Five Reasons to Love Seed Bead Patterns

Nov 7, 2012

Why do we love seed bead patterns so much? I recently posted something on the Beading Daily Facebook page about NaSeBeMo (National Seed Beading Month), and I was thrilled to see that there are as many people out there who are obsessed with working with seed beads as I am!

Someone that I used to know a very long time ago told me that she loved working with seed beads because of their transformative nature, and that's something that I still carry with me today. Following a seed bead pattern to make a piece of finished beaded jewelry or even a piece of home decor like a beaded box or beaded ornament gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. Taking that big pile of beads and turning it into something beautiful and useful just gives me a sense of well-being that I just can't find anywhere else.

Why else should we love our seed bead patterns? Here are my top five reason why I love seed bead patterns:

Seed beads have the power to heal. Anyone who has ever worked with seed beads knows how wonderful it feels to create something with seed beads. Whether it's a piece of beaded jewelry, something to decorate your home, or sharing a bead craft with your favorite kid, those tiny little pieces of glass really have a way of making us feel better.
Working with seed bead patterns can be a spiritual experience. One of my all-time favorite blogs that I've written for Beading Daily was the one where I compared working with a seed bead pattern to the creation of a Buddhist sand mandala. When I talk to other people who love working with seed beads as much as I do, we all agree that there's something very spiritual about working with seed beads!
Seed bead patterns can be personalized. Along the lines of expressing yourself through your seed bead patterns, there's always room for interpretation when it comes to making your own seed bead jewelry. It can be something as simple as using your favorite colors instead of the colors specified in the instructions, or you can add texture by including a shaped seed bead. Using your imagination when personalizing your seed bead patterns can lead to some great beady discoveries!
You can use seed bead patterns to teach yourself how to bead. Yep, I'm a real do-it-yourself-er when it comes to making my own beaded jewelry, and the thing I love about seed bead patterns is that you can learn so much from them! I'm a primarily self-taught bead-weaver, and I owe a lot of what I know to the innovative seed bead patterns of artists like Rachel Nelson-Smith, Marcia DeCoster, and Carol Huber Cypher.
There are loads of free seed bead patterns on Beading Daily! One of my favorite things about Beading Daily are the free seed bead patterns! Not only will you find hundreds of free downloads for individual beading projects, you'll also find a whole list of free eBooks covering topics like peyote stitch, brick stitch, bead-weaving, right-angle weave, and herringbone stitch.

Another reason to love seed bead patterns: what with all the new kinds of seed beads I'm seeing in bead shops, at bead shows, and online these days, I'm always looking for ways to use them! I've got quite the collection of farfalle or peanut beads, Twins, SuperDuos, and Tila beads in my bead stash, in just about every color I need.

If you're looking for new ways to use some of those fabulous two-holed Tila beads, look  no further than the new Stitching With Shaped Seed Beads: 10 Beading Projects to Make With Tila Beads, available now as an instant download in the Beading Daily Shop. You'll find ten creative, beautiful beading projects from your favorite designers like Melinda Barta, Diane Fitzgerald, and Kelli Burns, all using those tempting Tila beads!

Have you been hoarding your Tila beads, wondering what to make with them? Download your copy of Stitching With Shaped Seed Beads: 10 Beading Projects to Make With Tila Beads and start creating amazing beaded jewelry today!

Why do you love seed bead patterns? Do you love the healing power of seed beads? The meditative aspect of working with seed beads and seed bead patterns? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your thoughts with us!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

linda15419 wrote
on Nov 7, 2012 8:54 AM

Why do we love seed bead patterns so much?  Because the possibilities are endless and limited only by one's imagination -- and maybe time.  The hours fly when I'm working on a seed bead project.  I love the color and finish combinations not to mention the restorative, calming, and yes, healing effects that seed beads moving along needle and thread create.  And speaking of "thread", its type and color  influence the finished look and feel of the piece, too.  And there are so many embellishment options, such as crystals or silk cords and ribbons, to enhance seed bead patterns.  Just thinking about seed beads makes me want to drop my "to do" list for today to work instead on my current seed bead and bugle bead necklace (with Swarovski crystals!) that needs less than an hour to finish!  Sigh.  Reality wins out.  But soon . . .

myaskoff wrote
on Nov 7, 2012 9:47 AM

I was leading a wonderful life, my children were grown, my beautiful grandchildren brought unspeakable joy, I was busy as a professional fine art photographer. Then, at age 60, I had a knee replacement that was botched and was left in permanent excruciating pain and an inability to walk. My life as I knew it, as I had expected it to continue to be, was immediately over. But . . . working with seed beads has fed me spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. My creative need to work with fine detail to create works that evoke emotions in the viewer is being fed with each tiny bead I slide onto a needle. It is soothing to be creating and I find I forget what I can’t do and concentrate on what I can. Also, this site has been a God send with its hints, instructions, patterns and wonderful examples of the work others are doing. I am just a beginner, learning a whole new set of skills. There is something about tiny beads that draws me into focus on each piece, praying while I work for whomever will own it someday, Hours can drift by where I can almost forget the pain. I can’t run and play with my grandchildren like I had dreamed, but they’ve learned to love me despite my limitations. I work with a wide variety of beads, but it is only with seed beads that I find the sense of creative fulfillment, spiritual connection, mental focus and emotional satisfaction. I don’t know why. But it is comforting to know there are others out there like me who find similar satisfaction. So many folks say things like, “I’d go nuts working with those tiny things.” Or, “It takes so long to finish one small project,” as if bigger is necessarily better. I feel a connection back through generations of (mostly) women from all over the world who have worked with seed beads. I genuinely believe it is too pervasive to be anything less than a human need to work with beads. Blessings to all of you out there who know what I’m talking about!

on Nov 7, 2012 11:20 AM

I love making creations with seed beads because it is like painting with beads. And I agree it can be very spiritual and like meditation. I realized this when I first started bead weaving doing peyote and I found myself saying pick up gold go thru black, over and over and realized it's like chanting.

