Spring is the time of new beginnings and renewal and it certainly been the case that the past few weeks have been filled with new beginnings in my personal beading world. Bead and Jewellery magazine has been given a fantastic new look, so that has been fun to work on…as well as hard work! I’ve just put together a competition to celebrate National Beading Week, so you can read all about that. Lastly, as I write this, I’ve just finished sorting through the fifty beading kits that I currently have on the site. All of them have lovely new photos and descriptions which I hope will make it easier for you to find a project you will enjoy. Best of all, several of the kits are on sale, so read on to find out why…unless of course you want to pop over and grab a bargain before you miss out! (Don’t worry – the link will open in a new window, so you won’t lose your place here!)
New Look Bead and Jewellery Magazine
If you already read Bead and Jewellery magazine then you will have noticed that it has been given a new look. The size is slightly larger, the paper on which it is printed is now really high quality and the pages have been redesigned. I can’t take any credit for the redesign as that is done by the amazing layout team. But I have been involved in the decision-making process as we brought all this to life. I was concerned to make sure that the pages didn’t just look pretty (although that is very important), but they need to be really user-friendly. I want all the beading projects to look their best and be easy to follow. We’ve been aiming for a clean look, so that naturally helped. The larger page size has meant that we were able to increase the size of the diagrams, so that should make everything clearer still. We also went to a lot of trouble to find just the right font for the magazine. Unless you have ever been involved in publishing, you have no idea how much time can be spent studying fonts! It’s one of those things that I always took for granted, but once you start actively comparing different fonts, you realise how much of a difference there is. Some are really bold and clear, some not so much. They also have to work in different sizes: it’s no good if the font looks great in the heading, but then becomes a little too small to read in the main text. So all of this work has been going on behind the scenes to bring you this fabulous new look. I’ve been so pleased to hear from people who are enjoying the new look – it makes all the hard work worthwhile. The second issue with the new look has just gone to print, so this has been a chance for us to continue making small tweaks to get everything just right. The issue will go on show at the Big Bead Show on 9th April. The magazine is now also available to buy from Barnes and Noble in the USA, on newsstands in Australia and also in parts of Europe, so it’s thrilling to be bringing the wonderful designers with whom I get to work to a much wider beading community.
Big Bead Show
This brings me rather neatly to my next piece of beading news: the Big Bead Show. This bi-annual event is now just six days away and I can’t wait. I will of course be there in my capacity as editor of the magazine (the show is organised by Bead and Jewellery Magazine owners, Ashdown Media, in case you didn’t know) and I’m going to be doing a demonstration in our fabulous new high-tech demo area, as well as a ‘Meet the Tutor’ slot. Both will be in the afternoon, so if you are around, please come over and say hello. There are going to be great demos going on all day and at the last show we introduced a new demo set up with proper seating for the audience, the demonstrator talking through a microphone so they can be heard, and video of the detail on the beading mat that is projected onto a big screen in the demo area, so this allowed the audience to sit in comfort and still not miss any of the beading taking place. At this show there are more innovations to come. Firstly, the Bead Magazine stand (always at the front of the hall as you go in) is going to be selling some kits and books by the designers all day. Previously, you have needed to attend the demonstration or Meet the Tutor event in order to buy from the designer, but these offer short windows of opportunity and, with so much happening, it is very easy to miss the designer you want to see. So now you will have the chance to buy kits from the magazine stand all day. Make sure you go and check them out. I have some kits and books on sale there and I will have more with me for my Meet the Tutor slot as well. For all the low-down on the show, visit the dedicated website.
National Beading Week 2016
Last year National Beading Week was an enormous success, so it is coming back for the first week in August this year. I’ve been getting prepared for the fun! I am going to be running a competition that I hope embodies the spirit of National Beading Week. For me, it’s all about getting people involved in beading. So I’ve created three simple beading patterns that you can download for free. I want you to take these to the next level, so use them to make your own jewellery, then enter what you make in the National Beading Week competition, so we will all be able to celebrate and enjoy some fabulous beading. I hope it will get your creative juices flowing and let you have some fun. There are prizes as well! To find out all the details and follow the competition, take a look at the National Beading Week link in the top menu. This will take you to the free patterns for downloading and give you all the competition rules. Please spread the word – the competition is open to everyone worldwide and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you all create.
Beading Kits News
Last, but not least, my beading kits. I was quite surprised to find that I have 50 beading kits available on the website. Several of these kits were originally created for the Craft Channel and were initially only available through the Craft Channel website. Well there have been a few developments there that I will be able to reveal shortly, but the bit you need to know now is that I am now able to sell the kits on here myself and, better than that, this particular new beading innovation for me, is being celebrated with a sale. So if you had your eye on any of the kits, they are all hugely reduced now. The bad news is, stocks are strictly limited, so don’t wait too long before snapping up your bargain. Once stocks have sold out they may not be replaced. So, off you go shopping and hopefully I will get to see some of you in person at the Big Bead Show next week as well. Happy beading!