20 January 2010

I had a revelation

I'm looking for ways to save money on my stitching.

The LHN ornament for this month uses seed beads. They're an optional "pretty." I'm a rule follower, so I felt like I needed to glitz up my stitching with beads. Besides, the first ornament had beads, so I want to carry the theme through.

Here's the problem. Who knows how many of the same kinds of beads will be used in the series? I'm not a bead collector by any measure, and I don't really like having lots of packs of tiny beads in the house--I think I'm paranoid they'll open up, and fly everywhere and be wasted. And I hate picking up some beads.

And then I got to thinking that those beads are a little bit expensive. At least for the colors that they've been using. They run $1.24 for a pack, plus shipping, at 123Stitch, maybe a bit more plus the gas at the LNS. And they're gold or red seed beads, nothing superfancy.

So . . . the other day, I had to go Michaels for pinking shears and I stopped down the bead aisle. They had large packs of seed beads, in colors I can use, for 2.99, way more beads than I'd get in two packs of Mill Hill. I got colors for the Pear Tree, and some to do another design I have. I thought it was a pretty good deal, I'll have to keep checking if I need beads and don't have them.

I was thinking how funny it is that, for someone who didn't know there were actual stores that sold only cross stitch supplies and nothing else 10 years ago and only bought stuff at the craft store, how limited I've become in my craft shopping since then. I only really buy cross stitch stuff or some finishing supplies there. I'd never thought up until then to get beads to stitch with, at least not since they stopped carrying Mill Hill large scale. They have LOTS of nice beads, nice charms, my Michaels even carry a bit of fabric, perfect for backing ornaments or small finishes. And the nice thing is, no wait for the mailman.

I'm sure this probably sounds so simple and stupid, but it really is changing things for me. I really am going to make an effort to be a bit more open to the possibilities of integrating the entire store with my crafting.


Annie said...

I use the craft beads all the time. The only thing is that they tend to be a little bigger and I can't find the 'petite' types in craft beads. They are fine for 14 count, not so fine for 18 count. Also, they are not as uniform in size as Mill Hill. So you may have to pick through them to find ones you like. But a good cost savings!

Julie M said...

I'm glad you were able to find beads that worked for you! Local stores can be wonderful places to find what we need for one project or another!

Jennifer said...

Honestly, I buy the tubes of beads at Michaels (using the coupons in the sunday paper) rather than buying the Mill Hill beads. I even bought a whole BOX of beads in assorted colors, all in little tic tac type boxes, for $6 at Michaels once. Granted, some of the beads aren't uniformly shaped, and sometimes I have to fiddle with them because they don't fit over the needle, but they work.

And I have the same paranoia about losing those tiny bead packets or having them fly all over the place.

Lizy said...

That I usually do for the beads buy at walmart or when I go to micheals.

Vicky said...

I use what ever I have on hand as getting the fancy bits here in Australia can be exhausting and expensive. Just wish we had Hobby Lobby or Michaels actually no other wise I wouldn't have any money LOL

Vonna said...

I always use craft beads, much cheaper and if you are looking around the beading section Michael's you'll see that they have a rainbow of colors in small clear tubes (about the size of lipstick tubes). I think they run like 1.29 and you can match the color you need. And you get a whole tube of beads. I used those a lot.

Kathy A. said...

I use craft beads often too unless it is a Mirabilia or something that requires a bead I can't find elswhere. I store my beads in watchmaker cases - I have seen one's like that at Joann's lately in plastic for beads. They work great.

Pumpkin said...

Much better when you can buy in bulk and if they're just everyday colors, then why not? :o)

Meari said...

When I go to craft stores, I wander through every single isle... most of the time thinking, "what else could I use this for?" lol

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls