Friday, September 16, 2011

The Bead Soup is SERVED! Par-tay!!

Wow - This was my first Bead Soup Challenge, first time I have ever done anything like this, and it was fun, but it was a true challenge. I taught myself some new techniques, and the following is a LONG, detailed account of my journey from beginning to end:

These are the beads I received from my delightful BSBP (Bead Soup Blog Party) partner, Tammy Jones:

I'll be breaking this beautiful assortment down individually, and trying to describe my creative process as I looked at the mix, and at the individual components, but as you can see in the above picture, I received a lot of beads, in various sizes, shapes, textures, and colors. The mix includes various turquoise nuggets in different shades and shapes, 4 irregular red bamboo coral nuggets, 11 irregular orange sponge coral nuggets, 2 larger irregular orange sponge coral nuggets, 10 faceted aventurine rounds, a very long strand of turquoise-colored glass beads, a silver toggle, and a large carnelian ring.

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I want to go ahead and reveal a grouped photo of all the pieces I created from Tammy's beads. I normally would save this for the end, but this was a really long process for me, so this is a long post, and I know folks are hopping around trying to see everyone's pretties, and some people won't have the patience for all my ramblings! So here they are:

2 necklaces, a bracelet, and a pair of earrings. Some of the jewelry-making techniques I used in my collection include:
  • Beadweaving: tubular peyote, circular peyote, herringbone, and netting
  • Wire and Metal Work
  • Stringing
If you want the gory details, stay tuned!! And at the end of this post, you'll find links to all the BSBP participants, to help you with your blog hopping and commenting.

According to the BSBP rules, I had to use the focal and the clasp I received; the use of any of the other beads I received was optional, and I was to incorporate beads from my own stash in my design. So I decided the best place to start designing was with the focal!

And obviously, some of the steps in this process overlap each other, because several ideas would suddenly occur to me at once.

This is a close up of the large carnelian ring I received. It is 2-1/4 inches in diameter, and has holes on either side.

Now I love to make big jewelry, but even for me this was a big focal piece. And to be honest, it was a little confounding, because while I have worked with donuts before, and this ring is essentially a big, drilled donut, I kept looking at it, and looking at the rest of the beads Tammy sent me, and drawing a blank. Do I string beads through the middle of the carnelian ring? Do I just wrap around either side of it, and leave the middle empty? Do I weave some sort of bail for it, and dangle something from the bottom hole? What to do, what to do?

And I kept looking at all the beads I'd received, and trying to pair them with the carnelian ring, and with each other, and trying to decide if the ring should just be center of a big multistranded soup necklace, or what?

After several days of pondering, and drawing, and thinking, and sketching, I finally decided that I couldn't figure out a way to incorporate all these beads into ONE finished design. It was making my head hurt! So I decided to let go, and focus on just a few of the beads I'd received.

I was drawn to these faceted aventurine beads, and really wanted to incorporate them into my piece. So I put them next to the carnelian ring, and pondered and sketched some more.

I starting rummaging through my OWN stash of beads, and pulling things I liked with the aventurine.

And I looked at the toggle, which I knew I had to use, and I just felt that proportionally, it was too small for anything I was coming up with for the carnelian ring.

It was at about this time, staring at the aventurine, staring at the carnelian ring, and looking at the beads I had pulled from my own stash, that I knew I really wanted to focus on the calming green colors that Tammy had sent me, like the aventurine and the strand of small turquoise-colored glass beads. I starting thinking even further outside my box, and a thought occurred to me: "What if I camouflage the carnelian ring, so it still serves as the focal, and yet is green?" How would I even do this?

I thought about wrapping it in green satin ribbon, or leather. Unh-uh.

Then I looked at my Delicas, and found the perfect color of aventurine green. But how do I stitch them onto the ring so that it is still usable as a focal? I knew peyote was the only stitch that would cover the carnelian evenly enough that no orange would show through. But how to envelope the carnelian ring in peyote? So I just decided to give it a try.

This was a critical juncture. I liked the stitching, and decided to continue encircling the ring with seafoam green delicas in a tight peyote stitch. But I had to decide what to do about the holes in the carnelian ring. Do I just stitch over them? If I do, I limit the ways I can use the focal when I finish stitching (and yes, I still had not come up with my "vision").

Or should I put headpins in them as placeholders, so that if I want wrapped loops on my finished ring, I'll be able to make them. And if I decide I don't want wrapped loops later in the process, I can always clip them off. But if I don't put them in, there's no going back and adding them through this tight stitch!

And if I go the headpin route, what metal do I use? Because THAT determines my clasp. Period.

I had pulled a couple of strands of pearls that I really liked with the aventurine - one was a beautiful ecru small keishe pearl that I actually ended up using in this finished piece, and the other was an incredible coppery-bronzy larger keishe, that had shades of orange, and went beautifully with the sponge coral. And at this stage, I didn't want to rule out the addition of some of Tammy's coral beads to this finished piece. I preferred Vintaj Natural Brass to silver when looking at all these beads together: the 2 strands of pearls, the long strand of turquoise-colored glass beads, the aventurine, and the sponge coral. So I grabbed 2 long Vintaj Natural Brass headpins, shoved them through the holes in the carnelian ring as placeholders, and kept stitching. And boy, did those headpins complicate the stitching.

At about the point you see in the pic above, the peyote tube I was stitching quit turning freely around the carnelian ring, because the stitched tube was starting to curve too much, and glass doesn't bend very well! So I was already starting to have to pass my needle and thread through the ring with each pass of a bead so I didn't have thread wrapped around the ring. And with the addition of the headpins, that thread started to catch on something or other with every pass. Oh well, one must suffer for one's art, I guess.

Finished ring, with headpins still protruding. You can sort of still see the carnelian between my stitches at the bottom edge of the ring.

Side view of the ring, clearing showing the underlying carnelian between my stitches. Those are actually transparent Delicas, too, so while they block part of the underlying ring from showing,
it's not really completely hidden. Just camouflaged!

