Bead Soup Party - THE BIG REVEAL

Prologue: Looking for a new challenge
One day I was reading one of my daily-go-to blogs (Lorelei Eurto) and I found a link to Lori Anderson’s blog that I need to admit I had not visited before. She was announcing to host a virtual BEAD SOUP PARTY. As I am always looking out for challenges, and contests, with the hope to win something (yes, I am an addict), it was clear that this one was not to be missed.

ACT 1: The concept and rules
So the plan was the following: Lori partnered all of us up in teams of 2 people. Each person had to send a set of beads to the partner, which had to include: A focal, a special clasp, and some corresponding beads. The focal and the clasp had to be used, we were free about the corresponding beads. Everybody had to make some jewelry, keeping the result secret until the big reveal. And today, Feb 10, is the big day, so this entire post is about the big reveal, and all of us 84 participants will be blogging about the party. See the links to the blogs below.

ACT 2: My partner and the ingredients
So how excited can one be – yeah, I am accepted to participate out of Germany. There are actually a quite few people out of Europe, and even one (Dale) out of Korea. This is a truly global event, which makes it just so much more exciting. (Lori, I bet you never thought it would turn into something like that).

My partner is the talented jewelry designer Mel Poxon from Kookie Designs. Please visit her blog here. She lives in the UK and is designing and selling jewelry, and is also a qualified nail technician. She uses a lot of lampwork beads in her designs, from very talented local designers. I appreciate Mel’s style since I think it is very colorful and rich, and I like her designs. I hope you do too. You can check out her Etsy shop here. She is also currently running an auction for Haiti on her blog, so one more reason to visit.

This is what I have sent to Mel:

And this is what I have received from her (except the two focals, that I had already used in my pieces before I took the pictures):

She sent me a wonderful package of beads that I was overwhelmed with. I really like the colors – I am very much a person that wears a lot of blue. Each one of them is a treasure. Some of the talented designers of those beads are Jelveh, Emma Ralph, Julie Fountain of Lush Lampwork, Clare Scott, Cheeky Cherubs, Rob Johnson and Volcanic Lava, just in case you would like to order some of them for yourself. If I would not have to make something to a certain deadline, I would probably still sit here and play with them every day and imagine the things my beads can turn into one fine day.

ACT 4: The making of…
Now here is the tough part. What shall we make? The jewelry I wear is usually more delicate, so I took a lot of time to think how I can use all the beads in one piece. Decision was taken pretty quick – I can’t. Although I had thought about using more of them together, some of those pretty beads are speaking to me: They want to be a bracelet (one that has yet to be made). And my own goal was to make a necklace for the bead soup party. So what will we end up with? A lot of weekends passed, but finally two pieces evolved in my mind.

ACT 5 / FINAL ACT: The big reveal
So for the big reveal, a necklace should be made. I started with the larger focal bead. The gold and blue tones made me want to use copper with it though, and my clasp to be used was sterling. This asymmetrical bead could have probably worked a couple of ways, but here I wanted to try something with coiled wire for the first time, and I love how it turned out. I used some of the beads from my own stash – svarowski sand opal rounds, and dark blue & copper shimmering glass beads, and some copper chain to create those dangles. The chain took another 3 weeks until I figured it out, actually it was just decided yesterday (I even tried to make some myself). In the end I used some copper chain, some copper spacer disks and some more svarowski crystals to repeat the blue from the focal. And the clasp made me very happy too – again made out of coiled wire. I love how it looks, and it was really easy to make. I called it Champagne Decadence necklace.

But here we go – the rules were that I have to use the focal and the clasp. So I needed to make another piece. I used one of the other larger beads that reminds me of a sea urchin as the focal. This color works better with silver, so the clasp would go perfect with it. I thought about sand and water for a long time, and then with a lot of trial and error, this pretty necklace appeared. I was wearing it yesterday for a work dinner with my hair down – and oh my god, did I love this look. It hangs pretty short but fits the length of my hair perfectly.

I again coiled a piece of wire around a thicker gauge, then created a loop and pulled the wire through the bead, and with more wrapping around a piece of leather cord, thus created this pretty dangle. While I first wanted to use one leather up to the clasp, I decided it works good with this chain I had left, and so I coiled the ends of the leather and attached it to the chain, together with some small svarowski bicones on each side. Now that worked well with the clasp. For the dangles I used again some chain from my stash, and added three of the beads I received from Mel to the ends of the chain, all in different lengths. To give it more sparkle, here and there a small svarowski crystal in different shades of blue and voila: the Greek ocean memories necklace was complete. My favorite piece in a very long time. Thank you so much for the inspiration, Mel. For the rest of my beads – check back my blog later to see the bracelet that will be coming up (it is still talking to me…)

Epilogue: Want to see more?
Thank you Lori for hosting this wonderful event. I am so sad it’s over. When do we do the next one? Shall we alternate the people organizing it? I will volunteer for sure. This has been so much fun, and seriously, has been so well organized. A big hug across the ocean from me to you.
The party would not be a party if it was only me. So please go to see the other 84 (!) pieces of jewelry that people have created. Links to their blogs are listed below. Have fun checking them out. And leave a comment and please revisit my blog. And thanks again to you, Lori, for all that fun. A happy day to all of you. Nicki.

