8th Bead Soup Blog Party

A much-anticipated annual event, the Bead Soup Blog Party is a wonderful event in the beading jewelry world, hosted by Lori Anderson, that matches up hundreds of pairs of jewelry designers who swap beads and then everyone reveals what they made on the same day. Today’s the day! You can read more about the event itself and read all about my partner Jean Wells here where I revealed the lovely beads that she sent me. And you can even read about my entry in the previous 7th Bead Soup Blog Party here. So that’s the background, and now here’s my entry for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party.

Here’s What Jean Sent Me

Here is what I received for the Bead Soup Blog Party from Jean Wells.

It is truly a lovely mix. I saw right away that I there were two major color groups and I knew that I wanted to make something with the blue/purples and something else with the pinks and copper. And sure enough, that’s what I did.

Pink and Copper Necklace

The two lampwork focals matched so nicely that I really wanted them to be put together. But they weren’t visually balanced. When I put all the beads that looked right together, color-wise, I realized that this little collection looked better with a more contrasting, more textured element added. I used one of my Rustic Beads and I liked the effect so much that I knew I had to make it work. Balance or not. Let me tell you, trying to balance three focals isn’t easy. It took me forever to work with the obvious imbalance and asymmetry. There was an Asymmetry Bootcamp on Love My Art Jewelry earlier this year and the lessons learned there were very much on my mind as I worked out how to make this necklace happen. I learned with the last BSBP how much I tend to settle for “matchy matchy” in my designs, so I now make a conscious effort for symmetry to be a choice rather than a default.

Pink and copper beaded necklace for Bead Soup Blog Party

Pink and Copper asymmetrical necklace made for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party.

Blue and Purple Necklace

The other collection of colors that I immediately saw when I opened the box of beads was mainly the blues and purples along with the ceramic focal (By Gaea) and the silver clasp. This one was easy. I wear a lot of blue (I’ll bet that’s a surprise, huh?) and I have a huge hole in my jewelry wardrobe for a short-ish necklace in blue tones to wear with button-up shirts and t-shirts. This is the one! There weren’t any major design issues here, I just let the pretty colors make their way around the necklace. They sort of fell into place on their own. Jean picked nice beads, what I can I say?

Blue and purple beaded necklace for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party.

Blue and purple beaded necklace for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party.

Bangle Stack

With most of the obvious colors combinations out of the way, that left an interesting assortment that sort of centered around a soft pink, some plum purples, and creams. I have wanted to make some bracelets using Fanciful Devices’ Tribal Gypsy Bangle Stacks Tutorial and this was the perfect opportunity. It’s a great way of using up a pile of loosely related beads. I am hugely drawn to this rustic, earthy style of jewelry and this particular pile of colors was just asking for a couple of my Rustic Beads to be added to the mix. So I pulled them from my Etsy shop and used them myself!

Tribal Bangle Stack for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party by Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree.

Tribal Bangle Stack for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party by Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree. Tribal Bangle Stack for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party by Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree.

What I Sent Jean

Here is the bead soup that I sent to my partner Jean A. Wells.

Here is the Bead Soup that I sent my partner Jean A. Wells. We had a great laugh because we both sent nearly identical color palettes to each other. You can go here to Jean’s blog to see what she made with these beads. She is a very talented designer so I think it’s quite an honor to have someone so accomplished make jewelry from my beads. And it’s even more cool because several of the beads I sent are my own handmade polymer clay beads.

Polymer clay beads made by Ginger Davis Allman for Bead Soup Blog Party #8.
Polymer Clay beads, handmade by me, using the techniques in my Organic Beads Tutorial (coming soon), Rustic Beads Tutorial, and Faux Glass Tutorial.

The Blog Hop

The Bead Soup Blog Party is a blog hop, and that means that there is a master list of all participants. So if you’re so inclined, go visit a few of the participants. You can find the list here. It’s easy to get intimidated when you see how incredibly talented these designers are! But that’s the reason I chose to participate again this year. It’s a way of stretching my own skills and learning from all the wonderfully talented designers who take part each year.

Rustic Beads

You might have noticed that the Pink and Copper Necklace and the Tribal Bangle Stacks above include handmade polymer clay beads. Those beads, and the cream and fuchsia ones that I sent Jean are made with the techniques that I teach in the Rustic Beads Tutorial. It’s a very popular tutorial that has lots of fans talking about how addictive it is to make these beads! You can get the tutorial here:


Learn to make rustic styled beads from polymer clay with this fun tutorial from The Blue Bottle Tree.

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