And now without further ado… Bead Soup!

Reveal 1 Banner BSBP

Hello and Welcome to the first Bead Soup Blog Party reveal! If you are here, you are most likely familiar with Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party ( or BSBP…) but if you just arrived from the far flung reaches of the Universe then here is a synopsis: 2 people, personally paired by Lori, exchange packages, beads aplenty. Head to the studio and make magic, whether it be ornate, simple, a new style, a challenge… Share your creations here. (For all the details, including the future Hop dates – Bead Soup Blog Party. )

My partner – what a nice way to ‘meet’ new people! – is Cassie Donlen. Cassie is a lampwork beadmaker, jewelry designer, and artist extraordinaire. Her work was new to me… was I out in the far flung reaches of the Universe? I love every thing she sent me, and she was so generous! Here is my loot: 

BS6 from Cassie Donlen

( For what I sent Cassie – she has great pix on her blog. )

Donlen lampwork

The first thing that popped into my head was “Exotic blossom”. 

I need to pause here, to build anticipation for the reveal and also to give you a bit of back story/inspiration. My Bead soup from Cassie got lost. There were a few tense days – and the Postal Service is NOT to blame. I sent her my address typed incorrectly. (The whole story is posted here in my first BSBP blog. ) Clearly I did retrieve my package. While some people would attribute this to luck, or coincidence – I think there is a message here. The Universe was shouting at me. The message you ask? Well its all tied in to the ‘exotic blossom’ …

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

Exotic blossom

I kept the 2 main flower focals together, and added dangles.  The stamped copper reads “Risk” and “Blossom” to remind me to move forward and push the boundaries. I hung the blossom on a link of chain, showcasing another of Cassie’s lovely beads. The green and blue together, contrasted with the red…and the nature of the focal were all so visually appealing that I found myself designing a simple piece to accentuate the focal. I had planned to use the fab copper chain Cassie sent for this pendant, but I needed more red for balance. (Silk from Marsha Neal Studio). This is an amulet to me, and while I may add more charms – for right now it is complete. 

The pendant wasn’t the only creation… The first thing I did was this…

BSBP6 bracelet

…using Cassie’s clasp and focal bead. I admit – it was my favorite bead so it got singled out for deluxe treatment. Strung with copper and glass from the Soup, and paired with copper chain, and hand spun sari fiber. (You read that right. Its not ribbon. It was hand spun from recycled saris. YetiandYarndrygoods on Etsy) I am thrilled with this one, and plan to wear it often – whenever I am not in the Ceramics studio, that is…

On a final note – thanks to Lori and to Cassie for yet another fantastic BSBP experience! I appreciate all the time and effort went into organizing, and the creation of these beautiful beads. Each year I participate I am excited to have a chance to PLAY, to do something new and unusual, to be inspired, abe to experiment a bit. But enough of ME – you, my dear blog reader, have other treasure to view, creations to see!

Here is the link to the complete list of participants in today’s reveal: Bead Soup Blog Party July Reveal. Have fun! And thanks for stopping by…

66 thoughts on “And now without further ado… Bead Soup!

  1. Cassie Donlen says:

    Girl, I was just hopping on the computer to write up my post and got the great surprise to see that you had just posted moments earlier. LOVE LOVE LOVE the designs. The necklace totally speaks to me and I love the way you added the stamped charms. Very clever as it adds such a warm and personal touch. I also love the bracelet and how everything flows. You did an an awesome job. It was a lot of fun being paired with you. Thanks for a great swap!


  2. jenny says:

    Its always nice to hear from the artist, that they like what you have done. I like to incorporate text, and meaning into my work – hence the quote. And I tend to adhere to the “Less is More” philosophy. I wanted the focla to shine, yet do it justice…It was a great swap! Thank you!!!


