Learn a New Jewelry Technique Next Year (or Just Get Organized!)

Dec 28, 2008

New Year, New Stuff

Last year I wrote about beading resolutions.  One of my main goals was to try to use a bead loom.  And I'm a little embarrassed to admit I didn't quite get around to it.  (I did manage to do some loom weaving with yarn, go figure!)  I'm not too upset--I learned a lot of new stuff that I didn't expect to learn like how to begin creating metal jewelry, how to create a fabric bead, and how to make my own headpins with silver wire.

Sometimes resolutions are like that.  You resolve; your life doesn't.  But that doesn't mean it isn't fun to do a little dreaming.  Next year I want to play more with resin.  I've got my copper bezels lined up, along with little piles of watch parts, scrapbooking papers, and other odds and ends.  Plus, I'm keeping a copy of Melinda Barta's Custom Cool Jewelry book close by.  It's full of helpful tidbits like "paper burns at 451 degrees."  (I'm little afraid to ask Melinda how she knows that.  Hopefully she looked it up somewhere and there was no personal experience involved!)

Here's what some of the other editors are looking forward to 2009:

Jean Campbell, Contributing Editor, Beading Daily

"I found myself talking to my beads a little too much in 2008, so I think it might be healthy for me to get out of the house a little more in 2009. My resolution? Teach more!"

Elizabeth Murray, Assistant Editor, Beadwork and Stringing

"I have resolved to learn bead embroidery. Embroidery acts as a catalyst to use such a variety of bits and pieces of ribbon, beads, findings, etc. for texture and character that I will be able to dive into those little bags of leftovers I have sitting around.  Also, I believe learning to mix and match random extras really stretches my creativity!" 

Leslie Rogalski, Editor in Chief, Step by Step Beads

"I make resignations, not resolutions.  For example, 'I will run out of beads one row before I finish something.'"  (See Leslie's editorial in the January/February 2009 issue of Step by Step Beads for more of her resignations.) 

Melinda Barta, Editor, Beadwork

"I resolve to always keep an in-progress project close at hand. There are so many times when I find myself waiting for something or someone and I think to myself, 'I could be beading!' Luckily I have a really great flat tin box with a padded beading surface that is perfect for car rides."

Jane Dickerson, Managing Editor, Step by Step Beads

"My resolution for 2009 is to make a special place in my workspace for my cats. They seem to have invaded my beading territory, leaving me standing by the kitchen sink to string my necklaces."

Denise Peck, Editor in Chief, Step by Step Wire Jewelry

"In an effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle, I resolve to go through all my jewelry and beads and make good-sized pile to donate to a local school."

Sara Graham, Assistant Editor, Step by Step Wire Jewelry

"In 2009, I resolve to get organized.  My whole beading stash is thrown in cardboard boxes while moving in with my fiancé and not in proper storage containers or organizers. As the beads, wire, and tools seem to keep growing, I haven’t really kept up with storing them properly or in any kind of organized way! Once organized, then I can fulfill the second part of my resolution, making one piece of jewelry per week, even though life is very busy for me right now. And I’d also like to help my sister expand her interest in beading by showing her more stringing and wire techniques, and adding to her own stash!"

Danielle Fox, Editor, Stringing

"You should see the cool office/bead studio I have designed in my head! Problem is, the intended room is currently the house dumping grounds (piles of papers to sort, boxes of beads, bags of clothes intended for Goodwill, hiding place for messes when guests come over . . . you get the picture). My resolution is to save up enough money to buy the shelves and paint I need to make the dream of having a bona fide grown-up office/studio a reality."

What about you?  What do you hope to learn?  Any plans to change your beading life for the better?  Is there anything we can do to help?  Share your beading dreams and resolutions on the website!  

Holiday Schedule:  There will be no Beading Daily email December 31 and January 1 because of the holidays.  Remember that the website and forums never close, so feel free to stop by the website if you need a beading fix.  Have a safe and happy New Year's, everyone!  See you January 2, 2009!

