Dec 21, 2014

It's Time! 12 Days of Christmas

This year I participated in a private 12 Days of Christmas exchange.  Shelley drew my name and she put my wrapping abilities to shame. ;-)  I don't have my tree up yet, the sofa doubled as a display shelf.

Aren't they beautiful?!
The participants decided that today would be the starting date for opening gifts.  So here goes:

Almost too pretty to open...
A cute little Santa snowglobe!  I love snowglobes!!  This one is going to work with me to put at my desk.  Also included in the adorable snowman box was Lindor chocolates.  Mmmm...  Yummo!

Wonder what it could be?

I use highlighters when working on BAPs so these will definitely come in handy!


More candy!!  Oh, and adorable holiday socks  :)
I think I'll save these to wear on Christmas.
Ohhh, it's the BIG box!  Should I shake it?
All right!  Velveeta Shells & Cheese!!  Waaiiit a minute....

It's an adorable snoman mug!  It's huge, too.  I'm going to use it to hold all the candy I've been getting.


Yummo!!  Hot cocoa :)

Woo Hoo!  A chart from my wishlist.

 I tried to be good and not feel it up.  It was heavy.
I thought it was a chocolate bar, LOL!

Not chocolate, but I do love the saying!
It fits right in with my theory of life.
"Make Happy Happen!"

A jungle bell place card holder.
Very cute!

Dec 19, 2014

Stitch From Stash - December

The end of the Stitch From Stash Challenge for 2014 has arrived.  SFS is coordinated by Mel at Epic Stitching.  The idea of SFS is to stitch from our stash to reduce spending. 

I did pretty good in December.  I was able to keep my spending under control.  I did buy a few things, however I received and $8 refund for some November purchases, so it resulted in my spending only $16.

New Starts from Stash: Festive Owl, Sugarplum Express Wizzer
WIPs or UFOs worked on: Midnight Watch
Finishes: Festive Owl
Until next time,

Dec 13, 2014

Bead Storage

It starts out innocent enough.  Buy a package of beads for a project. Then another.  And another.  Next thing you know, you have a bazillion (well okay, maybe not that many) packages of beads.  There's got to be a better way to organize and store them, right?

Originally, I thought I only had a few ways I was storing them.  After getting out the camera and my bead "collection", I realized how many storage options I was using (or intend to use).

Years ago when I kitted up Japanese Garden, the chart called for lots of beads.  I haven't used them yet, but that's a whole 'nother story, lol.  I saw a Craftmates Ezy Snappin Petite Double Organizer at my LNS (which sadly went out of business).  I think I paid around $30 for it, but it can be had for $18-20 online.  It's the most expensive bead system I have.

As you can see, I labeled the sections with the manufacturer name and number with a labelmaker.

Pros:  It has has 12 units of 7 sections that open individually.  That's 84 places to store beads!  It closes up nicely with two buttoned straps and can be stored like a book on a shelf.  The cover is made of ultra suede so it feels nice!
Cons:  The individual sections are kinda small if you have a large package of beads.

At some point, I picked up a Darice Jewelry Bead Organizer.  They usually cost around $10 at JoAnn Fabrics, but you can use a 40% or 50% off coupon to get a better price.  I didn't bother labeling these.  I just cut the name and number from the original package and stuck it inside the containers.

Pros: The containers are larger and thus hold a lot more beads.  Individual containers means you only have to take out of the one(s) you need. The containers also have screw on lids which means there's less opportunity of beads spilling if you accidentally drop them.
Cons:  The rectangular case does not snap onto the base.  It just slides over it.  If you drop the entire thing, all the individual containers will go flying. (Thank goodness for those screw-on caps, eh?)

Similar to the Darice system is the Watchmaker Cases.  These are metal containers with see thru tops that are stored in a metal box.  You can get these in a variety of sizes from Lee Valley Tools.  As you can see, I've not put any beads in it yet.

Pros:  They come in multiple sizes and numbers in a case.  The case snaps shut for more secure storage.
Cons:  If you like "pretty", the outside case isn't that attractive.  Nothing some stickers or decoupage couldn't fix!

I picked up the next jewel at a thrift store, but I'm sure you can get one at any drugstore.  It's a 28-day pill storage binder.  It's very similar to the Craftmates binder.

Pros:  Takes up very little space.  Perfect if you have a small number of beads.
Cons:  You'd have to put up with the pill labels.  Small concession for an inexpensive system, right?

