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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Review: Bead n' Go Junior

I saw this a while back and thought about picking it up and honestly, I wish I picked it up sooner. I was able to shake a pile of 15/0 delica seed beads sealed in the case and when I opened it, they remained in place with slight movement of a few. Picking up the 15/0 beads from the mat worked better than the mat I had been using at home.

My first test was out of the house busing around town for a day to myself. I'm able to bead comfortably at a bus stop and as it pulls up, get ready to get on by the time the door opens (I kept my change on the mat to have ready before closing the case). I can take my beading comfortably to work on at the park, in a cafe or by the pond in the Kasugai Japanese Garden downtown. Natural light is best, right? 

I have two young, curious boys at home. I can put away my projects in seconds without having to worry about the kids making a mess, getting my threads in a knot or spilling beads on the floor. I can relocated anywhere in the house without a hassle. If I'm working at my desk, I can put the lid on it to quickly switch to a new task. I spend less time cleaning up and more time on what's important.

This case comes in two sizes. The Save n Go and the Save n Go Junior. The Junior (the model I purchased) is similar in size and thickness to a net book laptop; it can fit into my purse. It's surface area is 12x9 inches (9.5 inches including the hinge); it's approximately 1 inch thick. I'm thinking about getting a net book decal to personalize mine (not a bad way to go if you plan on keeping a couple to separate your projects). It only comes in white. The top and the bottom separate completely. 

The larger sized case is much bigger but still portable; for my purposes the junior works just fine. I wouldn't mind one half the size of the junior for even smaller projects. You can pack a few pliers and sissors in the case but I keep that stuff in a separate pencil bag.

The one thing I wish they had done was use Velcro rather than glue for keeping the mat in place so that it could be removed for cleaning in the future or replacement should it need it. 

I paid $20 CAD including taxes for mine at Michaels with a coupon. 
The company site is 

Friday, 27 June 2014

Organized Hyper Stimulated Inspiration

Sometimes I feel like the only thing keeping me together is my skin. The possibilities and ideas are endless. There are so many fun mediums and so many ways you can make something old new again. A random youtube video leading to another, a new craftsy class or scrolling through pins for much longer than you intended can bring a spur of ideas. Sometimes working on a project with only your thoughts to keep you company can bring this on as well (this happens a lot at night when my mind doesn't have to compete with my energetic boys). One really odd time, it happened in the middle of watching a movie where there didn't seem to be an obvious trigger.

Finding focus in these hyper stimulated moments can be challenging. When I get into these modes (like today), focus is no longer my goal; recording those ideas down is. I like using the Magical Pad app to mind-map those ideas. I keep webs to include photo ideas for peyote patterns, color inspirations, knitting pattern ideas and other ideas for mediums I want to experiment with in the future. Not everything sticks or turns out great but when you're having a dry spell it's perfect to remember those incubating inspirations.

What I like about using the app is that I always have that web of ideas with me everywhere my phone or iPad is. Remember those peyote photo ideas? Maybe I can take some of those photos while I'm out walking and enjoying the sunshine. Remember those ideas in other mediums? Maybe the boutique art store downtown has some interesting classes coming up or a book store has a book with the know how to make those ideas a reality.

If you're an avid pin collector on pintrest, maybe adding the ideas you like to your mind map can help separate the "thats cool" from the "lets change this and that and then make it happen." With app you can add to do lists, photos, sketches and more. You can delete sections that really just don't work or move sections to a different part of the web. You can hide sections of your webs or view it all at a glance.

I don't always write directly in my mind-map. Sometimes I just let the ideas pour on to a paper envelope or scrap then organize it in the mind-map later. There are journals, whiteboards and poster boards can be just as effective too. Whether mind-mapping is for you or not, don't fight the flood or try to find focus; ride this wave, see where it takes you and record those ideas!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Beginning

Lately I've been finding inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. I've been thinking about descriptive words for the pieces I've made and the ones I wish to make and stumbled across some styles I like but would have never occurred to be seek out. I've started my journal for ideas, I've started this creative journey. I'm excited to see how my work will change and evolve over time; where my passion will lead me. Check out my newly launched Etsy store and see part of what I've been up to!