Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beady stash & storage

While taking photos of my cabochons & Rivolis the other day I took a few photos of my beading trays and my basic desk & bead storage set up. I mainly have seed beads and other tiny beads, so I can store a lot of beads in a small area...

Here is my desk in my new apartment:
I rarely actually work at the's mainly my storage area because I left my desk chair in Virginia during the move, so I need to get a comfy new desk chair. But because of this, the surface area on my desk tends to get taken over by my unorganized batches of beads...the ones in all the little baggies!

Here are some close up shots of my seed bead storage:

Larger stackable jars of round seed beads

Smaller stackable jars of Delicas & Triangle beads

Smaller stackable jars of round seed beads

Bugle Beads, Czech Glass & Crystal

Large tray on my desk with random beads, thread and labels

Now I also have beads and things stored in some of my desk drawers too, but this is the majority of my daily use stash...

And here are the different types of trays that I have put to use as my beading trays...I have several different varieties of trays here...I always pick them up whenever I find one that might work for beading! And I have more than one of each variety too...

The assortment of random beading trays

Jewelry Display Tray & Baking Sheet Pan

Assorted plastic trays:

Small plastic box used for my beading tools

I think my favorite beading tray so far is the Cookie Sheet/Baking Sheet Pan...I use it far more often than any of the others...but I do like to lay out projects in the various trays and stack them up on my desk for working on them later.

I have 4 of the little plastic boxes...I get these from FMG with the tiny screw together bead jars in them. I think they come with 5 stacks of 5 jars in each...they cost around $4 each with the discounted pricing. 

The stackable jars that come with these are very small, but they actually hold a surprising amount of jar will hold more than a gross of 3mm crystals. So I store a lot of my tiny beads in these...the ones that I don't buy in massive quantities!

And I always have this tool kit nearby when I am beading...I keep it stocked with a pair of scissors, pliers, tweezers, thread and thread heaven, a jump ring opener and a few tubes of needles!

But this little box makes a great traveling bead kit too. I have a few of them ready to go with bead mat, the little stacking jars with beads in them as well as thread and a tube of I can grab one of these whenever I need to take a project with me to a waiting room or whatnot.

And for once, I don't have a project ready to go on any of my bead trays! I am waiting on an order of those awesome Czech Pressed Glass Spike beads for a few new projects from Mikki Ferrugiaro. I love those spikes, but I have recently seen some major variation in the actual length and pointiness of them...I am hoping my new order will be nice and pointy!

Check out Bead Stalkers...they carry a great variety of these spikes and offer incredible customer service!

And for a final shot of the last project I completed...the Dark Shadows Cross designed by Mikki Ferrugiaro using these awesome spike beads...but I cannot get a good photo of this, so this one will have to do!

Happy Beading!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Beady Stash

I have recently joined several beading groups on Facebook: the Operation Tackle that Bead Stash FB group, the Beading Babes new FB group and I am a member of a Bead Looming group too...oh, and I am also following along with the Battle of the Beadsmith on their FB page.

The whole FB thing is kind of strange to me...I didn't grow up with computers and social media and all this crazy technology. And I don't really trust these kinds of sites with my personal info. I rarely post anything on my own FB wall, or anyone else's for that matter, but I do participate in these beading groups.

And I absolutely love these beading groups! The amount of bead porn being shared is mindbendingly inspirational! So many photos of beads and beadwork that I can get lost for hours, seriously, hours and hours! And the discussions with other seed beaders from all over the world about techniques, methods, patterns, ideas is just so exciting for a bead nerd like me!

The Operation Tackle that Bead Stash group is an extension of the OTTBS blog where they host a monthly stash busting challenge. I have only participated in one of those challenges so far, but I love the idea for this group. The addiction to beads just so happens to be a world wide affliction with beaders...we all  hoard outrageous amounts of beads, otherwise known as our bead stash.

My stash mainly consists of hundreds of colors of seed beads in sizes 8/0, 11/0, 13/0 and 15/0, including Miyuki Delicas, Round Miyuki and Tohos, Czech Charlottes and seed beads, tiny Triangle and Cube beads and Bugle beads. Of course I have quite a bit of Czech Fire Polish round and a variety of Czech Pressed Glass beads as well as a decent amount of Swarovski Crystal Bicones....and only a small amount of larger beads and Cabochons.

Today I was inspired to take some photos of my bead stash but I quickly realized that it's a big for now, here are some pics of my Cabochons...Rivolis, Gemstones and other random beads and components that don't have holes:

Swarovski Rivolis and stones

Non Swarovski Glass Crystals and Stones

Close up of Vintage German Glass-very dark yet vibrant colors

Gemstones, Random Cabochons and Components

Now this collection is small compared to some of the ladies in the OTTBS group, but considering that 90% of my stash is seed beads, this is a considerable amount of non-hole bead stash...and I got all of these on sale or for free from other beaders. But I still want more!

Most of the Swarovski colors and shapes that I have are pretty know, the ones that FMG carries. They really do have the best prices for Swarovski Crystal (and Delicas), and I get all my 3mm bicones from them, but they don't really have a very diverse selection of colors or shapes of their Crystal Stones.

I love the Opal colors and the Metallic colors, like Crystal Bronze Shade, Crystal Silver Night and Metallic Light Gold 2X...and I love the aftermarket finishes. I also prefer Montana Blue to Sapphire and Tanzanite to Amethyst...and I seem to be on a constant search for more stones in Crystal Red Magma, my favorite Swarovski color at the moment.

Crystal Red Magma

Montana Blue

But I really should use some of these before I buy even more! I really do have plans for some of them...and I have used many of them in the past year. But for some reason, beaders have this tendency to hoard beads rather than use them all up...and while that's kind of ridiculous, I do it too! It's as if we don't want to use the perfect bead until we find the perfect project for it!

So I think I will be spending a lot of time on beaded bezels and some bead embroidery projects in the near will give me an excuse to try some new bezel techniques and use up some of my stash before searching for even more! But that's one of the things I love about these beading groups on FB.

The OTTBS group hosts monthly challenges designed specifically to use up our stash and is now hosting a new monthly challenge: Bead, Book and Bounce, to work on projects in the beading books that we all have in our stash! So this really is a great chance to use up some of that stash!

The Beading Babes group was started by Karyn of Releases by Rufydoof and she hosts a monthly challenge consisting of several projects from Beadwork and Bead & Button can choose to do one or all of the projects, and then we do a blog hop on Reveal Day. These challenges really push us to try things that we may have overlooked the first time around. And of course this is always a great opportunity to use up our stash!

The Bead Looming group I am in is another wonderful group of ladies that I met online through our love of beads and the desire to learn more about bead looming. I have known most of them for about a year now and we share techniques and ideas and photos and's such an amazing group and we are constantly being inspired by each other to learn new things. Which is yet another opportunity to use up our bead stash!

I think I will work on photographing my full bead stash...and hopefully work on using up some of that stash this summer! If only I could stay away from all the bead porn on Facebook!