Bead Magazine Reviews | Beads and Beyond Published in the UK

Beads and Beyond Magazine

My first Impression of the Magazine was… Wow!

A couple of weeks ago I revealed my “affection” for print magazines as a wonderful source of inspiration for polymer clay cane designs. I read all kinds of them on topics ranging from beads and jewelry of course… plus quilting, stained glass, wood intarsia, appliqué, mosaic, sewing, scrapbooking, photography, etc. etc.

Well it was only a matter of days after bringing up the topic, that a complimentary copy of the UK-based, Beads and Beyond Magazine showed up on my doorstep. Thanks Helen for the send :)

My first impression of the magazine was… Wow! Photos are fantastic and the design layout really nice. The editors talked about a recent makeover. I don’t know what it looked like before, but it sure is nice now.

The publication is just now coming up to the end of it’s second year, so an anniversary edition is probably already in the works. Ratio of articles to advertisers is balanced. News stand cover price is 3.95 British Pounds or $9.99 US Dollars.

One feature I really like is their Designer Challenge. Four artists are given the same set of beads and challenged to come up with some interesting ideas.

They each came up with a variety of projects (necklace, a bracelet and earrings, etc) with instructions. This really shows the versatility of beads and just how many styles you can create with a limited group of supplies.

A trend I noticed about the jewelry design throughout the magazine, was the incorporation of fabrics. Jewelry artists used die cut felt, leather, organza, and array of other textiles to create all kinds of cool pendants and charms. I’ve noticed some fiber use over here in the American beading magazines, but I really liked their unique take on it.

Now for the “critique” part of my review. I was disappointed to see an obvious lack of focus on polymer clay beads. This was surprising since I know there is a very talented group of polymer clay artists in the UK.

But overall, I think this is a great magazine and can’t wait to do some of the projects within the pages. Or at least use them as a jumping off point for some ideas of my own.

If you end up subscribing to the Beads and Beyond Magazine, and you live in the UK, be sure to ask about the jewelry making tool kit they are currently giving away with each subscription. It looks pretty cool.

Any ways… thank you Helen for sending me a copy of your lovely magazine! I hope that you receive some new subscribers from both the UK and the rest of the world, as a result of this review.

And to all of the visitors here… If any of you have read the Beads & Beyond magazine, I’m sure Helen and the editors would love to hear what you think of it as well. Leave a comment below.


Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Anna Sabina, 17 May, 2009

    This has nothing to do with this post but I cannot contain myself !!!!


    Finally, it is not just Sculpy III.

  2. aims, 17 May, 2009

    I’ve been looking around for this sale – where do I find it?

  3. Cindy Lietz, 17 May, 2009

    Anna – This is fantastic news! It’s been almost a year since Michaels put Premo and Fimo on sale like this. Woot!

    Thank you Michaels!! Here’s a link to where Michael’s is advertising the 4 for $5 Polymer Clay Sale Pricing. So if anyone needs to stock up on some good quality clay, you should print out the page while it’s still live and head on down to your Michael’s Craft Store ASAP!

    As far as I know, this sale is just in the USA stores right now. But I for one am waiting on the edge of my seat for the sale to cross the border into Canada. Michael’s… are you listening? There are sooo…. many clayers up here north of the 49th that love it when you put Premo and Fimo on sale.

    I’m going to tweet about this right now as well. So all of you twitter folks, please retweet my tweet so we can let Michael’s know how much we all appreciate them :)

    ADDED NOTE May 23, 2009: Looks like Michael’s (Canada) heard my plea :) because the 4 for $5 pricing is now available in the British Columbia and Alberta. This probably means that all of you readers in the rest of the Canadian Provinces can also stock up on some cheap clay too.

  4. Anna Sabina, 17 May, 2009

    Woot Back at Ya !! I also found that Hobby Lobby has all Premo, Sculpy, Fimo and Kato on sale this week for 99 cents. Must be a polymer clay pricing war going on.

    Didn’t know that Michael’s has a different sale ad for Canada. Keep the faith, at least starting to include this in their PC sale.

  5. Cindy Lietz, 17 May, 2009

    FYI: Here’s the Hobby Lobby Flyer for their 99 cent sale. They even have Kato clay available.

