Tuesday, January 14, 2014

IMPORTANT...a poll (with a lot of words but it was necessary)

I got a couple of curve balls thrown at me but yes, we will have a BSBP.  Questions...


1) How long do you need notification of sign ups?  Since there will only be ONE DAY to sign up (my way of keeping the numbers manageable), I was thinking a week and a half, so it crosses two weekends.



2)  There will be ONE party date.  Dragging it out seemed to make those at the end not get the excitement and momentum for comments.  More later on why one day, no matter how many people, is to your advantage.)


How long should it be between sending beads and reveal date, keeping in mind international. (I have a back up plan if we get more than a few late international packages, like a separate mini hop, so you aren't screwed over.




3)  Here's the touchy one, and I'd appreciate input..

 Sometimes I've had people send me photos of their soups and they were obviously cast offs or (man I hate to use this word) junky.  Some beads have come in dirty, falling apart, etc. This is a once a tear event, recently written up in Jewelry Affaire magazine. So when sending think.  Are you proud of your beads?  They don't have to be huge strands of lampwork or expensive gemstones, but if you would, start planning NOW.  My go-to is Etsy, not Michael's or Hobby Lobby (not that there's a thing wrong with that... just giving options).  And I'm not playing favorites with my list, I'm rushing.


Silk cording in color coordinated bundles,   www.MarshaNealStudio.etsy.com

Patinaed metal and gemstones, www.MissFickleMedia.etsy.com

Bronze clay clasps and vocals, www.THEAElements.etsy.com

Unique clasps, www.AmandaDavieElements.etsy.com

Very cool gemstones, www.UncommonBeads.etsy.com www.UncommonBeads.etsy.com





There is a file under Files in our group listing bead makers (if your not on it, add!)  If it's the old one with lampworkers only, one person please start a new one called handmade beads and components.


 The touchy part.  Technically, as artists, we should be able to use what we're given, along with our own stash.  A lot of people forget you're not getting a kit, but a starting point. There's also"soup envy" and I can't help it if you like someone else's better than yours, but it CAN bring out some wild behavior (trust me).


If you are truly troubled, upset, rules were obviously broken, come to me.  Lisa Liddy and Tania Spivey can be contacted if I'm sick and can't get to email.  Think hard about what you got, raid your bins, flip through magazines for inspiration, and contact me if it's just not gelling.


I am not going to stop anyone from sending more than the required focal, pretty clasp, and few COORDINATING beads.  If you want to send more, do so, knowing you may be getting a normal stash smaller than you:+ sent.  THIS IS WHY ITS SO IMPORTANT TO EMAIL YOUR PARTNER, CHAT, LOOK AT THEIR BLOG.  Don't send exactly what they would probably buy....no fun.  But don't send something so completely different that bit doesn't represent YOU.  Send beads you love.  More tomorrow on how to chose.


Deanna Chase, Lisa Missy, and Susan Sheehan.  Chat with your swap partners!
It could be the beginning of a great friendship or business partnership!


So the question.


We have all levels and stashed and incomes here.  The focal and clasp you send should be a PRESENT.   Special.  Special docent have to be expensive and it's probably sitting in your stash right now.  Other than my normal rules, is there a diplomatic way to address this without making a person exemplified on or excluded?


4) Would you like a judging component, run like last year?






Any other thoughts or opinions are welcome, just please don't name names.   If you wish, you can choose to post anonymously.  And please spread the news about this poll.  I need any thoughts ASAP.


THANK YOU!




152 comments:

  1. Have been involved three times now. Received beautiful soups to work with each time. Out of the three , only one made an effort to chat with me , respond to my questions, or have any more than basic contact. Left one feeling a bit alienated. Lori and her helpers go to a lot of effort and time to make this happen. Please, participants, spend a little of YOUR time getting to know your partner.
    Thank you , Lori <3

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    1. Some people are shy and private online (I'm not one of them!). Do your best....ask if they sell their pieces, how long have they been doing it, other hobbies. If they don't answer, try posting on their blog as sometimes email gets hung up.in spam.

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  2. 1. Your suggestion sounds good.
    2. I haven’t been involved in enough hops where things are sent to be in a position to answer this.
    3. It seems to me that you’ve already set up rules that specify these things. If those rules haven’t solved the problem, more rules probably aren’t going to either. It seems like excluding people who haven’t followed the rules in the past might be the only way to deal with this.
    4. The judging component was fun, but only if it’s not too stressful. It’s not the main fun of the blog hop.

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    1. I agree with Cassie by putting emphasis on the guidelines as you have above for the focal and clasp part of the soup. Highlighting that it is a gift, special, and I think its great that you are letting people know it is coming and they may want to start preparing their soups. As far as the judging, I feel mixed on this part, as there are so many levels of artists involved, and many are pushing to go out of comfort zone, so probably only the most experienced beaders/jewelry artists will win. I didnt follow this closely last time, I think there were catagories that random people would win, so this may be a mute point.

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    2. If there is judging this year, it will be done via Rafflecopter or something like that so I won't be accused of favoritism. As for the judging last time, I had nothing to do with it other than hand them a Pin board. I also added runners up that I randomly chose. I paid for those prizes as well as shipping for 95% of over 40 prizes, many overseas. I can't afford that this year.

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    3. If we have over 500 participants..I think you should nix the judging....or let us judge by just the Pin board and just LIST the winners...no prizes...this is to be a challenge and fun and make us get out of our box....for me just seeing my pieces on line is enough really!

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    4. Yep. I was trying to add a fun component to the party but it cost me over $400 and some really angry people.

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    5. Oh, Lori - definitely nix the judging - not fair to you!! And definitely not a fun thing!! So sorry you had to experience that!! :/

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    6. I agree with the nixing of the judging...this is a fun party and when you put a contest into it there is a stress factor involved. It can also turn into a popularity contest depending on how it's done. I vote for keeping it about the art and making bead friends.

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    7. Oh Lori sorry to hear that. Its all supposed to be a bit of fun and to get to know each other. It makes me angry to know you had angry people on your case! But yes I agree to no prizes etc this year. Wow and why accuse you of favouritism? Seriously! I for one, just enjoyed looking at all the talent and taking part. I'm looking forward to it again this year - I guess it helps when you have a nice swap partner too.

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  3. sounds good to me. I know with newbies it can sometimes be overwhelming...lol...I was like that last time...but once is all it takes to learn the ropes and everyone is helpful. I am a bit more "picky" with my soup this year and know it will be a hit with who ever gets it. Thanks for the help Lori...we are all behind you 100%..just make sure to share the load with your helpers!!! We need you well...as for judging...I'm impartial...since we have all levels sometimes newbies struggle to come up with something vs a seasoned beader....

    Thanks for doing this even with all your issues! We are praying for you !

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    1. I'll be encouraging newbies to show me (or helpers) their soup before sending.

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    2. I participated in my first BSBP last year, and I would have loved the opportunity for "run" my soup by you. I blog (not as actively as some), and was fairly new to the group and so excited to participate in the acclaimed BSBP. I may not have swapped as you described "huge strands of lampwork or expensive gemstones", but, I thought I sent an interesting collection of glass, stone, ceramic, copper and fibres with a rustic/boho theme. My partner has never (to my knowledge) posted her BSBP blog or even made anything with what I'd sent her.
      I'd really like to join this go 'round, but, I'm feeling a little leary to participate. I've had two swap/gift interactions and I'd been "burnt" both times. Nothing against you personally Lori, but, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me." and I'm not willing to allow it to happen a third time.

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  4. I think a week and a half for sign-ups is good. I like the one reveal date. I agree that the people in the last group didn't have as much momentum. Not sure for shipping, maybe a month? I have always been lucky with my partners and received wonderful beads from them. I do make sure everything I send is special, and artist made for the focal/clasp. I don't know if there is a better way to say it other than what you posted here. I do want to thank you for all of your hard work and give you <<>> I hope you are feeling better!

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  5. Wow are people that whiney and hopeless? Poor you having to deal with all of that. All I say is I will follow whatever timing you decide and I think the most important thing is the beads. The beads the beads, gather a lovely stash for your lovely partner. If you are not going to be lovely, don't play in our beady sand box where only nice people are allowed! So there.
    I hope you continue on your recovery road strong and speedy Lori. x

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    1. I get a about ten to fifteen upset people, which isn't that bad out of 500. Of those, I've been able to help them think of ways to show their good work. In some cases, they insisted I send a new soup.(no reciprocal soup to me but I'm souped up) and some flat out refused to.participate. so, I do the very best I can, and will try to address what a proper focal and clasp is. There will always be some, though, who don't read the rules, or really did the best they could. That's when we as artists have to get creative.

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    2. Good Lord, I wish you were kidding. As if a "bad" soup is going to end the world...

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    3. I could never imagine a bad soup, but to " demand " anything is horrible behavior especially from an adult...dear Lord get a life. I know that there are people who feel like they have a reputation to uphold in their work and that's fine....but be thankful most of all and think outside the box!

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  6. Agree with 1 and 2. Maybe 6 weeks between getting your partner and reveal date? To be honest - late bead soup arrivals have been my fault not yours :-) Not sure about 3 - I think there are 10% of people who will never, ever be happy, and because you want to make them happy you spend 90% of your time trying to make them happy. I've had hugely generous soups and okay soups, but have always come out ahead when it comes to activity on my blog and playing with new/unusual to me materials/colors. I say do your best (which you always do) and then delete the e-mails from the 10%. The occasional deleted unread e-mail can do wonders for you :-) For #4 - I love contests...that I could win. I felt like it was a lot of fulltime artists/pros that got picked last time, but that's just me dipping a toe into the 10% pool :-) Good healthy thoughts (and clearly many smiley faces) headed your way, Elisabeth

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    1. I had nothing to do with picking other than my one choice. Actually, some newbies did win. There were MANY pieces that could have won. Not going the same route again.

