This year is almost over, and I've been thinking about what I think the top 10 bead related items of this past year.
Here are mine (in no particular order):
1. Kumihimo. I discovered Japanese braiding at Bead and Button, and have had fun with it ever since! Have you seen my Titania necklace http://beadstudio.blogspot.com/2006/08/titania-necklace.html?
2. Micromacrame. I picked up the book by Kris Buchanan. http://www.kristinebuchanan.com/book1.html The photos and projects were very inspirational. It helps that the C-Lon cord comes in over 50 fantastic colours. It's not the 70's anymore indeed.
3. Bead embroidery. I taught myself some of the basics, then took a course with Sherry Serafini - who really filled in all the blanks. http://www.serafinibeadedjewelry.com/
4. Cabochons. Now that I know what to do with them (see "Bead Embroidery" above), I love them. I have several awaiting some free time to make into wonderful jewellery. Here's my latest http://beadstudio.blogspot.com/2006/12/raku-cabochon-pendant.html
5. Polymer Clay. I have a love-hate relationship with polymer clay. I finally tried it this year and found it in some ways as difficult as oil painting - I never got the hang of colour mixing - they all came out brownish grey, no matter what I did. Anyways, I'm perservering, and I certainly have some great ideas - just not the skills - yet - but I think the learning curve may be quite steep. That said, you should see the gorgeous polymer clay beads I've got from the wonderful Barbara Colautti.
6. Dichroic Aikos. I finally broke down and bought some.
7. Treenway Silks, especially the Montano series. Great for kumihimo.
8. Storing By Colour. I'm experimenting with storing my beads by colour rather than by type. That said, some still end up in their own places - like Swarovki, pearls, etc. It was really tough putting the Czech 10's in the same place as the Japanese 11's.
9. Creative Bead Weaving by Carol Wilcox Wells. This isn't a new discovery, but rather a visitation with an old friend. Considered to be the beader's bible by many - and it really stands the test of time. Can only be outdone by The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving, also by Wells.
10. Nancy Zellers great new website: http://www.nzbeads.com/. A very sophisticated and perfect site with lots of eye candy and useful information.
Happy New Year everyone.