Time to ponder some more. I looked at that great expanse of (now green) focal ring, and tried to come up with a design. I drew it as a center focal, with multiple strands coming off the wrapped loops I could create on each side. I drew it as an asymmetrical side focal, with multiple strands coming from the bottom wrapped loop, draping gracefully down and then up to the back, while a single chain came from the top wrapped loop to meet the other strands in the back. I drew some other stuff. But I was unhappy with everything, because even though my focal was green, it was still big, and it was plain, and it was taking up a lot of space.

Oooooh! I had a thought! What if I embellish the ring? I think I might have started to drool. Because I LOVE to embellish! In fact, they don't call me "the Queen of Embellishing" for nothing!

Here was my initial, simple thought: "How do I get some beads on this tightly stitched ring in a way that will attractively fill the dead space, and what beads do I use?" As I say all the time, "so many beads, so little time."

I carried my green ring around, looking at all my seed beads, and discovered that I had some Tilas that were a terrific match for both the green and the bronze. And I love Tilas.

I had my coral beads in the back of my head, and I knew I was now going to create Tila Flowers, one of my favorite ways to use Tilas, so I rummaged through my personal bead stash, looking for some smaller coral or red beads that matched.

I found some round, bright red bamboo coral 6mm beads, perfect for the flower centers.

I found some bright red Czech fire-polished crystals for the "petals".

And I filled in the rest of the flower pattern with bronze seed beads, teal seed beads, coral-red Delicas, and those turquoise-colored glass beads Tammy sent me.

I had initially thought these beads were turquoise, but when I took some off the strand, they reminded me a lot of size 6 seed beads. A LOT. They were a little irregular in shape and length, but they acted like size 6 Czech seed beads, and so I decided to treat them like size 6 seed beads.

And then I got curious, and decided to sacrifice one (since I had hundreds and hundreds of them), and I tapped it with a hammer, and sure enough, these beads were glass! Not that it mattered - I had already decided to use them as seed beads, but I was kind of pleased with my bead diagnostics!

So here is the first flower I made, threads still attached, awaiting my next move.

I love how it matched the ring, and envisioned 5 of these flowers covering more than half of the ring, overlapping each other and filling most of the hole in the middle of the green ring. So I stitched up 4 more flowers.

And then came the day I had dreaded: attaching the woven flowers to the ring, I knew this would not be easy. The green delicas were sewn so tightly, and so close to the carnelian, and many of them had multiple thread passes through them, so it was a bit of challenge, and a feat of engineering!
But it turned out just as I planned it, and I love the result. It is a big, structural focal piece, measuring 3-5/8 inches from top to bottom, and while you can still see the green ring, it is no longer a big, boring, dead space - it is a focal attraction! It calls attention to itself.

Meaning the rest of the necklace needs to be subtle. NOT my strong point.
Back of the ring, showing how my flowers even hide my wrapped loops.

Clearly this ring is too big to support a single strand necklace, and I had basically known from the beginning that I was working toward a multistrand result.

And now I have a side focal piece, so the question was how to bring the strands up to a clasp, and what kind of clasp? Something simple in the back, so as not to detract from the focal? Or something on the opposite side of the necklace, to balance the focal and allow for the placement of the strands, which otherwise would have to start clumping together when they reached the neck, and that's never comfortable.

And just when I was making my decision, my friend, Sonya, came in wearing a necklace she had just made, using a pattern in the Bead & Button Fall 2011 issue of WireWork. I loved the connectors on her necklace, so I decided to adapt them into a clasp, using Vintaj Natural Brass.

The largest Vintaj Natural Brass wire I had was 18g, which I hammered flat, leaving a nice textured look, but when I finished it felt a little flimsy to work as a clasp, so I tumbled it for a loooong time, but never really got the hardness I wanted. So I decided to make 2 identical clasps from the 18g wire and then wire them together, for a thicker, stronger piece. Simple, huh?

If you said "yes," you have clearly never worked much with wire!

It took hours and hours to get 2 pieces of wire to bend identically, to my satisfaction. Once I did, I hammered them, then wrapped them together with more Vintaj Natural Brass Wire, adding a couple of my BSBP aventurine beads in the curves.

Then I formed an S-hook from the 18g Vintaj Natural Brass wire, and cut some large jumprings for the S-hook to go into, so that the large S-hook and the large clasp would both lie flat. And the 18g jumprings weren't sturdy enough, so I wired a couple of them together, and finally added an aventurine and freshwater pearl dangle (from my own stash) to the tip of the S-hook. Clasp complete!

I used Vintaj Natural Brass chain to connect the focal ring and the clasp together around the neck.

On to the strands!

The 1st strand was a cake walk. I knew I wanted to use the faceted aventurine, and I had some delicate Vintaj Natural Brass chain, so I used some Vintaj Natural Brass headpins to make aventurine dangles, spread out over the length of the chain from focal to clasp, with a nice soft drape. This look, all by itself, was wonderful, and would have been a great finished necklace, except the strand literally wasn't heavy enough to balance the clasp and the focal, and I wanted to add more beads anyway! So on to strand 2!

If you remember, MY challenge with these strands was to be subtle, because I already had a focal that commanded attention, and couldn't really afford to be busy in the strands. So I added a simple, unadorned piece of Vintaj Natural Brass as strand 2.

For strand 3, I had always envisioned a delicate beadwoven rope, using the turquoise-colored Czech seed beads Tammy sent me. Here they are again:

I thought about a spiral, or a Russian Spiral, or even tubular herringbone, but they all seemed too...something. Either too big, or to busy, or I didn't have the right matching bead. Something.

So what does a crazy person do when working against a deadline? She decides to learn a brand NEW stitch, one that she has always and forever sworn NEVER to learn, because every time she reads instructions for it, she gets a headache. And what is this delightful stitch? Netting.

