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Traveling With Beads.

Q: I am having problems finding something that will hold my seed beads securely when I travel. I am currently using small interlocking boxes. I think they are called bee hives. The problem, is that the drawers slide open and the beads fall out. I have seen tubes, but I would like to have something I can pick a bead out of easily with a needle.

A: I bought one of those 'Bead Buddy' cases, and while not the most ideal solution, it does work and comes with a beadboard and space to keep tools, a beading (watercolor) dish, etc. They're about $25 at most stores. 'Fire Mountain' sells them for less, but when you add shipping, it's about the same. Since you want to bead out of your storage unit, the best tray I have seen for Storage while traveling is the 'LoRan Bead Tray'. It has 6 compartments with lids that come off. You can access the beads from there. It also has a small stringing troughs, long enough for most strung bracelets. I used to use them. Now, I use metal triangle trays, a black tray with a velvet pad & a funnel. My beads are stored in tubes and ziplock bags. Beware tube caps can pop off, and bags will eventually get holes in them. As for your bead hives opening, I use small pony tail rubberbands. They come in a multi-color package. They are small enough to hold them tight. I tend to use a metal lunch box filled with beads in old 'Fuji' film cans (the translucent ones), or clear acrylic boxes (a bit brittle) or plastic pop-top boxes I get from a local plastics store ('Tap'). I prefer to pick beads up out of a tray rather than poking the needle into the can: I feel it lets me sort out the lumpy or odd-shaped ones better, and also maintain a move even width amongst all the colors (perhaps you 'Delica' fanatics don't have this concern). So anyway, I also carry along a little tray that either fits in the lunch box or into some other bag I'm carrying, and when I pack up I dump the mix into a spare film can; or if I'm ready to bead dump the can back into the tray. For air travel, I've also used a large plastic kids pencil or craft box (about 9" x 6") with my film cans, needles, snips, wire, thread, knot locking substance, etc in it. Usually then, though, I don't use a tray, in case of turbulence (oy!). Of course, you could just take up bead knitting for your mobile projects - then you just load up the thread, and don't need bunches of little boxes! :-) I use the old 'Chrysanthemum' dish in the pistol case setup, but I was looking at this site, and they had the schminkiest bead cases!! Drool! But at $135 (i think) it's something I have to save my pennies for, and no, I don't work for them etc., etc...just thought I'd pass the url along.