Friday, 17 August 2012

Joining in on the Bead Fest Pity Party

I’m RSVPing to Heather Power’s Bead Fest Pity Party!

Now this party is full of all sorts of wonderful guests offering awesome deals you should know about.

Since I can’t be attending Bead Fest myself, nor am I sending my personal shopper like a little while ago, I’ll just have to make do with my own bead stash.  It’s pretty modest really but it is housed by the most beautiful Hamilton chase.  It was no beauty when I got it.  I’d show you the before pictures if they hadn’t been eaten by our last desktop, but imagine a whole lot of grime and assorted yuck.  Before I go further, I should really give proper credit as it was my husband who found it in the local used ads online and convinced the seller to give us an awesome price as he wanted to surprise me with it for our anniversary.  It wasn’t our anniversary, but it was one of the best gifts ever!

So back to the yuck, I wanted it gone.  Antiquers look away – I stripped it!  There was no way I was ever going to part with this beauty and it really needed to go back to bare wood, be re-stained (a tad darker to go with our stuff) and then protected by three coats of poly.  It took me weeks in our garage, balancing all twenty drawers all over the place, but it turned out beautifully.


It is in the darkest corner of our basement so a flash photo is the best chance to show you.  I decided too to show you the truth with it covered with all the usual junk.  Before you get extra jealous let me tell you it’s no where near full, that will probably be a lifetime pursuit. But I will give you a few sneak peeks.


A quick look in part of the pearl drawer, and you may see a few bits of tape around.  When I’m really on top of supplies there is a per bead price on the little strip of tape per section.

I had this idea about showing you my storage, when no sooner than I had the thought, I saw Lorelei Eurto showing off her new beauty.  I hope hers is nice and clean!  Mine, the filth was really stubborn so I had to come up with a work around.  Below is a half lined drawer.  When I first started filling it I wanted to be sure I could see the colours accurately as it’s in a dark spot, so I wanted a white background.  While paper would have probably done the job I chose white craft foam (by the roll) instead for it’s extra cushion. There are 1920 compartments in this thing (96 per drawer) so I’m a long way from done, I just add as needed.


I’m being a bad party guest since I’m supposed to be “busting my stash”.  For the sake of the photo I moved around some vintage Humblebeads from their regular home to close to some gorgeous lampwork I had bought for myself and some Marsha Neal Studio pendants… I think there may be something in the making!


I adore these humblebeads! They used to be in a necklace but it wasn’t quite right for me so it returned to the drawer. It’s funny but it seems that because I work with polymer I have a hard time creating jewelry with polymer made by others.  I feel conflicted about making anything to coordinate and then I feel conflicted if I am wearing a necklace I’ve made, but not the polymer beads themselves… I do make things complicated for myself don’t I!


  1. I must say that chest is GORGEOUS and a jewelry makers dream! You did such a fabulous job at making it look beautiful-I almost wish I could have seen the before pictures.

    I saw the post title and had to click on it because I wasn't able to go to Bead Fest either. What better way to sulk then with others who couldn't go either ^.^

  2. Oh that is lovely! And that little mix of beads with the William Morris and Marsha Neal pendant do look like the start of something wonderful. I use polymer clay from other artists in my work, it's all a balancing act. Maybe you could make a blue flower like the your poppies to go the disks. I love Heather Wynn's beads and mix them with mine quite often.

    Glad you are joining in the party!!!

  3. Isn't that the loveliest color scheme? I love it when my beads come out to play together! I love your Hamilton! I too, have one! I didn't need to strip mine, but yours look like new! Hamilton was manufactured in a city not too far from where I lived. I totally lucked out on scoring mine through eBay because they wouldn't ship it and I knew that I would drive anywhere in the state to get it! That is just what I did! The drawers were filled with 100 years of ink that I just couldn't get off and there was no way I was placing my museum stash in there. I had a furniture repair guy that I knew at the time and I paid him $150 to paint the drawers using his special sprayers. All those nooks and crannies! He did some sort of powerwash first to clean it, then painted them all black to block the stains and then white. I have nearly every drawer full, and that is not counting all the overflow on my tables, floors, desk, shelves, etc. I really have a sickness! I just bought two new rolling wood drawer carts and also a heap of those little flocked trays and inserts because they fit perfectly in there and I am making a modern version of my Hamilton! I can't wait to see what you make with that Humblebead. I love to mix them with others as well!

    Enjoy the day. Erin

    P.S When I got my cabinet I researched it and found the original catalog dated 1918. It sold for $17 back then. Of course I paid many times more than that, but I still feel that I got if for a steal!

  4. Thanks for the "sneak peak" and the interesting stories!

  5. I'm completely green...I love that cabinet. I've got most of my beads in labeled plastic containers stacked in a bookshelf. You are living the dream!

  6. I am definitely jealous :-) Although I'm so new to this, that my "stash" is very small, and would only require one drawer. I love the way that cabinet looks --I think I'd keep it in the living room! You did such a great job re-finishing it.

  7. Oh I'm so jealous!!! That chest is beautiful! Lucky you to have a husband that understands what you want and actually gets it for you. My husband doesn't have a clue about these things.

  8. Emma, those cabinets are totally gorgeous! I'm still sticking with my tiny plastic hardware storage thingies from Canadian Tire, but part of the fun for me is rearranging everything and getting inspired all over again. I love that you took apart pieces because they weren't "quite right". Great way to get extra mileage, too, and no cost LOL

  9. Wow! Emma, the chest is beautiful. I love how the drawers are divided so each bead type has its own section. Enjoy adding to your collection.

  10. What a beautiful cabinet. You really worked to make it perfect for you. I hope to have one someday, but I'm not holding my breath. :)


I'd love to hear what you think, thanks for taking the time to join in the conversation