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  7. I am Very glad there will only be one date. I tend to procrastinate, and having more than one date allwed more of that! It was much more challenging (to me) to be done in time for EVERYONES awesomeness! I have been lucky to receive BEAUTIFUL beads and enjoy giving TONS of gorgeous goodies as well! As for the Focal and Clasp issue-only the receiver will be able to determine if it is special...though you could require a picture and brief intro about the special on the givers blog? This would allow each person 2 posts that will be heavily trafficked and enjoyed, as well as building the antici...
    pation for the receiver!

    And I would love a judging component!
    Just my thoughts! Love ya and hope you feel well!

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    1. I thought of that, but it's a great surprise to open your package. I'll be asking newbies and anyone uncertain to show me or helpers their soup first.

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  8. 1) Sounds good to me
    2) One hop date is MUCH better for me I try so hard to comment on everyone's blog but after a month of hopping I can't remember who didn't post on schedule and the family is feeling really neglected. I've only had first reveal dates and that has always worked well for me time wise. The excitement stays at a pretty healthy level. :) Meet your partner, swap your beads, design, make, post, run to see what everyone else made...boom boom boom.
    3) I think you've been pretty clear. Don't send beads you would be embarrassed to see in print in a magazine with your name next to it.
    4) I don't think it's necessary, but it sure was a whole lot of fun! Even just trying to guess who might win was fun. If you want to YEA! If not, that's ok too.

    <3 Dana

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  9. Last year was first year in Bead Soup. I tried very had to assemble a "nice" bowl of soup, but weight was an issue for me as my partner was in Europe. Not all the beads I got from her were to my taste but she made several of them herself. I appreciated her effort and tried to reflect that in the pieces I made. I admit to having a bit of bead envy, looking at some of the soups other people got, but I enjoyed seeing such a wide-range of ingredients and what people did with them. I had a lot of fun with my beads and pushed myself to try new techniques. I admit I was a bit puzzled by having a partner in Europe, as I live in Canada; however, I met someone new and learned about another country (I'm sure the logistics of organizing the partners is challenging). It was a great experience and I'm looking forward to participating again this year. Thank you so much for taking this on again this year.

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    1. When people sign up, they will be able to specify countries this time.

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  10. Thank you for taking the time to to think about this while you're not feeling well yourself, Lori.
    1. A week and half notice sounds good. Sometimes it's difficult for folks to get to the computer during the work week.
    2. One date is great! I had the 3rd reveal last time and even though I did visit other blogs, there wasn't a lot of traffic on my blog.
    I'm thinking perhaps we should first set a time limit for sending beads once we get our partners info - maybe 2 weeks - that would give us time to get to know our partners. And then another month or two to complete our design and blog post.
    3. I think the guidelines you outlined are clear.
    4. The contest added an extra, fun component, but not necessary if it's too complicated to organize.

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  11. Definitely like the one reveal only. Not sure how you feel about the size, but personally I would reduce the number (either by letting as many people as possible to enter the sign-up and choosing random people after; or by simply getting the first X number of people from the sign-up). As for the quality of the items - put a value on it, something along the line 'focal and clasp should be of at least $x value'. Or maybe say they have to be an art 'bead'. And say up-front that whoever doesn't follow the rules will not be allowed in the future challenges. This is your event, with your rules - participants should follow the rules or pay the consequence. Being too gentle sometimes give the idea that others can do whatever they please (and I know it's a minority of non-conformists, but it's the ones that bother you the most :) ). Remember you will never please everybody, and trying to will only cause you pain... lots of it! This is your baby, people should respect it, I wouldn't worry about not being gentle too much.
    Love your challenges, and I appreciate the humongous effort you put in - just make sure you take good care of yourself too!

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    1. I didn't like topping the size last time. It made me feel guilty, and then there were spin-off soup parties that felt uncomfortable to me because of confusion over who was where and the trademark issue. I've mentioned to people there are other blogs, particularly in the mixed media group, who top 700. I try to say many times no one, including me, gets a comment. The more comments you make, the more you're likely to get, but who knows? Every time I poll the size, it's split down the middle. When I DID limit the size, I got some terse to hate mail, and I'm not up for that.

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  12. 1. Your suggestion of 10 days seems like it would enough.

    2. One party date is okay with me.

    3. I am better able this year to have handmade components from etsy or directly from the artist. I have felt that I always sent items I would be proud to receive.

    4. I think so. I didn't enter last year but think I missed out on something.

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  13. 1) signup notification, since it's just the one day, I think a week to a week and a half prior notice of the date shoudl be good. If someone doesn't get a chance to get online within that time frame to find out when, and can't arrange to pop online for a few minutes during that one day to sign up, then they're probably going to have issues with posting their blog on time as well, so it might not be the best kind of hop for them.

    2) One reveal date works great. Most people spread that list over a few days anyhow.

    3) What about trying out a soup preview? Have a team of volunteers that participants send photos of their soups to, to make sure they have all the needed components ( special clasp, focal, few coordinating beads) and that they're in suitable condition for a soup. This can also help prevent those late mailing because people had ordered something special from over seas and had to wait on it. Have a set 'preview date' for all newbies, and any participants that you have had issues in the past over lateness or not 'edible' soups, have to submit a photo of their soup to the volunteers by that date. This way, the volunteers have time to help suggest something different if needed, PLUS, this new extra time limit pushes people to dig into their OWN stash for treasures, or shops local to them, if not in person, then through etsy or other online shops.
    4) If there are people to help coordinate and judge, sure. Otherwise, it's not really an essential part of the experience, just a fun extra.
    4)

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    1. A soup preview ruins the surprise. I will be asking newbies and those uncertain about their soup to show me or a helper.

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  14. I like the one reveal date idea - it was hard to keep up with the three - even if it's huge I can bookmark and work through the list from my own blog rather than having to keep finding a new one. I think whatever sign-up time frame you would like to do is just fine (just hope I don't miss it lol).
    I don't know about question 3 - I'm happy with pretty much anything ... I thought the idea of the hop was to get to try out new things and challenge yourself with components that you maybe wouldn't have thought of using before (it's why I signed up). But I guess you can't please everyone ... last year was my first BSBP and I tried to make sure I had an art bead focal, a nice clasp and then picked out some nice quality co-ordinating beads.
    Unfortunately this year I think I'd have to stick with a UK/European partner - our customs and mail changed last year and is now hell to deal with anything outside the EU (I got custom charged on a prize from the US).

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    1. You can specify countries, but try to give me as many choices as possible.

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  15. 1. I think a week and a half is plenty of time for sing up.
    2.One party date is great. although hopping the blogs with probably take weeks!
    3. I think that stressing that this is a gift to a fellow beader should make it clear what quality we should send but then again some people give shoddy gifts so perhaps showing examples of previous soup mixes might help steer people in the right direction.
    4. The judging is fun but not the most important part and if it is too much Lori you could drop it and I doubt if anybody would mind. Really the blog hop and connecting with other jewelry makers is what it's all about. Last year was my first time and it was great fun and helped push me forward in my blogging .
    Thank you for all you do, Lori .Keep well and be kind to yourself!

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    1. I stress the gift issue every year, but will be even more clear this time.

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    2. I was Nan's partner last year, and it was her first hop. Yet she just hit it out of the ball park with a GORGEOUS soup! An art focal (she created herself), gems, copper (no mystery metal) findings & beads, independent bead shop beads -- and everything was in a beautiful coordinating satin & sequin decorative bag!

      Thanks Nancy! And thank you Lori for connecting so many of us. My partners have become friends whose art I admire. I enjoy their blogs, and we've had blog hops after BSBP! It's fun. I've grown with every hop as an artist and as a blogger and I've learned tremendously!

      Whether a first time BSBP participant or an experienced participant, I think artists either know about "handcrafting with handcrafted," or they don't. In a Pantone swap, a partner once put it this way," Let's swap 5 art beads, 5 commercial beads, and 5 naturals." It taught me a lot! I learned the difference between art beads and gems and a bead shop item. For example, even with a clasp, she taught me there were "art clasps" (handcrafted), naturals (carved gem) or commercial (purchased from a shop or store).

      Maybe language regarding "handcrafted" could help people? I think sometimes if folks send ALL commercial (and to jewelry artists, that is not usually good enough at all) they just don't know about handcrafted & the "formula" for a bead mix & making art jewelry. When I started beading I bought funny beads! lol, I just didn't know. A price requirement (it is always a helpful guideline at BeadSwapUSA) and a requirement that one handcrafted item be included in the bead soup mix might help.

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    3. Awesome information for us newbies.

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  16. I've been involved 3 times, and I do feel like I let my partner down the first year. She didn't seem to think so though. I hadn't seen many soups before. I've learned that some will always be more generous than my purse allows. I am very proud of what I send. I treat it as a very special gift to myself. Sending something I'd be thrilled to receive is the best I can do. Buying before the sign ups even start was a big help. It also means I usually have new pretties for myself left over. Is there a place to see lots of great soups all in one place? Maybe link that to the rules to read before sign up.

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    1. If people want to send more than specified, they CANNOT complain if it's not reciprocated.

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  17. What you said, Lori! Don't stress yourself out. If people aren't happy, they should opt out.

