Friday, March 7, 2014

Freeform Friday: travel beading

Seed beads. Bead embroidery.
Needles and thread.
Focals and fabric.
delicas, 15's and 11's...
glass and gemstones.
rounds, drops, daggers, lentils... 

This month I am going on a real vacation. The kind that is longer than 3 days and requires a passport. We are going on a cruise. Not the aptly named Bead Cruise, since I know that's what you were thinking. But I plan to make my cruise a bead cruise on my own.

I have a hard time sitting still doing nothing. (What others call relaxing, LOL) I think I will adore poolside lounging, in the shade, reading. But there will be times we are hanging out with family, and I need to have something to do with my hands. Enter bead embroidery. Formerly my snow day guilty pleasure - now my at-sea serenity.

So I google "travel bead mat". Because I am thinking there must be cool products out there.

I started with the Beading Pal by Ezel Findings. I had seen it recommended on Facebook by Moggie Moyer of Bead my Love. Oh its a beauty! But it is $100 and that was definitely beyond my budget at this time. And since seed bead aren't my main thing medium I can't justify the splurge.

I liked this one from Unkamen Supplies on Etsy.  The price was right, the four flaps open out and the work surface inside is black velvet. It seemed a little too big for my needs though. 

The BYOBeads box is a brilliant thing! It is the creation of Leslie Rogalski of The Sleepless Beader. Our paths had crossed many times and I was pleased to finally meet her at Berks Bead Bazaar this past weekend. This tin kit includes bead mat, travel scissors, and a magnet for needles. Its deep enough to hold your tubes of beads...  And a great deal at $20.  (um. When I went to buy one they were sold out...)

So I am trying to pack and organize seed beads and projects... I have the BEADSMITH sticky mat that I will try, and one small box of thread and needles. I love the antique butter pat dish as a beading dish. And while I know it may seem silly to travel with china... it was like $2.50 at the local antique store, and it makes me happy. I have been planning (simple) projects and selecting beads...
The essentials, and a few planned pieces...
Planned pieces and packing options: Fox Kitsune pouch by Meredith Dillman. Triple spiral pouch is one I felted and embroidered. 
While I love the bead travel accessories on the market - I may be relying on my selection of pouches. That and the ever handy dandy ziploc bags... I was considering repurposing the wooden cigar box, but I am on the fence about that one. Then as I was starting to take pictures for this post I pulled ALL these cabs that I wanted to take and do something with... Oh boy! The cruise isn't THAT long. 

Polymer, stoneware and earthenware cabs by... moi! 
So - off I go in to the wild blue yonder. Armed with seed beads and needles, to relax like it was my job. <chuckle> I will update you on my progress later - how much or how little I actually accomplished!

For now - do you ever travel with jewelry projects? Whats your favorite travel gadget or organizer? 



  1. Glad to meet another soul who uses butter pat dishes for beading! I have some that came from my family.

    1. I have a stash of them in my worktable drawer, butter pat dishes and mismatched white saucers. They are my beat table standards! Nice to meet a kindred spirit!

  2. for beading while traveling I use a couple of cases. Once is a bag that about 4 of the clear compartmentalized boxes go in. It also has some side pockets. This stays in the room. For actual beading out and about, I have a small black zippered case (I think a set of jewelry tools originally came in it). It has a bit of velumy stuff on one side, and some elastic loops on the other. I can fit basic tools and the stuff I need for a single project in it and it works as a beading surface! Plus, when zipped up, it fits in a purse or bag.

    I love seed beads, and I find that the best projects for traveling are ones with lots of little motif pieces. That way you have easy start and stop points, and you don't have to try to remember a giant pattern, just a little section. Then you worry about putting it all together back at home!

    Plus, don't forget to pack something to carry home the beads you pick up during the trip!

    1. Thank you Salla! great advice. I see the wisdom in the in-room master stash and the to-go bag. Now I have to research the ports of call in case there are stores... I predict a few shells and stones as souvenirs to create with as well.

  3. I had to laugh at the photo with all the cabs. Because that is totally me when I travel with projects. I like to travel with about 1 years' worth of projects. Plus plan for every contingency.


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