I've made boxes from Julia's book before, so I was really looking forward to making another one. And after that huge RAW project that I did, it was nice to get back to peyote. There's just something so satisfying about hearing the 'click' of the beads as they snap into place.
Julia's book is well-written, though I'd advise that you have some experience with peyote stitch before tackling it. She does provide very clear diagrams and explanations for each step, so if you're an adventurous beginner you might give it a try. She also provides word maps for each design. If you've never used a word map before, you're in for a treat! They make following the pattern so much easier, although I still used the graph for backup.
She provides 12 patterns in the book, for different shapes, sizes, and designs. She also includes blank graphs for each shape so that you can design your own little boxes. I got the design for my butterfly box from her website, where she provides additional designs. If you buy a design from the website, you do need to also have the book, as all that is provided is the graph and word chart, no instructions.
I had an older edition of the book, with four boxes in it. If you have that edition, do yourself a favor and buy the newer edition as well. I did. Julia has improved on some of the processes in the newer book, plus you'll be getting 11 additional patterns (one is the same).
Julia recommends using doubled thread, but I used Fireline. I started with 6lb and then switched about halfway through to 8lb, because I didn't feel it was firm enough. Also, I'll give you a big tip: Add the feet to your box when you only have about 3 or 4 rows of the sides done, otherwise it gets too difficult to maneuver the needle around in the box to add them. Another tip is that even if you're an experienced beader, read the book through once before starting a box. Some of it won't make sense until you actually have the box in front of you, but it's still a good idea. You'll know where everything is and be able to refer back when you need to.
Working on the boxes does get a little fiddly and frustrating at times. There are some spots (like the HEM) where it seems almost every time you add a bead you break one, and then have to replace it. But all in all, I really enjoyed making my little box, and I enjoy looking at it on my dresser. I plan to make a few more of them for holiday gifts.
Click here to read book reviews and see boxes from other members of the group.