Friday, 3 December 2010

Bead storage -- a snapshot

I haven't blogged here in ages it feels like. And I haven't even uploaded my winter pics, which I've said all week that I'd do. Well, you will get those tomorrow. Today I just wanted to show a pic I took to illustrate a blog post I wrote on organizing beads, or rather: how to plan for a new storage solution. This photo shows the interior of one of my Raaco Handybox drawers that I like so much. They come in a "module" where you can store four seperate "drawers"/boxes with secure lids and a handle so they're easy to carry. A tad expensive, but I like them.

I don't store all my beads in these, but most of them except my seeds. The system is a sometimes complex mix of sorting by material, shape and colour. My basic glass beads, e.g., are sorted purely by colour while flower beads in glass as well as all dragon beads and cat beads (regardless of material) are kept in one container. As you can see I also have seperate containers for metal flowers and acrylic/lucite flowers. Wooden beads are separated between patterned/embellished and plain beads.

To fit the system, I've had to place the Japanese millefiori beads (vintage glass) in the same space as my likewise Japanese tensha beads, eventhough that means mixing materials. In the bottom left container, you see the same mix of materials. There, I haven't mixed beads with the same origin and motifs, but added an eclectic mix of "natural" materials: clay (ceramics, porcelain), bone, horn, nuts and seeds. And some Japanese wallpaper beads and hand blown silvered glass beads -- those really should be in the tensha/millefiori mix instead. That'd make more sense.

And please don't ask me about the system regarding the plastic bags in the (Czech) glass flower container. Ususally, I collect beads in the same colour in one bag, but sometimes I mix colours that look good together or flowers in the same style. And sometimes I just place them in whatever bag seems best if I don't have any empty zip-lock bags nearby. As long as I can find my beads, I figure that structured but slightly random system works. As long as I can see the logic behind what beads are coupled with which, it doesn't matter if it looks totally random to everyone else.

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