 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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on Dec 29, 2008 5:45 AM
My goal for 2009 is to get organized, again! We had to move my studio into our finished basement office when I was expecting my son, and now that he's here, working down there just isn't practical. So for 2009, I'd like to get myself organized enough where I can figure out a setup to let me work in the living room where he likes to play and keep the dining room table cleared for meals!
Sharon Abood wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 5:51 AM
Make a new teaching schedule for the New Year. My jewelry students keep me moving one step ahead by asking me "How do I do this?" It is very exciting to see the processes in new eyes. SharonAbood www.beadfuldesigns.com
BethC@58 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 6:08 AM
This isn't so much a dream as a poor suggestion for Melinda Barta about cat space. My cat thinks my laptop case is his. Just open it up near you or give him his own warm bed by you. That computer, besides being close to you, maybe putting out enough heat to keep him nice and warm. Good luck whatever you do. I once had a cat break out the front entrance to a dollhouse so I know how "helpful" they can be.
Connie@27 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 6:17 AM
I, too, have done the same thing Melinda Barta is doing. I have collected metal tins of all sizes and shapes for more than 20 years. Since starting beading this summer, I discovered that storing my "in-progress designs, most notably my spirals, peyote, RAW" that by keeping them in a tin with a bead mat that I cut to size to fit the inside, not only does it help me control my "clutter" on my craft table top, but I have the project at the ready when I resume it....My New Year's hope is to conitnue progressing with my learning techniques--I am so enjoying my newfound hobby of beading and so are my grandgirls, nieces, daughter and DIL as they are the prime recipients! Connie V.
JoanE wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 6:43 AM
I would like to learn how to do bead weaving. The pieces I've seen are gorgeous. I also need to organize my beads and supplies so I know where everything is and what beads I have. Happy New Year. Joanie
TerryG wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 6:47 AM
A couple years back I found my old tap shoes from college days and spent the next years covering one of them with beads. I practiced stitches and added pieces as I learned and perfected stitches in multi-colors. It looks like a crazy quilt and I have been needle felting a foot (yes a foot with toes and all) to put inside the shoe. Now the other shoe is waiting and I resolve to cover that one as well in the same manner but in all blacks and whites. Wish me luck.
on Dec 29, 2008 7:01 AM
I live by two Life Resolutions: to live a creative life and to live without regrets. This year I have added some intentions: to be published once per month for 2009 (I already have Jan-Mar-Apr-May locked up...I will have to get creative with Feb!), to organize my studio and bead stash, to continue developing better pictures of my jewelry, to continue my blog and my website, and to make this a "use what you have" beading year. I wish all you wonderfully creative women the best year ever in 2009! Erin, Tesori Trovati Jewelry
JayelF wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 7:36 AM
I am both a beader and a knitter, and this year, I have knitted dozens of bead necklaces. In 2009, I would like to create my own original jewelry design that incorporates knitting (and/or corcheting). If I accomplish that, then perhaps in 2010, my goal will be to PUBLISH a design! Happy new year, all!
Bumblebee2 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 7:47 AM
My beading resolution is to learn a new technique at least every other month starting with wire wrapping. By Christmas season 2009 I would like to be in the position to sell more items. JoAnn
LitaC2 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 8:04 AM
My resolution is to learn a few new techniques. I recently discovered a bead store that offers classes in the evenings and every Saturday. I also resolve to use more beads than I buy!
on Dec 29, 2008 8:35 AM
My resolution is to organized my beads and supplies so I will know where everything is when I need it. Also, learn new techniques, take classes at a bead store and just get back into beading and jewlery making!
Wimberly2 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 8:39 AM
I'm bound and determined to try my hand at precious metal clay in the new year. I'm also going to be moving soon and have already staked my claim on a room for a real studio! Oh and "Paper burns at 451 degrees" - sounds like a quote from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
Sway2 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 8:42 AM
My resolution is to set up a webshop so I can sell my jewelry and accessories online and go to a few more craft shows with my work. And we can't forget to keep learning new techniques and ways to inspire us. J-Lynn
on Dec 29, 2008 9:00 AM
Michelle, RE: "I'm little afraid to ask Melinda how she knows that." Maybe she got it from Ray Bradbury's (SF) book "Fahrenheit 451", based, in part, on that fact. NO experimentation needed. Stan B.
joyfulart wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 9:20 AM
