Friday, April 26, 2013

Three Beading Quick Fixes

When you’re passionate about something, you tend to take it pretty seriously. If you eat, sleep, and breathe jewelry making, you probably want to make sure that you always have the best tools and materials, and that your techniques are the best they can be. But when it comes to the little things, sometimes you really just need to go MacGyver to get the job done. These are some of my favorite little tricks for making a day at the workbench go smoothly.

What would MacGyver do?

Broken Needle Disposal

No matter what kind of needle you like to use, chances are that it will eventually be too bendy to use. Sometimes needles snap - if you’re fond of Cellini spiral this might happen to you a lot - and sometimes the eye will give out. It doesn’t happen very often, so saving up needle scraps for salvage isn’t exactly an appealing idea. You can’t just toss them into the trash, either - who knows where they’ll end up?

How to Dispose of Broken Needles

To make a broken or otherwise useless needle safe for disposal, all you need is a few centimeters of clear tape. Use whatever you’ve got on hand to seal the sharp scraps in a little envelope of adhesive, and you won’t have to worry about it poking out of the trash or ending up in your vacuum cleaner.

Sharpening Scissors

Whether you use Fireline or Nymo, sharp scissors are essential to prevent frayed threads, and give clean cuts when you’re trimming tails. If you’re like me - without the time or patience to visit a scissor sharpening service - you can freshen up your blades right at home in minutes, practically for free.

How to Sharpen Scissors with Aluminum Foil

All you need is a foot or so of aluminum foil from your kitchen drawer. Fold the sheet in half three or four times to get a thick sheet. Then snip it several times with your scissors, using a single cut (don’t saw right across the foil). Give the blades a quick rinse and dry, and they’ll be ready to cut threads clean again. The results don’t last as long as a professional sharpening, but the convenience is worth regular re-dos.

Extending Battery Life

I always use rechargeable batteries in my digital camera. They’re incredibly expensive, although they stand up to the demands of a digital camera really well and pay for themselves after only a few uses. I’ve only got the four that came with the charger, and I’m not ready to invest in any more. So when the second pair runs out of juice, my choices used to be borrow the batteries from the TV remote, or wait a day for mine to recharge.

Digital Camera Tip

Fortunately, good batteries never really die! A few weeks ago I was right in the middle of a shoot when the batteries gave out. On a whim, I pulled out the cells and swapped them. Placing the batteries in opposite slots (in the appropriate +/- positions, of course) provided just enough power for 20 or 30 more photos, not to mention saving a lot of time.

Do you have any quick fixes that you like to use to make beading easier?

Copyright 2013 Inspirational Beading
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  1. For those broken needles, 'dull' or nicked box cutter, rotary, exacto, or scrap-booking blades, I save those small plastic candy dispensers. For the ones that are opaque, a simple piece of tape, with 'Sharps' written on it serves well for my portable craft projects. For home, I spent less than $5 online (@a major online retailer whose name is very large river) for a small Sharps container that stays@my drafting table/work bench.

    When one is full, I tape it shut with strong tape, & take it with me the next time I go to (or will be passing by) the doctors office. They drop them into their own OSHA approved Sharps container for proper disposal.

  2. my hubby is diabetic and we use an empty Tide bottle for his used needles. They're very sturdy and hold a lot of syringes plus my broken beading needles.


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