When I first got into seed beads, I made a giant mistake. I purchased Toho Aiko seed beads. I had done some research, I knew that Aikos were the most perfect beads ever made. That each bead was exactly the same size as all the others, and that there was no need to cull. Let me repeat that. NO NEED TO CULL. Seriously, in 3 years of using them, I have only thrown out 1 single bead for being wonky.
So, since I have total OCD about some things (my seed beads among them), I bought some. Just a few colors to really get me started in bead weaving (prior to this I had been using some really cheap seed beads that had been given to me). And they were as wonderful as I had thought. For the first time, I didn't hate peyote stitch. In fact, I fell in love with it! They all fit together just like I wanted, no wonky rows due to a bead that was too tall or too short (or too wide or too skinny). My beading life was bliss. I was broke, though.
You pay for that perfection. The best source I had found for my Aikos (BelloModo) had them priced roughly 3 times more than Delicas. They also had a very limited palette available compared to Delicas.
So, I tried Delicas and I found them to be.... not bad. Though not as OCD perfect as the Aikos, there were much better than the cheapos I had started with. I could buy a whole lot more for the same price, and I could get more colors. I managed to snag a deal on Ebay and picked up a kit of 36 colors (5g each) for about $75. I was content with them. But I was still buying Aikos on the side. Just a few, here and there. No new colors, just replacing colors I already had. Really, I had it under control.
It was that OCD part of me that just loved the perfection of the Aikos. The knowledge that each one was just as perfect as the next. That a ring would turn out with a perfectly flat edge, no short bead dip. A dip that NO COULD SEE BUT ME!
So, we come to that time again. I see that I am running low on my red Aikos. This time, though, I have determined that I shall make the break. I shall not replace them. I am happy with the Delicas. I can afford the Delicas. I will not buy more Aikos. Say it with me. I WILL NOT BUY MORE AIKOS!
I feel mostly good about this decision, but not completely. A part of me will miss knowing I have those few stashed away waiting for that special project that really deserves the perfection. *sigh*
Quote: Acceptance is such an important commodity, some have called it "the first law of personal growth."
Peter McWilliams, Life 101