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Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Monday, July 14, 2008, 16:07

Hi guys, Laura and I have both made attempts at beading pattern diagrams using Adobe Photoshop. I'm posting them both here:

Laura's Diagram
Instructions by Laura:
The purple dot is the starting point and represents the first bead to be threaded. The right string coming from this bead is coloured red and the left is blue.
Continue to thread beads 2, 3 and 4 onto the red string and then pass the blue string through bead 4 the opposite way. Pull tight.
Again using the red string, thread on beads 5 to 9 and pass the blue string through bead 9 the opposite way. Continue to pass the red string back through bead 3.
Using the blue string this time, thread on beads 10 to 13 and then pass the red string the opposite way through bead 13. Continue to pass the blue string through bead 2.
Use the red string to thread on beads 14 to 17, pass the blue string through bead 17 the opposite way and then pass the red string back through bead 1 as well as bead 5.
Lastly, thread beads 18 to 20 onto the blue string and pass the red string the opposite way through bead 20. Pull tight.

Allegra's Diagram
Instructions by Allegra:
Starting at the bead labelled with a black dot, string a 1.5 meter piece of fishing line through that bead, making sure both ends coming out of the bead are of equal length. Note well that the red and blue arrows represent the two ends of the same piece of fishing line, and shall from now on be referred to as "the red string" and "the blue string", but they are the same original piece of fishing line and not separate strings.
String the 3 other beads marked with purple dots onto the red string. This will form bead circle 1, of the 4 beads labelled with purple dots. Thread the blue string in the opposite direction through the bead marked with a purple and red dot. We are moving onto bead circle 2, of 6 beads labelled with red dots.
String the 5 other beads labelled with red dots to the red string. Thread the blue string in the opposite direction through the bead labelled with a red and blue dot. We are now moving onto bead circle 3, of 6 beads labelled with blue dots.
Thread the red string through the bead labelled with purple and blue dots, which is already in your pattern! String onto the blue string the remaining 4 beads labelled with blue dots (new beads). Thread the red string in the opposite direction through the last new bead added (labelled with blue and green dots). We have now made the leap to bead circle 4, of 6 beads labelled with green dots.
Thread the blue string through the bead labelled with purple and green dots, which is already in your pattern! String onto the red string the remaining 4 beads labelled with green dots (new beads). Thread the blue string in the opposite direction through the last new bead added (labelled with green and turquoise dots). We have now made the leap to bead circle 5, of 6 beads labelled with turquoise dots.
Thread the red string through the bead labelled with purple and turquoise dots, then through the adjacent bead, labelled with red and turquoise dots. String the remaining 3 new beads labelled with turquoise dots onto the blue string, and pass the red string in the opposite direction through the last new turquoise bead added. You're done!

These are diagrams of the same "pattern", which is 5 steps. Which is clearer, and what would you suggest for improvement? (Diagram features, instructions, etc.). Laura's was definitely less wordy! Maybe numbering beads would save a lot of explanation... But it takes so long to number beads in the picture!!



Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Laura, Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 03:58 @ Allegra

I'm criticising my own diagram here! lol!

I think we should add smaller arrows inbetween the beads just to confirm the direction every now and again and I also think my diagram could benefit from some sort of colour coded system - either like Allegra's or colouring the background inside each bead circle.

Other comments/criticisms extremely welcome!!!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by TESS, Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 20:17 @ Laura

Wow!! That looks really good ladies. I wanna learn how to do it too. LOL!!! Definitely going to need some arrows in there somewhere just to confirm the direction for the patterns.


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 21:48 @ TESS

Hi Tess, glad to be hearing from you again! The beading community missed you!^^

Good advice on the arrows! I guess one set is not enough because the string lines are too long and winding. What about the numbering? Should we number every bead or is numbering the bead circles clear enough? Obviously numbering the bead circles is much easier. That is what we are tossing and turning about right now, so please advise (anyone??) What about dots vs. no dots? Any ideas besides dots? We want usability, but if the diagram becomes so busy with dots and arrow heads and winding lines and numbers everywhere, it may fog up the clarity. How about thick vs. thin string lines? I went for thick because I wanted them to be obvious, but Laura's diagram looks a lot cleaner because they are less bold.

