SO! It's finally time for the Bead Soup Blog Party (BSBP) Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop!
I first want to thank all participants. It was a bit daunting dusting off something I've done for years after many years of making nothing at all but a good-sized dent in the bed, and it was equally daunting to even MAKE jewelry when I hadn't touched my tools for a long, long, long time. Everyone I've come into contact over the years on Facebook during these parties couldn't have been sweeter. So...
The Bead Soup Blog Party began in 2010, ran twice a year for short time and then for some reason it quickly exploded. The last few BSBP's had upwards of 500 people covering every continent except South American and Antarctica. A book was written, a bunch of us in the Bead Soup Cafe wore green ribbons and met each other at the Bead and Button Show, and it was the thing I felt I brought to the beading community -- creating an online community. Thank you to all of you for sticking with me even during my hiatus!
This party involved sending a hoarded bead or beads. That meant sending a bead that was special to you, sending something you really loved, giving it to someone you didn't know, as a gesture of goodwill and in a sort of Pay It Forward. I thought the world could use some Random Kindness about now.
Let's get started, shall we?
|read details about these beads at http://tinyurl.com/l5c4asv|
I had two partners. First is Audrey Belanger from Canada. She and I have been friends since even before the parties, and I got a lovely package from her, not just with beautiful beads, but body sprays, chocolates, and lip balm. You can see a comprehensive set of photos and descriptions by clicking here (but do come back!)
|I'm very happy you're here!|
The first bead I worked with was the Donna Millard lampwork bead.
I decided to make a bead-encrusted bangle from heavy gauge pale lavender wire. I made a loop at one end, planned the spacing of the beads, and went to town with hair-thin sterling wire. The gemstones and Czech glass I used were no larger than 4 mm and in some cases smaller. Four Thai silver beads flanked the lampwork bead. The gemstones I used were iolite, amethyst, pale blue chalcedony, rose quartz, and brighter blue faceted Czech glass beads. Once I finished moving all the way to the right of the bracelet, I went back towards the left with more fine wire and gemstones to fill in holes and make it fuller.
Then I made a clasp and jump rings with wire to match the base. This type of bracelet takes a long time to make, but it's so worth it!
I started with 4 mm Swarovski crystals in Khaki, Copper, and Dorado 2X. I used jeweler's bronze to link them randomly, connecting a length of delicate chain in between each beaded chain. The top of the pendant is a lampwork bead that I thought fit the color scheme well and a collection of crystal dangles stacked atop each other to create a backdrop for the bead. I love how it turned out!
I didn't have a bronze daisy spacer or bead cap, so I made one by weaving five large jump rings into a love knot. And with those crystals being a tiny 4 mm, you can really see here how delicate the chain is.
For the neckline, I didn't want to draw too much away from the intricacy of the pendant. To that end, I added just a few Swarovski Copper crystals, some carved pale green jade, a lampwork bead that matches the pendant, and a button that honest to goodness just was sitting on my desk for four years. I linked that to double love knots of large bronze rings and connected it all to a long length of chain.
I made my own clasp, but I'm not that happy with it and need to practice a bit more.
Now on to the pieces Loralee Kolton sent me!
I will admit this now -- I am intimidated by dagger beads. I have no idea how to work them into a unique design. One night while fighting insomnia, though, I came up with an idea. A simple idea, but an idea. I briolette-wrapped three of them and connected them to small-gauge chain. I needed a way to make them dangle from the BACK of the heart pendant, so I linked two largish jump rings through the holes in the heart and attached a short link of chain to the back of the heart. Then I connected the smaller chains with the daggers to the back. Finally, I dotted a bit of glue to each chain to keep them from flying over the top of the heart if I turned to fast.
I used one of the Lucite nuggets (my favorite part of the package!) and then coated strips of cheese cloth with Fray Check, let it dry, and tied it above and below the bead. I trimmed it and then created an asymmetric necklace with cream and olive Swarovski pearls, Czech glass heart beads I forgot I owned, and pale gray and Vitrail Medium Swarovski crystals. Those last were tiny and I have a bunch on the floor now!
The clasp is a pretty lobster claw I'd been hoarding, and you can see I added some faceted onyx in both rondelle and round.
I tackled those dagger beads again and made a matching pair of earrings with 4 mm Swarovski Khaki crystals and those pretty hearts to match the heart pendant.
And finally, I combined the beads I got from both Audrey and Loralee to make a bracelet!
I had to use the rest of those awesome Lucite nuggets! I also had planned to use Audrey's fluorite ovals in her necklace, but changed my mind. I cut chain in three-loop lengths, wired on the fluorite, and found one of my many hoarded lampwork sets, rondelles that picked up just the right amount of color. I love it!
And that is that!
All of these pieces were made in two days and all were photographed today. I very nearly lost the light on some of them! It always seems that way when I hostess a party -- I'm finding the extra cups, putting out plates of cake, running the Pictionary Game (every drawing looked like a bead with these folks -- go figure!) so I felt really fortunate to have gotten this done and to have made pieces I'm truly proud of with no shortcuts. I'm an hour late in posting (it's 1 AM and I. Am. Toast.) but that's the fun of parties. People stay late, you pull out the reserve box of cookies, get a little giggly and put party hats on the cat.
And it's all very worth it in the morning.
I hope you'll take the time to visit as many of the people below as you can (skip around -- you don't have to start from top to bottom).
(The jewelry shown was made by me, mostly for other BSBPs!)
Lori Anderson :: Hostess