Bead Hoarders Blog Hop

Bead Hoarders Blog HopIt’s reveal day for the 2nd annual Bead Hoarders Blog Hop! This is my first time participating, but I have been a bead hoarder for many years.

Our hostess for this hop is Lori Anderson. I met Lori, virtually, earlier this year when I took part in her Bead Soup Blog Party. That was my first blog hop, and my introduction to so many amazing jewelry and component designers.

The purpose of this hop is to use “beads you’ve been hoarding as too precious, or too pricey. or just too special to work with …” I have lots of those. Some I bought, some were given to me as gifts. All of them are my precious

Introducing my Bead Stash.

Having an excuse, and a deadline, to work with some of my precious beads did not make designing jewelry any easier.  I was still overwhelmed with the number of options, which is part of the reason those beads have gone unused. To give you some idea, here’s where I store most (or maybe it’s only about 2/3) of my beads.

My bead storage

This is the 21-inch wide 7-drawer Elfa cart where most of my beads live. (The smaller cart to the right stores some of my polymer clay supplies.) In hindsight, I probably should have cleaned the floor before taking a photo. Oh well.

That’s a large Elfa cart from the Container Store, bursting with clear plastic boxes of beads and components. They’re sorted by color and by type: reds, blues, glass, gemstone, silver, copper, etc. I had to take the wheels off because the weight was too much for them. The narrow cart to the right holds some of my polymer clay supplies. That’s right, I don’t just buy beads, I make them.

But wait, there’s more. I have bead overflow storage in another room. And, it seems, I am part squirrel. I stash bits and pieces and odds’n’ends in nooks and crannies all over my home. That’s a hallmark of a hoarder, right?

Cats at my beading station

This is my dining room. No one eats here. Well, unless you count chocolate consumed while making jewelry. And those are the Paisley Lizard staff: Design Consultant Cloud and Inspector Mango.

That’s my work table. In the dining room. There are boxes of shipping supplies (for when someone buys my jewelry!) and miscellaneous beads and tools under and on the tables. Those are my staff, Design Consultant Cloud gazing out the window, and Inspector Mango supervising from the basket.

My Excuse and my Epiphany.

Why do I hoard beads? Well, it’s not exactly on purpose. It’s sort of unavoidable. Because there are just so darned many pretty shiny beads and so little time to create with them. And when you buy beads to make a project, you invariably need other beads to complete it. And when your fabulous friends enable your bead habit by gifting you with special beads, you save them until you have “the perfect” design for them.

Sea glass pieces

These lovely bits of sea glass were a gift from a friend. This is only a small part of the large bag she collected for me. Those blue bits are the most rare, and so most precious.

My very thoughtful friend Laura gifted me with an amazingly large haul of sea glass. Most of it is green and amber. There are also some white and two bits of blue. I’ve been hoarding it for years. I knew I could rustic wire wrap it.  But I wanted to do a fancy wire-wrapped bezel for some of the largest pieces, and I’ve never attempted one of those.  And I thought I might try drilling holes for some pieces. But I don’t have the proper tools. So, it’s been suffocating in my stash. Until now. I didn’t use it all, but I’ve made a small start.

Brown sea glass earrings

I used bare copper wire to rustic wrap a couple of the darker amber bits of sea glass to make these organic earrings. The wire will darken over time and add to the amazing organic look.

Green sea glass pendant

I used non-tarnish silver wire to cage one of the larger pieces of green sea glass for this pendant. I need to find a nice silver chain, but for now, it’s on black faux leather cord.

I am keeping these sea glass jewelry pieces in my personal collection. They remind me of the friend who gave them to me.  I may use some of the other bits to make jewelry for my online store now that I’ve taken the leap and used a few. After all, how much sea glass jewelry can one woman wear? (Don’t answer that.)

I planned to make a significant dent in my stash for this hop. I wanted you all to be proud of me for overcoming my hoarding ways. I wanted to showcase more of the lovely treasures in my stash. But life had other plans and time just got away from me. Most of the beads and components I find too challenging to work with are gifts from friends. In addition to their significance as a gift, they are also fabulous beads deserving of special designs. For example:

Strand of turquoise nuggets

This strand of turquoise nuggets is from Arizona. So am I. Did I ever buy turquoise beads for myself there? Of course not. But my dear friend Amy very thoughtfully got this strand for me when she was there for a vacation.

Foiled glass beads

These yummy foiled glass beads were a gift from my friend Kim. She bought them for me while on her honeymoon in Italy. How thoughtful is that? They are rather large beads, so they need a bold design. I have an idea and it involves learning to fold-form sheet metal.

Although I ran out of time to use the turquoise nuggets and foiled glass beads, and so many others in my stash, this hop made me realize something important. If I keep waiting for the “perfect” design to use these treasures, I will never experience the joy of wearing them. And it’s not like I can’t take something apart and make a different jewelry design later if I think of something better.

So, many thanks to our hostess for letting me join this hop. I now have a lovely necklace and pair of earrings for myself. And motivation to use the other “too precious” beads in my stash. Now I just need time to implement my design ideas.

Be sure to visit the other participants in this hop to see how they’ve used some of their favorite and most treasured beads and components.