You want to learn how to make those beading diagrams in adobe photoshop? That should be no problem, I don't mind at all teaching you the steps. I can post them right in here in fact! We can all make beading instruction diagrams together!! LOL!

By the way, I took your advice and got myself an adobe photoshop guide! I got the official user's guide on adobe photoshop version 7.0 (my version) from adobe. I figured it would be the short and sweet version to learn everything. I found quite a few guides written by private individuals and third party companies, but they are so long and wordy and full of images, and all the while jacking up the price. One was called the photoshop bible, over 1000 pages long, and selling for $70.00!!! The official user's guide manages to tell all in 400 pages. Which is still a whopper, but it won't break my back (literally, sitting in my backpack). It shall be my subway reading material for the next couple of weeks because I'm sick of continually discovering new functions that would have formerly simplified my life significantly (in terms of photo editing at least) had I known about them. No more hidden photoshop secrets! LOL! Man, this forum is starting to feel like the photoshop abusers anonymous club more than the beading community. LOL!

I also picked up a guide to adobe illustrator. I'm thinking that it might actually be better to draw our diagrams in illustrator because it's meant for that sort of thing, whereas photoshop is an image editing program (not an image creating program). I have adobe illustrator version 9. I can send it to you if you want that one too. It's yet another chef d'oeuvre by adobe. By the way, are you still reading those user guides you got on photoshop 7.0 since I sent you the program?

Please comment further on our beading diagrams!!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Jax, Wednesday, July 16, 2008, 20:56 @ Allegra

I am split on these two designs. I like that Allegra's is bold but I like Laura's numbers. Also, I think the arrows going thru are a good idea. I am a visual person, I do better on patterns without directions and just with pictures. I have to say I like the way you have done them up until now Allegra but I do understand the need to speed things up ( I can't wait for more patterns too!). Other than being disoriented (lol that seems to be always the case with me tho!) and beading down the wrong side, your pictures for your heart and your cat were clear enough for me to get through without reading. I only read when I screwed up on the heart but it was just orientation so that didn't even help. I do like the new ones and I think at least for me, I could manage through them with arrows attached and numbering.


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Wednesday, July 16, 2008, 21:11 @ Jax

I'm surprised the numbers help you when you don't look at the instructions. I would have thought that the numbers would only be to help you follow along with the instructions. How would they help otherwise? Couldn't you just follow the arrows if you only look at the picture? (haha, can you tell I'm trying to get out of drawing numbers because it takes soooo long!) I don't know if you can tell from looking, but I'm betting Laura's diagram took about 5 times longer to draw than mine (what with rotating every bead because they are not circles, and typing all the numbers and then positioning them perfectly). Do you think you could manage easily with just arrowheads all along the lengths of the fishing line? What about the colour-coding?

By the way, I have just today discovered (okay not on my own, but from the user's guide on photoshop, which I did read on the subway to work this morning!!) that jobs in photoshop can be automated!!!!!! That means all I have to do is tell photoshop what to do to every picture and boom it's done! I can't believe it. What took me 10 minutes now takes 1. This is great news for getting the patterns done. I can't wait to read the user guide again tomorrow on the subway. Maybe I can cut the work down to 10 seconds per picture or something. LOL!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Jax, Wednesday, July 16, 2008, 21:46 @ Allegra

ok no numbers lol. I still like the idea of arrows tho! :-D


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Laura, Thursday, July 17, 2008, 01:47 @ Jax

Lol, honestly, it didn't take me that long to number the beads!

I think some people will be able to follow the diagrams without reading the instructions - especially if they've done them before and are used to the way the patterns are set out. The numbers don't just help with the written instructions though, because anyone looking at the diagram can follow it by counting upwards as they thread the beads on and it helps you to remember where you're up to if you have to stop or get confused. Say the last bead you threaded was 25 you could write that down if you had to stop for a moment, then you'll remember where you are on the diagram. (I'm really arguing my case for the numbers aren't I?) Lol.

