What Type of Seed Beader are You?

Dec 17, 2010

Kristal Wick
Kristal Wick
is the editor of
Beading Daily

Seed beads have changed many a life. Recently, mine! Ask my vacuum cleaner (you all know the dreaded sound of sucking up seed beads!). I'm still happy with my beloved peyote stitch and want to get up the courage to learn a new stitch very soon. Travelling is a breeze these days as I board the plane with my sticky mat in hand (thanks Beadalon), tubes of luscious seed beads, needles and thread. Upon embarking on this addictive endeavor, I had no idea there was such a wide variety of seed-beady projects, from jewelry to sculpture and everything in between.

I've fallen in love with Seed Bead Fusion by Rachel Nelson-Smith. The projects in this lovely book are more than enticing, and I can't wait for a quiet moment in my busy lifestyle to start beading one of them. They have a more artistic aesthetic than I've been exploring, and it got me thinking about all the different types of beaders out there.

The Artful Beader

You create one-of-a-kind, complicated, out-of-the-box designs for the sheer sake of beauty. If you had to make another one or teach a class, you'd faint! You're more the "art for art's sake" type of beader, taking the less traveled path, rarely following a pattern. Your creations are pretty unique, mixing wire, beads, and other media together.

Your motto: Impossible you say, bring it on!

The Crafty Beader

You buy your first beading kit at a big bead show, create a lovely bracelet, figure you could make millions selling beads, then use up most of your retirement purchasing a bead shop so you can "make money doing what you love." Problem here is you're now too busy running a shop to make another beaded creation the rest of your life.

Your motto: Do what you love, the money will follow . . . and then you'll buy more beads for inventory.

The Beady Dabbler

You have dozens of projects halfway complete sitting in boxes waiting for the finishing muse to strike or at least a fairy or two to sneak in and stitch up all your UFOs in the middle of the night. You have kits and beads stashed in every nook and cranny taking over every room of the house, if your HD were living in the RV outside.

Your motto: More is always better in beading.

The Stitch Techie

Your fascination is in learning new stitches. You like to challenge yourself with one stitch after another; each of them another notch on your beady bedpost. You buy book after book searching for the next stitching gauntlet.

Your motto: Conquer or die by the thread!

The Slacker Beader

Your tension is always an issue in that peyote stitch! You learn just enough to get hooked, then see something shiny across the room or a different beady color pallet and run off to buy MORE beads. You see the most beautiful triple-advanced seed-bead project in a magazine, buy all the materials, try 12 rows, get discouraged with the uneven edges, and toss that project in the drawer. That was your first project. Oh, and you'll never finish it . . .

Your motto: There's always tomorrow.

Whatever type of beader you are (shhhhhhh, I'll keep your secret), there's one common denominator, we all love to bead! It doesn't matter if you've created one project or a million, playing with beads calms your stressful day, gives you strength through a rough chapter in your life, and warms your heart to create such beauty. That's what Seed Bead Fusion does for me. I invite you to take a peek and see for yourself!

Free Seed Bead Project

Download this FREE fab Eastern Ombre Choker designed by Jean Campbell.

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on Dec 17, 2010 11:17 AM

Dear Kristal, loved your blog today on the type of beader that someone is, as I can see part of myself in all of the categories that you listed. However, you forgot one type...those of us who sew hundreds of beads on art quilts. Check out my web site at www.fiberfantasies.com to see how obsessive this group can be too...:)

MaxsMum wrote
on Dec 17, 2010 11:35 AM

Dear Kristal, We must have been friends in a previous life! I'd be a crafty beader, but don't have a store. Am mostly arty, but am also a techie and at times a dabbler. Every now and again the finish bug hits and the dabbler projects either get finished or recycled into something I like better than the original project. Made a bracelet that I foolishly wore to the Bead Society and now am busy trying to write a tutorial to teach at the retreat. Yipes! And, yes, love to learn new stitches and when that doesn't happen, somehow I try something else - usually to find out that someone else has already given the stitch I thought I made up a name. :) Love your sense of humor. Have your book and am determined to make the time after the retreat to learn to make fabric beads! Thanks!

Kristal Wick wrote
on Dec 17, 2010 3:25 PM

Dear MaxsMum and Nancy,

Thanks so much for your kind words on the blog. Glad you liked it! I actually left out quite a few categories of beaders (that would be an entire book!), ESPECIALLY the quilters! I love the creative quilting community and enjoy teaching embellishing classes every year at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Absolutely lovely quilts Nancy!

MaxsMum, Glad you have my book, Fabulous Fabric Beads. You need to carve out a tiny window to play with fabric beads, although a warning: they are highly addictive!  I'm also excited to let you know I have 2 new DVDs coming out this spring in mixed media. YEAH!




on Dec 17, 2010 11:18 PM

This article was hilarious & insightful. I thought I was a Crafty Beader until I read all the rest of the types. Then I realized I'm a Jack of All Trades Beader. How sad is that

on Dec 18, 2010 10:58 AM

Very cool blog articles today. I guess I fit into the Artful Beader...I like nothing more than pushing the envelope with what can be done with beads.

on Dec 18, 2010 12:50 PM

I am a cross between "Beady Dabbler" and "Stitch Techie". I don't want a shop of my own - way too much work! - but I love to sell my work and see other people wearing the things I make... And everyone I sell to becomes a friend because I follow my jewelry to make sure it holds up - I guarantee everything - if it breaks, I want to know why and how so i can improve it and learn - I'm ALWAYS learning... But I LOVE seed beading. I LOVE weave the patterns and seeing something beautiful come out of my head and hands...

on Dec 18, 2010 8:45 PM

what is the best way to learn how to do peyote stitch, if you have never done it before

on Jan 10, 2011 3:00 AM

Great post Kristal! Keep up the good work! I'm subscribed to your RSS Feed and love all your advice on <a href="www.thebeadshop.com.au/.../a> and beads! Thanks