Sorry for screaming, but it’s JUST SO EXCITING!!!!

The classes are all full, but the vendor area is open to anybody who pays the $2.00 admission charge, ($5 for the whole weekend) and that works out to less than a dime per vendor, I think.  And it’s not just yarn, Knitting Lagniappe has wonderful ceramics, and there was a wonderful handmade basket vendor last year.  And the booth with the little travelling project bags that were all SO FANTASTIC that they completely sold out of inventory on the first day and had to stay up all night making more, just so they would be able to take orders.  (Yes, they were THAT cool! and would work for beading as well as they do for knitting.)  They will be back.

Many of the vendors are local but not all, and most of the farms don’t really have a storefront where you can just walk up some afternoon and squeeze yarn, so this is a great showcase, and a chance to meet a lot of the local knitting store owners too.

We will be in a slightly different spot this year, more toward the center row, off to the left as you walk in the main door.  You’ll hear the noise of the Giant Bead Bowl being sifted through, I’m sure.

And we will have all of the colors of our new Dancing Leaves kits, along with our Tila and Triangle kits.  We have two new Limited Edition triangle kits for this summer, too – Lizzie’s Ray of Sunshine and Michell’s Pacific Coast!  Both are perfect for blue jeans, hot days, and relaxing in the shade.

AND we bought a MBT of size 8 and 6 round seed beads for the Betsy Beads book!  They are (say it in that voice, now!) “***FABULOUS!!!!***” (Tried to get the book too, I guess you all got there first.  Dangit.)  And a lot of other wonderful colors for everything else!  We’ll have those with us, and lots of beading supplies, looms, and fun!

Come see us!  But don’t go down the close-to-the-airport 121 way, that leads to undue traffic stress.  From North Dallas, come down 121 to the Highway 26 exit, follow that till N Main Street in Grapevine, go South (left) until you are just a couple of blocks away from 121/114, and look for the Library/Convenvention center on the left.

Really Important!

In case you have missed us whining talking about Inventory, it’s coming, SOON.  In fact, we will be counting in Fort Worth this Sunday, January 3rd.  And because all of us in Carrollton have to go help, the Carrollton store will be closed that day.  It’s really OK, because everybody who works in Fort Worth is coming over to count in Carrollton on January 10th.  So it all evens out.

So this all means that the Carrollton Artful Bead will be CLOSED on Sunday January 3rd and Sunday January 10th. 

And both stores will be OPEN 10 – 6 on Saturday the 2nd. 

And because we don’t have to count anything that is already sold, you never know what may happen!

Bead Stash Management

If you love beads, you will eventually end up with Stash Issues.  Beads aren’t the most difficult things to store, certainly.  You don’t have to worry about moths or humidity very much.  But they’re heavy.  You need to keep that in mind when reviewing your storage options.

The perfect stash management system for most of us will keep our beads safe, visible, and easy to find and use.  For most of us, having our stash nicely tucked away in a closet is not a good option.  You can’t tell what you have, or what might go together if it’s all in boxes on shelves in the dark.  My solution was to hang up my favorites, like this:


Arranged somewhat by color or texture, they hang on one of those wire grids from “organization” stores.  I use shower curtain hooks, because they can easily hold multiple strands securely and you can easily remove one particular strand.  Be sure to use enough wall anchor type screws to hold the weight when you do this!  Ask the guy at the hardware store how many to use.  This rack has nearly 300 pounds hanging on it.   Screws put directly into drywall will fall out!  And it’s very exciting when it happens, but good beads die in the process.  (Please don’t ask how I know this.  It was very upsetting to me and the cats, and I lost 4 large agate leaves.)  (And for the record, having a colored wall behind it isn’t a good idea – it can throw off the colors.  I put heavy white paper behind it sometimes.)

For glass, I’ve used plastic boxes for several years.  Beads are arranged by color or by type, such as “Flowers and Leaves” or “Fake Stone glass.”   This is “Blues – Aqua and Cobalt.”


I keep these boxes on the heavy wire shelving, stacked 2 or 3 high, usually.  Remember, each shelf can only hold so much weight, keep in mind what it says on the box when you buy the shelves.  For more fragile beads, I use the boxes that have the little movable dividers to keep them separate. 

I don’t like the hard plastic (brittle cracky) boxes that they sell in the Craft section most of the time.  I get my storage from the fishing section of sporting goods stores or discount stores.   For some reason, a box with a brown label that says something about fishing on it costs a lot less than the exact same box with a pink or purple label that says craft storage on it!

Some people like to use the flip-top boxes to keep each bead type separate.  They can be put into trays or small plastic boxes made just for them.  They’re handy for Swarovski crystals, for example, because you can tap out as many as you need and be sure the cats can’t scatter the rest all over the room.  (Although the boxes to make wonderful Cat-hockey pucks, and they love the noise, it’s not a good idea.)  Flip-tops also work well for crimps, clamshells, jump rings, etc.

And how to store focal beads?  Get a branch from a bush, one with a nice arrangement of smaller branches.   (Crepe myrtle and photinia work well.)  Let it dry for a couple of months, then rub (or sand) off the bark.  Trim it into shape as necessary.  If it is big enough around, you can nail it to a base, or you can hang it up on the wall using wire and a couple of picture hooks.  Hang your focal beads, pendants, big clasps, and other really cool finds on the branches using bits of ribbon, embroidery floss, and yarn.   Make sure they’re all hanging at different lengths. 

The important thing is that you can find what you’re looking for easily, (to avoid the “I know I have this at home, but I’m buying  another because I JUST can’t find it!” syndrome)  and your beads are stored safely.  Some famous bead artists keep all their stash in large shallow bowls scattered all around the studio, so they are both inspiration and easily accessible storage.   Do anything that works for you, and feel free to ask us about management options!

p.s. – what’s your favorite storage solution?  Please share in the comments!!