My Best Beading Moments from 2014, and Looking Ahead to 2015

Another year over, can you believe it? Last thing I remember, I was resolving to do more bead embroidery in 2014 and planning my son’s birthday party while I worked on my yoga teacher training. All of a sudden, it seems, the year has flown by in a blur of beads and blogs, and here I am, ready to start 2015 with a whole bunch of new jewelry-making and beading skills under my belt!

But before I say goodbye to 2014, here are a few of my favorite moments from Beading Daily this year!

January 2014

January: Learning how to make beaded dodecahedron beaded beads using peyote stitch and right-angle weave.
Carnelian necklace created after a weekend of meditation at yoga teacher training.

January found me halfway through a yoga teacher training course where I spent every other weekend practicing yoga and meditation with a group of amazing and wonderful women. During one particular weekend when we focused on meditation, I rediscovered my passion for creating beaded jewelry with gemstones. I also spent a lot of time playing with the form of a beaded dodecahedron, thanks to the fabulous beaded beads of Cindy Holsclaw. Little did I know that these two ideas would shape most of what I did with my beads for the coming year!

June 2014

Fast forward through the rest of the bitter cold winter, and suddenly, everything was in bloom! Spring and autumn are when I can feel my whole being come alive, and I find my sketchbooks filled with beaded jewelry design ideas inspired by the beautiful Adirondack mountains where I make my home. After such a long, cold winter, spring this year felt especially sweet — and the beaded jewelry I made as the days got longer and the nights got warmer definitely reflect my love of designing with nature.

August 2014

By August, I was a regular at my local farmer’s markets, and I was thrilled to discover another local beadwork artist! (We’re few and far between up here in the sparsely populated Adirondack Park.) Karen Parker was selling her gorgeous brick stitch butterflies, moths, and insects at the Keene Valley farmer’s market every week, and I loved them so much, I couldn’t resist sharing them with the rest of Planet Bead!

Also in August, I got to spend time at Bead Fest Philadelphia, reconnecting with old friends and colleagues and just enjoying the overwhelming sensation of walking through an entire convention center full of beads, jewelry-making supplies, and new beading tools!

Not that I really needed to add anything else to my enormous stash of beading supplies, but I was pretty happy with the day I spent shopping, er, walking the show floor. I came home with an enormous bag of handmade beads, druzy agates for beaded earrings, seed beads, brass components, and handmade cabochons! Oh, if only those beads could talk…but it’s probably a good thing that they can’t.

September

September meant it was time for my son to go back to school (he started first grade this year!), and it was time for me to learn a few new beading tricks. Enter the most fabulous beaded rope technique that I have ever learned…a quick and easy herringbone stitch rope made with two-holed seed beads. This beaded rope technique still haunts my dreams, and I doubt that I will ever get tired of making these. No need for an armature to give these beaded ropes a sturdy, flexible shape, and once you get the hang of the pattern, they are delightfully addicting! Made up in my favorite satin metallic Twin bead colors, these are classy, stylish additions to any jewelry wardrobe.

December

And finally, this year I’m proud to say that I’ve overcome my #1 beading challenge: stretchy cord! Yes, now that I’ve figured out the best way to work with stretchy cord, I finally understand the whole love-hate relationship that most beaders have with it. In keeping with my re-discovered love of beading with gemstones, I’m using my stretchy cord powers for good and making dozens and dozens of stretchy mala bead bracelets for myself and as gifts for my yoga friends! Who knew that being this flexible could be so much fun?

Of course, what would 2014 be without my favorite beading resources to keep me beading? I got to preview and play with so many great beading books, magazines, and videos this year! Check out all my favorites in the Beading Daily Shop and get yourself a little something to ring in the new year!

What were your favorite beading books, magazines, or videos from 2014? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share them with us!

Bead Happy and Happy New Year!

Jennifer

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