Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Writing beadweaving tutorials.

Oh the pain.  Literally the pain.  I love when I am inspired by an artist component to design something new.  Like this piece inspired by Sheri Mallery's heart pendant.

Or this one inspired by Karen's donut pendant.

Or this one inspired by Jenny's mermaid link.

And the most recent design using one of Francesca's pendant (cant show that one til tomorrow.)

But....... actually sitting down and writing a tutorial is so much harder.

First you have to have a clean space to use to photograph your steps.  And that in itself can be a challenge in my ADD world.  (see messy tray pic)

And what I mean by photographing steps is that you take a picture of every time you pass the thread through a bead or group of beads.  But....and here is the kicker each pic has to be clear.  So add the bead(s), take a picture or two then up load it to make sure each bead is clear and the thread path is showing properly.  For each step of a tutorial there are usually 2 to 3 pictures to show thread path.  Now I know there are programs out there that are used to draw diagrams of each bead but the kicker to that one is that generally you have to literally draw them yourself and well I am not that steady of hand nor do I have the computer to handle that program.  So this is how I do it.

But that is not all.  Putting words to the steps is a challenge as well.  So as not to confuse a beader there needs to be a general consistency with other written tutorials using the same wording.  Such as pass through, beginning round and so forth.  That takes research and knowledge.

Here is why I tell you this.  This is my newest Tutorial, Triangulation.

It is designed to be a weekend project.  It took me a week worth of work (not all at once because I have a house to keep in order) 28 out of 46 photos were actually used but all 46 were edited. It has 12 steps that were edited and re edited to ensure clarity and oh I totally forgot you need an accurate count of all the supplies you needed.  That is no easy task at all I am not good at measuring grams.

Then there is the fact that you have to make at least a second piece following your own steps just to make sure it can be done.  Another round of pictures of the finished pieces to see what is best for the cover and Etsy, then it is off to the testers and proofreaders.  With fingers crossed of course.  If all goes well you have a finished tutorial ready to list in your shop.

So the next time you look at a tutorial I hope I have given you a new appreciation to what goes into them because I know I do.



  1. I understand what you are talking about. I used to write a lot of tutorials but hardly find the time now to click and edit step by step pictures and make pin worthy collages.

  2. I sooo admire your work and if I ever attempt to do anything w/all my seed beads other than just string a couple here and there, your tutorials will be ones I will look at, for sure!! As much work goes into the tutorials as goes into the designs, especially when it comes to bead weaving.

  3. I find your work mind beautiful but mind boggling Kristen - your tutorials must be a labour of love.

  4. Congratulations on finishing another tutorial Kristen, your work has always been something I have admired. I understand about the process of tutorial writing and how difficult and time consuming it can be.

  5. Good post Kristen., I have only written one tutorial and I did not do pics with it. It was just practice for myself. However I do pics for ebay listings so I do appreciate all the work that goes into what you do and I want to say thank you for your effort.


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