An eclectic blog about beads, beading and beyond

Monday, March 11, 2013

Revisiting tips for reducing beaders' WIPs, UFOs and PhD

There must be something about this time of year - its just over 12 months ago I posted my tips for reducing a beader's UFOs (Unfinished objects) WIPs (Work in Progress) or PHDs (Pieces Half Done) because they seemed to be multiplying apace. Well, its happened again and so its time for some concentrated time to reduce them.  Here's my tips from last year's post and some reflections on what's working for me this year and what's not.

From 2012...

  1. Carry your UFOs in a special ‘tote’ whenever you go out to places you might need to wait – for doctors, friends, etc. and take the opportunity to spend 5 minutes on completing your project. Well, its just too hot for this one to work right now. Five minutes in the car and the beads will be melting and the Fireline fusing... perhaps, this is tip best left to winter.
  2. Promise yourself 5 mins a day on a project until its finished.  Okay, this is a good idea but with the size of my UFO pile it could take until next century!
  3. Keep UFOs in their own separate container with all the beads, thread, etc needed to complete it. You can then more readily work on it when the desire takes you.  Yep, I've done this but I've found myself rifling through them and stealing beads for new projects! Just a little counterproductive me thinks.
  4. Pick four or five UFOs and work on them in a rotation system until one is finished. Then add another to the rotation group (if you need to). Rotating which UFOs you work can stop you getting bored or frustrated with one and never returning to it. Tried this last week - the downside was the dogs protested that there was no space left for them in the loungeroom (my beading space of preference at present!)
  5. Take a good hard look at your UFOs be honest about those you will never finish. Put these in a ‘won’t ever do’ box and donate them to the local charity shop. This is today's job - my plan is to undo any that I think I really won't ever finish cos I really don't like them. The upside to the unbeading them is that the beads get a second life.
  6. Swap them with a beading buddy.  Haven't tried this one yet - has anyone else?
  7. Try learning a new technique for making findings or finishing a piece – this might just inspire you to use on an UFO. Hoorah - this one worked - I turned a 'just begun' herringbone bracelet into a basket weave herringbone bracelet that used some bugles that have been longing to be used - see what you think?
  8. Have a UFO ‘bead in’ with some beading buddies or your local beading group. Not quite there with this but I did take my UFO to my wonderful Crafty Women's group last week and lo and behold I finished that night. I'm delighted with the result. 
No longer a UFO - from herringbone bit to a basket weave bracelet
2013's additions that are working for me just now...
  1. Sort the UFOs into those that are waiting on some more beads and those that are not. Order the beads today!!!!
  2. Turn the UFO into a something dramatic - a piece that you can't wait to finish rather one that you are finishing for finishing's sake. Embellish it, try out a new clasp, create a new closure method, try a new stitch and in doing so create something that you'll love. Focus on innovation rather than just ticking it off the list.
  3. Give some dedicated time to your UFOs - they won't disappear with out it!
So, off to bead now...

But, just before I do - I have hosting a GIVEAWAY - a free beading pattern from my online pattern shop to the best TIP on reducing UFOs. Winner announced in next week's blog post on Monday 18th March.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Faberge Eggs, beading and some free tutorials

I have just listed Emeralda, a beaded bead necklace that was created for the Etsy Beadweavers Team March challenge on the theme Faberge Egg. It is playing further with the netted beaded beads in Summerberie.  I felt these beaded beads strongly evoked the trellis patterns common to many Faberge eggs and feature the vibrant jewelled tones seen in many Faberge eggs (for example, see

To see the other wonderful entries in the challenge please visit the Etsy Beadweavers team blog, between the 9th and 15th March and vote for your favorite entry.

If you feel inspired to play with Faberge you might find these tutorials of interest.
Free beading tutorials for Faberge eggs
You can also buy some great beadweaving tutorials inspired by Faberge eggs
Emeralda - my entry into the Etsy Beadweavers March challenge, Faberge Egg

Dax Designs - now on Artisan Co-op