Welcome back to another fun-filled week of sarcasm, beads, my life (or lack thereof – Ha!), and yet another installment in my reviews of that wonderful tool we beaders love – the bead board! I took a week off from blogging to deal with some crapola going on in my personal life, but also to try out the board I will be reviewing here today.
I also spent the week car shopping, and have mercy, I absolutely despise that whole, sitting in the little plastic chair, waiting on the finance people to work their magic with the numbers thing that takes pretty much all freaking afternoon/morning/evening – just pick one, cuz they are all pretty much the same! But anyhow, I found what I wanted, so at least there’s that!
I owe you all (and Ruth Ann Miller too!) an apology, as in my last installment about The Bead Pad, I neglected to give you all the details about prices and sizes. For starters, her 6 inch mini-round board is $22.50 and her 11 inch round is $50.00. Her oval 11×14 board is $55.00, and is the one I actually have and reviewed. Her rectangle boards come in two sizes. There is the standard 9×12 for $50.00, and then she has a table sized one, the “Big Mama” that runs $125.00. She has 18 border colors to choose from and her shipping runs from $7.50 – $19.50, depending on board size. The Bead Corrals that she has to keep your beads in place on the boards are $14.99, and shipping for those is $5.50.
Now, on to this week’s installment! A couple of weeks ago I came home from volunteering at my grandson’s school and found where my hubby had left a package in my chair on his way to work that was marked as coming air freight from across the pond in the U.K. Upon opening it, I found the Curved Mega Tray version of Silaba Crafts beading board, a “Gilly,” a set of “Dilly Pads,” and “Dilly Dots.” To say the folks at Silaba were generous would be a serious overstatement, and buh-leeve me it was an overstatement, because as soon as they found out that another business in the U.S. was making them (which was in process LONG before my review came out) they demanded I ship their things back to them ASAP (despite INSISTING in an email that I keep them with their compliments to avoid the cost of returning them, which was nearly $80). They were NOT nice about it, either, even going as far as to slander me personally on social media and some other private messaging.
So what is a curved bead board? It is a 12×18 beading board that is shaped kind of like an upside down boomerang. It is very lightweight, lighter than any bead board I have had so far, (probably because it is much thinner as it had nearly NO padding) fits around your waist while you are sitting in your favorite recliner, on the sofa, etc. The surface mat is a light-colored blanket material, and the border material is a stretch fabric that although not waterproof, when the sweat from my glass dripped on it the other night, it beaded up instead of soaking in and leaving a stain. There is no problem with any beads getting stuck in the crevices between the bumper and the surface either. If they roll down, just push down on the mat and they pop back up on the board again, just as with the Bead Wrangler boards.
I have been using this bead board/craft tray at night while watching TV, as it fits perfectly around my waist, with room for all of my beads and tools on it because I don’t have to worry about either beads or tools going anywhere if I shift around because of the “Dilly Pads and Dots” that came with the board. They are basically little teeny-weeny bead mats with a ring inside to keep your beads in place – on ONE side. The other side is backed in felt to hold your tools in place. The “Dilly Dots” are just a smaller version of the pads. They are all cut to fit in the curve of your bead board. Forget it if you have a square or rectangular board – they just don’t fit. Another problem is they get SO dirty so quickly!
So, in addition to all of that, I received the “Gilly,” a small 8×5 board. What is so cool about it? Not all that much. It comes with its own padded cover with built-in double-sectioned Dilly pads on the inside of it, and sewn on very thin (and will eventually rip) elastic straps that hook together to keep it closed. It is the perfect size for those really large purses. It still has the wooden base though (making your purse quite bulky and much heavier), but it also has a rim to it to keep those beads from going too far. It is ok for travel beading unless you are in the car and the rim is so small that the beads go flying with the first bump in the road or an airplane and hit any turbulence. I still love and MUCH prefer my Bead Wrangler 8 inch board better because there is more surface room to bead and a larger rim for those pesky bumps in the road!
Both the large board and the Gilly offer a slight (and I mean SLIGHT) amount of padding for your wrists and to stick your needles when not in use without fear of breaking them, though they will bend them. They are easily cleaned with one of those masking tape type lint rollers or lightly dampened cloth, just as the Bead Wrangler is.
Silaba’s boards are available in square, oval, oblong, round, rectangle, and the curved shapes, ranging in sizes from 7 1/2×12 to 12×18. They offer 40 choices in border fabric selections (far too many to choose from IMO). Prices range from $36.42 – $101.45, depending on size/shape, and shipping ranges from $9.10 – $19.51 which is via Airmail, which takes a couple of weeks (mine took nearly three weeks to get here), while the Bead Wrangler is usually just a couple of days. The “Gilly” is available in nine color selections and is $36.42 plus $9.10 shipping. (All amounts are in USD). All in all, not bad pricewise, but shipping time kinda stinks, considering it’s coming from across the pond, however I do believe in American-made and supporting OUR small businesses!
And speaking of great bead boards, The Bead Wrangler has added two new products to her line. The first one is a mini board that’s 7×12 inches. Several customers wanted one that would fit into a bag and take up less space. It is available in all 16 trim choices. The second new product is the ONLY one of its kind, and is just freaking AWESOME! It is a TWO-sided bead board!
Many beaders prefer a lighter beading surface but occasionally, they will have a pattern or design using all light beads which may be more difficult to see on the lighter surface. This “reversible” board is the only one of its kind! You’ll have the lighter surface AND the darker surface on the same board! The best part? It is only $10 more ($60) for the double-sided board! Now if you think this is awesome, just wait until you see what else she has coming out!
So far I have reviewed the Bead On It Boards, The Bead Pad, Silaba Crafts curved craft tray, and my personal favorite (and the least expensive and best made) The Bead Wrangler. I have reached out to one more seller on Etsy, and Ruby Lockwood, if you are reading this, please get in touch! ALL of the boards that I have reviewed thus far are significantly less expensive than the Bead On It boards. In a side by side comparison The Bead Wrangler wins, hands down in my book, especially with the free monogram! Moral of these reviews: Bead On It Boards are made by Canadians, Silaba in the UK. If you ARE an American then BUY American! Support your home country’s businesses when at all possible!
So, if you are wondering if I have any beading to show you this week, I do not. But only because I am keeping it under wraps for a wee bit longer annnndddddd so I can tease you now about it. Ha! As it stands right now, I am headed to beautiful Stone Mountain, Georgia this week to not only bead with a wonderful friend, but to see some of the great new things Ree Stanley, The Bead Wrangler lady has under wraps! ROAD TRIP!!!!! Wheeeeeee!!!
For those of you kind enough to send me information about grandparents rights, advocacy groups, and legal intervention, and for those of you keeping my grandbabies in your prayers and thoughts, I can’t thank you enough, and ask that you continue to do so in the prayer department. You all have been VERY resourceful! I did get a couple of hours with them last Sunday night, but nothing since, except seeing my grandson for a few minutes while I was at his school the other day.
I want to welcome my newest advertiser, Red Door Beads and Gallery! You will find their ad with a 15% off your ENTIRE purchase over on the left side of the page if you are on a desktop, and down below the comment section on mobile. It’s always nice to find an advertiser with as snarky an attitude as mine! Ha! Seriously though, I consider Viki at Red Door a friend, and everyone knows you can’t be snarky with a straight face with friends! Seriously though, she saved this blog from oblivion, though it is still not out of the woods financially yet, sooooo you know the drill. Hit the Paypal button and please oh please, help me out where and when you can.
That about wraps it up for this week. So, until next time, stay smart or stay smart sassy!