Bead and Button Magazine -- A Craft Magazine Review
Hello, my name is Rebecca and I'm a beadaholic.
This is a long-standing addiction of about 17 years, which began harmlessly enough. I decided to acquire a few seed beads for a 4-H project to enter in the county fair. Little did I know that it would end up ruling my life – even to the point that I quit my job to allow more time for beading!
There is little hope for recovery in my condition. Not the least of the problem is the scintillating recovery-spoiling literature that’s readily available on the market.
If you’re trying to get over a bead addiction, one of the worst things you can do is pick up a copy of Bead & Button Magazine. It’s almost impossible to get enough. Each issue is chock-full of design techniques, ideas, and even those provocative advertisements that entice its readers to visit various bead shops online and nourish the habit with some of the richest plunder in the bead industry.
Just for a quick snapshot – here I am, with the June 2007 issue of this awesome beading magazine, with an excellent example of why it never ceases to amaze me. This issue features a number of designs that incorporate drinking straws. Well, they have to look strange, don’t they? On the contrary, they’re absolutely gorgeous, contemporary pieces. Bead & Button will offer similar off-beat ideas in every issue.
Nothing turns me off more than to enter a local bead shop that has consignment jewelry by local artists, and see very little other than the same old stringing techniques. Bead & Button is just one of the magazines that I use to ensure that my work is never of the type that typically annoys me.
In each issue of Bead & Button, you will find:
From the editor. This informs readers about current fashion trends, beading events, or emerging materials that may be of interest.
Letters, etc. These are from your fellow beaders all over the world who write in with tips, tricks, design ideas, or questions for Bead & Button staff to answer.
Bead soup. A collection of inspiring articles that are of interest to beaders. This often includes articles about individual innovative bead artists, or bead traditions from around the world. Bead Soup generally offers yet another great source of design ideas.
Expert advice. Articles and commentary from the professionals that address common beading problems. This may range from practical material selection, such as how to spot fake crystals, to how to find the right fit for your jewelry pieces, explaining the different types of seed beads, and so on. Ever issue has awesome advice that you won’t want to miss.
Tips and techniques. Advice that will come in useful within the bead industry for those who wish to sell their work. This may include advice on marketing your work, how to take great jewelry photos, and much more.
Your work. Do you want to know what fellow subscribers are making? Every issue of Bead & Button includes a mini-gallery displaying pictures that people have sent in for everyone to enjoy, and they may be inspirational in your future pieces too.
For beginners. Never beaded before? Start here. Every issue includes a pattern that is tailored to those who have no previous knowledge of beading or any other technique that is used. These instructions are always very clear, and the piece is certainly worthwhile, whether you’re a beginner or simply want something quick-and-easy to create.
Chic and easy. Speaking of quick-and-easy, there’s one of those too – this pattern is always something that can be created in about 1-2 hours.
Bead & Button always includes a story about the artwork on the cover of the issue, as well as a collection of artist profiles. There also tend to be about 15-20 projects with specific, clear instructions in each issue. Photos accompany the various steps of these patterns, making it exceedingly easy to follow each tutorial. Projects range all over the board for difficulty level – there is something for beginner, intermediate and advanced in each issue. Techniques may include bead-weaving, polymer clay, stringing, netting, and anything else that incorporates beads.
Magazine subscription fees for Bead & Button come to just under $30 for six issues, which are sent every other month. Frankly, this subscription is probably the best investment I’ve made for my beading business. There are a number of advertisements, which tend to put some people off. For myself, I like the ads, because it’s usually only high-quality suppliers for beads, findings, and other crafting supplies. These allow me to go straight to the advertised sites rather than wade through whatever garbage Google throws at me first in a search. I want new and unusual suppliers, and this is a very time-efficient way to find them. Other than that, there’s just no way you could spend $5 on a beading book and get anywhere near the value that Bead & Button has to offer. Each and every issue has paid for itself before the next one comes out, either from adaptations of specific patterns or from some technique or design element I picked up from perusing the magazine.
This magazine is probably most useful to intermediate to advanced bead artists, even though there are a number of beginner projects. If you really want to master the full spectrum of beading possibilities, this is the place to do it. Those looking for very specific bead art niches, there is probably a magazine that is better-tailored to your specific desires.
Overall, this is definitely my favorite beading magazine. It never fails to teach me something new that I can use right away in my own pieces, and the presentation is beautiful and colorful. For $30 a year, it is one of those investments that you can’t afford not to make.
Thank you for reading my review, I hope it was helpful. Now I would appreciate a moment of your time to keep the conversation going. Please post a comment below answering the question, what is your favorite beading magazine or book, and what do you like most about it?
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