10 Favorite Tips, Techniques, and Projects from Beading Daily

Aug 3, 2009

Two Years of Beading Daily

Beading Daily turned two on August 1st.  When I started several months before our official launch date, there were 1,500 members.  Now there are more than 100,000!  It's amazing that despite this huge growth, Beading Daily still feels much like it did when it started—a fun place to hang out with your beading pals.

Here are ten highlights from the past two years:

1.  Free Projects 
With a new free project every Friday, there are more than 100 projects available on the website.  This year we've also added free ebooks.  The most popular ebook so far is Peyote Stitch Projects with Beading Daily: 5 Free Peyote Stitch Patterns and the most popular free project is currently the Egyptian Cuff by Shelley Nybakke.  One of my favorite projects this year has been the Crystal Corona Earrings by Pilar Burg.  I've made two pairs to give as gifts and I'm delighted by how fun they are to make.

2.  Tips from the Magazine Editors
I've learned so much from our editors.  Here are a few of my favorite tips:

  • Melinda Barta, Beadwork: The Secret to Perfect Thread Tension (with thanks to Nancy Cain)
    Who knew it was possible to create beaded beads without beading over a form?
  • Danielle Fox, Stringing: How to Name Your Jewelry Projects
    It can take me longer to name a project than make it, so I loved this advice!
  • Denise Peck, Step by Step Wire Jewelry: The ABCs of Oxidizing Jewelry
    I felt overwhelmed with all the choices for adding a patina to metal, so I appreciated this quick rundown of options.
  • Leslie Rogalski, Step by Step Beads: Learn Odd-Count Peyote
    I knew how to do odd-count peyote before reading this post, but I didn't realize there was an easier way to do that tricky turnaround.

3.  Techniques
Part of what makes Beading Daily so special is that our technique range is so wide—basic stringing, Viking Knit, brick stitch, bead embroidery . . . if it exists, we've either talked about it or will talk about it soon.  (On Friday we're going to talk about Caddis Weave.  Ever hear of that?)  Three popular techniques include triangle weave, spiral stitch, and wireworking.  Take a look at that cool copper head pin that was featured recently.

4.  Hot Topics
When Beading Daily first launched, I wondered if we would ever run out of topics, but now even with a daily newsletter, there really isn't enough time to cover everything.  (Maybe that's why I've started hanging out on Twitter and Facebook?)  Two popular topics include At-Home Tarnish-Busting Remedies and Six Steps to Perfect Wrapped Loops

5.  Book Authors and Other Famous Types
During the last two years, I've been lucky to interview tons of amazing folks—designers, teachers, beadmakers, and artists.  Special thanks to Valerie Hector, the very first person I interviewed.  If that hadn't been such a terrific experience, I'm not sure how many other interviews I would have done.  One of the most inspirational stories I heard was from Kristal Wick, who told me how she completely messed up a beading project—and it became one of her best-selling products.  When you live a creative life, there's no such thing as a mistake.

6.  Contests, Challenges, and Swaps
Bead Star was a biggie for us, but we've also had lots of little fun contests and challenges along the way. We've just launched our first Earring Swap, where you can send in a pair of handmade earrings and in return receive a pair from another Beading Daily member in return.  If you were hesitating because of the fee, hesitate no more.  We're removed the fee to make this swap open to as many people as possible, plus we've posted an update clarifying some of the rules.  Be sure to check out the contests page for the latest challenges, giveaways, and contests.

7.  Forums
If you've got a beading question, there's no place better to go than the forums.  Here's a sample of advice from forum member Lynn Davy:  "I'd rather be beading than sorting and I see 'bead soup' as a potential resource in itself: you never know which beads are going to sit together and give you an idea for a new colour combination."  I love this—it has saved me from becoming obsessed about sorting all my leftover seed beads after a project.  It's no longer a mess—it's future inspiration.

8.  Charity
As a group, we've helped raise money for a number of great causes, including The Bead Museum (Glendale, Arizona), American Heart Association's women's heart-health intiatives (via the Bead Star auction),  American Institute for Cancer Research and The Wellness Community (via sales of Kerrie Slade's Awareness Ribbon Pin instructions). Together we have been making a difference.

9.  Jean Campbell
What would Beading Daily be without Jean Campbell?   Don't answer that question—I don't want to imagine such a place!  I love the way Jean adds a touch of humor to almost everything she writes, not to mention all those wacky photos.  Who wouldn't want to bead with "Queen Jean"?

10. You
Without readers, I'd never have anything to share in the reader polls or in the galleries. And who would get all those lovely contest prizes?  Plus, some of the best newsletter topics like Designing Jewelry for People with Metal Allergies are ones suggested by readers.  

Those are my 10 highlights from Beading Daily's first two years.  What are yours?  What else would you like to see?  Share your ideas on the website and be sure to check out our special two-year anniversary sale—10% off your total store purchase for a limited time.  Here's to year three!


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