Long gone are the days when I would bead sitting cross-legged on my bedroom floor, scooping my seed beads out of plastic containers and trays. These days, I've got myself a pretty sweet place for beading, and I've armed myself with quite an arsenal of beading tools.
As I started taking my beadwork and my bead-weaving more seriously, I started seeking out the best quality beading tools I could afford. If you're looking to splurge on some new, high-quality beading tools, might I suggest a few of my new favorites:
1. Thread Catcher by JudiPatuti Yes, I have always wanted one of these amazing thread catchers from JudiPatuti, and my wonderful friend Marcia DeCoster gifted one to me a few months ago! Why do I love it so much? I can just plop it down anywhere I happen to be beading, whether it's on the dining room table or in my favorite armchair, and I don't have to worry about keeping track of all my thread scraps. For someone who likes to create beaded jewelry designs with lots of small components, this is perfect for taming the pile of thread scraps that builds up on my beading tray!
In addition to the sturdy construction of this thread catcher, I love the range of cheerful and eye-popping fabrics to choose from. Judi also has a wonderful line of portable beading mats and crafting totes that you can add to your collection of high-end beading tools.
2. Bead On It Board And speaking of beading trays, my first love for professional beading trays will always be Diane Hyde's Designer's Workpads. But since Diane is phasing out production of those wonderful beading supplies, I am thrilled to have discovered another truly luxurious beading tray. The Bead On It Board is handmade in the United States, and can be personalized with your choice of beading surfaces and fabrics for the bumper that surrounds the tray.
After I received my first tray, I was so impressed that I immediately ordered two more. Beading on these trays truly makes me feel like a princess with the soft work surface and the colorful fabrics! If you're the type of beader who likes to keep your seed beads separated into their own little compartments, this may not be the board for you. But for my favorite bead embroidery and bead-weaving projects, these Bead On It boards are my new favorite surfaces on which to bead.
3. Hand Carved Wood Needle Case A far cry from the little inexpensive wood needle cases, this hand carved wooden needle case by Tom Andreas is truly a luxury beading supply that any beader would love to receive! This is not a needle case that you'll want to hide under some beadwork, though. You'll want to show off the smooth, warm wood of this needle case. The inside is just as beautiful as the outside, and it's tall enough to hold even your big-eye beading needles. Since I've recently switched over to using the Tulip beading needles exclusively, I love the idea that my needle case is of the same high quality as the beading needles it holds!
4. CraftOptics Telescopes The CraftOptics telescopes are probably one of the best investments a serious beader can make. Not only do these magnifying lenses ease eye strain by giving you a better closeup view of your beading, they might also reduce the aches and pains in your neck, back, and arms that come from holding your beadwork in an uncomfortable position! Are they a big investment? Yes, no doubt. Are they worth it? For someone like me who has suffered from migraines for most of my life, most definitely!
Can High-Quality Beading Tools Make a Difference In Your Beading?
For me, the answer is absolutely, yes. When I'm working with high-quality beading tools that border on the luxurious, I definitely notice a difference in the end result of my beading projects. I'm more likely to pay attention to those tiny details that can make or break my beading projects when I feel like I'm using something beautiful in the process of creating something else beautiful.
Of course, if you're looking for some of the best beading projects around to go with those high-end beading tools, look no further than Beadwork magazine. For fifteen years, Beadwork magazine has brought you the very best in beaded jewelry design ideas and beading projects from some of the beading world's best-known bead artists. And even better, all digital back issues of Beadwork magazine are on sale for 50% off! (Sale ends Friday, October 26, 2012 at 12 midnight MST.)
So take a look through your collection of Beadwork magazines, or maybe think about starting to replace your old paper magazines with digital copies. They don't take up a lot of space, and each digital issue contains all of the same great content as the print edition. Check out all the digital back issues of Beadwork magazine available now in the Beading Daily Shop and find out how it feels to bead in the lap of luxury.
So, what do you think? Do you prefer to use high quality beading tools? What was your biggest beading tool splurge? Was it worth it? Share your thoughts and leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog!