Beaded Beads for Beadwork Magazine's 15th Anniversary!

What is it about beaded beads that captures our imagination? The Zen Buddhist in me loves the idea that beaded beads are beads that are made out of…well, more beads! The simplest beaded beads can be made from a strip of peyote stitch or brick stitch that has been zipped together to form a tube. Or you can make beaded beads from short segments of tubular herringbone stitch and right-angle weave, embellished with pearls, crystals or your favorite fringe beads.

My first peyote stitch beaded beads were made to mix with two sets of beads that a friend brought me after a trip to Alaska.

My first attempts at beaded beads involved taking wood beads and covering them with peyote stitch. Being relatively new to peyote stitch, my beads ended up being a bit misshapen, but I loved them, anyway! Working peyote stitch around those wood beads gave me my first experiences working tubular peyote stitch around a form, and even if the beaded beads themselves weren't terribly pretty, they gave me a great education in shaping peyote stitch.

Intricate and elegant, beaded beads can be used for all kinds of beaded jewelry — and that's just what the editors of Beadwork magazine are hoping that you'll do this year!

In case you didn't know, this year marks the15th anniversary of Beadwork magazine. Fifteen years of fabulous beaded jewelry projects, beading tips, and beading techniques! To celebrate, the editors of Beadwork magazine came up with the idea of the beaded bead contest, and here's how it works:

Every issue of Beadwork in 2012 will have a pattern for a beaded bead. Your challenge is to make at least one of these beads and then incorporate them all into a finished necklace and then share a picture of it with us. The winner will be chosen by members of Beading Daily and will be featured in the February/March 2013 issue of Beadwork magazine. (You can read all of the official rules here.)

The April/May 2012 issue of Beadwork magazine features an amazing beaded bead by Gwen Fisher. Gwen, along with fellow designer Florence Turnour, run beAd Infinitum where they sell beading kits and patterns of beading designs that are inspired by symmetry and mathematics.

Surprisingly sturdy and lightweight, these Cluster Beaded Beads are the second in Beadwork magazine's 15th anniversary series of beaded beads!

Gwen's Cluster Beaded Bead is made with 8mm round beads so I dove right into my new stash of shell pearl beads in bright gold to create two of these gorgeous beaded beads using a mix of metallic accent beads. When finished, these beaded beads are surprisingly lightweight and sturdy.

Next up, I need to get to work on a few of Melinda Barta's Seeing Stars beaded beads — who would figure that after more than ten years of hoarding beads, I don't own a single 10mm round bead?


Are you going to bead along with us this year as we celebrate Beadwork magazine's 15th anniversary? Make sure your subscription to Beadwork magazine won't run out so you don't miss out on the fun! Or if you're a new beader, get a subscription to Beadwork magazine today so you can bead along with us! In addition to the fabulous beaded bead projects, you'll also find innovative beading projects from our Designers of the Year, fun beaded components from Melinda Barta in Custom Cool, and the always-popular Challenge: Four Designers, One Stash. Subscribe to Beadwork magazine and join us as we explore more beaded beads in 2012!

What is it that you love about beaded beads? Is it the construction of them? The way they are beads that are, in a way, made out of themselves? What's your favorite beadweaving technique for making beaded beads? Leave a comment here on the blog and share your thoughts with us!

Bead Happy,


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