First, I wanted to tell you a bit about what I sent my partners. I decided to send beads from my Secret Stash. What is a Secret Stash other than, well, secret? It's my hoard of treasured beads I've collected for special projects, usually destined for my own jewelry box. If you have a similar hoard, stay tuned for the official date for my new blog hop, "Bead Hoarders", which will take place in July.
Putting my soups together to send was (and always is) a source of anxiety. I think it is for everyone! It's exciting to put together a packet of beads that you love, but will your partner love them? That's one of the things I like about this jewelry challenge, though -- the unknown. I don't think there's anything I can't work with, including a chaotic environment.
|Soup bowls being ladled up.|
Usually I'm short on the packaging side, which is silly, since I know exactly when the party is going to take place, so you'd think I'd have plenty of time to make something pretty! This time, I actually DID. Lying in bed about five days of the week, I've still managed not to be idle, and I knitted and crocheted bags for each soup:
My First Reveal partner is Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime. I actually had the pleasure of taking an etching class with Sally at artBliss in 2011 and was thrilled to see she had pink stripes in her hair, too!
|Me and Sally, apron-clad, working on etching.|
I sent the following to Sally -- a mix of large, beautifully tinted polymer clay beads and chain I'd been hoarding for a while.
Sally's packaging was inspirational as well as pretty.....
She sent me an beautiful spring-inspired soup, including an enameled bird house focal Sally made herself (!). She had no idea I used to collect decorative bird houses until I completely ran out of room and sold almost all of my possessions to move overseas. Needless to say, I was thrilled!
More beads, decorative head pins, and other lovelies....
Silk ribbon and handmade clasps from Sally's own hands, as well as some AMAZING buttons. Did she remember I collected vintage buttons? If not, she certainly nailed it on the head! These are just gorgeous.
Thank you, Sally!
Visit me on March 30th to see what I've made with this amazing soup!
Now for my Second Reveal partner, Karin Slaton of Backstory Beads. Karin is a multi-talented jewelry designer who has a way with seed beads that leaves me wishing I had that skill! I was tickled to read that Karin remembered exactly which blog post she first read of mine. It always makes me happy to know my words are being read.
I sent Karin a soup that I'd been hoarding and adding to for a while. I can't remember when I got the Thai silver elephant bead, but I love elephants (riding one in Thailand is on my bucket list) and I held onto this bead for ages. I just never knew what to do with it. Ironically, I got a brain storm just as I was sifting through the beads, but sent it anyway. Sharing a soup you truly love yourself, I think, lends a special something. Even if the beads don't fit your partner's style, I think the good intentions help stir up the creative juices.
I made a tassel to go with the pendant from chain from AD/Adornments but told Karin to PLEASE take it apart if something else struck her fancy. I added a favorite clasp (also from AD/A), aquamarine rondelles, Cape Amethyst coins, Thai silver spacers to go with the pendant, a couple of etched lampwork disks, and a collection of ceramic Kazuri beads I had originally bought for my book but couldn't part with (until now!).
Karin's soup was beautifully presented with an "open in order" theme:
Next came a gorgeous, rich assortment of cultured pearls, a sterling silver toggle clasp, and a strand of black gold-plated copper wafers Karin had just bought but decided fit my soup. Lucky girl, am I!
She rounded out this earth-toned soup with sterling silver disks and Tibetan copal beads, which brought back fond memories of sorting through tons of these beads with a friend at Bead and Button one year.
The final envelope contained a very cool surprise -- a color wheel set! Even though I usually work in pastels and bright colors, I'm constantly stumped for new palette ideas. I'm excited to see how this will help me!
Thank you, Karin!
Please visit me here on April 6th to see what I make!
Last but certainly not least is my Third Reveal partner, Barb Fernald.
The soup I mixed for Barb had some of my favorite colors in it -- pink and purple. Because the soup was looking too matchy-matchy, I threw in a curve ball with some green jade connector beads that I've never seen before or since. The donut is made by Elaine Ray and I picked it out by sorting through dozens of them at BeadFest last year. I added some cornwall blue lampwork beads I made, Thai silver beads, sari silk, a clasp that I originally bought for my book (you don't even want to know what the silver spot was when I bought clasps for my book....), and pewter jump rings. Those magenta rondelles -- OH I've been searching for more for years. Those were literally the last four in my stash.
Barb sent my soup packaged up in enticing bundles.....
She was thinking about my son when she took the box to be mailed and asked the post mistress if she had any cool stamps to add to the box. She happily and heartily complied!
Barb, like all of my partners, is way more talented than I could ever hope to be and made a large part of the soup herself. For instance, the fine silver clasp and focal....
And then a green palette. Green has always been a challenge for me so I'm looking forward to this. I love green and my green bead tray runneth over, so why don't I USE green more? No clue.
Patinaed bronze square beads and leaves and two polymer clay and copper wire leaves (ALL made by Barb), frosted glass rings, and a variety of seed beads.
More of those cool polymer clay leaves in head pin form that Barb made (they remind me of encaustic art) and some cool African bangles made from recycled flip flops. I love these. She said I could just wear them, or if I cut them in pieces, they're hollow, so I could make tube beads. The possibilities!
As you can see by her note, she sent me these, curious to see if I could do something with them. Why, I think I can! (I think. I'm musing.....)
And rounding out the abundance, three types of pearls, fringy copper chain, faux beach glass, and variscite. Love it all.
Thank you, Barb!
Come back on April 13th to see what I make!
Everyone spoiled me like crazy and I'm having serious angst about what I sent after I got my wonderful soups. I really thought hard about what I sent but I can't help but feel I didn't measure up. Ladies, thank you so much for sending me such thoughtful packages, and I hope I can do everything justice.