11/9/15

Dry shampoo, baby wipes and Tulips. What would you add?

As I  made an early dash out to run a few errands today, our local morning radio team revealed one thing Carrie Underwood says she can’t live without (dry shampoo) and asked listeners what was one random thing they couldn’t live without.

The responses? Turns out a lot of women can’t live without dry shampoo. Also UGG slippers (even in the summer), eyelash curlers, coffee, baby wipes, mascara, and wine.  (Seems there are a lot of uses for baby wipes that don’t require a baby. Am I the only person who doesn’t yank one out at red lights to shine up the interior of my car?)

So that got me thinking, if Carrie Underwood can’t live without dry shampoo when she’s on the road, what’s one thing I can’t live without in the studio? Didn’t have to think very long about this one. For me, it’s tulip needles.


As my beading has evolved, I’m using smaller and smaller beads in my work. 3mm rondelles are pretty much my go-to bead of choice these days, and Tulip needles allow several passes even through their tiny holes. Tulip needles are extremely flexible, so I can bend them when I need to make tight passes through beads, and they don’t go wonky as fast as standard beading needles do.


They come packaged in two’s, in tiny test tubes with cork stoppers. I’ve saved every one since discovering them in a Laura McCabe class 5 years ago, just in case I come up with another use for them.

So now it’s your turn. What’s one thing you can’t live without in your creative space? Leave your response in the comments, and I’ll send one random commenter a selection of my favorite needles.
 
My needle drawer always has spare Tulips.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for all those tiny test tubes…

20 comments:

  1. My Lindstrom chainnose and roundnose pliers - so comfy in my hands, and I use them ALL the time. They are the best!

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  2. Ah! So that's how you make all those perfect loops! I do have a pair of Lindstrom cutters - would love to replace my off-brand pliers.

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  3. My magnifying natural sunlight lamp (by Normande Lighting.) Not the most expensive lamp out there, but it works.

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    1. It's amazing when I think of the magnificent handwork that was done in times past when electricity and magnification weren't available...and days were filled with work, so you know the needlework was done at night by the fire.

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  4. I'd have to agree with KJ. I have a "daylight" lamp and it's wonderful! I also do cross stitch, so it really gets a workout! I've been wanting to try the tulip needles. The ones I've been using keep breaking!

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    1. The only time I've broken a Tulip needle is when I'm using Fireline and I'm really pulling hard, trying to get one more pass through a bead. I've pulled the Fireline straight through the eye, splitting the eye and rendering it useless. But I've never snapped one in half, which I used to do pretty frequently with less-flexible needles.

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  5. I need a bead mat of any sort. I use a traditional mat or a piece of fabric or a hot pad or a paper towel or a dish towel or a washcloth or whatever I can lay my hands on. I have used a flattened pillow on occasion. I will bead anywhere so I often grab whatever is near that remotely resembles a bead mat and make it work for me. The other thing I need is a needle. If I don't have a few spare needles on hand I get a bit panicky. Amy from AmyBead and I were recently talking about needles and she told me she uses Tulip needles. Now you too, so I better look for some the next time I order beads!

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    1. oh, and how about putting beads in the little tubes? or are they too small for that?

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    2. Bead mats, definite necessity! My s-i-l gifted me with a Vera Bradley iPad case. Since I don't have an iPad, I find it's an excellent bead mat. I can tuck my project inside, slip it into my bag, and when I unzip it, the quilted surface and edging keep the beads from rolling and it fits perfectly in my lap. Great for planes! And you're right, the empty tubes are perfect for taking along some small accent beads.

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  6. tough question! since I'm like you both .... always need a mat, of course needles... but for me my go-to thread is fireline. I know that sounds strange, but I am such a rough beader that I break the thread constantly and the only that holds up for me is basically fishing line!

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    1. I used Fireline exclusively until about a year ago when I started working some of the stitches from Kate McKinnon's Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. Ordered a cone of Nymo D and now I reach for that every time (except where crystals or sharp-edged beads are involved.)

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  7. Chain nose pliers. They get used with nearly every piece of jewelry - wirework or beadweaving or stringing. Highly versatile. (And, fortunately or unfortunately, my 2nd most needed item is reading glasses! I like the tiny beads too and can't see much without the glasses.)

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    1. Ah, yes, reading glasses. I always tuck a pair in my travel bag. Really don't use my chain nose much when bead weaving, but I do use my nylon jaw pliers.

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  8. A decent pair of sharp scissors. I do lots of crafts besides jewellery making and beadweaving and scissors are necessary for most of them. I need a good pair for beadweaving too to cut the nymo close to the beads.

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    1. So true. I love my Gingher embroidery scissors.

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  9. Only one thing!! That's almost impossible - but I'm going to choose the shallow little ceramic sauce dishes that I use to put my beads and components in. I bought two packages of a dozen a year ago and they are perfect for keeping my beads in place while I'm working, separating bead mixes and even for stacking to keep beads corraled until I come back to a project.

    For your test tubes - I would bead a band of peyote around it, add fringe to dangle down the sides and bottom like icicles and a loop to hang it on my Christmas tree. Then I would have my family add a Christmas wish and hang them on the tree. To be opened some time in the future.

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    1. Great ideas. And I just love your suggestion for those mini-tubes. Excited to try that this Christmas!

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  10. So agree about Tulip needles. How can you ever go back to regular needles? My one thing I can't do without are silly flat cafeteria trays. I found that a standard bead mat fits perfectly in the tray and their slightly raised edges keep my beads from flying and allow me to stack in-progress project upon project for easy storage and organization. I have tried all the other fancy beading surfaces and still go back to my $1.00 cafeteria tray as my preferred.

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    1. Cafeteria trays...great repurposing and brilliant idea to stack them!

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  11. Karin, I'm almost surprised you didn't make a teeny, tiny little beaded bag for your needles from those tubes! (I LOVE my Tulips too....)

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