In the past few years, I have taken up jewelry making as a hobby. To develop my skills as a jewelry maker, I have viewed tutorials on the internet, bought magazines, and tried out the techniques for myself. One of my favorite magazines has been Bead&Button, in particular, a special "best of" issue called "Get Started Beading."
There are several features about this magazine that I find appealing and instructive. The magazine is printed on high-quality glossy paper, so the pages remain in tact while I flip through or mark pages. There are several types of projects listed, from the simple basic stringing to wirework to stitching. Some project examples are a two-strand bracelet (stringing technique), elegant wire earrings (wirework), and a reversible bracelet with triangle beads (stitching). For beginners, there are easier projects and an explanation of the techniques at the front of the magazine. For more experienced jewelry makers, "Get Started Beading" offers the challenge of right-angle stitching and incorporating antique buttons into designs.
Each project contains a step-by-step description along with photos showing the progress after each step and the finished product. Also included is a list of materials needed to complete the project. I like looking at the magazine ideas for colors, sizes, shapes, etc of the materials, but I often use the ideas as a reference point. Instead of following the exact designs, I purchase items I like. Sometimes, with my limited skills, it makes the projects more complicated when I alter the details, but it also makes the finished product more my style and my accomplishment.
While I find the explanations of basic techniques helpful at the front of the "Get Starting Beading" issue of Bead&Button, I do find that I sometimes have to look at additional resources to really get it. For example, if I can't figure out a stitching technique, I look online to YouTube or another video site where I can watch someone do it. I am a visual learner, so it helps me to watch the techniques as they are performed by others. If I had more experience making jewelry before I picked up this magazine, I might have known enough to get by without additional help. But in my case, the explanations weren't quite enough.
Overall, the Bead&Button magazine and the special issue "Get Started Beading" have been my favorite of all the jewelry and bead magazines I have purchased. I think the pictures are helpful and stylish, the instructions are fairly comprehensive, and the variety of projects is great.
I have included a pictures of my favorite jewelry piece I made from the idea and instruction in "Get Started Beading." The project was to create an easy multi-strand pearl necklace. It was much easier when I followed the directions and used a flexible needle to tie the square knots!
Bead&Button magazine can be purchased in craft stores. I've seen it in Michael's and Hobby Lobby. There is also a website with details about the magazine and a list of projects at http://www.beadandbutton.com/.