What Motivates You To Finish Your Beading Projects?

May 1, 2013

"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then is an empty desk a sign?" ~Albert Einstein

When I've run out of storage bags for my UFOs, it's time to start finishing my beading projects.
I think Einstein was on to something when he said that. When it comes to seed bead patterns, I always have five or six beading projects going at the same time. (Actually, it's more like seven, or eight, or...) When I run out of room on my desk, I start stacking my bead trays. When the stack of bead trays starts to tilt precariously, I start spreading out to the dining room table, my photo table, and even on the seat of the armchairs in the living room.

Sure, it's easy to start a dozen seed bead patterns at a time. They're just so PRETTY! And I get kind of a rush at the beginning of a new beading project, kind of the same way I get that adrenaline rush at the beginning of a road trip. But finishing all these beading projects? Well, sometimes that's a little more difficult. If you've got a bag full of beautiful UFOs in your bead stash, you know exactly what I mean.

Fortunately, there are some things that motivate me to finish my beading projects. Do any of these apply to you?

Yes, this really is what my dining room table looks like most nights. Time to finish some beading projects!
1. I need to actually use the dining room/kitchen/coffee table once in a while. It happens. Once in a while, my family demands that we actually eat dinner at the dining room table, and that means clearing off and moving all the trays, bags, and boxes of beads that I have scattered from one end to the other. If it's a weeknight, I usually just clear off a few feet where the three of us can squeeze in and eat. If we're having guests, well, that means a full-scale cleaning. Thankfully, we don't have guests that often.

2. I want an excuse to buy more beads. If I know that I'm going on a bead-buying trip or heading to a bead show, I'll ramp up my beading in the weeks before the trip. This way, I can tell myself that, oh, shucks, I just used up the last of my 3mm round fire polished beads, so I had better stock up on more!

3. The forecast is calling for snow every day this week. The weather definitely has an effect on my ability to finish my seed bead patterns. Winters up here in the Adirondack mountains can be very long and very cold, so when the forecast calls for five straight days of snow showers and temperatures hovering just above freezing, I take that as a sign to curl up in front of the wood stove and get to work on my beading projects.

4. I've run out of bead trays and bags for storing my half-finished beading projects. I think one of the reasons why I buy so many bead trays and plastic bags is so that I don't have to finish all my beading projects at once. But once in a while, I find that every single last Bead On It Board and Designer's Workpad that I own is filled with a beading project. I suppose I could always squeeze two or three projects in together on a single bead tray, but I just don't know if those beads would play nicely together. And when I find that I've used up the last of the gallon-size plastic storage bags, well, then I know it's time to start finishing up a couple of these seed bead patterns so that I can -- what else? -- start a new one!

5. There's a new outfit in my closet and no jewelry to match it. I'm a frequent visitor to my local resale and thrift shops, mainly because I love to buy new clothes. Another motivator for me to finish up a seed bead pattern is when I find a gorgeous new dress, sweater, or blouse and just have to have a new necklace or pair of beaded earrings to match it!

But, really, sometimes the greatest motivation of all for finishing up my seed bead patterns is knowing that I'll get to wear that finished piece of beaded jewelry, or even just knowing that I learned something new like a variation on a favorite bead-weaving stitch.

Sea Star Bangle by Rachel Nelson-Smith
Need some more motivation for finishing those seed bead patterns? How about a whole slew of fantastic beading books and videos, all in digital format and downloadable instantly? Check out the Seed Bead Ultimate Digital Collection in the Beading Daily Shop. Whether you're brand-new to seed beading or are an experienced beader looking for something to challenge yourself, you're sure to find something that will motivate you to start (and finish) a new seed bead pattern. Get your copy of the Seed Bead Ultimate Digital Collection and find new ways to get busy beading!

Now it's your turn: what motivates YOU to finish those seed bead patterns? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us what helps you get from start to finish when you're working on a beading project!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

mary velez wrote
on May 1, 2013 8:21 AM

wow  and I think that I was the only one,.. now  I fell a little  better! lol

Kawaii630 wrote
on May 1, 2013 8:31 AM

Thank goodness I'm not the only one.   I am so very thankful that I'm not alone.  Now I can show this to my hubby!!!

on May 1, 2013 9:10 AM

I am working on a pile of projects right now. If my space gets too cluttered I will clean then lay out one piece at a time. The more organized I am the easier it is.

callyrose wrote
on May 1, 2013 10:03 AM

boy can i relate with the dining room table clutter! if it isn't beading projects then its sewing machine and "stuff".  sometimes i take apart rather than finish a project because i've lost momentum.