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  18. A week to 10 days is plenty of notice for sign ups. Loved the contest option. Knowing that it could possibly get published pushed me to excel. I've handmade my focal and clasp for the last 2 soups. I appreciate the chance for others to use my components and increase my exposure. I made a point of an extra large soup last year, because my partner didn't have much to work with. Maybe 2 months between getting your partner and reveal date. 2 weeks for getting to know your partner. 2 weeks for shipping, and a month for creating and posting. For those with soup envy, just remember, this is supposed to be a challenge. If we all got exactly what we wanted it wouldn't be. I like what cats eat dogs said. If you can play nice in the sandbox, don't sign up. I'm sure whatever you can manage to pull off will be amazing as always, Lori. Just don't push yourself to hard.

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    1. Oh man, yes. Please be nice. Especially when people want me to be mean to their partner but wouldn't consider a diplomatic conversation themselves. And new rule...you cuss me, you're out. I'm kind of done with that.

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    2. Good for you, Lori. You shouldn't have to put up with the whining. Is that how they act for every blog hop kit they get? "I don't like it so I'm not going to play". They would be out of my party in no tme flat.

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  19. Everything sounds great to me. My thoughts on the judging, is NO. Neither you nor anyone else needs the extra work. Sit back, get well, and let the swap begin when you are ready.

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  20. 1. 10 days would be more than enough notice
    2. One party date does make sense but make sure you limit the number of people to the number you can facilitate unless your helpers are going to be doing that.
    3. This one is always touchy and you're always going to have variations in soups, taste and funds/stashes. Just keep stressing that everyone needs to play nicely together.
    4. The prizes were fun but if it took too much to set up, maybe just have a "fan" favorite and allow people to pick their favorite somehow.

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  21. 1 - I think that is plenty, agree with your timing, best chance to catch those who are less frequently online.
    2- sure, perfect, let's hop until we drop all at once!
    3 - man I wish I had a nugget of wisdom to share to make that issue go away. I think the posts you did showing all kinds of soup are a great example of what to send. Oh and you WROTE THE BOOK on this :) perhaps folks should take a look ;) but really, I think you said it in so many ways.they can all take a look at last years bead soup for examples too of course.
    4- I loved the judging myself, as I was quite surprised to be a winner. This was icing on the pie though since I already had a great swap and I wouldn't have changed what I made either way. So really if it is a part you enjoy and want to do then great. If it feels in any way obligatory because if last year I say just leave it behind
    I appreciate that you even think to take this on with what you are already dealing with. I hope that all those who choose to participate understand the necessity of the rules and respect the spirit of this hop and all you have detailed. Most of all I hope you get to enjoy it and no one bitters things.

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  22. 1. Sign-up time is ok with me.
    2. I think one reveal date is great. More time between the send date and the reveal date would definitely be better as I live in smallish town where it takes a bit of extra time for the mail to arrive. 2 months would be great
    3. I have always sent beads I would like to receive (my last partner was picked for the jewelry she made with my hand-made beads) and I have got great beads in return.
    4. Contests are nice but not really necessary (lots more work for you)
    Looking forward to the next Bead Soup!! Rest & get Well Lori!!

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  23. 1. Week and a half is great.
    2 One reveal date will work perfect.
    3. I have a love affair going with clasps and I try to use very unusual ones. They are however not handmade. I always send good beads and usually an abundance of them. I don't worry about the quality because they are the best I can afford and I am always proud of them. I do worry a bit about the person on the receiving end liking them. LOL but I think most of us do that. I love getting to know the person that I am partnered with and try to get them things that will challenge and make them happy.
    I think I missed the contest completely. I would love to try it this year.

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    1. The clasp is 50% of the requirement, so if possible, please DO concerning yourself, maybe take a look around Etsy (or even my shop www.BeadSoupCafe,com, shameless plug. There are many clasps in a good price range...you may find yourself hooked!//

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  24. 1. Two weeks is more than sufficient for people to get their act together!

    2. Absolutely fine with one party date - however there should be enough time included to also consider those waiting on international postage and all that jazz.

    3. Whilst I sent my partner a valuable lampwork and sterling stash last year, something I would have been happy to receive myself, it was (in volume) tiny compared to the treasures she sent my way. I felt very bad even though she didn't mind. I think that adding more rules to this area would be a waste of time however. You will have greedy people in EVERY event. I think just a disclaimer that while you've stated that people SHOULD be sending quality, you are not personally responsible if people receive things less than what they should. Those reported as rule breakers should be banned from entering further parties, no ifs/buts.

    4. I hated the contest component - I think it took the joy out of simply creating and being part of the event.

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    1. You're right. If you send a lot or get a lot, that's ok, but no one can be upset if their tanker truck of beads wasn't reciprocated. I personally live sending a lot, but I could care less what I get as long as the rules are followed.

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  25. 1. 1.5 week signup should be enough notice - I'd hope.
    2. One party is AWESOME!
    3. I think it's hard to judge what someone sends because my taste may be one type of beads is beautiful and someone else may think it's horrible. I received a piece from someone that I was not excited about, but it DID stretch me! More importantly, she opened my eyes to different colors of metal - which is awesome! So, what I thought was kinda a bummer, turned out to be great.

    It seems like it was 8 weeks last year? That was enough time to get the package and order whatever needed

    4. I like the idea of judging but it was a little disappointing to feel so awesome about my piece not be chosen =) BUT that pushed me to keep going.

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  26. I think your guidelines sound very reasonable! If I sign up (and I think I will) it will be my first ever Bead Soup.

    1. A week and a half sounds good.
    2. Yes, one is better.
    3. I am able to send a good soup - some of my handmade beads as well as some stuff from my stash as well as nice things from Etsy or my local bead store. As for how to express those ideas thoughtfully, I think you did a great job in this post.
    4. I am amenable either way - a contest sounds fun but isn't necessarily the main fun part of this party. :)

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  27. I am thrilled to be involved in the BSBP and love getting to know the partner I get, I love the challenge and work hard to use the bead soup I get. I have done the BSBP several times and consider my past partners as dear friends. I was lucky enough to have won in the last BSBP and loved the contest. I understand it is a lot of work so totally understand if we don't do it again this year. Love you Lori!

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  28. I want to sign-up but I thought I read that sign-up were closed. please inform me thanks I did not get to participate last year as I had shoulder surgery Be blessed to be a blessing

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    1. As of today, they aren't even open yet.

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  29. Hi Lori~ Hope you are feeling better I've done this BSBH twice. I agree with most everyone above. Keep the notification 10 days or so. Have just ONE sign up day OR X # of participants, which ever YOU prefer, limiting it makes it more prestigious IMHO. [I never did make it to all 500+ people last time, it was just too huge :-( ] I don't see a problem with the way it's been previously. What I received were things I NEVER would have picked, but I made it work. I also think Alicia's idea of a $ amount minimum is not a bad idea, at least as a starting point. I say Up to 4 but no more than 6 weeks between receiving your partner, shipping and reveal. Dragging it out never helps. Like the contest idea, but it's not necessary. I truly enjoy this hop, hope I can do it again this year. Warm Regards, Tammie Everly

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    1. I can't do a dollar amount because some in bulk, some buy wholesale, some make their piece...it would be a disaster.

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  30. I have loved being part of Bead Soup. 10 day sign up seems more than reasonable. I like one party. I agree 3 different ones seemed less exciting. It is always hard to set bases for component quality and I believe you have done an outstanding job. I have loved the challenge of all my soups and it has been wonderful to get to know another. I also think your pair ups have been outstanding and thoughtful. Judging was interesting but not necessary. I am more in it for the connections and opportunity to see other blogs.

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  31. Last year was my first time making "Soup". I was so excited that I didn't forget to sign up this time, I was giddy for weeks! I think the sign-up time was fine.

    One party date I think is a good idea....it did stretch it out too long last year having 3.

    As for the soup to send, I was WAY stressed out about it. Would my partner like what I sent? Think it was not up to par? I had to tell myself that it WAS supposed to be out of their norm. Although the soup I sent didn't contain any expensive lampwork beads, etc. it did have some higher end items. I think after really giving it a good look at, it was a good mix - especially after seeing what my partner made. That is the challenge - right? I think your rules about not sending plastic or wood, etc. should have covered a lot of the "duds" and those people should be encouraged not join in the future. But crap will happen no matter what.You cannot please EVERYONE....it's a losing battle....but if a good effort was given, that all that counts.

    As for the judging....I was excited about it, even though I knew from the start I wouldn't win. There was a speckle of hope, though, because it was my first time and it did challenge me, and I really liked what I made from my soup. There were A LOT of really good artists who entered so I knew I didn't have a chance....so kudos to them! No sore loser here - your challenge got me out of my comfort zone and I really made a nice piece! (I was really surprised with myself - haven't done jewelry much prior to the party)

    No friendships came of it but that's ok. There were several of us in a charm group who joined, so it was good to have another chat subject.

    I love what you do here and to take on a feat like this - it's not like a normal swap by any means! I appreciate all your efforts and those of your back-up people as well. I can't wait to sign up again!

    Sending healing thoughts your way.
    xo
    Bev

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    Replies
    1. I think everyone is nervous about what to send, including me!

