November 25, 2006

heading West

The beads are all packed and ready to go into the car. It's 20 degrees out and time to head for southern Arizona where the low for the day is higher than the high for the day in NH. It will be a change to look out and see the high mountains in the distance rather than snow covered, bare trees. I'll finish shutting down the NH apartment today and tomorrow and start the trek West early Monday morning.

November 14, 2006

Bead Storage for Snowbirding

I've been asked many times how I manage to snowbird and take my beads with me. It isn't easy and it took me a couple of years to settle on a storage solution that moved easily. I take about 80% of my beads with me from NH to AZ in the winter and back to NH in the spring.

This is my New Hampshire studio - still unfinished after 5 years!

This is my nicely organized Arizona Studio.

I had a pair of cabinets like this built for both studios. They hold 48 #3700 Plano tackle boxes full of beads.

All of my seed beads are packaged in flip-top containers and then into Plano #3600 or Plano #3700 translucent tackle boxes. By being translucent, I can see the overall color of the beads in each storage box.

By using only 2 sizes of the Plano boxes, it makes it easier to pack everything for travel.


I then pack 6 to 7 Plano boxes into 2 sizes of L.L. Bean canvas totes. At the moment that adds up to 10 canvas bags of beads (about 250 lbs of beads). The canvas bags exactly fit the Plano boxes and pack well into my orange Honda Element. With the cabinets it's easy to pull the boxes out and put them into the canvas bags. On the other end of a trip, they come out of the bags and go into the cabinet in the same order.

Now, this system works well as long as I only replenish the beads that I use...... If I have to expand the quantity of Plano boxes, then I'll be in big trouble. I know that will happen as I've yet to see a bead that I didn't like!

November 10, 2006

Time for Change

..... Indian Summer has arrived in NH and it means that I need to start thinking about packing up my beads and heading for Arizona. Only 16 more days before I get on the road. So far the weather has been nice enough that I have not had to resort to socks with my flip-flops. However, in past years there has usually been at least one snow storm before I head out. It takes at least 2" of snow for me to put on socks and 4" for me to put on real shoes! Somehow it's easier to drive south west and leave the snow for the skiers!

My studio is in it's usual mess and the thought of sorting it all out and putting things away before packing it up can be daunting. I always find things I'd forgotten about or was looking for. Maybe if I look at the packing up as a "journey of exploration" it would be more fun than just another job to be done. But then it would take 5 times as long and I'd have to stop and admire all of the beads.

All of my deadline projects are out of the way and any beading I do now will be for my personal satisfaction. There are a couple of things I'd like to get finished and I have an idea or two that I'll probably work on while I'm on the road. The last project that I just finished was being the "star" in a "Bead Crochet Basics" instructional DVD. Very interesting, but draining process. My daughter was right when she told me, "Don't look at, or listen to yourself on tape... you're not going to like what you see or hear!" I couldn't believe that crone on the screen is really me! abba dabba Productions tells me the DVD should be out early in 2007. Watch for an announcement on Bead Line Studios.

This trip will be a little bit different as I'll have company and a co-driver. That way I'll have a chance to do some sight seeing instead of concentrating on the road. I'll be stopping over with different beaders along the way. If I don't manage to update the blog in between, look for a trip report along about the middle of December.

Arizona, here I come!