The big reveal – Bead Soup #3


I am very excited to be participating in Bead Soup for the first time. It is organized by Lori Anderson, who in addition to being a very talented jewelry designer, has an indomitable spirit that she continues to share with others through her blog, despite on-going health issues. Not only has she paired up over 500 beaders for this most recent version of Bead Soup, but she makes an effort to visit every blog in all three reveals and leave a comment. I’m still making my way through Reveal #2…

My partner is Marina Kosavic. She sent me an eclectic mixture of beads in different shapes and textures, including several polymer clay beads that she made herself.

Bead Soup from Marina

Bead Soup from Marina

My first piece was a multi-strand bracelet that features the flower toggle that Marina sent me.

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I started off by wrapping a piece of my favourite hand-dyed ribbon by JodyPoesy with wire and seed beads. I was careful to add the jump rings on either end before I started wrapping it with the wire, but one of them came out and it took quite a bit of fiddling to get it back one.

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For the next strand, I used the rice-shaped beads from Marina, paired with small silver spacers from my stash. The third strand was constructed with some little green nuggets that I found in one of my bead boxes – I have no idea who I purchased them from, but they went very nicely with the ribbon and the rice bead strand. I included a little silver flower bead that came with my Bead Soup on the strand since it complemented the clasp. Finally, I added a length of texture silver chain.

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Of the three pieces I made, I was probably most comfortable with making the bracelet. However, I was surprised how long it took me to put it together – a good part of a day and a half. Making the individual strands was easy but combining them on the clasp was a challenge. I took the nugget strand apart at least 3 times to get it to match the length of the other sections. It also took me more time than I anticipated to attach each strand to the clasp and get the crimp beads pulled tight. It was a bit frustrating at time but good practice.

I really like the finished bracelet. Although the colours are muted, it reminds me of spring. I also like how the different textures work together. I’ve already worn it several times and expect it will be one of my staples as I break out my spring and summer clothes (can’t be too soon!)

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I really liked the long jet beads that Marina sent, but I had no idea what to do with them. I thought about making a multi-strand necklace and adding the heart focal at the bottom.

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I also wanted to incorporate the red/grey polymer bead into the necklace. While I was visiting my local bead store, I noticed a bib-style necklace that used similar beads, but paired together and separated by jump beads. I bought some heads pins and some oval jump rings and decided to see what I could come up with. I wanted the focus to be on the necklace so I used a magnetic clasp decorated with black trim that I found on the sale rack at Michael’s (one of those, “it might come in handy someday” purchases).

The first iteration was pretty simple. I used some of the silver metal beads from my Bead Soup and put them on a head pin with the polymer bead. It turned out to be the same length as the jet beads and I used it instead of the bead link sets on one side.  It picked up the grey in the heart focal and the red added just a touch of colour.

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Putting the links together took some time but was relatively easy.  Attaching the jump rings and making sure they were tightly closed was harder – I definitely need to continue to practice working with jump rings. I decided the necklace was a bit bland, so I took it apart and made a second shorter strand of links, including the one with the polymer bead and attached it above the focal. I think it adds more visual interest.

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My final piece is a necklace that uses another of the polymer pieces made by Marina – a round black circle with white dots. There are two of them and I toyed with the idea of using them to make a pair of earrings. But they are quite large and since I have a fairly narrow face, I tend to wear smaller earrings. I had given up on using them when it occurred to me to use one of the hoops as a basis for a pendant. I happened to have a roll of black waxed linen thread that I bought several years ago but never used. I started playing around with it and knotting it around the bottom of the hoop to make a fringe.

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As luck would have it, I recently won some beading supplies from Rebecca Anderson of SongBead, including a length of turquoise waxed linen thread. I mixed one piece with the black thread and tied some of the glass pony beads that came from Marina, along with some plain silver balls to the ends. I fashioned a bail out of some oxidized brass wire and strung the focal bead from two pieces of leather – one black and one silver. I had planned using bead ends to finish the necklace, but I couldn’t find any, so I just tied a knot in back.

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While this necklace was the easiest of all my Bead Soup pieces, it was also the one that was the most different from anything else I’ve ever created. It’s simple but fun. I wear a lot of black and the necklace will dress up even a simple sweater.

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I really enjoyed my first Bead Soup experience.  It was an opportunity to connect with a larger community of beaders and to try new techniques and push myself creatively. While I didn’t lack for ideas, I did discover that I need to work at mastering my basic bead-making techniques, especially making wire loops, connecting jump rings and crimping. I’ve certainly used all of these techniques before, but I don’t feel I’m very proficient at any of them. As a result, it can take me a long time to finish a piece of jewelry. But this time, I didn’t have the luxury of putting a project aside when I hit a snag – I was working to a deadline and had to keep going.

Not only did I learn a lot, but I got to meet Marina. I used some of everything in my Soup, except the wooden beads, the green thread and some round black beads and a small polymer clay heart. A challenge for another day.

Thanks for dropping by. Please check out Marina’s blog to see what she made with the Bead Soup I sent her. Of course, there are lots of other creations to check out too. Enjoy!

