What do I mean by beading resources? Well, these are areas you might want to know about in order to supplement and develop your beading. So, I am thinking of:
- Bead shops – places where you can buy beads and materials
- Beading patterns and kits – obviously, these give you projects to try and opportunities to learn new techniques
- Magazines – it’s great to have a magazine full of projects and articles drop through your letterbox each month!
- Beading designers – get to know the designers behind the kits and patterns. Find their websites so you can support them
- Competitions – when you’ve got a bit of experience, beading competitions are a fun way to grow your skills even further
- Bead shows – whether it’s a local day out or a week-long extravaganza, these are a great place to buy beads, take classes and meet other beaders
- Beading groups – beading is more fun when you share it. So, look for a beading group that you can join locally, or hang out online
How do these beading resources work?
Well, you have two sets of resources to use here. First, the Beading Directory. This does just what it says – offers a directory of beading ‘stuff’. So, I have split it into categories, reflecting the activities I just listed above.
Not sure where your nearest bead shop is? Check out the directory listings.
Want a bead group to join? You’ll find those in the listings too!
Need some new projects? Well, then check the beading designers, bead patterns and bead kits directories.
…I’m sure you get the picture! Each of the listings will take you to the shop/designer/show website. Anyone can add a listing. So, if you are a designer, or a shop owner, run a bead group, or organise a show or competition, then please add your details to the directory.
Similarly, if you know someone who should be in the directory, please tell them about it. The more listings we have, the better this beading resource will be!
Do you need a bit of extra help or inspiration?
Secondly, I have a series of specific categories within the beading resources section. You can click on those using the drop-down menu above, or locate them in the left-hand sidebar on any blog post page. Let me explain a little more about them…
Are you looking for beading patterns?
I have also put together some pattern collections. So, rather than focusing on selling an item, these pull together a few options that all fall under a theme. You can have a browse through those posts if you need inspiration for an occasion. Maybe you want patterns for a particular experience level? Or, maybe you need something for an occasion, like Easter?
Do you want to find out about beading kits?
If you want some ideas for beading kits to try out, then you can also check out this subsection of the beading resources. I’ve linked to favourite kits and will be adding more articles all the time. So, this is a great way of finding some new kits to try and finding out what works for you.
Do you enjoy learning from books?
I also have a section reviewing beading books. You’ll find both print books and ebooks there. So, if you enjoy learning from books, or like the way they pull together several designs under one theme, this is the place to find your next new title. In each review, I’ve given you a taste of what the book includes and what level of experience it would suit.
Do you want to find out about beading classes?
This section doesn’t list classes, but it does give you lots of helpful information if you’re preparing for a class. (You can find the beading class listings in the beading directory). So, if you’re wondering whether a beading class is right for you, you can find out more in this section. If you want to teach your own class, then this section also has great advice to help you.
Do you want to enter a beading competition?
Again, if you are looking for competitions, check out the beading directory. But if you have already found a competition to enter and you just want some help, this is the section for you. I’ve put together some advice about how to enter competitions and how to photograph your work. So, if you’re new to this, these blog posts will help.
Are you looking to find new designers to follow?
Interviews with designers who have already gained a good reputation can be really inspiring. You can learn a lot about how they work. So, this is a great way to get to know more beaders’ work. It’s a quick and easy way to check out a designer’s style, then move on to their website if you would like to try something yourself.
Why did I set up this section?
I remember when I first discovered beads, many years ago, I struggled to find a lot of information.
Even though the internet is a bigger and better place now, I still find that it can be tricky to hunt down good beading resources. If you come across a magazine title, how do you know that it will be of interest to you? When you go hunting for supplies online, how do you know that the shops will be good, or where to find outlets in your own country?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hunting for beads or findings on google, only to find that the top ranked pages are all for US shops. I feel certain that someone in the UK must sell what I’m after. But tracking down those beading resources can be really time consuming.
So, originally, I started compiling a list to reflect the beading resources that I personally have used. Now, I’ve set up the directory to allow others to contribute to this list of beading resources.
Although I’m not personally vouching for everyone in the directory, I do check listings to make sure they are bona fide!
So, please use these resources as much as you can. And please share them with your friends. You can post the link for this page on social media, or email it to your bead group.
If you want to be sure you don’t miss anything new, then join my mailing list now. I’ll send you a monthly newsletter full of beading tips and articles. Plus, you get a welcome gift when you join. So, if that sounds good, click here to sign up now.