I found a pattern with instructions, chose a size 15 seed bead then went with my design, and took everything home for the weekend. And spent 3 days trying to figure it out. But I finally got it. (HINT: doing the same, wrong thing over and over again will never have a different result, and will never turn out right. Feel free quote me on that. LOL)

And I couldn't be happier with the result! It's the perfect size for this design.

Next? Strand 4. I used the ecru keishe pearls I had chosen from my stash, and added a few teal Czech fire-polished crystals for a little color balance.

Next? Strand 5. I strung Tammy's smaller sponge coral nuggets with my copper-colored large keishe pearls, and held it up to the already 4-strand necklace. And it looked fine, but when I took it away, I realized the necklace was better without this 5th strand. It was just too much. But I liked the strand, so I set it aside.

One BSBP project complete!

Project 2: I decided to use these 2 larger nuggets of sponge coral for a pair of earrings.

I added some of the copper-colored keishe pearls, and the last 2 adventurine beads I received in the swap.

Project 3: Here are those smaller sponge coral nuggets that I almost added as part of a 5th strand for my 1st necklace:

As I said earlier, I had already strung them with those luscious copper-colored freshwater pearls, and loved the result. So I made it longer, and decided to add a Swarovski Cosmic Ring as a focal. I stitched up a square stitch bail using copper-colored Delicas for the Cosmic Ring, restrung the pearls and sponge coral, and had one piece of sponge coral left, so I added it to the Vintaj Natural Brass chain extender in the back of the necklace as a dangle (trust me, it's back there!)

I am really happy with this necklace!

So, 3 projects done, and I have a lot of turquoise and bamboo coral left. And I still have a silver toggle to use.

Interestingly, 2 of these nuggets are drilled through the long side, and 2 are drilled through the short side. For a little added degree of difficulty.

I went a little Project Runway about now. My head was all "But what about the cohesiveness of your collection? You, are OUT!! Auf Wiedersehen!" I love bamboo coral, turquoise, and silver together, Heidi, but I have used all this Vintaj Natural Brass everywhere else! But then I slapped myself, and got down to business.

While digging through my box of personal bead soup, I had set aside everything turquoise and coral, and I also found a large piece of bamboo coral, so my first thought was "Cha-Cha". After all, I love the embellishing!

I made lots and lots of dangles for this bracelet, using sterling silver rolo chain as the base. I put the large piece of bamboo coral in the center as a focal, and the 2 pieces that are drilled through their long sides lie between the focal piece and the clasp. I hung all the dangles, and then had to make more dangles, because there were dangle-free spots, in my opinion. And you can't really have too many dangles! Even the 2 left-over bamboo coral nuggets from Tammy were turned into dangles.

Once done to my satisfaction, the large bamboo coral focal piece looked a little bare, so I used 16g sterling silver wire to create a hammered curlicue, and attached it to the focal bead.

One side...

and the other side of the Cha-cha bracelet.

The silver toggle clasp, and its own dangle.

So here is my complete collection again.

Thanks for reading all of this (if you did), and I hope you'll leave some comments!

This was a lot of fun, and a huge challenge for me, and I want to thank Lori Anderson for all her hard work and communications in getting this endeavor organized, and for the opportunity to participate.

These are the beads I sent my BSBP partner, Tammy. Tammy is the editor of Jewelry Making Daily, and can also be found on Facebook. It has been wonderful working with her and getting to know her, and I can't wait to see what she makes with my beads! Please visit her blog and take a look!

If you want to visit some of the talented folks participating in BSBP, here is a complete, semi-alphabetical list, broken up into small of 10 pairs to make it seem a little more manageable! {I'm all the way down at #177!}  As a matter of fact, I strongly recommend you give us "bottom-dwellers" (bottom of the list, that is) a fair shake, and start at the bottom of the list for your blog hopping!!

We know you can't visit all of us in one day! But maybe you can visit a few of us each day for the next week or two. I'm sure you will see some amazing designs, and you might even learn some neat stuff!

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

1. Aimee Wheaton and Barbara York
2. Alice Craddick and Sandra Richardson
3. Alison Sachs and Amy Severino
4. Allison Scott and Cynthia Abner
5. Amanda Cargill Austin and Charlene Sevier
6. Amanda Davie and Patsy Evins
7. Amber Dawn and Kim Ballor
8. Ambra Gostoli and Christine Hansen
9. Amy Freeland and Christine Altmiller
10. Ana Krepel-Novak and Eleanor Snare

11. Andrea Morici and Hope Smitherman
12. Andrea Trank and Jayne Capps
13. Andrea Turini and Charlene Jacka
14. Angela May and Emanda Johnson
15. Anitra Gordy and Elizabeth Owens Dwy
16. Ann Rishell and Debbie Price
17. Ann Sherwood and Lynne Bowland
18. Anna Lear and Barbe Saint John
19. Anna Sabina and and Erin Siegel
19. Nan Emmett and Erin Siegel
20. Astrid Boyce and Birgitta Lejonklou

21. B.R. Kuhlman and Deanna Chase
22. Barbara Bechtel and Bryna Lumb
23. Barbara Blaszczyk and DaviniaDesign
24. Barbara Judy and Holly Westfall
25. Barbara Lewis and Cathie Carroll
26. Barrie Edwards and Lyn Foley
27. Becky Fairclough and Jana Tarhala
28. Bella Borgouise and Gillian Lehman
29. Beth and Evie McCord and Erin Prais-Hintz
30. Beth Bricker and Heather Pyle

31. Beth Emery and Cassie Donlen
32. Bobbie Rafferty and Cindy Cima Edwards
33. Candice McGinnis and Sally Anderson
34. Carol Bradley and Cece Cormier
35. Cathy Khoury and Molly Alexander
36. Carol Tannahill and Hilary Frye
37. Carrie Tahquechi and Cris Peacock
38. Cat Pruitt and Cindy Gimbrone
39. Charlene Gary and Doris Stumpf
40. Charlotte Pevny and Kate Gardenghi

