Some of you may know me as fiction author Linda Cassidy Lewis. But for several years before I published my first novel, I made and sold handcrafted fashion jewelry. After ten years of full-time writing, I decided I needed a break, but I also needed a creative outlet. So I dragged out my bead stash and went to work.

This time, in addition to stringing, I also did some bead weaving, an off-loom stitching technique using small beads. I’ve made numerous items using peyote, brick, herringbone, ladder, peyote with a twist, and square stitches.

Now, though I’m still writing, I find that distracting myself with pretty beads is beneficial to working out dialogue and sticky plot problems.