What do you do with leftovers? No, not food. Leftover food would imply that there was cooking going on, and I try to avoid that whenever possible. I'm talking about leftover beads. We all have them. Those little containers holding just a few beads from projects gone by. Do you mix them all up into bead soup? Leave them in their little containers and order more of the same ones? I know you don't throw them away!
I had some leftover shiny blue beads the other day after I finished a project, and as I was trying to figure out what to do with them (because I really didn't want to create bead soup, and I have way too many of those little containers with just a few beads in them) I happened to notice that the shiny blue beads were a perfect match for some matte blue beads I had just purchased recently. So I dumped out the shiny beads onto my beading mat, added some of the matte ones, and stitched away for awhile to make this cuff. It's such a gorgeous shade of cobalt blue!!!
I'm actually more inclined to try to use all those leftover beads in something that has a pattern. Although I've made quite a few things using bead soup (caterpillar bracelets, for example), I have this compelling urge to SORT beads. Yes, I know. That's just weird.
At some point I bought a bag of mixed beads from Fire Mountain Gems. I'm not sure why, except that I wanted to get a variety, and buying a bag of mixed Japanese beads just seemed like a good way to get some different sizes and colors. I think it was back when I tried freeform for the first time, and I just couldn't bring myself to MIX UP my well-sorted selection of beads. Much better to work with a pile of beads already mixed up.
So what happened? Oh, I made a freeform bracelet or two. And I had fun doing them. But the compulsion to sort all those delicas was just too strong. Now I'm not so off my rocker that I would just sit and sort them into little piles and put them into containers. But sorting while beading into a pattern isn't weird, is it? (The correct answer here is, "No, not at all! It's perfectly normal!")
The result of sorting while beading? This beautiful Autumn Patchwork bracelet. Isn't sorting fun? :-)