Bead Weaving Patterns and Jewelry Making Designs Inspired by America

I love to travel. And I love to travel across the United States – this country holds so many treasures and wonderful places to explore. I so enjoyed looking through the new Road Trip Across America Beading Collection, and not just because the designs are fabulous – the titles and the feel I get from the designs bring back so many great memories!

The bead weaving pattern in the Cactus Flower Bracelet by Carole E. Hanley, reminds me of my first trip to Tucson, and seeing a saguaro cactus in person for the first time.

Cactus Flower Bracelet, by Carole E. Hanley, Road Trip Across American  bead weaving collection

I remember saying “I’ve seen these in pictures but never imagined I’d ever see one up close.” The beadwork in this design is beautiful and the colors, perfect, especially in the alternate color way which captures the colors of the sunsets I also remember seeing. 

Cactus Flower Bracelet, by Carole E. Hanley, Road Trip Across American  bead weaving collection

Speaking of up close and in person – another highlight and fun story to tell is the day we encountered buffalo in Yellowstone Park. Seriously. The buffalo walked right through our campsite, nuzzling through campfires as they walked through toward the river. These beautiful creatures are HUGE and quiet! They’re also quite content to just go about their business. Me, a girl from New Jersey, up close and personal with a buffalo – I would’ve never checked that box! (That’s me, 26 and 5 months pregnant, and the buffalo walking right next to our tent!)
The bead weaving pattern in Dakota Canyon Bracelet by Shae Wilhite, reminds me of another one of the trips my husband I took across the United States. We got in the car with two weeks in front of us, enough clothes to get by, a stash of supplies for camping, an atlas, a camera, and a cassette tape recorder. On our way back home on this particular trip, we treated ourselves to a night in a hotel in Deadwood, South Dakota – a great town. This bracelet truly captures the colors of that area and the feel I can still recall from that adventure.

Dakot Canyon Bracelet, by Shae Wilhite, Road Trip Across American  bead weaving collection

Being from New Jersey and having grown up across the river from New York City, the City holds a special place in my heart. New York State of Mind bracelet by Marcia DeCoster brings a visceral reaction. I can hear the sounds of the street, smell the air, and see the lights. The City will always be part of me no matter how far I go from home. 

New York State of Mind by Marcia DeCoster, Cactus Flower Bracelet, Road Trip Across American  bead weaving collection

We all carry “mile markers” with us. Being from New Jersey, one joke I hear a lot is “what exit?” And even though each exit really does indicate the mile marker you’re at while in the state, we don’t really find this question funny. But if you do want to know, I grew up off of exit 151 and went to the beach at exit 100. Cape May is exit 0 and the Grand Ave/last exit in NJ before hitting New York State is exit 172.

We all come from somewhere and hold special memories. Mile Marker 219 reflects designer Annie Hartman Bakken’s memories of her aunt and time spent on the family farm in North Dakota.

Mile Marker, by Annie Hartman Bakken, Road Trip Across American  bead weaving collection

And even though times change and our boys hold us closer to home with their sports schedules, one thing remains true. When we have the chance, we love to pack up the car and hit the road. But now, instead of an Atlas I pack a magazine with a new project to follow (we follow our GPS devices for directions), and instead of a camera I pack beads, needle, and thread (our phones make great cameras). I still pack pencils and a journal but now this special book is used for sketches rather than for recording miles and stories – we have apps for capturing these details now. 

For our next trip, I’ve packed up the Beadwork April/May 2015 issue for the great bead crochet article by Barb Switzer, and I’m packing up all the beading supplies I need for bead crochet and a few other projects, just in case! I have it all packed up and ready to go in this great tote made for holding beading and jewelry-making supplies (any craft supply, really).

Heading out on a road trip? You can get one of these totes as part of the Road Trip Across America Deluxe Beading Collection. And with the collection be sure to check out the Road Trip project by Jean Campbell – so fun!

Road Trip by Jean Campbell, Trip Across American  bead weaving collection

Have a favorite memory or design inspired from your travels? Please share with us at

Yours from the road,

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