      Delete
  32. Hi Lori,
    Last year was my first Bead Soup. I enjoyed the process and looking at all of the beautiful creations. I was the recipient of hobby store beads and was, at first...very disappointed. Of course, it is meant to be a challenge, so you make something that you never would have. It all works out in the end. Those who complain should choose not to participate again. Pretty simple. I cannot imagine that someone would complain to you about what they received. It would never even cross my mind-you have no control and don't personally know most of these participants.
    Thank you for doing this again...I know what it feels like to have crappy days, not getting out of your jammies or even brushing your teeth! Ewwww! Oh well.
    I look forward to another challenge and will accept whoever you pair me with happily. You do what is best for you and I'm sure everyone would be more than happy to work around and with you.
    Thanks for another party!
    Cheryl

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    1. For some, that's all they have or can afford. Taking your own stash and getting creative is what can make it work, and I'm more than happy to offer ideas.

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    2. Maybe they simply don'y know about the "hobby store" vs, handcrafted beads in art jewelry? Art beads can be very inexpensive! And hobby store beads can be very over-priced. I think experienced artists are looking for more handcrafted and less commercial bead mixes. But either could be expensive or inexpensive.

      I think it takes a journey to learn and a matter of time for folks to grow as artists and move from commercial supplies to indy art beads & supporting indy shops for gems & components.

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  33. Just got home form work:

    1. 10 days sounds fine; I wouldn't extend it any more than that.

    2. One party date is fine with me; I agree that the latter bloggers last time were not so involved in the excitement.
    2a. I think a "ship by" date about 10 days after partners are set up would be good; then at LEAST a month in between "ship by" and reveal date...on one occasion, I did not receive my beads until about a week before the reveal. As I am a seed beader and work full time, there is NO way I could do justice to the soup and it was very stressful. I know us seed beaders are considered strange animals in this group, but I do like to put "something of myself", which would be something beaded, in each piece and there is NO way I can do that in 3 days.

    3. I have always been really lucky with my partners, and hope I have reciprocated in kind....I've certainly tried to.

    4. I'm "eh" on the contest; for me, the fun is seeing all the different creations, and I imagine it's a lot of work for you.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think a month to get to knowyour partner and mail off your soup is good, perhaps have a date which your soup needs to be mailed off by. ( I know one more detail to plan)
    I really like the idea of one revel date. Hopping around on the several different dates last year got to be too much for me.
    I agree about the quality of the soup. I have love each of my bead soups and each one has challenge me in different ways. Each soup I have sent was quality inspected--- I challenged myself with the question-- "Would I like to receive this soup?"
    Last, I did not like the contest. When you are dealing with so many different artist, so many different tastes, and especially so many different experience levels I think the wonderful thrill is the sharing of creations as opposed to the winning of a contest.Lori, Ihope my comments help. Truthfully, I am just overjoyed that you are still wanting to have the bead blog hop. Anything you do to make it easier on you is fine with me.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If there is a contest, it will be totally random and mentioned after the reveal.

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  35. First let me say - - -THANK YOU---THANK YOU---THANK YOU

    You put in hours and hours, days and days of effort and love for all the Bead Soup friends. You are valued and appreciated.

    1. 10 days is more then enough. I know I'll sign up the very first day :)

    2. One reveal date is good. I too think the blog hop will be oh so long. I know someone has to be toward the end of the list, but perhaps it could be switched up so the same folks are not at the end again. It seems that some folks lose steam toward the end....

    3. I am one of the ones who has gotten disappointing soups two years in a row. Not disappointing because of being a different style, but because my soups seemed to be "afterthoughts" I never said anything, but am guilty of bead envy. Perhaps we will ALL to a better job of sending wonderful, amazing soups.

    4. I don't really have an opinion on a contest. I didn't enter and am not sure if I will.

    Again, many, many thanks for doing this for us all.

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    1. There will be a place for you to list who you've traded with before and recently in other hops. That mght help.i

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  36. 1. 10 days is fine.

    2. One party day is okay, it will just take longer to hop to everyone. 2 weeks between partner match and mail by date and then 6 weeks between mail by date and reveal should be good.

    3. I have had amazing partners each time. I try to send something the I would love to get. I think that should be a factor in what each partner sends. Always ask yourself would I want to get what I am sending?

    4. The contest was not an important part for me. It was the challenge of creating with the beads given.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Lori,
    One reveal day is great. I made every effort to sign up in time and felt it was an honor to be able to participate in three parties. One and half weeks are more than enough time if someone is truly serious about participating. Lori it is your party you make the rules and forget about the whiners. No one is making them participate. I think you should go back to putting a limit on the number of participants.
    I felt the soups I recieved were very nice and I thought I made very nice things with them. I wear all of my soup creations all of the time and recieve many compliments. I put a lot of thought into the soups I sent and tried to be as generous as possible. I assumed my partners did the same. I could never be so rude or unappreciative as the complaining people. I thought there were many nice soups but I liked the soup from my partners the best because they were a gift from MY partners. The challenge is to make something from what you recieve not pick out the soup you think would suit your taste. A good designer can spin straw into gold.
    Lori thank you for arranging the party and maybe the party poopers will opt out. Than all of us can have a fun time even you.
    I am already cooking up a couple of soup ideas. I hope I get in. A good hint would be quality not quanity, focusing on the focal and clasp. It looks like some people send a lot of extra beads which is probably not neccesary.
    Linda

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    1. The one time I limited the number, I felt awful. Two hundred upset per, some who were good at writing vicious e-mails, is more than I can handle. Plus the spin off hops based on the BSBP were awkward for me as I have a trademark, but didn't want to be mean. So I'm limiting it by by a 24 hour sign up, not three days. There will be ample announcements.

      Delete
    2. The 24 hour sign up is a good idea but I am sure there will be complaints. I know you are a very nice person but please try to ignore the mean complainers. Those haters don't deserve to be in the beading world. Making jewelry is a happy place and you have made even more fun. Thank You.

      Delete
  38. Adding to the chorus of thanks - I had a fantastic time last year and really stretched myself creatively, and I can't wait to do it again!

    So, with that in mind...

    1) I think ten days is plenty of time to allow - I think most people will be super-enthusiastic and want to sign up the moment they hear about it.

    2) One party date is a great idea; I agree that having several stretches things out over too long a period and it can be hard to find three long sessions to devote to commenting on reveals no matter how much I've wanted to and been excited by what I've seen.

    3) I think that aside from the basic rules and guidelines (no plastic, don't send anything you wouldn't be delighted to receive) part of the fun of the challenge is accepting and working with what you receive. Not sure how others feel, but I've often produced my best work with beads I'd have overlooked or actively rejected if I'd been shopping myself. I'm wary of suggesting a minimum cash value for the soup, if only because it's exclusionary or a deterrent to those on lower incomes.

    4) I know a lot of people loved the judging and I'm certainly not against it, but in my opinion it actually sort of distracted from the main meat of the blog hop. Certainly, the main joy for me was competing against myself to produce the best piece I could and then seeing what others had produced by doing similar.

    Thanks again!

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    Replies
    1. Yes....all of that, well said re #3.

      Delete
  39. Hi Lori,Thank you so much for having the best blog party of the year again. I agree the 10 days over 2 weekends is good for notification. One reveal date is better. If you want to limit the number of participants that would be fine with me. I understand how much work all of this is for you and with your health issues you should not over extend yourself. I agree that 2 months should be enough time for international shipping to arrive and something be made. Two weeks from partner assignments to shipping date seems fair to me. I enjoyed the contest part but it is not the main reason for this hop. If you are not up to the extra work of the contest I would not mind it a bit.I love seeing all the creativity and meeting the other beaders. I agree that people who don't follow the rules should not be allowed to participate again. Take care of yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  40. 1. I agree a week and a half is plenty-I've personally been checking DAILY for the sign ups to be up. I love this blog hop and have been so looking forward to it, your health permitting, of course. 2. One reveal date is fantastic. Your reasoning makes perfect sense. 3. I hear you on the disappointing soups/soup envy issue. I have been guilty of envy for sure on the last one! I pride myself in my choice of soup ingredients to be honest. :)
    I actually don't choose my final soup until I see who my partner is, have an idea about them, and then go from there. So I do like have some time between being assigned a partner and mailing soup.
    As for a contest, I don't have an opinion. I'd love to participate if there is one, but not if it's something that is going to make things harder on you or give you something more to stress over..
    Thank you for all you do, Lori. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  41. My two cents worth ...
    (1) 2 weekends plus the week in between is ample time to sign up. I'd venture to guess that most of us will sign up as soon as we see the announcement that signups are open. If you wanted a way to reduce the numbers of participants, make it a single weekend only. Just put the word out so people hear about it and can mark it in their calendar.
    (2) I would give participants a couple of weeks to get acquainted and send out their beads and then have the hop 4-6 weeks after sending the beads. I don't think 6 weeks is too long! From experience here in Australia, I usually get packages within 1-3 weeks from the US and Western Europe (UK, France anyway). From Indonesia it was about a week, and I would expect Singapore to be similar. I'd be nervous about the shipping time from Eastern Europe, but that's more because I've never had a package from there so I don't know what to expect. Canada's a wild card, their postal service seems to be a bit slower than I would expect, and packages usually take a week longer than to the US. But perhaps you can have a catchup hop for missing packages (strictly by invitation only for people it affects). One reveal date is fine, just tell people to keep comments open as long as possible as some of us might keep hopping for the rest of the month! An idea for mixing up the blog hop list -- order of sign up!
    (3) I've been lucky with my partners and had lovely packages of beads, one handmade, the other very representative of their country. And I have a lovely time putting together a soup that I think will challenge as well as complement my partner's style. But I know there are bead soups I look at and think oh my, that is one wonderful bead soup, wish I got that one, and others that are, yes, ho hum and perhaps a disappointment to their recipient. Although I think one can be diplomatic and creatively work around it if that's the case. I would second some of the other commenters that it might be worth putting a minimum value on it -- doesn't have to be very high, perhaps $15-20.
    (4) I could take or leave the contest. It was wonderful to be picked to win a prize, but to me there were so many fantastic creations, in so many different styles. And I shudder to think of the amount of work involved for you!
    That's all I can think of. Hope it's helped you a bit. Sing out if you need anything more!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I can't put a price limit on it. Some buy wholesale. Some were gifted beads to share. It would turn into a nit-picking battle. Been there in my early years of bead swaps.

