Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to use your bonus beading time

I never know when I will have BONUS time on my hands to bead. Bonus time is unplanned free time, say, waiting to pick up your kids, or sitting at halftime. Not wanting to waste that time on just dawdling, I have a bag of beading materials all packed and ready, usually with me in my handbag! Whether it is waiting for one of my daughter's shows to start or waiting in an airport, I am determined to use my bonus time wisely and productively.

I actually have two different kinds of bonus beading kits: a large one for predictably long periods of time, such as plane or train rides, and a small one for car rides or to keep in my every day purse.

Since I am heading to Tucson soon on a 5 hour flight, I have my large kit ready. It's a clear cosmetics case that zips closed and has dimension, so I can fit everything I need for small, relatively easy to manage projects:

My list is personal to me, but here are my must-have-with-me-everywhere items:
  • A generous handful of small baggies with a variety of colors of size 11 and 10 Delicas
  • Size 11 and 8 regular/round seed beads in black, copper and silver.
  • A small tin with assorted findings: ear wires, headpins, jump rings in various sizes and metals, small pieces of chain, crimp tubes, closed jump rings, crimp covers, wire guardians and toggle clasps.
  • Two spools of Beadalon WildFire beading thread, one green, one black
  • Needles in a plastic case
  • At least 2 small Bead Stoppers
  • A spool of multipurpose stringing wire
  • Several pairs of various sized rubber O-rings
  • A small scissors suitable to pass through airport screening
  • A small chain nose pliers
  • A small metric ruler
These items allow me to make my peyote rings or create something, anything, wherever I go! Of course, for a trip such as Tucson or Bead Fest where I have lots of time for impromptu bead-ins with other beaders, I pack far more than this travel kit!  So what is in your must-have-with-me travel kit?

Okay, advertising alert: Did I mention that I sell my own travel tins for small beading projects? My hubs Mike designed the copyrighted logo for my tag line: BYOBeads, for beaders on the go (TM). The tin is a lightweight aluminum jewel case, 7 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 3/4 inches, lined with a folded velux bead mat so it holds your beads in place when it is closed. It's the perfect size for a plane or train table--I even hold it in my lap when I am a passenger in a car. Because it has a lip around it, beads don't fall out! And, you can keep your needle stuck in the mat. A small scissor fits, too. I only post these by request on my Etsy site for easy Pay Pal purchase, so let me know.

And remember: there's always time for a few more rows.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beads, Baubles, and Jewels tapes new series for 2011!

It may not sound exciting to say I go to Cleveland twice a year, but I go there to tape a TV show! Here I am on the set of the PBS series, Beads, Baubles, and Jewels with host Katie Hacker. We're excited to be working together, can you tell? Katie is the host with the most, and makes it SO much more fun than ever.

On the table are yummy new "sunflower" Swarovski crystal fancy stones, which I show used in a beaded netting bezel technique. (You have to wait for the series to air before that project is available, sorry!) You know, I'm not usually a big yellow fan but this sunflower color is just brilliant and fiery. A true dazzler!

Thanks to Beadalon, who sponsored my segments. I only use their WildFire beading thread for all my seed beading--all my beading, actually. Thanks to Swarovski for sending me samples of this fabulous new color, and to John Bead Company for the Miyuki Delicas I also used in this lesson.

I think this series will air about April. Stay tuned!