Monday, March 14, 2011

Working from the Stash

Sometimes, like now, money is in short supply. Every trip to the bead store, or to a show, or even online, leads to currently unacceptable expenses.

But wait. I spent the better part of two years buying so much that I liked. I don't really need anything new, I have wonderful things squirreled away in drawers marked "Special Beads" and "Cabochons" and other tasty categories.  I shopped assiduously and filled the empty-seeming gaps in my palette of colors and sizes as best I could, I built a backlog of findings, and invested in a fair amount of wire and thread.

It's always nice to trawl the stores to get inspired...but "shopping" in your own stash can be rewarding as well, and much more fiscally responsible.   I bet many beaders have things tucked away they haven't seen in months, perhaps longer. 

So last week I went shopping in Ye Olde Stashe, and found some gorgeous lampworked beads in orange and blue/black from Prima Donna beads. Oh, and in another drawer some ancient sea glass, and oh, some chrysocola, orangey carnelian, apatite in blue, African trade beads and this and that. Very quickly, it seems, this necklace created itself. 

No new beads were purchased for this work. Thanks to my BeadEnCounter software, a beta version of the program in development for sale, I know exactly where all the beads came from, and what this piece cost, though it's been months, or more than a year, since I purchased some of the components.

Earlier today I wrote and sent Donna Conklin, the lampwork artist that made the bead set, a couple of pictures of the necklace. She was admiring of the outcome, and we've been having a lovely correspondence. What a nice person! She says she'll be at the LA Bead Bazaar this weekend, so if you're in the area, go patronize her booth!  

If I were to win a challenge for the Etsy Beadweaver's Team (hah! Like that's going to happen) I think my pick of a challenge theme would be "Look What I Found in the Bottom Drawer."  And no, I don't mean those unmentionable things you don't want your children to find after you die. I mean in the bottom drawer of the bead stash. Or the back of the least-used drawer. 

I'm finding some wonderful things that got shoved underneath newer purchases. More to come. 


  1. Fun post! I, too, shop in Ye Olde Stashe and am sometimes amazed at the inventory.

  2. Great post! Yes, the Stash box is pretty popular in my shop these days, too. Recently I pulled out a string of beads that I thought I would never use b/c the color was not really my style. Well, the bracelet I made w/ these beads actually sold within a week after listing it! Goes to show the Stash Box really holds some treasures!

  3. Gorgeous piece and an important lesson for all of us to keep in mind! I have built up a sizable stash over the last couple years, too. When I do make purchases now, the vast majority of them are single components to put pieces together or components for planned pieces. I try not to buy items simply because they're neat (which is TOUGH, as I'm sure anyone beaders reading this know very well). Great idea for a challenge theme, too!!

  4. I love what you made from your stash! I suspect you have a better stash than I do :P