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  42. Sounds great! I am sure it is enough to have a sign up time for 10 days! Thank you for your great organisation! Hugs, Doris

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  43. Hi Lori,
    Here's my thoughts, I hope they are useful...
    1) week and a half notification is plenty sufficient.
    2) one party date = great
    3) you are very good and clear about outlining what kind of thing to send.
    4) contest is a fun extra to the blog hop.
    5) thank you so much for all your efforts in putting this all together!

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  44. Anything you come up with is bound to be good - with one small request? Those of us in the UK who join in are hammered by crippling import taxes - mine were close on $45 last time - so maybe add that people who are not happy to give taxes this way can request a EU partner? My USA partner sent me such a gorgeous stash that I felt I'd got more than the tax I paid (if you see what I mean) but not everyone can afford such a wallop out of the blue.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm not familiar with the EU...last I was in Europe they were still tossing the idea around. Feel free to post in the Cafe about this, and you'll be able to list countries when you sign up.

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    2. do you have to pay taxes if they are sent as a gift? because they aren't really a purchase..

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    3. do you still get charged if its a gift because it's not really a purchase

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    4. do you have to pay taxes if they are sent as a gift? because they aren't really a purchase..

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    5. There are different tax rules in every european country. So being in germany I mostly have no trouble with taxes when the packages are not too big. Seems they didn't want to bother too much if not necessary. Only if I really buy expensive things or if the package is big (seem that size matters to them regardless of the quality inside ^^) then they check. But even then as long as the value is below 150 euro, it is not too much to pay for tax in germany.

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    6. The key is the cost you say the package is worth. It should be marked GIFT, because it is, but certain dollar figures trigger customs. This is one of the many reasons I ask people to talk things through before shipping.

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  45. Thank you so much for diong all this. This will be only my second time but here are my answers from my one-year-experience ;-)
    1. a week and a half seems perfect to me for sign up.
    2. I really love that there will be only one reveal. The third reveal last year had much less traffic than the first ...
    3. We all should take care to prepare nice soups! I do not believe that more rules will help; but everybody who knows that she will sign up could start to prepare the soup from now on ... as you posted some days ago.
    4. If a contest is not meaning much more work for you, it is fun, but it is not so important.
    Thank you again!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Honestly, I loved the last BSBP. I was embarrassed at what I sent, though I added crystals and mother of pearl, it seemed like it was cheap when I received the soup from my partner. She went all out, beads I had never been able to find, let alone afford. I was out of my comfort zone, but I loved trying different ideas. I thought she did a wonderful job with what I sent, and she made a gorgeous piece.
    At the last minute, I wasn't able to get my piece finished and photographed, due to a family emergency, but.... If I had to, I could have skipped sleeping and done it. I could have made the first reveal...

    Soo.... I agree with the one day to enter... not a big deal.
    I like the idea of one reveal.... either you get it done or not.
    I like that you send how much you want, but.... maybe a $ limit? Or maybe a range? I wasn't able to send something I had made, or something expensive... and it wasn't the colors that my partner used, but it was colors that I used. I thought that was the idea, to give them something that challenged them. I used the colors that she used... and that was wonderful. to do something out of the norm and to get to meet the person I was paired with. I am ashamed that we don't really keep in touch more, but... at least we are friends.

    I do hope that you will include everyone. It is heartbreaking to not get in. Thank you for all your hard work, we all love what you do, how much time you spend, and all the headaches you endure for us. Hugs!

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    Replies
    1. Everyone who signs up in the 24 hour period will get in.

      Delete
  47. I am looking forward to participating again, I found the challenge of using things picked out by someone else lots of fun!

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  48. Lori, All of the date and time changes are great and seem neccessary to keep things easier for you as the BSBP grows year by year. I think you should really put emphasis on where the participants can get inspiration and answers before contacting you this year. I think your instructions and emails are very clear before, during and after the party. Putting a few extra rules on communication with partners, and otherwise may be an idea to help with your overload. I know when I first started I probably contacted you too much about my blog. If you end up with a lot of new bloggers, maybe provide the links on help to set-up blogs? You may already have this in your letters that go out.
    Hugs to you, Laura

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    Replies
    1. I've posted in the Bead Soup Cafe that Lorelei Eurto has a how to for sale. Hope that helps.

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  49. 1. I'd prefer a week or a week and a half plus a day or two immediately before.

    2. I don't have an opinion on this because I'm new to this. But in previous hops I've been on before, I know that the last person on a happy gets virtually no comments vs the person at the top. Which sucks. I wish there was a way to continually move the list around without making the people already following the list go crazy!

    I'd say leave 6 weeks. 3 weeks for international mail and 3 weeks for creating.

    3. If someone gets a really crappy soup perhaps someone could offer to angel and send an extra soup. If you aren't familiar with angeling, its a term used in swapping circles to describe someone who volunteers to replace a lost package or send something to someone whose partner didn't fulfill their obligation.

    As for a diplomatic way to say 'don't send crap' I don't know. I have to say the same thing in the swaps I write for Swap-Bot. A minimum value could be a start. With an exception for pieces that are handmade of course as bits of wire or clay or a few seed beads and thread can become so much more when skillfully treated. But it becomes a problem when people forget the value of beads in their stash for a long time or that people have given them.

    4. I don't know how the judging components has worked before. I think it's only worth it if your health can handle it as this all seems like a lot. And if there are categories. I'm fairly new so if I had to go up against experienced beaders or people who make their own beads, I'd feel embarrassed.

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    1. The only way I can be fair is to lust the names as they come in (which makes running spreadsheets incredibly difficult) and in the past, I've asked people to start in random places.

      Angelina won't work...see below.

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    2. Um. Dang you auto correct. *list and *angeling

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  50. I'm not sure my idea about angeling will work. I'm starting to realize that people are partnered. I had thought that person A sent to B then B sent to C etc. Feelings might be hurt if packages were replaced among partners then posted publicly.

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    Replies
    1. You're right. It's alienated and embarrassed people and I don't want that.

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  51. Lori,
    I really appreciate the effort you put into BSBH. I'm looking forward to participating this year. Whatever you decide about timing will be great. I wouldn't worry about the soups. Some people just won't be happy, but whatever we get will be fine. It will be "foreign" to us and cause growth. It will be fun.
    Thank you again.

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  52. Last year was my 1st BS hop. I agree with what ever rules you choose including the ones that you have listed. It is your blog hop that we have the opportunity to participate in. I was disappointed that out of the hop I only got 1 comment & no one signed up to receive my blog. For each hop that I've been involved in whether it be through the bead soup group or other groups, I make it an effort to comment on every blog & sign up for at least 25% blogs. I've had my blog for 6 months & happen to mostly use it to post for blog hops. I suppose I do need to blog about other things as well.

    If you choose to have a contest, then maybe have that as a later reveal date based on likes or comments etc. But then where do the prizes come from? Do you do a poll for volunteers to submit photos of what they will donate for a prize. When the placements of the prizes are revealed then that person could send the prize to the winner. Without having to have the donators send you the donations (paying shipping) then having you mail (more shipping $).

    Another way for prizes would be those that were willing to make more than one piece with their bead soup & donate one of their items from their photos. For example if I were to make a set with a necklace, earrings & bracelet, I may donate the necklace & keep the earrings & bracelet for myself. Then deciding on how many winners depending on how many are willing to part with one of their accessory components.

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    Replies
    1. Your contest thoughts were helpful. If there is one this year, it will be through rafflecopter or such, and not announced until after.

      Delete
  53. I would like to address the quality of soup materials issue. I have had some really great soups and they were thrilling!

    I also had a very questionable soup. One of my soups contained plastic beads. It also contained a clasp that had such a low quality of colored wire that that the color came off the wire as I made my item. I spent a lot of time and worked very hard on my pieces, but by the time I finished I realized these were not pieces I would wear, or even be proud to give anyone else, let alone say I had even made them. The quality of materials was just too low. A lot of this was due to the fact that this was the material available to the person who sent me my soup. She really only had a big box store near her. Apparently she was not familiar with mail order or etsy, or familiar enough with them to order from them. I think she genuinely thought they were good beads, the wire was good, she did a good job, because that was the quality she was used to. How can you help a person understand that it's not? I don't know. Personally I would NOT shop at Michaels or JoAnn's for my Bead soup. Sorry. I don't think that is really a great place to find something for people in this venue, because we have all seen it before, and we want something new and more exciting than one of 1,000 things off of a hook. I don't think it makes me ungrateful to expect to get beads that aren't plastic, or a clasp made with wire that doesn't have color rub off on my hands. Still, some people won't ever think the specifications apply to them.

    I've also seen some projects made with some pretty marginal bead soups, and I have thought yep, they sure did the best they could with that one even though that's not a great project. And then there are the contest entrants made with some great soups and you go wow, if I had THAT soup I could have made something like that, too. And then you see those super special projects. The ones where you go wow...that's amazing. I can't believe they did that with that soup. They took that marginal soup (generous here) and made that awesome jewelry. I would never have thought of that. And those are the ones you want to really give a prize to, Those to me are the artists.