30 thoughts on “Bead Hoarders Blog Hop

  1. Divya

    I get how you feel – sometimes I keep staring at beads till I can think of a design and most often I put them away after staring at them for a long time but its great that you were able to make a start

  2. Desert Sage

    *chuckles* I, too, am a bead hoarder. For a timeframe I experimented a lot with beading, and my best friend from the time still has scores of necklaces I made for her.
    I enjoy it, as I do most crafting, but haven’t had the time to sit down and reorganize the things I need to.
    (Remind me, at some point, to take a photo of the multi-jade rosary I made a few years back. I think, as a craftspersonage, you would appreciate it.)
    I applaud you stepping in and finding some pieces to work with. It can be so staggering when examining a stash without an initial design plan in mind. (I have the same issue with my yarns. Also, a whole shelf of my primary herb cabinet is mostly full of ‘things I want to make something with.’)
    I think it is a potential… danger… for anyone who makes anything with anything and enjoys it.
    *apologizes for the small novel*
    Thank you for sharing this with THM.

  3. Lizzie

    Hi! I love your sea glass creations. Your friend will be pleased to see you wearing them I’m sure. Thanks for letting us have a peek at your bead stash, it’s good to know I’m not the only one with special units for bead storage….!!!
    P.s – your design team are *adorable* !

  4. Lee

    What a great stash you have! I’m glad you got to use that beautiful sea glass and I hope you have time to use some of your other fabulous beads. Any time is the right time to use your stash. Hopefully, this hop has given you great incentive.

  5. Marci

    Bead hoarders unite! I love your designs, and that you have special pieces that you can now wear to remember a friend. I feel as though I am among many like-minded people, but I must admit I admire your hoard.

    1. Marci

      Oh, and now when people ask me what Moose Petals is or how I came up with it, I will probably always think of the Paisley Lizard.

  6. Nan Smith

    Great wire wrapping on your sea glass designs! I too am a bead hoarder and thank Lori for getting me to admit it and start doing something about it. It won’t stop me from buying more beads but hopefully I’ll have the opportunity once a year to streamline my collection. I figure I’ll get through it in a couple of centuries! LOL

  7. Carol Quinn

    Oh yes, you are definitely in need of bead hoarders anonymous, that is an amazing stash of beads. Your ginger and white kitty Mango looks like my cat Pippin

  8. Kelly

    I laughed out loud while reading your thoughts on hoarding beads. My partner gives me that “but don’t you have enough beads already?” look when I say I’m off to a bead store or bead show. But, like you, I get drawn into the pretty factor – it’s hard to not purchase stuff when new and gorgeous beads are to be had! I like that your kitties hang out with you in your jewelry space. They’re adorable with cute names. I like how you’ve used your gifted sea glass. I bet you’ll find pleasure in wearing them.

  9. roxanne

    Such pretty wire wrapping showcasing your beach glass! That is something I would like to work on one day. The earrings and pendant turned out beautifully.

  10. Mary K

    I enjoyed reading your post and felt so at home with a view of your dining room table. What better place to work and such lovely assistants.

  11. KJ

    LOL You are right a deadline does not make designing any easier, but it is a great push to finish and I don’t know about you but I sure need that from time to time. I can so identify with needing other beads to go with what you are currently working with; all to often I do not have just the right color or size.

    I love sea glass and your designs set it off magnificently. Well done.

    You left a comment on my blog and I see you are already working with wire- I encourage you to visit Nicole Hanna’s site and look at her tutorials. I think you might be pleasantly surprised at what you can accomplish. As an added bonus every so often Nicole publishes a partial tutorial for her “finish it” contests so you can preview her more advanced tutorials.

    I hope you have plenty of opportunity to enjoy wearing your new creations.

  12. Ann Schroeder

    I think you did great using some of your precious (and might I add very beautiful) sea glass. Your friends have wonderful taste and it was fun to see some of what they gave you. Your sea glass pieces are beautiful. I’m sure you will enjoy wearing them.

  13. Becky Pancake

    Hi Tammy, Kudos to you for doing wire wrapping. You did an excellent job. Your sea glass is beautiful and I am glad that you can now wear it. I really enjoy blog hops because they give me a focus for making my designs. I too have a considerable size stash and sometimes it is hard to decide where to start. I do two challenges a month most of the time and it keeps me engaged and focused. Thanx for sharing pics of your stash and workspace. I always enjoy peaking into other jewelry artists lives.

  14. Lori Anderson

    Every studio should have a cat, and your one cat looks just like mine!

    I’m so glad you were inspired not only to make things, but to set things aside to work with later. I did the same thing, putting them in the “Lori Box”.

    Thank you so much for participating, and don’t forget to post your pieces in the special Pinterest board,

    Plus, join the Facebook group (also welcome to your friends) — hope to see you at other hops!

  15. Maria Rosa Sharrow

    I would totally hoard sea glass. I don’t even own a single piece. I wouldn’t even know where to start with it. But you did an amazing job wire wrapping these beauties of the sea!

  16. Kathy Lindemer

    I have a lot of sea glass from a trip to Mexico where I picked the glass every morning while on a vacation there. I have made some items with the glass, but I need to make some more. I love the copper with the amber glass. I think I will have to give that combination a try. Well done!

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