Do You Keep a Beading Journal?

More and more beaders are keeping some kind of photographic journal to document their work on seed bead patterns and beading projects. Are you one of them?

I know lots of professional designers who keep a photographic journal of their seed bead patterns as they design and create them, including photos of everything from the very beginnings of the project all the way to the finished piece of beaded jewelry. But even if you're not a professional designer, you still might want to keep a record of the seed bead patterns you create over the years. If you're thinking of starting some kind of journal to document your adventure with seed bead patterns, here are some ideas for what to include in your journal.

Step-by-step Photographs

Some designers, like me, create a beautiful piece of seed bead jewelry, then sit down to write up instructions for this seed bead pattern and realize that they have absolutely no idea how they just made what they made. In cases like this, it helps to keep a little point-and-shoot digital camera handy to take step-by-step photos as you work your way through your beading project. Even taking a few quick pictures with your cell phone can help you to document and record the steps you took to create a piece of beaded jewelry.

Designer Name and Website

If you like to create beaded jewelry from seed bead patterns by other artists and designers, it always helps to include the name and website or contact email of the designer. If the seed bead pattern came from a book or a magazine, it also helps to note the title of the publication, the date published, and the publishing company for future reference.

When posting your photographs online, it's just good manners to include the name of the original designer. With issues swirling around the beadsphere about copyright theft and intellectual property, you can avoid a lot of headaches by just being courteous enough to acknowledge the original designer of the piece.

Types and Colors of Beads Used

The seed bead pattern may call for one particular type and color of bead, but when you choose to change up a pattern and make it your own, you should note what beads you changed from the original design. It helps to keep a list of sources where you purchased the beads, as well, and any stock numbers or color numbers that you have handy.

You might also want to think about contacting the designer of the piece and showing them how you've changed up their design! Most bead artists love to see how their seed bead patterns have inspired other beaders.

Take A Journey With Your Beads

Another trend that I love is seeing how many beaders fall in love with a book of beading projects and then decide to make every single project in the book. Sort of like what author Julie Powell did when she was teaching herself to cook by making every recipe in Julia Child's first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Just think about everything you could learn by making every beading project in a book! Of course, if you're looking to start a beading adventure like this, you'll want to document every step of the way with pictures, notes, and maybe even a blog.

Are you ready to start documenting your beading adventures with seed bead patterns? If you're looking for a great book to get started, check out A Beaded Romance by Kelly Wiese. You might recognize Kelly's beautiful style of beadwork from her Beadwork magazine Designer of the Year projects, and in her latest book, she presents twenty-six gorgeous seed bead patterns for beaded earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. Plus, when you order your copy of A Beaded Romance, you'll get six additional seed bead patterns to download instantly, for free!

Get your copy of A Beaded Romance by Kelly Wiese, and start documenting your beading journey with each of these beautiful beading projects.

Do you keep a beading journal of seed bead patterns you've designed, or created? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog with a link to your beading journal so we can check it out!

Bead Happy,


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