Inching Along: Behind-the-Scenes Lessons from Our Seed-Bead Soiree

It all started with YOU, my dear Beading Daily friends! In my June 14 Beading Daily post, I decided to confess, to come clean, to air my dirty laundry, I admitted I am not a seed beader. Not only that, but I've never even tried it. Much too afraid of another jewelry addiction, I avoided those stitches like the plague. I looked the other way when bead shopping and stayed relatively seed-bead-free. That is, up until last Friday.
Our seed-bead plan

After watching Leslie Rogalski's new Doodlebeads Volume 2 DVD, I actually wanted to try out those terrific tiny treasures! Many of you commented, inquiring about my first attempts. Thanks for all your words of wisdom, shared stories, and encouragement. It's delightful to be a part of such a fascinating community. There were others in the office here at Interweave who wanted to try some seed beading to see what the hubbub is all about, so we decided to have our first Beading Daily Seed Bead Soiree.
Melinda Barta, editor of Beadwork Magazine, was our fearless instructor, with Danielle Fox, editor of Stringing Magazine, pinch-hitting with all the confused souls, such as myself. 
There were cake and ice cream, beads of every color, magazines for inspiration plus a whole bunch of newbies ready to dive in with me! We decided to start with the all-time fave, peyote stitch. A few of the rookies ventured off into other territories (right-angle weave) and clearly should have mastered peyote first!
We loved hands-on expertise from Melinda and Danielle, as well as Beadwork includes free instructions in every issue. This came in very handy.
We wanted to include you, dear readers, as well. So we posted play-by-play comments and images on Facebook and Twitter. Some of you commented you'd like this type of event presented in a webinar so you could join in with us. Others beaded along with us and we loved that. There were loads of laughs, do-overs, and a few folks didn't even bead but cheered us on.

Seed-bead lessons learned

  • Don't stick seed-bead tubes into a cake as pretend candles. Great idea but you'll end up with sticky beads. Promise.


  • Don't use odd-shaped, triangular, for example or really small beads for your first attempt (no size 15's please).
  • Tight, tight, tight. We learned the peyote stitch with many lessons on tension (not the headache kind). Here's Christan's first attempt.
  • Here's Erin creating her own "Summer Showers" stitch, and Tina Simpson-Reed is the lucky winner of this bracelet for guessing the stitch as "fringe" on Facebook.
  • Don't let the teacher leave without showing you how to finish off your creation! Melinda had to get back to work on the magazine so we were on our own. Perhaps we'll do finishing techniques for the Beading Daily Seed Bead Soiree 2?
After this beady extravaganza, I must admit, I "get" it. I get why you are all so addicted to the "almighty seed" and fill every waking moment with pulling strings through those little holes. I get the zenlike state you enter as you bead away, while minutes effortlessly turn into hours. Everything disappears except those little beauties and your peeps (if they're around). I get the excitement when you see inches (for some like me) and feet (for the more advanced) accumulate and your creation starts taking shape. I get it! 

Erin and Melissa picking out beads


David's first project, just kidding!

Jen and Melinda
Chelsea   Please, don't eat the beads!    
The Almighty Seed

I admit I am now fully hooked on those little babies. I mean, how much space can those tiny tubes of beads take up in my already-filled-to-the-brim studio anyway? And how much can those tubes cost? they're so "little." And what stitch to try next: right-angle weave, brick, square? I'm looking to all of you dear Beading Daily readers to guide me on this. We're in this together, and I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Share your seed-bead wisdom on

 Come bead with me,




Here's your FREE Friday beading pattern, Flower Earrings by JoAnn Baumann. I can't wait to make these great earrings. I need way more practice and look forward to making a pair in every color. Enjoy!

Post a Comment