Be a Bead Party DivaBring on the Beads!

Kristal Wick
Kristal Wick
is the editor of
Beading Daily.
I’m a jewelry designer and writer. In that order. Which means, even though I make a living writing professionally, I consider myself a designer, first and foremost. Like most of you, I adore pictures. Lots of pictures. Especially when learning something new. I appreciate written instructions, but love gazing over the beauty shots of cool jewelry designs as I decide which project to start.

Bigger is better (especially when we’re talking crystals)

Whoever said size doesn’t matter has simply never worked with authentic Swarovski crystals! Size really does matter in design and sparkle. Sometimes, there’s a fine line between cubicle attire and over-the-top-out-on-the-town glam.  My personal design aesthetic is large, bangly baubles, but most of my co-workers like simpler, smaller designs. Even though we’d all rather design our fave style, it’s important to keep in mind who you’re designing for and customize the size for the wearer if possible.

It’s all in the beady details

Details make the design. The bigger the picture, the more detail is visible to the naked eye. What this means to you is more inspiration and fewer mistakes when attempting a new project or technique. I’m happy to report that Stringing has a new super-visual format that offers eye candy galore. Larger, full-page pictures of jewelry designs with their signature, detailed step-by-step instructions at the end of the magazine allows you to flip through each issue like you would with a coffee-table picture book without getting interrupted by the text. Each project is now life-size and you can really see all the groovy details.

As for timely features, Stringing still rocks. Just in time for holiday party planning, A Beading Affair to Remember guides you every step of the way in how to host a jewelry-making party. I’ve hosted trunk shows and jewelry-making parties annually and they have become my fave part of the holiday season. Nothing beats a gang of my BFFs around the kitchen table, Harry Connick’s holiday CD in the background, a crackling fire, full glasses of vino, some ooey-gooey chocolate decadence, and a big pile of beads! Remember to have your jewelry-making party far enough in advance so you can wear your creations to all the festive soirées on your dance card this season.

Teach me tonight

Even if you’ve never taught anyone how to bead before, no worries; here are a few tips from the article, Teaching Cheat Sheet to ensure a successful party.

  • Be sure to thoroughly explain the qualities of the materials you’re using and their purpose.  For example, how is beading wire different from gauged wire?
  • Describe the types of beads you’re using. This may be the first time some of your attendees have even seen crystal bicones or spacer beads or lamp worked beads before.
  • Explain the functions of all the tools and show how to use them (that includes how to properly grip your pliers and other useful info).
  • Talk through all the findings and components used in your project — charms, crimps, clasps, toggles, etc.
  • Practice crimping on beading wire samples to prepare your party peeps for crimping their finished jewelry piece.

    Most of all, share the fun with your guests by encouraging them not to take themselves too seriously or stress out over perfection. Jewelry making is supposed to be fun and from the heart, not necessarily perfect. Find more party tips and design ideas in the Fall issue of Stringing and show your BFFs how to make jewelry that’s just their style!

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