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Book review: Charmed and fabulous.

I really enjoy making friendship bracelets. It's my favorite pastime and the bracelets are my personal creations. That's why I got so psyched when I received the Wicked Cool Friendship Bracelets book by Karen Phillips. It's published by Scholastic's Klutz and you'll see it at Scholastic book fairs, but there's nothing "klutzy" at all about this activity book. In fact, it made me love bracelet-making even more, and it's what kept me busy during the sem break.

The book taught me new and different styles to make bracelets. Before, I could only make the common thread friendship bracelets with slanted stripes or a V pattern. But thanks to the Wicked Cool Friendship Bracelets book, I now know five more bracelet styles and with very cool names too: Bitten, Cobweb, Roses and Thorns, Snake Charmer, and Tangled.

All five are cute and stylish, but my favorites are Roses and Thorns and Cobweb. For me, these two are the most attractive. They are wider than the other bracelets and may seem difficult to make and complicated at the start. Don't be fooled by the intricate-looking designs though. They are actually quick and fun to make. With Roses and Thorns for example, you just have to repeat the square knot over and over again. I like making it a lot more than Snake Charmer, which is trickier and requires braiding around the beads.

It's fun to make the bracelets in this book because the instructions are clear and easy to follow. There are also helpful drawings and pictures to guide you along the way. It's important to learn the basics first like making the starting and ending knots, anchoring the chord, putting the beads in, knowing your ideal bracelet length, and fastening the bracelet. Make sure to read and follow the tips too like the one on page 15 about applying a dab of clear nail polish to the ending knot to keep it from fraying.

Another thing that I love about the book is that it introduced me to hemp or waxed cotton. It's the purple and black cord that comes with the book along with five silver charms (2 hearts, 1 moon, 1 star, and 1 bat), five red droplets and several multi-colored beads. I like this light but sturdy cord; it makes knotting simple and fast. It made me eager to create more bracelets for me and my friends.

Fortunately, my mom and I found this terrific store in Cubao that sells waxed cotton before I ran out of cord. I was so happy when I found out that the cord is not only available in many colors; it is so affordable too! The store also sells a variety of beads and charms that are perfect for my Wicked Cool friendship bracelets. I like almost everything about the book, and I would have given it a perfect score of 5, if not for the beads, which I think were too close-fitting (to the cord) and a bit small. But all is well after I visited the craft store and was able to buy beads that were a little bigger than the ones included in the book.

All Wicked Cool friendship bracelets have a charm or a pendant on one end. It's a feature that I really like because it makes the bracelet more special. Even if you create the same design or the same colored bracelet for a friend, it can still be unique and extraordinary by the charm you attach to it.

By making friendship bracelets, I learned to be more patient and creative. Now I finally know what to give my classmates for Christmas.


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Title Annotation:Funpage News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jan 24, 2014
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