Honestly, Allegra, it won't take as long as you think. I'll send you a file with the numbers in so you can see what I mean.

I reckon we should go with the extra arrows, and 'dotting' the beads or colour-coding in some way.

What about the width of the strings? Do people need them to be quite thick or is thinner okay? (With thinner there's more room to get more numbers/dots on!)


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Thursday, July 17, 2008, 10:46 @ Laura

Haha, I "reckon" you like numbers! It's not typing the numbers that is so annoying, but positioning them. But that's just because photoshop is designed to work in layers rather than objects. I think we should be doing these diagrams in adobe illustrator, because they allow you to draw "objects", so that you can just pick up the number and drag it rather than having to go to the layers palette, select the layer that the number is in, and then go to the move tool and finally drag the number. Do you have adobe illustrator?

I guess thin lines is better because the arrow heads would be less bulky and yes, we'd have more room for numbers. Hehehe. I was thinking drawing the numbers right on the beads rather than beside them would make things a bit less cluttered too.


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Thursday, July 17, 2008, 11:27 @ Allegra

Ooops, I just read Laura's email to me saying you can make photoshop auto-select layers. That would only have saved me a lifetime of unnecessary work. Seems to be the story of photoshop. "If only I had known!"

Anyways, Laura's new diagram:

How does it compare?


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Jax, Thursday, July 17, 2008, 11:42 @ Allegra

That looks really clear. The arrows make a big difference I think and I do like the numbers.


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Thursday, July 17, 2008, 11:52 @ Allegra

I just noticed the shading on your beads is in the corner!! How did you do it? That's wicked!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by TESS, Thursday, July 17, 2008, 12:52 @ Allegra

Yay, Laura!!! That looks really nice. Whoo hoo!!! :-D


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Laura, Friday, July 18, 2008, 03:14 @ TESS

Lol, thanks!

Did I argue my case well enough for the numbers then? Hehe!

I don't have Adobe Illustrator but like you said Allegra, Photoshop allows you to Auto Select the layers so you can move things as if they are objects. I'm always learning stuff about Photoshop - recently from you too! And yes, it is annoying when you discover a function that means you could've done something twice as fast!
Does Illustrator have any other advantages over Photoshop?

With the offset gradient on the beads, I just added the gradient manually (gradient tool) instead of in the blending options (I think that's what it's called).

So, does anyone think we need to add more instruction to the actual diagram or do you think you'd be able to understand it as it currently is (with written instructions as well obviously)?


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Friday, July 18, 2008, 09:40 @ Laura

Let's try it again with the numbers inside the beads!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Friday, July 18, 2008, 13:11 @ Allegra

I've redrawn an attempted replica of Laura's most recent diagram, except that I used the photoshop grid to try to make the beads more symmetrical and aligned. Is it more clear this way? The numbers are in the beads!! What do you think?


The only thing I want to tell Laura is that the Auto-select feature of the move tool is maddening!! You have to have your cursor right on top of the lines in the letter to pick it up, or else it thinks you want to background layer!!! There has to be a better way.


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Friday, July 18, 2008, 20:55 @ Allegra

I just tested drawing a circular shape and then drawing a number on top with adobe illustrator. Then I just tried moving the number around to see how easy it would be. It was so easy because I drew the circle first, and the way illustrator works is that the object drawn first is underneath the object drawn second (the number I placed on top), so there is no question that the object I am trying to reach for is the number when I reach for it with the selection tool (yes there is a tool called the selection tool in illustrator whose purpose is to select objects to allow you to move them, transform them, etc. AND you can select several objects at once by dragging the selection tool over them, and then you can transform them or move them as a group just by dragging the selected group.) It's of course possible to move objects to the front or to the back. So had I drawn the number first, illustrator would have selected the circle when I tried to click on the number to select it. But had I forced the circle object to the back, then the number would be on top. We can still use brushes and the pen tool (which is far more advanced in illustrator), so I think it would be a better bet than photoshop for this beading diagram venture. Laura, I can send you the program!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Friday, July 18, 2008, 21:53 @ Allegra

Holy crap, I'm poking around on illustrator, and there's actually an option in the filters menu called "Add arrowheads" to the pen tool path. It added them when I clicked it! That would save adding them manually.


