Thursday, July 17, 2014


I am aware other Mavens have shared their storage ideas and each has been valuable in their own right. Every beader is always looking for ways to store their 'stash' and I wanted to share an idea I have had for a long time and only recently put into place.

I had been to a Bead Show in Sydney in April and bought lots of new colour seed beads. In May I travelled to the US to attend the Bead & Button Show and came home with 4.5kgs (10lbs) of seed beads in my bag, not to mention other types of beads I had bought.  

I usually stored my size 11 seed bead tubes in small drawers in colour tones i.e. greens and blues together, reds, oranges and yellows together etc. BUT with all my new stash the drawers were too small.

I needed to find a new way of storing all these tubes of seed beads. I tried a couple of things, like laying them in boxes - no, not happy with that -  then I stood them on their ends with rubber bands around them, didn't like either. 

I began to think I wanted to see the colours so that I knew what I had. It was a comment and a picture from Barbara Briggs on Facebook showing me how she stored the tubes on their lids so she could see the colour from the bottom of the tube. That was when I remembered an idea I had had ages ago.

Store them in PVC pipes in their colour hues. What a great idea!!

Off I rushed to the local hardware store and bought three lengths of 90mm diameter x 1 metre long PVC pipes. I also purchased a miter box to get a correct cut. I borrowed a mates hacksaw and away I went. Cutting, cutting, cutting. The pipes also needed sandpaper to remove any rough edges after the cuts. All cost about $25.00 and pretty quick and pretty easy to do. 
The PVC pipes come in various sizes from 125mm down to 65mm diameter so I am sure there is one that would suit your needs.

I then sat them on my worktable and placed in the seed bead tubes. Don’t they look pretty I thought! I was happy with this.

Problem #1 – you needed ‘book ends’ so the pipes didn’t roll. I had to place other storage
drawers at either end of the pipe display.
Problem#2 – if I wanted to lift up a ‘book end’ the pipes would roll again!
It was suggested to glue the pipes together but I didn't want anything that big to be permanent. I wanted the option to lift and move and reduce the quantity of pipes if I choose.

I felt I needed a wedge on the pipes, or a pigeon hole kind of set up or something permanent to hold it all in place!

I decided to check out Ikea and see what kind of shelving they had to accommodate these pipes. It couldn’t be too deep as I wanted to sit it on my worktable and didn't want to lose workspace. I discovered that DVD and CD furniture fitted the bill and here is a link to the exact one I purchased.

Off I went and paid $50.00 for the shelves. Came home, put it together, placed it on my worktable and put in the pipes with the colours. Great, it all fitted, it works and looks good.

Problem #3 – I had cut the pipes 165mm long thinking that would be a good idea. Seed bead tubes are generally 150mm long. When I placed my tubes in the pipes they recessed into the pipe too much and made it difficult to lift out - not happy with that. I had to re-cut all of them again. This time I wanted the seed bead tubes to stick out just a little for easy removal. The new lengths are 142mm long and you get 7 lengths from a 1 metre pipe after six cuts. Terrific, more for my money - YAY!

The image to the right shows both 165mm length on the bottom and 140mm length on the top - you decide which you prefer.

Problem #4 – if you are not careful when extracting the seed bead tube you may pull the end cap off as they rub up against the other tube caps. I learnt that pretty quickly. However, only a small number of seeds fell out as they are laying flat and only the seeds at the end of the tube fell out so no BIG problem, just a little one. 

I have now been living with this system for almost a week and I absolutely Love it!  

Benefit #1Having the tubes jutting outside of the pipes a little makes it easier to handle. I found when removing a tube lift it up to the top first then lift it out, no pulling happens on the end cap and no seed bead spillage.  YAY! 
Benefit #2 - As I am working on a design I can see all my colours, which helps me decide which colour will work with what I am making. Being stored and hidden in a drawer you don’t get that immediate association.
Benefit #3 - they are within arm's reach of my workspace. Love being able to reach for them and not search for them.
Benefit #4 - I now have heaps of room for growth, more seed bead tubes to acquire. YAY!
Benefit #5 - The whole set-up looks good and has become part of the beading 'decor'. My beading space is set up in my dining room - or dining studio I call it LOL - when I have people over for dinner they like seeing my space and now it looks attractive as well.

So all in all it has been an easy exercise to undertake with a lot of benefits. 
I hope my sharing this method gives you some ideas and helps you with your bead storage.

