Beading is a sticky craft--and I don't mean when you accidentally spill maple syrup on your beads! (Anyone else spend time contemplating how much a waffle looks like a neat little right-angle weave project?)
In the recent reader poll about the "other" activities you enjoy, I was surprised by how many beaders came to beading through other crafts--quilting, scrapbooking, knitting, crochet--and how once fell into beading, they stuck with it. That was exactly what happened to me and I was cheered to find that I was not alone! Here's how one reader expressed it:
"I started sewing at 11, went on to spinning and weaving and finally to beading. My mom took me to a lot of thrift stores and garage sales so I began collecting beads and other fancy things at an early age. In between, I have done handmade paper, felting, quilling, crochet, quilting, knitting, and finally, beading. The beading really stuck. I have never met a bead I did not like. Beads have so much history and energy to them. I feel I will never know everything about beads."
Just because you love beading, doesn't mean that you do it exclusively. More than 1,300 beaders said that they do other crafts too, with more than 50% choosing sewing as their craft of choice after beading. Crochet was the second most popular activity, closely followed by knitting. Some might change activities with the season or their mood, while others love combining crafts (especially beading!):
"I enjoy cross-stitching, but have never been able to do the french knots required for accents on some pieces. After I suggestion from an aunt, I now use Delicas or Charlottes to create the same effect."
"I've just starting knitting with beads and it makes the most adorable little amulet bags! I took a little time off of knitting to get my bead corner set up and I didn't realise how much I missed it until I started this project. Now I have the best of both worlds!"
"I find the more crafts or art I do enhances my beading creativity. At one point, I thought I was burned out on jewelry and turned to glass and mosaic. It wasn't long before I picked up beads again with a sense of renewal."
"I work at a bead store and I find that just about every employee has multiple creative outlets--beading and ceramics, beading and knitting, beading and card making, etc. Us beaders are quite a creative group!"
Rather than combine crafts themselves, some readers work on joint projects with others:
"My mother is a quilter and the two of us have worked together on projects where she creates the quilt blocks and I do bead embroidery on them."
There were a few (3%) who were do-or-die beaders who do nothing else:
"I have had to limit my other hobbies, as the craft room was full and hubby said I couldn't use the rest of the house to store projects!"
"I bead on my lap in the sitting room so I find that the practicalities of an extra craft as well are too daunting. I can't imagine where I would fit extra materials and tools!"
As usual, there were some nuggets of hard-earned wisdom in the more than 450 comments. Here's one that made me laugh because it is so true:
"People who don't do any kind of craft work have the tidiest houses ever!!"
Quilting Arts Contest: For those of you who enjoy embellishing your quilts with beads, be sure to check out the guidelines for the Quilting Arts Magazine 2010 Calendar Contest. Your work could be featured in the calendar and you could win a $200 gift certificate for their online store. You have until March 2009 to enter. Details.
Want more contest announcements, charity fundraisers, and other bead-related events? Check out the new forum just for this topic--and please share your own announcements!
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.