Re: Getting better organized for 2009. Hey Michelle. Happy New Year! Last year I did 2 things...I created an Etsy shop, and I better organized my studio space. I organized beads by types and colors in clear containers which made a huge difference in time management. I arranged my space in a way that made more sense so I could easily reach items I use all the time. It might be a pipe dream, but I'd like to inventory my supplies for 2009. We'll see how that goes as the new year progresses!
jem@10 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 9:26 AM
So many things to do and so much time! LOL I got organized last year with "Best Craft Organizer" mini stackables. I LOVE them with all my heart. I bought two and stacked them up and they are fantastic for beads. This year I want to continue some of my experiments with Precious Metal Clay (I'm an instructor) and do more pearl with silver work. I also want to learn more bead stitches as my background is in embroidery and knitting. Thanks for your great emails and blog!
donna houck2 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 9:34 AM
I have had this great idaa for three months, it hasn't happened yet. BRIP..beading room in progress. We live in a very small 2 bedroom house; and I've had beads scattered from one room to another. Enough I said. I'm taking over the small bedroom; converting it into an office/work room. My husband converted the tiny walkin closet - fitted with shelf and more shelfs. I can now store the clear boxes I keep my beads in. The only problem is like many others. we are still stepping over all the stuff we took out of the closet. In the meantime our second bathroom has boxes and books stored in the bathtub...hope is still in my heart. My resolution beside ORGANIZATION is to keep on learning and teaching new techniques. Entering more craft fairs, taking better photos and placing more jewelry for sale on my website at www.napavalleyjewels.com. Happy New Year and Happy Beading Year. Donna Houck
Pam8812 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 9:42 AM
I resolve to quit making jewelry with 'resale' in mind and just bead what I enjoy for my own personal likes and use. Since I began making jewelry to sell, I've enjoyed the whole process less; always thinking of what might appeal to others, current trends, seasonal influences, etc. This has definitely affected my taking the time to learn new designs or trying new techniques. I'm going back to what hooked me in the first place . . . personal enjoyment and satisfaction!!
DorothyH@10 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 9:43 AM
I'm going to buy more DVDs to learn the techniques, which I think is the next best thing to a live teacher. I will still purchase the magazines information & inspiration, but the DVD helps to understand the process. Wishing good health to all in 2009!
Kathy@396 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 10:53 AM
I started beading in the summer of this year and I REALLY enjoy it. My goal is to learn more techniques, get organizes, create a schedule so that I can have equal time working on my other crafting projects, and take some beading classes. I really want to take my jewelry creativity to a whole new level. I pray that all have a bless and healthy year!
CalistaK wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 11:00 AM
I resolve to learn how to use a wire jig this year. I love wireworking over weaving (instant gratification!) and I want to add more celtic influences in my pieces. I might try to sell my jewelry online, but as someone already mentioned, once you know you have to appeal to the masses, it somehow becomes more like a chore. Well wishes to all in the New Year and may all your organizing dreams come true!
JanineB@7 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 11:02 AM
Bye the way I love getting info from Beading daily.... I look forward to it on a daily basis. It sometimes cuts into the time I should be working. In 2009 I would like to start using sead beads in some of my designs. I have wrapped a couple of drusy stones for a necklace and stare at them every evening. Haven't learned to stitch the chain for them. I spend a lot of my time working with wire, stones and metals. I love the beautiful artistic designs that have viewed in your magazine and on the web. My goal is to become more versatile in my jewelry designs and start seed beading.
Pixie@7 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 11:06 AM
Well, like many of you, my ONLY New Year's Goal (I don't call them resolutions b/c they are too easy NOT to keep if I do!) is to become better organized. Recently my Mom was diagnosed with inoperable Stage 4 lung cancer as well as cancer in various other parts of her body. I moved back from Florida (where I have lived the past 21 years) to Illinois to help take care of her. I moved into one room in the house they share with my dad's 92 year old mother...so space is at a REAL premium in our house! My dad just built a shelving unit on one wall of my bedroom during Thanksgiving time (while I was in Florida to gather more of my belongings & bring back up here) and my goal is to find appropriate storage products to completely organize my beads, as well as all my crafting supplies. In addition to making beaded bracelets for babies, I also volunteer for a not for profit internet group called "Heavenly Angels In Need" (HAIN) which makes burial clothes, memory boxes, blankets and other things for hospitals to distribute to parents who have lost babies to miscarriage, still birth or early infant death. I work on the memory box division and have always got boxes in various stages of completion, as well as supplies with which to complete them. Organization is a BIG necessity in my life right now!!! God Bless & have a Safe & Happy New Year!
