Helloooo again my fellow beaders! It is good to be back among you, even if it is just from the sidelines! This whole crater-in-the-arm-thing has left me with an infection of such grand proportions that I am unable to bead. It is simply too painful. Soooo, I thought I would bring you something I had been putting off for a while anyway – a comparison of bead boards that I did. Now I’m not wanna-be-Prez-Trump-rich, so I could only compare two, but I hope you find it informative anyway!
My first beading board was the “Bead on It!” beading board (BOIB). You can purchase those at Potomac Bead Company or Beyond Beadery in several prints and sizes, or over at Fusion Beads in their signature hot pink in the same variety of sizes. According to the label on the back of my first two boards (a 6×11 and 8×11), they have a 2008 copyright, and a trademark patented in 2010. Not sure what their copyright is for, as copyrights only cover works of authorship, for example – screenplays, books, bead patterns! My last BOIB just had a tag on it that simply said “Patent®.”
But, when a beader can’t bead, and isn’t interested in what’s on tv anymore, she surfs the net. And when I went looking for that patent (cuz I got all curious and nosy when there was no Patent number and WTH else am I supposed to do with my time if I can NOT bead! grrrrrr), I found out that no patent has ever been issued, or for that matter, even applied for prior to March of this year, and even then it was rejected last month (taking less than 39 minutes of government time per the application – gotta be thankful for that, what with our taxes being so high!) on July 6, 2016. Besides the name “Bead on It” being considered “merely descriptive,” her submission did “not show the applied-for mark in use in commerce…Specifically, the current specimen of record merely provides contact and fire safety information about the goods, but does not show use of the applied-for mark in connection with the actual goods.” For more information please go HERE. The BOIB people do however, have six months to file a response to the USPTO’s decision.
Now, color me an amateur sleuth, but in checking even further, I found out you may only use the registered trademark symbol (®) if your trademark IS actually registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. According to the 8/13/16 edition of The National Law Review, The Federal Circuit has held: “The improper use of a registration notice in connection with an unregistered mark, if done with intent to deceive the purchasing public or others in the trade into believing that the mark is registered, is a ground for denying the registration of an otherwise registrable mark.” Copelands’ Enterprises Inc. v. CNV Inc., 945 F.2d 1563, 20 USPQ2d 1295 (Fed. Cir. 1991). Presumably, the same conduct would sustain a petition to cancel as well. Although, the statutory support for the broader focus is unclear, it appears that an intent to deceive the USPTO is not required, so long as there is an intent to deceive the relevant public regarding registration.” Sheesh that was long-winded and way more than a beader cares about!
The second product, The Bead Wrangler by Ree Stanley of Belles and Beaux, is a much more affordable alternative that is available in 18 prints, your choice of mat/surface color, and with free monogramming. Purchase is available online through her Facebook page HERE or her website. Shipping is priority flat rate of either $7 or $14, depending on board size. I ordered my board with specifics as to mat color (Chartreuse, gray, lt turquoise), with the free monogramming, and had my board just two days later.
Outer Fabric: The BOIB is available in several prints – if you purchase from Potomac Beads or Beyond Beadery. If you are just purchasing from Fusion Beads, then all you get is Hot Pink. The fabrics feel like a velour jacket against your wrist and hands while you are beading. The Bead Wrangler Bead Boards are available in 18 prints, including 10 animal prints, 2 designer prints, and 6 other cute prints. Strictly a matter of customer preference here. I do think the Bead Wrangler boards are sewn better, but that is probably due to coming from a former seamstress.
Inner Surface Mat: The first few BOIB’s I had were made with a very nice chenille/vellux type material for the surface mat, but the last few I purchased (including my $120 Round board) were done in a spongy, almost foam rubbery type material. They were not as nice as the earlier BOIB’s I had, and showed dirt quite badly, not to mention not being as bead friendly. The Bead Wrangler allows you your choice not only of surface material (chenille vs. vellux), but also COLOR! So now I have one with a gray surface, one with a light turquoise color, and two with Chartreuse! With the BOIB I only had tan with the nicer, earlier surface mats, and then nothing but white with the foam rubber. Another plus for the Bead Wrangler is you can get them monogrammed with your name (or whatever) for free. Once again, a matter of preference.
Function: Both the BOIB and the Bead Wrangler turn the beads hole side up with just a light shake. The nice thing about the Bead Wrangler that was a massive plus over the BOIB for me was that the beads do not get caught in the crevices between where the surface and the bumper edges meet. That was very irritating with the BOIB, having to continuously scoop them out of the crevices with your triangle, fingernail, bead scoop, or whatever was handy. The BOIB board is MUCH heavier than the Bead Wrangler, by almost two pounds on the large board. It feels as if it’s made out of a dense plywood, versus the lighter wood that the Bead Wrangler lady is using. Both boards have non-skid bottoms to keep them from scooting around your work table while you are beading, but for lap beading, I personally prefer the lighter Bead Wrangler board. I think it is a matter of preference on that.
Price: For an 11×17 rectangular or round board, the BOIB price is $120.00, 9 inch round and 8×14 $59.99, 8×11 $49.99, and 6×11 $32.00. The Bead Wrangler’s 12×14 large board is $50.00, 10×12 is $40.00, 12 inch round $65.00, and 8 inch round $35.00. That is a huge difference if you are a beader who would rather spend your money on beads (or food, rent, etc.)!
I liked my BOIB’s, or I wouldn’t have had four or five of them, but I absolutely LOVE my Bead Wrangler boards and you won’t even be able to pry them from my cold dead hands! (I told my hubby to bury them with me – they do have my name on them!) I think that there are different beaders preference for both boards, same as there is for Toho and Miyuki, Precocia and Swarovski, you get the drift. Do your own experiment and leave me a comment below with your results!
Look, regardless of who makes what, a bead board is still just a tool, really the U.S. Patent Office kinda nailed it when they called it a “convenience item.” It is no different than using Wubbers instead of Lindstrom pliers, Black and Decker or Craftsman tools, or wearing Old Navy vs. Levi jeans. It’s a tool, and as such is part of retail trade, and will be made by a lot of people. I hope to be able to broaden this comparison to others.
For those of you waiting on my “Penny Pincher” tutorial, please just bear with me. This infection is kicking my butt and I just have not been up to working much, which is why I did not blog last week. Please remember I love hearing from you in the comments though. Maybe this week I can use my arm for something other than holding a computer mouse and get back to beading!
Until next time, stay smart or stay smart sassy!