Saturday, June 19, 2010

More Bead Organization, Storage and a Peek of Workspace

I talked before about the rolling drawers I use to organize all my non-seed beads by color. I did purchase the two additional drawer sets and now I even have a couple of spares. In addition to the by-color organization, I did some sub-categorizing.

The pic of all four sets shows them lined up as I have them when I work. They do all four slide right under the kneehole of the desk when I'm not working, or want to make the living room look neater. 

Yes, that's a cement floor. We ripped up the carpeting several years ago, and believe it or not, the concrete floor, with a big fat crack running across it and big swoops of carpet adhesive, is actually far more attractive than that carpeting was! Never have off-white carpeting in a house where people eat in the living room and walk around with their shoes on. Not a good idea.  Just say no. The previous owners installed it right before they sold. Sadists, I tell you!

When I need to pull the drawers out from under the desk, I use a long backscratcher to get hold of the farthest-in sets. Very handy. It's a reacher, it's a backscratcher. 

Sub-organization. I found out I had huge numbers of red beads, so I subdivided those into large & small, as you can see in the closeup of one of the drawer sets.  I also have separate drawers for findings, cabochons, ultrasuede, stringing materials, and finished work. Right now, that is. Finished work is growing rapidly and I'll have to find better storage than just stuffed in plastic zip-loc bags and piled in a drawer. I even have a few unlabeled drawers waiting for new items. My precious labeler has its own drawer.

Beige/tan/natural/brown and orange beads were also filed all together, but were also overpopulated, like the reds. So now Beige/Tan and Orange/Brown each have their own drawer. A drawer that's too full, piled 3 layers deep of the tiny plastic boxes you can see in the workspace picture, just impedes finding the perfect bead. 

On top of the drawer set you can see a couple of the seed-bead storage kits I use. Turns out that one of these on top of the drawer will still slide right under the desk. So that's a place for four of them, I have two more that stay on top of the desk. Oh, and I need to find a place for my growing collection of books and magazines. 

And here is a shot of my workspace, littered with beads, with my pathetic $7 magnifier from Harbor Freight and a former bedroom LED lamp. Clearly I need better visualization tools. Finding the ideal combination, though, of a comfortable position for the magnifier, the lamp, and my hands as I work in and out of the magnified area is tough. I know a lot of people use Ott Lites. I still haven't found one that suits me and I'm actually considering a professional grade magnifying lamp like those used in scientific labs. Pricey, though. 

The small colorful round dishes are the tops off of storage tins, they have a glass bottom and I've found them to be ideal holders for beads I'm working on. I have enough I can distribute many different kinds of beads and have them handy and controlled while I work. It minimizes the dropping on the floor syndrome. Not eliminates. Minimizes.   

So you can see my mess, bent needles and all. I have various bowls to hold items, and in the second desk drawer I actually keep all my tools. It's on the right hand and placed properly to reach for in the middle of something.

I do clear the desktop after every project is finished. You can see on the third drawer set from the left in the first picture a tiny peek of the current work in progress, a bead-embroidered picture frame on midnight blue ultrasuede, with silver and crystal beads. It might turn out okay, after all. 

Oddly, I hate hate hate filing papers, but I love to organize, label and tidy up my beads. I wonder why those two tasks, which seem to be similar, stimulate different centers of my brain. One is good, the other I avoid like, well, a chore. 

So there. My creative space. It's all in the living room, on the left hand side of the desk where my living room computer lives. It's a big desk. Notice along the front edge, those tiny torn post-it bits marking off measurements. If I didn't care about marring the desk, I'd just scribe those suckers into the wood. But I love the natural maple inlaid with ebony of the desk, so post-its it is. They last surprisingly long, and are amazingly handy for measuring thread, wire, and beaded lengths. 

1 comment:

  1. wow - you have a lot of beads in a small space! So do you put all of your bead types together by color like stone beads, lampwork, etc? I separated my seed beads into tubes and then keep the bigger glass/pressed beads and gem/stone beads in their own drawer bins, like in a hardware store. well, except for my vintage seed beads, which are in little drawers, too. It's nice to have a big desk, though, just to spread things out a bit and be near the computer. I use an old cloth tape measure which is taped to my desk.
    I'm enjoying your posts so far, although I need to go back and read a couple that I missed!