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    Replies
    1. What I've hoped all these hops is people can get creative with whatever they get. Me sending out 15 extra soups just is hard on me and embarrassing to their partner. It IS possible to make something out of sticks and stones. My most difficult soup, and one I ended up redoing, was made with the most fabulous lampwork ever. Sometimes stellar soups are harder to work with!

      And if anyone receives beads that are on the "don't send" list, gently remind your partner and don't use them. People have no problem telling ME what's wrong and demand (yup, got some demands) I do something, but refused to talk to their partner. Someone like that will not be invited back. There's no room for rude.

      Delete
    2. While I agree that the beads at Jo-Anns and Michaels are "common" I wouldn't say they are all cheap. There are some nice beads there - swarovski crystal, glass, semi-precious gemstones, and sterling silver are all available at these stores (at least at Michaels - they have expanded quite a bit in the last couple years and even have some Czech glass). While unique is fun and exciting, sometimes common makes nice accents. As you say, true artists take what they have and make it fabulous! I just don't think these places should be totally discounted - though better prices and materials can be found elsewhere if one has the time and inclination to order beads. Sometimes there is just something about handling the strands in person.....and searching for little local bead shops that is so special!

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    3. True. However, with this being a once a year party, a focal and clasp could still be ordered for similar prices. I do love Czech glass no matter where it's from, and Hobby Lobby sells Vintaj too. Really, though, it's just make a soup you would be proud to see in a magazine, follow the "don't send" rules, and all is well.

      Delete
    4. .Just want to say I was not one of those who asked for a new soup. I would never, never, do that. Also, I didn't know my beads were plastic until the color started rubbing off. In defense of my partner, perhaps she didn't either. I would say that if you don't know the origin of your beads, please don't send it. I was just sick after spending all of that time on my piece that it was unwearable because the bead's color completely washed off. If I had known, I would just have left it out. If you can't afford good beads, then PLEASE, just send the focal and the clasp. I would much rather have gotten the quality focal and the quality clasp and no additional beads. I know that Lori stresses that, but somehow people just don't let that sink in. The reason is that someone like me may spend a lot of time and hard work on a piece only to find it isn't what it could have been if you just left the marginal beads out.

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    5. Some people do. Some people refuse to participate. Once someone wanted their soup they sent BACK because they didn't like what they got. It's all over the place. If the focal and clasp are good, don't use the coordinating beads....there is no rule that says you have to. Letting your partner know in a kind way is good, because lots of us have bought things, assured they were one thing, only to find what the heck?

      Delete
  54. BSBP Poll

    ONE) If you really want to keep the numbers down, limit the number of signups. First 200 to sign up get to join this year. Next year NEW signups will be given precedence.

    OR don’t give so much warning about when the signup day will be. Either people are watching eagerly and will catch it on the day you post about it and get to signup (I’ve been watching), or they are busy with other things and miss it this year. Either way, you limit those numbers to something manageable!

    Giving 10 days warning and unlimited signups during that 1 day is a sure way to get a LOT of signups! It’s okay to limit it by more than just chance! Look at the love in the BSBP – the great majority of us might be sad we didn’t get to join in this year, but we’ll understand why the limits have been set in place and won’t blame you! PROMISE!

    TWO) International orders can take 4 weeks to arrive. The reveal date should be at least 2 months after partners have been assigned and packages should be sent ASAP. That gives up to a month for beads to arrive and another month for creation. Even with unforeseen events occurring, this should be enough time!

    THREE) It may be taboo to talk about money, but I'm going to do it! I think the best way to “level” the playing field is to have a minimum price on the bead soup sent. I know this can limit entries, but the amount could be low, say $25 plus shipping costs. That should be enough money to pick out a nice focal, or a nice clasp (maybe both), and a few matching beads. That’s what the soup is supposed to be – anything else is generosity on top!

    OR have entrants say how much they will spend on their bead soup within $5-10. Swap partners with similar price ranges so no one feels like they are getting cheated. The more you put in, the more you get out – this is about fun and creativity, not making off with the best soup! Some people are naturally generous, others are not.

    I like to think of myself as generous, but I don’t have a lot of extra money or supplies. This makes me nervous about bead soup swaps – what if I give away $50 worth of supplies and get back $15? As unlikely as it is, that would be highly disappointing. Or what if I give away $50 of supplies and get back $70? That would make me feel cheap even though I thought I was being generous – and my partner may feel a little cheated. Either having a minimum amount for the soup (which is what everyone should expect to get) or having swap ranges could be a good way of minimizing hard feelings between partners.

    FOUR) I actually don’t want a judging component. I just like seeing what everyone made – where the creativity came from! I think judging and prizes took away from the main idea behind the BSBP and added a competitive element. If there is going to be a competition, then the playing field should be as equal as possible – and we all know the soups vary greatly!

    Finally - thank you and do what you must to make the LEAST AMOUNT OF STRESS ON YOURSELF! Take care!

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    1. I answered some of these above. ....hope that helps.

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  55. Last year was my very first soup. The one thing I was grateful for was the extra time I had from receiving my package to the time of completion. My soup was beautiful but it was challenging for me as the colors and shapes were not in my comfort zone. I made something, sat on it for weeks, went back and ripped it up and I was very pleased in the end with what I came up with. Grateful for the additional time to work and contemplate.

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    1. I hear you. I have only twice made extra special packaging because that wasn't my skill. I normally put them in the jewelry boxes I send customers. As long as things are packaged securely, I don't want anyone panicked over packing. Do what works for you.

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  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  57. I really don't have a lot to add since the comments and your replies really covered all of my questions. I just love the BSBP and will be participating no matter what gets added or changed.

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    1. Thank you! Please help spread the word and the rules, which really aren't much...sign up on time, pick quality (magazine quality) focal and clasp, post on time. And above all, be nice. Last party I got talked to in some pretty interesting ways. There's always a way to be diplomatic.

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  58. Last year was my first soup and I was really nervous. I was really lucky in my partner who was really lovely, sent me chatty messages and made me feel part of the whole thing. I was humbled by how amazing the soup was that I received. But you know it wasn't even the beads that made the big difference to me - I loved them - but the extra special thing which I didn't expect was the gorgeous packaging! So maybe that is another thing to consider.

    I think it is difficult because many people do make jewellery as a business and so they have to make sure that what they make looks professional. There's no way to do that if someone sends you semi broken components! I use plastic beads, aluminium etc, but if you want to market yourself as expensive and sophisticated, then that won't do, everything has to be highest quality. Reputation and consistency is incredibly important in business.

    I do not think it would be right to create rules eg business people can only pair with business people, because then that takes out the chance for mentorship of less experienced people. But people do need to read the other person's blog and use a bit of common sense and human decency!

    Would that be relevant in trying to explain to people why it's important to send interesting/unusual beads - it is a relationship of trust: they are trusting you to send them items that they would be happy to put their names to, in many cases this is their own business that they have been building for years single-handed. So we should not betray that trust. Why is this important - well because we are a community and we should support each other to develop and grow. Then we are all winners.

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    1. I agree. It's difficult to work with beads when your purpose of making jewelry is to brand yourself. I can say "quality focal and clasp" until I'm blue in the face and there will always be an issue, and if there is, bring it to me, or preferably, your partner.

      I will make an extra effort to talk about this prior to sign ups.

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  59. This will be my very first soup and I am so excited! I've read the other posts you suggested and I have been stalking your blog daily to make SURE I don't miss the sign-up date! I think the sign-up notification is more than adequate. I also think the one day reveal will be fine too. As for the soup, I think what you have said about giving one that you would like to receive pretty well says it all. As far as the contest, I think being able to participate in the soup, gaining exposure and having this new experience with like minded artists, is reward enough. I appreciate all of the hard work you have put into this and am really looking forward to it. Thank you.

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  60. Totally cool with the guidelines & requirements you've listed. I tend to send more Bead Soup than is recommended, but I enjoy sending a little extra just because I like to, & I truly don't expect the same quantity in return. However, I feel that quality should be a priority, as you've mentioned, written, posted, blogged, etc. numerous times. I vote to make it as easy going & as fun as possible, perhaps without the additional work that goes into the contest part. Personally, I enjoy doing this to challenge myself, step out of the box, & meet new people that share my love of beads, beading, & designing jewelry. I appreciate all the time, effort, & strategy that goes into making the Bead Soup Blog Party such a phenomenal experience. Thanks so much, Lori, for everything you do. You're my inspiration, lifeline, someone I've learned so much about beads/jewelry & life, & most importantly, my dear friend with the kindest, most patient, understanding heart of gold. Hang in there, I'm certain you've got even more fantabulous things coming your way! I love you! (OMG - did I even answer the questions?!)

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  61. Hi Lori...hope things are getting a little better health wise. Keeping your stress level down is so important with this disease. This will be my 3rd hop...such a cool event...I'm very excited!
    I was very happy with the partnering....no easy feat I imagine. I love how the hop challenged me both in selecting and using a stash. I use the idea at home when having creative block. I have my daughter pick out soups for me..works like a charm!
    I and everyone so appreciate all you do...we will all understand limits and such to make this a little easier. We all just want you to take good care of you!
    I like the sign up time and one reveal date. Otherwise I think 8 weeks to the reveal would give international participants ample time...shipping can take so long.
    Well off to look at my badly neglected blog. Maybe another peak at your blog....you inspired me with that also.
    Hoping to see you all at the hop!
    Cheers!
    Patty

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  62. The guidelines are absolutely clear and I would personally go with whatever guidelines are set out by Lori since BSBP is her creation and she is the one who puts in the massive amount of admin work required to run it. My simple thought is if you don't like the guidelines and rules you don't have to participate. No one is forcing you to.