41. Cherrie Fick and Cathie Carroll
41. Claire Maunsell and Cherrie Fick
42. Cheryl Roe and Jenny Vidberg
43. Chris White and Norma Turvey
44. Christa Murphy and Kathy Alderfer
45. Christie Murrow and Dana James
46. Christina Miles and Collette Collins
47. Christine Brandel and Elizabeth Woodford
48. Christine Damm and Cynthia Deis
49. Christine Hendrickson and Debbie Goering
50. Christine Stonefield and Dee Wingrove-Smith

51. Cilla Watkins and Johanna Rhodes
52. Cindy Wimmer and Riki Schumacher
53. CJ Baushka and Cory Celaya
54. Courtney Breul and Joanna Matuszczyk
55. Cristi Clothier and Kathleen Robinson Young
56. Cryss Thain and Serena Trent
57. Cynthia Tucker and Kitty Durmaj
58. Dana Johnson Jones and Eva Sherman
59. Davinia Algeri and Janet McDonald
60. Deci Worland and Lara Lutrick

61. Diana Ptaszynski and Kristy Abner
62. Diane Cook and Kerry Bogert
63. Diane Hawkey and Jen Judd Velasquez
64. Dorcas Midkiff and Jill Harris
65. Doris Radlicki and Heather Goldsmith
66. Dot Lewallen and Gaea Cannaday
67. Elisabeth Auld and Jennifer Justman
68. Erin Fickert-Rowland and Geanina Grigore
69. Erin Grant and Julie Jones
70. Eszter Czibulyas and Helena Fritz

71. Fiona Christie and Michelle Heim
72. Gail Zwang and Genea Crivello-Knable
73. Geneva Collins and Jana Haag
74. Gretchen Nation and Heidi Post
75. Heather DeSimone and Karin Slaton
76. Heather Marley and Terry Carter
77. Ingrid McCue and Jennifer Pride
78. Jackie Ryan and Nicole Keller
79. Janna Harttgen and Joanne Tinley
80. Jean Yates and Lori Anderson

81. Jelveh Jaferian and Jenny Davies-Reazor
82. Jenni Connolly and Jennifer Heynen
83. Jennifer Cameron and Kristi Bowman
84. Jennifer Geldard and Lisa Liddy
85. Jennifer VanBenschoten and Kim Hora
86. Jess Italia Lincoln and Lori Greenberg
87. Jill MacKay and Lori Bergmann
88. JJ Jacobs and Karen Tremblay
89. Joyce Becker and Kathy Welsh
90. Judy Glende and Karen Sinkowski

91. Judy Riley and Kelly Morgan
92. JuLee Wolfe and Julie Bean
93. Julianna Cannon and Julianna Kis
94. Julie Nordine and Lesley Watt
95. K. Hutchinson and Shea Zukowski
96. Karen Firnberg and Karyn Bonfiglio
97. Karen Williams and Kimberly Roberts
98. Karen Zanco and Polly Barker
99. Kari Carrigan and Laura Twiford
100. Karin von Hoeren and Laura Blanck

101. Kate Richbourg and Lorelei Eurto
102. Kathleen Lange Klik and Maria Clark
103. Kathy Engstrom and Keri Lee Sereika
104. Kay Thomerson and Loretta Carstensen
105. Kelley Fogle and Laurel Bielec
106. Kelly Ramstack and Sally Anderson
107. Kim Stevens and Tiffany Long
108. Kristi Harrison and Mandy Williamson
109. Kristi Kyle and Lana Kinney
110. Kristina Johansson and Sue Hodgkinson

111. Kym Hunter and Laura Sanger
112. Laura Zeiner and Susan Kennedy
113. Laurel Steven and Mary McGraw
114. Laurie Hanna and Lisa Boucher
115. Lesley Weir and Liz DeLuca
116. Linda Djokic and Tracey Weiser
117. Linda Inhelder and Pam Brisse
118. Linda Landig and Lori Dorrington
119. Linda Murphy and Lisa Hamilton
119. Line Labrecque and Marianne Baxter
120. Lisa Lodge and Monica Johnson

121. Lois Moon and Melissa Muir
122. Lola Surwillo and Therese Frank
123. Lori Bowring Michaud and Marci Brooks
124. Lupe Meter and Norma Agron
125. Maggie Towne and Marge Beebe
126. Malin de Koning and Susie Hibdon
127. Mallory Hoffman and Shirley Moore
128. Marcie Abney and Patty Miller
129. Marcy Lamberson and Melissa Clarke
130. Margot Potter and Suzann Sladcik Wilson

131. Maria Grimes and Wendy Blum
132. Maria Horvath and Melinda Orr
133. Maria Rosa Sharrow and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp
134. Marian Hertzog and Melissa Mesara
135. Marianna Boylan and Sandi Lee James
136. Marina Dobrynina and Michaela Pabeschitz
137. Marsha Neal and Miri Agassi
138. Mary Ellen Parker and Melissa Meman
139. Mary Elliott and Tamara Soper
140. Mary Hicks and Laurel Steven

141. Melissa Pynn and Michelle Buettner
142. Michelle Hardy and Niki Meiners
143. Michelle Mach and Moira McEvoy
144. Missy Rappaport and Mags Saari
145. Molly Alexander and Poranna
146. Mylene Hillam and Nicole Rennell
147. Nadezhda Parfyonova and Stacey Curry
148. Nan Emmett and Nancy Peterson
149. Nancy Boylan and Natalie McKenna
150. Natalie Monkivitch and Niky Sayers

151. Natasha Lutes and Pam Ferrari
152. Noemi Baena and Penny Ilagan
153. Pamela Petry and Rebecca Sirevaag
154. Pat Haight and Mary Hicks
155. Patty Gasparino and Vonna Maslanka
156. Penny Neville and Sandi Volpe
157. Pepita Bos and Wendy Chamberlain
158. Raida Disbrow and Rebecca Watkins
159. Rebecca Anderson and Sabrina Staub
160. Regina Santerre and Rose Binoya