If you really want an inexpensive bead storage system, go to the medical section of the nearest dollar store.  I got mine at Dollar Tree for $1.  Just like the previous system, it's intended use is to organize pills.

I wrote a tutorial about how I transformed a 7-Day Pill Cabinet into a bead storage system.  You can read about it HERE.

Pros:  I think it's cute!  It's like a little cabinet with pull out drawers.  It takes up very little space.  It's inexpensive.
Cons:  Like the previous system, the individual units don't store a lot of beads, but does hold the small packages of Mill Hill beads just fine.

Lastly, one could always leave the beads in the original packaging.

The sets of four are Mill Hill beads. Since there aren't that many beads of each color, I decided to leave them in the original package.  Each "bubble" opens individually so there's no fear of spilling all of them should an accident occur.  The set of eight is an off brand so I kept them in the packaging also.  The downside to this package is that the bubbles don't open individually.  The entire top flips open.  Spillage could be a major problem if one isn't careful.  I like the looks of the individual tubes so I left them as well.  The lids just pop out and you can pour out what's needed.  Pretty convenient!

REVISED:  The above bead storage ideas are what I use for my seed bead "collection."  I had forgotten that I have a couple of other storage options for the larger beads and charms I use to make scissor fobs.  Read on...

I think this was another thrift store find.  It measures 8 1/4" x 4 1/2" x 1 1/4".

Pros:  The lid snaps securely shut.  Stores large number of larger-sized beads.
Cons:  If there are too many beads in each compartment, they could go flying when the lid is opened.

I also use a Darice Bead Storage System with Flip Top Lids.  These cost less than $5 at JoAnn Fabrics.  Again, I recommend using a 40% off coupon... why pay full price?  The coupons can be downloaded from their website.  There is 24 individual containers housed in a hard plastic case.  It measures 4 1/2" x 6 1/8" x 1 1/4".  I call these my tic-tac case as the individual containers have an opening like tic tac candy containers.

Pros:  The entire system is very compact and holds quite a few beads.
Cons:  Larger beads do not fit through the flip top.  Often I just slide the entire top off to pour out the large beads.  The lid on the plastic case does not snap securely shut... nothing a rubber band couldn't solve.

There you have it.  My different bead storage ideas.  Your mileage may vary...

Until next time,

Stitchy Stuff Saturday 12/13/14

Now that it's arrived at its new home, I can show the ornament I stitched for the SNS2 Christmas Ornament Exchange.

Design: Three Crowns
Designer: Cherished Stitches ~ Louise Henderson
Fabric: 28ct Cream Glasgow Linen
Fibers: DMC
Finishing: Maroon fabric for the backing and maroon cording for hanger

I stitched the ornament over-one and took quite a bit of "creative liberties" with the design, both in floss colors and changing up the design.  As you can see, the design name is Three Crowns, but there are no crowns.  I took them out as well as rearranged the lettering.  If you haven't tried stitching on Glasgow, I highly recommend it.  It's so soft!

Patti from Rocky Mountain Stitcher sent me an ornament for the exchange.  It's called O Tannenbaum by With Thy Needle.

I think it's adorable.
Thank you, Patti!
I had another ornament finish that I sent to my SM, Sue V. in VA.  I think this is so adorable, I may have to make one for myself!


Nov 27, 2014

Stitch From Stash - November

It's the second to the last month of the Stitch From Stash challenge coordinated by Mel at Epic Stitching.  The idea of SFS is to stitch from our stash to reduce spending. 

I started the year off doing sooooo well.  September, October, and November has not seen such greatness.  While I did better this month than I did last month, I ended up buying more on stash.  Although it doesn't count toward the challenge... I've sold quite a bit more than that on my stash-for-sale FB page than I've spent.  So for me, it more than makes up for what I bought.  So what did I buy?  Behold....

The entire Snapperville series ~ Bent Creek
Long Winter ~ Bent Creek
13th Colony series ~ By The Bay Needleart

Winter Cottage Boxer ~ Lizzie Kate
Merry Minis ~ Waxing Moon Designs
Winter Cove ~ By The Bay Needleart

The Four Seasons chartpack ~ Lorri Birmingham

Sheepish Seasons chartpack series ~ Full Circle Designs

Total Spent:  $43.50

New Starts from Stash: Christmas Ornie from JCS Ornament Issue, Sledding Friends Penguin
WIPs or UFOs worked on: Balloon Glow, Midnight Watch
Finishes: Sledding Friends Penguin
Until next time,