Organization is one of those things I aspire to but usually never achieve my expectations. It is a never ending effort. One of my friends jokes that she beads, I organize. Here are a few thoughts about organization.
Along about the tenth time I unwittingly bought a tube of the same 8/0 metallic gold triangle beads, I realized that I needed a virtual organization system. Now, I have not gone completely crazy. There are certain beads that I use on a regular basis for bead embroidery. Triangles and hexes in 11/0 and 8/0 and 2.8mm and 3.4mm drops. I have a sortable list of my entire inventory of those beads on an Excel spreadsheet. It also includes the hybrid beads that I started buying while writing this book, and I’ve started to catalog my 15/0 beads. As I buy new ones, they go on the list.
When I went to the Bead&Button Show last year, I printed out a miniature version of the list and referred to it when shopping for beads. I also use it when shopping online. I have saved a ton of money on duplication. I wish I could say the same thing for my cylinder and round seeds. Someday I’ll have time to tackle the project.
For Mother’s Day one year, my gift to my mother was helping sort and organize her bead stash. I love my mother dearly, and she is a fabulous beader and stitcher. But, she had the most astonishing organization system you could imagine. Essentially, she shopped for beads and brought them home from the store or show in a bag. And there they stayed.
With the exception of our mutual love of beads (and my children and granddaughter), my mother and I are very different. My beads are organized in trays or boxes with neatly typed labels. Most have been transferred to the tic tac box system. They are sorted first by type of bead, next by size of bead and then by color.
I also create color “palettes.” For example, there’s a black palette—every size and shape bead I could find in black-- seed beads, accent beads, pearls, metals, you name it. The black palette occupies two boxes. There are three for silver and two for gold. There’s also some for primaries, peacock colors and turquoise. You get the picture.
But the great thing about it is when I decide that a project needs black. I just grab my black palette boxes and I don’t have to go searching though my stash.