Ohh, man. Yesterday I did get back to work at the Craft table. It wasn’t anywhere near as scary as it seemed when I was away from it. And, as usual, I didn’t really want to go, once I got started. šŸ™‚ I did have to cut apart and re-weave two earrings, but I got a new design and a new set of earrings out of it. I also timed myself: I’m getting faster. I worked up a set of earrings without the use of ready-made jump rings (they arrived today) in about 1 hour and 15 minutes, after cutting out the time I spent searching for tools and materials and making design decisions.

Now how that will translate to other beads in other colors, I’m not entirely sure at the moment (as I’m also not sure how my initial pink trial actually worked out, when I wasn’t able to reproduce it — though, of course, I was altering those attempts, wasn’t I).

After I had made that set yesterday, though…I figured that was, “enough for today,” (baby steps — though I need to remind myself, baby steps only work when I’m consistent) and got to work on consolidating bead storage. It’s, seriously, less intimidating. What I had been doing is buying beads by the bag or tube and then reshuffling them into small vials so that I could have a visible palette.

I’ve learned, at this point, not to do that unless I actually need to (say, if they’re in a bag: plastic zip bags over years simply decompose and tend to spill seed beads from barely-visible razor-like splits, when they do. Spilled seed beads, lost in carpet, are extremely annoying; and they’re possible cut-glass hazards on a hard floor with shoes or wheels). It’s a waste of time, otherwise: especially when there are beads that need that space more (e.g. cut Czech strands; lots of 10 grams each, of two-hole beads). Kind of like how it felt it was a waste of time to re-consolidate them, yesterday.

I had duplicated storage by having many beads in two places…which, in turn, made it difficult to see everything I had at a glance. My original goal was to have at least one of everything in plain view: the thing is, then you have to restock those little vials, and you have to keep purchasing more little vials, the more individual colors you get. The little vials are not cheap. They also get beaten up.

In many cases, the tubes these beads tend to come in are just fine (though the printing may rub off on one’s nails)…though the condition of some of them (particularly from one vendor) really does make me want to move them into prettier storage.

I sometimes order beads no one has wanted. They may have been bumping around in tubes for years, getting scratched up and dirty on the outside. That makes it even less likely that anyone will ever buy or use them. There is a term for it — though I forget right now, what it is: like “Ugly Tube Syndrome (UTS),” or something.

Anyhow: I had about 20 fresh empty tubes and about 50 things to put into them. Some of them are still in the screw-top vials, but stored with the rest of the tubes, now. This is refreshing, when the cases for the vials keep cracking. I also have a lot of really old and beat-up tubes with old, difficult-to-remove stickers on them…which I chose not to use, even though they were taller. UTS. Of course, this meant having to split some of what I’d previously split, into multiple smaller tubes…now I have some full little tubes, and some little tubes of the same colors with barely enough beads in them to merit even having a tube.

Yeah, it’s not ideal; especially since I really have little idea of what brand any of those older beads are. (I can use digital calipers to differentiate Toho and Miyuki, but as for other brands, like Matsuno, which I’ve never consciously purchased in 11/0 — and which I may mistake for something I know? Or any off-brand beads the store decided to put into vials and sell as, simply, “Japanese”?) As such — I am not entirely sure how these older beads will work up into (my) established patterns.

My major concern in this is being able to evacuate quickly with my tools and a significant amount of materials — fire season is starting early. My secondary concern is ease of design: being able to see and understand what I have to work with.

I’m also having a little bit of an issue with paranoia as regards showing my in-progress designs, when I am not entirely…secure in, and ready to, sell online yet. The vast majority of works I’ve seen online have not been work-in-progress design snapshots, and I’ve gotta say, I’m not even that comfortable with the camera, at this point. I keep getting photobombed by other pieces of jewelry I’ve made, let’s say, and don’t have a good photo staging area yet.

To give you some background as to why I’m a bit anxious: there have been some issues (not with me) on one of my Social Media outlets, and I basically don’t want to have to deal with Intellectual Property Law before I’m entirely certain that I know where I stand in regard to the law in place. I believe that if I can prove that I independently developed my own designs, I’ll be safe against any accusations. (Of course, where I have bothered to draw out and date what I’m doing, that’s probably a huge plus in my favor.)

I have been doing legal research, and it seems I kind of get the gist of what’s going on and what is an indefensible or irrelevant argument. There is, in this case, an amicus curiae which is very relevant to jewelry design — and over 50 pages long. I tried printing it, but it looks like a paper file from the early 1950’s which was later (poorly) scanned. It wasn’t designed for computers or for printouts. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was printed using a printing press (I found an “e” which was lower than the rest of the line of type), and I inadvertently cut off the bottoms of all the pages when I printed it, because it’s tall and narrow and the numbers are at the tops of the pages. I’ll just have to read my backup copy and deal with blurred vision — or, possibly, reprint the article with a huge amount of wasted space, plus small font size.

Yeah, maybe I should have been a Graphic Designer (I do have experience in CSS), but that’s not what I went for.

Most of my digging has been at the U.S. Copyright Office, though it’s probably easier to search that site using Google as an indexing tool (for starters), than it is to actually go there and start digging around. The site is, essentially, huge; and the information needed is contained in printed files. Efficient searching also requires following hyperlinks embedded in the information they do give. I have here a bunch of printouts of relevant passages that I haven’t yet filed…though it would make sense to do so, if only to get them off my desk.

Of course, I also have a bunch of invoices I have yet to enter into my spreadsheets, which is the reason I even came back to this computer today. You can see how far I got on that… šŸ™‚

Published by Haruna

Haruna is a Librarian by training, currently pivoting from Public Services into Technical Services. Their undergraduate major was English -- Creative Writing, and they hold an additional small degree in Art (i.e. Visual Arts). They are now pondering whether a career in Academia is viable or desirable, given the current situation.

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