Karen0308 wrote
on May 1, 2013 10:12 AM

Jen.... I love your articles. They are so down-to-earth, helpful and a lot of times hilarious. I think you just described most of us beaders to a tee (or tea...lol). Not only is my kitchen/dining table covered but I have a big box, many shopping bags and containers filled with UFO's. And of course I have to make room for the cat who likes to "help"...lol. One of my problems (among many) is that I love to go over to my little small town bead store and take classes with all the "regular" ladies. I see something in the store or on the schedule and I just HAVE TO do it. Too many projects, too little time...lol. Anyway thanx for another great article.

Karen Mostowy

Thorold, ON. Can.

coonbill6 wrote
on May 1, 2013 11:44 AM

I just laughed out loud when I read about all your " beading places".  I feel like you are my sister....someone understands, Hoooooraaay.   I can't wait for your columns and read them first.  You are just plain great.

bumblesong wrote
on May 1, 2013 12:00 PM

I belong to the Baltimore Bead Society. At our monthly meeting, the women (all but one!) wear what they've just made. So it's motivating to have something new to share at the next meeting. Having a deadline for something I'm making for a gift spurs me on, as well as having a commission deadline!  But just finishing up a project feels so good, that is a motivation in itself.

on May 1, 2013 12:09 PM

I don't wear much jewelry, so much of what I make are gifts for friends.  So, I am motivated by a birthday, holiday, or other gift-giving occasion to finish.  But don't make me count the number of UFO's which are intended for me....

BeadPassions wrote
on May 1, 2013 1:08 PM

Well Well well.  UFOs. Each on a velvet pad in an individual tray stacked in the closet of my studio, on the desk in my studio, on the dresser in my studio, in the bead cabinet... oh, and in my traveling bead case, and currently on the dining room table.  All nice and neat with directions and necessary beads and the unfinished pieces themselves.  And let's not forget the tray with beaded items to be repaired!  Or the "treasure chest" full of beads from bead store/show excursions not yet put away.  It's an illness, I tell you!  One from which I hope never to be cured.  (Except for occasionally finishing another UFO...)

gardiner4221 wrote
on May 1, 2013 1:11 PM

I have been a bit of a "neat-freak" when I paint, write,etc. . . However, with beading I am motivated to finish so I can get going on the next project I want to do.  I do not allow myself to start another beaded, wire, stringing, etc. . . project until I finish the one I am working on.  I work about 50 hours a week at my job and all I want to do is get home to make jewelry.  I think I may be addicted to ordering beads.  I am no longer neat.  I do sort and mark everything, but I have it all stacked around my bead mat..... beads, focal pieces, etc. . .in bags right around the edges of my bead mat.  They call to me...."use me next...."  I never thought I could work with all the organized clutter, but I have and I do!

LilaT wrote
on May 1, 2013 1:15 PM

I only have one beading tray that my husband made for me out oak.  I can't fit more than 2 projects on it at a time.  I like finishing projects.  Also, we live in a converted bus and travel south in winter, so I have limited space to start with.  I have beads in 3 cabinets over the couch, the floor of the 4-ft closet is about a foot high in beads  in boxes and there is also some beading "stuff" under the bed.  My husband says I am crowding the food, lol.  

vleeme wrote
on May 1, 2013 1:18 PM

omg! i'm so glad i'm not alone! i found myself laughing out loud too. i've used up all of my muffin pans, bead trays, and tv trays. i've even managed to find a way to use milk crates to clear my table(they fit right Under the table i'm clearing off!) whatever i  creativity i may lack in making jewelry...i can make up for with a million ways to hide my bead addiction!  ; D

on May 1, 2013 1:48 PM

Oh my. You SO have me pegged. The other motivator that can light a fire under me? Getting a call or email from the friend I promised to do the project for... usually long after expected due date. Guilt. Guilt will do it.

kata@12 wrote
on May 1, 2013 2:05 PM

Ah, at last I can prove to my family, I'm not really crazy.  I also have proof I'm just creative, not a hoarder.  My good friend said to me, " If you don't have it you can't make it.  There is nothing worse than almost being done with a project, and you have to go to the store to buy a finding or bead.  

I don't know if it can really happen, but I have been carefully matching patterns to bagged ufo's and placing them together in a set of plastic drawers.

Next step, hopefully grab the bag and start beading. I read once...      

