Friday, April 26, 2013

2013 Bead Soup Blog Party

My partner is Tara Plote. Tara has had the enviable experience of having sold jewelry right off of her body! I think every jewelry maker dreams of that happening some day. Tara lives in Phoenix, where I lived many years ago, and where my oldest daughter was born, so we instantly had a something in common. She is also a very warm person and it seemed like we instantly connected. 

I couldn’t have been happier when I saw my Bead Soup, and that was even before I opened it! Tara presented it so beautifully in some lovely crafted paper boxes that were decorated with an artist’s eye.   
Opening them was even better! Inside was a myriad of gem stones, some crystals, and wood. I can’t say that I know the names of these gem stones. I find it very hard to identify them, as the colors are so unfamiliar to me, but they are so beautiful! They are primarily white, turquoise and tans, and I love them! 
Now for the focals. Tara was so generous. She provided a beautiful lampwork bead with a shell on it in tans and turquoises. It embodies the spirit of the ocean and the sand and sea, which I love. The second one is so earthy in spirit, it’s a ceramic bead by Gaia! I have always wanted a bead from her, so this was a real thrill for me! While it’s an “earthy” bead, it’s also a starfish, so still very much in the theme of the ocean. The clasps were both my favorite metals, silver and antique brass. 

The first thing I saw in these beads was a pair of earrings. The briolettes said ‘use me at the bottom of a pair of earrings as drops’, and the rest just said ‘clusters!’ to me. They almost made themselves, and I finished them quickly, even with all of the loops. I did have to make the wraps on the briolettes several times, but it was fun.   
Next came the necklace. I knew I wanted this necklace to be airy and light, and beachy. We are going on a cruise to celebrate DD #2’s graduation from high school, and all of this soup just seemed to be tailored to the event. The necklace begged to be a cruise necklace. While Tara provided me with some yummy white silk, that multi-strand silver clasp just seemed to scream “use me!” So, off I went to find some linen. I checked my local bead store, but where did I find the waxed linen??? Wally World! I know, go figure. I wanted white or turquoise, and they had the white. 

Stringing the beads seemed to take forever, and then I lined up the strands and showed my daughters for some feedback. #1 DD also makes jewelry and is our resident fashion expert. #2 DD is just a very discerning and picky jewelry wearer, who only wears about 5 pieces of jewelry, total. I liked the way the strands lined up, but I did not think I should put in the lampwork focal. Both DD’s over-ruled me and said they LOVED the necklace, and they thought the lampwork bead did INDEED fit in with the strands. Now, I do know that I tend to go for the more simple than average sort of jewelry, so, I decided to stretch myself and include it after all. Besides, I did ask for their opinions.

DD #2, who knows me pretty well, commented that this was not my normal sort of jewelry, and that it was more what she would wear, not what I would wear, so what made me make this? I told her the whole goal was to stretch yourself with the bead soup, so I figured I would try to make something different. I thought that was pretty sharp of her to catch that, and I also figured that this indeed accomplished the goal.

Now, I have to also add a little ending paragraph to this story. Usually I feel like the BSBP comes at a time when I can use a boost to get me more actively beading. This time that wasn’t actually the case. I have been taking beading classes non-stop since the first of the year. I have actually just joined the seed beading crowd! I have gone from being primarily a stringer, to a beginning seed beader. I also want to do some beaded embroidery. I say this because as soon as I got this bead soup and I pulled those briolettes out for earrings, I also grabbed on to two faceted turquoise coins and just KNEW they belonged in a beaded embroidery! I could just see them on a cuff! So…I am not done with my soup yet! AND…I still have my Gaia focal and that lovely rustic antique bronze clasp, and the white silk! Other than that, though, I really have very little left. I used almost everything else!

In closing I want to thank Lori Anderson, our fantastic host, and the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party. Her endless patience and hard work is unparalleled. I also want to thank my partner Tara, she provided me with some FANTASTIC and very inspirational soup! Please hop on over to visit Tara’s blog and see what she made. Below is a picture of the soup I sent her.