National Seed Beading Month – How Did You Do?

I was very happy with the progress I made on this bead embroidered collar for the Etsy Beadweavers' Challenge.

So, here it is, December first! I can hardly believe that we are down to the last month of 2011, and that November went by so quickly!

Some of you might remember that at the beginning of November, I decided to declare it National Seed Beading Month, or NaSeeBeMo, after seeing a mention about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) from fellow bead artist Dulcey Heller. It was an interesting idea, particularly with all the beading deadlines I had in front of me! What would happen if I really made an effort to bead every single day. Would it be hard to fit in some beading time between family responsibilities, work, and everything else that goes along in the day of a working mother/bead artist?

Well, I'm pleased to report that I only missed two days out of thirty for the month of November! What a great feeling it was when I looked at my calendar last night and realized that there were only two days without a little gold star on them! (Yes, I resort to grade-school rewards for myself when I have a big project or goal to reach. It really works.)

Not only did I manage to get some beading time in every day, I even had the chance to do some beading in public at my favorite coffee shop while waiting to pick up my husband from work one afternoon. Talking with other customers and coffee shop staff about what I was doing was a wonderful experience, and the staff already knew me from my long writing sessions there. But they'd never seen me with my beads!

So, I thought I'd share some of the projects that I completed during this month-long seed beading marathon:

  • I made solid progress on my goal to bead every project in Rachel Nelson-Smith's new book, Bead Riffs. While I couldn't tackle some of the larger projects yet, I did finish all the earrings in the book, two pendants, and got started on one of the bracelets.
  • I completed a challenge piece for Beadwork magazine well ahead of deadline – a small miracle itself!
  • I made good progress on a bead embroidered collar for the Etsy Beadweavers' Challenge. The deadline for this piece to be finished and listed in my shop is December 5, and even though I probably won't make that deadline, I'm very excited about the progress I made on what will be my first "major" beaded collar in a very long time.
  • I nearly completed my challenge piece for The Hole Bead Shop challenge! I can only show you a teeny tiny picture of it here, just a little taste of what the final piece will look like when I submit it on December 10.
Just a tiny sneak peek at my challenge piece for The Hole Bead Shop. To be revealed on December 10!

So how did I do it? Well, even a busy working mom like me found a way to sneak in some beading time! Here are a few tips to help get you started:

1. Set realistic goals. Don't except to be able to bead for hours every single day. Most days, I didn't even expect one hour a day of beading time. If there were deadlines I had to meet that day, I made my reward for meeting those deadlines a fifteen-minute beading session. Even fifteen minutes of beading is better than no beading at all!

2. Be kind to yourself. Even if all you did was bead for ten minutes while your lunch was warming up in the microwave, you still managed to get some beading time in your day! Be happy about what you do accomplish, and don't beat yourself up. You can also give yourself tiny rewards to help motivate you, even if you don't feel like beading. I gave myself a little gold star sticker on my calendar for every day  that I did some beading.

3. Make it a date. We schedule time for doctor appointments, hair cuts and car maintenance, so why not schedule some time for beading? Write it in your calendar – in INK, please – and stick to it. Beading can be just as beneficial to our well-being as anything else, so we should always try to make time for some relaxing with our beads. If you have a hard time beading by yourself, call a friend to bead with you!

If you missed out on November's NaSeeBeMo, don't worry. You can try for a month of beading every day any time you want! If you need some more motivation, I'll be doing another beading challenge for the month of January with my Earrings-Every-Day challenge (details to come soon!) where you have to make a pair of beaded earrings every day for an entire month. Or if you're intimidated by a full thirty-one days of beading, pick the month of February – with only twenty-eight days! – for your first month.

Did you try to bead every day for the month of November? How did you do? What would you recommend for other beaders who want to try this challenge? Will you be trying to do this challenge every month? Share your thoughts, experiences and advice here on the blog!

Bead Happy,


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