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Friday, July 18, 2008, 21:57 @ Allegra

oooh, there's another effect called "round corners" that automatically rounds the corners of all the turns of the pen tool. That would probably make our arrows look nicer and smoother and easier to follow. This excites me like on Christmas morning. LOL!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Saturday, July 19, 2008, 20:20 @ Allegra

Okay, even though it seems like no one is listening anymore, I've drawn the same beading diagram using adobe illustrator! If anyone still cares, tell me what you think compared to the previous one I posted (which was drawn in adobe photoshop).



Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Jax, Saturday, July 19, 2008, 21:06 @ Allegra

Hey now, I am still here lol! I really like this one. It looks great and easy to follow. I am excited to see a full pattern like this, even if it is something simple.


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Saturday, July 19, 2008, 21:36 @ Jax

Yay! It was actually easier to draw than in photoshop too. I am also excited Jax!! Someone requested the beaded star in the jewelry page. I think that would be a great one to try this method on because it's a very repetitive beading motion (the 5 sides of the star are identical), and it's relatively flat, with only two rows of beading in it, with a common beaded border. I'll be trying that soon enough, but first I'm gonna finish with the arrows on the pig tutorial (how is yours coming along by the way Jax?), and finish the second heart tutorial, which has all the same sized beads in it (I already took all the pictures for it, so might as well do it the good old fashioned way LOL, which is now way faster thanks to photoshop automation!!)

Anyways, we forge on... hehehe


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Jax, Saturday, July 19, 2008, 23:31 @ Allegra

Just started and finished the Pig tonight. I had some bigger plastic beads I wanted to use and I just found them. Much easier than using the 11/0 size for this. I am gonna post a pic in the finished thread as soon as I take them.
I think the star will be perfect to try the illustrator out on. I am gonna try and work on making a frog since you don't have one pictured and I have not made it back to Chinatown yet to look for the dragon. I have made a little one with wire and now that I did the pig, I think I can pull it off.


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Saturday, July 19, 2008, 23:36 @ Allegra

I've decided to type out the steps of how to draw the diagram here, so if anyone wants me to send them adobe illustrator (version 9), they can draw this type of diagram easily too (and maybe contribute a pattern? lol):

