Saturday, August 11, 2012

6th Bead Soup Blog Party® , 2nd Reveal!

I'm so glad you're here!

The Bead Soup Blog Party® has gotten so large over the years that I've had to split it into three reveal dates and change it from a twice yearly event to a once-a-year affair.  If you've never participated before, you can read about it by clicking here, and keep your eyes open for the announcement of the new 2013 date, which will be in the Jan/Feb time frame.

To give you an idea of how many people are in this particular Bead Soup Blog Party, take a look at the overall map: click for a larger view, and click here to see the maps split out in detail.

Now without further ado, let me introduce you to my partner for this reveal and the beads she sent me! 

Marcia Dunne has a completely different style of jewelry than I do, and I love that.  Her shop is one of my favorites and I love what she can do.  She describes her style as bohemian, gothic, steampunk, Art Nouveau, and vintage, and I love all of those things but fail miserably at them.  I thought with her as a partner, I'd really be pushed and I wasn't wrong.

To remind you, this is what she sent me:

Silk ribbon, an Asian fan assemblage she painted, a handmade copper clasp, VERY cool dark agate with pattern, natural howlite, and vintage Lucite.  In her note, she wrote that she was thinking of Katharine Hepburn in the "African Queen", a tribal, Edwardian theme.  I actually rented the movie and watched it, and while I loved Hepburn and Bogart, I realized I am one of those people who isn't inspired by anything.  And that makes me so sad!  I envy people who say they're inspired by nature, or books, or movies, or what have you -- but I just don't have that creativity and just let the beads talk to me.  And sometimes, they don't talk very loudly, so I have to ask them "Would you please repeat that?"

The main thing that challenged me with this bead soup was its neutral palette.  If you look at my blog header, you see I'm all about color.  I thought for a while about instilling color into all these beads, but realized I wanted a challenge, darn it.  So here we go!

First, I chose the fan focal.  I thought of Katharine Hepburn and her elegant bone structure.  So I tried to go elegant, but quietly unique.  I used a combination of lampwork beads, enamel beads, pearls, and Czech glass.

I made a tassel with antiqued brass chain lengths and two beads I made -- one lampwork and one enamel.  For the bail, I made a heavy-gauge bronze jump ring and wrapped it with thinner gauge and tweaked on link up to hold the loops. I added two dangles on the corners out of green cultured pearls.  I'm not sure if those pearls are a "go" or not.  What do you think?

I used a combination of antiqued brass and natural, more golden bronze, to give a subtle tonal texture.  I added two large golden pewter beads to balance the bottom of the necklace, and then narrowed the profile with handmade glass and links of pearls and short double strands of chain.  I linked all the loops together with small bronze links in a love knot configuration (it's all about details, you know?).

I used 22-gauge bronze wire for the pearls, and since that gauge was thinner than that I'd used for the other beads, AND I didn't want the links to look too chintzy, I made double wrapped loops.  Makes for a stronger loop, and a subtle design touch.

So that's "Katharine".

For my main piece, (which you'll see last!) I made wrapped links with all the remaining beads, but when I started to put the  necklace together, I realized the howlite dagger beads just weren't going to work.  So I made what turned out to be a delicate tribal piece.  The daggers aren't overpowering, and I found some very coolly textured Czech glass beads in my stash to mix with them, added a bit of ribbon at the back of the necklace, and here you go.

I think I need to show that worn to give it its due.  But it will hopefully appeal to someone who likes the tribal look but doesn't want to wear a full-fledged neckpiece.

Now I decided to tackle the ribbon.  I am NOT good with ribbon other than using it like I did in the above necklace, but I was bound and determined to use it this time.  A friend told me to try braiding it, and at first I thought I'd use it, again, at the back of a necklace, but no -- that would be expected.   So I made a strand of large pearls, all wire wrapped, and used that as one of the strands for the braid.   I used a clasp by Keirsten Giles and I hope I did it justice.

I still had silk left, so decided to make a less girly, more substantial bracelet.  I thought Katharine Hepburn could have used these collaged hex nuts (from the Industrial Chic line) for fixing the African Queen! And I have no idea why, when I knotted the silk together, just the black showed through.  I obviously have a lot to learn.

And now for the grand finale!

I used almost every single bead in my creations and only added a few of my own.  I knew this long necklace was going to be chunky, so I wrapped the lovely handmade clasp Marcia made me with oxidized copper so I wouldn't ruin it.  

The result is a long, very substantial necklace featuring a bit of Africa, a bit of Asia, and a lot of wire wrapping!

Some details:

Here's where I wrapped the clasp.  I left the original metal unoxidized and oxidized the wrapping.  I like that mix of metals -- it's subtle when worn and catches the light in a way you wouldn't think it would.  

Front and center is one of the enamel beads I made, and then some wood beads in mahogany and natural I added from my stash.  I added some wavy copper spacers to the plain jasper beads, and you can see one of the large Asian beads I got from an estate sale goodie basket.

Here you can see one of my favorite beads, the carved jasper (?) rounds and the black-and-cream beads with a glossy finish.  I mixed in the cream howlite and Lucite to lighten up the deeper colors.

Another view of the bleached and mahogany wood I used with the longer piece of darker wood Marcia sent me, and details of the cool carved Lucite tube beads.

And finally, I framed the plain black beads with copper to give them some character.  I linked all the beads together with doublets of small bronze jump rings.

And there you have it!  I think you'll agree these pieces really challenged me as the beads were very cool but nothing I would have thought of using, and this challenge is EXACTLY what I love about the Bead Soup Blog Party!

This is what I sent Marcia, and I can't wait to see what she made -- so please visit her at

And now the rest of the 2nd reveal of the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party!

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux 
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade 
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs 
Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure 
Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess 
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate 
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads 
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios 
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners

Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Brandy McNair, Bella Vita Handmade Jewelry 
 Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry 
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads 

 Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul 
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead

Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas 
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy's Studio

Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine 
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier 
JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads

Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations 
 Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element 
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae

Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders

Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town?
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M's Place

 Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8 
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
 Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy and Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle

Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads

Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends 

Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Art

Join me on August 25th for the final reveal!


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.

Join her at the Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe for bead chat, swaps, challenges, and lots of eye candy!


  1. When I see the pictures of the bead soup, I take a moment to think about what I would do with it if it were mine. I was stumped! You did a fantastic job on each of these pieces. I especially love the bracelet with the nuts.

  2. Oh Lori, yummie, yummie, yummie!!!!!!!!!! Love everything, love you!

  3. Wow ... how do you find the time to keep going with all these amazing pieces! The necklace with the fan is awesome! love it

  4. WOW Lori, Where do I start? I love the Kathrine Hepburn idea and what you did with the necklace and actually all of them are very interesting. I loved the last one where you mixed the oxidized and un oxidized metals, what a cool radical idea... and your work with the clasp...and the Asian and African beads...OMG I am getting lost. GREAT WORK. Your energy ignites us. Thank you. Dita.

  5. Oh wow, if this was a push, it worked very, very well! Absolutely LOVE your pieces although I am not normally a neutrals person either. If I had to pick a favorite? ...I think the Africa/Asia combo. SO cool!

  6. Gosh Lori, such wonderful pieces... Katharine is stunning and I love the delicacy of the howlite dagger necklace but your last piece is a tour de force! I love the mix of oxidised and unoxidised metals and the balance of your wire wrapping with the beads, it's a beautiful, beautiful necklace.

  7. All of your pieces are so yummy. I think my favorite is the first bracelet. Katherine is lovely and the colors you added really brought it alive.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!