    Soups - I think we all need to use common sense when making up our soups. Don't send something you wouldn't like to receive yourself. And don't whinge if you get something you don't like. We all work with different materials and will possibly get something totally out of our comfort zone. I think that is the best part of the challenge, to work in unfamiliar territory and create something beautiful! My soup last year was all materials I have never used before! Or since. But I really enjoyed the challenge because it tested my creativity. And that's what I want from my next soup too!

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  63. Lori, I have only participated in one so I can only speak from that experience. As in every group there will be clicks and rule breakers. They are few and far between and can not take away from the spirit of your wonderful event. Set the guidelines and maybe have a few back up soups set aside ( i'm sure others would be glad to contribute) if someone does receive something so awful, swap it out and let their partner be the group. It will only take 1 or 2 of these embarrassing moments to stop future mishaps.
    You do such a great job. Don't stress this too much. You will be supported no matter what you decide. :)

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  64. I tried to read through all the comments, and couldn't do it after reading how petty and whiny some people have been to you over past hops. So, for what my opinion is worth, one day sign ups with 10 days notice of the date sounds wonderful. I also agree with one reveal date. We may not all make it around to see all the reveals in one day, but that doesn't mean we can't do as many as possible over a period of days.

    This is a "party" for sharing beads, challenging fellow artists to explore different styles, colors, media, etc. Parties are fun. We are all at different levels of design, better at certain skills than others, and sometimes we get stuck in our own little rut. The BSBP should be fun for everyone - especially you, Lori. People should not expect you to compensate for what they consider a less than desirable soup. Creating something from what you have been given is the challenge.

    A gift is just that - a gift. This is not a bead swap - dollar for dollar value. My best that I can give will be less than some but more than others. And you have no control over what others give, so why anyone would send you hate mail over what they received is so petty to me. What they think is awful because it does not meet their standard, color, or whatever, might just be seen as an added challenge to someone else. I think the basic idea of sending something you would be proud to use is a great idea.

    Judging adds a quality to the BSBP that I personally don't think enhances it. It adds stress to you, to the participants, and causes hurt feelings and negative comments.

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  65. I've been blessed to be part of four bead soup parties ( the whole reason I started blogging :) ) and each has been a great experience. I've had great partners and no problems with communicating before hand to get some idea of what they- or I-do/don't like. I've always gone beyond the recommendations, and each of the soups I've received has been wonderful. They've always pushed me to try new things and go out of my comfort zone, so thank you!
    1. I think the notification time that you've suggested is reasonable and fair.
    2. The one party date works. I know the three part soup was a lot on you logistically and the numbers got a little overwhelming. I think 6-8 weeks in between partner announcements is a good time frame. I know that I've already started looking for goodies :)
    3.If I got a horrible bead soup, I'd try to be as gracious as possible and do my best to honor the spirit of the blog hop.I've seen some pretty amazing soup, and some not so amazing- I try to land somewhere in the middle.
    4. The judging added a competitive edge that had pluses and minuses. If you're getting more negative than positive, drop it, You certainly don't need anymore stress in your life.

    Your "baby" has grown up so nicely :) I hope you're proud of what you birthed! Like I stated earlier, being part of this venture was the main reason I started blogging- and want to thank you for being such an amazing inspiration! Hugs and blessings, Christie

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  66. maybe a pininterest page thar is nothing but various good bead soups from day one through last year so as they are looking for help there could be inspirational assistance

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  67. To anonymous, whose partner bailed. I need to know these things so I can fix them, ask her why, is she ill, etc. Everyone will be asked to list who their partners were, and space to make comments about problems.

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  68. Hi Lori,

    I have been involved in 2 bead soup mixes and have had awesome partners. Both were excellent at communication and both gave me a beautiful mix. I really enjoyed the unique pieces I received and am sure they enjoyed their soup mix from me. I am lucky to have 2 great local bead stores who carry different types of beads and was able to find some really fun stuff.
    The hardest part for me though was leaving comments on everybody's blogs. But other than that...both times I have nothing but positive to say... Thanks again for all your hard work...

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  69. I find it hard to believe so many people can be so petty and that they miss the whole point of BSBP. I think the one fy zignip is great. I really enjoyed pininteresr last year and the contest was fun but too much work for you this year with your health. I have been in four of the hops and still keep up with what all four of my partners are doing. I enjoyed smiling them and learning about them and their styles. each time I stressed about what to send and how much to send but all of my partners did amazing jobs with what I sent. I really was not happy with what I sent this last time but I sent some beads specifically for my partners beliefs and she did something amazing with them and was one of the honorable mentions in your contest. I have always combined my soups with stuff from my own stash as well. I do like having a couple of weeks time to get to know our partners before a final ship date. I would like to see at least four to six weeks before a reveal date especially for those of us who sees bead. I have always struggled the most with the focal and what to send for that. I am so sorry you have had so many that complain because I look forward to the party and have made wonderful friends from it. I don't keep up with my bloc that much due to my health but I sure do when BSBP rolls around.

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  70. I find it hard to believe so many people can be so petty and that they miss the whole point of BSBP. I think the one fy zignip is great. I really enjoyed pininteresr last year and the contest was fun but too much work for you this year with your health. I have been in four of the hops and still keep up with what all four of my partners are doing. I enjoyed smiling them and learning about them and their styles. each time I stressed about what to send and how much to send but all of my partners did amazing jobs with what I sent. I really was not happy with what I sent this last time but I sent some beads specifically for my partners beliefs and she did something amazing with them and was one of the honorable mentions in your contest. I have always combined my soups with stuff from my own stash as well. I do like having a couple of weeks time to get to know our partners before a final ship date. I would like to see at least four to six weeks before a reveal date especially for those of us who sees bead. I have always struggled the most with the focal and what to send for that. I am so sorry you have had so many that complain because I look forward to the party and have made wonderful friends from it. I don't keep up with my bloc that much due to my health but I sure do when BSBP rolls around.

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  71. Lori, I'll do my best to answer your questions, but you really always make the best decisions already.
    1. I like the idea of a little more notice than a week and a half. What if you're on vacation when you make the announcement and can't weed through everything to find it immediately when you get back? I know I personally get backed up on my blog reading and might miss it somehow. I think maybe a bit longer than that might be optimal. Just my two cents.

    2. Since I'm no expert on how long it takes to internationally ship, I really don't know about the time. I know that it does take me a few weeks (one to two) to get my soup gathered for my partner, especially if I want to order something for them online.

    3. I really don't know what to do with this subject. I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it's tough to make a judgement on someone's taste level. Perhaps they sincerely thought they were sending some beautiful beads. I don't know how to remedy this other than repeating (again and again) what you've previously said. I'm sorry I don't have any other suggestions. I would just hate to exclude someone who really thinks they've sent something beautiful just because their partner thinks it's trash.

    4. I could go wither way on this. It was an interesting component for last year's BSBP, but seemed like a lot of work as well. Are you up for dealing with it? I have no problem if it's not a contest or if it is. Whatever, I'm easy like a Sunday morning! ;)

    Here's hoping you're feeling better. Thoughts and prayers coming your way! (and hugs too!!)

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  72. Announcement of the date covers two weekends and a week. I'll send emails to the last two parties. My blog will have it, BeadSoupblogparty.com will have it, and BeadSoupCafe.com will have it. I'll be getting some people to blog about it, and the badge will start showing up on people's pages (I hope). Other than that, I don't know what else I can do.

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  73. I always pick the last reveal date partly because I'm a procrastinator and partly because the amount of time felt right.
    Everything sounds good. One suggestion. At sign up you can ask if someone would be willing to send out an extra soup to anyone who doesn't get one or gets a disappointing one. I love seeing what people do with my beads so I'd be happy to send additional soup/s out.

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  74. This will be my 3rd BSBP! I'm excited!!
    1. 1-2 weeks notice is fine.
    2. I think 6 weeks is good. I've not had any problems personally with international shipping taking longer than 6 weeks.
    3. I believe you've done a fabulous job repeating the rules of the BSBP - there will always be those who don't follow the rules or don't plan well and send whatever is in the leftovers bin. I'm not sure there is anything else than can be done. Maybe not allow the person or persons to participate in the next one? IDK.
    4. I'm not a fan of judging. Someone usually gets their feelings hurt. And you can't cover all the categories. It's also an added headache. Let's have a party without all the judging. Or maybe a drawing?
    I'm ready to party!!!!

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  75. Lori,
    I am grateful to be included in your hop so I am not particular. You are doing an awesome job but as most commenters have mentioned (i read most of them, sorry if I missed something) its a bummer that you have to put up with so much trite behavior.
    I have only been in 1 hop, (i didnt get into some I applied for, I dont remember why but I do remember not taking it personally.) and I loved the experience! I met an awesome person who sent me awesome stuff that she picked carefully just for me. Who wouldnt love that?
    It takes time to read all these comments so I dont want to rattle on, heres my input.
    I loved the contest part, it gave that excitement feeling all the way to the reveal of winners. Would asking a $2 admission fee make it a nightmare for you? I feel that it would do a couple things, it might cause those less than really enthusiastic to think an extra wee bit before they sign up, help you with all those surprise costs and lastly it would help fund the prizes of any contest you decide on.
    Regardless of what you decoide I look forward to the hop! I hope you do too.

