Why do I choose Seed Beads.

October 10, 2012 , In: General
Well to be perfectly honest they choose me.  A few years back my mother in law was destashing her craft room and gave me these tiny little beads and I thought “What am I going to do with these?”  I had tried my hand at stringing but you will never see the results of that catastrophe!  Walking through Walmart I spied a Beadwork magazine and there it was.  Like a heavenly light!  I was hooked.  Then through Facebook I met and saw some of the most beautiful work I have ever seen and then the introduction of art beads and Yes there was another Heavenly light moment.
So that is the “Why” of how it began but I really want to show you the where the “Why” has taken me now with something that is currently on my tray.
It starts with inspiration
In this case it is a Marsha Neal pendant square.  Look at the colors and the glazing.  
The fun part about seeds is that there are so many colors and gradients that matching those together is so easy.  You see the pendant.  For me sometimes I am not confident in choosing a random color combination but with an inspiration piece like this there is that “I never would have thought to use peach and terracotta together but look how they totally work.
So now here is where I start choosing beads to match.  I do not have a very substantial stash but I do have a diverse one so here are the beads I decided on.
Next I always like to add a different bead into the mix and the seed bead manufacturers have made that so easy with so many different shapes and sizes. Here is my surprise factor.
These are called either farfalle or peanut beads.  Aren’t they fun?  So now I have to decide how best to showcase the beads and how to enhance that gorgeous pendant.  Here is what I have so far.
This rope is called a Russian Spiral.  I like this rope for it’s flow and feel but also that I can morph it with beads of all shapes.
So that is the “Why” I continue to love playing with seed beads.  So now tell me your “Why I choose…”

Kristen Stevens

Kristen Stevens has always been a crafter of sorts.  Cross stitch, quilting, quilling, knitting, and since 2009 totally addicted to seed beads.  Then the discovery of art beads added to the addiction.  She has been complimented on her unique approach to blend colors, shapes and inspiration from the art beads and nature. She has also been writing her own tutorials. 
  1. Reply

    I love hearing the background to why an artists uses a particular medium. I love how you play with your inspiration as well. And that Russian Spirl is absolutely stunning Kristen!!

    • Reply

      It is really fun to take what I have learned and spice it up a bit.

  2. Reply

    Really great to hear what inspires Kristen and I am in awe of your work..First sight of me and seed beads generally head straight for the floor!

    • Reply

      Just like most things it can not be forced. I can not work with wire. We are not friends in any way and that goes with playing with metals too.

  3. Reply

    I tried. I really did. My first seed bead class was a flat peyote stitch bracelet when I was working at the Shepherdess Bead store in SD. (Employees took classes free.) I even finished in class. Loved the colors – made a mix of beads for the bracelet. But I get tied up in knots! During weaving, tying off a thread, starting a new thread. And soon my shoulders are in knots as well. So I completely honor and respect the seed bead… Just please dont make me…

    I love your color selections – the translucent with the opaque! Cant wait to see it.

    • Reply

      Well my clay bead goddess I will not make you pick up the seeds as long as you don't make me buy a kiln! LOL I will leave that gorgeousness to you! (kind of selfish on my part as I love what make and do not want anything to distract you!)

  4. Reply

    Great post Kristen! I love seeing how you pull everything together. And that rope is amazing.

  5. Reply

    I like seed beads because I feel art beads are pretty on their own so I don't tend to create an entire piece to do anything, but compliment it. But on their own seed beads no matter how beautiful are kinda sad little things. You have to tie them together is crazy ways to make something great. It's like they are asking for it.

    • Reply

      Yes Ginger Yes! They do ask to be woven to make something even more special. Like they want to be a family. I also like to compliment an art bead too.

  6. Reply

    I agree with you, they chose me! (It was actually back in 4th grade when I got my first bag of size 11 mixed colors and started sharing them with friends stringing them on cheap beading wire! Who knew I'd come so far?)

    • Reply

      Hehe Marcie! Yes I wish they had come to me back then but maybe I wasn't ready like you. I knew from the moment I first saw your work that you would be a star!

  7. Reply

    I choose polymer clay. It fell into my lap, literally! I had expected that metal etching was the way, or resin. But the most visceral and immediate responses came from my polymer clay. It is the perfect blend of quick, easy, inexpensive, and addicting. And it is a medium that continues to morph and change. I am in awe of the things that polymer clay artists can achieve! I really need to take a class or two! I have taken my art to new levels by drawing on inspiration from my favorite illustrator – Mary Engelbreit – and my need for powerful messages and words. I am in awe of what you and others do with seed beads. They scare me! I love the beaded beads that I have received from friends and feel that they are masterpieces and treat them accordingly!

    Enjoy the day, Miss Kristen!

    • Reply

      Oh I know that you and polymer are a partnership made in heaven. I see so much of your heart in all that I have gawked at over the years and now having one of your pieces of my own I can truly say you were made for each other. I can not thank you enough that you see my chosen medium in the same light and respect. You honor me Miss Erin!

    • Shel
    • October 10, 2012

    Love how you shared your why and also your process of picking colors Kristen. I'm in awe of all who design wonderful works of art with those tiny little seed beads, especially you! I have a ton of them and have no idea why because I sure don't do anything with them except make nice little feasts on the floor for my vacuum cleaner to eat!!

    • Reply

      Oh and having held one of your amazing clasps in my hand I can also say that you and wire are a great partnership. Wire just plain hates me! LOL Thank you so much!

  8. Reply

    I enjoyed reading about your love of seed beads and your design process, Kristen! Like Shel, I have tons of the little buggers, but I don't have the patience to weave with them. I use them for spacers or occasionally I'll just string a whole bunch of them. I really admire your seed bead work. That Russian Spiral is luscious!

    • Reply

      Oh Linda! Thank you and you need to know that I have the same admiration of your work. You get all those gorgeous art beads to play so well together. Told ya you would never see a pic of my stringing! LOL

  9. Reply

    Great post! And I love the Russian Spiral, especially with the peanut beads – really lovely. 🙂

    • Reply

      Thank you so much Francesca!

  10. Reply

    Hi Kristen,
    Great post. The little buggers chose me too. I fell in love with all the amazing designs I saw in Beadwork and Bead and Button and had to learn how to create with them. I love the Russian Spiral rope you created I really like the texture the farfalle beads give the piece. I can not wait to see what you did to the pendant, I just know it is going to be something gorgeous.

    • Reply

      You always have so much faith in me! LOL I am still working on what the pendant will be!

  11. Reply

    I have too many choices to choose just one, but my current favorite is metal work. Just take a class with Stacie Florer and you will understand why! The fact that sheet metal can be transformed into a charm, a pendant, a bead…anything "you" want – well that does it for me! Your seed bead work is GORGEOUS. Just GORGEOUS. The color combination – swoon! I have not tried seed beads – I have such trouble with my eyes focusing on such small holes….but, that does not stop me from drooling over the art work here! Nice post!

    • Reply

      Patti I totally believe you should go with what sparks you. These tiny treasures are my medium but they aren't for everyone

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