Friday, July 11, 2014

C is for Creative Growth and Keeping Things Fresh!

I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone proclaim that they aren't a creative person. I have even said that very same thing to other people about myself.... LOL! I have no clue what I was thinking!! Everyone of us is creative! EVERYONE! If you don’t think of yourself as creative or a creative person, then you’re missing a great opportunity to grow as a person – to become who you really are, who you want to be and who you truly were meant to be.
We are all raised within a certain family, within a particular culture, and at a certain time period in life. Sometimes our inner self does not get the encouragement it requires. How we are parented, how we are treated, the social conditions we experience at the time will all certainly have an effect on who we grow up to think we are, and the surest way to kill someone's creativity is to judge or criticize them or tell them they can't do something.
I have heard creativity described as the  “ability to synthesize – sifting through boundless amounts of data and perceptions. The goal of course is to come up with new and useful combinations of things or solutions to problems.” But its so much more than that. Its a willingness to be in a state of not knowing. It's to have curiosity about all the boundless, endless possibilities and a desire to take a risk and act on one's impulses without knowing or being able to predict what the outcome will be.

 Creativity isn't really an optional quality for us to decide we have to cultivate. Rather, consider, that perhaps its our greatest untapped resource that lies within all of us as human beings; that its truly needed in order for us to live up to our highest potential as living creatures.
My life is full of responsibilities and day to day tasks that quite often fill every moment of my day with work, family and a multitude of other obligations. I often feel like I don't have any energy left to cultivate any new growth or creative pursuits, so often my personal explorations and self-fulfillment gets put on the back burner for another day.
Simply put;  life often has its OWN plans, and they usually differ from mine.  It's not difficult to find myself feeling like I am stuck, headed nowhere and have landed myself in a big rut! When this happens to me, I need a game plan. I figure this probably happens to others just as often so I thought I would share some of my ideas for recharging my creative battery when it's gone dead. Some are tried and true and others are things I want to experiment with. Ready? Here goes....


Create and make a vision board of where you want to go! You can't get there if you don't know where you are headed or have a map to guide you!

Celebrate who you are --all the little things that make you, you! Your quirkiness and your individuality!

Don't be afraid to ask for help. EVERYONE was a newbie at one time-we all have to learn and begin somewhere.

Take a walk in nature and listen to the music that surrounds you; leaves falling, wind blowing, birds chirping, etc. Enjoy the peacefulness of it all!

Make direct requests to the universe and be open to receive its gifts in return.
Count your blessings and be grateful; each day is truly a gift and full of gifts to be received.

Hang out with happy, healthy, deep thinkers who have your best interests at heart.

              Ask for feedback from people that you admire and respect.

Take a risk! One foot in front of the other, one baby step at a time!

    Don't fear failing or making a few mistakes. Sometimes the Uh Oh's           become the Ah Ha moments of one's life.

Break from the beads and explore a new desire.

Stare out the window and daydream to your hearts content

             Get to work or go out and play; But commit to doing something!

               Make a list of your ideas: The good, the bad and the ugly! :)

                               Break the rules! It does a heart good!

                 Read a book-Have an adventure if even for an hour or so!

            Its ok to be selfish at times and do something nice for yourself!

                    Do one thing every day that makes YOU happy!

        Take out your beads and just play with no goal or end result in mind.

Feeling overwhelmed? Focus on one thing and see it through to completion.

        Give yourself permission to laugh, have fun and waste a little time.

       Persevere! We all need a break at times but giving up is not an option

  Make a list every night of the five best things that happened in your day.

             Cook something yummy that you have been craving for awhile!

Ask yourself "what if" or "how can I" and be open to ALL the ideas you receive.

        Think outside the box and experiment with anything and everything.

Take a break from the things you are supposed to do and do what you WANT to do.

   Play with clay... there is just something about doing something tactile that gets creative juices flowing.

                Pick up a pencil and doodle to your hearts content.

                        Learn how to say No!

Free form writing! You will be surprised at the things that will come pouring out!

                 Get inspired by EVERYTHING that surrounds you!

Listen to music that makes you want to get up and dance and leaves you feeling alive!

Stop waiting for the perfect moment. It doesn't exist! All that exists is the here and now!

Take yourself out for a play date. Do something you have always wanted to do but for whatever reason, haven't yet managed it!

        and my personal, all time favorite... Bead True to Yourself!! :)