I interrupt my coverage of Beadfest Philadelphia for a blog carnival enty. Every month some of the members of the Starving Artist Etsy/Artfire Street Team write about the same topic on their blog. This month was more of a question: what jewelry-related items do you take when you travel?
Packing was very much on my mind when this was proposed, as I was actually in the middle of making my packing list for Beadfest Philadelphia when I took a break to check the forum and saw this topic proposal. Now, I’m not sure that this is fair, because obviously, if I’m going to a beading convention, my luggage is going to consist of mainly jewelry-related stuff. So I’m going to address this as if we were talking about a vacation instead.
I have a variety of bead-packing storage containers that I’ve used over the years to bring projects along with me, most of which have failed dismally. One was this handy-dandy lap tray that I thought I could use in the car. All those hours of driving time, put to good use! Unfortunately, I think the makers must all drive Cadillacs, because the suspension in our van doesn’t lend itself to beading in the car. Unless you enjoy sticking yourself with needles while totally missing the bead you were trying to pick up.
Now I usually pack a plastic shoebox with a couple of current projects to work on once we arrive at our destination. This usually includes round and chain nose pliers, beading wire, beadstoppers, a mat and cutters. Sometimes I bring needles, thread and wax for weaving. I routinely keep the beads for my projects in plastic ziplock bags so I can toss a couple in with the tools and go. (This works for impromptu meetings and hanging out with crafty friends too.)
We were asked to say if we bring laptops along, and I most definitely do, mainly because I am afraid of how many e-mails I would have to go through when I got home if I didn’t. (No, I don’t have a smartphone, and wouldn’t be much interested in reading my e-mail on it if I did.)
I will admit that although I bring projects along, I rarely work on them on vacation. It’s just too much work. Most places only have one table and often a small one at that, and the lighting is usually poor. If we’re at the beach, frankly, I’d rather spend my time outdoors, and if we’re in the mountains, I guess I’d rather spend my time outdoors. And if we’re visiting a city, hmmm, guess what? I’d rather spend my time outdoors. But I do keep up with my beading-related forums and e-mail, usually while my family is napping.
Read what other members of the team have to say about this on their blogs below, and come back next week to read more about my experience at Beadfest, which I am very excited about – this was my 8th year attending, and every year I learn new skills and find exciting new beads.