Easy BeadingCreate Style and Sass in a Flash

Leslie Rogalski   Step by step and bead by bead–

This may be the most challenging post I’ll ever write––to choose favorite projects from all my years as editor in chief of Step by Step Beads. After all, everything we (Managing Editor Jane Dickerson and I) chose to share with you was fabulous, or we wouldn’t have put it in the magazine. We took pride in the diversity of our projects, in introducing readers to the world of beading, stringing, wirework, polymer clay bead-making, and all the artists making waves in these mediums today. We knew all our projects were as stylish as they were easy to make.

That said, I do have an affinity for projects that called out to me more than others, simply for personal reasons. Here are just six of my fave designs and why I like them:

Learn to bead with seed beads

Some projects looked so easy and fun they made people want to learn how to bead. I get more e-mail about my Finger Food peyote rings than perhaps any other project I teach. Maybe it’s the stripes, or their colors, or just the fact they look so doable. Whatever it is, I still make these by the handful and know others do, too.
Seed-bead sensations
Some projects just made my fingers itch to stitch. Colorblock Cuff by Perie Brown was such a design . . . and our readers thought so, too, judging by the response we got! A simple flat herringbone stitch in jewel-tone colors and a graphic pattern were all I needed to make me say, “Oooh!” and put it on one of our covers.

Bold style
I am fascinated with the shapes, pattern, and sheer presence of pieces that have a bold and graphic style, especially if they look exotic. Carter Seibels-Singh’s necklace has an African flavor, which made me think of something one might see on Jane in an old Tarzan flick. Plus, the visual impact of black and white gets me every time.

Fearless use of color
Joyful use of color is something I so admire in many artists, and Suzanne Golden tops my list of color divas. Her spirited beadwork sparkles with bright colors, and even her black and white signature work is exciting and dramatic, but in a good way! Suzanne’s beading takes us to a very happy place. When her work arrived in our offices it made everyone smile and laugh, so I had to put her work on a cover, too.

Cool things to string
Many designs were about fast fashion. Using simple stringing and wire techniques to combine outstanding elements made several projects stand out for me. One was Melanie Brooks’ Steampunk necklace. Using her own ceramic beads and pendant, Melanie interpreted this style with mixed media, including metal chain and interesting dangles. Her design evoked a steampunk style without being derivative, so the necklace appeared fresh and new.

Beadwork traditions
Projects with history taught me about other cultures. Maria Rypan is renowned for keeping alive the intricacies of Ukrainian beading. In her regal Netted Diamonds collar, she shares a very modern-looking motif that’s actually been applied to beadwork for generations. Netting is not hard to learn, I might add, with our step-by-step directions!

The best in beading projects for beginners and beyond
To see why it was tough to choose just a few favorites from all the projects I’ve seen, check out The Best of Step by Step Beads. Good designs should forever have something to teach us and inspire us. And, since Step by Step Beads projects are all so completely doable, the best designs should always keep making our fingers itch to stitch.

Which projects make you want to run for your beads? Are they seed-bead designs in yummy colors? Stringing unusual art beads, or linking with chain? Share with us here on Beading Daily!

Happy Beading!

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