161. Rhea Freitag and Tari Kahrs
162. Rochelle Brisson and Teri Baskett
163. Sally Russick and Tracy Bell
164. Sandra McGriff and Shay Williams
165. Sandra Wollberg and Sara Hardin
166. Sarah Elder and Salla Small
167. Saskia Kaffenberger and Sharon Gardner
168. Sharon Palac and Shannon Chomanczuk
169. Shay Stone and Suzette Bentley
170. Shiraz Biggie and Tammy Powley

171. Staci Smith and Tracy Stillman
172. Stacie Stamper and Tracy Martin
173. Stefanie Teufel and Vicky Taylor
174. Stephanie Dixon and Stephanie LaRosa
175. Stephanie Haussler and Valerie Norton
176. Suzanne Tate and Terri Wlaschin
177. Sweet Freedom Designs (ME!) and Tammy Jones
178. Tania Spivey and Tari Sasser
179. Tara Plote and Terry Matuszyk
180. Terri Gauthier and Deana Hager
181. Theresa Fosdick and Tracey Nanstad

While compiling and linking the above list, I visited every shop on the list. I am amazed at the talent, and at how many of these folks I know from Etsy and/or FaceBook! Can't wait to see what everyone makes!


bwheather said...

Just brilliant. I love what you did with the carnelian ring. My fave is the bracelet with the coral. Gorgeous. ;-)

Joanna Matuszczyk said...

OMG! Your creations are really breathtaking. Absolutely gorgeous!

Marcy Lamberson said...

Wow, you're really talented. I love all the pieces you made!

Jo said...

WOW! Your work is amazing, and I loved reading about your inspiration and how the designs developed. The beadweaving and flowers must have taken you hours. Beautiful!

Charis Designs said...

Saw your link on the Jewelry Making Daily FB page and had to come see. WOW! Your creations are spectacular! Absolutely gorgeous.

SavonFeutré said...

WOOOOW! What a great work!

Kym Hunter Designs said...

Wow! You created some awesomely beautiful pieces with your bead soup! You are a very talented jewelry designer and I love your bead work!

Have a great weekend!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Wow soooooo ambitious! And soooooo lovely! BTW-I ordered you "bottom dwellers" up the list on my blog so you're not bottom dwellers there :-)

maneki said...

Beautiful pieces, all of them! I just love your necklaces! The red and copper one is just a perfect autumn necklace. "Simple" and very striking design. And the first one is so cool with all the different elements. I especially like the bead-woven florals and chain.

(As a side note: I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who can write whole essays on the stuff I make. In my eyes, I kept my BSBP post very short -- for being me -- but I don't think all those who'll be reading it thinks the same. *lol*)

Sweet Freedom said...

That's so funny, Cindy! On my way to work this morning I thought "Why didn't you just re-order the list? It would have been so easy!!

Great minds, and all.

I had planned to start at the bottom, and work my way up, but NOW I am going to start with those who have been gracious enough to visit me, and then I will proceeed to visit from the bottom up!

Thanks to everyone! Can't wait to see what YOU guys have done!

Sweet Freedom said...

LOL @ maneki! I NEVER know when to shut up when talking about jewelry design, etc - especially my own.

Blah blah blah....But I enjoy reading how people come up with stuff! I'm into the creative nuts and bolts AND the actual nuts and bolts process! Anxious to read your short essay!

Maggie said...

Leslie, Your pieces are stunning and I'm amazed at all you accomplished in a month, knowing you have a million other things to do as well.

Lorelei Eurto said...

Really impressive!! What a fun collection of jewelry you have now! Hope you plan on wear them for years to come!

Michelle Mach said...

That necklace is so beautiful! That's my favorite, but really they are all stunning!

I can't believe how many people I've visited have managed to combine green and red and make it look good. I need to get over my fear of that color combination!

Sweet Freedom said...

Oh Michelle, I hear you! I was so afraid my necklace was going to scream "Christmas", but it doesn't.
And I am wearing it today, and it is comfy, and light as a feather. I love it!

SoulsFireDesigns said...

WOW! I do not know what else to say, but WOW! Reading your creative process, all the work.. amazing! I love the bracelet best! But everything is stunning!

ccrider2006 said...

Wow - I absolutely love what you did with the necklace. Yea, I know what it is to try and learn a new stitch under a deadline. We are supposed to stretch ourselves during this challenge and I also have done it each time so I know what you went through but you turned out some fab pieces and you are so very talented. I loved every one of them.

Kristy's Kreations Jewelry said...

Wow, such beautiful work! How inspiring, thank you :)

My Life Under the Bus said...

Holy Kraken girl you have skilz!!! That necklace is just amazing - seriously your a rock star ....your not going to go get all conceited now and I'll have to talk to your secretary and stuff??? lol XOXO Really this is going to be one of my favorites!

Terri said...

Are you kidding me..Oh... my... goodness! possess some serious skill sets. And love to be able to admire them....just out standing. These pieces are a feast for the eyes.

Sweet Freedom said...

LOL Patty! My secretary's name is Miss MoneyPenny; well, that WASN'T his name (he was hired for his looks, not his brains) but I made him change it so I could remember it.

EmandaJ said...

Wow! We’re all being pushed outside our comfort zones — with amazing results!

Enjoy the hop,

Pixybug Designs said...

I too am a "bottom dweller" lol, and yet I feel REALLY out classed by your amazing bead work! WOW! Your main show piece is so beautiful and intricate! The bracelet too is a favorite, and the other piece is very pretty! Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

WondrousStrange said...

Your Bead Soup pieces are just wonderful!!

Erin Fickert-Rowland said...

Truly unique and beautiful! Loved seeing your creative process, too!

la mar de bonita said...

