As my beading addiction grows I find that as the Queen song says "I want it all". As a newbie I'm currently getting rid of the cheap beads I bought to use in other crafts before buying the good stuff. I went into my local bead store last week around lunch time and nearly passed out. I had to keep telling my Mum to keep me walking so we could have lunch before getting to the real agenda.
My problem is and will probably continue to be, that unless there is a specific project to complete I could end up with more beads than I know what to do with. Is there a knack to buying beads? Do you only go bead shopping when you need to complete a project? Maybe there should be a newbie kit that has a variety of beads in complementary colours so we can play!!! I've found that I actually seem to like projects that include pearls and bicones but that may change as I can afford the crystals etc.
Do you have a strategy when you go bead shopping or do you just wing it? Let me know.
Thanks a lot Lyn, now that song is stuck in my head!(lol) I'll go have to listen to some classic INXS now, or, considering it's bedtime I might be better off playing a little Icehouse or maybe some Gotye.
My strategy is simple: walk into store drool, see something pretty and shiny; PECK! Sorry, I know it's pretty ridiculous. I do look for sales, though.
You can never go wrong with crystals and pearls. They are timeless; you can make them look very antique to very avant garde. The choices are limitless. Try a little lucite too. You might think it's plastic at first, but trust me it's not. It's a composite material, and it often looks like glass. It's great when you want to do floral designs. I do not prefer plastic at all. It does look plastic, it looks cheap, and it doesn't hold up. It is definitely not worth it. Besides, semi-precious and other natural materials are on sale all the time so they're more affordable.
I can relate! Usually I do have a project in mind before I buy beads. But sometimes I just go window shopping for beads online and based on the beads start to visualize a new design. Just the other day I had some beads in my online shopping cart for a necklace design I visualized while shopping for beads. Lately, I try my best to stick to a design idea before buying new beads so that they will be used and not just end up in my bead stash. lol
Lyn, a good topic for discussion............. I do buy SOME beads on impulse, normally in colors that I like and will use up and sometimes these will be on sale. Often these beads will give me an inspiration and I buy the needed beads to finish the concept. I like greens and pinky peachy colors and have a nice "collection" of them....LOL.
I think if you buy impulsively, do so in colors that you really like and wear. Then they won't just sit. I decided that I like looming best and invested my bucks in delicas. Every time I sold something, I'd reinvest in more delicas and now I have all the colors and almost all the finishes in delicas. But that does not stop me from having beads that I may never use up. Strands of lampwork done by local artists, strands of rondelles that a friend over bought at a show......I was happy to relieve her of some of her guilt..
I wear less heavy pieces as I age........ so my lampwork beads tend to sit. Remember to buy the little beads that will work with those focal beads that just grab you and make you put them in a basket and buy. The little guys can always be used up and are downright inexpensive compared to the focals and crystals and pearls. They will form your basics, it is always nice to go to a seed bead stash and pull out "just what I need" to make an inspired necklace or bracelet or earrings or pin.
I always check sales first, but that is not the main reason for buying, in fact that is probably where I buy the least........... it is on sale for a reason. Maybe the shop overbought on an item, but maybe that color or shape is just out of style. Still, if it is YOUR COLOR, don't pass it by, grab it and grin. Donna
When I first got into beading I wanted it all too. Actually i still do kinda want it all :) but my budget requires me to be more discerning with my purchases. I've always been drawn to seed beads. Whenever I would go into a bead store the seed beads were the first thing I oohed and aahed over. As much as I love them though they intimidated me so I wouldn't buy many and instead I bought other larger beads and components to string. Then most of them would sit there for a long, long, long time taking up space. After several years of letting seed beads intimidate me I finally dove in and started to wonder why on earth I took so long to jump on the seed bead bandwagon.
My advice to you is to invest from the get-go in the beads that you love. You will use them sooner or later and won't have any regrets. If on the other hand, you buy things that you don't swoon over but you purchased because of your personal economics you might find yourself having wasted a lot of money.
Oh, I have trained myself over the years to just say no to beads.....unless they are Swarovski crystals, fire-polish beads, and seed beads. All bets are off when it comes to these :D
Ahh, Lyn.. I think this is a problem that everyone has - the ever growing stash of beads. My stash has currently taken over the majority of my bedroom, until I can get my own place. Haha!
