Saturday, December 29, 2012

How to organize your bead collection

Hello there!  Thank you for stopping by.  I've been working on this post for a couple days now, and I want it to be a comprehensive look at how I organize my bead collection.  I know there are a lot of people out there who are just like me and have lots of beads.  I've created this system and it works very well for me.  This post is photo heavy with a lot of tips and hints.  If you like what you see here feel free to share with other friends who are beaders!

Let's start with a run through of what my collection actually consists of.  Here's a run through of what each of my trays contains:

Since I am a man who beads I use a lot of neutrals in my designs.  I have 2 full trays of wooden beads and other things I consider neutrals.  I recently adopted a new tray and will call it "gold variations" so some of these beads will have a new home in the near future.

I keep a full tray of unfinished projects.  I often catch myself getting frustrated with a project, and if I walk away from it and come back to it later it's better for all parties involved.

Since I am an OSU Buckeye through and through, I have an entire tray of Scarlet & Grey beads.  If you look closely you can see my lucky buckeye!

I have a love / hate relationship with seed beads.  I use them to finish necklaces for 2 reasons: they feel good on a persons neck and they are less expensive than some other beads.  I have big hands, so stringing them can be a challenge.

I keep all my odds and ends I need here: crimps, needles, hooks, clasps, closures, bead stops, crimp covers, etc.  I have them compartmentalized by hue for easy access.  I stock up when they go on sale at Hobby Lobby.

What started my collection was a big tub of glass beads from my friend Michelle.  I still have some of those beads here along with other colored glass beads.

My newest addition: gold tones.  I had gold beads running over into all my other trays, so these beads finally got promoted to their own tray.

I like to use bright colors quiet a bit, and this tray balances out my 2 trays of neutrals.  This one makes me really happy!

Let's get down to business.  

I use these trays to store my beads for several reasons:
  • they lock down tightly and I can store them on their side
  • the compartments are not adjustable (yes, this is a pro and not a con)
  • they fit perfectly into the bin I carry them in
  • they often go on sale so buying another one isn't a huge investment ($3 regular priced isn't bad either)
  • the tiny feet on the bottom and the grooves on the top mean they lock together easily 
  • they hold a lot of beads 

There are many more options out there, but these little trays work very well for me. Since I am always moving these days (or so it seems!) I am able to safely travel with these bead containers without worrying too much about spilling.  If you haven't caught on yet I'm a little obsessive about how I store and organize my beads, and this is just a small glimpse inside the mind of a crazy person.

Box it up.

When I started really collecting beads I had a couple of these trays.  I had gone through some different options and had decided I really wanted to stick with them.  One day I was in Hobby Lobby (life is good!) when I noticed that the trays were on sale.  I grabbed one and walked over to the storage/box/basket section of the store, and what do you know a box that the tray fit in perfectly was also on sale.  I left that day with the box and a few bead trays and I've never looked back.

I have labeled each tray on the right side of the front near the latch so I can quickly reference which beads are in which tray.  This makes life easier since I don't need to open all my trays if I only need specific beads. 

I love this box because it holds the trays perfectly, it has sturdy handles, it can take a beating since it's really just fabric with structural supports and because when I have it tucked away on a shelf no one would ever know what was inside.  The last I need is for people to have confirmation that I'm a crazy bead collector (eh, hoarder?) and then they will judge me.  Hard.

See those handles!  Man they're nice.  Also ignore the floral sheets.  Those you can blame on my mother.  

This new tray I got for Christmas from my Grandma fits perfectly onto of my trays of beads in my basket.  Everything is coming up Logan today!  I've never used one of these before, but I know it will make like a lot easier.  I go about making necklaces all wrong these days, so I'm excited to see how this changes my process.  (Thanks for the gift, Grandma!)

Even the best fall down sometimes.

I also have this container.  I want you to know that this is like opening pandoras box to me (literally) and I can't believe I'm going to do it.  It's like airing all my dirty laundry for the world to see, but even though most of my beads are organized very nicely, this box will never be as pristine as the others.

