Second Studio Syndrome

Looking for the Bead Soup Book Tour giveaway? Scroll down or Click here Perhaps you have heard me mention we were building a lake house...several times....Anyway, it's done. Finally. Now onto the important stuff like what we need at the lake. And I'm not talking boats or furniture. I'm talking about studio space and how to outfit it. The girl child and I spent last weekend at the lake. I needed to finish my design challenge piece for component of the month so I grabbed a few bead boxes, some tools and wire, and called it good. It kind of wasn't, but it was enough for me to get the job done. The mess I made on the dining table in the process:

Already taking over the kitchen table

So I am trying to come up with a method of dealing with my jewelry making needs for the days I'm at the lake. Do I buy 2 of everything? One for the lake and one for home? That doesn't seem very economical.

Do I pack up the studio every time we head to the lake? I could, but the suitcase gets very heavy and it would be so time consuming to have to do that every single time.

This is what it looked like when I packed up the studio for a trip to Colorado.

Have Beads, Will Travel

What's a girl to do?

So I started thinking. Which can be dangerous at times...

I have a beading bag similar to this one

which was GREAT when all my beads and few tools fit into this bag. And yes, I do remember a time when that was the case. Not so much any more (understatement of the year). Plus it's a very uninspiring bag and I tend to throw my tools and wire and other flotsam into it. It also doesn't help me with the issue of WHICH trays of beads do I take? And having to pack them before each and every lake house stay. I'm sure by now you all think I'm a bit whiny. Or neurotic. Or probably both. I don't disagree.

Then I remembered an article I read in...maybe Cloth Paper Scissors? Or one of the Stampington magazines...I wish I could remember where I saw it.... About an artist mom who, like the rest of us artist moms spend countless hours waiting for kids to finish their activities in parked cars, on bleachers, in lobbies, etc. And she showed off her DARLING and ORGANIZED craft suitcase.

So I started googling craft suitcases and started a "Have Beads Will Travel" Pinterest board specifically for my finds.

Only one case was specifically for jewelry/beading, but the blog post is full of great info (the following photos are all clickable and will take you directly to original souce):

Jewelry crafting suitcase

 Here's a case showcased on the Better Homes and Gardens website

BHG craft suitcase

The following one is all over the internet if you do a google search. It's absolutely adorable and so organized from Amy Powers Inspire Co. blog

craft suitcase inspire co amy powers

Another case Amy Powers did for an article in Stitch Craft Create

Inspire co craft suitcase

Lots of inspiration and ideas to create my own traveling bead studio. I may double up on a few tools so that I don't have to pack/unpack/repack. However, I can take a few beads here and there from the stash. And perhaps working within the parameters of the suitcase will enhance creativity. Or it could make me really frustrated and want to rip my hair out. It could go either way.

It just so happens I bought a vintage suitcase a couple weeks ago.

Vintage suitcase

I haggled the price and got a great deal. After I bought it, I noticed a previous owner had scratched their initials and last name. I don't know if you can read it, but the last name is Stout. People, that is my maiden name. And it's not a common one. I keep meaning to ask my dad about the initials because I don't recognize them. But we have a very large family.

I wonder if it's like the ring story...when I was a child, my dad donated a ring he wasn't fond of and would never wear, to the church garage sale to raise money for something (don't remember what). I, of course, had never seen the ring.

We lived within walking distance of our church, so I went to the garage sale. With my own money. And no parental supervision. I was maybe 7.

Guess what I bought as a gift for my dad? The ring he donated. I hope he didn't throw out this suitcase just for me to buy it back...

If you got through this very long post and have any ideas for how to deal with 2nd studio syndrome, I would love to hear them. I will keep you updated if and when I decide to outfit this case as a traveling studio.

And TGIF! Have a great weekend everyone.


Jo Tinley

I have similar issues every week. I teach evening classes at our local college two evenings a week, and I'm forever packing and unpacking equipment. As well as my pliers, cutters, jeweler's saw, files etc, there are also bigger pieces of equipment (jump ring coiling thingy, disc cutter etc) that I take in every now and then for my students to use because either the college don't have them or mine are nuch better! There's no way I can afford to buy duplicates of the larger pieces, but I think I'm going to buy duplicate pliers etc just to save my sanity and keep things more organised!


I love this idea. Some day when I do travel I will keep it in mind! LOL

Kimberly F (Bakin' Goddess)

Great ideas. I love how you're just like me. If and when I do it, I may like it/I may not. HA!


This dilemma would drive me batty. I wouldn't be able to stand the packing/unpacking, not having what I need, etc. I vote for a second set of tools (just a few to start with like cutters and pliers) and what you use frequently (beading wire/crimps? wire for wrapping?). As for the beads, I would plan specific projects and set aside the beads for those. I use the plastic clam shell boxes from the grocery store bakery (gee, I have too many of those. What does that say about my sweet tooth?!). I have about a dozen photo storage boxes that I sort my beads in by color so there's no way I can take all of them. But if I had a project box started, I could grab the photo box that contains coordinating beads. But what a nice dilemma to have! A lake house!


LOL! I know what you mean...and you have some really great ideas for how to deal with it. Thanks for sharing!

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