Debbie@304 wrote
on Nov 7, 2012 2:31 PM

Awesome.  It's great to find out how much other people understand about this obsession we have with seed beads.  I couldn't have said it better myself.

When I'm beading the rest of the world carries on and does its thing whilet my little world is happy and serene but at the same time exciting and challenging.  My designs don't always look as gorgeous in reality as they did in my mind but they open the way for more and better ones.  

I love the comment from Philonese Simmons about the chant.  I think we all do that without realizing it.  No wonder beading has such a calming effect.  

After crocheting with beads for over 40 years I suddenly discovered a whole new way to express myself and explore new techniques when I picked up my first beading magazine.  The possibilities are endless!

beadbiddy wrote
on Nov 7, 2012 4:27 PM

For decades my job was graphic design for books, magazines etc. My work became increasingly computerized, therefore less concrete / more "virtual" -- and though I continued to love what I did for a living, I longed to get back to using my hands as well as my eyes and mind in creating beauty and functionality. When I discovered seed-bead weaving, it was as though I found a way to bring those onscreen pixels of color and design to life in my hands! Like many of the others who commented on this blog question, I find working with seed beads to be meditative, centering, spiritual. And I love making something useful and beautiful to share with friends.

kimwipe wrote
on Nov 8, 2012 5:11 PM

I agree with MyasKoff, it has been for me a life saver.  I am presently taking care of my 100 yr. old mother and my disabled husband, so my days never end and i am confined to my home with them.  When i get to sit at my work station and pick up my seed beads i am transformed! I am an artist, a creator, and i am lost in my own world with my beads! The satisfacion of completing a project and the feel of the beads, the feel woven like cloth, is a touch i love. I can forget the real world and live in a colorful world where i can decided the colors, the shapes, the pattern what a wonderful feeling of fullfillment. I taught myself how to bead the different stitches, from square to St. Petersburg stitch and continue to learn everday. I am blessed!

kimwipe wrote
on Nov 8, 2012 5:12 PM

I agree with MyasKoff, it has been for me a life saver.  I am presently taking care of my 100 yr. old mother and my disabled husband, so my days never end and i am confined to my home with them.  When i get to sit at my work station and pick up my seed beads i am transformed! I am an artist, a creator, and i am lost in my own world with my beads! The satisfacion of completing a project and the feel of the beads, the feel woven like cloth, is a touch i love. I can forget the real world and live in a colorful world where i can decided the colors, the shapes, the pattern what a wonderful feeling of fullfillment. I taught myself how to bead the different stitches, from square to St. Petersburg stitch and continue to learn everday. I am blessed!

coonbill6 wrote
on Nov 10, 2012 10:25 AM

I also agree.  I don't know what it is about it, and I am certainly a frustrated beginner with seed beads, but I am determined to find a way to get my fingers to work right and complete a weaving project.  I too, am not living the life I worked for; I suddenly became disabled with a form of MS, I lost everything I worked for besides my career and my husband left me.  I am now alone with my beads and creativity.  I have done much with the larger beads, but I am part Native American and have bought many pieces in the past at PowWows; suddenly "boing!!!!"  do I have a brain?  I can do that and I am.  I love my seed beads and am glad to hear that I am not the only one in this position.  I will overcome and then start to sell my Native inspired creations myself.  Love to all of you.

ladynorth wrote
on Nov 10, 2012 2:28 PM

When I let the beads tinkle and sparkle and run like a small river through my fingers, it is like I am playing with a liquid rainbow lightfall.. I cheerfully go into 'bead thrall' and then of course I lose track of time and my seedbeading schedule goes out the window.

I have even been known to bead in the car (as a PASSENGER) with one of those plastic child lapdesks (michaels) that wedges perfectly between me and the car door Its raised edges along with a piece of ultasude on the surface helps keep those rolling beads in check.Going round corners is not a problem as long as you not trying to thread your needle at that time.(just sayin...lol) !

How true to it's root, that simple bead is, it started out and continues to be a prayer (bede holy) either to the Divine, the Muse for Creativity or a simple request to keep cats, kids, husband, or invisible bead demons from upsetting your work! ( I have at least one bead demon episode per project, you know the type, the kind that flip your work and scatter everything all over!) I have learned the nylon stockng tied very tightly over the end of a vaccuum hose trick and itsn't it intereting what else it picks up besides those pesky beads? (nuff said)

To me, bead thrall is similar to a meditative practice: like others have said, we can lose ourselves and our troubles with just a simple space, a comfy chair, decent lighting and a lightfall of scattered beads on our tray and our current project. Now where did I put my ziploc baggie with my square stitch project in it?

on Nov 10, 2012 4:59 PM

I too started bead weaving three years ago at the age of 67 , never having done anything artistic in my life I discovered I could design and create amazing Jewellry which is now owned by women around the world. Where did this come from? I don't know all I know is I love it , like fellow bead weavers I find it so relaxing , so therapeutic and my favorite pieces are the ones that take the longest to do .a friend gave me a book by Lynda S.Musante teaching Improvisational beadwork and wow is this a great way to do individual pieces of art Jewellry.