Wow, what wonderful designs, you've made. Every piece is adorable - couldn't make a choice which one I love the most. You've been very busy. Thank you for sharing the details with us!
Greetings, Michi

Carrie said...

I love how you showed you whole process. You designs are amazing.
Carrie t.

Pretty Things said...

I am SO sorry for being late — today our internet provider decided to crash. My stress level is through the roof, to say the least! They’re still working on it, but it’s like dial-up.

The statement necklace -- holy cow! I have no idea how you conceived that, much less created it. And the bracelet is amazing, too.

I hope you’ll participate again!

Love, Lori

Sweet Freedom said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments, and I just want to add a note here -

Blogger is eating comments.

The comments are getting to me, and I am publishing them, and they are disappearing. So far, 6 have been eaten - so I'm seeing them, I appreciate them, and I have filed a help ticket with blogger. It is weird. I can see them on the dashboard, but they disappear before they get to the actual post.

Maybe BSBP has overwhelmed poor Blogger.

Carol B said...

Your jewelry is just beautiful! I love the flowers on the carnelian ring. Wonderful to read!

Cindy Cima said...

Wow - so many techniques that you used - great job!

Anonymous said...

Amazing work that you have done...and everything is just beautiful. I think the bracelet is my favorite :))

Anonymous said...

Amazing work that you have done...and everything is just beautiful. I think the bracelet is my favorite :))

LeeLu Creations said...


Line said...

Wow, your pieces are just amazing. They pop right out. Great job!

JenniferJangles said...

Oh my gosh! That necklace is amazing!

Sweet Freedom said...

Blogger is still eating comments this AM, so I am going to try to pull all the eaten comments from my e-mail notifications, and see what happens

Sweet Freedom said...

Cat has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Beautiful creations!! I think you went way above and beyond what was expected! They are like pieces of art!

I will try to get to all of the entries in time. It will be fun to see what others have made! Maybe I will even participate if there is a next time!

Sweet Freedom said...

ccrider2006 has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

I already commented on your pieces but don't see my comment here but thank you for your kind comments about my pieces and you are right, you are just around the corner from me and we should meet. I will have to visit YAYA Beads sometime soon in the real near future. I used to work at Beads and Baubles in Aiken on the weekends. I will have to friend you on facebook as well. Your pieces are just fabulous - so creative, I am so impressed by them and your use of color. I am envious.

Ann said...

You came up with some great pieces. The way you used the carnelian ring is remarkable. Love all of them.

Sweet Freedom said...

LissC has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Your bead-weaving is beautiful! That first necklace you made has so so much work in it (Thanks for sharing your process). I loved the soup you got and the soup you sent. I saw your soup on your partners site first and was eager to get to your site to see what you made of it. And you did not disappoint!! BEAUTIFUL!!

Sweet Freedom said...

Christine Altmiller has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

i am in awe of all you made here! your beadweaving skills are so strong and your talent is something to celebrate. Beautiful Beautiful pieces!!!

Sweet Freedom said...

Clayworks by Lisa Boucher has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

I just saw some of your photos on Flickr and was blown away by the beauty and detail in your work so I had to come take a closer look! Thanks so much for sharing how you created your pieces - it's really fun to see the process!

Sweet Freedom said...

Sandra has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Oh my God, this is so über gorgeous, I stand in awe of your skill. Beadweaving and working with seed beads in general is so totally not for me, but you just go and create such amazing and artistic designs with it. I'm a little sad though the carnelian ring got all covered up.

Sweet Freedom said...

CK has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

These are absolutely gorgeous pieces and it must've taken you such a long time to create - with amazing results!! I've been taking a stab at beadweaving and I truly love the serenity that the process brings. I truly hope that someday I'll be able to create simple yet dramatic pieces like yours. Kudos!

Sweet Freedom said...

Wow - that was a lot of gobbled-up comments by Blogger. Sorry to everyone whose comments don't appear in original form - I look like I am commenting on myself. Geez.

And huge thanks to my friend Juli, who taught me HTML 15 or so years ago, or I wouldn't have known how to code all those comments to link back to all the commenter's blogs!!

now on to more hopping --


Sweet Freedom said...

Softflexgirl has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Whoa! I love how you connected the square crystal to the necklace. A beaded bail is so smart. :)

Starseed Jewelry said...

I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. What an amazing transformation of raw materials into design. Simply stunning collection. Bravo to you!!


RedGreenQueen said...

Lovely, what a lot of work you did! I think my favourite is the bracelet, but you could have predicted that from my name!

Steph L. said...

Great job with all your pieces! That focal you made for the first necklace is amazing.

Lara Lutrick said...

WOW, I just love your pieces. That necklace is stunning. Thanks for sharing your creative process.

susie said...

OMGoodness...your soup is DELICIOUS my Friend!!! I adore your design, it's truly stunning! Well done, another AMAZING cup of BEAD SOUP from a very talented designer!!! ;)

Stacey said...

Insane the amount of creative inspiration that came out of your soup! Awesome pieces!

Regina said...

WOW! I am speechless. I read every bit of your heartbreaking dilemma with the Carnelian ring. I must say the solution to your problem is magnificient! What a great piece of jewelry you have created. Congratulations! It is breathtaking, and all your other creations as well.

Mylene said...

Wow!!! The necklace is such a statement piece with such a lot of work in it.
My favourite is the bracelet... I just love the colours together.

Bobbie said...

Holy cow, what an enormous amount of work - and beautiful results! It's really nice to see beadweaving in the hop. Creative and lovely!

T... said...

stunning, your beadwork is just your creations

Cheryl said...

What a gorgeous group of pieces you've created with your bead soup!!

Cheryl said...

What a beautiful group you've created with your bead soup items!!
I really appreciate the fact that you shared your creative process as well....thanks for sharing!

horimarika said...

Beads, beads, beads! I loved the post to read! And the jewelry you made - just fantastic!!!! Thanks for showing it.

Palimpa Lim said...

Oh, this was a lot of work! I adore you for your patience! Excellent job!

