Beading In the Digital Age

Technology has come a long way in the 35 years since my father brought home our family's first personal computer. One of the first computer programmers for the U.S. Navy, my dad kept us up-to-date with the latest in technology. I think our family was even one of the first in our area to start using a dial-up modem to connect to the public bulletin board systems of a few local universities! At a time when only computer engineering students used the new technology of email, my sister and I were probably the only kids in our junior high to have our own email addresses.

Fast forward to 2014, and now we have cell phones that play music, make calls, record videos, and can even store our favorite books and magazines. With just the touch of a button (or a prod of the mouse, as it were), I can download my favorite beading magazines in just a few seconds to my laptop or tablet computer! Why do I love digital beading magazines so much? Well…

1. Instant gratification factor. For someone who can spend upwards of 80 hours on a piece of beadwork, I'm not exactly the most patient person in the world. I've been known to stalk the post office counter for days while I wait for my bead orders to come in. I would rather put my son's socks and shoes on for him, instead of waiting for him to do it himself. Being able to download a new beading magazine to my laptop in just a few seconds? Yes, please!

2. Storage factor. I have shelves and shelves of beading books. And it's not that I don't love my printed books and magazines, but being able to store even more beading resources in a smaller amount of space is a huge convenience for me in my tiny little house! I love the idea that I can have a whole library of beading resources and magazines stored in my computer. (Just as long as I remember to back it up every week!)

3. Portability factor. Instead of being loaded down with printed books and magazines when I get on a train or a plane (or even in the car), I can just whip out my little tablet computer and read to my heart's content. It definitely makes for easier travel, especially when I'm working from a pattern as I travel.

Check out five of my favorite special issue digital magazines from the Beading Daily Shop:

Step By Step Beads is no longer published, but this fantastic collection of beading projects are among some of my favorites. The 41 seed bead patterns in The Best of Step By Step Beads are colorful, fun, and easy! Perfect for beginning beaders who are just learning how to read from patterns, or for more experienced beaders who want to make a quick project as a gift.
The 2012 edition of Handcrafted Jewelry digital magazine landed in my lap just as I was getting interested in making more mixed media jewelry projects, and it was exactly what I needed to inspire my creativity! With jewelry-making projects that use everything from fabric to empty bullet casings, I started seeing new materials for jewelry-making everywhere I turned.
Because we all love beading projects that are quick and easy, I found lots of reasons to love Quick + Easy Beadwork 2013. Using my favorite shaped glass beads and seed beads was so easy with these fun and beautiful beading projects!
So just when you think the Creative Train has completely run out of steam, that's when you should take a look inside Create Jewelry: 101 All-New Designs for Bracelets, Necklaces, and Earrings. Play with color, beading supplies, and findings and discover new ways to make beautiful beaded jewelry!
Showcasing some of the best beaded jewelry designs from the pages of Beadwork magazine (and including some exclusive, brand-new projects, too!), Favorite Bead Stitches 2014 is my go-to resource when I want to practice my skills at my favorite off-loom bead-weaving stitches.

For a limited time, you can get your own digital downloads of all five of these magazines for less than $10! Check out all the great digital magazines (including back issues of Beadwork and Jewelry Stringing magazines) on sale now for just $1.99 in the Beading Daily Shop!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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