Chinese BulldozerBulldozer by Edyta Materka

So this week, I’ve been working on all sorts of things.  Not with construction equipment, unfortunately. Although I do know how to drive a fork lift and a bobcat. No, I was fixing website errors.  Forging a few bracelets.  Spending ridiculously long hours crafting the graphic that will be my brand new studio Gift Certificates(click here for a sneak peek!). And generally trying to avoid the inevitable. However, it finally happened.  I couldn’t find a particular chain that I had ordered for a client’s project.  I tore my workbench apart.  I ransacked my desk. Nada.

But I did find my receipt showing that at one point in the not too distant past I’d had the chain.  I’d paid for the chain.  I just couldn’t locate that chain.

So instead of setting stones, or finishing my bracelets, I actually spent a good majority of the week collecting all my bins, boxes and piles of materials and organizing them.  So much fun.  I kept getting distracted with the projects I wanted to make with the lovely materials.  But for the most part, my stones are actually fairly well setup.  I bought these :

…some time ago and they are absolutely perfect for storing and sorting cabochons, gemstones, etc, etc. Or beads, I suppose if you were so inclined. I store them on edge, which I have labeled, in a rolling tote and it’s perfect. The lids lock in place, and you can open one compartment at a time, so nothing spills. A brilliant piece of engineering- and cheap. Which rocks, so to speak- as long as you actually put your stones away.

Stone Caddies from Craft Mate

Not so good for wire or sheets of metals, unfortunately. So I also have this rather large metal drawer cabinet. It’s taller than I am, and has lots of different depths of drawers, with rows and dividers in each drawer. I’ve labeled the drawers with different gauges, and wire versus sheet. But… well… I’m really bad about putting things away.

I have a small mound of wire next to my soldering bench, along with some of my most used pliers. Some of the wire has labels on telling me what gauge they are- but most does not. There are similar piles of mixed tools and materials near the area that has my raising stakes. There would be some on my workbench, but my workbench is covered with small boxes of findings, half-done projects and chains which I haven’t actually put away yet. So there’s really no room for materials. Although a coil of wire was dangling off the end of my bench pin.

*ahem*

So I spent much needed time putting things away, and sorting wire gauges. Which is really hard without a wire gauge, let me tell you. I keep meaning to get one, and every time I call up a tool supplier I forget. Ah well. Maybe for Christmas.  I did find the chain- it was stashed in the drawer with the pickle neutralizer, for some reason.  But I actually swept and saw clear space on all three of my little work areas and had nothing on the stools when I was done. Because we all know that stools are nothing more than portable end tables for holding tools while we’re working. Right? Right.

Tidy Workbench

One of the other things I did this week was to create a page for all of you lovely readers. I want to know what you’re working on, and what you’ve made recently. It’s all very well for me to talk about what I’m working on- but it’d be a whole lot more fun if we shared. So here’s the brand new Reader’s Works page! Come help me fill it up!