Palimpa Lim said...

Oh, this was a lot of work! I adore you for your patience! Excellent job!

earthlyjewels said...

Wow you are one talented individual! Amazing pieces!

Lori's Glassworks said...

Wow! You have created several terrific pieces of wearable art. I like your use of color and texture for all your designs. I think I like the bracelet the best because you've used my favorite colors. Thank you for sharing your artistic process along the way. Cheers!

Miri Agassi said...

Absolutly love the earings and the bracelet!!!! You are very talent.

Sweet Freedom said...

Shel has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Incredible! These are some of the best designs ever! So much talent you have! I love how you presented them too - just lovely!!

Blogger continues to eat comments - so I am taking them from my e-mail and posting them here, with links to the commenter. I know it looks weird.

Lupe Meter said...

Oh were very busy! You are one very talented artist! Gorgeous all that beadwork. Impressive!

Malin de Koning said...

Wow! So many intricatly worked details here. Fantastic job you made. And nicely presented also with close ups of the differnt stages and sections. Thanks!

Tracey said...

Stunning - such fantastic work!! Really wonderful - thanks so much for including the step-by-step photos!!

Shyme said...

You have made some really beautiful pieces!

GlassBeadArt said...

Wow! what talent you have...and patience ;-)
Your pieces are among the best of the whole blog hop!

cottagelook said...

What a lot of work you put into your art!
Lovely creations....

Beadaholique said...

GORGEOUS! The main necklace with all the bead weaving and wire work is spectacular! Your imagination is fantastic, so original and unique.

Andrea & Julie

Rebecca said...

Wow, you made a lot! The necklace is incredible!

Sweet Freedom said...

I am so over this business of cutting and pasting comments. You guys are nice enough to take your time to read, and comment, and blogger sends your comments into the ether

Here come some more posts that were eaten today:

Sweet Freedom said...

Elemental Mercury" has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Wow, wow, WOW! I love all your pieces! Very cool!!!

Sally Anderson said...

Oh, yes I did read it all. It was so great reading about how you came to create these amazing pieces. Just beautiful work! Thanks for sharing the process, too!

Anonymous said...

This is truly amazing work, especially the necklace with the carnelian ring. WOW! I'm so impressed!

Sweet Freedom said...

Laurie's Jewel Box has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Wow all that bead weaving!!! You did a great job. Wish I had the patience.

Raida said...

Wow, those are beautiful! Love how your necklace turned out and that bracelet is wonderful.

Norma's Clay said...

That was a lot of work; and it's gorgeous. Thanks for your comment on my blog.

Patternsforbeads said...

You did so much work to the first project shown, I am way past impressed! I love the coral bracelet and now I miss my branch coral that I never should have left in the store when I sold it...

KayzKreationz said...

Oh my word. That first necklace is to die for. I can't believe all the work that goes into what you did with that carnelian ring for your focal. And I love the wire design on the side. The bracelet is gorgeous too. I love the wire wrapping on the focal stone. But all the pieces are great.

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness, your creations are wonderful! I love it all, especially the bracelet, always partial to bracelets!! You have an awesome-ly creative brain there :) !! Thanks for the sweet comment you made on my blog, really means a lot to me! Have a great week!

Wendy Chamberlain said...

Wow awesome work, love all the seed bead work, all works together so beautifully.

Creative Arty Facts said...

Wow - Wow - Wow! What a truly creative soul your are! I really love your pieces!

Juli said...

beautiful colours, shapes - really great job!

KvH said...

Wow, so many wonderful pieces and so many different techniques. Such a great talent you have got. I love it...

Michelle said...

So creative and just plain gorgeous! I love the tilas (my favorite bead of the moment). Every piece is just stunning!

Kelly J. R. said...

The bail you made on the copper necklace is really something! I would never have thought to do something like that.

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Wow-what a stunning collection! I love the wire work details and your bead work is gorgeous. Well done.

DaviniaDesign said...

Just wow, I am in awe!!!
Just gorgeous.

Bead Lola Bead said...

Jaw droppingly gorgeous! I say this because my jaw literally dropped when I saw the group pic of your pieces. Wow! Wow! Wow! You are SO talented!

Molly Alexander said...

My goodness - what amazing pieces you created from such a beautiful soup mix. The first piece is absolutely stunning! Great job! :)

coffeeaddict said...

You did ALL that in less than a month?!
Just the first piece would have more than covered the soup requirements and yet you made 3 more astonishing pieces.
Your work is inspirational!

Mary K. McGraw said...

Loved reading about your thought process. All your pieces are amazing and a treat to view.

vonna said...

Just fabulous! Awesome work!

vonna said...

Just fabulous! Awesome work!

Genea said...

Wow incredible jewelry! I love how you showed the steps of creating your pieces!

I just LOVE the necklace with the large seed beaded hoop with flower accents! INCREDIBLE!!

Deci said...

This is great work! So elegant and so much of it!

kathy welsh said...

Wow, unbelievably beautiful! I love all the pieces you made..

And thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Ihope you enjoyed it and will visit again soon...

4His Glory Creations by CJ said...

I'm thinking truly amazing!!!!

Julie Nordine | Credit River Art Glass said...

What an incredible amount of work you did!! Fabulous job!

Riki Schumacher said...

Yowza! Beautiful work, I'm so impressed. You spent a lot of time creating, good for you, the pieces are wonderful. Thanks for stopping by! Riki

Shirley said...

Ok, you are just an overachiever!! Love the tila flower components. Really itching to find out how you did the square stitch bail, I love that! The cha-cha is my favorite, so much color and movement! Great job!

Cory said...

OMG what a lot of work and how creative you are. A beautiful statement necklace to be sure.

Thanks for the visit and the kudos.

Doris said...

very creative - so many pieces and so beautiful

Nancy said...

Ok let me just say WOW. I am in awe of the combination of techniques that you used so well together in making all these pieces. You blended them together perfectly. I can't even pick a favorite! Wonderful.

