Personally, I wanted to become more skilled at creating patterns, but I simply did not want to doddle with beading graphs. I love that you can insert a picture and viola, with the touch of a button, a full bead graph, with a word chart is at your disposal.
Of course there are downsides to all products, for Bead Tool, I would love if it could transfer colors and lines more fully (it does with some pictures, others, not so much). The finer the lines, the more abstract the picture becomes, however, that is expected since on a bead graph, one would find it hard to incorporate fine lines within the bead design. Another downside, the limited stitches that can be used (peyote-many forms, RAW, brick, and square)...what! no herringbone, no embroidery, no CRAW, what's a beader to do.
I complained at first and then I started to play with the software and the aforementioned disappointments were quickly dissapated; simply put, I was blown away by what I COULD do and the fact that I was slightly limited was not that much of a concern. I created a few patterns and I am actually working on two. One is a koala coin purse for a friend (I had this project on my to-do-list for over six months, but getting that koala onto graph paper proved harder than I thought, also, I wanted a word graph and that was just too time consuming). Instant gratification with Bead Tool, I loaded that pic, tweaked some of the colors, and hit save; a color graph, legend, and word chart were all created within moments. I also love that I can determine the length and width of my pieces using the row/column calculator on Bead Tool. Also, the color palattes are pretty amazing as well and the combinations of colors are endless. Not to mention, there are numerous sizes/types of beads included to adjust your particular graph.
My second project is a bracelet for a friend who is leaving. I wanted to use letters and so I found the word(Jehovah), in an amazing font made a copy, uploaded it to Bead Tool and simply tweaked my colors. I now have a complete customized pattern that will create something unique for such a special person.
The picture I have included is actually different pictures and I combined them on Bead Tool (another great feature) and so again, I was able to take different aspects of different drawings and customize them to create a pattern that fits my style and taste.
I am going to add patterns as I create them and if you are interested, please check out my page at www.jewelrylessons.com; you can search for the patterns by name. Also, I will be offering some for free, like I did with my Shutters Bangle tutorial, you can simply print the information right from my blog and create your own stylish jewelry.
I'm Watching You Bracelet (Brick Stitch)
One thing to note, though yo can crete patterns, there aren't any finishes that are created on Bead Tool (clasps) so you could manually create the decreases if you wanted, or manualy create a pattern for beaded toggles and I think that I will do just that as my next free pattern offer. Knowing how to bead a toggle clasp, or a beaded loop closure is a fine way to finish off a bracelet or necklace.