyote.
This book is a great jumping off point for explorations in beadwork, particularly using Right Angle Weave. The final chapter is called 'Sabination Nation' and describes the processes involved in Sabine's designing. I was encouraged by this to try some variations on the themes in the book and am particularly pleased with the spiky Scheherezades. Here is my latest version:
Overall, this is a book which will appeal to experienced beaders, as well as those with an intermediate understanding of basic techniques. Although some projects can be demanding and require careful tension they are clearly explained. There are a few errors in my edition so it is worth contacting the author if you find something is not working. My one reservation is that several steps are usually combined in one figure, so that if you are more guided by illustrations you may need to spend time working out the order of steps. Reading the written instructions as well is probably the way to go!