Meet Jewelry Stringing Editor Debbie Blair

When you page through the magazines we make at F+W, you’re paging through the work of dozens of people who you might not know. I DO know them, however, and would like to introduce you!

Today I’m pleased to present Debbie Blair, the editor of Jewelry Stringing magazine. In the many years that I’ve known Debbie, I’ve found that she’s got the heart of a lamb with the creative soul of a lion. Always on trend, always in the know, and always the first to the finish line, Debbie is one of the crown jewels of our editorial team.

Debbie Blair

Debbie Blair, editor of Jewelry Stringing magazine

Q: How long have you been at Interweave/F+W? How did you start your journey to becoming the editor of Jewelry Stringing?
A: Next spring, I’ll celebrate 9 years with Interweave. My background is actually in graphic design, and I found that the most enjoyable part of those positions was always proofreading and editing the copy that my clients would provide. So working my way toward a publishing job seemed like a natural fit! I actually got my foot in the door with Interweave as an editorial assistant for Beadwork and Interweave Knits magazines. Being a jewelry maker, I naturally gravitated toward the bead publications here, spent five years as the managing editor, then worked my way up toward senior editor and finally editor of Jewelry Stringing.

Q: You’re the editor of Jewelry Stringing, but you’re working on lots of other projects at F+W, too. Can you tell us a little bit about those?
A: Oh boy, I really love working on special issues. That really mixes it up for me because I get to work with different types of jewelry that use techniques other than–or in addition to–stringing. My baby for 2016 is the new Beading Daily Jewelry issue that will include a variety of mixed-media, wire, metal, stringing, and easy beadweaving projects. And our project compilations (or eBooks as we call them) are fun to put together because they’re always based on a theme or a top-notch designer and we’re able to assemble a number of cool projects into a nice, neat, and easily accessible package for downloading.

Q: When you were a little girl did you think, “I’m going to work at a beading magazine!” or has this been a surprise?
A: Total surprise! Growing up, I was determined to move to New York City and work in (or own) a restaurant! I’ve always loved to cook and try new foods, and even had a short stint in culinary school, followed by a year as a pastry chef. My college training, however, was in fine art and graphic design, which led to that type of work and eventually into editing! I have been a lifelong crafter, so Interweave was the perfect place for me to land.

Debbie Blair at board

Debbie Blair going over projects in an upcoming magazine issue.

Q: What do you get most excited about when you receive submissions to the magazines?
A: All of the creativity! So many times I look at the pieces and think “why didn’t I think of that?!” It’s just so fun seeing how people interpret the themes we come up with for each issue.

sunny day

Sunny Day, a necklace design by Jewelry Stringing editor, Debbie Blair.

Q: What are your creative outlets other than stringing beads and drinking beer? (Just kidding!)
A: Since we moved to such a craft beer mecca almost 10 years ago, my husband has been trying to convert me from sugary, calorie-laden mixed drinks to craft beers! He did have some success, until I had to give up gluten earlier this year! In my limited spare time, I enjoy making jewelry (especially polymer clay components) and will soon tackle torch-fired PMC. Other hobbies: movies (I’m totally a Minions freak!), cooking, working in the yard, and playing board games with my 7-year-old.

Debbie Blair video

Debbie Blair on the set of her video, Transform Wood Beads with Paper and Dye

Q: “I couldn’t get to work in the morning without…”
A: A little humor. The morning team from a favorite radio show based in Denver gets me going with their ridiculous banter!

Debbie Blair at desk

Debbie Blair at work.

Q: What does your work space say about you?
A: Well, that depends on the day! A cluttered desktop obviously is indicative of the multiple projects I’m juggling at any given time. But the walls in my office are plastered with photos of gorgeous, inspirational projects from our talented contributors that will be featured in upcoming issues. Add to that mix trays of beads and tools ready for their beauty shots, my inbox of new products waiting to be looked through, and shelves full of past issues, jewelry books, and DVDs. Not exactly your “typical” office environment!

Q: If you had big feathery wings and could fly, what would you do first?
A: Zoom toward Tuscany—at the very top of my bucket list.

Thanks, Debbie, for sharing a little bit about you…and for heading up one of the most beautiful magazines around, Jewelry Stringing.

Want to check out Jewelry Stringing and all of our other great magazines? It’s a great day to do so since today all of our physical and digital magazines are on sale for $1.99. These make great stocking-stuffers for the beaders on your holiday list, but you’ll want to stock up for yourself, too, in case you’ve missed any back issues.

Happy beading!


Jean Cox, Beading editorial director

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