French Beading Abbreviations

BF, CL, CCL, BR…. While working with French Beading patterns, you will often come across techniques, shapes, and other parts of a pattern that have been abbreviated. I talked a little bit about these in my Learn French Beading: Beginner Course, but since some questions have come up in the Facebook group, I figured I’d do a quick blog post about them.

Some technique names are just really long, and it gets tiring to type, write, or even say them out loud over and over again. It takes up more visual space to write them out too. So, to condense patterns many designers will abbreviate the technique names, or parts of the techniques and shapes. These abbreviations are actually acronyms. So Continuous Wraparound Loops becomes CWL, and Basic Frame becomes BF.

When you’re first starting out with learning the art, the technique names and abbreviations feel like a different language. But once you are more familiar with the techniques, it becomes almost second nature, and much easier to figure them out. What complicates the use of abbreviations, is that some designers use different names for the same technique, thus their shorthand is different. Just like we all write and format our patterns differently, we each have our own language that helps us relate to and make sense of the techniques. French Beading isn’t a mainstream beading technique, and as such, there really isn’t a standard language or terminology except for the most basic of techniques. Some techniques didn’t even have names when I started designing, so I’ve found myself making up names of my own just to make it easier to write patterns. But then another designer may make up a name to make the technique make sense to her, and it may be different from the name I chose to use. And then there’s also the fact that some designers, like myself, actually invent new techniques that aren’t used by other designers. Add to this that techniques are called something entirely different in English than they are in Japanese, Russian, Italian, French, or Dutch… and it becomes complicated indeed.

When someone in our Facebook group asked if there was a list of French Beading abbreviations, I sat down and tried to make a list of all the known abbreviations from every designer, and it proved to be very complicated. It would be difficult to keep updated and would quickly become outdated, which defeats the purpose of an all-encompassing list. So, instead of doing that, what I have done is create a list of the abbreviations that I use in my designs. If you would like to download that PDF, go to the “Learn” page on my website. Underneath the first paragraph are two sentences with links. One is for my Abbreviations list, the other is for a French Beaded Glossary that I’ve made. The glossary contains definitions of various terms you’ll come across in my patterns, and links to the tutorials where I teach them, if they’ve been published. There are some things in there that I haven’t gotten around to teaching on my website yet, but will be up in the future. Hopefully these two PDFs will be a great reference for you guys to work with. I will be updating them from time to time if I have anything to add.

In other news, I’ve just started work on a custom wedding bouquet. This one has been on my schedule for a while. I scheduled it back before everything went crazy, and thought I’d have my Spring Collection book out before I started it. Obviously that didn’t work out, and because this project is around someone else’s wedding, I can’t exactly reschedule. So now my book is even further delayed, which is a bummer. But, I get to make some exciting flowers and foliage, and I am very much looking forward to it. It’s tropical themed!

I rarely take custom work. In fact this will be the last I ever do. And the only reason I took this one is because of the flowers and foliage in it are things I’ve wanted to make for a long time. I will probably be publishing some of the patterns in it, so I will get to publish something. And I’ll look forward to sharing updates with you guys as the project progresses.

But Spring Collection will be done this year! That is pretty much my only real goal this year. Anything else is icing on top. I did add two more patterns to the book, and may add yet another that’s been on my list to publish. This will be my largest book to date.

I’ve been making decisions lately about my business. After the last couple of years it’s become apparent to me that I need to find a way to make the business less complicated and difficult to manage, so that I can take care of my family without feeling like I’m failing my business. I need less stress, not more. So I’m scaling some things back.

One thing that I will be ending is kits. I will be making up the kits that I’ve already bought supplies for and list those, and then I will make no more. I just do not have the time for them, and have no desire to hire outside help. They take so much time to gather supplies and put them together, and it complicates taxes because then I have inventory to keep track of. The only exception for kits will be kits for the occasional classes that I will be running in the Facebook Group that I run with Fen Li.

I will also be ceasing the sale of paperback books on my website. I just put in a fresh order for more copies right before I made this decision, so once those arrive and are sold I will not be selling any more of them. The paperback versions will always be available on Amazon, and several other marketplaces, so they aren’t going away, they just won’t be here. All that I will sell here are PDFs. There’s a few more changes that might be happening, but I haven’t fully decided on those, so I will refrain from mentioning those until I’ve got it figured out.

I may reverse these changes in a couple years. But for now, I have three little kids who need a mommy who is less stressed and worried about a business more than we need the income. So simplify it is.

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