It doesn't look so bad, right?
Well here it all is splayed out for the world to see.  I have yet to figure out a way to store my cord (I use elastic and wire, so I have multiple coils of each) and my tools.  So I just keep them in this box. 

See the spoon there?  Well I carry that around with me so when I decide to change around which tray beads are in (ie. moving the gold beads) I use this spoon to scoop them all out.  It makes like so much easier. 

I also have some extra beads I'm just not in love with anymore in this box.  I'm hoping one day they'll strike me again and I'll make room for them.

So... that's it!  I like to have things in their place because this hobby can get really messy really fast!  I'd love to hear about how you store and collect your beads.  Leave me a comment with some of your tips!

Be well,

Monday, November 5, 2012


I have bit my hypothetical cyber tongue for days now, but tonight, on election eve, I want to let you know how important your vote is tomorrow.  If you've found your way here you are a person that is special in my life in one way or another: you're my mother, my brother, my family in some way, or my friend.  You already know who I voted for.

Here's the thing: your vote affects me.  Before you hit that button think of me, Logan Oates.
I am the Logan Oates who will be graduating from OSU in May who has funded his education with Federal Financial Aid. 
I am the Logan Oates who emailed Sherrod Brown when something in my life went a little crazy and who got a personal call back from him. 
I am the Logan Oates who stood with young people from across the country on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial educating them about what it means to be an American. 
I am the Logan Oates who grew up on the poverty line in Appalachian Ohio.  
I am the Logan Oates who has fallen down, been beaten down and who has stood back up, every time, proudly and unscathed. 

I am the Logan Oates who is depending on you to pick the candidate that supports me.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Free roses?

I still feel a little guilty.  I got this beautiful bunch of roses for free.  I was at Giant Eagle and noticed they were marked for $4.50... the other bunches were kind of crusty so I picked out the best bunch and moved on with my trip.  I was excited to get a dozen roses for $4.50!
I finally milled my way up to the register and they rang up $16.99!  I asked the cashier working about it and she said she'd walk back with me and check.  Well low and behold there they were marked $4.50.  She took the sign off, walked me back up to the register and comped them from my total.  Apparently at Giant Eagle if the scanned price doesn't match the advertised price you get the item for free.  So exciting!
I also used coupons and got a boatload of stuff for just a little over $20.  So exciting.

I split the roses up into 2 separate bouquets and I plan on giving one to Lindsey.  She always says she never gets any packages and I figure this will make her day.  I loved cutting down the flowers and putting them into these Mason Jars I have. 

I think they're the prettiest free roses I've ever seen.

Happy Monday,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Where do you keep your to-do list?

I tend to keep my to-do lists in some very strange places.  Recently my evening to-do list was stuck to my favorite black-and-white polka dot coffee cup.  The reason?  Each time I picked it up to take a sip of steaming hot cocoa I was reminded that I should actually be working on conquering my list.  This tactic did actually help since I knocked everything off of the list before bed.

Also seen here are some of my favorite things:
  • a small black elephant I bought from Target with a dear friend ages ago
  • gumballs leftover from my Mom’s birthday celebration
  • the new Taylor Swift album my friend Taylor burnt for me (SO good!)
  • my GRE study supplement (which has been barely used)

I believe that all spaces should be filled with things you love.  If it’s not practical or it’s not something you love then it has no room in your life.  I use this philosophy when pairing down things I own and donating.  Those pants that don’t fit just right?  Gone.  That sweater that sags a little when I wear it? Gone.

I only have room in my life for the things (and people) I love the most.  The rest of it will have to find somewhere else to be.


off to a good home.

In a strange (and wonderful) turn of events within the past few months I have been asked to design 2 new necklaces for an Art Auction.  And here they are!  I wanted to capture them in photographs because I'm not sure if I'll ever see them again!  This will mark the first time that I have created jewelry and given it to anyone other than friends and family.  It's a big step!

If you purchased one of these pieces at the auction and found my blog through my business card, please leave me a comment.  It's be great to know who now owns one of my creations!

