Playing With Beaded Ropes to Boost Your Creativity

What is creativity? My dictionary defines “creativity” as: the use of imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of artistic work. But creativity can be found in all aspects of our lives, even in the simplest and most mundane of our daily tasks.

The whole concept of creativity has been on my mind a lot lately. You see, the first time I went to see the shaman back in April, she told me that once I put some beads into my hair, I would be welcoming back my soul’s creativity. I had hoped that maybe this meant that I would find some of my beading mojo, which seems to have taken a vacation in the last couple of months, but instead, I found myself drawing mandalas and writing short fiction for the first time in many years. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed that my beading muse didn’t just bounce back to life, but I stuck with my sketchbooks and journals for the time being.

After a few weeks of drawing in circles and patterns in my sketchbooks, I started taking those mandala designs and translating them into beaded jewelry designs using netting and bead embroidery. It was, you could say, quite a roundabout path to get me back to beading every day, but I did get there!

It also made me more aware of places in my life where I was exercising my creativity – like in my yoga classes and putting together new yoga and beading workshops – and other places in my life where I needed to start using my imagination.

A few years ago, I remember bead artist Kerrie Slade testing the limits of her own creativity by committing to using only one color of seed bead in her bead-weaving for an entire year! I was fascinated by the way her creativity really blossomed when she actually set limits on the beading supplies she could use, and it made me wonder what would happen if I tried a similar experiment, maybe committing to exploring just one technique or color or form for an entire year.

Curious to see what would happen to your creativity if you placed limits on what you could or couldn’t do? Why not start with beaded ropes? Highly versatile, beaded ropes will let you explore the limits of your creativity while staying within the limits of a single form.

Some of my favorite bead artists have created fantastic resources for anyone who wants to learn more about how to make beaded ropes.

 

Beaded Ropes with Jill Wiseman is still one of my go-to videos as a reference for how to stitch beaded ropes. Her ideas and suggestions for adding beaded embellishments to a basic beaded rope will help you take them well beyond the ordinary.bd_beadedropescollection-500

Prismatic Right-angle Weave and More Shaping Techniques with Marcia DeCoster is another one of my favorite beading videos for creating intricate and outstanding beaded ropes. Cubic right-angle weave and prismatic right-angle weave are ideal for creating beaded ropes with lots of depth and texture.

 

Chenille stitch is another one of those new-to-me bead-weaving stitches that has lots of potential for creating beaded rope designs, and Jean Campell’s How to Work Chenille Stitch video short shows you exactly how to stitch the thread path of this fun bead-weaving stitch.

Of course, beaded ropes don’t just stop there: you can also make beaded ropes using two-hole seed beads and beading techniques like bead crochet.

Do you like the idea of challenging yourself to a whole year of beaded ropes? We’ve got the perfect collection for you: the Beaded Ropes Collection includes all of the videos I mentioned here, plus a bead crochet video for making Katie Wall’s Diamondback Bangle, and Jean’s fabulous video tutorial for working tubular peyote stitch using two-hole seed beads. Best of all, the Beaded Ropes Collection is all digital downloads, so you can be watching and beading in just a few minutes.

Download your Beaded Ropes Collection today, and see all the ways you can use your imagination and stoke your creativity when you learn the ins and outs of stitching beaded ropes.

Bead Happy,

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Jennifer

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