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The Spirit of Bead Embroidery
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Heidi Kummli guides beaders to a greater understanding of how to infuse their jewelry with deeper meaning through 13 astonishingly beautiful projects, including one from Sherry Serafini. From animal totems, to the four elements, to the healing power of gemstones, beaders will create pieces that reveal how the natural world can enhance their jewelry-making journey.

Included are tips on tools, techniques and supplies, step-by-step instructions, and a gorgeous photo gallery showcasing the work of 19 additional bead artists.
112 pages • 340 color photos
Price: $21.95
Product Number: 64384
ISBN: 9780871164384
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This astoundingly moving book has something for everyone who has ever wanted to "tell a story" through seed beading.

If you put your ear to the earth, you will hear the pulse of the life beat of nature. If you look into the heavens, you might begin to accept the abundance which we have been given during our time here.

Similarly, if you open this book, you will behold the same beautiful simplicity which is at the heart of what we are so fortunate to have, surrounding us, everywhere.

I have always wanted to be able to seed bead. Have you?

The treasures I see when I view the seed bead projects in this book are enhanced by this author's stories, and use of symbolism. Because she is so remarkable and this book is so special, The Spirit of Bead Embroidery could easily be the book which draws you, the reader, into actually starting to use your own hands to create your own spectacular beauty employing seed beads.

I urge you to consider purchasing this book, as it is as amazing to read as it is to learn from. I found out so much from the author, Heidi Kummli, I didn't want this book to end!

A first question might be, "What makes this book so different"?

The answer is in the cohesiveness which is expressed in the projects and in the gallery pieces. Each piece makes use of some aspect of animal totems, healing colors and stones, and the four elements (Earth, Water, Air and Fire), so that any reader with a love of beauty will understand that where there is beauty, there is a connection to the Creator, or the Spirit. You do not have to be traditionally religious to embrace this concept of this book.

The very moving story of what "the Spirit Bead" is, in fact, begins the book. It is the story told to the author by Rose Red Elk-Red Feather Woman. It is titled "Light Woman's Spirit Bead".

I could hardly drag myself away from this story.

Many times throughout this book the reader will find something significant expressed in a sidebar. For example, in the techniques section, there is a wonderful quote from Jacob March's Nomad Bead Merchants: "...Beads are among the first expression cave dwellers had to invoke, and interact with, their animalistic beliefs--our initial protection from the un-understood."

Heidi Kummli is not only a beautiful beader, she is a beautiful breast cancer survivor. Certain of her projects reflect her journey as she made her way through her chemotherapy treatments. Others reflect her "daily wear necklaces", because they are her animal totems. Some of her projects are for her special occasions and she wears those for power and confidence.

There are twelve projects for you to work with, and to interpret or change as you wish. The author encourages you to make the projects your own.

There is one more project by the wonderful Sherry Serafini, which also reflects the sense of peace and grace we feel when we are making jewelry, which has run like a thread, or a river, throughout this thoughtful book.

After Sherry's project is the gallery, with more to love, if that is possible. A number of great seed bead artists have their pieces on display in this gallery.

Back to the main aspects of the book. I really liked the section on Animal Totems, which follows the Techniques section (which is excellent and thorough). I related strongly to this already, as, when I grew up the area in which we lived, it had formerly been inhabited by many Native Americans. We were surrounded by mementos of the time they had lived there. As well, we would go up to Canada. The guides were all Native American. Even as children we could sense the relationship which they had to their surroundings. It was unspoken and powerful.

If one of the animal totems in this section resonates with the reader, it is possible that that is a major driving force in the reader's conscious life. If not, keep your mind open and see what you think as you continue on in this fascinating book.

Healing Stones and Colors is the next section. I love to think about color all the time. I cannot imagine being a jewelry designer who is does not fully embrace color. As the author reminds us in the opening to this chapter, "When you incorporate these gifts of [stone cabochons] into your bead work, you are sharing them with the world and bringing forth the true essence of the Universe."

Then she adds, "By studying stones and colors and incorporating them into our world, we honor them and share their beauty. The world needs their healing gifts and your beautiful work to bring forth positive energy and balance."

After this the reader is treated to some of the major stones and colors, and what they can do as far as healing, giving positive energy, and helping us understand the world around us. I learned a LOT from this section, which has beautiful photos (as does the rest of this wonderful book). I remain a "pink" girl and proud of it! I do admit I find it had to only choose one color however! I am sure you do, too.

If you are not entranced by the following section, "The Four Elements" (eg., Earth, Fire, Water, and Air) and all the potential which they hold for you, as the author guides you through this magic section, I would be very surprised.

Note the photo of the neck piece next to Earth (Grounding). It is truly spectacular! Sense the Energy which is Fire! Feel the cleansing peace which imbues the element of Water. Finally, sense Air. Air is the Breath of life with is all around us. As the author says, "it is all so invigorating, yet calming".

The projects follow. This beautiful book, The Spirit of Bead Embroidery, has paved a sound and mindful path toward the adventure the beader will now undertake. It is a pilgrimage toward understanding why we create and what we are celebrating.

When you turn the page to projects, you will see a photo of a pink lily in a pond. Underneath is a quote, "Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in being. Allow nature to teach you stillness, and fill you with creativeness". --Eckhart Tolle.

The author urges you to be inspired by the projects which are also here "to help you reflect upon your own spirituality and journey in life".

The first project is a good example of what to expect. It is titled " Bees and Trees Earrings". These earrings are examples of what can be made with metal stampings, and when combined with the cabochons in these two examples of seed beaded earrings using stampings, they are breathtaking. I love them.

Further on, there is an incredible Jaguar Cuff. It represents energy and balance, and is perfectly beautiful in color and in impact. It is nice to know that the author has located the main cuff component for you, and that it is easily available, because you are going to want to make this!

The Butterfly Barrette which comes later represents transformation. Even if the author didn't explain this the reader would be drawn to this appealing design. I loved the colors of this, with fuchsia and mustard, but, as the author says, this project can be changed into a cuff, if you don't wear barrettes, and of course the colors can be changed as well, although I think they are beautiful.

I wish to mention one more piece which is a stunning project. You can see it on the cover of the book.

The name of this collar is "The Quietude Collar". I studied it for a long time, and thought that it was a collar representing the elements, and it is. On the other hand, it is so much more than that. As Heidi says, the collar represents Grounding, Energy, Cleansing, Space, and Your Life's Journey. In other words, it IS all the Elements, and yet it is more--it is YOUR life's journey. Are you dedicated enough, and prepared to learn what is wonderful about yourself? This collar will open all of nature to you and reveal what it is that you most love!

As I said earlier, I cannot praise this book enough. The technique section and the photography are perfectly beautiful, and the writing is quite a bit above the average jewelry design book. I was touched by every page in this book. I congratulate the author, Heidi Kummli, on making such an amazing book from her experiences in life.

It was an honor to review this beautiful book, The Spirit of Bead Embroidery.

-Jean Yates
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