I signed up to participate in the 8th annual Bead Soup Blog Party. My partner, Barbara Mason lives in Ashland, Oregon, where she divides her time between being a hospice nurse and making jewelry. her website is called Adorningly Yours, and she makes some very cool things. Be sure to check it out! This is her second time participating in the BSBP and my third time.
The rules are that when you are paired with your partner, you get in touch and exchange beads. You must include a focal piece and a clasp along with whatever other beads you want to send. Participants create something with the beads they receive, adding from their own stock if they wish. The only requirement is that you use the clasp and the focal piece in your creations. But you will likely use most, if not all, of the beads you received.
We take photos of the pieces we have made and May 3 is the big reveal date. On that day, everyone posts their photos on their own blog and you can hop from blog to blog to see what others have made. It’s a lot of fun, really gets the creative juices going, and you meet people from all over the world.
This is what I received:
It feels like a birthday having all these little packages to unwrap!
I’m not sure what this focal stone is, but it looks like it might be rhyolite. Also, this quick photo I took does not do justice to how pretty these beads are. In the top are 5 beads that are translucent green with dark stripy inclusions. Rutilated quartz? They really have me inspired today!
The two striped beads below look like some kind of agate. The silver toggle claps are great. I’m wondering if Barbara made them herself?
And, because she knows I work a lot with beach rocks from the east coast where I live, Barbara sent me a few rocks from the west coast!
I’m off to the studio right now!
Earlier this week I received my bead soup from Lori Anderson. It was all wrapped up in a very cute little bag that Lori had crocheted herself. Clever gal that Lori! It was full to the brim with cool stuff. Look!
I am so happy to work with these colors. This photo doesn’t do justice to the periwinkle blue of the glass beads that Lori made herself. (Lamp working is one of those techniques I really wish I had more time to learn. Lori’s beads are great!) The dyed jade beads in the center are such a rich magenta color. They are also faceted in a very pretty subtle way. The pewter jump rings are twisted wire, very bright with a lot of texture. I love working with silver metals. Woo hoo! Check out those shell shapes of the Thai silver beads. Sweet! The silver hook and eye clasp also has a nice twisted texture and a very solid weight to it. The yellow/green dyed jade beads are such a cool shape. I know I’m going to have some funky fun with those. The ceramic focal is gorgeous, and I’ll admit it also scares the heck out of me. I hope I can do it justice as I’ve not worked with anything that size before. But that is what the Bead Soup Blog Party is all about. It’s a chance to think outside the box and work with things that just may not be in my comfort zone. It’s a perfect opportunity for creative growth as a jewelry designer, and I’m happy for the challenge! I’ve also never worked with sari silk, but I like the idea of reusing something that had such a different life before this.
You may have noticed there was also a little purple box that was not part of “the soup” unless I wanted to include it. This is what was in it:
The house/firefly pendant, made by Martha Easton, looks ceramic but it’s quite lightweight. I think it is polymer clay. It has a cream colored flowery texture on the other side. (I forgot to photograph it, duh.) It will make a lovely little pendant. Last but not least, the brass flower shapes are just the kind of thing I have been working with this week. I’ve been either cutting out my own copper and brass pieces to patina, or texturing stamped out metal shapes, like the flowers above, to make my own mark on them before I add patina. I can’t wait to put these little babies on a steel block and have at them with a hammer or two!
Thank you Lori! You are generous and clever and amazing. Yes, in case you missed this information from a previous post, Lori Anderson is the person who created the Bead Soup Blog Party. This party is the 7th one, and it is the largest yet. Over 500 crafty people of all levels are participating in the exchange and challenge, and they are blogging about it. Lori has writtena book called, “Bead Soup,” featuring 32 projects. She has also written an e-book about creative blogging called, “Follow the Path.”
The first BSBP reveal is on March 30, the second reveal is on April 6, and the third reveal (that’s the one I’m in) is on April 13. I’ll post a list of all of the people in each group with a link to their blogs on the reveal dates. It’s fascinating to hop around all the different blogs and see what everyone has done and what their partners have done. Oh, and just in case Lori doesn’t seem busy enough…she also has a 10 year old son named Zack, and she is participating in all three Bead Soup exchanges and reveals! Rock on Lori!
My “bead soup” package from B.R. Kuhlman arrived last Friday. Woo hoo!!
I know, I know. That was a whole week ago and I am just getting around to blogging about it. What can I say? Summer on this little island in Maine gets extremely busy overnight. We go from a population of about 70 people to a summer population that matches the number of participants in this Bead Soup Blog Party. (That’s 400 people if you are just tuning in to the BSBP.)
My partner B sent me an amazing package of goodies!
Among all of this beady goodness is not just one, but two of B’s gorgeous wire-wrapped pendants. I have no experience in wire wrapping, so I am especially in awe of the talent and time it must take to produce these unique pieces.
The rest of the package includes crystal beads, Czech glass beads, and natural stones like the smokey quartz briolettes you can see them in the middle of the top photo, just under the pendants. There are also beads of Chinese picture jasper and brecciated jasper. And…
below are some pretty golden pieces of mother-of-pearl:
These Czech glass beads have a sweet little color palette:
I love the organic shapes of these agate rondelles:
The fact that I just took these photos today means that I have not yet started on any of my Bead Soup pieces yet. But, at the same time as I enjoyed a visit from my son and daughter-in-law, and have been catching up this week with my brother, and have had several dinner guests on several nights, and finished writing a monthly newspaper column, I have been thinking about all the ways I might use these beads. The soup is simmering… heated by a big candle that is burning at both ends!
…bead soup! This is a sneak peak at what’s in the helping of soup that is about to land on B’s doorstep in Texas. I hope she will like the colors of the sea in the batch of goodies I sent to her. It’s fun to think of beads flying around the world to surprise the 399 people who signed up for this event! 399! I don’t know how Lori Anderson does it, but she has paired us all up and given us reveal dates to show what we have made with the beads that are headed our way from our BSBP partners. There will be a lot of creative cooking going on in the next few weeks!
If you want to check out the blogs of people in my reveal group just start clicking the links below.