Bead Weave a Garden of Beaded Zinnias for Your Wrist
Kassie Shaw is one of my favorite designers. Her projects are always beautiful and wearable. Plus, she’s a super-nice person! I truly enjoy our email exchanges whenever we decide to accept one of Kassie’s projects or kit one of her designs. And I love seeing Kassie’s Facebook posts, too. She recently made some big lifestyle changes and lost a significant amount of weight over the past few months. I really admire her commitment to her health. What an inspiration she is, in so many ways!
Kassie recently published a book with us, called Beadweaving Beyond the Basics. This book is full of gorgeous projects, as well as beading advice from Kassie. In Beadweaving Beyond the Basics, Kassie presents some of her favorite stitches, materials, and tools. She urges readers to go beyond the basics in their own beadwork. The book focuses mainly on right-angle weave variations. It showcases 24 beautiful projects, all with clear illustrations and helpful tips. Here’s what Kassie had to say about her book.
Beadweaving Beyond the Basics
Q: What was the inspiration for your book?
A: When I started writing the book, of course I wanted to create new projects. But more than that, I wanted to be able to tell a story. The book is laid out in such a way that if you read it from front to back, you can see how each design progresses into the next. I also wanted to show multiple colorways of as many projects as possible to demonstrate how drastically different a piece can become if you just change the bead colors.
Q: What do you hope new and experienced beaders will take away from your book?
A: My book is primarily aimed at intermediate and advanced beaders. However, I hope beginners will also be inspired to try some of the projects. I especially want to reach beaders who shy away from right-angle weave. My projects use right-angle weave variations that actually make it easy to forget you’re even using the technique. I also hope readers will see how simple it is to create something new just by saying “What if . . . ?”
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring designers?
A: I think everyone has a spark of creativity, even those who don’t know it yet. I spent the first thirty years of my life thinking I wasn’t a creative person. But once I allowed myself to jump in to beading, I discovered a whole new world. So be brave, break the rules, and let yourself make mistakes. This is how new ideas become reality.
Kassie’s New Kit
Kassie is also one of our 2017 Designers of the Year, and her project from the June/July Beadwork issue is the fun Zinnia Profusion Cuff. This project is available for a limited time as a kit. The Zinnia Profusion Cuff uses a variation of circular peyote stitch to weave units of O beads, MiniDuos, and crystal rose montées. The result is a stunning garden of zinnias for your wrist!
The main pattern is for a cuff that’s about 1″ wide. But Kassie also stitched a quick and easy version that’s only one row wide and doesn’t include the rose montées. You could whip up several of these simple bracelets, in all your favorite Zinnia colors!
Kassie also made a variation of the bracelet that follows the main pattern to create a wider focal but incorporates a simpler strap design. You get the best of both worlds in this version: a quick project with a blingy focal. I’m guessing you could stitch a couple of these from the main project’s materials. Perhaps you could make matching bracelets for yourself and a friend!
Whether you decide to try one of the projects from Kassie’s book or you opt to stich her new Zinnia Profusion Cuff, I know you’ll enjoy her designs as much as I do!
Managing Editor, Beadwork magazine