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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.

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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!).

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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.

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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.

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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……

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9 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.

  3. ladyleadfoot says:

    in the box, lowest row, second puka (hawaiian for hole. remember puka shell necklaces?), there is what looks like a stack of variegated, rainbow, squares. is that one piece, or several? either way, are they/is it something that you have a pattern for? if not your pattern, would you be kind enough to tell me where i could find such? i have a passion for bright colors, and an even larger passion (maybe i should call it a “lust”) for all things rainbow.

    i have been collecting rainbows for close to fifty years. as we live in a small house, most are packed away, but i still visit them, pulling out boxes or pictures (i was in the U.S. Navy, and was stationed at the Submarine Base in pearl harbor, hawai’i; i have many pictures [and memories!] of rainbows) to look and enjoy. so, that said, small things can stay out, to be looked at or worn. a lot of my beaded jewelry is done in rainbows, most actually, unless i am working on a commissioned piece.

    i would love to make a stack of rainbows. to see yours is lovely; to make and see my own would be a delight!

    i came across your blog this evening/morning whilst unable to sleep; while reading, i came across the term MRAW. would you please be kind enough to tell me what it means? i recognize RAW (one of my favorite stitches), but am drawing a blank of the other. thanks so much for your help.

    you have some beautiful beadwork; i look forward to reading the rest of your blog, and visiting your etsy shop. if my wallet ever lets me (i not only bead, but i read- a great deal, *and* ride a motorcycle, so my wallet is often quite empty!), i would love to buy some of your instructions and kits. thank you for making my sleepless night much more pleasant, and also for making such beautiful beaded goodies. hope to hear from you soon. until then, take care…

    smiles-
    ladyleadfoot!!!

    rainbow beadworks
    P.O. Box 764
    Palmer, MA 01069-0764
    USA
    413.896.2866

    • Hi Ladyleadfoot, thank you for your interest. The rainbow piece is a Julia S Pretl pentagonal box from her book Little Beaded Boxes, using her construction techniques, but rather than using one of her lovely patterns, simply doing one row of each of the bright delicas I had in my stash in colourwheel order.

      • ladyleadfoot says:

        thank you greatly for taking time to answer my question about the box.

        may i give you a bit of a giggle? i was just back in the library (yes, our home has a library. we stripped what had been a nursery for previous owners, installed as many bookcases as we could, and proceeded to fill them *all*, with stacks all over not only the floor, but the entire house!), looking for something to take to bed to read on my way to sleep. i picked out one magazine and two books; the first one is “little bead boxes”! i must have heard your reply all the way over here, on the other side of the ocean, either that or my brain has ESP and virtual eyes!

        anyhoo, would you be terribly upset if i did the same box in pretty much the same colors, but probably starting with a different color? i will gladly give credit to both you and julia should anyone ask. i just like the idea of having something that lively and lovely around to look at. we just got our first snow of the cold season (it is still snowing, supposedly for another four hours or so), which means inside for me. time to clean house, organize (hah!) my studio and to start something new. it could be the box, if i have the right colors; if not, time to order more beads. win-win!!!

        thanks once again. take care and have a blessed holiday with your family!

        smiles-
        ladyleadfoot!!!

        rainbow beadworks
        P.O. Box 764
        Palmer, MA 01069-0764
        USA
        413.896.2866

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