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.

66 thoughts on “8th Bead Soup Blog Party”

  1. Wonderful colors you got to work with, and your pieces are beautiful, the combination of glass and your own rustic beads is just perfect!

  2. Good morning, Ginger. I want to tell you again how much I have enjoyed having you as my partner, getting to know you and working with your wonderful art and bead soup. I had so much fun this year. But, I am saddened to learn that you have lied to me.

    You told me you were not a jewelry designer and apparently that is NOT true. (Liar, liar pants on fire!)

    I love all of the pieces you made. I don’t have a favorite, each one is special in its own way. The pink one has your beautiful focal which just sort of ties it all together and gives it the rustic feel that I love so much. And, I really like how you mixed the beading wire and wired links with the chain. (See there is part of my proof – a person that was NOT a jewelry designer would never have used a complex construction like that.)

    The blue ones is just plain gorgeous. You mixed the beads beautifully showing that you have an eye for bead placement.

    And the bangle, well it is just so wonderfully bohemian. Again, a person that was not a jewelry designer would never have gotten there.

    Thank you for the wonderful soup, I loved working with it, and I am very very happy with my results and so proud of your results. Great job Partner!

    (What happened to those purple earrings? I saw them last night, but can’t find them now.)


    1. You are far too kind, dear Jean. Thank you SO much for playing along. And showing me how to properly do a bead soup! I’m am still drooling over yours.

  3. Wow, Ginger – these pieces are all wonderful! They’re all out of my normal comfort palette of red, turquoise and brown, but these would definitely change my mind – I’d wear ’em all!

  4. Love your work! I especially like the pink and copper necklace but then the blue and purple is pretty… so is the bracelet! Isn’t the blog hop wonderful? What fun it is to see so many nice designs!

  5. Wow! I love how you worked your rustic bead in with the others on the first necklace. The balance is great. And, the bangle stack is SO cool. Thanks for the link to that tutorial. Lovely pieces from your soup!

  6. I’d totally wear all of that. Lovely pieces. Love the tribal bangle stack – I’ve been wanting to play with that tutorial for a while too. Love that second necklace so much. I like them both but the second one in the more blue palette just speaks to me somehow. Beautiful and I love how you incorporated your own beads into the challenge. I used some of my own handmade polymer clay beads for the first time in my own soup creations, and it was really nifty to work with my own beads. Love how you mixed yours up with what you were sent. Bravo!

  7. Barbara Mason

    I think the bangle stack is my fave…the colors are great and the use of wooley wire and the large bead just pulled it all together!

  8. Beautiful work! great job with the asymmetrical design. I have that gypsy bangle tutorial and keep meaning to make some bangles…yours are lovely…makes me want to get to work on it…I have lots of stray beads!

  9. Wow Ginger.. I really love the pink and copper necklace. I can say that your rustic bead adding a life to the necklace, bringing more harmony, and yes it’s a perfectly balancing. My favorite.
    Your blue one is nothing less too. Nice design. And the bangle stack one? woohaaaa.. it made my mouth and eyes opened wide.. Fantastic and realy cool!!

  10. Beautiful pieces, Ginger, I really like all of them, but the first one seem to be my favorite … a perfect balance of colors and beads!

  11. Beautiful designs, Ginger. I am quite at the opposite pole – I can rarely manage a symmetric design 🙂 I love your balanced asymmetry – both necklaces are gorgeous. And the bangles – right up my alley, I’ve been toying with the ideas of making myself some, as those are quite the only type of bracelet I wear 🙂 Beautiful all around!

  12. Hi Ginger! You’ve created several lovely pieces. I LOVE the bracelets so much! I’ve been saying I’ll give stack bracelets a try for over a year now. I think your use of color and texture or maybe it’s your fabulous photography have pushed me off the fence. I’m definitely going to give stack bracelet making a go.

  13. When I read “two color palettes, one blue and purple and one pink and copper, I just knew my fav was going to be the blue/purple. Was I ever wrong. Fell in love with that pink/copper necklace. Beautiful. And hats off to the gypsy bangle stack.

  14. Hi Ginger, The pink necklace is gorgeous. You did a great job of balancing the three focals. I am a blue person too, so of course I like the blue necklace. The stacked bracelets look great together. You have a wonderful eye for color. I adore your clay beads.

  15. Oh no… my weakness… Bangle stacks… Yours is lovely ! The necklaces are also so beautiful… Pink is not my favorite color, but I can’t help but be attracted to the dusky rose tones in the first one. And how you made the double strand fit perfectly ! The second one is right up my alley, as blue is my favorite color !

  16. Oh how funny that your colors were so similar! You did a wonderful job with your soup, but I have to say that it’s the bangle stack that gets most of my attention. It’s mix and match, miscellanea style gives it so much interest that I can’t help but be drawn to it. Well done.

  17. Maybeline Tay

    I love your creations especially the addition of your polymer clay pieces. I love your polymer clay work. Really beautiful!

  18. My goodness, thank you all for your lovely comments. I will have to say that I’ve fallen behind in visiting the list. But I have tried to go visit everyone who has been so kind as to leave a comment here. I always love participating in challenges. But Bead Soup is such a blessing. It reminds me that we’re all in this big world together, sharing our ideas, helping, meeting, and growing. It truly is like a giant world-wide party. I’m seeing so much fantastic art, yes, but I think getting to see a little window into each person’s life is the best part of the whole experience!

  19. Ginger, your necklaces are gorgeous and your bracelet is an inspiration 🙂 I also suffer from a need for symmetry (an addiction, perhaps?), so I enjoy seeing your working outside its limitations!

  20. Wow, I would say your soup came out top of the class! I love the purple and blue…but then I am partial to purple! But I must say, you did excellent work on all of them and I will be back for more!


  21. pearlyqueenbee

    What a nice bead soup you certainly made good use of it, I love all the colours you selected!

  22. Rustic and lampwork combo looks beautiful, you found the harmony and balance between them! The asymmetry in the second necklace is very subtle and a pleasure to discover! The stacked bangles are such an interesting design!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.