Here are some shots I love:


(Thanks to my lovely neck model Annie!)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

...someone has been wearing the stupid hat all day.

First of all, I'm writing this post on my lovely Mothers birthday.  She's only a few hours late, our dinner reservations were for 7:30 (currently 7:36) but guess what?  It's her birthday and none of that even matters.  So, as I await her call so I can finally go get my car from Farmhouse 18 and bring my friends' stuff back several hours past the time I told them I would have it (this will all make sense if you just keep reading...), I do have a great little story to tell you.  It involves some great friends and colleagues, S'mores and me attempting to be a sheep dog.  Intrigued?  I hope so.

Friday night to Saturday afternoon the RAs from Taylor went away for a weekend retreat- I wasn't quite sure what the plan was, but it ended up being a lot more chill and relaxed and not so much setting goals and Title 9.  I appreciate a mixture in activities, so I could have gone for a little more content, but I still had a blast. 

We had our retreat at the OSU Retreat House, which is something that actually exists in this world.  It's really an old farmhouse that employees can rent out for a retreat, the concept is really awesome.  The best part?  The sign on the door listed this OSU-owned property as Farmhouse 18.  Do you know what that means?  Farmhouse 17 and below exist as well.  Where are they?  No one knows.

It was a three bedroom one bath house with bunk beds in each room (more on this coming up later) and a nice rustic charm.  Because I have the genes of a 45 year old gay man I was automatically planning the space for when I bought it and lived there myself.  I was going to make a cozy seating area near the fire place while still allowing for traffic around the room, and I would have made the room we didn't really use the den and office space.  If it was given to me I could make this a really nice little house.  It's only 15 minutes from downtown so I can't imagine it's real estate value, but I should digress and continue on with how I ended up murdering people until 3am...

I got you again, didn't I?  I keep pulling out all the stops. 

We got settled into the house and almost immediately set out to make S'mores.  I mean, duh?  I was running around the property with a miners light on my head (pictures below) trying to rastle' up sum fire wood.  I eventually was just breaking limps and twigs off of trees and bushes, but I felt really manly doing it.  With several of us babying it, we finally got the fire to take off.  (Genie, if you're reading this, throwing leaves on the fire didn't help at all. And Katie you gave the fire too much air and actually blew it out.  And Martin I am still not sure what kindling is.)

So naturally I was already trying to find some sort of stick to roast marshmellows on, and Taylor was getting the S'mores fixin's ready (we used the trunk of my car as a sort of table) and it was on.  I made my first S'more with two marshmallows and was patient and roasted it was it was perfectly golden brown.  It was a thing of beauty.  I made my second S'more the same exact way, but this time I doubled up on the chocolate.  So good. 

After digesting all of that I ate 6 more roasted (read: burnt) marshmallows two-at-a-time right off of the stick.  I made this noise each time that I literally couldn't contain... so good.  I think the Native Americans were on to something in having those fires all the time. 

We played this really awesome game called Murder in the Dark as a group... the idea is that 2 people are the murders and like the game Clue you have to figure out who the murder is.  I loved it, I think a lot of that is because I was on a sugar high.  Martin made us warm spiced apple cider (so good!) and I also ate more food.  We slept upstairs and my friends who I shared a room with were all about the pillow talk. 

Saturday afternoon we were ready to leave when I decided it would be a good idea to go pet the sheep who were in the pasture area near the house.  Well... the sheep were not having any of it, so I was running around and trying to herd them and such... and I lost my keys.  I'm not sure where they are in that sheep pasture, but I went back today and searched for 3 additional hours and couldn't find them.

The best part?  I realized I left my wallet and my flashlight at the Farmhouse, and although those aren't really a huge part of this saga I still feel like the world was out to get me this weekend.  Murphy's Law came back to bite me once again. 

On the bright side?  I was able to see my Mom and family twice in two days, I did find my wallet and my flashlight, and I have been nursing my cold and drinking tea and Emergen-C trying to get over it.  There is a lot more to this story, but I'm feeling sleep calling my name. 

