Hey Friends! Leah here from Eureka Crystal Beads with a Friday edition of my twice-weekly blog! Today’s topic is my Top-5 Beading Tips & Recommendations. These tips will cover a variety of jewelry making mediums so not all may apply to you – yet – but read on!
1. Don’t invest in junk tools. Jewelry making tools on the market can range from $3-$4 to $30-$60 – for one tool! For the enthusiastic beginning jewelry maker, I don’t think it’s necessary to invest right away in big fancy expensive tools BUT it’s also crucial to not waste your money on cheaply-made tools. Cheaply-made tools will simply have to be replaced after a short amount of time anyway or can even break mid-use! They can make your work more difficult and requiring more effort. Hand grips may not be as comfortable (if they are there at all) and will make using the tools harder on your hands. Plier jaws may be weaker and the tips of them may begin to “duck-bill” much sooner, or even rust and crack. (Yes, I speak from long-ago experience!) Good quality and still-affordable tools, when taken care of, will stay in good working condition and last you many years with minimal investment and will, over time, by less expensive than replacing cheaper tools over and over.
2. Challenge yourself! Do you want to continue to learn and grow as a beader / jewelry maker? Set regular goals for yourself – for example, a new bead stitch each month! Not only will your skill-set continue to expand, but regularly learning new things and challenging your brain is great at keeping the mind young!! If life is busy, perhaps set a goal of learning a new version of a stitch you already know. So if you’ve always been adept at even-count Peyote stitch, set a goal to master odd-count Peyote stitch! Or, my personal favorite new challenge, utilizing fun 2-hole beads like Superduo Beads in basic stitches I already know!
3. YouTube, your new beading classroom! If you haven’t yet, you should make some time to check out all of the great jewelry how-do videos on YouTube! Everything from basic stringing to advanced metalsmithing and all techniques in between can be found in this fantastic resource tool for those eager to learn more! And, not only that, but there will be multiple videos to learn the same thing. So what’s the perk there, Leah? Well, it means that if one instructor’s way of showing and explaining something doesn’t quite hit home for you, you’re bound to find another instructor who’s explaining the same technique – just a little different! Hopefully you’ve made sure to check out the Eureka Crystal Beads YouTube Channel to see our videos. 🙂 We’re learning, growing, and improving each week with regard to our content – so please continue to stay tuned and subscribe!
4. Google for color inspiration! I know, I know – choosing colors can be intimidating for some. You know you’re selecting beads for a project that will include your blood, sweat, and tears – that last thing you want is to realize part way in that one or two of your colors just don’t work as the elements are coming together. I love doing Google Images Searches for colors combinations found in nature. I get some of my best inspiration that way! In fact, it’s one of the factors that helped me come up with all the coordinated bead mixes we offer to you on the Eureka Crystal Beads website! Notice how many are nature-related themes? Consider checking out some gorgeous inspiration in nature found in a Google Image search and then compare for bead colors to purchase!
5. Lastly: Set your stubbornness aside! Have you always used the same [insert beading product here] and never deviated? You truly could be missing out products that make your life much much easier. For years I was a Nymo girl and resisted FireLine. Well, as the popularity of using Swarovski Crystals in beading weaving projects increased, I finally bit the bullet and decided to give FireLine a try because I heard it would stand up much better to threads like Nymo. Boy, I’ll tell you, I was kicking myself for not trying it sooner and now use it for all bead weaving projects, not just ones that include sharper beads. I’ve really learned to let go of what I think I know and except that perhaps there are other products on the market that might work better than the current products I’ve always used and loved. I might find (and have found!) alternatives that I love MORE!
So hopefully you found some helpful tidbits in this blog! I often have to take my own advice, so know you’re not alone! 🙂
Ok, until next time! BEad Happy!