Vestal Virgin by Suzanne Tyrpak

This is a captivating story of a vestal virgin and the two men who either desire her or want to possess her. It is engrossing because while reading it you seem to be a part of the story with all the smells, sounds, and sights of that time period. Which is why it is hard to put down once you begin reading it - you get hooked on the characters and what will happen to them next.

Christianity plays a large role in the book, and some characters of the bible come to life as the events that take place long ago are interwoven in the story. But as wholesome as that sounds, this book has graphic sexual situations and images of corruption, drug abuse, and scandal throughout that ring true to the times. People follow whoever has supreme power in the book, no matter how distasteful and shocking their actions are. The characters historically are correct, and Roman mythology is talked about.

A really fine read: the characters are well developed, the imagery is defined, and the situations that the characters are place in seem real for the times. All in all a really great fictional story set in Roman times.

Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author. Any opinions are my own.

Creating Glass Beads: Beading Workshop by Jeri L. Warhaftig

Glass beading is explained and demonstrated in a book version of Jeri Warhaftig's intermediate glass beadmaking workshops.

Jeri Warhaftig is a beading artist and instructor, conducting beadmaking classes in her workshop or traveling at offsite locations. Her experience and enthusiasm to the field of glass beadmaking shows in the intricate work of the beads she creates. Warhaftig's website offers free beadmaking tutorials, such as How to Use a Puffy Mandrel.

Creating Glass Beads is the second book for Warhaftig. She presents this book in a different fashion than other beading books by inviting different beaders to be her 'Product Testers.' The 14 people she chose each completed the lessons in the book, and showed what they came up with. Photos from the different testers are presented at the end of the chapters. Looking at the different variations gives the reader ideas on how to change the art beads into something innovative and unique. Biographies of the Product Testers are included in the Appendixes section at the back.

Glass Beading Sessions in Print Form

The book has 10 different lessons, or 'Sessions', that range from simple pendants to complex hollow glass beads. You'll get a materials and tools list for each lesson with an overview of why the bead is unique, and tips on creating it. Step by step instructions include color pictures of the beadmaking process in action.

The galleries throughout the book give further ideas for glass beadmaking, showcasing different artists and how they approach the art. If there is a special term that is new for a session, it is defined and an explanation is given on how it is used. If you are new to beadmaking, the first part of each session has a photo of the basic materials that will be used along with each piece of equipment identified so you know what Jeri is referring to in the instructions.

Creating Glass Beads Overview and Chapters

Warhaftig gets the creative juices flowing with the colored pictures and detailed definitions of the basic tools and equipment used in glass beadmaking. Multiple beads are discussed and taught in the Sessions: Ruffled Pendant, Cheery Little Guy, Eye Bead, Cosmic Bead, Mirrored Rainbow Hollow, Cane Beads, Silver Butterfly, Glass Memento, Glass Portal, and the End-of-Day Bead.

The appendixes are very helpful, and include topics such as mirroring with silver and working with resin. The fun 'near misses' has the beads listed, with their near misses, including experimentations and why different beads posed problems for the testers and how Jeri ultimately changed her designs to make them more user friendly.

Recommended for Beginning Beaders Ready to Experiment

While the book includes advanced topics, it also has a full guide on the basic tools and equipment used in beadmaking. Creating Glass Beads does a good job at listing definitions throughout, and offers tips if you're struggling with a technique. The many color photos in the book help to clarify any steps and helps beginners follow through to the next step in the project.

Book Information:

  • Creating Glass Beads: A New Workshop to Expand Your Beginner Skills and Develop Your Artistic Voice; by Jeri L. Warhaftig
  • Lark Crafts, 2011
  • ISBN13: 9781600595820
  • Hardcover, 144 pages
Disclosure: This book was provided to the author by the publisher. Any opinions expressed are the author's own.