Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Get your Bead Soup cooking now! (And what should you send?)

Yesterday I posted about the Bead Soup Blog Party® sign ups being THIS WEEKEND!  But you know what?  You don't have to wait for your partner announcement to start cooking up your Bead Soup now! 

Each Bead Soup must contain:

 :: One focal ::
 ::  One special clasp (not a lobster claw) ::
::  Some coordinating beads (no need to send a million) ::

You don't need to know who your partner is to make a soup!  Why?  Because that's the entire point of the party -- to send a mix of quality beads, NOT to send beads in your partner's favorite color or current style.  The majority of people receive beads they have either never used before or don't have access to, and that helps expand your design power.  When you get your Bead Soup from your partner, dig into your own stash and start seeing what ELSE you may have that works with it, and embrace the challenge.

If you are a seed beader, you will have a choice at sign up to choose to be paired with another seed beader.  Why?  Because seed beading is a skill and art that is almost impossible for a person who has never touched a seed bead or needle to master for a challenge.  You can absolutely send a seed beaded pendant, beaded bead, and other awesomeness of that sort.

If you are a seed beader who also strings, uses wire, etc, and has the stash to send that sort of Bead Soup,  then you can choose to have a non-seed bead partner.

Basically, please do not send seed beads 
to a person who is NOT a seed beader.

Bead Soup sent to me by Jennifer Cameron.

Some people like to make up pretty packaging for their Bead Soup.  That's not necessary, but feel free to show your creativity that way if you like.  

I'm not terribly creative with paper so I use my jewelry boxes -- still pretty!

DO label what you're sending -- what is it made of, who made it (if it's handmade), even where you got it if you know.

What do I mean by a special clasp?  Something unique.  Something that isn't a lobster claw or spring clasp.  Here are some I've used in my own jewelry:

Sterling silver, handmade silver by me, handmade ceramic by Earthenwood Studio, and a pewter toggle.  There are so many things you can choose, in any type of metal or composition.   

What do I mean by a focal?  Well, to most people, it translates as something meant to be used as a pendant.  The vast majority of pieces made for past Parties were necklaces.  However, you can send a large bead that is special and let your partner know THIS is the focal, and I was thinking it could work for a necklace OR a bracelet.

If you get a focal that is not screaming "PENDANT!" to you, try what I've done in some of my jewelry creations:

Lampwork tube bead from bead soup sent by Rebecca Anderson 
that I chose to use in a bracelet.

Carved wood bead I forgot I had.

And lastly, you are NOT expected to go out and buy beads for this challenge, but if you would like to, you're of course welcome to.  You want to send a quality packet of beads.  That doesn't mean send a million, but ones that are special and something you would send your best friend.  

Yeah, I'm sorry, but there has to be one.  I'm not disparaging these materials, and have even used most of them, but for THIS blog hop, please do not send:

:: Metalized plastic ::
:: Seed beads (unless you are sending to a seed beader) ::
:: Plastic beads (exceptions -- quality vintage beads in new condition) ::
:: Anything you have considered throwing away ::

and per the request of this large, worldwide group,
no religious, political, or similar beads.

(Have a question?  Just email me.)

That's it!
I hope to see you at sign ups this weekend!


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.


  1. Thank you this helps a lot Im going through everything tonight and putting together my soup!!

  2. Awesome post of do's and don'ts Lori!! thanks for taking the time to do this! And hey, thanks for the invite :)

  3. Lori-- Not related, but wanted to congratulate you on your win on Lorelei's Blog! I hope you've replied or she will pick a new winner Thurs. morning! Have a great day!

  4. Yay! I'm so excited. I have my bead soup ready to go!

  5. I just signed up and am so excited to be participating! This is a great way to open up new paths of creativity...stepping out of my comfort zone. Thank you doing organizing this event, Lori.

  6. Thanks Lori for organizing another party!

  7. Looking forward to my second soup! Thank you Lori!

  8. Thanks again Lori for putting this together, I am excited about putting another mix together. I have learned more techniques since the first time I did this and hope to have a great mix put together soon.

  9. so excited! my 2nd soup, as well!

  10. Hi Lori...Sorry I can not make the party this time around. I really am going to wish I had, but as you know my head is full....not a good time for me.

    Can not wait to see all the beautiful creations.
    Will be in touch, take care. Cory

  11. Woot! Putting my soup together - so excited.

  12. I just took the plunge and signed up. The only part that scares me in the pea soup is the special clasp? That's my first challenge. i'm gonna go searching for something cool. Thanks. kathy

  13. When do we send the bead soup? On the 3rd, when we get our partner? Or another day? *curious*

    I signed up, but would like to know if I have time to order beads. :)


    PS- please respond via email (if you have time): zenithjade@yahoo.com.

  14. Soups On! Looking for that special clasp!
    Thank you for putting on such an amazing event!


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!