on Dec 29, 2008 11:20 AM
Happy New Year everyone! The past couple weeks I have spent a lot of my time re-organizing my beads and creating a new space to put everything into. I have finally set up a studio with ArtFire and have also finally found a technique for getting photographs (not professional quality but they're not too bad). I usually don't make resolutions but this year I would like to continue to master photography of jewelry, I would like to have that activity combined with posting new listings keep pace with my creation of those jewelry items. For Vanbeads, or anyone else whose supplies are stored in a location apart from the actual assembly/creation area....I am in the same predicament, so I use a floor-standing TV table with a bed table on top of it. The bed table legs are folded up and the top has a lip so that my beads don't go rolling off my work area, I take it to my storage area to get my supplies and then to the area where I'll be working. Hope this helps.
SharonK@52 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 1:07 PM
Happy New Year. I don't have an organizational tip or new class to take (altrhough I could learn something!). I remember at this time of year how lucky I am be here. My plan is to volunteer at a stroke rehab center. If I had not be guided by a nurse consultant in stroke therapy I would never have beaded--or found my true calling. Sharon Grimes Knox (sgknox@hotmail.com)
Knda wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 1:21 PM
Hmmm......I've never really had a New Year's resolution before... (except for reading the Bible 30 mins. a day, which was excellent) so here goes! I'm resolving to: 1) start working on a website (any tips?) 2) learn how to take better pictures of my jewelry 3) use every bead in my stash, even the problem ones.
Kathryn Tyre wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 1:44 PM
May each of you find joy in the creative work of beading, either with seed beads, gemstones or handmade beads. I found my joy at age 62. We removed the built in bed from daughter's room with it's loft and soaring ceiling. I have purchased cases full of drawers, all of which are filled. My kiln, oven and soldering materials are all in what was originally dubbed the computer room. All of this sounds wonderful, but I am out of room in the carefully labeld drawers. The French "shabby chic" chest is only partially filled. I even had the satellite installed in my studio. After all of the shows,. running up to 2 weeks before Christmas, I couldn't walk in my den without dancing over boxes of tools and beads and hoping that I wouldn't slip on one of the beads my papillon Beau Dandy had knocked over. In short, my choice of work space is not the entire 2nd floor but the couch in the den. My resolution--to get everything in its carefully labeled drawer, remove myself from the den to my studio and continue taking classes even if I have to drive the 6 hours to Atlanta to do it. Last, but not least, I want to teach classes. With all of this said, I fear I will once again find myself surrounded by my clutter in the den when the onslaught of shows begins in the spring
AndreaM226 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 2:39 PM
My resolution is to finish all my "just experimenting" projects. I also want to improve the photography of my jewelry, I got a table top photo studio for Christmas, I'm hoping, wishing, praying that my new "studio" will magically fix all my lighting problems. My beads are organized and I have a good sized stash but I'm forever thinking that the perfect necklace is coming with my latest order for new beads - so, another resolution is to use the beads I have, execute what I thought were brilliant ideas when I bought them, but somehow forgot after I put them away! Happy New Year and good luck with all your resolutions, intentions and great ideas. Andrea Santa Fe, NM
MariaA@28 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 5:22 PM
My new year resolution will be when I actually set time aside to bead while my children take their nap taht I actually follow through and do it instead of taking a nap with them. I would like to also organize not only my Bead room but my website, ebay, and etsy sotres as well.
Jewel@7 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 7:36 PM
Over the past year I have been experimenting and creating some beautiful Jewelry sets. I have sold about ten sets for a real good price. In 2009 I need to learn how to start my own business and mostly how to market my creations so I can get the best valued price. Happy New Year! Lori
bethullman wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 7:48 PM
Luckily Melinda Barta doesn't need to have learned by experience at what temperature paper burns -- "Fahrenheit 451", the science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury, was so titled because the lead character is burning books, and that’s the temperature at which paper burns. Good luck to everyone on your beading resolutions! Beth in CA
WillowWalker wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 7:55 PM
I am always learning new techniques! This year I want to learn more wireweaving techniques! To assist in that goal I have just purchased two tutorials! As for getting organized... I have a really good friend who is going to help me go thru everything! I was in the middle of arranging mine & my daughter's living area when she was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia. As treatment was 300 miles away we weren't home very much, and then we were exhausted! Unfortunately she didn't survive and I have put off cleaning up our mess which became a dumping ground of bags, boxes, etc; When it is done it is going to be a eally nice bedroom/sitting room/studio space with a place for everything & everything in it's place. God Bless our Best Girl Friends!! I also have several business goals this year, learning to promote my on-line stores and to take my business seriously!
