Finished beadwork.

As any beader will know, no matter how much jewellery they make, there will always be outfits with nothing to match, and even more pieces which never get worn. Perhaps they are too precious, or too extravagant (there is a definite limit to how much crystal I can wear on the school run or in the office), or perhaps the colours are just wrong. I try and focus my work both for myself and my shop on colours and combos which are wearable, but I often find that because I work in colours rather than neutrals the finished pieces are limited to one (or no) outfits in my wardrobe. Often the beads take over, and I end up beading a lime and orange ring because it looked amazing, even though the two colours I never wear are green and orange. And before you ask, I know they will look good with brown but I never wear that, and if I wear with black I will need other lime and orange things to go with them…..
So recently I’ve been turning my thoughts to how to display the bits and bobs of beadwork that I don’t wear very often. Items I wear a lot (sea anenome, beaded beads, CGB bangles, anything pendanty tend to live in my bedroom, and go in and out of wear with the seasons, but the remainder are a bit lost. Previously they’ve been tucked away in cupboards, or in a box on my desk (it has a clear top so I can see the pretties, but inevitably things are piked on top). Beaded beads live in a lovely polished steel bowl, but again have a tendency to disappear under a pile of beads in little bags when I’m behind on tidying up or putting away deliveries. It’s such a shame, as I have lovely pieces that I almost forget I ever made just hiding away – they can’t influence me if I can’t see them, and I’m definitely less likely to wear them or develop ideas from them.
So last week on the way to bead group I passed a Muji, and popped in and treated myself to a lovely display box.

I’ve been mulling them over for a while, but let’s face it I could buy lots of beads with that money (OK a few beads, not that many really, they’d fit in the palm of my hand), but I was feeling extravangent. Yesterday I filled it up, and I’m quite pleased.


Yes, it isn’t perfect, and there still remains the question of where it should live (I really wanted something to hang on the wall above the desk, but couldn’t find anything), so for now it is sitting on a pile next to the messy desk and behind the inevitable toys (prow of pirate ship on right!).


It only really works for pendants, beaded beads and smaller pieces, but as I have a short attention span I have loads of those, and it’s basically pretty much full already. It won’t take my bigger bangles and cuffs, and won’t take any necklaces unless they are on a flexible rope or braid (so my last two Jean Power Secret Beadalongs fit in very nicely). It will though house my endless collection of beaded beads in a place that is constantly visible, so when I have to sit through anther episode of ******Thomas the Tank Engine, I can actually be staring at them working out how to make them into a wearable piece.


It also gives me an interesting sample of my output over the last few years – my colour palette is less varied than I had expected in many ways, although it has definitely changed dramatically over time from subtle browns and golds to something much much brighter.


I still have to solve the problem of what to do with the larger pieces, but there aren’t too many of them and many do get worn, so maybe they can stay in their boxes until I come up with something……


5 thoughts on “Finished beadwork.

  1. A gret post. I am lucky to have an entire room that used to belong to my kids. Downsize? Hell, no!!! So, I have fancy hooks on the walls with not only necklaces but strands of beads that were too pretty to make up into anything (yeah, sure) I also have one of those large display boxes that have thimble sized compartments and I have my art beads bought at shows that also never got used. Sometimes I feel embarrassed. It seems almost like a disease I have so much, but my hobby has been going on for 25 years. (I also have a cork bulletin board with bracelets pinned to it)

    • Hi Carol. I had a board with samples of different stitches for a while (when we only had one child and the spare room was still spare!), but unfortunately as dusting is not my strong point it wasn’t very good for the beadwork to be out! I find having my work around me (whether it’s beads, finished work, or work in progress) is really helpful – my stash is pretty huge too, and it’s really easy to loose track of all of the things you’ve bought, thinking ‘wow that will make an amazing xxxxx’. But I do quite like reorganising the beads (with two small children in the house it is nice to be able to have something in vaguely tidy order occasionally).

  2. Popped over via Instagram (because I really wanted to see that case in action!) I’m moving home soon and I’m on the lookout for craft room ideas!

    I love the idea of having some beaded beads out – they are so tactile that it seems a shame to keep them hidden 🙂

    • Thanks Clair. I must say I really am enjoying being able to see my work. Having pieces in a bowl was lovely, but probably not very good for them in the long run, and as we only have a small desk, not really fair on my long suffering husband. I’ve managed to slowly evict the children’s stuff from the shelves next to the desk though, and seem to have replaced it with towers of boxes of beads. Hopefully my husband will work out a way of getting the new case onto the wall soon, which will be even better.

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