Goodnight friends.  I love my life.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Love or hate?

I either love this or hate this.  Its a necklace and the center black/pink/gold piece is the middle and both sides will have 4 strands of seed beads going up and the green strand will have the gold flower caps you see here. 
You have to be totally honest and tell me if this is stunning or tacky.  Totally honest.

Friday, August 24, 2012

New life to an old favorite

So, I bought this bracelet (it's the pastel colored one I have pictured in this post) while I was in Washington DC in 2010.  I was at Eastern Market with my PA friends and this woman had a bucket full of bracelets- I don't remember exactly, but I do recall this specific bracelet jumping out at me.  You know those moments where you see something and you realize that is literally meant to belong to you?  That no one else in the world but you would ever love it as much as you will?  I had that moment.

I remember haggling with her and got her down from $10 to $8... and when I opened up my wallet all I had were $20 bills.  I was frustrated and I just wanted to have it on my wrist, so I handed her a $20, she handed me a $10 back with a sly smile and I walked away.

I wore the bracelet on each opening day for the CWF program for the rest of that summer.  My sister has worn this bracelet a few times.  My Mom wore it to Thanksgiving dinner one year and my Grandma actually complemented her on it.  My Grandma does have good taste.

Needless to say this is one of the pieces in my collect of bracelets (and if you know me, you know there are many in my collection) that I love.  It's been with me for so much.

I was heartbroken when it fell apart at the Fair this summer.  I was just walking along and I clapped or something and BAM! all the beads fell to the ground.  My friend Sam and Julian helped me pick up the pieces and I didn't start crying.  I held it together.  There is no time for tears at the Ohio State Fair.

So this evening I got out my supplies and pieced her back together.  This time I used beading wire instead of elastic cord (I prefer elastic, but heavy ceramic beads require something more sturdy) and a beautiful gold ring and bar closure I bought recently.  It fits my wrist perfectly.

It feels good to have it back again.

 I'm also working on a few pieces for an upcoming jewelry/art show/fair/sale that my supervisor's supervisor Janet asked if I would like to make.  I'm very excited, I'll make sure to post pictures soon.  One will be mostly black with a mound of beads in the center, and the other I've started has a vintage inspired center pendant with green/pink and gold beads.  I think they'll turn out beautifully.

Have a lovely weekend,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Last days wrapped up in first days

Just as I ended my internship with the Ohio State Fair this summer I was thrown right into training for my RA position here at OSU.  I really wouldn't have it any other way- I love keeping busy.  I just wanted some time to sleep after the Fair ended.  No such luck.

Now classes have started up, I'm finally getting settled back into my life here at Ohio State.  It's amazing to me that a year ago I was still finding myself after the mess I left back at Bradley.  What a difference a year can make.

Lindsey is all moved into OSU as well, and I hope she's finding her footing and enjoying her first few days.  I'm having dinner with her tonight, which is awesome to me- we're both right here in Columbus just a few hundred feet from one another.

I'm looking into my future- considering Graduated School, GRE, jobs/careers, the Peace Corps.  But for now I think I'm going to settle into my life at OSU and just be cozy for a little while.  My birthday is in one week, and that brings on a whole new set of emotions and things to deal with. 

I may complain a lot, but I live a charmed life.

More later, friends.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I love these pictures.

 Petunias are always so photogenic and are a summer staple.  I love the shades of purple here.

One of my favorite Columbus buildings.  Plus the attention to detail along the doorframes.

 These pictures are just about to only good things that came out of Pride weekend.  Haha.

Summer bucket list.

I plan on documenting each one with a picture.  At the end of this summer I'll write a post and share all of the pictures.  If I can't get them all done than I will add them to my LIFE bucket list.

