Inching Along: Behind-the-Scenes Lessons from Our Seed-Bead Soiree

Jul 16, 2010
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It all started with YOU, my dear Beading Daily friends! In my June 14 Beading Daily post, I decided to confess, to come clean, to air my dirty laundry, I admitted I am not a seed beader. Not only that, but I've never even tried it. Much too afraid of another jewelry addiction, I avoided those stitches like the plague. I looked the other way when bead shopping and stayed relatively seed-bead-free. That is, up until last Friday.

Our seed-bead plan

After watching Leslie Rogalski's new Doodlebeads Volume 2 DVD, I actually wanted to try out those terrific tiny treasures! Many of you commented, inquiring about my first attempts. Thanks for all your words of wisdom, shared stories, and encouragement. It's delightful to be a part of such a fascinating community. There were others in the office here at Interweave who wanted to try some seed beading to see what the hubbub is all about, so we decided to have our first Beading Daily Seed Bead Soiree.
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Spacer 10x10 pixels Melinda Barta, editor of Beadwork Magazine, was our fearless instructor, with Danielle Fox, editor of Stringing Magazine, pinch-hitting with all the confused souls, such as myself. 
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There were cake and ice cream, beads of every color, magazines for inspiration plus a whole bunch of newbies ready to dive in with me! We decided to start with the all-time fave, peyote stitch. A few of the rookies ventured off into other territories (right-angle weave) and clearly should have mastered peyote first!
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We loved hands-on expertise from Melinda and Danielle, as well as Beadwork includes free instructions in every issue. This came in very handy.
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We wanted to include you, dear readers, as well. So we posted play-by-play comments and images on Facebook and Twitter. Some of you commented you'd like this type of event presented in a webinar so you could join in with us. Others beaded along with us and we loved that. There were loads of laughs, do-overs, and a few folks didn't even bead but cheered us on.
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Seed-bead lessons learned

  • Don't stick seed-bead tubes into a cake as pretend candles. Great idea but you'll end up with sticky beads. Promise.


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  • Don't use odd-shaped, triangular, for example or really small beads for your first attempt (no size 15's please).
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  • Tight, tight, tight. We learned the peyote stitch with many lessons on tension (not the headache kind). Here's Christan's first attempt.
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  • Here's Erin creating her own "Summer Showers" stitch, and Tina Simpson-Reed is the lucky winner of this bracelet for guessing the stitch as "fringe" on Facebook.
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  • Don't let the teacher leave without showing you how to finish off your creation! Melinda had to get back to work on the magazine so we were on our own. Perhaps we'll do finishing techniques for the Beading Daily Seed Bead Soiree 2?
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After this beady extravaganza, I must admit, I "get" it. I get why you are all so addicted to the "almighty seed" and fill every waking moment with pulling strings through those little holes. I get the zenlike state you enter as you bead away, while minutes effortlessly turn into hours. Everything disappears except those little beauties and your peeps (if they're around). I get the excitement when you see inches (for some like me) and feet (for the more advanced) accumulate and your creation starts taking shape. I get it! 

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Erin and Melissa picking out beads
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David's first project, just kidding!
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Jen and Melinda
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Chelsea   Please, don't eat the beads!    

Spacer 10x10 pixels Spacer 10x10 pixels The Almighty Seed

I admit I am now fully hooked on those little babies. I mean, how much space can those tiny tubes of beads take up in my already-filled-to-the-brim studio anyway? And how much can those tubes cost? they're so "little." And what stitch to try next: right-angle weave, brick, square? I'm looking to all of you dear Beading Daily readers to guide me on this. We're in this together, and I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Share your seed-bead wisdom on

 Come bead with me,




Here's your FREE Friday beading pattern, Flower Earrings by JoAnn Baumann. I can't wait to make these great earrings. I need way more practice and look forward to making a pair in every color. Enjoy!

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Endearah wrote
on Jul 16, 2010 6:01 AM

Kristal, I've been bead weaving for about five years now and never have I read such a wonderful description of the emotion and joy that bead weaving gifts us with!  You really do get it!  Now, depending on the severity of the seed bead addiction, they can take up a good chunk of space but portability makes up for it!