Adlinah Kamsir
Agi Kiss
Alenka Obid
Alison Sachs
Amanda Tibbetts
Amy Sims
Ana Cravidao
Andra Marasteanu
Andria Poole
Angela Perkins
Anja Schultz
Ann Sherwood
Anna Nordeman
Annita Wilson
Arlene Dean
Astrid Boyce
Barb Fernald
Betty James Hoppensteadt
Birgit Klughardt
Bonnie Coursolle
Brandy Thomason McNair
Brenda Sigafoos
Carmen Lau
Carol Wilson
Caroline Dewison
Cassie Donlen
Catharine Temaluru
Catherine Turrell
Cheri Reed
Cherrie Warzocha
Christa Murphy
Christina Hickman
Christina Stofmeel
Christine Hansen
Christine Stonefield
Cilla Watkins
Cindy Cima Edwards
Claire Lockwood
Colleen Vinthagen
Dagmar Liebisch
Dana Fowler
Danielle Kelley
Deb Fortin
Dee Elgie
Denise Milward
Diah Anggreni
Diana Gonzalez
Diane Valasek
Dita Basu
Donetta Farrington
Doris Stumpf
Elizabeth Bunn
Elizabeth Drake
Elizabeth Jones
Elizabeth Stolarczyk
Ema Kilroy
Erin Kenny
Evelyn Duberry
Fay Wolfenden
Francesca Watson
Gen Smith
Ginger Davis Allman
Giorgia Rossini
Hannah Annear
Heather Otto
Heidi Kingman
Ildiko Jarai
Iveth Caruso
Jackie Locantore
Jacqueline Keller
Jane Pranata Lim
Jennifer Davis
Jennifer Tough
Jenny Vidberg
Jessica Klaaren Http://
Joanna Matuszczyk
Joyce Becker
Judith Johnston
Judy Riley
JuLee Wolfe
June Butt
Karen Mitchell
Kari Asbury
Karin King
Karin von Hoeren
Karla Morgan
Kathrin Lembke
Kathy Stemke
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic
Katy Heider
Kay Thomerson
Kelley Fogle
Keren Panthaki
Kimberly Idalski
Kirsi Loponen
Klaudia Tóth
Krista Quantrill
Kristina Hahn Eleniak
Kristina Johansson
Laney Mead
Lara Lutrick
Laura Guenther
Lauren Potts
Laurie Vyselaar
Leah Tees
Lena Adams
Lesley Watt
Leslie Wayment
Linda Kropp
Linda Newnham
Linda Younkman
Lisa Boucher
Lizzie Clarke
Lora Bright
Lorelle McIntyre
Lori Anderson
Lori Finney
Lucie Bouvier
Malin de Koning
Marina Dobrynina
Marina Kosovic
Marion Simmons
Marita Suominen
Marjolein Trewavas
Marsela Schroth
Martha Aleo
Mary Govaars
Mary K McGraw
Maybeline Tay
Mea-B. Uebler
Melissa Trudinger
Menka Gupta
Merja Sundström
Merja Syrjämäki
Michelle Buettner
Michelle Escano
Michelle Wigginton
Milla Hope
Miranda AckerelyMowse Doyle
Mrs M Makes
Nan Smith
Natalie Davidson
Natalie Moten
Natascha Marty
Nikki Banham-Hall
Noemi Baena
Norma Turvey
Pam DeBoer
Pam Hurst
Patti Pruhs
Penny Houghton
Penny Mills
Rachel Van-Walsh
Rebecca Sirevaag
Regina Santerre
Regina Wood
Roberta Fauntroy
Rosanagh WatsonRose Johnson
Rosemary Cheslock
Rossana De Gaspari
Sabine Dittrich
Sam Waghorn
Sandi James
Sandra McGriff
Sandra Wollberg
Sandra Young
Shai Williams
Sharon Palac
Sierra Barrett
Silke Gröber
Siobhán Keogh
Stefanie Teufel
Stephanie Stamper
Sue Hamel
Sue Rennie
Susan Kennedy
Susan McClelland
Susanna Lehto
Suse Stelljes
Susie Hibdon
Suzann Sladcik Wilson
Tara Plote
Terri G.
Terry Carter
Terry Matuszyk
Theresa Frank
Tina Bosh
Tina Noonan
Toltec Jewels
Facebook Participants
Audrey Allen
Cindy Wimmer Muse
Cynthia O’Toole
Deb Floros
Debbie Jensen
Erin Honeycutt
Kaushambi Shah
Lisa Lloyd Harrison

24 responses »

  1. I am glad you perservered on your bracelet … the final design is lovely. I really like the design for your donut necklace. Simple design concept but striking when made up. Good work

  2. You really did a great job with all the pieces but I have to say the bracelet is my favourite. I love the fact that one of the strands is ribbon wrapped in wire – so cool! I know nothing about beading but you’ve inspired me to look into books and explore the bead stores once I get back to Toronto this fall.

    • Wire wrapping ribbon with sees beads is my “signature” technique. Really easy to do and hard to mess up. I use rayon ribbon I buy on Etsy. I don’r know the Toronto bead scene that well, but can give you names of a couple of good Canadian suppliers on Etsy.

  3. All of your designs are exceptional and intriguing. All the texture you fave to that bracelet is great and I love the way you connected the links in your chain of the first necklace. And then your dangles in the second one. . .they’re so eye-catching. Well done!

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