  3. Cindy says:

    Jenny, I sure enjoyed reading your post. What a story…. I am SO glad that your package made it to you finally and that Cassie’s gorgeous beads didn’t go astray…her work is amazing. I love the amulet necklace. Each component has meaning and a message – Exotic Blossom is an inspirational piece…and I agree, we need to keep pushing ourselves and our boundaries. And although your necklace is complete…I hear a hint that you may continue to add to it – ever evolving, just like life.
    Your bracelet is stunning -I like how you kept that amazing clasp as the focal but added extra interest and texture with the chain and pretty fiber. I do hope to see these pieces in person this fall! Well done, Jenny!! 🙂


  4. Jean A. Well says:

    What a beautiful message for us all. We all need to take the risk to blossom. Great job on the bead soup. Great message. Yes, the universe would probably have been thrown off its axis if this soup had not arrived. It’s amazing sometimes how things work out. I love the bracelet. The necklace is great too. Oh I can’t decide – I love them both. Great job!


  5. Christina Hickman says:

    I really love your “Exotic Blossom”, it reminds me of stories of space from the 50’s…and Jules Verne..and well it’s pretty darn cool.

    I like all the different materials you used in your bracelet too.

    I saw your ceramic creations on your partner’s page and I have added your etsy shop to my list of favorites 🙂 I really like your work!


  6. Alice says:

    I’m so glad your soup finally arrived. And what a fabulous soup it was!

    I love both pieces; the focal on the first one is gorgeous, and I love the colors and textures of the second piece. That focal is lovely!


  7. Shirley Moore says:

    That’s the first word that popped into my head when I read your post. I so love the meaning in this necklace, and the colors are awesome! I do wish you didn’t like that bracelet so much, cause I love it!!!


  8. Jennifer Cameron says:

    Lucky you getting paired with Cassie! I adore her beads. And I love what you made with them even more. The pendant is so clever and special. The bracelet is just plain gorgeous. I would wear it everyday too! So glad you managed to get your package in spite of the address mix-up. That would have been so devastating.

    And thanks for stopping by my reveal earlier today. Have a great weekend!


  9. MarshaNealStudio says:

    I think you created some superb work with that awesome soup you received! That necklace just makes me want to wear it and fiddle with it the entire time (I know it has to make some small noise with those dangles, which gives it even more character :).

    And that bracelet – can’t wait to oogle over it in person over coffee next week! Great Job as always Jenny!


  10. Linda Younkman says:

    Great pieces Jenny. I particularly love the bracelet. I love the mix of sari fiber with chain and beads. What a great combo. I love Cassie’s beads. I have a few in my stash that I have been hoarding for years. I need to bring them out to play.


  11. Antiquity Travelers says:

    Both your piece are wonderful! I really like the balance in the necklace between the beads, metal and fabric … just beautiful. And agree that lovely bead you singled out for the bracelet is amazing – just love it!


  12. marge says:

    Such a good thing you found the package!! Love, love, love that the lampwork bead went into the copper link. A girl after my own heart…lol. Awesome job


  13. Jennifer says:

    What a great piece! And what lovely inspiration – that’s always been a favorite quote of mine, and you captured it perfectly with your exotic blossom. Love the colors, too!


  14. Emma Todd says:

    Wonderful work! I’m so happy that despite your best efforts to get it lost the package found you 🙂 That clasp is really such a star, I love the supporting cast you gave it. Beautiful!


  15. CraftyHope says:

    Both your necklace and bracelet are really beautiful. You did an amazing job displaying Cassie’s beads. I’m particularly smitten with your necklace/pendant. It’s the bright colors of it that really draw me in. Wonderfully done!


  16. Shelby Foxwell says:

    Amazing pieces Jenny! Love all the color in the pendant and the layered look of the bracelet. So glad that you did receive your package:) I’d be a basket case if I did that!


  17. Kala says:

    I love these two pieces. Great job using simple designs with those beautiful lampwork beads. I like how you added beads across the center of the circle.


  18. Katherine Gale says:

    I love all the textures and gorgeous color in both pieces but that bracelet….oh my. I would love to wear it. You did an amazing job with amazing beads!


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