Thursday, January 9, 2014

One Solution to Bead Storage Problems

Do you have bags of beads in every corner of the house, and under every piece of furniture? Does your dining room table look like a display counter at a bead store? Does your vacuum cleaner sound like there is a hailstorm when you clean around your work area? When you come home from bead shopping, do you find that you already have the same color seed beads or SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS in your stash?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may need a more efficient organization system for your materials. Here is one suggestion:

The bottles in the photograph are media bottles (square), or chemical storage bottles (round), and both can be purchased from a number of scientific supply houses online. The bottles come in 30ml, 60ml, and 90ml (and larger); the 90ml will hold 150gms of cylinder beads; the 60ml will hold 80gms of cylinder beads; and the 30ml will hold 37gms of cylinder beads or two 10-gross packs of 3mm SWAROVSKI bicones. The bottles are see-through with easy screw on and off caps. When you take inventory, a quick inspection of each bottle will tell you roughly how many grams of beads you have remaining.
Further, these bottles store easily in "Really Useful Boxes,"™ available at Staples. The 8.1L box will hold forty-two 60ml bottles or thirty 90ml bottles; the 4L box will hold seventy round 30ml bottles. These clear boxes make inventory and organization by color or size easy, and the boxes stack conveniently for transport.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tips for Repurposing Vintage Chandelier Crystals

As I was cleaning the vintage chandelier crystals (from my previous blog), I realized some of them had 45 degree angle holes through them. These holes were a necessary part of my designs to embellish the larger vintage crystals with Delica beads and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS.  This presented a brand new challenge as I have no 45 degree needles.  Using a flexible dental floss needle did the trick to make the turn in the crystal.  Attached beads on either end of the hole were incorporated into my designs.  Sometimes the holes in the crystals were larger than a size 11º, or even size 10º Delicas.  Instead of using thread, I coaxed a piece of 24 gauge craft wire through the hole and then finished either end with three small turns using fine round nosed pliers.  These tiny wire loops became anchor "beads" for the rest of my design.  In crystals with sharp edges through the holes that would cut thread, I found that the wire technique worked well.
24 gauge craft wire through a 45 degree hole.

Wire loops incorporated as anchor "beads" in the design. 

Wire used to create anchor "beads" is a crystal with a sharp hole.