Top 10 Free Beading Tips & Projects from 2008

Jan 5, 2009

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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GinaB wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 8:39 AM
#3 & #4 were my favorites, the butterfly pendant and the firefly. I didn't care at all for any of the others and was a bit surprised at how popular they are. I don't like big clunky stuff though and I'm not really fond of peyote beading either. I'm more wire and beads.
on Jan 5, 2009 9:00 AM
I was a little disappointed to see no bead embroidery projects included. Do you have an editorial policy against bead embroidery, or can I hope to see some articles and projects about it in 2009? -Margaret Ball
Zaz wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 9:36 AM
hello michelle, i think maybe the ones that likethe free projects did not complain that's why you jjust heard the complains of those who do not see the point of them. the opera necklace and the frosty pink are excellent examples of what i like. there's ONE BIG problem though: the listed items to have do not have the source of buying included and people did help out in the forum about the frosty pink but no one seems to be finding the "mother-of-pearl 31×37mm oval" for the opera necklace. please help??? thank you.
RebeccaA@25 wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 9:53 AM
I'd like to say that I do not feel that the free projects are in any way a waste of time! They may not always be to my taste but I really appreciate them being there all the same. It's a great way to share within our community!
on Jan 5, 2009 9:56 AM
Not surprised, but I did download "The Illusion" and ""Dragonfly's Garden.-Stan B.
JoAnneM@46 wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 10:16 AM
Just an idea - for those of us who can't/don't do shows, etc. How about a listing of reputable sales representatives? We travel a lot & I don't have the time or opportunity to do shows. I'd like to find someone who could do the marketing for me. When I am able to show my creations, people like them & they buy. So, it would be advantageous on both ends. Perhaps other people feel the same way? Thanks.
DeborahR@22 wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 10:34 AM
I have never been able to take advantage of the free beading projects. I keep getting a message that the file cannot be found. I have constantly updated Adobe, but still cannot get access to the free beading projects that sound so wonderful. What else can I do?
Ann Margolin wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 11:09 AM
I do like the free patterns but would like original one that are not in the magazine since I subscribe to most of them & find myself ordering some patterns I already have. How about an original free pattern with sources, etc. just like in the magazines-ONCE A MONTH? That would give something special to look forward to once a month on an unspecified day to add excitement to the process.
ChrisO@11 wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 11:54 AM
After I downloaded the Awareness Ribbon this summer, someone asked me about a bracelet design. So I made two versions of a pink and white ribbon design, in peyote, and I am donating it to my Dallas Needlework & Textile Guild to use a fundraiser for breast cancer research. I have made three of these and they are easy and satisfying to do.
nightbeader wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 1:07 PM
I think the weekly contest is a nice feature. The one thing that gets me is the wire work. Maybe I'm a bead snob but wire work isn't beading to me. Other than the wire I like Beading Daily. Susan Feldkamp
sparklomatic wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 6:33 PM
Hi Michelle I love beads as much as you do ( I think) if you don't believe me check out my first in the world, on-line bead customization web site. I am a third generation garment embellisher, worked with major designers in the US. took me about five years to complete this web site. if you think others can benefit from it then spread the word, if not then sorry I have wasted your time. happy new year and best Regards. Zackary Faraj 201 313 4480 www.customteecouture.come
lilli jordan wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 7:15 PM
I don't understand why you/Beading Dailly staff didn't check out which projects were still available to download? Or better yet, make sure that they were all still available to download! If they were voted the best and highlighted in this blog--should your loyal/faithful subscribers not be able to get them directly off the listing? Shame on you!!!
on Jan 5, 2009 8:51 PM
I like the free projects even if I dont like the a beginner I find them useful to in developing my technique. Do like the idea suggested above about the monthly original that is not in one of the beading magazines!
TeresaA@17 wrote
on Jan 6, 2009 6:26 PM
Hi Michelle: I love beading, I really enjoy the free projects,also, I like the wire techniques, the big problem I have right now, is, the wire wrapping, I know I have to practice more until I get it right, can you please give some tips so I can do it better? thank you in advance Teresa
Carl4 wrote
on Jan 9, 2009 11:01 AM
This was really useful - I started making Jewellery (UK spelling) during the year and only discovered this site in July. The top 10 summary is very helpful. Incidently on the question of "beading for boys" I don't wear jewellery (only a wedding ring). I just love making it. My wife and female relations are grateful recipients.
Norma@44 wrote
on Feb 20, 2009 11:26 PM
Hi Michele I love your free projects they don't all suit my taste but they're definately not 'a waste of time'. The thing I dislike the most about Beading Daily is the edition that is only an advert for a magazine or book - without anything else. I don't have the money to subscribe to every magazine or book that you advertise and then I'm really disappointed when an entire newsletter is dedicated to the subscription. On the whole, honestly, I would not trade the Beading Daily newsletter for anything - without it I would not be able to carry on beading. Thank you for a true inspiration - every day! Norma
YvonneL@16 wrote
on Mar 6, 2009 6:23 PM
i used to receive your newsletter before now i don't i haven't received for about one week . what's wrong yvonne