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. 

 

 

 

 

 

Bead Soup Blog Party 2013 aka treasures by mail…

 I am not going to use many words here… just pictures. Because you see – my Bead Soup arrived from the lovely Jennifer Cabic – and I want to head to the studio. 

 Here is what I sent to Jennifer

My soup sent

Top L to R: my ceramic charm pairs, gems/Ceramic discs – Marsha Neal Studio. Copper pendant – Andrew Thornton. Ceramic labyrinth – me. gems/stick pearls, gems!

Bottom – the ceramic milagro focal, resin clasp with antique postcard, resin focal collaged with vintage stamp. I know I sent a large soup. I have trouble deciding, and well… once I got started…. 

Here is what I recieved:  

Soup received

Brass focal bead, coral, jasper, lampwork, and the most FAB metal clay clasp of Jennifer’s. Oh and that sweet tiny charm, too!

This is a perfect soup. The ingredients are all great quality, and I love that there is a piece by my partner herself. This is not my palette at all – the perfect challenge… and with such nice materials…. I am glad we have a little time to “live with” the treasures, you know – think, fondle, arrange, fondle… 

I will keep you posted! First I have reveals for Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month ( Feb 28) and Tesori Trovati’s Challenge of Music (March 1) I need to get to work… 

 

 

Simmering…

Its time to write the recipe, gather the ingredients, spice it up a bit… 

Its Bead Soup time again! 

Bead soup book

 

Lori has done it again, bigger, bolde, better? Well, it was great the last two years I participated that’s for sure!

I am thrilled to be paired with Jennifer Cabic! Her blog is here. ) She creates wonderful pieces in metal clay and copper, instilled with meanings and memoreies. What a perfect partner! 

J. Cabic collage

Her work can be seen in 2 Etsy shops: Impressionisms & Silver Peanut. Those “sealing wax” pieces are to die for! We had a nice email chat and I wish we were closer to share a coffee, or a glass of wine. 

But I cant tarry here – I have soup to prepare… Until later – 

 

 

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…

The Soup is ON! Bead Soup Blog Party…

Arrival

It came nestled in purple, a color often associated with royalty. And I surely felt like a queen when I opened up one precious pouch after the other! SO many! Such treasure… Jelveh outdid herself.  Now I had seen her blog and her Etsy site – and I can honestly tell you, I was eager to take a peak at the lampwork. For she is a lampwork goddess, and I assumed I would get a lampwork focal. This is a busy part of the year for me and I was most often in the basement studio glazing ceramic tiles and pendants. So one Saturday, I cleared my schedule, brewed fresh coffee (the brew of inspiration) and sat down at my table…

work table

(This is a clean view of my table. Believe me – once the magic starts there is not so much empty space visible…)

BSBP sketchbook

And I sketched, and planned. I wanted to be able to share the process with you, and also have a record for myself, for the future. The ideas for the main pieces were pretty immediate. 

first BSBP

The first piece. Made entirely of BSBP beads and clasp; nothing at all from my stash. I had challenged myself to do that, and being my first BSBP had no idea if I would succeed. My generous partner made it easy! This piece was designed for my mother, as it is not my color palette. The lampwork focal is such rich gorgeous deep colors. You need a better view: 

first BSBP view

And then for my sister (who now will know what one of her birthday presents will be…) as she is a Scorpio. Classic, versatile black and silver – she is a lawyer and often likes to dress up the professional uniform with a little non traditional bling. (Again – all BSBP stash)

scorpio earrings

These green beads shouted spring, vegetation, plants… so I paired them with glass floral beads and copper. I wanted the warm copper tones to mellow the sharp fresh green hue. 

spring earrings

Now – for the biggee. Drumroll please…

BSBP the biggee

When I saw this lampwork focal I immediately knew I wanted it to stand strong with accents to support it yet not compete. It is large and exquisitely detailed, with a diverse color palette. The blue stones from the soup worked well in scale and color; so I added silks, double strands to bring out some of the other pastel tones in the focal. The only items from my stash: the silks and the clasp. How serendipitous to have cones in my soup? 

BSBP focal

And them there is still soup to savor on another day! As with homemade soup – it is often better the next day after the flavors meld. I look forward to returning to a second helping with this: 

doggie bag

And the most delectible morsels…

favorites BSBP

The lampwork goddess bead I simply adore. That one is mine! She is a dark plum/brown which makes me think of Earth, fertility, vegetation.  I am thinking of breaking out the seedbeads. I know – shocking! But beading a fringe bouquet with gladd flowers and leaves – are those even the right terms? I see it in my mind’s eye, and know those relatively simple beadweaving techniques. 

