Saturday, 6 July 2013

Bead, Book & Bounce: Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski, by Laura McCabe

The Operation: Tackle that Bead Stash occasional series of book reviews chose as its Spring book,  Laura McCabe's 'Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski'.

This has been on my bookshelf for a couple of years now, I bought it after attending my first class with Laura, which was the first time I'd attempted bezelling crystal stones. Once your appetite has been whetted, those sparkly little rivolis and dentelles are a BAD addiction!

Laura has wonderfully useful tables of peyote bead counts for different sizes of stone, even the odder shapes like triangles are covered, although as time has moved on, more variants are now available. The book remains a great reference book for this reason alone.

There are also many lovely projects in the book ranging from single embellished rivolis to multiple stone, geometric constructions which can be quite taxing for even experienced beaders. I came to this book from a background of mostly flat beadweaving so the dimensional stuff was really interesting to me. A head for maths (or at least division and multiplication) helps with some of the more advanced projects, but if you choose to make the project as described, then all the counts work out just fine.

If there is a drawback  to this book it is that Laura frequently uses vintage stones and the photographs show these so beautifully, you will spend HOURS of your life trying to track them down!

These are some pieces I've made using the book, with additional embellishments depending on what I had in my stash (the one made specifically for the challenge is the green Crown Jewel):

Crystal burst:

Ring with a flower

Crown Jewel:
Falling Leaf Pendant.

Thanks to Clair for organising this Bead Book Bounce, and please head across to OTTBS for more links


  1. Gorgeous pieces, every one! I love your color sense, Catherine... and since we agree on GREEN...!!!! :)

  2. Catherine, thanks so much for joining in with Bead, Book & Bounce! I always enjoy reading through your thoughts on the books we've chosen and on the patterns that you've tried.

    You've made some lovely, lovely pieces, adapting them so well - and that Crown Jewel? Well, it's amazing!