Party Participants:

1. Lori, An Artists Year Off

2. Mallory, For the Love of Beads

3. Terri, Blooming Ideas

4. Cindy, Sweet Bead Studio

5. Lorelei, Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio

6. Kerry, Kab's Creative Concepts

7. Erin, Treasures Found

8. Jeannette, Jeannette Blix Wire and Metal Jewelry

9. Adrienne, Adrienne Designs

10. Nan, Spirit Rattles

11. Laurel, Rue's Daftique

12. Nancy, Beading From the Heart

13. Mary, MK's Creative Musings

14. Cassie, The Glass Beadle

15. Dot, Winchell Clayworks

16. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden

17. Lisa, Lo and Behold

18. Norma, Bead Dreams and Moonlit Fantaseas

19. Judith, Judith B.

20. Debbie, Prairie Emporium

21. Maria, Garden Path Beads

22. Susan, Kaplan Creations Jewelry and Glass Design

23. Melissa, Melissa Meman: Art, Love, Life

24. Marianna, Pretty Shiny Things

25. Lisa, Joolz by Lisa

26. Cristi, 2 If By Sea

27. Sandra, Marbella Jewelry Design

28. Maria, Greene Earth Originals

29. Barbara, Jewelry of Distinction

30. Leslie, Bei Mondi

31. Loretta, Designs by Loretta

32. Linda, Bella Bead Jewelry

33. Kathie, The Bead Cult

34. Patty, Plays With Fire

35. Nicki, Nicki's Reef

36. Anne Marie, Heart's Desire

37. Mary, Mary Harding Jewelry

38. Jayne, Mama's Got to Doodle

39. Emanda, Artemesia's Studio

40. Whitney, Whitney Lassini

41. Marcie, La Bella Joya

42. Suzann, Beadphoria

43. Jen, Jen Judd Rocks

44. Julie, Credit River Art Glass

45. Janiece, J Birds Garden

46. Kate, Organic Odysseys

47. Laurie, The Mermaid Tale

48. Michelle, My Crazy Crafty Adventure

49. Sue, Sue Beads

50. Janeen, Wild Vanilla Designs

51. Nancy, The Rabbit Muse

52. Kristie, Artisan Clay

53. Regina, Regina's Writings

54. Tari, Pearl and Pebble

55. Lyn, Lyn Foley

56. Beth, Sunshine Daydreamz

57. Cathryn, Chile Cats

58. Emma, Fred Bean's Nook

59. Connie, Cetta Cheese Chatter

60. Juli, Jul's Beads

61. Julie, RockerJewlz

62. Libby, LibbyLeu and Glass Too

63. Melanie, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles

64. Katie, My Life and My Beads

65. Zuleykha, Zuleykha's Polymer Clay

66. Rekella, Me But a Little More in Depth

67. Ricki, What's New at Ricki Voges Design

68. Lisa, Lucid Moon Studio

69. Jo, Daisychain Jewellery

70. Lynette, Rock Hill Designs

71. Lynne, Island Girl's Insights

72. Chas, One Woman's Haven

73. Ruthie, Rose Works Jewelry

74. Elizabeth, Turquoise Sky

75. Maire, Maire Dodd

76. Janet, Singing Woods

77. Eileen, Dorset Hill Beads

78. Julie, Miss Kitten's Jewels

79. Joann, Jo's Jewels

80. Patti, PJ Clark Designs

81. Mel, Kookie Designs

82. Erin, Every Heart Crafts

83. Dale, Flights of Fancy

84. Dee, Runako Designs

47 Response to "Bead Soup Party - THE BIG REVEAL"

  1. Cathryn Says:

    Nicki, these are absolutly stunning! How imaginative and creative! I love them both! I would hard pressed to say which is my favorite piece! Great job!

  2. JBird's Garden Says:

    This is what I love best about Bead Soup...coming across post's like yours! Your pieces are wonderful as is the descriptive breakdown. I love it!

  3. Lisa Says:

    Very creative! Love how you put these together.

  4. Maria Says:

    I love the colors!
    Love It!

    You are welcome to stop by for a cup of “Spring” soup on my blog.

  5. Pretty Things Says:

    I completely love it! Well done!

    Thanks for being a part of the party -- we'll do it again soon!

  6. Terri Says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.
  7. Terri Says:

    Outstanding and so well done! You are so talented....I love everything about them! This is a great soup party!

