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Reader question: your best piece of advice

Since we are focusing on business and technical advice and education this month, it seemed really appropriate to post this question from my friend Val.  Val has a site called Journey into Art, and she asked for our help:  

If you could give one piece of advice that helped you out the most when you first started, what would that be?

My answer, in relationship to bead embroidery: Pay attention to all the little details and don't crowd your beads!

So what about all of you?  What is YOUR best piece of advice for new beaders or jewelry-makers?   Share your comment here or in an email if you'd like to share an image too!  Send your reply and attachment to cyndi @ (remove the spaces), and please put advice in the subject line!

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Sarah Sequins said…
My answer is also related to bead embroidery, and it's a lot like yours: take your time!

The neater your stitches are, the nicer they look -- and also, the sturdier! The slower you go, especially at first, the more likely you are to make tidy little stitches and keep your spacing right.

My other advice is to play and experiment. A lot. :)
Pat Gray said…
Copy the masters - find a piece you like and try to recreate at least a part of it. This used to be the method used to study art, and I've found it's a great way to learn or improve my skills, or to just get out of a rut.

By the way, I am NOT advocating the theft of the designs of others and/or representing them as your own. When you're done, rip the pieces apart and build something original using the same technique/colors or tuck them away for future reference instead.
Cyndi L said…
Sarah, spacing is sooooo important in embroidery, and I'm glad you seconded my thought. Too many of my early pieces ended up with buckling because I thought the beads had to be really snug!

Pat, thank you for your advice! You are exactly right...copying the masters is a time-honored method of improving our technique, in every art form.
Hello.. just would like to thank you all for these bits of advice..I am starting my first beaded project tomorrow after receiving a 'gift box' full of supplies from a very kind accomplished bead embroiderer, and they certainly help!

May I add my bit of advice? Don't be afraid to do what you really like or 'feel' is wonderful. It took me years to get the courage! Do not to be too influenced by what is the 'rage', what sells the best, or in is fashion. Your own 'niche' will make for the best art.
I agree with MiddleEarth's Jewels comment to do what you love.

I would like to add that if you are working with wire do practice first with inexpensive craft wire before moving on to sterling or gold.