I recently did a complete overhaul of my bead storage space. It took two days to complete the clean up using a simplified variation of the Kaizen method - which basically means that you pick up literally everything in a space and decide whether to keep it or toss it. Anything that is kept is then assigned a space. I was able to get rid of a lot of unnecessary things in my hoard, and made a lot more space for my beads and supplies to live in.
One of my favorite moments of the process was taking a look through all of my old beading magazines. There was a time when I checked out issues of Beadwork and Bead & Button on the newsstand every month, and picked up any that appealed to me. I built up quite a collection before both titles became unavailable in stores.
It’s been a long time since I’ve studied or tried projects from magazines. There are so many in my collection that I never tried at all. I thought that it would be a fun experiment to test out some of my favorite projects from old magazines and see how they turn out. The one that I immediately thought of was the cover project from April 2007 issue of Bead & Button – “Dress Up a Chevron Chain with Flowers” by Yvanne Ham.
Although there were plenty of magazine projects that I did try, there were many more that I simply admired. This one in particular was a favorite partly because one of the variations used clear color-lined seed beads (my all-time favorite finish). I remember clearly that the beading forums were filled with threads about how difficult the project was to complete, and apart from not having the exact materials needed, I was too intimidated to try it myself. I thought it was time to finally tackle it.
I still didn’t have the exact materials, but it was easy enough to replace 4mm fire polish beads with 4mm druks. I also found the instructions a little difficult to follow, as the beads are labelled in an unusual order, making it tricky to know which beads to pick up. Once I realized that the diagrams were much more helpful, things really started to come together.
Now that chevron chain is one of my favorite stitches, I found this project fairly easy to complete. The hardest part was deciding on a palette and pattern to go with. I love how my variation turned out, and since I made it for myself it fits great, and I’ll probably be wearing it plenty this spring.
Do you have any white whale projects in your past?
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