7th Bead Soup Blog Party


Polymer clay focal bead featuring Holo Effect, spacer beads, and rustic headpins by Ginger Davis Allman.
I created a focal bead, headpins, and some spacer beads for Arlene. I hope she likes them.

Last year I started to notice blogs talking about Bead Soup Blog Party. Everyone seemed to be quite enthused and there were lots of pretty beads and jewelry to see. But I didn’t know the details and figured it was some exclusive club or group. Recently, though, I thought enough was enough and I actually looked it up. Ooh, I wanted to join! Bead Soup Blog Party is a brilliant “game” created by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things Blog. The idea is that people from all over the world sign up to be matched with a partner. You each create a bowl of “Bead Soup”, which is a collection of beads that must contain a focal bead, a clasp, and some supporting accessory beads. You send your Bead Soup to your partner and each of you take on the challenge to make something from those beads. Then, on a certain reveal date, each participant reveals his or her Bead Soup and completed project.

I found out on February 10th that my Bead Soup Blog Party partner is Arlene Dean who has a blog called A Glass Bash. Arlene and I have chatted back and forth a bit. We were both supposed to have mailed our Bead Soups to each other already, but I suspect that Arlene’s life is as busy as mine and we’re both running a bit behind. But as I’ve told her, I’m mailing this out first thing Tuesday morning. I promise!!

Collection of beads featuring a focal bead, a clasp, and supporting beads.
This is the Bead Soup Mix that I sent Arlene. The focal pendant features my own Holo Effect design. I also created the headpins and the spacer beads to match. I included some fossil bead, crystals, stone squares, and those cool green illusion looking beads.

So what beads will I be sending to Arlene? Because I work with polymer clay, I knew that I wanted to create my own focal bead. I also created some accessory beads and head pins to go with it, all in a little matching set. This morning I took my focal bead shopping at my favorite local bead store. I wandered around with my little tray, picking up this strand of beads, laying down that strand. I considered several color options but really the focal bead needed the supporting cast in the colors I settled on.

One of the best things about Bead Soup Blog Party, aside from meeting new people, is that you have an opportunity to work with a bead style or color palette that you wouldn’t normally choose for yourself. I can say that Arlene is definitely getting the color palette that I normally choose for myself! I can’t wait to see what she finds for me. This is going to be like Christmas!! I am so excited about this.

6 thoughts on “7th Bead Soup Blog Party”

  1. I never know how to turn my beads into wearable stuff but I’d definitely be inspired by the soup you are sending to Arlene – what a fantastic mix! Looking forward to seeing what you all make 🙂

    1. It’s interesting because it’s very much my own style. All matchy with the colors being harmonious. But then when I look at other Bead Soups I see that many people don’t make color coordinated mixes. A lot of people send a hodgepodge of colors and sizes with perhaps texture or material or shape being the cohesive element. And then I realize how much my own aesthetic needs to be challenged. Yes, this will be interesting. I really, really look forward to the different reveal dates and blog hops. I think I will learn a lot seeing how others combine materials.

  2. Hurrah, you are doing the BSBP too!!!! I took the plunge several years ago and have had a blast. Since I primarily make beads and have a really hard time figuring out what to do with them after they are done (except earrings …. must have made a gillizon earrings) I figured it would be a good kick in the pants way to start designing. And I was right. I have starting branching out into stringing and wirewrap, etc. I spent yesterday making the first mecklace of the latest bowl of bead soup.
    Not only does it spark creativity in the participants, it is a fabulous way to meet other beaders. There are so many wonderful designers out there in blog land I many never have heard of but for Lori Anderson and her Bead Soup idea.
    I predict you will be very happy you are doing this. I can’t wait to see what you do and what your partner does with your beads

    1. I really do struggle with the design aspects of jewelry. I can string beads, but I have spent a lot of time staring at loose beads on a table and coming up with nothing interesting. It’s definitely an area where I need a boost in practice or creativity or something. I joined BSBP for the exact same reason you did. I know it will stretch me, too. I’ve been looking at the various soup mixes and trying to think of what I’d do with each one. But I need to spend some more time on it. My brain is stretched on other things right now, you know how that goes. All in due time. I do know that this is going to be a very good thing.

  3. It’s totally like Christmas! I can see there will be some awesome cobalt blue to enjoy, can’t wait to see it unblurred. I love this time when everyone gets their soups and I have to try and keep my mouth shut a bit while I design away with someone elses soup. erhm…

    1. Except that I didn’t get beads for Christmas. 😯 Believe it or not, I didn’t include any cobalt blue in my bead soup. To be honest, I find cobalt to be utterly beautiful and completely difficult to work into a jewelry design. But I did include some yummy blue tones. And green. A part of me was a bit sad to put all that aside to send away. It’s pretty. Real pretty. Gosh I can’t wait to get my bead soup from Arlene. And yes, keeping my mouth shut until the reveal. Yup. Exactly.

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