Create Jewelry Stones: Stunning Designs to Make and Wear by Marlene Blessing and Jamie Hogsett (Interweave Press US $22.95) is part of the publisher’s “Create Jewelry” series. This one, as the title suggest, focuses on semi-precious stones. Of course, I have a weakness for stone beads since that is how I seriously got into jewelry making many years ago, and they still play an important part of my jewelry making repertoire. But, hey, who doesn’t love a good rock!?

But, for those uninitiated into the world of gemstones, this books is a good little bite of stone information as well as bead stringing techniques. Other than a couple of projects that require some bead weaving skills, the rest of the projects look very doable, even for the relative beginner. Interspersed throughout the 20+ projects are facts, legends, and history related to gemstones. So, along with some beautiful jewelry designs, you also get a little gemstone workshop as well.

One of my favorite projects was “Stone Soup,” an asymmetrical necklace that mixed carnelain, amethyst, serpentine, and glass beads. I also loved the “Sangria Dangles” earring project because it had a mixture of different shapes and different stone types dangled from textured round metal rings, very cool!

For those new to gemstone bead stringing, this is a good place to start.

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