by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer and Instructor, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

I have a theory ... many precious minutes are lost when one could be beading; waiting at the airport, picking up the kids from soccer, chatting on the phone, happy hour at your BFF's, etc. But let's face it, packing everything up, making sure you have everything you need and keeping it from spilling is a daunting task so why bother? There we sit, months later staring at all our UFOs (Un Finished Objects) wondering where all the time went; we were sure this necklace set would be finished by Mother's Day ... last year!

I have some fun little tips for beaders on the go. I've tried darn near every gadget, container and vessel to come up with my faves, so here are a few Kristal Wick's pics:

I love toolsets. They come in a nice flat zipped-up pouch and travel well. If you have your own set of tools, a small cosmetic or pencil pouch works very well for packing up and toting tools. Holiday tins from the craft stores make great traveling tool organizers too, and you can get them after the holidays pretty inexpensively.

Mini tools are handy to bring on a plane or slip into your overnight tote. Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines for more information about items accepted as carry-on items. For all you "fashionistas" out there, here's something to drool over, Blitz Bagz®, it's on my list to Santa already. Function and fashion all in one gaaaw-gous bag? You had me at Blitz dahhhhh-ling!

Bliz Bagz Organizers

A battery-operated clip-on light is also a must in your travel stash. I bring a couple along, they fold up so small and when I bead with a buddy, we never seem to have enough light!

One of my students gave me the best travel gift on the planet (in my humble opinion). It's a mini silicone measuring cup and my pinch-n-pour savior! Fill it full of beads; use what you need then pinch it slightly to pour beads back into their container when you're done. The silicone cupcake bakers work also. You can find these goodies at kitchen stores. They stack and squish nicely (perfect for your suitcase or purse).
Sisterhood Of The Traveling Beads

Some projects are easier to grab and go than others. I keep an ongoing plastic box full of peyote cuff supplies ready to go at all times and slip it in my purse as I'm running out the door. I usually use only 3 colors with a minimal design so they're great to whip out at a moment's notice and pick right up where you left off even if it was months ago.

Earrings are great grab-and-go projects. Instead of dragging entire bags of components around, I use trays with compartments. Put the components for a pair of earrings into each compartment, assembly-line style: toss 2 earwires, 2 headpins and beads for 2 earrings into each compartment. Put a lid on the tray or stack another tray on top and fill it up. When you get to your destination you can blast through making these earrings in lightning speed or hand a tray to your BFF and you can both crank out earrings together!

I hope you enjoy some of these ideas for gal pals and guys-on-the-go! Got any travel tips for me? I'd love to hear them!


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