Small Progress on Small Items

Trying to work small is still very hard for me. Maybe it’s because I have too much fabric and can’t decide on which small pieces to use…these small pieces use up so little that I could probably work just from my scrap baskets for 47 years! I think I need some kind of mental organizing system to help me with these decisions. Categories like seasonal? …colors? …subjects like flowers or leaves or trees? Or just continue to grab and stick things together as a piece of fabric passes in front of my eyes and I reach for it randomly?

I feel that I can make something out of everything I own, but I own so much that I can never make it all…so what to do? I know—think and procrastinate! That’s totally my strong suit!!!!

Take a look at how I’m finishing up the project I started in Lyric’s workshop. I think it’s done, but I can always find room for more beads, so I’m never quite sure where to stop.

Picture looks very crooked, but it really is squared up and even!

With quilts, when it’s done, it’s done. With these small works, I need to figure out how best to present them. Mounting on canvas, in all it’s variations, means harder to store but easier to hang. Mounting on mat board or foam core can be easier to store and put in a rack at an exhibit but may not be the best display for each piece…and standard sizes, for ready to frame are better for that. You know that I am far from standard in anything I do! Lots of considerations, but not too many venues to worry about yet, so another thing I can procrastinate about! I am so bad with making this kind of decision…

Let me show you the start of another piece. It’s only 5×7″ so lots of indecision is in the future for displaying the finished product! I used textile medium to adhere the edges of the green silk around to the back and I’ve decided I don’t like it. Sewing works better for me, so I’m gonna stick with it—hey! I made a decision! More beads and hand stitching to come…

And on a totally different subject, look what my daughter gave me! A spice rack that she doesn’t use any more, and it will sit perfectly on my little beading table.

There are some beads that I use all the time, like black, green and red, that can find a permanent home here. There may be permanent others or I may just put beads per project in them as I work. Perhaps cabachons or exceptionally pretty beads that fit will go in there to inspire me (or so they don’t get tucked away and forgotten!). No matter what beads I put in there, it’s perfect for my beading table and much more useful there than as a spice rack…at least in my home, since I really don’t like to cook at all! Bead rack…much better!


10 thoughts on “Small Progress on Small Items

  1. Hey! I recognize that piece – or at least the beginnings of it! Very nice – the way it is turning out. Remember that the class was designed to teach a whole bunch of techniques in a very short time.

    A good way to think when working small is to limit yourself in more than just size. Limit the color pallet, or limit the direction of the lines, or limit your techniques to just one or two. In a small space it’s easy to quickly overwhelm the viewer with too much information and things start to look chaotic.

    Robin – the cab technique is taught on my DVD, Bead It Like You Mean It.
    (Kathy – I hope you don’t mind a tiny bit of shameless promotion here) I’ve still got a sale page up on my website that you can only get to through this link – just for fun for any of your fabulous readers:


  2. I have been wanting the learn how to anchor a cabochon…very coo. The spice rack is a completely awesome idea…enjoy!


    • Anchoring the cabachon and the copy transfer technique were the coolest parts of the workshop for me. I wanted to learn the cabachon thing in the worst way…and now I know TWO ways. Hooray!


  3. Your finished piece is wonderful-if I had that I would continue to see more each time I looked at it! I think it’s very hard to create a balanced, finished, diminuitive piece-it takes a mature and skilled eye. This one is lovely. Your bead rack is eye candy in itself!


    • I was really so excited to get that bead rack…no spice for me! Now I can look up from beading and see more lovely beads right in front of me. And thanks for the kind words on my finished piece. I’m pleased with it and getting happier with my small pieces as I create more of them. I just need to tune out that huge stash of fabric behind me!!!!


  4. You need two organizational systems. One for your large pieces and one for your small works. I took a year to plan and organize my tiny studio. I organized by colors, then by fabric type. Cottons or Decorator Fabrics. I folded each piece the same width of my shelf and then 5 stacks per shelf. This has made a world of difference. But it was a lot of work.


    • Okay, you may need to email me with more info…I’ve always felt pretty organized with things by color, but I have felt a need to re-do some stuff lately! Like clear out more stuff that I will not be likely to use, but right now I’m still in transition with my work.


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