Most of the time, when I am making a trip to the bead shop, I will write out a shopping list, get to the shop and realise I have left it at home.. Believe me, this is most often than never!!!So I'll usually wander around the shop, grabbing anything that tickles my fancy while desperately trying to remember off the top of my head what was on that dang list and then I will get home and realise I have forgotten the main reason I went to the shop in the first place *insert temper tantrum here*
If I am going to a Bead Show, I usually don't take a list but I have learnt one very important thing..- Do a lap of all the stalls, without buying anything. Then on your second lap you can start buying (kind of like monopoly... ) Otherwise, I usually blow my budget in the first 2 stalls and see something later that I loved with no money left.
So, needless to say the majority of time time - let's face it - I'm winging it, most most of the time not intentionally. Haha!
I definitely want it all - unfortunately my budget (and my husband) won't allow me to go hog wild. I do tend to buy things on a whim if I see something that resonates with me. I have several colors that I gravitate to - turquoise, purples, blues and anything that sparkles. I try to go to bead stores with a specific list or some beads or focals that I am trying to match. The same with the bead shows. My downfall is getting distracted by what I like versus what I need. I try so hard to stick with my budget, but I will admit to going over-budget more often than not. Based on my "wants vs needs" my stash is growing out of control...I admit, I am addicted. I am not a good one to give advise...
One thing that I wish someone had told me when I first started buying seed beads is this. When you are buying seed beads, buy several sizes in the same color. So, for instance, if you are buying red size 11's, buy some 15's and 8's in the same color. So many projects use several sizes, and when you go back later it is almost impossible to match the same color since they are made in batches.
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I'm right there with ya, Lyn, only I've been beading for 8 years. Where I live, there's no such thing as going into a bead store because I live in a rural area where there are no bead stores. I mostly go to the bead shows in Denver which is 100+ miles away, but I save up all year to do it (or I shop on-line). I go to two shows a year with the biggest budget allowed at the time. As a newbie, you will eventually find that you can NEVER have too many beads! And when I go to the bead shows, you said it, I WANT IT ALL!!
I don't buy for specific projects. I buy what appeals to me and then the creative ideas as to what to do with it come later. What I have learned over the years I've gone to bead shows is that one year, a particular gemstone will be abundant and cheap, and the next year it will be expensive and hard to find. So if there is a particular gemstone that you really like and you see it, buy it, and buy multiple strands, because it may not be there the next year.
The other thing I've learned, is if you REALLY like that gem strand, buy more than one, because you very likely won't see it again! That has happened to me many, many times in my early bead-buying years!
I find bead shops extremely expensive. you can find the same gems and findings at bead shows for a lot less. However, that doesn't stop me from shopping in bead stores on the rare occasion I visit family members living in cities!
Check out my Etsy Store......
Check out my Etsy Beads Store.......
I started out, buying beads for projects in an RV. Now I have got enough to start a bead store...
I am designing patterns and making up kits. Someday, I gonna sell them on Etsy or Ebay.
so I can buy more "Gem Stones and Pearls and Crystals" ..
I joined a couple of "Buyers Group" from some of the other Beading Forums. I can buy below Wholesale. I always have a growing list of "Next Time".
If it is "Shiney", it will go home with me.
Ps. I love the idea of buying the same color in 3 different sizes. Wow! Great Tip!
Blessed are those who can Give, without remembering
and Take with out Forgetting
well isn't it just a normal beaders carrer or way :) one of my friends in austria had a great classical course of bead addiction:
step 1: you buy only what is said in the tutorial
step 2: starting to grow a little storage
step 3: then stockpiling like a little squirrel for the cold times, and starting a own room for the hobby :)
step 4: woman bethinks of it and it will be bought only what is needed again
step 5: who knows, there comes the proper bead hoard :))
i hope i can allways stay between step 2 and 4 , step 1 i never had, kept collecting beads and other creative stuff since i can say the word bead. the beads never got moldy...i use the lot too
May the beads be with you!
As a recovering knitter, I know about the stash habit. I have an entire closet full of unused but highly treasured yarns. Someday...
With beads, my problem is that I fall in love with ones with rather large price tags (oh for some malachite and fire opal!!), so my wallet is what keeps this stash in check! So far I have only bought beads with specific projects in mind unless they are on sale for a really great price. We'll see how long this lasts! I am sure I will someday have a bead closet in addition to my yarn closet.