Ozzy wrote
on Dec 30, 2008 4:23 AM
My Grandma always used to say when you stop learning something new you will be dead. How right she was. She died at the age of 93 and was still learning new ways to do her crocheting adjusting for her eyes & arthritus so there is hope for all of us yet. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL. Babs
Pat K.T wrote
on Dec 30, 2008 8:15 AM
My wish for myself & all of you is to stay creative-- whatever form that might take. Personal goals are to get published, better outfit a metalsmithing studio, combine my love of marbling paper & fabric with metal, expand teaching in number of classes & geographically. pktlivingstones@bellsouth.net
CindyC@54 wrote
on Dec 30, 2008 9:21 AM
Where do I begin, I have so many things. One resolution always leads to another. Unfortunately, I say the same thing every year and have never been able to accomplish them for one reason or another. I want to enter more contests, but I need to learn to take better pictures (that's 2). I want to do more wire weaving to improve my beginner skills. I want to call more shops and galleries and try to have them show my jewelry. I want to take a class by Connie Fox. And last but not least, I want to get more organized so that maybe I can accomplish the rest of these things! Hahahaha! Safe and Prosperous New Year to each. cccreates@sbcglobal.net
saire wrote
on Dec 30, 2008 11:43 AM
I, too, have so many "resolutions" (how I hate that word!), but my resolve is shaky, especially when I try and do or change too much at once. So: First of all, and I'm at the very beginning of this, I am organizing my beads and findings - I have a new system created and I think it will work out well. Second, I found a wonderful college program (both BFA and MFA) on Jewelry, Metals/CAD-CAM. I want to (a) figure out which program I am qualified to apply for, get my portfolio together, and apply. Secondly, I have a couple of metal jewelry designers whose advice I want to ask regarding what I'd need to and/or be able to do after graduation regarding studio equipment, space, etc... This is very important to me. I hope I do it!
ozbianca wrote
on Dec 31, 2008 2:05 PM
My resolution for 2009 is to finally finish writing that book I have been working on during the latter part of 2008. I cut down a lot of life clutter in 08, processes, people and things that were no longer good for me, just to make room for some growth. The other bead related resolution is to say No a lot more, that may sound odd, but I get involved in a lot of things I don't really have time for or don't really want to as I find it difficult to say no. I am going to protect myself a lot more from the takers, if that makes any sense. It will be a good year.
Wanda W wrote
on Jan 1, 2009 3:46 PM
Happy New Year everyone. This past year I accomplished some of my beading and wire goals. I have been at it seriously for the last year. This year I need to get serious about better pictures of my jewelry, shape up my etsy shop and try a few others. I want to try a few more shows but take the time to make what I want. My work reflects each new technique I have learned. I want to get better at metal work and keep learning. Thanks for all your great info, Wanda
elfqueen45 wrote
on Jan 2, 2009 8:23 AM
I resolve to not only organize my beads, but my time. I started back school last year, to obtain my Associates in Business, later my Bachelors in Small Business and Entrepreneurship, so that I can run my business better and get a good paying job. School has consumed my time so that I no longer can seem to find time for my beading or normal everyday household duties. This must change...I also need to organize my beads and storage area, as well as my paper work relating to my business. I also resolve to learn bead weaving and wire wrapping, and break myself from the mundane pieces I have been doing. Happy Resolving Everyone!
ArleenP wrote
on Jan 3, 2009 4:31 AM
I'm from Manila, Philippines and enjoyed receiving updates and new free projects online. A friend taught me to do wire bead working but since i started working on seed beads, i have been hooked! But since i work for a non-goverment organization (www.childrightssea.org) here and do a lot of community work and training children, i don't get much time to work on my beads...i have accumulated various colors and sizes and i decided to organize them this January. Also, a lot of people have been asking me to buy my bracelets and necklaces but i haven't sold any until recently, when our organization mounted a photo exhibit on the situation of children here in the Philippines and wedid a little bit of selling of some stuff to raise funds on the side. I sold some of my work with 25% of the proceeds going to the organization. So, for 2009, i hope to complete at least 10 necklaces a month which i hope to sell and again, 25% of any sale will go to our organization.... As we say here in Manila, Manigong Bagong Taon sa Lahat! (Happy New Year to Everyone!)
NitzaA wrote
on Jan 7, 2009 6:05 AM
I want to aply kumihino(???) technique to jewelry and if I have time make jewelry with chinese knotting techniques I have a book but I didn't do anithing!!!! Shame on Me!!!! And again organize my beads...