Oh! Don’t go yet. I have to give you the list. But thank for stopping in – I would love to hear your thoughts on my creations, and I hope to see you around in the future…

Here is the full list of participants! Bead soup Blog Party 2011


 

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Standing over a cauldron, tossing in snippets of this, portions of that – brewing up a potion, a recipe in a cauldron. You imagine them, sisters three, over a large smoky steaming cauldron, aged, gnarled and bent – Shakespeare’s Three Witches. Or perhaps you imagine a younger more contemporary potion maker – young Hermione sitting, small cauldron inher lap, brewing Polyjuice Potion in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. (I DID just get back from vacation to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando…)

Cauldron are symbols of creativity, inspiration, transformation in Celtic myth (see the myth of Cerridwen I blogged recently.) So I find it apropos that I am participating in a creativity challenge/bed swap dubbed “Bead Soup Blog Party”. I have been sent the beady ingredients and I will start brewing up a creation of my own – little of this, pinch of that…and what comes out will transform the disparate parts into a wearable piece, or two, or three…

Jelveh's box

This lovely arrived inthe mail from my talented partner Jelveh of Jelveh’s designs. Eager with anticipation…

BS box 3

So full, so many treasures… 

BS box4

…irridescent beauties….

BS box5

…a riot of color…

BS box6

…metallic medley…

coral and clasp

Sterling and coral…

lampwork and focals

…and the focals! WooHoo. Oceanic landscape and a goddess? Sweet! The detail on the Oceanic treasures necklace is stunning. I want to do that bead justice, and really show it to its full glory. And of course I love the goddess bead for me; and she has a little flower on her bottom… Not to mention the gorgeous colors in the lampwork beads. They range from pinks, mauves, lavenders, blues -and are so harmonious together, just my style. 

Many thanks go out to my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Jelveh, for this fantastic generous package! And to Lori at Pretty Things for masterminding this whole event! I have to say – I started working with my soup last weekend. I have the focal planned, and have already created a few other pieces since my soup was so bountiful! Stay tuned for the big reveal on September 17th! (There are 362 participants around the world!)

 

 

Good things happen in threes…

Well, I am back. Back to the blog. Back to the studio after teaching for the summer. Back from vacation. And I am happy to get to work on a few things that have come my way…

The first is this little gem. It is an enameled bezel by C-Koop Beads. Lorelei – bead blogger extraordinaire, is hosting a challenge/ blog hop. I was thrilled to be pulled out of the proverbial hat as a participant. The real challenge for me is what to do that leaves that gorgeous enamel color visible. I do many bezels – collaged, with resin, found objects, and the like. But this one I need to fill, and yet not fill… Hmm. The reveal will be here on August 27th, so stay tuned! ( The list of all participants, and their log links will be on Lorelei’s blog that day.) 

enamel bezel

Then there is Bead Soup. The Bead Soup Blog Party to be exact. I have wanted to be a part of this for years, and never knew who? how? where? when? This year I heard the siren song in time. The tireless Lori Anderson has matched up all 350+ participants by hand. No random generator, there! A true labor of love. I mailed my package today to my partner. Here is a sneak peak…

bead soup

soup package

That little treasure box is headed to California into the hands of Jelveh J. She is a lampwork bead artist and I cant wait to see what treasures she sends me to work with! Once they arrive, I will detail the beads, and my process, my ideas, and my methods. There will be a focal, a clasp, coordinating beads, inspiration. Sweet! Here is a pix of Jelveh’s work from her site: 

Jelveh's beads

See what I mean? Eagerly awaiting that box! The big reveal will be September 17th. I will post my creations here, but the list of ALL the participants can be found at Lori’s blog – Pretty Things. 

This weekend is Beadfest in Philadelphia. I have to say – I usually dont go, and my wallet thanks me. But this year, I am participating in a swap! Yes, another swap! Purely for the love of beads this time. Diana of Suburban Girl Studio organized the group of us. Swap, meet and hang out, dinner… What a great way to end a day of bead orgy – I mean shopping. My partner is Meredith Arnold – who will be teaching, so I can pop into her classroom and see her students polymer creations. Looking forward to meeting many of the bead blog friends. 

 

Last but not least – I had work featured on the Faux Bone blog. Thrilled! I am experimenting recently with Faux Bone and I am really liking it. Looking forward to taking a class with Robert Dancik (he developed the material) at ArtBliss in Sept. Now if I can just get her finished so I can wear her Saturday to Beadfest…

FB goddess