Earring kit by Laura McCabe available from Beads East
If you had it in mind to learn a new technique or two this year, but you still haven't gotten started on that goal, here's something to consider. There are lots of sites where you can buy a kit or a pattern, where you will learn in excruciating detail how to perform a certain task. Sometimes we just need it in excruciating detail, huh?
For example, my friend Dulcey Heller creates kits and patterns for a site called simply Buy the Kit. Despite the name, they also sell "bead-less kits", a clever way to refer to patterns, as well as kits that contain everything you will need, just add hands and eyes. This site specializes in seed beadwork.
If you are more interested in learning wire techniques, check out Jewelry Lessons. There are lessons on polymer clay and beadwork too, but wire is king (or queen) at this site owned by Eni Oken.
Etsy is another place that you can check out for kits and patterns. I had the most luck by searching on the term "tutorial". This lovely shop by WireBliss is just one of the sites I found that had education for sale.
If you'd like to sink your teeth into a really big project, you might want to check out Beads East. There are free tutorials, both video and printed available here, as well as kits and patterns by artists like Laura McCabe and Sherry Serafini.
JewelerMe was started by a mother and daughter team. They specifically package kits that can be done in a group setting like a bridal shower or a girls' night out.
Finally, here are two more sites that I'm not as familiar with that have patterns and kits. They look like they're worth investigating as well:
Simply Beads Kit of the Month
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Can't wait to see what you will create with your Bead Soup.