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.
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!