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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Bead Dungeon and related topics


My mom turned 95 in March.  For Mother's Day this year, my sisters and I decided to make videos for her of our homes and other little tidbits she might enjoy.  Since she has never been able to see my studio, I thought she might enjoy that.  But before video taping the "tour", there was a lot of cleaning that needed to be done.  Since I am not a person that cleans needlessly, it occurred to me that this would be a good time to take some pics and start a series of blog posts.  I love seeing other's studios and how they are organized  (or not!).  Plus I thought I would throw in some beading tips and shortcuts I have picked up over the years. 

First, the studio.  You know the pictures you see on Pinterest of the brightly colored studio with sunshine streaming in the big windows that overlook a fabulous flower garden?  A sea breeze billows the lace curtains and the huge room is furnished with coordinated spotless furniture.  Oh yeh, and there is no clutter.  Well, go back to Pinterest right now and gaze some more- get it out of your system, cuz that is NOT my studio.  In fact, I am being a bit hoity-toity here, calling it a "studio".  Around here it is known as "the dungeon".

I'll give you a bit of a description.   As the name implies, it is in the basement.  I have no windows or natural light.  (I do have an exhaust/inlet fan to provide fresh air and clear out fumes) I would dearly love natural light, but we work with what we have. I make myself feel better by thinking about the fact I work at night, and would not have natural light anyway. As for furniture, it is scavenged from here and there- a mishmash of whatever works.

Now about the clutter.  Well lets just say, if there was a TV show called Bead Hoarders- I would be the star.  I have so many beads I couldn't use them all if I. lived to 100.  Then I bought some more.  The room is small to begin with, and beading stuff is crammed into every available space.  It is pretty organized, but there is LOTS of stuff.

Here is a snapshot of one corner of the dungeon.  (really- there are 2 more walls of beads!) I have tidied up a bit, but this is before major cleaning.  I will take you around it in future posts to show you more close up.





 We also have a 25ft. RV that we use to travel to shows and for vacations.  We end up spending many weeks at a time in it.  I take my beads with me (of course!) and work on the road.  I can make a piece, list it on Etsy, make the sale, and ship it all from the road.  I love when that happens!!

In the RV, I have lots of natural light.  And sometimes a sea breeze, as well as beautiful scenery. (In fact, look out the window on the pictures. Right now we are listening to the sound of this babbling brook. Almost as good as a sea breeze!?)  But a definite lack of space.  So storage has been a challenge and I have had a lot of experience packing.  My husband just built those 2 bead cabinets for me.  I can't wait till next time to show you what is inside them!! Awesome!!



Although neither work space is ideal, I feel so fortunate to have these places where I can bead. The dungeon is cozy and peaceful and set off from everything.  If I want to leave a project sprawled out over everything for a couple of days, I can.  No need to take care of it so there will be a place to eat dinner.  Everything is within easy reach and I happily lose track of time, often beading till 3AM. 

So there's the overview.  Next time I will start showing you how my beads are organized and stored.  Right now I have to go buy some more beads- I think I saw a little corner that wasn't filled!





10 comments:

  1. Hello! I like that you are following your passion for creating beauty. This is a great work space, although I would miss the natural light. Here in West Texas, a nice cool basement might be a good thing. My workspace is a converted sun porch with lots of windows, and a glass back door out into our yard. In July and August, I sometimes have to bead elsewhere, because the heat is more than my window air conditioner can handle. I really like the walls of beads, and your travel trailer set up.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Harriet. Yes, in the summer it is so cool in my Dungeon that I have to put a sweater and heavy socks on to go down and work- even when it is 90 degrees outside. Your workspace sounds wonderful, but I guess it is a trade off.

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  2. I am so jealous of any beader with a proper workspace ...
    I bead on a dinner tray, sitting on an arm chair in the living room. I can't count any more how often it got knocked and I was picking up my beads from the floor :( And when I need something out my stash I have to go to another room and start rummaging - not ideal, but I keep dreaming of better days.

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    1. Been there Diana- I spent many hours beading in the living room on a tray table. My first me space for beading was in a basement with a dirt floor! You can imagine spilling seed beads there!

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  3. Hi Betty,
    Thanks for sharing your space with us. I can't imagine having that much inventory! I started beading a couple years ago so I would have something to do when we travel in our RV. I've purposefully kept my inventory to a couple of small storage boxes. OK, I'll admit, it's now turned into 3... OK 4, storage boxes. I have so little inventory but still get overwhelmed when I'm looking through and pulling out what might work in a particular piece. Whatever it is you're doing, keep it up because you are incredibly talented and create the most amazing pieces! Grace (a Facebook friend in Tucson) gee2sun.googlepages.com

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    1. Well, Grace, I started with 2 no 3 no 4 storage boxes also. It just grew over the years! Who would think that those tiny beads could take up so much room!?!?

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  4. Thanks Betty for sharing your story. I so enjoy your finished artwork. My profession is floral design and interior decor however every year I would go to market I couldn't resist the bright sparkle of beads & stone. After "acquiring" for several yrs I finally absconded with a loft space rarely used off the living room to be my "studio" with a short vaulted ceiling. It's mine, all mine and I just live this space as I'm within hearing range of the DH and only have to fight for my beading space with two cats that want to always be in the midst of things. Looking forward to your blogging journey . Jan Anchorage, AK

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    1. Those tiny beads sure do have a way of taking over, don't they! I think having a space away from everything else to bead is wonderful, no matter how small!

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  5. hey betty, i'm in the process right now on organizing my bead room (previously a bedroom, daughter got married ) my husband has put in amazing storage cabinets and bookshelves, and even a tv in the closet, and yet i still cant keep it tidy!! the funny thing is i have delved into pretty much all crafts but when i found beading, i was hooked. and loved the fact that they took so little room compared to sewing, scrapbooking, even knitting!! boy, what was i thinking???!!!!! after 9 years of beading, yeah, beads do take a lot of space!! looking forward to your blog!!

    one tip though, i found a hospital bed rolling tray at salvation army. its my desk where i sit. it adjusts in height, tips forward and back and tightens to keep it where you want it. and even has a lip to catch stray beads. best purchase for beading i ever did!!!!

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    1. I know- no matter how good my storage system is- the beads find their way out into a big mess! The hospital bed tray sounds like an excellent idea- a great tip!!

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