Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Loving the Bead Mats :)

I've seen bead mats around for awhile, but for some reason I never had a desire to use them. After all, I already had my own system, why should I mess with it? I finally picked one up about a month ago (it's cheap after all) just to experiment with...and I'm in love!

Why? Well, because my beads don't go everywhere any more! Ok, they still do to a degree, but no where near as bad as they did before. Plus, I was able to use it to augment my normal system!

What is my normal system? I have these little round plastic trays that I get at Craft Warehouse periodically when going through their bargain bins of beads. My seed beads go in there. Sometimes larger beads too depending on the project. Once I have my beads pulled out for the project I put them in front of my laptop, turn on a something from hulu.com, and bead away!

Now here's where the bead mat comes in. I slip it so it's half under my laptop (don't feel like cutting it up) and then I put my trays on top of it. Pointless you say? Not at all. I'm GOOD at jostling my trays and having the beads fly out! Now the mat catches them and clean up proceeds much quicker. :D I've also found less beads in my keyboard of late...

There's been an unexpected bonus too. With all my health problems I have to take a bunch of pills and vitamins. So in the mornings when I take my pills I spread them out on my bead mat, and they don't roll around everywhere! Nice 'eh?

I'm thinking I want to pick up some cheap trays at the Dollar Store or a thrift store and line them with bead mats. Then I can lay out projects and stack them if I want. One of the problems I encountered when I did my "Set Me Free" free form Peyote bracelet was that the only tray I had to lay them out on was way too huge! I have some other ideas that will also involve using a wide variety of beads and having a tray like that would be really helpful.

This, of course, is a project for AFTER my move :P Or should I say series of projects?

11 comments:

BeadedTail said...

I like using my bead mats too even though I don't keep out many beads at a time. It certainly helps with them staying put!

BeadsForever said...

I couldn't live without my bead trays which I make myself. I buy the 3 for $4 cookie sheets from a "large retail store" and line them with a special shelf liner (rubber, smooth and no holes). I use the large trays for large projects where I have to keep lots of beads organized and they can be stacked. Works great for me.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

I love finding new toys and tools to use in my crafts!!!

Splendid Little Stars said...

good idea! and good suggestions in the comments. I use a large towel spread out on the table I work on.

Patti said...

Glad you found such a good system! I can't imagine working with such tiny items...

nomadcraftsetc said...

Isn't it awesome whenever you find that item that makes your life so much more easier?

Meghann LittleStudio said...

I LOVE my bead mats too! I'm glad you like yours. I think I need to cover my entire desk with them some days, LOL.
Can't wait to see your next projects, and I hope your move goes smoothly :)

MagdaleneJewels said...

I started using a bead map a few months ago - can't live without it. I had seen them for a while in the bead shop and kept forgetting to pick one up. I too put it under my bead tray. I use my 10 x 10" quilting ruler as a solid base, but it makes beading so much easier, esp with the tiny little seed beads, and can't believe they do not slide off. If I am working on something specific, I will put those on the map and work from there. Great idea!!!!!

Cindy Caraway said...

It took me a while to jump on the bead mat band-wagon, too! I have to say that life without my mats and Scoopeez (from Beadsmith) would be dark, indeed!! :)

Merily said...

How cool that it's helping your beading system! I wonder if I should pick up those bead mats for my jump rings? I don't generally use small beads that scatter, but I do have a problem keeping my rings in one place.

Ginja Girl Designs said...

I love bead mats. I have three ( the number of projects I allow myself to have going at one time). I can layer them on my lap desk and switch projects to my hearts desire.:-)