  8. Patty Says:

    Great writeup, Nicki! It was fun reading about your process. And the results - wow! Two for one! I love what you did on the second piece in particular with the bail for the great lampwork bead. :-)

  9. Patty Says:

    Great writeup, Nicki! It was fun reading about your process. And the results - wow! Two for one! I love what you did on the second piece in particular with the bail for the great lampwork bead. :-)

  10. Mel P Says:

    Oooo Nicki I love both of them, those beads were made for you to work with :0)

  11. bellajoya Says:

    I love the bail that you made for the second piece, it looks so cool with the lampworked bead. Thanks for adding some international flair to the party!! Excellent job!

  12. Kerry Says:

    thanks for the cup of soup!

  13. mairedodd Says:

    very nice - i love them both and how you arrived at your design decisions... really cool!

  14. Boot ~C Says:

    I love both pieces, so different from each other & both so wonderful. the copper is really stunning

  15. Islandgirl Says:

    Both those pieces are really fun!

  16. Spirited Earth Says:

    love these..and your comments

  17. Round Rabbit Says:

    Very creative - excellent job! :)

  18. Erin Says:

    These designs are wonderful! Love your wire work!

  19. Jo Ann Gallagher Says:

    Very creative designs! Love them both!

  20. Regina Says:

    Love reading about your thought process and love the results of the thoughts. Great designs!

  21. Mary K. McGraw Says:

    Two great necklaces. Love reading about your thought process.

  22. Janet Says:

    you did some really Very lovely pcs!! Im loving what you did!

  23. *melanie* earthenwood studio Says:

    Nice work! I really like the wire and metal work you have done! Thanks for sharing!

  24. EmandaJ Says:

    love the pieces, they are gorgeous!Sometimes you just have listen to the beads!

    Hasn't this been fun?!?


  25. moonlitfantaseas Says:

    really cool funky stuff!

  26. Julie Nordine . Credit.River.Art.Glass Says:

    Wonderful job, Nicki... they're both lovely pieces!

  27. Kella Says:

    Two worth bead soup pieces and I love the way you blogged about the journey.

  28. Kate Says:

    Great wirework and design!

    Hope you are enjoying the Party!
    Kate ~
    Organic Odysseys #46 Bead Souper

  29. TesoriTrovati Says:

    I like what you did with the focals, especially the second one. Lovely ingredients and so glad you could play from across the "pond"! Thanks for sharing this heaping serving of great soup! Be sure to stop by and taste some of mine. Enjoy the day! Erin

  30. Dee Says:

    I love both pieces..wonderful job. Great wire work and love the toggle. I love what you did with the focal beads as well. Great job, nicely done!

  31. Rose Works Jewelry Says:

    I love how your pieces turned out! I'm just got done making a second (and maybe a third is coming!) piece out of the beads I received :)

  32. SharonP Says:

    Beautiful, earthy necklaces, I love them both! Well done!

  33. Patti Says:

    A nice mix of wire wrapping, chain and dangles. Glad I don't have to choose, 'cause they're both great!

  34. Julianna Cannon Says:

    Wonderful detail in your wire wrapping~ very nicely done. Both necklaces are stunners!

  35. Jenny J-V Says:

    Beautiful wirework! You must be thrilled with all the potential in those pretty beads!!! I'm inspired to go coiling...

  36. Judy Says:

    Nicki, you made two outstanding pieces of jewelry! Well done!

  37. Anonymous Says:

    love the wirework, great designs!

  38. Whitney Says:

    Oh My Gosh! I LOVE how you did that dangle! Very Cool!

  39. SueBeads Says:

    Very nice - I love both of them, but the second one speaks to me!

  40. Michelle Mach Says:

    Sometimes a little trial and error isn't a bad thing! The dangle makes it look like a piece that would be fun to wear with a V-neck. Nice job!

  41. Mermaid Glass Says:

    I really like these. I love anything with danglies and, the way you framed the focals adds that special something. Nice work!

  42. Lynette Says:

    Beautiful, both necklaces!

  43. Loretta Says:

    Hello to you in Germany! This bead soup exchange makes it a very small world.

    I love your beautiful creation and all of your talent in wirewrapping. Great job.

  44. lisa oram Says:

    Love the creative way you seated the focals in both of your pieces. I will have to remember those technique when my lampwork beads get better. . . .Sorry for the delay in getting to your blog. Enjoy your necklaces!

  45. Anonymous Says:

    Little over-achiever! ;) I like the two designs. They are both complicated in design and yet simple at first glance. Very pretty.

  46. Nicki Says:

    Hello everybody, thank you so much for all your kind comments. And please come back in the future. I am happy to have met so many very talented designers. See you at the next bead soup party?

  47. Cindy Says:

    Hello Nicki
    Sorry to be such a late comer...I'm still making my way to all of the blogs. Your necklaces are beautiful! I see you love wire the same way I do! And your baby is absolutely adorable, by the way! :-)