One of the frustrations of writing instructional books is that you want to give exacting instructions so that you are sure readers can follow along easily, but at the same time, you want readers to bring their own style to the project. Often when Sherri writes a first draft of instructions, she’ll put down something generic such as, “string on a bead” when a specific size or shape doesn’t matter, so readers can choose a bead from their own collection or exercise their creativity. Invariably, the draft will come back with a note from the editor that says something like, “please specify size/shape/color of bead.” It’s with mixed feelings that Sherri adds the specifics, understanding that readers may want to duplicate the jewelry piece exactly, and, of course, sometimes very specific instructions and materials are necessary for the project to be successful.
Ideally, a reader can make the jewelry piece as instructed, and then with that experience under his or her belt, run with the design. The best thing about teaching classes all over the country is at the end of the day when Sherri can see all the amazing pieces that class members have created. It’s inspiring when someone uses one of Sherri’s techniques and creates something she never would have dreamed of.
With that in mind, my daughter Brennyn and I decided to make some earrings from Sherri’s Beaded Macrame Jewelry book with the supplies we had on hand. Very little of what we had matched the supply list for the Bohemian earrings; no silk cord, right-size beads or one-half inch jump rings. Instead, we had embroidery floss, a hodgepodge of beads from the bottom of my stash, and large chain links. Of course when you change things up, you can run into problems (many of the beads we wanted to use had holes too small for the floss, and since I’m design-impaired, I started over twice before I was happy), but we went with the flow, and ended up with some pretty cool earrings. I went for a little plainer style and Brennyn went all out with design and color.
The original project is shown above. Here’s what we came up with: