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By Bethany Waldrop Keiper
"We know through experience what we did wrong and what we did right, and hope to do better this year. Some people make ambitious new year's resolutions; others just take a deep breath and hope for the best." -- Complete Speaker's Almanac
1. The first and most obvious resolution is to try
something new. Whether it is working with cathedral beads, rosary
chain, semiprecious stones or bumpy beads for the first time, get
your hands on something new and try it. Who knows, your new
favorite thing may be just around the corner!
A good place to start is with new bead shapes. There are so many to choose from, and so many different design opportunities are presented with each one.2. Take the plunge, and learn a new stitch. Whether it is peyote, brick, loom, daisy, or other beadweaving technique, read up on it and give it a try. Having the knowledge of a variety of stitches will make you more versatile, keep you from getting bored with making the same old thing, and give you a great excuse to buy new and different beads and threads. Check out the Beading Project section for step-by-step tips and photos for many different stitches and techniques.
3. This resolution is one I have trouble with -- design beyond your tastes. If I think a particular type of bead or family of colors is unattractive, I am tempted to avoid using them entirely. But as I have learned through experience, somebody, somewhere, loves this or that bead and these or those colors, and is looking for a design made from them.4. Invest in and use bead caps.
5. Get a pair of crimping pliers to give your designs a more professional look. These special pliers, when used correctly with a crimp bead, give you a small, rounded, tidy result, rather than the flattened, ridged result that regular pliers often provide.
7. Get some beading chain -- also called curb chain -- or
extender chain to finish necklaces. The addition of this chain
gives the wearer the option of lengthening or shortening the
piece, and can also save you some beads. Use the beads you
saved to make a matching set of earrings, or use one as a dangle
on the end of the chain. This chain can also be used for designing
charm bracelets and dangly earrings.
8. As recent events around the world have shown, there are so many who need help. If you can't be there for them physically, try being there for them financially. Design items and donate them to local charities' silent auctions and raffles. Or, designate a portion of the proceeds from your sales to help others. This can be one of the most satisfying resolutions of all, because everyone benefits -- your work and your generosity are given a chance to shine, you get a chance to help others, and the people and organizations get the funds that they need.I'll close on a lighter note with one each from dogs' and cats' lists of New Year's resolutions. From the cats: "We will not play Herd of Thundering Wildebeests Stampeding Across the Plains of the Serengeti over any humans' bed while they're trying to sleep." From the dogs: "I will not steal Mom's underwear and dance all over the back yard with it, and I will not play tug-of-war with Dad's underwear." You can visit http://www.corsinet.com/braincandy/humor.html for the rest of these funny pet resolutions.
Crimp pliers, clasps, toggles, curb chain, and other findings and tools are available at The Bead Peddler.
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