Studio Storage Tips and a Free Circular Brick Stitch Project!

Leslie editor of beading Daily

Organized Chaos: Mess for Success
I am totally self-indulgent when it comes to beading. I start this, that, and the other project as my stash inspires me, and though I finish tons of jewelry, many projects wait to reach fruition. Each time I need to bead, I’m as likely to start something new as to finish something in progress. My indecisive, creative frenzy tends to make my studio unruly, though fun for people to explore. Still, I want to keep track of everything, or I forget where things are. Plus, my play time is limited. To get right to it when I have that precious "window" I have my WIP (Work in Progress) organized and on display in many ways. I can choose whatever floats my boat when the time is right.


Bags of projects in progress I forgot I had this!
I hang bags of materials and experiments I'm playing with on a bulletin board. Not only does this keep me visually inspired, it keeps my memory fresh–especially after a Bead Fest shopping spree when I come home with a plethora of strands, tubes and beads wrapped in tissue. New treasures go right into clear baggies and pinned on my board to prevent any lengthy spans of forgetfulness. Though it is a strange thrill to rediscover things I forgot I bought, I'd rather remember.
foil tray storage  

Eeenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe
Which project should work on today? I stack mini foil baking pans, each with its own project. Needles, beads, findings– all the parts I'm playing with for each idea go in these trays. I can pick whatever I feel like working on and know all my materials are already together. So I don't forget where all my beads are as I separate them with various projects, I pour the selected colors into smaller bags with each WIP. The main tubes or bags remain in their color-coded bins so I know what I have.

project bags  

Circular brick to go.
I always have project bags packed and ready to go. I spend lots of time waiting– in airports, as a passenger on long car drives.  My little bags contain everything I need to finish simple projects that are well underway. My favorite to-go projects are component-oriented, so I can make one or a bunch, depending on how long I'm waiting. Circular brick stitch is one of favorite component-making stitch of mine, because I can play around with variations and at least get satisfaction by finishing a single component.

Crystal Radiance Brooch by Tina Koyama   Free brick stitch project!
So hey, here's a free circular brick stitch project for you. Tina Koyama’s Crystal Radiance Brooch is an eye-catching, component-oriented design, and a technique which will inspire you to play with many variations. Gather and sort all your favorite combinations of crystals and beads in trays, project bags or on bulletin boards, and hang them up neatly, to keep your studio full of reminders to play.

Decorating my studio with my stash—finished and unfinished—keeps me fired up. For more décor inspiration you’ll want the new Fall 2009 Studios in your library. Leave it to Cloth Paper Scissors magazine to give us yet another special issue of artists' spaces to motivate and encourage our creativity.  Keep Studios on display where you can look at it every day! There’s so much to enjoy, you may not finish it all the first time you sit down with it.

What's your favorite way to display work-in-progress? Share with us here!


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