BSBP 2013: beads, challenges, friends!

Welcome! This is my third year doing the Bead soup Blog Party – and the first thing I have to say is “Thank you!” to Lori our hostess and fearless leader. We wouldn’t be here without you… seriously. 

I think my title sums it up: send and receive beads; be challenged/escape your comfort zone; make new friends! And honestly – if you are here reading this – you know what I mean. So let me introduce you to my newest friend and partner this year – Jennifer Cabic. 

Jennifer is an Ohio based artist working in metals and metal clay. Her pieces are created with layers of meaning; she creates amazing intense personal talismans, memorial pieces, that will be heirlooms in the future. I was struck especially this year at how well we were paired. Our work is very different; but we are drawn to metals, incorporating words at times, drawing from our own personal language of symbols, and creating pieces with intent, amulets and personal talismans. I am very drawn to her work, and was thrilled to receive one of her bronze clay clasps in my soup…. (Here’s a reminder of what arrived for me…)

Soup rec'd

I loved the earthiness of the corals and jasper nuggets – and was challenged by the pink tones. 

I loved the warm brass and circular motif of the focal – and was challenged by its tribal style and size. 

I adore the clasp. Using it was not a challenge but a joy!. 

Please know – my soup is fabulous. But I am not a pink person – hence the challenge. Overall I am thrilled with my pieces, both how easily they came together and their final appearrance. (And thanks to Staci Smith for inspiration!!!) I knew I wanted the focal to have a dangle. The tribal/boho/earthy feel sent me to sea urchin spikes and shell daggers. There’s a river stone, howlite nuggets and seed pods in there too: 

Necklace with focal

The rustic bronze sun/floral piece ( at top center in this pix) and the concentric circles I used in the clasp are by Staci of Artisan Accents. They were the perfect elements to unify the focal and the chunky gems and nuggets. I liked the scale of the circular piece and used it for visual balance and to create a clasp with my forged spiral hook. One side of the necklace is strung; seed beads in burgundy accent the darker tones in the coral. The other side is wire wrapped, and the back is finished in recycled sari silk. 

Focal detail

Dangle of chain, bells, sea urchin spines, shell daggers. Bead caps on coral beads are made of copper gears, dapped to fit. 

earrings to match clasp and gear/caps

Left: matching earrings.          Right: detail. Howlite, jasper, lava stone, seed pods, river stone, coral, bronze spiral.  

At this point there was a good deal left over… the green lampwork beads were sparking ideas for a different palette. I knew I wanted the clasp to be a focal in its own right… so chunky stones to give it “presence” and here she is… 

bracelet with clasp

Gems and lampwork – a medley of greens… 

What a pleasure to meet Jennifer and work with the generous assortment that she sent me! Please tune in to the other posts – its a long list – today and over the next few days! I know I look forward to seeing as many as I can… Thanks for taking the time to join me here!

The full list of links can be found here. 






32 thoughts on “BSBP 2013: beads, challenges, friends!

  1. Ginger B. says:

    I was just thinking now whose style does that necklace remind me of. It was Staci. I love her work, and I love this piece. I think you did an excellent job with your soup.


    • jenny says:

      Thanks! I feel like I have 2 partners – Jennifer and Staci! I use this style ( asymetrical, side clasp, silk…) often. But using Staci’s pieces did give it a certain feel… 


  2. Michi says:

    What a great partnership between you both Jennifers :0) As much as I love Jennifers pieces, she showed on her blog, I love yours! The necklace is adorable, so much personal style in it. I think, I’ve to follow you here too …. ;0)


  3. Jennifer says:

    Absolutely beautiful! I am also amazed at how were were paired. I am stunned at how you used the pieces and would love to wear every piece you made. I especially love the tribal looking earrings (drool!) Thank you again!!!


  4. Emma Todd says:

    Such beautiful pieces. That clasp really is a standout and I think you gave it the perfect foil with thte collection of chunky lovelies. I adore sea urchin spines and how you used them grouped here. Great work


  5. Karin says:

    You’ve given pink a whole new personality by combining it with such beautiful neutral tones. Give it a tribal elegance and punch up the hue with a vibrant sari silk, and you have one stunning piece!!! Oh, and those earrings…LOVE!!


  6. Karen says:

    Love your necklace!! Great focal and colour combo. Great earrings – very funky! Beautiful bracelet – love the clasp. Great job with your bead soup!


  7. Jean A. Wells says:

    I love that necklace, but how could it miss with all those great components. That brass bead is fantastic and I love those “pink” beads. They are fabulous, but since you are begging for my opinion, I think the spoked caps detract from the beads and I would leave those off. Now, feel free to ignore me…..after all, who am I to be telling anyone else how to design jewelry. Great job!


  8. CraftyHope says:

    The pinks would have definitely been a challenge for me too, but you really were able to make it work in that tribal-like piece without the pink making it sugary. Well done! Your focal is really beautiful with all those urchin pieces dangling from it. As well, your bracelet and earrings are fab!


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