Ina Viljoen wrote
on Jul 16, 2010 6:36 AM

I was bit by the seed bead bug and ever since if I pick up and seed bead my husband know that there will be a cold supper or no supper that day.  Guess what?  He started to cook and that gives me more time.  I realy enjoy your daily e-mails.

Ina VIljoen


South Africa.

YvetteF3 wrote
on Jul 16, 2010 8:28 AM

Welcome to seed bead heaven/h-e-double hockey sticks. It all depends on how you choose to look at it! Don't fool yourself! Seed beads can consume quite a bit of time, space, money. That said, I love bead weaving and rue days when I do not have time to work on something.

When I am pressed for time, I make a new ring...I am hooked on them! They work up quickly and are so pretty. I do peyote ones a la Leslie R. (not even going to attempt to spell her last name), and ladder ones a la Dustin Wedekind.

TashaMc wrote
on Jul 16, 2010 8:38 AM

I have to confess to REALLY not liking RAW :(

How about playing with dutch spirals? You can create the most fabulous textures by mixing and matching seed beads with other things like gemstone chips, and short spirals are fantastic as beaded beads!

Debbie@304 wrote
on Jul 16, 2010 9:57 AM

Thank you!  Beading is what this newsletter is all about and I'm so happy it's back on focus.  A beading party is a fabulous idea.  What a great, fun way to learn and share.  When you are as hooked on sead beads as I am you won't be buying those little tubes any more.  I love working with seed beads and can't resist them.  I purchase mine online from a couple of suppliers and I also go to a craft warehouse whenever I'm in the city.  It saves a lot of money but I must confess if I never bought another bead I'd probably have enough on hand to feed my habit for many years.  My day doesn't seem complete unless I spend a few hours beading.  Debbie

Jskeeler wrote
on Jul 16, 2010 1:08 PM

Closer the needle size to the bead hole size, the tighter the stitch. Actually, for the first attempt, you folk are well on your way!

salla2 wrote
on Jul 16, 2010 9:57 PM

My best tip for starting to learn to beadweave - cut an eraser off the end of a pencil, it makes a great stop bead. And, when learning peyote, you can use a pin through the first row to pop up the beads and anchor it in the eraser!

JanineB@7 wrote
on Jul 17, 2010 8:23 AM

I do very little with seed beads, although it is something I would love to do. I am primarily a stringer, wire wrap and metals....

I do make small flowers for some of my necklases and have seed beaded a few Druzy pieces, of which are waiting for me to learn spiral stitch so I can complete the pendants.

Would love to make a cuff from seed beads and enhance with a few Cabs.  

This article has certainly moved me enough to really, really, really get over the fear of seed beads.

This is such a great site and I really enjoy being a part of it...

By the way, great 1st attempts at the world of seed beads



Sally322 wrote
on Jul 17, 2010 10:55 AM

I think the flower earrings (at least in the photo) look like sea stars and would be great done with a caramel colored star or any other color to match your ocean themed jewelry!

LoriE@13 wrote
on Jul 17, 2010 6:22 PM

I have been beading about 8 to 9 years. Started with stringing and on from there. My first try at peyote stitch was when I found a pattern by Sig- Wynne Evens for "The Last Supper". You can go to to see the pattern. That was my first try at peyote. 92,736 beads and 2 1/2 years and it is now proudly hung at my parents house. I am sure you can guess I was a bit rambunctious in my starting point but very glad I did.

Xoko wrote
on Jul 22, 2010 8:18 AM

I have been at this for a few years, and you really do get in a zenlike state while weaving. it seems you've found that out for yourself! Welcome to seed bead addiction/heaven on earth!



LoisT@12 wrote
on Jul 25, 2010 6:57 PM


I, too, am addicted to seed friends think I'm nuts...but I don't care!!!    I can be so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open and then I pick up some seed beads and start playing and before you know it.....I'm wide awake and ready to go for hours!!!!  

Whatever you try for your next stitch....I'm sure you'll love it!!!!    

Welcome to the seed bead club!!