When not spending the time beading, spend the time with shopping for treasure?

I applaud designers and beaders, who are able to buy supplies according to plan and need. I certainly can't. There are very few things more fun than window-shopping for supplies, except perhaps expecting the packages and swimming in lovelinesses when they arrive.

I rarely make any plans beforehand. And when I do, I rarely find all the things I need at once. Or can afford them at once. However, once I have some particular part at hand, the rest follows. I guess you could call it the dust-bunny method of beading: things slowly accumulate and then suddenly materialize into something greater than its parts.

My favourite treasure troves currently are:

Treasure Island Pearls and Beads, which is my favourite shop ever for lovely fresh water pearls and Gemshow-Online Jewelry Supply, where I buy most of my sterling silver. I get almost all of my Swarovski's and some sterling bits and pieces from BlueMud Beads and Sterling Jewelry and a random range of materials from d-class filler fresh water pearls to wire at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads. The last two places offer really nice discounts when one buys in bulk, which means that postage and customs are a huge deal, and I either arrange or participate in a shopping spree with a few fellow beadists a couple of times a year. The first two shops have designed their array, prices and postage in such a manner that one is able to buy on a whim.

I try to shop in Finland whenever I find something that fits my fancy or I need something really quickly. My favourite Finnish shops are: Luxonia for all-sorts stones and HelmiQ for all-sorts glass beads. For luxurious fresh water pearls I shop at Helmiliina and for everything lovely at Satuhelmi.

As I do tend to need that accumulation, I usually buy at least a string of pearls or stones at a time. Or if I really like something or it fits several projects, several strands at a time. I simply can't bear it when there isn't enough of something at hand if I want to knot an extra long rope or put together a multi-layered necklace. If you wonder how many shades of mauve fresh water pearls there can possibly be in the world, I'd say at least a few dozen based on my mauve box.

When striving for positives, at least pearls and gems take little space compared to shoes and handbags, for which I have very little interest. However, I probably already have a stash that's going to last me a life-time or two, which means a little moderation would be in order. Ie, I'm going on a fast.

Rules for Pearl Fast:

1. One can only buy the amount of beads and other supplies one has used or less.

2. Amount of beads and supplies will be monitored monthly.

3. Shopping may only occur after the monthly accounts are settled.

4. Even if there are glorious sales and enticing adverts.

Maybe this will teach me not only to moderate shopping, but also to use my time more efficiently so that there's more time for beading. I would also love to learn how to use the materials I already have more imaginatively to complete designs.

Fast starts now.