Favorite Beadwork Picks from Our Editors
As editors for Beadwork, we have the good fortune and pleasure to be in the mix from start to finish on all the products we create here at Interweave. From helping with planning, to working closely with the artists, to making sure you enjoy what you receive from us–it’s our job to be there! At the end of the day, though, we each have our own style, our own personal interests, and something that pulls our heart in one direction or another. Following are our top choices for “2016, plus” and a little bit about why we chose these particular products.
Although I absolutely love the look of bead embroidery, I must confess that I’ve never personally tried my hand at it. The gorgeous embroidered cuffs, necklaces, and clutches I admire have always looked pretty darn intimidating, to be quite honest with you.
That is until I met bead artist Sherry Serafini when she came to our Colorado studios to film a variety of bead embroidery courses. I found it so inspiring to watch her–her methods are spontaneous, her designs springing from her imagination and seldom from a sketch. In her video on incorporating shibori ribbon into your designs, she lays the groundwork for a stunning cuff by first stitching a cabochon onto the foundation and embellishing around it, then stitching a complementary color of ribbon in a freeform design.
She then shows how she embellishes in and around the ribbon, talking through her approach as she works. You’ll find Sherry’s teaching method to be so approachable, so easy to understand. If you’ve never tried bead embroidery before, there’s no need to be intimidated. Download Sherry’s video for easy-to-follow instruction and examples of this masterful art. Even if you have worked with shibori before, you are bound to pick up some new ideas from one of the most popular teachers in the nation.
As managing editor of Beadwork magazine, I see a lot of gorgeous projects–but none more gorgeous than those designed by Cristie Prince. Cristie has a certain elegant style that truly sets her designs apart. You should have heard the “Oohs” and “Ahhs” when we opened the package containing the projects for Cristie’s eBook. From the absolutely stunning Lady Diana Necklace to the completely over-the-top Crown Tassel Necklace, the designs in this eBook will stop any beader in her tracks and make her drool with bead envy. However, my favorite project in this eBook is the simple but sparkly Queen of Diamonds Bracelet. I’ve had the silver Queen of Diamonds Bracelet kit on my desk for quite a while, and I just recently found the time to start it.
This project is working up very quickly, even for a novice like me! What I love about this eBook–other than the beautiful designs, of course–is that it includes projects for every skill level. So whether you’re up to the challenge of one of Cristie’s more intricate designs or you just want to make something quick and easy, you’re sure to find a piece of jewelry you can’t live without in Bead Royale: Elegance in Beadweaving.
Great for Beginning Beaders
One of my favorite beading products in the Interweave store is Quick + Easy Beadwork 2017. This special issue is home to 34 projects that are easy to make and wear. The collection is fun and trendy, is appealing for all ages and styles, and is full of accessories for any occasion. Although most of my friends don’t bead, the majority love to wear jewelry and are eager to become makers. This magazine is my go-to whenever a new beader is looking for their first project to make. With a variety of designs to choose from, I know each person will find something they fancy. It’s also my favorite resource for quick gift ideas or spur of the moment projects. A must-make from Quick + Easy Beadwork 2017 is Cecil Rodriguez’s Massasauga Bracelet.
DiamonDuos, one of the newest two-hole beads, are used to create three diamond-shaped components that are easily assembled into a chic accessory. I love the vibrant color palette Cecil used, and I can only imagine how other combinations will transform this piece.
Beginning and Seasoned Beaders Alike
Approaching beadweaving for the first time is intimidating: the beads are tiny, the diagrams look like something out of a text book, and mistakes are frequent. Mastering a new stitch is like solving a puzzle with many false starts along the way. Carol Cypher’s Mastering Beadwork: A Comprehensive Guide to Off-Loom Techniques is a masterful introduction to a complex skill, and it has been the only resource I’ve needed to get started.
The book takes a systematic, thorough approach to instructing the beginner by starting with simpler stitches and moving toward more challenging ones. Within each stitch chapter, there are several projects that also progress in difficulty, so working through the book is a skill building process that actually works. And I’m not the only one who feels this way. Mastering Beadwork, published in 2007, has long been a favorite of our readers, becoming something of an instant classic. While I’ve used it as a beginner’s guide, I’ve also heard from advanced beaders who use it as a reference tool to which they return over and over. I can’t recommend this book enough to anyone looking to break into beading.
A Great Mix for Everyone
What happens when you take metal, beads, resin, leather, wire, and more beads, then put them all together? I can think of a lot of things, actually, but in this story it leads us to the new BeadingDaily Jewelry special issue! What a great issue Debbie Blair, Editor of Beadwork magazine, put together. She combined 33 projects spanning so many wonderful materials and techniques (there’s 36 different jewelry–making techniques listed!), which really represents us, the BeadingDaily community. This issue holds so many wonderful ideas and tremendous amounts of inspiration. And not only will you find jewelry-making projects, there are also seed bead designs. Don’t worry if you’re new to seed beads–also included in the issue is a Quick-Start Guide to Seed Beads & Seed Beading, which will be a great jumpstart or good refresher if it’s been a while.