1) Open a blank document (I chose 500 by 500 pixels).
2) In the bottom left corner, reduce the magnification from 126% to 100%.
3) Select the ellipse tool from the toolbar on the left. Do one of the following:
- Either: Open the info palette by clicking on the "info" tab in the very top right corner of the screen. This will display the length and width of your circle as you make it. Click anywhere on the blank document while holding down the Shift key, and drag the mouse. The Shift key locks the shape to a perfect circle. Drag until the circle is around 60 pt. Doesn't have to be exact, but remember the number. Another way of finding out the length and width of the circle is to double click on the circle itself after it has been drawn, and you will see a pop-up box telling you the length and width.
- Or: Simply click anywhere on the blank document once (remember the ellipse tool is selected). A box will pop up asking you for the length and width of your ellipse. Enter 60 pt for both length and width.
(For your information: You can always change the size of the circle after drawing it in one of two ways. Either select the selection tool from the toolbox on the left (which is the very top left icon, the black arrow) and then a box will show up around your ellipse. Click on one of the corner dots and hold shift while dragging the mouse to make the circle bigger or smaller. Shift again constrains the shape to a circle rather than an oval. The other way is to double click the circle and enter new length and width values.)
4) Our circle is now white with a black border. It's fine for now. We will colour all of our circles together later. So for now we want to see a grid so that we can position the circles. Go to the View menu at the top of your screen and select "Show Grid". The grid will appear over your artwork. We want the boxes of our grid to match the exact size of our circle, so we will change the grid size. Go to the Edit menu, select Preferences, and then select "Guides and Grid..." Beside "Gridline every:", type "60 pt" (or whatever the dimensions of your ellipse are, which I told you how to figure out earlier). Beside "Subdivisions:", type "4". Click OK.
5) The grid should now match your circle size exactly, such that your circle would fit perfectly in a grid square. Now we want illustrator to do this for us automatically without us having to inch it in perfectly. So, go back to the View menu and select "Snap to Grid". To test the snapping, select the selection tool (black arrow) or the direct selection tool (white arrow) from the toolbox, and try dragging your circle. It should only drag by increments of your grid.
6) Now we want to duplicate the circle. This is very easy. Select either the selection tool (black arrow) or the direct selection tool (white arrow) from the toolbox. While holding down the Alt key, click the circle and drag it a certain short distance. Release the mouse and you will have duplicated the circle.
7) Now is the time to draw the pattern. Now because the grid is horizontal and vertical, rather than diagonal, we will draw the pattern on its side (at a 45 degree angle from the final drawing).
Here is a screenshot of what it should look like after you have drawn the circles on the grid.
8) We can now get rid of the grid. So, go to the View menu, and click "Hide grid". Also in the View menu, deselect "Snap to Grid" (make sure it isn't checked anymore.)
9) Now we want to rotate the circles by 45 degrees so that they are upright (or we could just leave them like this, but I rotated them to match Laura's diagram). To rotate all the circles as a group, select the selection tool (black arrow) from the toolbox, and drag it over the entire group of circles. They should all be selected with a big box all around them. Hold down shift to constrain your angle of rotation to 45 degree increments, and hold your cursor right outside the corner of the big box. You should see a curvy double arrow. Now, while holding down shift, drag the box until it's upright.
10) Now we want to colour our circles. They should all still be selected, but if not, drag over them with the selection tool to highlight them all as a group. Select the Gradient tool from the toolbox (it's just above the scissors icon). Now, go to the Gradient palette, which is located on the right side of the screen. You should see the word Gradient on a tab, beside Transparency and Stroke. Click that tab, and then beside "Type:", select "Radial". Then, you should see a black and white gradient show up on each and every circle. Now click on the very center of your group of circles, where the letter A is in the final diagram. This will make the center of the diagram the light source for all the circles.
11) To make the circles orange instead of black, click on the "Gradient slider" for the black. That is, click on the little arrow under the gradient bar, which is on the far right, under the black. I am posting a picture of the gradient slider, with a red arrow pointing to it. Once you have clicked on the gradient slider, the color box will show itself. The color palette box is also showing in my picture. Click on the sideways black arrow at the top right corner of the color palette. I have drawn a red arrow pointing to it as well. In it, you will see a checkmark beside "Grayscale". Select the option right under "Grayscale", which is "RBG", standing for "Red Blue Green", the primary colours. A whole bunch of colour sliders will show up. Just slide them until the circles are the colour that you like. I am posting the picture of what the sliders look like when you have selected orange as your circle colour (and just by sliding them, the circles change colour in your document.)
