Monday, September 1, 2014

Pattern Writing

 I get asked on a weekly basis about how I write patterns, how I come up with my designs, and why don't I come out with more quicker. I get asked so much in fact that I decided to address it today.

1. "How do I come up with my designs".
A design can derive from inspiration I see online, in life, nature, etc. Basically I get an idea in mind and what beads I want to use. I then go and find the beads, sit at my bead mat and start playing. Designing is a lot of trial and error. You have a design in your head that you want to achieve and have to work and take apart over and over again until you reach your end result. A design can take anywhere from 1-40 hours to complete depending on the difficulty of the project. Once I am happy with the design and have worked out any kinks it time to write the pattern.

2. "How do I write patterns?"
To write a pattern I try to use the same language that I would use if you were sitting right next to me and I was teaching you one on one how to do the project. You have to break down steps so that someone who hasn't beaded a lot can understand what you are trying to tell them. Sometimes I succeed at this and sometimes I miss the mark. I use Microsoft Word to write all of my patterns. A lot of designers like to use Coral Draw to make their diagrams. I find it just as easy for me to take pictures using my digital camera on a macro setting. This is a function that allows you take take good up close pictures. Once I have figured out my design I then come up with a name for it and this serves as the title. I then have to figure out exactly what supplies are needed and how much for the materials list. From there I start on #1 and try to explain how to do the project. As I do each step I take pictures of everything that I am doing. Typing the pattern and taking pictures can take anywhere from 1 hour to 8 hours. Once the pattern is complete I then plug my SD card into my computer and use Photo shop to crop and edit my pictures. Depending on how many pictures I take this can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Once I am satisfied with the pictures then the process begins of plugging them into the pattern. This process takes anywhere from 1-2 hours to complete. Once all of this is complete I save it as a PDF and then its ready to go off into etsy land or on our website.
(Pattern Picture In Process)

3. "Why don't I out with patterns or videos more often?"
As you can see from the pattern writing, a pattern is a lot of work. An average pattern takes me about 1-2 compete days to finish. Once the pattern is complete then I try to work on the video. The video takes me the total amount of time that it takes to complete the project. Sometimes this is 30 minutes, other times this is up to 3 hours. I make the entire project in the video sequence. Videos are not made at my shop because when I'm at the shop I'm helping customers, putting inventory in the computer, making room for new beads, etc. I have to find time when the shop is closed for the video. Once the video has been completed by me it then goes to Sammy to edit and upload to YouTube. The editing process takes about an hour and then he uploads it which can take an hour or more. So, total process time for pattern writing and video can take 2-3 days.

There are only 7 days in a week so it's become an impossible process for me to crank out a new pattern and video every week since the birth of my son. I love my shop but I love my family more and I try to spend every second away from the shop with them. Before Grayson was born I had all the time in the world and would sit up all hours of the night working but as you know, Life Changes. We can either adapt or suffer and I have chosen to adapt. I still love to bead and I do it as much as I can but at the end of my life I want Grayson to be able to look back and see what his mom was "present" in his life and wasn't always focused on work. You only get 1 chance to do things right.

(My favorite photo from our most recent beach trip)


LostnThought said...

Kelly your doing it right ;-)

I love that picture from your trip! A truly treasured moment frozen in time not only on film but in the memories of all those that were there.

My favorite picture of my grandpa (who was my sun and moon when I was little) is of him walking on the beach. He only wore bib overalls, they were rolled up to his knees and he was in his 60's. He was walking at the waters edge and it was the first time he had ever seen the ocean. I was to little to remember when we lived at Myrtle but I look at that picture and wonder what it must have been like for him to experience that for the first time.

So make those memories! Because he won't remember that lovely necklace you designed but he will remember playing in the sand with family and watching the waves. The joy of feeding seagulls or the quiet time of hearing his favorite book read to him.

Natasha said...

Hi Kelly,

I just found your blog and I must say I absolutely love you! I made a few of your designs for my sister and mom for Christmas and they loved them. I wanted to email you because I found this picture and I really wanted to make something like it for my sister but I'm so new to beading that I have no idea how to. The email on your site won't open so I figured I'd try reaching out to you via your blog. If you wouldn't mind taking a look at the design and possibly telling me how to get started with it or making a pattern so I could buy it I'd appreciate it so much! The website is


Sueanne Lear said...

Amen I so agree God gave us these families and they come first. I appreciate what you do because watching over the last few years taught me to bead and become better. So thanks Kelly

sherry Long said...

You are an inspiration to mommy beaders all over :)

sherry Long said...

You are an inspiration to mommy beaders all over :)