Top 10 Free Beading Tips & Projects from 2008

Year in Review

Any way you count it, 2008 was a terrific year for Beading Daily!  We welcomed Jean Campbell as contributing editor every Wednesday.  We also welcomed our magazine editors (Marlene Blessing, Danielle Fox, Denise Peck, Leslie Rogalski, Sara Graham, Melinda Barta) and their thoughts on topics like ethnic jewelry, using clothing as inspiration, and colored wire as a smart economic choice.  We opened the forums.  We gave away free projects every week and held several contests and giveaways.  We voted on everything from the winning Bead Star entries to which free project you most wanted from the book Custom Cool Jewelry.  At our first charity fundraiser, we raised more than $1,000 by selling the instructions for the Awareness Ribbon Pin by Kerrie Slade.  All in all, a great year!

Now It's Your Turn

What do you want to see in 2009?  Which techniques and designers should we feature?  Do you want more contests–or fewer?  Should we keep the weekly free projects?  (I've had emails telling me that the free projects were "a waste of time."  Do you agree?)  I'd love to hear your ideas and learn more about you.  What drives you crazy about Beading Daily?  What do you love?  Please take a few minutes to take this survey.  I will do what I can to make your wishes come true in 2009! 

10 Best Articles of 2008

These were the articles that everyone wanted to read on Beading Daily this year:

  1. Beginning Silver Fusing: Free Video on Making Headpins *
  2. How to Wire Knit with a Knitting Spool
  3. Top Organization Tips from Readers
  4. Healing Beads: The Special Meanings of Gemstones
  5. Katie Hacker Talks about Creativity, Trends

* Due to the popularity of the silver fusing article,  we are offering a special limited time deal on the book Silver Wire Fusing by Liz Jones.  Buy a copy today and take 25% off!

These were the articles that everyone wanted to talk about on Beading Daily this year:

  1. Beading for Boys
  2. Basketweave Crimps and Other Hard-to-Find Items
  3. Music to Bead By
  4. Find (and Rate) a Bead Shop Near You
  5. Designing Jewelry for People with Metal Allergies

10 Best Free Projects of 2008

Congratulations and thanks to all the designers and magazines who shared their work with us this year!  Not all the projects are still free.  Some projects were available free for a limited time–a good reminder that if you see a free project you like, download it right away! 

  1. The Illusion by Julie Ann Smith (Beading Daily exclusive)
  2. Navy and Pearls by Barbara Richard (Beadwork) – instructions available in the store
  3. Butterfly Pendant by Carolyn Baum (Step by Step Wire Jewelry)
  4. Fireflies by Char Jorgensen (Step by Step Wire Jewelry)
  5. Tubular Peyote Rope by Bonnie Brooks (Step by Step Beads)
  6. Parallel Chain Neckdrape by Barbara Hance (Step by Step Wire Jewelry)
  7. Holiday Crochet Necklace by Barbara Richard (Beadwork)
  8. Dragonfly's Garden by Julia Watt (Stringing)
  9. Big Island Necklace by Leslie Rogalski (Creative Jewelry)
  10. Dancing Spiral Earrings by Heather Trundle (Step by Step Wire Jewelry)

I was a little surprised to see that two peyote stitch projects took the top spot this year.  Peyote stitch often comes up in beading surveys as the most popular technique, but I though this might be the year that wireworking took the honors.  If you're already a peyote stitch diva, check out the 80+ peyote stitch projects in the store. If you're new to peyote stitch, dive into the details with the classic book, Beading with Peyote Stitch by Jeannette Cook and Vicki Star.  After walking you through the stitch basics (including variations like circular peyote), the authors guide you through ten projects from a simple beaded tube to an amulet pouch with a charted design.

I'd love to know if you were surprised by anything on our "top ten" lists.  Did your favorites make the cut?  Share your thoughts on the website.

Michelle Mach shares beading news, contests, reader galleries, and other beady stuff every Monday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.

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