[image] [image]
12) Now we need to add the text (the numbers). This is the boring but easy part. Simply select the typing tool from the toolbox (looks like a T). Click on the circle where you want the text to go. Type the text (ie, the bead number). Then hold Ctrl and click (anywhere) to "finish" off the text (to remove the cursor so you can place text on the next circle). Then just click on the next circle, type the next number, Ctrl+click anywhere nearby, and click on the next circle, etc. You can type the green letters in the center of the beading circles the same way. For the colour, just double click on the black square in the toolbox (representing the foreground colour) and select another colour, then click OK. Any text you draw after that will be of that colour. To increase the font size, go to the Type menu at the top of your screen, and go to Size, and choose a bigger size. To bolden text, select Character, and a box should show up allowing you to choose a bunch of typing options. To edit a bunch of text at the same time (ie, all your numbers or all your letters as a group), select the selection tool (black arrow) or the direct selection tool (white arrow), and click on a letter or number. Then, holding down the shift key, click on all the rest of the letters or numbers you want to edit as a group. Then, you can change the size, boldness, and font, etc. of all that text together.
13) Now we need to lock the objects that we have drawn so far to prevent them from interfering with the arrows we are about to draw on the diagram. To lock the objects so that they can't be selected by the selection tool, select all the objects on the diagram right now (all the circles and numbers) using the selection tool. Then go to the Object menu at the top of the screen, and select "Lock". This will make playing with your arrows a LOT easier.
14) For the arrows, this part is the coolest. So to draw the arrow outlines is very easy. Click on the pen tool in the toolbox. Make sure that at the bottom of the toolbar, the little white box with the red diagonal line through it is selected. (I'm posting a picture with this box showing, it's the third little icon in a row). This means that illustrator will not edit your "pen path" with colours until you have finished drawing it. This should be the default.
15) Start drawing with the pen tool. Now this is different from drawing with a paintbrush tool, where you would normally draw lines by dragging the mouse across the page. With the pen tool, you just have to click down dots like connect the dots when you were a kid. The program will automatically connect the dots you draw as you draw them. So click on bead 1, then on bead 2, etc. Don't drag the mouse or it will think you want to make curves! Continue clicking on each bead until one of the "arrows" of our diagram has been drawn.
16) To colour the arrow, we will "stroke" it. I'm posting a picture of what the stroke icon looks like in the toolbox (by the way, the little box underneath it is the one I was talking about earlier). The stroke icon is pointed to with the blue arrow in my picture. Double click that icon, and select a colour to stroke the pen path with. I selected blue for my first pen path (ie, arrow in my diagram). Click OK and the pen path will be stroked with the blue colour. To select the thickness of the stroke (ie, the line), go to the Stroke Palette, which is the tab right beside the gradient tab on the right of the screen. You can select the thickness from the drop-down menu.
17) It's important here to deselect the first pen path. Simply select the selection tool from the toolbox and click anywhere on the document, away from the diagram. This will prevent the first arrow from interfering with the second arrow. Now select the pen tool and repeat for the second arrow in the beading diagram. Select the pen tool, click bead 1, and keep clicking on beads along the path of the fishing line. Stroke the pen path with red this time.
18) Now for the final touches. We want arrowheads and we want to rounden the edges of our arrows. By the way, if any of the arrows are on top of your numbers, we will fix this later. So to make arrowheads, select both arrows with the selection tool by dragging it over the whole diagram (remember the beads and numbers are locked). Go to the Effect menu, select Stylize, then select "Add Arrowheads...". Click the preview button in the pop-up box to see what your arrowheads will look like. You can choose your arrowhead style of choice and size of choice, as well as whether to add an arrowhead to the beginning or end of the arrow. We want one on the end usually, but if one of your arrowheads is in the opposite direction from the intended direction of your arrow, then instead put the arrowhead at the "start" of the arrow. Click OK. To add additional arrowheads, we will now select the scissors tool from the toolbox. Simply click along each of your two pen paths where you want the arrowheads to appear. The arrowheads should be appearing wherever you click on each of your pen paths with the scissors tool.
19) Almost done! We want the diagram to look nice and smooth, so all your arrows should still be selected. All you have to do now is go back to the Effect menu, select Stylize, and select "Round Corners..." In the pop-up box, beside "Radius:", type "20 pt" (instead of the default 10 pt). Click OK. That's it!
20) Now to fix any numbers that may have been covered by the arrows. Go to the Object menu, select "Unlock All", and then select the selection tool from the toolbox. Move any numbers that are under arrows.

