Thursday, August 05, 2010

Jewelry With Beads by Floridity and Barbara Bechtel

Back in this post I told you that I wanted to continue to push my creativity a la the Bead Soup Blog Party. I picked Barbara Bechtel of Floridity as my first featured bead artist and sent her a sum of money and asked her to send me some beads, sight unseen, and I'd design some things with them.

Here are my first offerings, using her "Breeze Collection" beads -- beautiful polymer clay beads in soft pastels. I used all of the beads except for one large pendant (I do have plans for that!) and added an owl that I got in one of her exceptional Grab Bags.

First, the bracelet. I used all the hearts, the sweet pink owl from the grab bag, three lampwork beads that I made myself (one is the charm), and a cluster of natural wood. All are wired together and connected with large sterling silver rings. I'm in LOVE with this bracelet but it will be on the web site soon!

"For the Love of Owls"

Next, I wanted to try out a technique that I'd not done before, so I pulled out "Mod Knots" by Cathi Milligan and taught myself how to make this twisted macrame necklace. I thought the macrame might be a little rough on the neck, so I stopped halfway and added chocolate brown suede (you can barely see it at the top of the photo) to finish the necklace. A butterfly was macramed into the necklace, and I (somehow) added two of my own lampwork beads and Floridity's pendant. At the bottom of the pendant is a sterling silver heart charm.

"Joy For Life"

Next, I used more of my own lampwork beads, cut small lengths of sterling silver chain, and linked them all together to a Floridity pendant. I at first thought of linking all the beads together and then adding chain at the top, but I like the airiness of the links of chain between the beads so much better.


Last but not least, I used one of my favorite creations Barbara makes, and the first thing that attracted me to her shop -- a bird. I love her birds, and have a bunch that I've been hoarding (why do I do that with certain beads????).

This necklace is super-simple. I wired one of her larger birds to a river rock, and added some vintage metal chain. Easy-peasy. But isn't it wonderful? I love it. There's something about it that I can't really explain, but I do believe this is my favorite (after the bracelet).

"Bird of Stony Creek"

So there you have my beginnings. I still have one more pendant of Barbara's "Breeze" collection to create with, and then all of the pieces from her new "Whisper" collection. So stay tuned!

Please do visit Barbara's stores and her blog -- her work is fantastic and I hope you'll find something lovely to treat yourself to! Tell her Lori sent you.

Barbara Bechtel, Floridity
Jewelry and Beads:
Vintage and Paper Goods:

Are you a bead maker -- ceramic, polymer clay, glass -- and would like to be a featured artisan? Email me and let's talk!

Lori Anderson designs jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes the blog An Artist's Year Off. She lives on the eastern shore of Maryland.


  1. Anonymous5:24 PM

    great pieces! I love the necklace too! sometimes simplicity is all you need!

  2. Oh my....I don't even know what to say... I am speechless and in awe.

    I will come back and say more when I've had time to think and process everything....

    Thank you, my friend. You've done my work justice but you've done yourself so much more with all your beautiful work....

    AND...may I reiterate that you are much too hard on yourself....You've been holding back! :) love you!

  3. Everything is beautiful!!

  4. oh,my...Lori..these are so gorgeous! I love how you used the pieces so differently in each design.

  5. What a cool idea Lori! I love what you've made. Every single piece is so pretty. I really really love the bird and river stone. Can't wait to see more more more!!!:)

  6. Lori, I have to say that your original post inspired me to check out Barbara's etsy shop and I've grabbed one of her grab bags (too good to pass that line up, sorry!) to my shopping cart! I can't wait until they arrive so I can play. I love what you did with her beautiful things! Thanks so much :)

  7. She has some wonderful stuff in her shop and what you made with it was wonderful as well.


  8. Oh my...I don't know where to start I love it all! Thanks so much for sharing your great finds! I am off to check them out on Etsy.

  9. Beautiful pieces. I especially love For the Love of Owls - the pastel colors are different than most of the color schemes that you see with the little woodsy owls and I love it!! That pink bead that you made with the silver cap is beautiful. It is the perfect shade of pink - I believe I need one (or two or three or more)! :) And I adore the river rock on the last piece - so very cool!

  10. Cute! I like the Joy for Life necklace! I'm all about the macrame and the suede!

  11. I love those colors - and the bracelet makes me smile!

  12. What a great showcase of pieces and so many interesting techniques! Beautiful !

  13. Wow, Lori, beautiful! And I'm with you - the bracelet is my favorite, too!

  14. So simple...but I love the last necklace the best. Quick to throw on and goes with everything!
    Bead Happy!

  15. Such an inspiring experiment Lori! You never cease to amaze me. I am so glad you introduced me to Barbara's exceptional colorways. She is on my short list for the future. I love what you have done here. You have blended your own beads (which are AWESOME!) with her creamy loveliness. I am blown away by your challenge. It is right up my alley and I may have to use that in the future for a fun inspiration. I like the element of trust that you both had to have for this to work. There is something stunning about a well-executed collaboration. This one delivers.
    Enjoy the day!

  16. What beautiful pieces! I love the "bird of stony creek" such a neat mix of beads.

  17. What a lovely selection and the bracelet particularly is stunning :o)

  18. I love your whimscal creations. Love your blog. I love birds as well.
    Be Blessed

  19. I just bought a bunch of her "Breeze" and "Whisper" items, too! Great to see some stuff already made with them

    And I've been hoarding her birds as well. I love what you did with yours, but I'm not sure I'm ready to let go of mine yet LOL!

  20. Lori
    Your pieces are all really beautiful...and for different reasons. You have truly kept the Bead Soup spirit alive by trying out new techniques...and that necklace with the macrame knotting is one of my favorites. It just jumps out at me. And I agree, the simple necklace with the sweet bird and the stone is great...would wear it in a heartbeat! :-) Thanks for introducing us to Barbara's work.

  21. Love them all! I have a grab bag on it's way to me from Floridity and I can't wait. Aren't her birds just the best? And such a lovely colour. You've made some really beautiful pieces here!

  22. I adore the lampwork beads you used in "Posie". You have come a long way baby!


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