"It all starst with a needle and thread."

ebead wrote
on May 1, 2013 3:20 PM

Newest motivation to finish a project: I want to take a picture of it and post on Facebook!

ebead wrote
on May 1, 2013 3:24 PM

BTW, I have an almost infinite number of trays for UFOs, at least for the smaller projects. I use the plastic lids from those square containers from Trader Joe's... the kind they use for so many goodies, from ready-to-eat chicken salad to dark chocolate nonpareils. I probably have close to 100 of them, which is terribly enabling when it comes to UFOs.  

ebead wrote
on May 1, 2013 3:24 PM

BTW, I have an almost infinite number of trays for UFOs, at least for the smaller projects. I use the plastic lids from those square containers from Trader Joe's... the kind they use for so many goodies, from ready-to-eat chicken salad to dark chocolate nonpareils. I probably have close to 100 of them, which is terribly enabling when it comes to UFOs.  

DebiBiss wrote
on May 1, 2013 3:27 PM

Not sure if it's a comfort to know there's a whole lot of us with passions and not obsessions in the bead world.  However, passions also include rubber stamping and sewing.  My daughter refuses to stay with me when she visits because she is sure i don't need TWO craft rooms.

It's funny how things just speak to us.  My grandaughter used to say, "My gramma has a bead store at her house."

It certainly does feel good when a project gets finished.

Unfortunately, my stamping room has so much stuff I've moved into dining room and then..... you get the picture :>)  a fellow crafter/beader/sewer....

CrankyBird wrote
on May 1, 2013 5:59 PM

I'm motivated to finish a bead project, when it inspires me to do so.

My long, full answer follows.

Bead projects get finished when I'm in a good mood.

Nothing is worse than a project you hated to make, or in this instance, finish.

Mine get stored until their day under the sun comes, so to speak.

I know what's in that huge pile of bead bags.

I also, look at them as beginning tries.

You thought you knew what you wanted to make, but it didn't go as planned. = Bead bag.

There is nothing wrong with bead bags, trays, etc.

Run out, buy some more.

I buy lots of freezer type, Zip Lock bags, on sale.

The regular ones, opaque and get brittle over time, the freezer ones last a lot longer.

Make what motivates you.

Write down the pattern. (I forget a lot - Even to write things down. sigh)

That way you have it, when you start up again.

Take pics of what our doing, quite inspiring when seen in a different light and mush easier to see, than in a gaggie.

Friends ask, What did you make out of that .....?

Sometimes this makes me go back and use a baggie, in a new project.

They can come in handy that way.

So, my answer is, who cares how many bead bags there are?

They are a sign of an active artistic mind.

Be proud of those bead bags, your an artist composing a symphony.

Hum, mixed metaphors, a sign of good beading.

Sometimes, if my inspiration runs out.

I'll carry it with me, to make me think about it and become re-inspired.

Not often, but sometimes.

That's it for now.

Lorene@9 wrote
on May 1, 2013 8:21 PM

thank you Jen for your great article, I can relate totally to all of the above beading situations, sadly.  I make additional beading trays by inserting simple bead mats into suitable picture frames without the glass. They stack very well unfortunately, but are great when you just have to move on quickly to the next exciting urgent project! It is a delightful disease I don't think I will recover from.

terezi wrote
on May 1, 2013 8:54 PM

#5 is the very reason I got INTO beading, over 20 years ago! Bought a big chunky red turtleneck and wanted a long red-and-gold necklace to wear with it. Couldn't find one in any store, so I got the bright idea to MAKE one. And then just kept going...

on May 2, 2013 9:45 AM

Your article was hilariously funny, and I really enjoyed reading it out loud to my husband.  We laughed at some of the similarities in my life (that I'm sure is the case for most avid beaders).  If you read this article and DON'T notice any shared traits, then you must be a really new beader.  Just wait, it'll get yah !  It's just a matter of time...(think Jaws soundtrack.....)

redhatlady wrote
on May 2, 2013 12:14 PM

My motivation is always I can't wait to start the next one!  So many projects and always new ones published in every issue of the magazines!  Who needs more?

DeborahMB wrote
on May 2, 2013 12:26 PM

Enjoyed your article!  It reminds me of my partner who gives our home a lived-in feeling with her projects in progress where she likes to sit.  As for my beading projects, I confine them to two beading trays, one for the living room (on a book shelf when not in use) and one on my computer desk downstairs.  The rest wait in line to be done in a large plastic box with dividers stored in my computer desk.  As tempting as it is to get them out too, I am forced to finish what is on the trays because I have limited space to work [on].  And my partner’s lovely oases of chaos is a good reminder of what our home would look like if we both were not basically clean freaks.

Jocille wrote
on May 3, 2013 2:59 AM

I don't have any UFO's.  Mine are WIPs (Works In Progress).  My WIPs are in empty bank check boxes and these boxes are inside larger plastic boxes under the bed, under my desk, and on shelves in the garage.  Every few months I go thru a few boxes and then wonder "what in the world was I thinking ... what an ugly idea."  Then I just stuff it back where I found it and start a NEW project ... err ... WIP.  LOL!