  6. Catalina, 17 May, 2009

    The last sale was a year ago? Maybe for Canada not for the US stores. I’m sure we had it on sale around Christmas. (I work for Michaels) I remember because I was pretty well stocked up and felt I was missing out, since I didn’t need any more at the time. But, remember the 40% coupon, you can make your own sale! Sign up for the on-line ad and you can print off as many coupons as you want. Although, you can only use one coupon per visit it will give you a reason to go shopping everyday!! :-) Or bring the kids when you shop and have them purchase their “own” supplies with their coupon. —-Sorry about the “ad” for Michaels, I get excited when clay is on sale, too!

  7. Carolyn Good, 18 May, 2009

    Boo hoo hoo — The sale at Michaels is in the U.S. only — Michaels doesn’t even have a sale this week at all. It is a bummer sometimes as we don’t have the selection of stuff up here. Never even heard of the Hobby Lobby — good prices there.

  8. aims, 18 May, 2009

    The May-June issue of Step by Step beads is what made me realize I need to start making polymer beads.

    I also noted the new book out by Ronna Sarvas Weltman – Ancient Modern Polymer Clay & Wire Jewelry. I was stunned at how beautiful the front page looked and that got me thinking as well.

    Although there aren’t any designs made with polymer clay in the Australian magazine – Creative Beading – I love it! It is huge and has so many inspirational designs that I could easily envision using my own beads in them.

  9. Cindy Lietz, 18 May, 2009

    @Catalina: Nice to see a Michaels employee here! Thanks for the coupon tips! Most of us seem to live for those!

    @Carolyn: I know it is a pain isn’t it?! Wish we did have more than one crafting chain (and more locations) here in Western Canada. A little competition can be a great thing for prices!

    @Aims: Thanks for getting this thread back on topic! I’m glad you said that about the Step by Step Beads magazine and the book making you aware of making polymer clay beads. This is exactly what we need as an industry. More publications making people aware of what a fantastic medium polymer clay really is for bead making! That it is a legitimate artist’s medium and not just something kids fool around with. As far as learning about bead making, there is tons of free information here as well I have created a beginners course and a video library that will get you on the right track. There are links at the top of the page with more information on those. Feel free to ask what ever questions you have and interact with all the readers here by leaving comment. Happy claying!

  10. aims, 22 May, 2009

    Hey Cindy – Received my Michael’s flyer and the offer of 4 for $5 is now in Alberta anyway! Thought you’d like to let everyone know.

  11. Cindy Lietz, 23 May, 2009

    Yes the sale is now here in British Columbia Michael’s stores as well. That probably means it’s a good time for everyone across Canada to stock up on clay right now. Best prices we’ve seen in a while.

  12. Phaedrakat, 07 February, 2010

    Speaking of beading magazines, I guess Bead & Button is my favorite. I was a subscriber for a long time, but cancelled when I had to quit working & cut back on my finances. I still buy one every now and then. Bead & Button changed their format some time ago to include at least one project of each type/department (stringing, stitching, wirework, claying, etc.) in every issue. Unfortunately (IMO, anyway,) their “Claymaker” section is not always polymer. They used to always have a polymer project, but sometimes they have a metal clay project instead. While these are cool projects, I can’t afford to get into metal clay (+ no access to a kiln, torch, etc.) Plus, I love my polymer!

    This month’s issue, February 2010, has both a metal & a polymer clay project — so, I’m happy! The entire issue has a big focus on mixing medias. The polymer project uses image transfers, peyote-stitch to create bezels around the polymer, and then stringing to assemble the necklace. It’s quite pretty! Anyway, Bead & Button is a beautiful magazine — so much eye candy. I’ll spot a pretty bead & try to figure out how I could make it with polymer. Anybody else do that?

  13. Cindy Lietz, 16 February, 2010

    You are right Phaedrakat about Beads and Buttons being a great magazine! Another favorite of mine is Art Jewelry. There is a lot of higher end projects in there and work that is much beyond the beginner, but I find it extremely inspirational. Only have a few copies but would love to have them all!

  14. Phaedrakat, 16 February, 2010

    Oh, yes, Cindy — I love that one (I also have just a few copies.) Most projects are way beyond what I can do (PMC, advanced metalsmithing, etc.) but they’re so gorgeous. It’s probably a good thing that my income has been limited for a while, or I’d have added a bunch of new tools to my already bursting craft stash! (And I don’t have space for torches, kilns, soldering irons, etc.) I’m so glad I found you and your site. I now only buy the necessities, as I need them. I wish you had been here 5 -6 years ago before I went wild with my purchases! Still, I will be able to use all of my polymer/beading stuff eventually. That’s just one of the beauties of PC — it lasts so long!

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