Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Get your Bead Soup cooking now! (And what should you send?)

Yesterday I posted about the Bead Soup Blog Party® sign ups being THIS WEEKEND!  But you know what?  You don't have to wait for your partner announcement to start cooking up your Bead Soup now! 

Each Bead Soup must contain:

 :: One focal ::
 ::  One special clasp (not a lobster claw) ::
::  Some coordinating beads (no need to send a million) ::

You don't need to know who your partner is to make a soup!  Why?  Because that's the entire point of the party -- to send a mix of quality beads.  NOT to send beads in your partner's favorite color, or current style.  The majority of people receive beads they have either never used before, and that helps expand your design power.  When you get your Bead Soup from your partner, dig into your own stash and start seeing what ELSE you may have that works with it, and embrace the challenge.

If you are a seed beader, you will have a choice at sign up to choose to be paired with another seed beader.  Why?  Because seed beading is a skill and art that is almost impossible for a person who has never touched a seed bead or needle to master for a challenge.

If you are a seed beader who also strings, uses wire, etc, and has the stash to send that sort of Bead Soup,  then you can choose to have a non-seed bead partner.  You can absolutely send a seed beaded pendant, beaded bead, and other awesomeness of that sort.

Basically, please do not send seed beads 
to a person who is NOT a seed beader.

Bead Soup sent to me by Jennifer Cameron.

Some people like to make up pretty packaging for their Bead Soup.  That's not necessary, but feel free to show your creativity that way if you like.  

I'm not terribly creative with paper so I use my jewelry boxes -- still pretty!

DO label what you're sending -- what is it made of, who made it (if it's handmade), even where you got it if you know.

What do I mean by a special clasp?  Something unique.  Something that isn't a lobster claw or spring clasp.  Here are some I've used in my own jewelry:

Sterling silver, handmade silver by me, handmade ceramic by Earthenwood Studio, and a pewter toggle.  There are so many things you can choose, in any type of metal or composition.   

(Shameless self promotion:  
you can buy toggle sets at my shop www.BeadSoupKits.com!)

What do I mean by a focal?  Well, to most people, it translates as a something meant to be used as a pendant.  The vast majority of pieces made for past Parties were necklaces.  However, you can send a large bead that is special and let your partner know THIS is the focal, and I was thinking it could work for a necklace OR a bracelet.

If you get a focal that is not screaming "PENDANT!" to you, try what I've done in some of my jewelry creations:

Lampwork tube bead from bead soup sent by Rebecca Anderson 
that I chose to use in a bracelet.

Carved wood bead I forgot I had.

And lastly, you are NOT expected to go out and buy beads for this challenge, but if you would like to, you're of course welcome to.  You want to send a quality packet of beads.  That doesn't mean send a million, but ones that are special and something you would send your best friend.  

Yeah, I'm sorry, but there has to be one.  I'm not disparaging these materials, and have even used most of them, but for THIS blog hop, please do not send:

:: Metalized plastic ::
:: Seed beads (unless you are sending to a seed beader) ::
:: Plastic beads (exceptions -- quality vintage beads in new condition) ::
:: Anything you have considered throwing away ::

and per the request of this large, worldwide group,
no religious, political, or similar beads.

That's it!

I hope to see you at sign ups this weekend!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.


  1. A couple of questions:

    1) Upon receiving the bead soup package, am I required to use ALL of the beads?

    2) That produces a second question: if the answer is no, then could I send a few seed beads along with the rest of the beads, so the recipient could use them as spacers, or to make a loop for a clasp, etc.?


  2. Ideas for seedbeaders wanting to send to non seedbeaders:

    Send a seed beaded focal that can be strung.

    Beaded beads!

    beaded clasps that can be attached to a strung piece with a jump ring (attach the jump ring yourself to make it obvious where the connection should be made)

    Beaded components such as open circles/squares/triangles that could be easily incorporated into a design.

  3. Great clear list which is getting me excited! I am looking forward to this! xox jean

  4. Salla, thanks for clarification ... I wasn't sure if I could send smth made with seed beads :o)

    It'll be my 3rd BSBP ... can't wait!

  5. I am so excited for this next Bead Soup Party. I usually get everything ready to send after I meet my partner, but this time, I already have it put together. Maybe it will be more challenging to her, or maybe not...lol

  6. Even though I participated in the last BSBP, going through and reading this article gave me some ideas and definitely taught me a few things!

    This will be my second time joining the festivities and I'm beyond thrilled ^.^

    Off to do some cookin'....

  7. Love the BSBP and Lori you put all the do's and do not's perfectly. I forget how many of these I have done but I love each and every piece I have made and can't wait for the next one.

  8. Anonymous10:57 PM

    I am going to do my first swap! I can't wait, such a great idea.

  9. Anonymous10:57 PM

    I am going to do my first swap! I can't wait, such a great idea.

  10. This will be my first BSBP.
    I have a few questions though I would prefer not to ask them here where everyone will see just how new I am to all of this....lol

    You can reach me by email
    or you can contact me through my blog http://homeofthepurskey.blogspot.com.

    Thank you in advance for helpful advice and suggestions. I look forward to hearing back from someone.

  11. I cannot wait to sign up! Thanks for making the distinction between seed beaders and others. I LOVE seedies but I've never been able to do anything with them (I go blind trying to do weaving) so I look on in awe of the wonderful stuff put together with them.

    I've got my stuff together. Can't wait to have a partner to send them off to. :)

  12. I am a seed beader and your advice is good. I would note that seed beads can be strung. If sending seed beads to a non-seed beader send a threaded needle as well.

  13. Anonymous7:16 AM

    Hi Lori,
    Thank you so much for the details and pictures. As a first time souper I'm not so daunted. Also, it is great to know that the soup can be pre made ahead of time.

  14. I so look forward to this - will be my first bead soup - I cant wait - I hope I just remember to sign up in time this time. I missed one by a couple of days. Very excited and thank you for putting this on - it really helps with the inspiration and getting the imagination going

  15. I am going to take the challenge just to see what happens and to get me off the couch and into the creative corner. I can't wait!!!


  16. Lori, thank you thank you thank you! This will be my second BS party and I'm excited. Not sure I did the first one correctly but I'm learning from all the comments and I appreciate Jami Shipps patience with me! I had no idea how much fun this could be! I need to get your Bead Soup book, where do I order it from? Please e-mail me ASAP

    And I too am going to see what I can "cook" up in my bead room, kind of stuck on kumihimo but my partner is sending me info on wire crochet......what to do, what to do!


  17. What time is sign up time? I put a comment in but not so sure where it went.....LOL. Can you tell computers are not my strong point?! I also need to know where to order by bead soup book. Pls send me a note or a link , beccy@abpeterson.com

    This will be my second go around and I'm sure ill do better this time!

    Have great day

  18. Looking forward to my first exchange-living in a small community means I have very limited contact with other beaders. Hope this will add to my experiences - only in the best way, of course!


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