I LOVE color! said...

I am so sorry I am so late , but my computer dug in it's heels and said I'm nota-gonna go that fast:^)
Your designs are nothing short of amazing.
Be blessed to be a blessing

Sweet Freedom said...

Cillaw has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Beautiful Work!

Sweet Freedom said...

Serena Trent has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

You put in a lot of work in your pieces and they paid off. Love the necklace the most, the bead focal on the side was awesome!

Perlendistel said...

So gorgeous pieces! Love them! My favorite is the fist piece ( the necklace) ♥

Menno Jeweler said...

You have created a beautiful feast for the eyes! A joy to read about and understand how these projects came to fruition.

cw said...

Oh my goodness! that necklace is amazing! Great Work!

Pat Haight said...

Love all of the pieces.
My favorite is the necklace of pearls and coral, the square stitch bail makes it look so elegant!

Sweet Freedom said...

BluMoon has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Wow, what amazing things you have made, beadweaving is so awesome, your first necklace must have taken some time to make it is lovely. Thank you for visiting me.

Marianna said...

Holy cow! That is insanely gorgeous work! I am forever in complete awe of seed bead work!!!

Sweet Freedom said...

ladyhawthorne has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Wow, you are super creative. My personal favorite is the coral & pearl necklace with the red & green bracelet a runner up.

gail vanderster-zwang aka angelmoose said...

truly a work of art! love all the bead woven elements! it's the kind of piece i really want to touch and just stare at, maybe some day i'll get to see it in person!

becca said...

I am not a stitcher, but I love how you created that multi-strand piece. Thank you for sharing your process.

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

All I can say is WOW WOW WOW!

Sweet Freedom said...

Tracy has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Wow, what awesome designs and such thought you put into the creative process.

Sweet Freedom said...

Thanks to all my readers for your kind comments! I am so inspired by them, and appreciate your time and words.

I apologize again for Blogger's wonkiness - it continues to make comments disappear willy-nilly, so I am still reposting them here when I discover they are missing -

Cynthia said...

Thanks for sharing your talent! Beautiful pieces!

Pearl and Pebble said...

WOWZA! I am in total awe! Really beautiful work-I LOVE LOVE LOVE those flowers!!!

Loretta said...

Lovely beadwork. Great job with all the designs.

Anonymous said...

I am so jelous! You can string seed beads, you can work wire, you can make amazing creations! Please tell me that there is something you cannot do. :)

The necklace is a real masterpiece, but I love the bracelet!


Melissa said...

Um, WOW!!!!! That is totally cool. You went way above and beyond.... and I think the amount of comments speaks to that as well. Great job and very inspiring!

Melissa Muir

Carol Tannahill said...

I love the look you created with your multistranded necklace. The drama from the design and the calming colors work so well together. And the wirework and beading combination is one I will be trying. The red necklace and bracelet are perfection. Nicely put together.

CraftyHope said...

Oh holy smokes! That main piece is really outstanding! You've used so many techniques that I am absolutely amazed. Very impressive!!
The other pieces are also very cool, but I'm blown away by that first one.

Anonymous said...

I like your statement necklace. What a fabulous piece! So full of bead play. It would be very fun to wear!

CharmN Jewelry said...

The pendant is very interestingly placed in asymmety and it captures the attention stitching together the rest of the beads...awesome creation.Initial Charms

Marian Hertzog said...

I am into unique so the neckpiece is my favorite with the cha cha bracelet in for a close second. They are all great though! Very pretty. Great job!

Karen Williams said...

Wow! Of the pieces I've seen before, yours is definitely one of my favorites! I love your focal necklace - such a fantastic merging of different techniques and styles.

And I loved your detailed write up. I've shared your pain beading around an object with extraneous wires sticking out. And your solution when the 18g seemed too soft was definitely worth the extra work. Thanks for sharing your process!


OhAllisonBeading said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! I'm in awe! I love all your pieces, but can't pick a favorite. I love the adaptation of all your beadweaving with the stringing. Will be back to read thru this again and following your blog.

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

I love what you've done with your Bead Soup! Beautiful!!!

Sweet Freedom said...

Kate has left a new comment on your post "Bead Soup Blog Party Update!":

Gorgeous work! I love the embellishment. Especially as one that is still learning anything but the more basic bead weaving techniques (totally not where my heart and skill set lie!). thanks for stopping by over at Tropical Blonde! I am heading over to see what Tammy did!

Claire Maunsell said...

Quite amazing! I love the detailed description of your ever evolving thought process.

Janina Grigore Jewellery said...

Oh, wow, what a collection! And that central necklace- looks amazing1 I LOVE the intricate flower details you added to the ring ! How clever is that :)
Great job!

deb said...

Just fab, everything you did. I loved reading your blog ... yes the w hole thing. You are so talented, someone I as a newbie can look up to

Kate said...

Lovely!!!! The flower clusters look so pretty. The whole collection looks great.

Jenni said...

Ok...all your pieces are totally brilliant! Well thought out and executed...great designs...what a commendable effort you put in...beautiful! You are one talented designer! (Sorry for gushing!!)

Marie Cramp said...

I'll be honest I did not read everything, I am still struggling to find the time to look at all the blogs and comment! lol Your designs are stupendous!! My gosh! I am drooling! So very beautiful! I gave your blog a follow, hope you return the favor!!

dreaminofbeads said...

I love them all. The focal that you made is just beautiful...wonderful necklace. I adore the cha cha bracelet. You must have worked on these for weeks, they really are all just beautiful.

Tracey N. said...

Wow you really put a lot of thought and work into your designs. I love what you did with the carnelian ring. genius.

Manuela said...

First of all - I am so sorry for being so late (I was on vacation for a long time).

Love all your designs but I am really blown away from what you did with the carnelian ring. Amazingly beautiful, love everything you did.

Have a beautiful day,
xxxox Manuela