Thursday, April 2, 2015

Kits - Not Just for Beginners

When I first started to learn beadwork, kits were my salvation. How wonderful to find everything you need in one place! Any avid hobbyist knows the "Murphy's Law" of projects. No matter how many items in your stash, it will be lacking that certain something for your newest project, requiring an online order or trip to the closest store where you invariably buy more than just that one item. (Come on - you know it's true!) And when I was starting out, my stash was a fraction of the size it is today. Back in the day, I ordered many kits from a site called Ready to Bead that featured lots of different designers like Sandra Halpenny, Glenda Payseno and others. For a reasonable price, you received wonderful instructions and everything you needed to make their creations.

Flash forward to today. My stash is huge and I am much more proficient than in my learn-to-bead days. But I still like kits. Why? The same reason I liked them when I was starting out. Everything is in one place and you receive the products the designers used when they developed their creations. If you buy from reputable kit makers, the material quality is usually terrific and is usually more than you need to complete your project. Then you can use that base as a launching pad to make your own substitutions. Yes, it can be a pricier option than using items from your stash but frankly, I look at it as an educational expense to gain an insight to new materials and techniques.

But my biggest reason to like kits is to promote the businesses of other bead artists. It took them hours to develop their ideas and I like the idea of helping them grow their businesses - so they can continue to design.

Here's a sampling of kits that I recently created. All were wonderfully put together with clear instructions and superior materials.

BeadsEast Kit: Bead Crochet & Bead Embroidery
Jill Wiseman: Tassel Necklace

Marion Jewels in Fiber: Flat Turkish Bead Crochet

In many cases, artists permit you to sell items made from their designs so long as you do not mass produce and provide attribution. I think this is very generous and hope to follow in their footsteps one day when I am brave enough to try my hand at offering a design kit.

Speaking of BeadsEast, they are moving to Florida. I just received a notice today that they are having a 50% off sale to reduce the amount of inventory to be moved. Now would be a great time to try their wonderful kits!
BeadsEast Is Moving!


Amy S. said...

Hi Paula! I just LOVED this post!!!! It really took me back to my early days of beading...that fateful day I walked into a bead store wondering how there could be a store that sells only beads....walked out with a kit and the rest is history, as they say. But I also truly love your philosophy on why you still buy kits. I am going to head over to Beads East right now !

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Paula,
Thank you for sharing you philosophy on buying and creating with kits. I have done a few kits in my beading they have helped me in learning. A kit is a great way to get started and to help the designer out as well. I am going to check out Beads East.

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