I was spoilt for choice for a long time because the fabulous Bead Hold was very close and I could spend hours at the weekend staring at the magnificent array of beads and other things like a kid in a candy store. There was everything you could ever imagine there – it didn’t make choosing any easier though! They had classes to show you how to make all sorts of things and examples for you to get inspiration from. It was also close enough to work that I could head there at lunch time for a quick fix or to pick up something I needed.
It was a very sad day when I discovered that Nia was closing the shop and moving to rural Taranaki. But she has been revamping the website and it is fabulous: www.beadhold.co.nz. Personally, I think it can never be the same as the physical shop as I like to see and touch everything. But there are gorgeous photos, huge galleries of inspiration, lots of basic instructions available and kitsets that come with instructions for some of the more complicated things. And they ship internationally.
Now that I can’t go to classes, I have purchased several kitsets covering a range of different techniques to try and am working my way through them to see what I like best. I also have a copy of her book with great step by step instructions.
You can of course pick up some bargains at the Warehouse or from Spotlight but it seems to be somewhat random as to what stock they have, so if you see something you like it pays to grab it.
I’ve bought kitset packs from craft catalogues just because I liked the colours and combinations of beads.
I also found some cheap beaded bracelets in Farmers and bought 3 of them to turn into a necklace and earrings.