Stitch Craft Create Blog

Ten Questions with Carole Rodgers

Carole Rodgers, author of the best-selling Beading Basics, has recently released a new title, The Beaded Bracelet, which explores 9 essential beadweaving stitches using a jewelry staple: the bracelet. Here, Carole talks about her personal journey with crafting to help us celebrate National Craft Month.

Q: When did you start crafting? What craft did you start with?

Carole: I have been crafting all my life. I can’t remember a time I was not making something. I have knitted, crocheted, macraméd, sewn, cross-stitched, needlepointed, beaded and done all sorts of general crafts.

Q: What other crafts do you do besides jewelry design?

C: I started out in my professional designing career as a needlework designer. For years I wrote articles and books on cross-stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, and general crafts. I still do some fabric crafts. I live in an RV and travel full time so my space is limited for carrying supplies.

Q: What made you decide to write The Beaded Bracelet?

C: I self-publish a number of booklets with different patterns I have developed over the years. I sent a copy of one of my books to an acquisitions editor at F+W along with a book proposal. She wasn’t interested in that proposal but she saw that I had done a couple of books of bead-woven bracelets and asked me to do a proposal on bracelets. It was to be a stitch primer so I started designing bracelets with a particular stitch and that is what ended up in the book.

Q: What is the best part about writing a book? What is the most difficult?

C: The best part of writing a book is that you have the freedom to explore a subject matter in depth and do things your way. The worst thing is the editing and the tedium of going through everything multiple times until you are certain you and your editor have it all correct.

Q: How do you get inspired when you’re feeling a lack of creativity?

C: Luckily, I seldom have creative block. If I do, I quit worrying about it and do housework. Since I hate doing housework, my creativity usually rescues me. If that fails, I look through magazines, go shopping, talk to creative friends, or read a book.

Q: What is the skill or technique that most intimidates you?

C: There aren’t a lot of things that intimidate me craft-wise except for quilting. I was never fond of quilting. There are a couple of beading stitches I need to practice that I am not very familiar with. I actually used both of them in The Beaded Bracelet and I had to teach myself how to do them before I could design the bracelets.

Q: What’s the best advice you could give to a new jewelry enthusiast?

C: Buy a copy of my book, Beading Basics. It has all the basic information a person who wants to make beaded jewelry needs. If you are interested in a certain stitch or technique, buy a good book on that particular technique. Also, take a class or find a group of beading buddies to exchange ideas with.

Q: What’s your favorite jewelry blog, and why?

C: I spend very little time on the internet. The only blogs I read occasionally are Margot Potter’s and Tanya McGuire’s (glass lamp worker) because they are friends.

Q: What tool, notion or material can you not live without?

C: I can’t live without beads, FireLine™, and three pairs of German pliers.

Q: How has jewelry-making changed your life?

C: Because of jewelry-making and all the needlework and crafting I have done over the years, I have met a lot of famous, creative people and got the chance to interact with them and exchange ideas. I have gotten to travel to parts of the country I would never have had a chance to get to otherwise. Jewelry-making has led me to the Tucson gem shows each winter where I get to meet people from all over the world. It has influenced my life in more ways than I can count.

Discover the beautiful and eye-catching designs in The Beaded Bracelet and fall in love with beadweaving.

Carole Rodgers is an internationally known designer, teacher and author. She has been a professional designer for the past 26 years and had an extensive career in art education and art therapy before that. She is the author of 99 pattern leaflets and hundreds of magazine articles. She is the author of four full length beading books published by KP Books–Beaded Jewelry with Found Objects, Beading Basics, Beyond Beading Basics and The Beaded Bracelet. She is also the author of five self-published books on beading–Bracelet Bonanza, More Bracelets, Beaded Beads 101,The Beaded Cabochon and The Beaded Pendant.

Carole holds five U. S. patents for new product development. She teaches beading and needlework classes and has taught at major seminars around the country. Ms. Rodgers has also served as a consultant for manufacturers in the crafts industry. She has been actively involved in promoting crafts, needlework and beading in professional organizations and on national crafts television programs.

Although well trained in numerous media, Carole admits her first love is beading. She has yet to find a beading technique she doesn’t like and is always on the lookout for new ones she hasn’t tried. Her work has been in most national beading magazines. She and her husband, LeRoy, also sell at retail bead and gem and rock shows in the Midwest where they sell her line of original kits, books, cabochons, and other jewelry making supplies.

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