Re-organising my bead stash!Melanie de Miguel
I couldn’t put it off any longer. I’ve been meaning to re-organise my bead stash for the last couple of years but dreaded having to do it as there was so much. The worst thing was that with every visit to a bead fair I would bring more home, often not realising I already had that colour of seed bead or crystal. The reason was that I just couldn’t see exactly what I had. I think I finally resolved to do something about it when I saw the storage boxes at the Craft Kit Company stall at the last Beadworkers Guild bazaar. The Craft Kit Company always give a little box as a gift in our BWG welcome packs; I really like those boxes, particularly the fact that they’re made in the UK, and I’ve often umm-ed and aaah-ed about them. So I bit the bullet and got in touch. Paul at the Craft Kit Company was really helpful and advised on the sort I would need and asked if I would do ‘before and after’ pictures to show just how space-saving the boxes are. Well, I went a step further and made a video to illustrate it. The box I show at the beginning of the video is an L. Chrissy box, with 188 little boxes, housing some of my size 15º seed beads. By the way, the true furry star of the video is our cat Jack, who likes to come and be nosy about what’s going on. You can see him in a picture of one of my beaded bottles, once again having to get involved.
As you can see in the ‘before’ picture, I had a variety of different boxes and paraphernalia as well as 6 portable and stackable boxes, each housing 4 drawers; the drawers had compartments in them which were never quite the right size for most of my tubes, they were also bright orange, which dulled the bead colours considerably. Don’t get me wrong, when I adopted this system I thought it was the bees knees; it was for storing things in a boat, you had to lift the little drawers slightly before you could pull them out, because you didn’t want all your tools and screws etc., being flung all over the place every time you did a starboard tack!
But when I looked at the little transparent plastic boxes and could see the beads so easily I resolved to change tack myself! For a start, storing beads in boxes as opposed to tubes is far more efficient and this was proved beyond a shadow of a doubt as you can see from the ‘after’ picture. I rest my case!
It took me just over a week to transfer everything, including labelling the lids of the little boxes, and shade-shifting (well that’s what I called putting the seed beads into colour and shade order). But it was all entirely necessary, and definitely very satisfying.
I’ve only had one minor problem. When I took my cases containing size 15º seed beads, size 11ºs and crystals, with me to my Byzantine Cross workshop in London, I opened them up and laid them out so that if any of my students had a problem with their beads, I could quickly help them out. I went to the loo, whilst students were arriving and setting themselves up, only to return and find that they had raided my boxes thinking it was a shop, and they were asking how much this and that was! Eeeeeeek!!!! To be fair, they all said it looked so neat, they thought it was a portable shop!
Everyone’s probably getting sick and tired of me saying how much I love my new storage system, but it’s true. I can just bring out a case and instantly see what I need – AND I’ve freed up a considerable amount of cupboard space in the house – Ahhh bliss. Trouble is that means there’s room for more – Groan!
Link to Suppliers:
Craft Kit Company Ltd