Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best of Beading 2012

It’s been a great year for beaders and jewelry designers, with so many fantastic new goodies to enjoy, great tutorials and inspirations, and of course, no apocalypse to get in the way of creative time! Here are some of my favorite beading highlights of 2012.

Swarovski Mini Ovals

Several wonderful new beads arrived on the scene this year, including Swarovski Elements crystal pearl colors in red and pink coral, lapis, and turquoise. Swarovski Mini crystal beads fill in the gap between manmade beads and cut gemstones perfectly, providing their characteristic crystal shimmer in tiny shapes with a fantasy feel.

Despite these innovations, Miyuki two-hole Tila beads stole the show again this year, with the arrival of several new colors and finishes. Tilas and Tila projects seem to be featured in nearly every beading publication of 2012.

Soutache bead embroidery made a big splash in the technique department, with a gorgeous feature on the cover of Bead and Button magazine. The inclusion of fiber braids into beadwork was a natural step for many beaders, especially those with a flair for embroidery techniques. It was an absolute pleasure to chat with soutache artist Amee K. Sweet-McNamara about getting started with this emerging jewelry style.

There were some fun tutorials featured on Inspirational Beading this year, including a few from guest instructors, such as How to Make a Resin Clay Ring. Some of my favorite tutorials of 2012 are: bead covered beads, Russian spiral, and Potawatomi daisy chain.

While 2012 had a fantastic lineup of color trends from Pantone, it is also the year that we learned of the upcoming jewel-tone color of the year. Looking forward to lots of emerald in 2013 doesn’t quite leave the 2012 palettes behind, which included a fantastic lime green, sodalite blue, and of course, Tangerine Tango.

Pantone Fall 2012 Colors

Last year, many beaders, crafters, and designers alike were eagerly anticipating new reality shows that would appeal to magpies everywhere. First came Project Accessory late last fall, which hoped to take off on the success of the creatively tantalizing show Project Runway. Then there was Craft Wars, which even included Margot Potter as a contestant! The show has received plenty of criticism from crafters and non-crafters alike, but it does provide an easy bar to stay above! Perhaps, hopefully, it will pave the way for even more beadwork exposure in mainstream media.

Thank you so much for joining me for beading ideas and inspiration in 2012! What new waves do you plan to make with beading in the New Year?

Copyright 2012 Inspirational Beading and Friends
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  1. Yes, what a year it has been!

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year and may 2013 bring forth a completely satisfying culmination to each and every challenge that comes your way. :)

  2. Happy New Year and thank you for last year's blog posts. They're always interesting and informative and helpful! I hope your new year is a wonderful one!


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