Beadwork Editors Share Their Favorite Beading Projects of All Time
If there’s one thing that all of the editors who touch Beadwork have in common, it’s that we love the craft. We love the artists. We love the readers. We love the vendors. We love all the beading projects! In short, we love what we do because we are inspired each and every day by all of you.
And another thing to be certain of is that our tastes are as varied as our personalities! We’re in the midst of planning our 20th Anniversary issue of Beadwork and it’s been fun looking at past issues and favorite projects. Read on to see a few of our favorite projects from Beadwork magazine, then be sure to pick up a copy of your favorites in the Interweave store.
Feminine and Frilly
It’s difficult for me to name a favorite project from the past twenty years of Beadwork! There are a number of standouts in my mind, all for different reasons. However, a favorite that really reflects my personality and style is Lucie’s Daisy Patch bracelet, by Kelli Burns, from the April/May 2008 issue. I had only been on staff for a few months when the issue came out in 2008, and I recall seeing the cover image and thinking how pretty and feminine and wearable these bracelets seemed.
If you could have a peek in my closet, you’d see that a good percentage of my garments are made from patterned fabric — from delicate and dainty patterns, to big and bold. And my spring and summer clothing in particular consists almost entirely of floral patterns to be exact. I’m positive I inherited this from my paternal grandmother, who wore the brightest, boldest patterned dresses every day of her life. Thanks, Grandma Ester!
Learning to create daisy chains wasn’t all that intimidating to me as a newbie, either. And adding soft and feminine Lucite flower embellishments and the large flower closure, well, those were just icing on the cake!
—Debbie Blair, Editor
Penny Dixon is one of my favorite Beadwork designers, and one of my favorite projects is her Rising Phoenix Earrings from the April/May 2015 issue. I think this is one of the first projects that I actually named, shortly after I started as managing editor of Beadwork magazine.
I’m a big Harry Potter fan (although not as big as my kids, all three of whom have read the entire series at least three times each!). By the time Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came out, I had already devoured the first four books and was eagerly awaiting the fifth. When I saw Penny’s earrings, the shape immediately reminded me of the book cover, with a phoenix rising from the ashes, its wings spread in flight.
Penny’s earrings are made from seed beads, SuperDuos, drop beads, fire-polished rounds, and two-hole triangles. The SuperDuos and fire-polished rounds in the top component resemble a phoenix’s head, tucked into a circular shape. The way the two-hole triangles fan out in the center portion of the earrings definitely looks like wings in flight. And the beaded drop at the bottom reminds me of the fireball beneath a phoenix as it rises from the ashes.
I’m not sure whether my beading skills are quite up to making these earrings yet, but they remain one of my all-time favorite Beadwork projects.
—Lavon Peters, Managing Editor
What is my favorite project from Beadwork magazine? This question is almost impossible to answer because it seems that every time we release an issue I find a new favorite! But if I absolutely had to choose I would narrow my long list down to Cindy Holsclaw’s Flowerpots Bracelet from the February/March 2015 issue of Beadwork. Just one look at this feminine, fun, and flirty bracelet makes me feel tickled pink! Dainty “pots” made with two-hole Tila and Half Tila beads are filled with Rizo “flowers” in an array of girly colors. Whether or not you were blessed with a green thumb, this bracelet is one chance to create the garden of your dreams!
—Megan Lenhausen, Project Editor
As a newcomer to the bead world, I find myself especially drawn to beginner-level projects. I look for something not so difficult that I find it impossible to attempt, but also something fun and exciting to show off when I am out on the town. That is why Ann Gilbert’s Beaded Bubble Cuff and Earrings from the December/January 2012 issue is one of my favorite projects. With many color options shown, the exciting design adds a modern, colorful flair to your favorite little black dress or some worn blue jeans. Made with different sized rubber O-rings, Japanese seed beads, cylinder beads, and cubes, this brick and peyote stitch project is simple, yet striking to the eyes.
—Marissa Bouska, Assistant Editor
Find your favorite in the next issue or maybe in a past issue. Check out the collections of issues past, add to your library, and always, keep on beading!
What’s your favorite issue? Your favorite project? Please leave a comment below.
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