Saturday, March 3, 2012

TADAAAAAA! 5th Bead Soup Blog Party - THE BIG REVEAL!

It's fair to say I love a challenge.  When I first heard about Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Parties, I got pretty excited.  Then I hopped around some of the previous entrants and got quite intimidated.  I left it for a while...


One of my buddies on Facebook mentioned a new party starting and so I ummed and aahed and generally dithered about a lot.  Then I submitted a request to join.  When I realised I had been chosen my heart was in my throat - there is so much talent out there, how could I possibly be good enough!?


Finally, the day came when our partners were announced.  I was thrilled to discover I would be swapping with Jo Lockwood - a very talented beader who has a dream job of actually working for a bead company by day and beading her wondrous creations all night!  And the day came when my bead soup arrived...



Then...  Fast forward a lot of time, picture calendar pages flipping, the sun rising and setting, chased by the moon, storm clouds running across a sky...you get the picture.  Life took over in the way that only life can!  I kept the beads exactly as they are in the above photo for AGES...and then, on Monday 27th February, I realised I had barely any time left to actually MAKE SOMETHING!!!  I packed the beads up that morning and took them off to work with me, hoping I could grab some time a lunch to start something...

I had no sketches, no idea of what I wanted to make (other than a bracelet) and no plan of how to do it.  I usually work with large beads, cabochons and wire, glass and a blow torch, glue, glitter, anything that makes a mess!  Hmmm.  I received nothing bigger than a 6mm bead!  Definitely a challenge then!  I started off with a needle and thread, the 6mm green rounds and some of the luscious seed beads - the colour of them is like a kingfishers wings, deep blue with a hint of green.  With them I made something approaching a RAW base...maybe not exactly as the bead books show it to be done, but it worked.  I went on to add more seed beads and some Swarovski crystals all around the edge, then embellished over the top of the bracelet with more of the same...

Once I had completed this stage I wanted to add more!  Next came the glorious Czech pressed glass discs, with their glimmery shimmery AB coating, all along the top, held in place with more seed beads...and THEN I added more crystals and the amazing bi-colour glass cubes between the Swarovski edges...and VOILA - I introduce my first piece: Rivers Running...





I am so proud of this completely off-the-cuff cuff!  I have never designed a bead-woven piece before, and I love love love it!  Sorry to brag, but I am totally amazed at how it came together, all at once, and looks so different.  I chose not to use the clasp which Jo sent me on this piece, as it uses almost the entire bead soup, and is quite heavy.  Instead, I dug through my own stash of clasps and chose a handmade sterling silver hammered clasp by the very clever Miz George.  I duly ran outside, took photographs and then realised the biggest mistake I had made...

I FORGOT TO USE THE FOCAL BEAD!!!

Oops.  Onto piece number two.  The focal, an outstandingly pretty crystal open oval was too nice to overwhelm, so I went for simple, adding a little wire, a few leftover beads and a little leather, along with the pretty little crystal clasp from the original soup.  The resulting necklace is now called 'Watery Pallette', because that's what it involves!


And there you have it!  The 5th Bead Soup Blog Party has been fun, inspirational, challenging, but above all...has allowed me to view the work of some amazing designers who I may not have had the opportunity to see before, and I am thrilled to have been involved!  So...I raise a metaphorical glass of something pink and fizzy to all involved in this one - and hope to see you all again at the next party!!!


62 comments:

  1. wow! that cuff is awesome! wow!!!

    PS: Would be great if you would turn off the word verification

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  2. Thanks Kashmira, off to do so now!

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  3. Wow what a bracelet! And that it's your first time doing something in that style? Very impressive! Welcome to the party - this is my third. They're such fun :)

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  4. Thanks Heidi. I've followed patterns for bead weaving before, but have never used the techniques to design my own piece, which I am still stupidly proud of! :)

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  5. You have every right to be proud of your cuff. Its gorgeous! You did a great job of rising to the challenge! Great work!

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  6. Lovely beads and a beautiful use of them! Well done!

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  7. Wow - those are gorgeous! I don't know why you would ever have been intimidated!

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  8. Well done you - lovely cuff!

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  9. That bracelet is amazing. It must have been a lot of work but certainly looks worth it.

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  10. Oh wow! You did a great job Dee! I'm glad you are proud of them because you jolly well should be. Very well done. I hope you like what I madde with your stash too :) x

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  11. I love the bracelet
    I'm a partecipant from Italy, I'm trying to visit all of you.
    this was really a great experience!
    ciao ciao

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  12. That's your first bead woven piece? You'd never know it - the cuff is awesome!

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  13. LOVE love love that cuff, how many hours did that take? It's stunning! You should be uber proud of yourself that came together really well.

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  14. The bracelet is gorgeous, as is the necklace. I've been guilty of getting so excited about something I've forgotten to use a component -- in fact, during one mailing, I forgot to send a clasp!

    I hope you'll join me again in the summer!

