Monday, June 16, 2014

Amuse your Muse with Rebecca of Songbead - Bead Storage

Hello ABS-ers! I hope you are all having a great June. I'm staring my first craft fair in the face - next weekend in Holmfirth I am one of the exhibitors are The Art Market. It's a truly great show, and - true to form - I am pretty sure I don't currently have enough stock! I foresee a busy few days ahead of me....

This month's theme is bead storage - a topic which seems to have really captured your imagination! It's definitely captured mine, so much so in fact that I treated myself to this book to try and help inspire/organise me....

I haven't had much time to peruse it yet, but I have done a couple of questionnaires at the front of the book and discovered that I am a cross between 'The Idealist' and 'The Adventurer' when it comes to decorating my home, and that I have an 'Earth-Element/Blue' Personality! Whatever that means. I can't really see me suddenly becoming Ms Organised but you've got to start somewhere, haven't you?  As I work pretty much all day every day in my studio (which is currently a big lovely room, and about to change to a much smaller room with our move in 6 weeks), organisation is something that I really need to prioritise. Do you have your own studio? Please add a link in the comments to photos - I would love to see and share here next week!

One very talented artist agreed to share a shot of her studio with us this week - polymer clay artist Pippa Chandler of Pips Jewellery. This is an 'after' shot and Pip says:

"I do wish that I could arrange things so that they were beautiful to look at, like the studios you see sometimes in adverts or on Pintrest. They always look so pretty. 

The trouble is, this is a working studio and so functionality has to come before aesthetics!! At least it is clean now!!"

Personally, I think this studio looks very pretty as well as practical - a lovely place to be and to work. 

Maneki shared SO many wonderful links with us! Here are some of her storage solutions and links to her original blog posts:

Seed bead organisation: "Not pretty, but more useful than my earlier system"

And here's a novel idea - repurposing a pet feeder to hold tubes of beads! Bowls can be of great use to keep a desktop tidy when there are things that need to be used frequently throughout the week i.e. need to be kept out. I would love to have a collection of pottery dishes to keep such oft-used items!

Salla has so many seed beads that the pretty glass vials from last week definitely wouldn't work for her! She keeps them in large tubes and has a large fishing tackle box to store them all together. Extremely practical and good for moving around when needed. 

Tinfoil Halo shared some pictures of her bead storage

"A couple of years ago I got a few cheapy screw storage bins and some Christmas lights for back lighting."

I flipping well *love* the back-lighting! What a totally brilliant idea! 

And lastly for now, Ann shared something that she would like in her fantasy studio - former-ABS editor Erin Siegel's fantastic pegboard system. 

What a beautiful studio Erin has! The pegboard system is absolutely inspired. It may well be on my fantasy studio wish list now too - thank you for sharing Ann!

What's on your fantasy studio wish list? Do you have any tricks and tips for storing your beads? I would love to see and share here. I'm even considering making this a monthly series - Inside YOUR Studio! - as part of my Amuse the Muse series. I love seeing where people work and getting inspired. It doesn't matter whether it's an outside studio in an artists' co-op or a humble dining room table - it is always wonderful to see where artisans turn art beads and more into jewellery. Would you like to see this series? Share your thoughts and links in the comments below!

And now for the BeadBlogger Links:

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at


Liona (Blue Merlin Creations) said...

What a fun read! If I could ever arrange a space to look like Pippa's, I would love it - organized, functional, fun, and bright! As it is, I work at our big kitchen table, and I store all of my supplies above our kitchen cupboards. My own space would be lovely, but that's not in the cards right now. The advantage I have is loads of natural light and a beautiful yard to look out on when I work! (Oh, and it also means I can keep an eye on my kids!) I like the idea of seeing other people's work spaces...I'm sure there are lots of helpful tips to be learned.

Barb Fernald said...

Backlit storage! I LOVE that idea! It would be so much easier to see what I've stuffed into those tiny drawers if I did that! Thanks.

Kathy Lindemer said...

Any of these ideas would be an upgrade for me! I really need to improve my work area. You have given me some food for thought!

Cory Tompkins said...

I love looking at other peoples spaces and things to get an idea of who they are and ideas for my own space. I love Pipa's photo, the table is large and the light is very nice. My house is a bit dark and work at the dining room table. In my dream studio there would be lots of light, a nice view from the windows and shelves for my cats to oversee my work without laying on top of it :O)

bairozan said...

Would be great to have a studio to start with - we have a garage that we're upgrading to use as a workshop with my husband and I got him some pegboards for last Christmas - I think there just might be some space for my tools :) The backlight idea is brilliant. Some great ideas in this post!

Ema Kilroy said...

Oh how I would love to have a bright sunny spot for my work area. Pippa's studio is lovely! I have those same storage boxes...the lights behind them...BRILLANT! And Erin's space is just divine. I think there's going to be some reorganizing in my meager space this summer. Great post Rebecca.

Sharyl said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your post on studio storage! I hosted a challenge/bloghop Feb-Mar of 2014 on this topic, and so I've linked to your post on my blog. I'm hoping everyone who participated will come take a look at your ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Sarajo Wentling said...

I'm looking forward to the day I can actually convert our office into a real studio space for myself so I love seeing all these great ideas!

Until I get that space, I at least have some fun bead storage going on for my art beads! You can see my post with pictures of the before and after project of turning an antique embroidery counter display cabinet into pretty storage on my blog:

Beads & Beyond said...

I love pretty but prefer practical! My new lampwork and artisan component/bead storage is both!