Cats, Beads, and Kitchen Tables

Results of the Kitchen Table Poll, or The Very Strange Domestic Habits of Beaders

This poll made me feel like I was channeling Margaret Mead! I learned so much about your your cats, your houses, your families, and, oh yeah, your beading habits . . . It all started with an innocent question:

Do you use your kitchen or dining room table for beading or jewelry making?

Zoe, Official Bead Inspector

While Beading Daily reader Wendy H. suggested this poll question, I definitely had a hidden agenda for asking it–I wanted to make sure I wasn't the only one! I love beading at my kitchen table. It's in a lovely, sunny nook with big windows–the best light in the house. I do bead other places like in front of the TV, but the kitchen is the best spot for me–at least for now. As my bead stash grows, it's getting hard to keep putting everything away. I'm starting to see a "bead studio"or at least a set of "bead drawers" on the horizon.

More than 1,200 readers responded to this poll and the results were:

Often – 41%
Never – 39%
Sometimes – 19%

Talk about close! I never imagined that "never" would be so high. I was expecting "often" and "sometimes" to be the two close answers.

I loved reading the 750+ comments to this poll. Here is a sampling:

Some people tried to explain why they used their kitchen or dining room:

"Easiest to clean up if an accidental spill happens. (I don't have to try and dig beads out of the carpet.)"

"Not being domestic, I have no other use for the table."

"It's the only place in the house with enough room!"

"I have 3 small children and at the kitchen table I can keep and eye on them."

"I have been booted from every other area of my home. But THEY CAN'T TAKE THIS ONE FROM ME!!! LOL"

Other favorite places to bead: in bed, in front of the computer, recliner, on the sofa with a lap desk, on a tray, coffee table, spare bedroom, playhouse, garage, basement . . .

"So far have never beaded in the bath, but I wouldn't rule it out – I do read bead magazines and catalogues in the bath!"

Other beaders felt that the concept of "kitchen table" was far too limiting.

"My whole house is fair game."

"I've been known to use any flat surface available, even the cardboard fast food trays at my son's basketball game!"

"Actually, now that I look around, I see that most horizontal surfaces in my space have various stages of beadwork projects!"

Cats seemed to be a universal problem.

"I use the dining room table when the cat isn't napping on it."

"My large dining room table is perfect for both myself and my friendly helping cats!"

"I used to, but my cats would always come and lay in the middle of my work space, So I moved another table into my office and now I do beading from there."

"My cats would knock everything over! They think the kitchen table is their lookout to the birdfeeder."

"The cats would adore it if I worked on the dining room table. They'd redesign everything from the piece I'm working on to the bead board!"

Sparrow enjoys life among the beads

Some beaders mentioned (mostly) supportive husbands and children. (Some of the children were supportive in that they grew up, moved out of the house, and left behind the perfect beading room.)

"Sometimes my husband has to eat his dinner on a TV tray table because I don't want to disturb my work space!"

"Can I say thank goodness for small children who love to search for the bead Mommy dropped?"

"My husband has the patience of Job, too. I sometimes wonder if he thinks I feed him beads for roughage."

"I have 3 year old twins and when I ask them what they want for dinner their reply is: 'I don't want beads.' Sad but true!"

Many women wrote in to say they moved their beading (to the sofa, for example) to spend time with their husbands in the evenings. Others described the wonderful spaces their sweethearts designed for them. In fact, I heard about so many supportive husbands/boyfriends/partners that Kat, our graphic designer, made this tattoo-inspired graphic just for them:


I heard from quite a few lucky beaders who answered "never" because they have their own beading or crafting desk/room/studio. Many realized how fortunate they were, using words like "lucky" or "heaven" in their descriptions:

"With my husband's help, I recently finished making a bedroom into an art studio. Everything is organized and I am in heaven!"

Some of them seemed to like their studios so much, I worried about their health:

"I have an art studio and when I'm not painting or making cards, tatting or sewing, then I'm probably beading on my art studio table."

Or maybe eating or sleeping? And then there was the person who commented: "No, but we usually eat our dinner on my beading table. Does that count?"

But lest we kitchen-table-dwellers become overwrought with envy, remember that even a studio doesn't make things perfect. One beader commented that she does bead on the kitchen table because "my studio table is covered with beady stuff!" Others said:

"I have a studio, but sometimes I just like to be in the middle of things rather than off on my own!"

"I actually have a studio off from the house, but it gets so lonely out there. (Boo hoo!)"

 And finally, a warning to those who bead on their kitchen tables:

Do not leave your beads unattended!

Coming Next Week: Beaded beads! I'll share the instructions for a beaded bead bracelet that I made, plus I'll have bead quilts by Beading Daily members, a new poll, and more.

Thanks to Sandi Wiseheart for letting me use the photos of her cats. (And for not looking at me strangely when I asked, "Do you have photos of your cats playing with beads?") 

Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She has a feeling that even if she had the perfect studio, she might still end up beading in the kitchen!

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