If it weren't for her love of beads ...


Robin Atkins has written  another  bead book,
but this one just might become known as
book for beaders and aspiring beadworkers ...

This is the book I wish I'd had around when I was first learning to work with beads.
Divided into three main project groups ~ bead-stringing, bead weaving,
and bead embroidery ~ it offers the reader a wide range of choices for personal expression
tailored to all skill levels.
This is a "how-to" book of the very best kind because the photos are scrumptious!  
I often flounder through written instructions and/or diagrams, but not so with
step-by-step photographs such as these.

Have a look inside & scroll through to see what I mean ... CLICK HERE.

At the back of the book, on page 213 to be exact, you will find a project
very close to my heart, 'Summer Rain, A Story Cloth.' 
Those who are regular followers here will know the depth of my meaning
and understand my great pleasure and honor to be part of this comprehensive reference ...

The majority of the book's projects were designed and created by Robin herself.  In addition, 
nine guest artists were invited to contribute handwork in their particular areas of concentration.
So, I spent the better part of the late summer of 2011
piecing, stitching and beading on 'Summer Rain,' 
not able to tell [show] a soul what I was up to.
I wrote THIS POST in July of that year as a bit of a teaser
and a peek into how I gathered thoughts.

'Summer Rain'
Bead embellished story cloth, 9" x 12"
by Christi Carter
 ~ project photo from book, Creative Publishing Int'l ~

How did it feel?  Nothing short of a a TOTAL BLAST ...
at the same time, the most challenging project I've ever had
the pleasure to undertake.
In my next post I'll share some tidbits about the making of this cloth
along with a few in-process photos not included in the book.
In the meantime, please do make a visit over to Robin's blog where you'll find a
Photo Guide to Beading page ... more info, lovely pikies.

... and in her own words,

A beading renaissance began in the late 1980's, and included
all types of beading.  In addition to beading itself, artisans
took up bead making, creating lampwork, blown glass,
and polymer clay beads.  As beading and bead making
gained popularity and markets, the need for gatherings
such as international bead conferences, also expanded.

Soon bead collectors, makers, and artists developed an internet
presence, developing websites, creating blogs, and forming
interest groups.  Today, a strong sense of being connected around
the world can be gained through beads and beading.  Picture a string
of beads wrapping around the earth many times in every direction, 
including people in every country, all of them united by their common
affection for beads and the art and craft of beading, all of them
experiencing a passion that returns them to the very roots of
humankind's earliest and most consistent form of adornment.
Welcome to the wonderful world of beads!

: : :

UPDATE ... my follow up to this post is HERE


  1. Summer Rain has so much beauty...color, texture, design, stitching. i just love it. i'm off to take a look at the book. i have a large bead collection that needs some attention.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, deanna, and do let me know how you like the book. I look forward to your bead collection meandering onto some cloth ;>]]

  2. Many thanks both for your beautiful, inspirational, important Summer Rain project, and also for writing about it here on your blog. I look forward to seeing some of the pics that aren't in the book.

    I'm glad you included those last two paragraphs from the book, Christi... it really is mind boggling to consider not only the current bead renaissance but also the ubiquitous history of beads. And then there are all the different and wonderful beads, all the things we can do with them... Well, you know, don't you?!

    I am a little disappointed with the "Look Inside" thing on the book's Amazon page, because it only shows the introductory pages... no real step-by-step photos are included. Your readers can see some of these important photos by clicking on the link you provided to the book page on my blog.

    1. oh my, Robin, you should pop over to Amazon and check again...I think they fixed that snafu! Click on "Look inside" and choose "surprise me" from the pop-up menu. It will plunk you somewhere inside where you can definitely scroll around and look at the step-by-step photos. Not all, but plenty of them. Seems the publisher has chosen to leave out critical pages like the whole finished pieces, but that's ok, there's still many images to give folks an idea of how comprehensive this book is!

      It was a lovely, grueling, exciting, brain-numbing, exhilarating, WONDROUS project to be a part of with you ❤ and you have given the bead world an extraordinary gift.

    2. I just tried the "surprise me" again and again... all I got was table of contents, index, resource list, guest artist list, and introduction pages... nothing at all from any of the projects. I certainly hope yours is the more common experience. My head is feeling a bit swollen from the praise... I'm so happy though that everyone seems to like it!

  3. How absolutely wonderful - for Robin, for you and for all of us!!! Robin was my go-to when I first began beading (several years ago) and she is one of the most beautiful bead spokesperson there ever was! Yay for the bead world!

    1. Penny, I remember our Bead Journal Project days almost like they were yesterday....when I was cutting my teeth on cloth for the first time, wrestling with size 15's [all over the floor, HA!], that driving force to "say it with beads." YES, Robin is the most beautiful bead spokesperson, isn't she, and the bead world is doubly enriched by her voice and passion! YAY for the bead world indeed!!

  4. Ha, my dear, you really deserved that place in the book !!!!!!
    Summer Rain is a true beauty: congratulations !
    (up to another creative year !)

    1. Thank you so much, Els.
      YES! To another creative year for everyone!

  5. Congratulations, Christi - 'Summer Rain' is stunning. Must have been great fun to be included in this book project. I will put it on my wish list! -sus

    1. It was so many things, susan, all of them a great gift. Thank you.
      I know you will love the book, Robin did a beautiful job with it.

  6. Many congratulations, Christi your piece is beautiful, I love the colours and your nspiration for the work. The app looks amazing I'll have to have a go at that one :-)

    1. Many thanks, Sharon ~ I don't think I realized how often I actually "sketch" with a camera before that post. Just another tool, yes? The 'Grungetastic' app is also available for desktop computers should you prefer to play around with it that way. It's a doozie...all kinds of unimaginable combinations for the choosing.

  7. Oh wow, your story cloth is sooo beautiful and to have it published... It feels wonderful, doesn't it?!

  8. Wow! I have been under a rock! I haven't had a chance to get myself a copy of Robin's new book and so appreciate your glimpses into it's contents. I have to go to Barnes and Noble today so I'll look for it there. Plus, now that I know the story of Summer Rain is included, it's even more special. How thrilling and wonderful to be included in Robin's book. Congratulations. Your work is lovely and, knowing you, even the cloth that you used probably has a story...can't wait to "read' it...

    1. Susan, you are so much a part of my past with beads & stitch...what moons we have drooled over, eh?! I'm so entirely grateful that you're *there* even tho we ebb & flow like crazy. Your words are like a pile of velvet ribbon ;>]]

      And do not worry about being under that rock since there's room for all of us under there, sistah!

  9. a while back i got all the Urge to bead (again)
    and bought all Robyn's books. and then found
    Spirit Cloth. but the books were magnificant
    and i donated them to the local library. am
    thinking i should get this one too, so the
    set at L will be complete.

    this Rain is so wonder Full to look upon.....

    1. What a lovely idea, Grace. I have library shelves in my mind's eye, NM ones with beading books filed under "A" ;>]]
      Thank you for kind words.

  10. christi, this is grand news and so affirming (i know-it has happened to me and it's very cool). huge congratulations, it looks like the book is very well done. be happy!

    1. Thank you, Velma, I am.
      And I am so happy for Robin...for following her dream!