Beadweaving Beyond the Basics
Looking for some handmade holiday gifts to create for your friends and family? In Beadweaving Beyond the Basics, Kassie Shaw’s latest book, Kassie explores several of her favorite stitches. Some are classics such as herringbone stitch, peyote stitch, and St. Petersburg chain, while others are Kassie’s own innovative variations on Right Angle Weave.
The clearly illustrated instructions for each technique will have you well on your way to creating any of the 24 gorgeous designs from the book. Kassie does a fabulous job of encouraging your creativity to modify the projects for everyone on your list. Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites, perfect for handmade holiday gifts!
Trapeze Earrings Oooh the color possibilities, ladies! There is something so classic yet dramatic about the size and shape of these dangling earrings. Paired with a soft updo, the Trapeze Earrings would be an elegant accessory for any outfit.
Reversible Braided Bracelet The colors pictured above are beautiful but I would love to play with silver and gold seed beads for a holiday bracelet that would that would be smashing for any New Year’s party. The braided strands create a sophisticated look and for an extra bonus, it’s reversible!
Shoulder Dusters Another set of dangling earrings that would lend themselves perfectly to sparkling holiday colors. And the threader style ear wires allows for customization on the length, ensuring a fabulous look with any neckline.
Are you still in need of some bead-spiration? In our October/November issue of Beadwork, Kassie shared her top 5 beading tips to get you going:
- Use the best materials you can. If you use cheap, irregular beads or poor-quality thread, your piece won’t look as good as it could or might break after only a bit of wear. Quality materials are worth the investment to ensure that your beadwork will last a lifetime.
- Bead with friends! Even if there’s no bead society or bead shop in your area, chances are good that there are other beaders around. Take your beadwork to a local coffee shop or library and bead away. Other beaders will notice and strike up a conversation. It’s helpful to be able to discuss your designs with other beaders.
- Keep a notebook and camera with you so that you can jot down ideas and make sketches or take pictures of things that inspire you. I have an “eye candy” folder on my computer where I save photos I find online that I then use as my screensaver.
- Ask questions! Designers are only human, and we sometimes make mistakes in our patterns. If you’re having difficulty with a project or just want to know what color bead was used in an alternate colorway, go straight to the source.
- Try new things. If you find yourself using the same stitch or colors most of the time, make a list of alternates that are difficult for you and try to use at least one of them in each new project.
Cheers to lots of holiday beading!