As I started accumulating more and more stone beads I began to realize that my large ziplock bag full of small ziplock bags wouldn't cut it any more for storage. I pondered idea after idea of how to get maximum storage without sacrificing style. I am completely in love with the industrial movement and the decor that has sprung from that. I was very fortunate to have a Father who worked on the ocean and one day called me to say "I found your raised garden beds!" I had been looking for free or cheap wood to make raised garden beds out of and to my luck, my Dad, happened to be at the Deep Bay warf when they were tearing it apart. The warf was 100 years old and needed to be re done. A week later the boards showed up at my front door. They were perfect for garden beds but after a couple of "ah ha" moments I decided a few of them would be perfect for bead storage. They are weathered, have shell pieces completely stuck in places, are slightly cracking and show every bit of their 100 years of age. As my Dad said, "they are nicely pickled."
The next step was to figure out exactly what to put the stones in. My Mom has been ill and has been forced to drink "Ensure" leaving many many bottles at my disposal. I noticed that the bottles had large threads and would easily slide into two dowels. The problem was, was that they were large and opaque. I would have to glue a stone and write the name on each bottle to make it functional. My Mom had the brilliant idea of using baby food jars! They are clear! And small! I am fortunate to have friends with small babies so I was given quite a few. I also posted on Craigslist and had great response. I was also fortunate to have finishing nails left over from when we installed our bamboo floors in the house and they were just the right length. I hammered two into a scrap board , slipped on the jar and voila! It worked.
The next step was to figure out how many I could fit on a board and how far apart to place them. I went with three rows down the board and spaced each bottle 1 inch apart so I could easily get my hands around them to get them off when needed. I was also really tricky and made a template out of scrap plywood at the exact distance apart that would fit the neck of the jar. I marked the spots, hammered the nails in and tested the spacing. I was fortunate to have a very useful 4 year old to help me. The tape is really handy for seeing where the mark for the nail is. The nail head punctures it nicely and it is bright. The wood has so many imperfections it's hard to see the hole otherwise.
When this first board is complete and hung I will post photos of the finished product. Please stay tuned.....
I am mostly self taught and develop many of my designs through simple experimentation. Discovering a new technique or applying an old technique in a new way is very exciting for me. I often have middle of the night "brain waves" and some not so brilliant, "brilliant ideas." It is what keeps the process fresh.