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  15. You should be proud of yourself the cuff is amazing!! Great job!

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  16. I'm so happy to have received so many lovely comments. I can't wait for the summer soup swap, although if it's a hot summer, I prefer my soup chilled! lol

    Thank you all...x

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  17. (In total, I believe the cuff has around five hours of work in it...I thought it was pretty quick!)

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  18. so funny...waiting til the last minute. ME TOO! Sometimes the muse re-appears just when we need her. thank goodness.

    lovely work!

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  19. I'm amazed that you have never made a bead-woven piece before, and you nailed it on the first try! You should be proud of yourself. I love both pieces.

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  20. I can see why you are proud of your woven piece. I love the colors, and texture of it. The clasp and how it is attached is very pretty.

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  21. That cuff is fab -- congrats on making your first original bead-woven design! It looks great.

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  22. Outstanding! Beautiful work. I felt the same way you did at first also. I guess that's a normal human reaction! You came out on top that's for sure!

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  23. Very lovely cuff. Looks so flexible and glamorous.

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    1. You shouldn't be intimidated by anyone.
      Your work is gorgeous.
      I would wear that cuff in a minute.

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  24. That bracelet is to die for! I can't believe it was the first time you had something like that.

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  25. I really love the necklace! The bracelet looks like a lot of fun to wear. So glad you're happy with your bracelet. You're enthusiasm really shines through.

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  26. Beautiful bracelet and a very pretty necklace too. I love the color combination, it's one of my favorites.

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  27. That looks like a lot of tedious work in the bracelet! Very nicely done!

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  28. I love the colour combination of your pieces. That bracelet is stunning. It reminds me of a caterpillar or some sort of sea creature. Wonderful work!

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  29. What wonderful pieces of jewellery you made! The bracelet must have taken you ages.

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  30. I can't believe you've never designed a bead woven piece! You definitely could've fooled me!

    Lovely work and your blog is so pretty and stunning!

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  31. Thanks Barbara - most of the prettiness on my blog is courtesy of 'shabbyblogs' - lots of fab free backgrounds etc along with real helpful links on how to make it all work! :)

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  32. Amazing you did not make a cuff like this before!! Wonderful work!! Be proud of it!!!!

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  33. I love what you made with your beads!
    My favorite is the bracelet!

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  34. I love the texture in your woven piece! Great job and great soup! Cheers!

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  35. Wow, Rivers Running is simply wonderful! I like these wonderful shades of blues and greens - and you've made something very special with them!

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  36. wow, that woven piece turned out nice. sure it was a lot of work! I really love the colors!

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  37. You did great, love the bracelet, but you did wonderful with the necklace too!

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  38. Beautiful job, Dee. I am in awe of the bracelet, and the necklace is just gorgeous. Fabulous! :)

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  39. Wow, that bracelet is beautiful. You did a wonderful job mastering bead weaving. Cheers!
    Lori D.

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  40. Love the bracelet - so pretty! Gorgeous necklace too. Awesome job :)

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  41. Your pieces are so much fun! The necklace is simple and pretty...enjoy wearing them!

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  42. The bracelet is gorgeous; your beadwork is amazing! I really like the handmade clasp that you added-really nice touch. Necklace is very fun as well. Nice work!

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  43. Love the woven bracelet, the colors are beautiful together! You did an awesome job!

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  44. Cheers to you too!
    Nicely done! I love all those blues and greens you've mixed them so well, nicely done!

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  45. Isn't it so much fun when you can amaze yourself with one of your own creations? :-) It's lovely and so deserves that amazement! I love the name you chose—it really does look like a river... sparkling in the sunlight. Love your necklace too!

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  46. Absolutely adore your bracelet! The necklace is wonderful too - great job!

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  47. I love the bracelet, the colors are stunning and the clasp is beautiful too!

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  48. Stunning bracelet...Very pretty necklace also..:) Bracelet is lovely!

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  49. That bracelet is drop dead gorgeous! And I love how you hung the focal in the necklace! So pretty! This is a really nice set!

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  50. My favorite color scheme of all time so both pieces really appealed to me. I especially like the necklace with the crystal ring as the focal.

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  51. Terrific piece - love the ocean color combination!

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  52. The bracelet is great. I love the colors and all the embellishments! Fantastic job!

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  53. I like the bracelet, it has great texture!

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  54. What a fun story Dee - your pieces are indeed a vision of water, love the colours and the design on both.

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  55. wow! those are beautiful pieces! i'm particularly blown away by your bracelet! such patience! and such a stunning result! i had a little giggle about the focal.

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  56. Both of your pieces are definitely bead soup blog hop worthy. But, I do understand that initial hesitation and worry over jumping in with the big leagues! You totally did it justice. While both of your pieces are beautiful, that bracelet is amazing. I can't believe you've never done any bead weaving before. Outstanding!

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  57. That is just the pretties RAW bracelet ever...and in my favorite colors, no less! Great job!

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