1. Ride the giant yellow slide at the Fair.
2. Sip homemade lemonade out of a mason jar with a red and white spiral straw on a porch somewhere.
3. Brainstorm ideas for bulletin boards and make all of my floors door decorations before August.
4. Watch an outdoor movie.
5. Make 15 new pieces of jewelry and gift them to people.
6. Bake cupcakes.  Pass out cupcakes and hugs to strangers.
7. Document 5 Columbus restaurants with pictures.  Set it up with management. Write a blog post about each one.
8. Go on a road trip.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Slight changes.

Just a quick post to catch you up.  This coming week is finals week and it will pure insanity.  Not only do I have finals to study for (which I should be doing right at this very moment) but we have to close our building.  Somehow these 600+ students have to all pack up their belongings and leave before Friday at 2pm.  It will be a miracle if it all works out.

I also start my Ohio State Fair internship next Monday and I am very excited for that.  I'm sure it will keep me on my toes but I love a new experience.

I've made a few changes to my layout:
I've added the links to different pages above this post.  Go ahead and look.  Do you like what you see?  Some of them are still under construction.  I'm hoping to add more as I get the hang of things.

I eliminated the background.  Still sourcing other ideas for this.  For now I like the solid color.

I'm looking to add some sort of widget to the "photography" tab above so the pictures scroll through.  If you have ideas of a good one I'd love to know.

I'm looking into Google AdSense.  Trying to increase my traffic here.  I think that will come as I continue to post and grow a base.  I'd love for you to share with your friends.

I must away now to buy cookies for a floor program. 

Thanks for reading with me,

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My weekend in pictures 5.4.2012-5.6.2012

So... I haven't done this in quite a while!  I figured I wanted to get back in the swing of posting my weekend in pictures.  For posterity's sake, of course.  I had a stellar weekend, and spent a good chunk of it sleeping.  

Current song obsession? 
Daughter- Youth
(When I just searched this on YouTube I put in "Family- Son" but nothing came up. Haha.)

Current guilty pleasure song?

Click to listen while you explore this weekends pictures!

 I needed a good escape on Thursday.  So, even though it isn't technically part of my weekend, I wanted to include it here.  I got sucked into the $1 section at Michaels.  And I had to call my Mom just to will myself out of it.  I spent so much time in the dollar section that I didn't leave myself enough time to explore the rest of the store.  I made a few really great purchases, though.  
So exciting.
 I've also been looking for shorts.  Since I'm a tall guy and this seasons shorts are cut to fit short on guys already (it's the yacht look?) it's been hard to find anything that doesn't ride up on me when I sit down.  I finally found a pair (these aren't them) at Old Navy.  Success!  Except I wore them once and got tooth paste on them.  They'll have to wait for the next wash cycle.
 How does a person design window displays?  Who do you call?  Because I feel like I'd be really good at it.  I loved this one.
 Most likely the best .40 cents I have ever spent.  It's a jumbo eraser that is designed like a robot.  It EVEN has a heart.  I'll need to go back and get some more.  Because once you use it...
 I bought new BRIGHT yellow shoes. 
 I generally get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.  Well, I'm starting to rethink my order because no one can make a PB& J that is up to my standards.  No one.  This guy got jelly all on the outside of the bread.  How? I have no idea.
 Positive graffiti on the white board in Thompson Library.  I'm not sure what the drawing there is, but I didn't want to erase it.
 It started raining as I was walking across campus.  Beautiful moment.
 I have a new obsession...
 It's hand lettering. 
 I love it.  It's a good release.
 I've already done this.  It was in a book called "Do something everyday."
Plus, I love my family tree.
 I also bought some new stamps!  They're clear and just stick onto that acryclic block you see there.  I used this one to make the card you see below...
I wanted to use both words, but I didn't want them to be so close together (one inside the cut out and one below it) so I only stamped ink onto one word at a time.  Perfect!  I love these clear stamps, you can see EXACTLY where you are going to place it.
 I added some dots around the "Hello" and some accents on the "Darling" part.  
It's simple. Classy.  I love it.
 I spent a few hours nestled in the Union today working on a paper.  I took this picture because it seemed like a perfect moment... how could I pass up that big block O?  No way Jose.

That's all for this week.
Thanks for stopping by!