Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Work surfaces.....

I was going to title this Creature of Habit, but when I typed that, I realized that I already named a previous post 'Creature of Habit'.....hhhhmmmmm....I guess I am one!

My point this time is that for years I have beaded with size 11 long pony needles on a velvet pad with a leather tray. I have several scattered around the studio so as to be able to begin a new project on a whim. They are also portable from room to room unlike a vellum bead mat.

And then....

Dustin was in my class, beading from a shallow wooden bowl, beads mixed together and he was fast...I was intrigued. He graciously gifted me a bowl and I must say I quite like it. My hand fits nicely into the roundness, it is shallow enough to pick up the next bead, they don't bounce like in the porcelain trays, it's good. Now to find a few more bowls, you know, for multiple projects.

I've also recently discovered that I do like size 12 sharps, they are easy to work with and they don't bend, well at least not as easily as a long needle. They are a tad harder to thread, but I'm finding them comfortable to work with, especially when doing something like cubic right angle which can create some really tight spaces to bead through.

So I may be slow to change or try new things, but it can happen. Do you have a definite beading setup, set of tools, or do you change things up?


abeadlady said...

Isn't it odd how we fall into these habits? I love working on a Vellux pad and can't do without my Sz ll Pony's. That said, I have tried some Pony sz 11 sharps and like those too. I occasionally use sz 12 needles, but rarely a sz 10. I love sitting in my recliner and beading. I have been buying lots of lap trays and usually have several projects going at once. I've never been comfortable working out of a bowl or container. I don't mind a mixture of beads but usually work with separate piles. Each to his/her own habits I guess.

Bead-Mused said...

Isn't it great how we keep learning new things? I tend to change things up. My travel kit has a piece of orange ultrasuede -- I can always find my spot at the table. In the house I have various trays with velux, once covered lap tray, a couple of wooden plates. My biggest caveat is that whatever I'm using has to be portable and stackable. As for needles, I guess it depends on what I'm doing but my fave is the long size 12.

The bad Liz said...

I have a small cardboard piece covered in deer suede - it's about 8x6 inches - that I have been using for several years. I have tried the Vellux pads, but don't care for the feel of them on my hand. I also use some small porcelain dishes, like for a dipping or soy sauce, that I have also lined with leather (suede side up).

I use 11 long needles most of the time, but some 12s. I haven't used the sharps in a long time, no real reason, I guess. I just haven't.

What I will share is that I borrow/liberate the paper cup covers - like in the fancy hotels or the cruise ships. I will pour my beads from the china bowls into the paper cup, fold the cup to pour the beads back into their respective containers. Takes seconds. If the cup gets torn or dirty - recycle with other paper in the house and grab a new one. This last cruise, I asked the cabin attendant for a supply and he gave me about 4 inches worth! Jackpot!

kate mckinnon said...

I always use John James size 13 or 12 needles, two inches long, and I like a real velvet pad in a stacking plastic tray. Stacking beats out any other feature for me- I have about 30 trays, all with stuff in them!

I like a lot of flexibility in my needles, too.

KJ said...

I keep my beads separate. I love to work from a hard surface so the beads will jump onto my needle. My favorite beading surface are white porcelain coasters. They are small enough that I can set them side by side when I am working with many colors. They are the same size, so I can stack them when I have to put them away. I tried a vellux pad this year and was disappointed. Sure, the beads don't roll, but they also don't jump up onto my needle. I tried paint trays, but they were a pain to get the beads out of when the project was done.

As for putting beads back into the tubes or other small containers I have used a six inch cheap paper sandwich plate, just fold it in half and pour the beads back in.

Up until this year I stored all of my seed beads in spice bottles. I love glass, it is clear and you can see the colors easily with no distortions. However, when you have beads that are too big for the spice bottles you end up with beads in too many places. Grrr... you shouldn't have to look in several different places to get that perfect color and size match.

As for needles, I use mostly 12's. I have one package of 10's and quite a few packages of 13's. I love the long needles, even if they do end up curved by the time I am done. I really like the flexibility.


Eva Maria Keiser said...

Interesting subject. Shallow bowls are for mixing in and beading from. A bead brew is cooked up in both white and black bowls to get a background perspective. I am either plunging John James 12 or 13 longs into the bowls, or serving up smaller portions of beads on a leather surface. The "bench" in my studio is a beautiful hand-crafted secretary style. Lots of storage, great workspace, and everything in reach. Convenient and soulful.