Friday, June 03, 2011

Fairy Tale/Spring Bead Swap and Jewelry Blog Hop

When I created the Bead Soup Blog Party, I created an optional Yahoo Group for those who didn't want the fun to end.  This group does a bunch of smaller things, including this fun hop the group voted on....

The idea was for a pair to partner up and trade beads that fit either a fairy tale OR spring theme (or both!).  Everyone has a different interpretation of fairy tales -- I mean, you have everything from Cinderella to Hansel and Gretel to Red Riding Hood!  The Spring theme was added because frankly, Fairy Tale and Spring ran neck-and-neck in the votes for themes, so we just tossed them in a salad together and said, the more the merrier.

So without further ado, here are my two bead mixes!

Elisabeth Auld of Beads for Busy Gals sent me a very eclectic mix of beads in a very CUTE package -- a miniature Disney princess lunch box with a fluffy fairy princess wand.

And here are the beads Elisabeth sent me.

Little glass frogs and dragonflies, large (as in 1.5" large) crystal quartz nuggets and chunky and exotic nubby blue and silver beads, and pink and purple crystals and bell flowers.

So what to make with these?  

The frogs and dragonflies I decided to make into zipper pulls.  I always have a big bowl of zipper pulls by my checkout stand at my craft shows, and people eat them up.  Regular zipper pulls either fall off with the first wear or are insubstantial or flat out boring.  These -- definitely cute dangling from a purse, hoodie, or backpack.

Next, I tackled the really large crystal, silver, and blue beads.  When I saw them, for some reason I immediately thought of Disney's Princess Jasmine.  So I went for a big, chunky necklace, and came up with this....

Very simple, with chain at the back to keep the weight down, but you don't really need much when the beads are distinctive, right?

Now, the pink and purple -- stay tuned.

My next set of beads came from Sandi Lee James of Do Be Do Bead Do.  She sent some polymer clay beads she made, along with some gemstone beads.  

Her packaging was beautiful.

I was challenged with her beads, as the earthy color palette is one I don't work with often, but I love a challenge and that's the entire POINT of these jewelry blog hops, you know?  I immediately thought "Princess and the Pea" for the fairy tale when I saw the pea pod focal, so the only thing I had to do was figure out how to add a subtle pop of color to the mix.  

First, the issue of how to creatively attach the focal.  I used 16ga bronze wire and made the two curls with a Wrap and Tap tool so both sides are the exact same size.  (If you want to make smaller loops, or to make earring hooks, use these lovely multi-stepped mandrels -- I have both and SWEAR by them.)

As for the color -- I love the cool blue.  I think it lightens up the entire piece, and I used delicate brass filigree to cradle the strawberry quartz beads to make things look a bit more ethereal.  There's a trick to taking darker colors and making them lighter, and I usually mess up that trick and the rabbit does NOT come out of the hat. This time, I think I got it.

And now, a collaborative effort between Elisabeth's pink and purple beads and Sandi Lee's muted purple/blue/pink swirled polymer clay beads.  I had some fairy charms, and sat down with steel wire and came up with this "Woodland Fairy" bracelet.

I just wish the photos had been less dark but sometimes the camera loves me and sometimes it pouts.  And it was pouting and when it pouts I know better than to reason with it because if do, it'll revolt and sit in a corner and sulk.  So I pat it kindly and let it put out some "eh" pictures for a while.

And now I'd love it if you would continue the trip through your favorite fairy tales and visit the other people who worked so hard on making their pieces with the beads their partners sent!

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things  (you're here)
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Courtney Breul, Beads By Breul 
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Evelyn Hall, Dragon Lady Evelyn
Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
Tara Plote, Newbie Beader
Christine Brandel, A Hot Piece of Glass
Lisa Sittniewski, Alterity Art
Joanna Matuszczyk, Filcowe
Jenni Connolly, Jenni Bead
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Sally Russick, Wireworked
Mary McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found 
Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
Shai Williams, Shaia's Ramblings
Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
Sandi Lee James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sweet Addy Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Fused Glass

This hop came from a group I created after the first Bead Soup Blog Party.

We share beads, have smaller challenges and hops, and chat.

To join, all you need is a love of beads, a blog, and to click here.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.


  1. Wow, sure rocked the Spring/Fairy theme! Everything from zipper pulls to chunky necklaces! My favorites are the Princess Jasmin necklace and the Woodland Fairy bracelet. It's really neat to see how you combined the elements you received. It's also very cool to see how the Yahoo group has grown and is so involved after all this time (and growing!). I can't help but give a little shout out to Randy here - I remember when he helped you come up with the Yahoo group idea! :-)

  2. Great photos Lori. You made some lovely pieces. I really like the see through filigree caps on the strawberry quartz and how you put the chunky clear quartz with "princess Jasmine" beads. Thanks for your great organising, once again.

