Editor’s Guide to Creativity in Beading
No matter the season, I feel like those who create always put themselves last on the list. We take care of business, take care of our families, take care of our responsibilities to home, this time of year we’re likely also making gifts, and then eventually get around to taking care of ourselves. Well, it’s my wish for you, and my suggestion, to find more “you” time and enjoy some creativity in beading for yourself.
It’s also good to refuel those creative juices. So maybe stretch your boundaries and offer yourself time for something that is satisfying (even if failure at first) once complete. I’m going to take my own advice and start by warming my creativity up with a video; Nichole Starman’s Accordion Stitch and Asymmetrical Beads video, to be precise.
Not only is Nichole creative and inventive (she created the CzechMates 2-hole beading system), she’s also an amazing teacher, and one who gives all the tips and tricks you need to be successful. If you’re looking for more beyond this video, be sure to also read Beadweaving Hinges, Basting Stitches, and More From Nichole Starman and check out that video, too.
Nichole will have you beading, thinking beyond the basics, and feeling energized in no time!
– Tammy Honaman
Editor Beadwork Magazine
WHIMSICAL BEAD EMBROIDERY
I recently discovered Kinga Nichols’ magical and whimsical bead embroidery and completely fell in love with her unique style! I am so happy that she is sharing her knowledge of beading and her unique way of looking at the world as a magical place filled with endless possibilities. In her Creative Bead Embroidery 1 with Kinga Nichols: Working with Precut Foundations and Creative Bead Embroidery 2 with Kinga Nichols: Stitching with Shaped Beads and Fine Fabrics you will learn how to work with shaped beads, fine fabrics, and precut foundations to enhance your bead embroidery designs.
In the Working with Precut Foundations, Kinga encourages her students to “bead without boundaries,” using embroidery techniques to fill in a precut foundation to create an adorable fish-themed cuff bracelet. I adore the fish’s oversized eye—it gives it such a whimsical feel.
Continue on to the second workshop, where Kinga shows you how to incorporate shaped beads and fine fabrics to add unique texture and dimension to a piece. Using a pretty fabric on top of your beading foundation means that you don’t have to cover the entire foundation with beads and you can finish a project much faster!
I have only dabbled with bead embroidery, but I’m feeling so inspired by Kinga’s creative and exciting approaches to bead embroidery. I love that the shape of the foundation and the beads you’ve chosen set your limits and then you are free to be creative within those limits. It feels very approachable.
I can’t wait to create my own creature of whimsy and magic!
– Meredith Steele
Technical Editor, Beadwork magazine
Given that I love Japanese art forms like origami, kirigami, and karakuri, it’s rather ironic how intimidated I was by kumihimo when I first heard of it. The multi-slotted, numbered disks (both round and square) looked mysterious, and the written instructions I had attempted to read seemed beyond complicated.
Luckily, that all changed when I watched Jill Wiseman’s video, Kumihimo with Beads. Not only is kumihimo much more straightforward than I originally thought, it’s also extremely soothing to do! With her engaging, cheerful teaching style, Jill makes the techniques immediately approachable, from preparing the loom disk (affiliate link) to creating a basic eight-strand braid to adding beads and embellishing. Watching her perform the braiding movements in real-time was much easier than following written kumihimo instructions. And now that I’ve watched the video, written instructions are not nearly as confusing as they once were.
If you’re looking for a great instruction on creating beautiful braided designs, Kumihimo with Beads fits the bill. This technique is also a great hands-on activity for kids, especially because adding beads is optional for more advanced braiders. My younger child has taken to kumihimo like a wasp to spilled Kool-Aid, consuming Rattail cord at an impressive pace. It’s a wonderful activity to keep his hands busy on long car trips and at his brother’s orchestra concerts. This could become your next obsession too!
– Tamara Kula
Producer, Bead & Jewelry Group
Bead Looming Creatively
I love the Jewel Loom Friendship Bracelet Picot Stitch by my friend Julianna Avelar. These bracelets are fairly quick to whip up and make great gifts or jewelry to sell. It would be fun to experiment with different color combinations or even use leftover beads from other bead weaving projects to create a random effect.
Julianna invented the Jewel Loom to give beaders an easy, flexible way to create loomed designs. This bracelet is a great introduction to on-loom bead weaving. In this step-by-step video, Julianna demonstrates everything you need to know from start to finish along with variations for making the design your own.
But, watch out! These beaded bracelets can be addictive. There’s a meditative quality to bead weaving that makes you want to weave lots of these.
– Katie Hacker
Interim Managing Editor Beadwork Magazine and Host Beads, Baubles & Jewels
Beef up your video library then enjoy some creative time, just for you!