The 3rd and final reveal for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party® has arrived!
It's been an amazing blog hop this year
(who knows what next year will bring????)
Today, over 200 people
(out of a total of 541)
will show you what happens when jewelry designers
swap their stash.
(Learn more about the BSBP by clicking here)
First, I'd like to thank everyone for putting up with not one but two postponements of reveal dates. In this post, I explained the health issues I've been dealing with for what seems like forever -- and it's because of those health issues that I am SO VERY EXCITED about my reveal today!!!! Not only did I make all of my pieces yesterday, but I made them with swollen hands and arms that felt like they'd been hauling lumber for a living. I was seriously worried that I wouldn't be able to make a thing today, let alone more than one thing, but I truly think my partner will be pleased (I sure am!).
My partner for the third reveal is the ultra-talented Barbara Fernald. She made the leaf focal and clasp, the leaf head pins, and the square beads in my soup. WOAH Nelly but the woman has skills.
As a reminder, these are the beads and components Barb sent me (click for a larger view).
I used almost everything!
I'm going to show you my favorite piece last, so hang with me for a few, m'k? Ready? Let's go!
First, I made two pairs of earrings with Barb's polymer clay leaf headpins. I would never have guessed they were polymer clay as they remind me of encaustic wax art. I'll let the photos do the talking:
(Sally Russick sent me the green seed beads for my first BSBP reveal!)
For these, I made the purple and green enameled beads some time ago and finally got to use them!
I didn't have any copper ear wires, so I made them. A quick trick, especially if you are in a hurry and don't have time to file the rough ends off the wire edges? Snip the ends off head pins and make a small loop with that end. The end that goes through your ear will already be nicely finished by the manufacturer! To make your ear wires exactly the same size, make the large curve over a mandrel BOTH at the same time.
I made a bracelet next. In the first collage above, you'll see ready-made bangles Barb sent me. They're made out of recycled flip flops of all things, and I DID have another idea for them but just couldn't get it to gel. So.....
I cut two equal-sized pieces from the bangles and ran wire through them (they're conveniently hollow). What else did I use from Barb's soup? A double length of copper fringe chain, her amazing handmade patinaed beads, blue seed beads, and her handmade leaf charm.
At first, I used just one length of tubing, but to keep visual balance and proper weight distribution, I doubled up and connected them with two textured jump rings with charms. I love things that allow me to fidget, and the fringy chain just begged for more movement along the rest of the bracelet. This is SO unlike my normal style -- I'm tickled that I even thought of it!
And now the piece that has me so proud I could just burst. While it's in my favorite style (lots of dangles), it still was quite a challenge because for weeks, I haven't been able to hold my jewelry tools, let alone use them. You can BET this piece is going into my personal jewelry box!
First, I had to make a chain, as the only chain I had was too delicate. I took apart a byzantine chain maille bracelet I'd made a long time ago and made a simple sterling silver chain. I added handmade lampwork beads by Jackson River Glass in between the lengths, and since it's "go big or go home", I wrapped the end of Barb's leaf head pin focal onto a large sterling ring from Bead Goes On.
Then came a blissful four hours of wire wrapping. I say blissful because even though my hands felt like they were on fire, I knew exactly what I wanted to make and for once, it was all coming together. From Barb's soup, I used all the variscite and the two styles of white pearls. I added some glimmer with light green Czech glass, tiny but vibrant blue Czech glass, and taupe Swarovski crystals. I ended it all with the handmade clasp Barb made for me.
My method to this madness is to work with one bead style at a time. First, I added all the variscite. Then I started spacing out the rest of the beads, largest to smallest, slowly tapering the fullness. Periodically, I'd hold it up and see where there holes to be filled or colors that needed to be brightened.
See all those tiny wrapped loops?
I'm going to feel that in my hands in the morning...
and I don't care!!!!
The clasp is worn to the back, but I'm showing it to you like this so you can see the tiny bead details and Barb's exceptional PMC work. I think details make all the difference in the world, and if I wear my hair up, you'll see just a hint of color.
I'm totally stoked.
So there you have it -- my creations and the end of this year's Bead Soup Blog Party®! I hope you had a wonderful time, whether participating or viewing. The next BSBP will be around the same time next year, but you don't have to wait until then to have beading fun!
You can follow my blog by clicking the button to the right, and please join me and over 1,600 jewelry designers and bead makers at the Bead Soup Cafe on Facebook. I'll also be announcing the details of my next blog hop, Bead Hoarders, July 20th, very soon!
Please take some time to visit my partner's blog by clicking here and see what Barb made with the beads I sent her:
And you can visit the rest of the participants below,
or at your leisure by visiting