You're done!! And in only 20 steps!! LOL... Now if you only had the program...


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Katy, Monday, July 21, 2008, 18:52 @ Allegra

I really like this way. A lot of Japanese patterns have diagrams like these and it would help me out to learn this way in case I decided to buy a book written in Japanese text.


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Monday, July 21, 2008, 19:52 @ Katy

That's a very good point Katy. I hadn't even thought of that. I guess it is sort of the "standard" for beading pattern instructions, so it would be good training for being able to follow them in another language! Like baby steps. LOL! Thanks for the input!


First ever Friendship Beading Diagram Pattern Posted!

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Friday, July 25, 2008, 22:24 @ Allegra

Hi everyone, I just posted the first ever beading diagram pattern on friendshipbeading.net!! The link is here:

Right Angle Weave Pearl Necklace Pattern with Beading Diagram!!


First ever Friendship Beading Diagram Pattern Posted!

by Dorrie, Sunday, August 03, 2008, 16:25 @ Allegra

Hi Allegra,
Very good job. Thanks for sharing. I run Vista on my laptop. Can you use Illustrator 9 with it? I would like to have that program.


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Dorrie, Sunday, August 03, 2008, 17:04 @ Allegra

I was just reading through this a bit more and I think you have both done great jobs in putting the diagrams to paper, so to speak. I think the numbers and the lines with arrows are very helpful, but it seems like it is getting a bit cluttered. Maybe smaller numbers and thinner arrows. The colors on the arrows are helpful. Now, if you are making a RAW piece, the diagrams you posted are fine. If you are creating a tubular piece, when you go to write up the diagram, you could probably make each layer a lighter color, working into a fade with the first rows getting lighter, etc.
I do not have Illustrator, but if I can get a copy, I would definitely give it a shot. I have Photoshop 7 and I just asked a friend if it was easy to work with and she said it quite difficult and confusing, but somewhat doable if you have tons of patience. I want to try the Illustrator program. I have seen free trial downloads, but do not see Vista on the requirements, so I am worried it won't work for me. Maybe I will get brave soon.
I see you have done the pic thing with your other patters, which I think is fine, but I tried this with a pattern of my own and just taking the pics with each step was very time consuming. Especially, because I was doing it alone. I am sure if you have a partner to help, it would be better and a lot faster.
Thanks for listening...


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Wednesday, August 06, 2008, 10:21 @ Dorrie

Thanks for the valuable input Dorrie!! I am running Windows Vista and Adobe Illustrator 9 works very well on it.

As an update on the software situation though, I have just discovered a completely free and powerful program called Inkscape that works just as well as illustrator for drawing beading diagrams, and is much more user-friendly than the adobe software suite!

You can download the full version of Inkscape for free at inkscape.org. I highly recommend trying it! I will soon be posting instructions on how to draw a beading diagram using Inkscape. It's even easier than in illustrator!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Wednesday, August 06, 2008, 15:11 @ Allegra

Okay I have just redrawn the same diagram using the free software called inkscape. How does it compare? Keep in mind I only just downloaded this program yesterday and am using it for the first time. LOL!

Inkscape diagram:


I will soon be posting instructions on how to draw this diagram using inkscape, since it's a free program, so everyone should be able to download it and use it to make beading patterns and share, right? LOL!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Stephanie, Thursday, August 07, 2008, 14:34 @ Allegra

Wow that diagram looks great! The lines are so round, that makes things look less cluttered. You could try making the numbers smaller too. Can't wait to see the instructions!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Friday, August 08, 2008, 13:40 @ Stephanie

I'm testing how the diagram looks in .png format instead of .jpg format.



Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Friday, August 08, 2008, 15:19 @ Allegra

How interesting... in Internet Explorer 7 and in Firefox, the image background is transparent! In Internet Explorer 6, it's white. All those using Internet Explorer 6, it's time to update! LOL!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Celeste, Friday, October 24, 2008, 04:09 @ Allegra

Ok, I understand how to make them in the program(How to copy your example i mean)..But...I don't know how to actually make them! LOL. I have no idea which lines should go through which beads, and I just have no clue on how to make the different shapes (like circles are heads, the round tubes are the bodys, etc.). I'd love to make patterns and share..But I'm not sure where to begin lol!


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Lobo1, Monday, September 22, 2008, 20:59 @ Allegra

I only have one comment.
How many holes are there in each bead?


Beading Diagrams (please critique!)

by Allegra ⌂ @, Toronto, Canada, Monday, September 22, 2008, 22:30 @ Lobo1

Hi Lobo,

There is one hole in each bead in general! Some rare beads have two holes, if they are an odd shape, eg, long and narrow. Round beads generally only contain one hole!! Now keep in mind that one hole creates two exits in the bead. So you can see two ends of the same hole on either side of the bead.

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