Sally@46 wrote
on May 3, 2013 1:39 PM

In our area of beaders, I am known as a finisher.  I was taught early to finish what you start.  No you can't begin a new project but you are nearly done so finish and we will get ready for the new project.  I also do not like messes.  I may not always file the beads from a project on completion but soon the basket gets filed.  I get in a mess when I have classes and try to have samples for the new class while creating the samples for future classes.  I do not let myself begin unless it is really needed a project until I complete what I am on.  Earrings for it is also part of the project.  I do get in a problem when I have to order and wait for beads but generally I can keep busy with the filing of beads until it comes.  I find keeping control of your space is hard time comsuming and boring but I like not hunting for things.  So I make a day to get control before I forge ahead.  It is like if you finish you will get to eat ice cream.....so I do.

on May 3, 2013 5:05 PM

I too have a few projects going at a time. I also have quilting projects, sewing projects, and knitting projects. I have to be in the mode to do something. Each day I decide what I feel like doing and do that. Most of the time it is the beading that wins.

Sometimes my husband asks if I will ever use up all these beads? Then I get buisy so I can justify getting more beads.

Anna Paradox wrote
on May 4, 2013 7:31 AM

I definitely like to finish jewelry so I can give it away. Birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day -- they are all reasons to bead because nothing beats giving someone a beautiful piece of jewelry and seeing their face light up!

Tapestrygal wrote
on May 4, 2013 8:29 AM

I pledged to myself last Spring when I took up beading that I would finish a project before starting a new one. Well, that lasted 3 months. I got hooked. I too have a WIP container, and another container with sets waiting for me to start.

Biggest motivator for me is that someone is waiting for the project. What started out as a "Hobby", very quickly turned into a business.

I admit that the most pleasurable items for me are the ones I do because I am inspired, not commissioned. Have to pay for the beads somehow, Right????

DebR@26 wrote
on May 4, 2013 9:29 AM

I just buy more bead mats and very carefully stack a new mat on top of an unfinished project to start a new one.

on May 5, 2013 2:30 PM

OMG I love knowing there are others "just like me" out there in all corners of the world.  It makes me smile :) and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.  My husband and I often set up TV tables to eat supper at because my projects in various stages of completion have overflowed and there is no longer any open space at the kitchen table for its originally intended purpose.  When my two children, now in their 20's, come home to visit, the amount of scurrying around I have to do to accommodate them at the kitchen table is really totally embarrassing.  On the rare occasion  that my kitchen table actually gets cleaned off, I find myself saying "I really need to make a better effort to keep this up.  A clean table really does look nice."  However, almost instantly I start another project that requires lots of supplies to be gathered from all corners of the house - you know what I'm talking about - and most projects are not completed in a days time, so rather than put stuff away that just needs to be taken back out tomorrow........................    Gift giving does however tend to lead to project completion.  Who doesn't love when their creations are appreciated by others?  Yes, I agree with the excitement of starting a new project - it can't be beat!  I do tell everyone that knows me - supplies have to be aged to that perfect patina before being used.  I think it is a rule I once read somewhere.  Anyway, thanks for making me feel "normal" ish for growing my bead stash and my WIP's.

on May 5, 2013 2:30 PM

OMG I love knowing there are others "just like me" out there in all corners of the world.  It makes me smile :) and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.  My husband and I often set up TV tables to eat supper at because my projects in various stages of completion have overflowed and there is no longer any open space at the kitchen table for its originally intended purpose.  When my two children, now in their 20's, come home to visit, the amount of scurrying around I have to do to accommodate them at the kitchen table is really totally embarrassing.  On the rare occasion  that my kitchen table actually gets cleaned off, I find myself saying "I really need to make a better effort to keep this up.  A clean table really does look nice."  However, almost instantly I start another project that requires lots of supplies to be gathered from all corners of the house - you know what I'm talking about - and most projects are not completed in a days time, so rather than put stuff away that just needs to be taken back out tomorrow........................    Gift giving does however tend to lead to project completion.  Who doesn't love when their creations are appreciated by others?  Yes, I agree with the excitement of starting a new project - it can't be beat!  I do tell everyone that knows me - supplies have to be aged to that perfect patina before being used.  I think it is a rule I once read somewhere.  Anyway, thanks for making me feel "normal" ish for growing my bead stash and my WIP's.

CryssT wrote
on May 5, 2013 7:52 PM

I am very limited on room and that definitely limits UFOs.  I usually have two projects going at a time and no more (no place to put things).  I also have two cats which really means I can't have things stacked - cats just seem to know where the loose beads and focals are.