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Beaded Images II, by Barbara Elbe (Brick-Stitch Delica Earring Patterns) -- A Bead Pattern Book Review, Red Hat Earrings

Updated on October 20, 2015
Red Hat Society earrings I beaded with Delica beads, adapted from a pattern in this book
Red Hat Society earrings I beaded with Delica beads, adapted from a pattern in this book

Beads are one of the most versatile crafting media available on the market. You can use them for anything from earrings to traditional costumes, and anything else you can imagine. At one point, beads and beaded items formed a large part of this reviewer’s income, for which the search for unique and attractive patterns is ongoing. Beaded Images II, by Barbara Elbe, is an excellent answer to this search.

Beaded Images II represents a true treasure of pendants and earrings done in both peyote stitch and brick stitch. The book begins with a basic introduction to beading, as well as an explanation of different types of needles and other equipment, and workspace setup.

The four chapters contained in this book are as follows:

Getting Started teaches the fundamentals of the stitches and techniques used, including decreasing and increasing, how to create the body of the pendant or earring, how to make horizontal earring fringe, as well as instructions on how to read the pattern diagrams.

Next comes a section of 11 horizontal earrings (that is, the direction they’re worked is all horizontal). These include an assortment of ducks and other birds, including a peregrine falcon and a penguin, flowers, grapes, a pagoda, and a “junk” pattern.

Vertical Earrings are, as the name suggests, all worked vertically. This section kicks off with a tutorial on the different types of fringe and loops for the earwires that can be made on these earrings. Included are another 11 earring patterns which include several cats (including a lion), a rubber ducky, a dog, another peregrine, a flower basket, a derringer pistol, a mask, and a hot air balloon.

Seven patterns make up the Girls, Curls, and Clowns section, which includes four clowns and three girls. Most of these patterns have instructions for embellishments that will give them a 3-D effect, including clown noses and curly hair. Included is also some graph paper to use when practicing creating your own patterns.

The Reviewer’s Experience

Having owned both Beaded Images I and Beaded Images II and worked extensively with the patterns, I’ve always been quite impressed with Elbe’s work and the patterns she presents. There are a handful of beginner-level projects in this book, but most are aimed at intermediate to advanced beaders. Ideally, you will have a firm grasp of the basic stitch involved, and will be able to quickly learn how to adjust the rows up and down for each shape.

For beginners, an excellent recommendation would be the Earring Designs by Sig series by Sigrid Wynne-Evans, since these have been developed as triangle-shaped designs that include little, if any, increasing. Decreasing is a much easier technique to master, and may be a better starting point for beginners. That said, anyone who happens to be new to beading, but would really like to try the patterns in Beaded Images II, will have all of the information they need from the tutorials to give them a try.

Anyone looking for a book that can inspire ideas for gifts or craft shows, look no further. Beaded Images II retails for just over $10 – a cost that’s exceedingly easy to recoup if you’re looking for ideas for projects to sell. According to copyright laws, selling more than three items off of a single pattern is considered mass production and is not allowed, though the wide selection and easy adaptability to your own ideas make this a non-issue.

If you’re in the market for some adorable clowns, Betty Boop-type earrings, or a pattern that’s easy to adapt for red hat society earrings, this is the perfect addition to your crafting library. Everything made off of these patterns has turned out exactly as desired, and there has never been an issue following the diagrams and instructions. In addition, there are full-color photo pages in the center of the book so you know what to expect if you follow all of the suggested colors with Delica beads.

In short, this is an excellent buy that you’re not likely to regret. If you want a way to create unique Christmas gifts or make a little money off of your hobby, this selection offers wide enough appeal to be extremely useful.

A Siamese cat pendant I beaded with Delica beads using a pattern in this book
A Siamese cat pendant I beaded with Delica beads using a pattern in this book


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