  3. Anonymous3:47 AM

    Wow Lori you are so talented! All your pieces are lovely.

  4. Great job on your swaps. Love the zipper pulls and you are right the blue livens up the "Princess & the Peas" necklace. My favorite is the last one.

  5. Great designs Lori! Love the packaging, often feel it is more important than the beads since it is the first impression you get. The blue and crystal are my favorite, and that tiny fairy charm is a wonderful addition to the bracelet!

  6. All these pieces are lovely. I really do agree that the light blue beads make the others pop, and I never would have thought of trying that color combo myself.
    This was my first bead swap blog hop--thanks for inviting me into the group!

  7. Those turned out so great. I love them all. The zipper pulls are so cute. And the little "peas in a pod" focal is wonderful. Nice job.

  8. Yummy pieces! I love the process behind them too! Keep having fun~~

  9. SEE I told You.smiles
    I am so impressed with your creations. SUCH imaginstion, that last bracelet is especially awesome Be blessed

  10. I love the bracelet, the colors together are wonderful! Off to see more later

  11. Anonymous8:03 AM

    Absolutely gorgeous! And I LOVE Sandi James polymer beads (she was actually my partner on the very first bead soup party I attended)!

    I think this theme would have been overwhelming for me, but I'm going to love taking a stroll through these blogs today.

  12. So beautiful, Lori! I love all your varied designs from Jasmine to the Princess in the Pea (and thanks for the links to new tools!!! Maybe I will find some at B&B - are you excited?!) I love that bracelet the best. That totally strikes me as your style and I love that you combined two soups for that yummy piece!
    Thanks for hosting this mini-soup. It was delicious!
    Enjoy the day!

  13. Wonderful pieces! your work is always incredible, thanks for being such an INCREDIBLE partner and all around awesome bead swapping organization :-)

  14. What a fun collection of pretties, as always, with fabulous photography. Thanks again for all you do for the group!

  15. Magical pieces and I love those little frogs. I dont' know how I missed this Hop. I am a member of the group but didn't get any email about it. I mostly check my msn mail, I am guessing it may have come to Yahoo which I can't seem to get to forward consistently to my msn inbox. I would have loved to have joined you but I am enjoying seeing all the work. Those are my most favorite colors, Love, love the Woodland Fairy Bracelet!

  16. Cindy, you're so right about Randy! He came up with a winner!

  17. Wow I love what you came up with Lori! I especially love the Wood Fairy bracelet.

  18. Looks like you had alot of fun with your swaps. I think my favorite is the bracelet. Thanks for the eye candy.

  19. Wow, I love all of the pieces you made. I've really loved working my way through this blog hop, fantastic theme!

  20. Wonderful pieces! I especially love the purpleish bracelet :)

  21. As always, I love everything you did. Thanks so much for organizing the swap!

  22. Wow! I see why I'm not a jewelry designer. I would have never thought of those amazing designs. Beautiful job!

  23. Wonderful pieces with your soup mixes. I really love the Princess Jasmine necklace.

  24. Anonymous8:45 PM

    Lori, your work is wonderful!! I can't believe how many pieces you created! They are all so beautiful! The zipper pulls are so cute! What a great idea! Thank you for organizing another wonderful hop, can't wait til the next one. Thank you!

  25. Anonymous3:46 AM

    Beautiful pieces Lori! Those zipper pulls are super cute, and I really love the Princess Jasmine inspired piece. Amazing :)

  26. Anonymous6:58 AM

    Lori -

    I love all your pieces! You really tied one on and actually came out with several pieces! I never would have thought of that and would have tried to put all of them (each separate bead bunch that is) into one piece. I love all the ones that you did! That pea one was simply darling and the polymer clay one was very cool! But I think Princess Jasmine's piece takes the cake on this one :)

  27. OOoh another blog hops! I always love your blog events! I love the zipper pulls...such cute beads!!! And I think you did a great job lightening the shade of the pea pod focal using the beads you chose! I never realized bead color combos can actually affect the final color of a piece. Beautiful work!

  28. The Woodland Fairy bracelet is my favorite. Thank you for the whole organisation!

  29. Wow, Lori. You are an amazing designer. I really love what you did with my beads. Really lovely. Thank you.

  30. Love those zipper pulls, Lori! And I think that chunky Princess Jasmine necklace is a winner!


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