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  76. -I was one of the contest winners last year, a total newbie - and I won with a technique I was trying for the very first time. I was also in a tie with a pro, so I guess we can say there were every kind of winners. But if a contest creates so much trouble and so many disappointed people, let's take it away. It would be such a pity though, since these people who won had a big chance of being published on a gorgeous magazine, and that alone is a big prize.
    -I received a HUGE, seriously huge soup (it was kind of 3 generous soups altogether) but I had sent only a "normal" one where most beads, toggle and focal were beadweaved by me. I couldn't afford more. She made amazing things with that, so the soup dimension is not really meaningful when it comes to creativity.
    -I think it will be nice to have only one reveal date, even though I also used to like the expectation of each reveal, but I understand the reason behind the change and it is more practical.

    Thanks Lori for making this happen again, no matter what.

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  77. 1) How long do you need notification of sign ups? I was thinking a week and a half, so it crosses two weekends.
    That Sounds Fair.

    2) There will be ONE party date.
    Works for me...
    I try to visit everyone even if it takes me more than a week to do it... 20 or 30 blogs a day still takes quite some time for me. It is unrealistic for me to visit and comment on the hundreds of blogs in a day. Visit....but not comment. Unless if I were to do a copy and paste type of comment...like others have done...which isn't my favorite...but I get it.
    Which makes me think I am not the only one ... So where the reveal may be on one day.
    But perhaps we can present it as a week long Party?! Keep visiting and commenting for at least a week. (Which I do think you have said in the past soup parties)
    I think we realize everyone is going to do what their schedule will permit no matter what the outline....

    3) I like that I have taken you up on the offer to send you an image and check if what I am sending falls with in the criteria of the swap. As I grow as a beader I find myself moving away from getting my supplies at the box stores and moving toward getting things that are more unique. I credit you and the bead soup swaps for this growth.

    4) I know there was a judging last year but I don't think I participated in that portion of the Party. So leaving it as an "option" of submitting a piece for judging...may work for everyone.

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  78. Hi Lori, Glad you are doing better! I have a friend with some of your same issues & man is it a tough road. So I totally sympathize and send many prayers your way! Now for the other important things you asked about:
    1. a week and a half to two weeks is good. I think covering two weekends is fabulous for those of us who aren't on our computers daily.
    2. Last BSBP my partner was in the US & it still took a month to get the beads swapped between my schedule and hers. I was out of town a bunch & she was too. So I definitely think a month might be needed even in the continental US much less international.
    3. As to the rules. I think you've more than covered the issues. The first BSBP I participated in I wasn't as aware as this last time in the difference in artisan beads, handmade, hobby, etc.... But after several years under my belt, I'm getting the hang of the difference but either way quality is quality. Someone should never send junk for sure and should always send what they would like to work with themselves. Old adage: Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you! has always been my motto! I've was totally happy with the two soups I've received and wear my pieces proudly and ALWAYS get complements on them!!!
    4. I like the idea that the BSBP participants could pick their favorites on a pin board. Contests are always fun but not at your expense and certainly not when participants have attitude. I didn't win last year but it was fun to see who won and what they created.. So I can go either way. Whatever you decide will be totally fine. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate so do what is best for you and your health!!!! Please!!!!

    Hope you continue in the upswing of getting better!! Hugs and prayers filtering your way :)))))))

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  79. Here's my 2-cents:

    1--sounds like a good amount of notification time. I am going to hope that sign ups are on a Saturday, but I WILL get signed up no matter what. :) A month or 2 between send-by dates and reveal is good, too.
    2--One reveal sounds FABULOUS! It was hard to keep track last year.
    3--I can't imagine how else you could possibly cover the rules.. In fact, I really don't think the problem is your coverage, but some folks just don't read thoroughly (I teach English, too. You should hear the questions I get after explaining assignments and whatnot...) Most of us get it, but as others have said, you'll always have some who want to cause problems.
    This is my 3rd Party, and the soups I've send have steadily gotten better, and the soups I've received have been wonderful. NOT what I would have chosen for myself, but that is the point--to get out of your comfort zone! I was still able to create items I was proud of from those soups.
    4--A contest is neither here nor there to me. If you do one, I like the idea you've mentioned--rafflecopter AFTER the reveal. Seems a much easier and less fraught method. :)

    I hope you're well, and THANK YOU for putting up with all of us! I SO look forward to this Party. I need to go revive the blog!

    Thank you,
    Rana

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  80. Here's my 2-cents:

    1--sounds like a good amount of notification time. I am going to hope that sign ups are on a Saturday, but I WILL get signed up no matter what. :) A month or 2 between send-by dates and reveal is good, too.
    2--One reveal sounds FABULOUS! It was hard to keep track last year.
    3--I can't imagine how else you could possibly cover the rules.. In fact, I really don't think the problem is your coverage, but some folks just don't read thoroughly (I teach English, too. You should hear the questions I get after explaining assignments and whatnot...) Most of us get it, but as others have said, you'll always have some who want to cause problems.
    This is my 3rd Party, and the soups I've send have steadily gotten better, and the soups I've received have been wonderful. NOT what I would have chosen for myself, but that is the point--to get out of your comfort zone! I was still able to create items I was proud of from those soups.
    4--A contest is neither here nor there to me. If you do one, I like the idea you've mentioned--rafflecopter AFTER the reveal. Seems a much easier and less fraught method. :)

    I hope you're well, and THANK YOU for putting up with all of us! I SO look forward to this Party. I need to go revive the blog!

    Thank you,
    Rana

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  81. 1) How long do you need notification of sign ups?
    >> I like the idea of one to two weeks' notice. Gives those who barely have enough time to check in a good allowance, and also keeps the excitement for those do.
    2) There will be ONE party date.
    >> I am not sure as this is the first time I'll be joining BSBP :) But if we're talking about hype of the moment, I think a week-long party won't be so bad.
    3) Other than my normal rules, is there a diplomatic way to address this without making a person exemplified on or excluded?
    >> Well, how about a post (with lots of pictures) of what kind of soups you shouldn't send? Like a "friendly reminder to all, please don't send a soup like this to your partners, thanks." Or have participants make a post about the soup they received... that way, people would be encouraged to send something that is at least decent since it will be highlighted in someone else's blog.
    4) Would you like a judging component, run like last year? There will always be some sort of disappointment where a contest is involved, but it would be a real shame if the disappointment stems from someone being hurtful. If there's a way to prevent that, then sure!

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  82. Lori I'm just happy with what ever the rules are. Last year was my first Bead Soup party and I cant wait for this round. Its all for fun and to get to know others who have the same interests. The only envy I had was looking at all the awesome creations and wishing they were mine to wear lol.

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  83. I love the BSBP and glad that there will be another one. I have participated in 3 so far. I am always sad when I hear that partners sent out beads and received none; or sent out beads and received beads, but the partner never posts about what was received or never made anything without explanation. However, I will continue to send out a workable soup. I will even volunteer to send out to anyone who doesn't receive a soup or just to help keep numbers even. As long as I get a FB or email notification, a few days notice is all I need.

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  84. I think a week and a half sounds great for notice of the one day sign ups. I think 2 months between ship date and reveal should work for most people including international. It's my opinion that you've handled the acceptable/not acceptable idea of what to send beautifully in the past. There will always be some who don't follow the rules. You can only do your best there, and I think you have been. Finally I vote no for the judging. Personally it put some weird idea in my head that my pieces needed to be over the top amazing. I didn't appreciate the experience or the pieces as much. You can't please everyone though so go with the majority or your gut. Thanks for considering my thoughts.

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  85. I believe I have been in every BSBP hop and love them, I have had all kinds of exciting beads and things sent me, some I would never have thought of using myself so they stretched me above and beyond which was great fun thinking out ways to use them. I have only been disappointed once. I enjoy making friends and chatting to people especially from other countries the differences in our cultures and landscapes are a source of inspiration and enjoyment. Lori I am so glad you are taking up the challenge again this year and whatever you decide to do as long as I can be a part of it I will be happy!
    Jackie

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  86. Thank you for all that you do for the beading cocmmunity. I really missed not being in last year's BSBP.
    Your sign up method is great and the announcement time prior to sign up was great. Having only 1 day to address for reveal and is a lot less stressful. A ten to fourteen day period to get your soup ready for shipping sounds about right with a couple of months to reveal.
    Have received and sent very thoughtful and well put together soups. Your descriptions of what to send are very clear. I think we all suffer a bit from soup envy when we see a soup we would have loved to get our hands on !
    Not a big fan of the judging. Would rather enjoy the challenge of working with the soup and meeting new friends. Hoping to make it into this years event.
    Thank you for the continued interest.

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  87. Dear Lori....I agree with all you said. I feel like your hop your rules . I realize that this is a huge undertaking on your part, and can't help but worry this will put too much stress on you and trigger health problems for you. If all of us can help take some of the stress from you then I feel there should be no problem with making this hop easier and fun for you also....Bye for now and take care

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  88. I don't care about judging. Either way is fine. However my partner never used the beads I sent. She never posted about the soup at all so I felt very disappointed and ripped off. I checked for days and weeks after. I think you should have a form for people to send in if their partner flakes (rather than an email you'd have to reply to). Or a group of people assigned to each check a specified portion of the blogs and report if someone doesn't follow the rules. Then they should be banned unless they have a very, very good explanation. I'd be happy to help if you wish. You've probably forgotten but we've emailed back and forth a few times.

    If it's possible to have a partner in the USA or Canada to help with shipping costs, that would be amazing. One day to sign up is fine but a couple reminders before and one part way through the day would be great.

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  89. First I would like to say thank you so much for doing this again. I look forward to The BSBP's. You are the reason I started my blog and good things have come from it. 1) I agree that 1 1/2 weeks notice for sign ups seems like a fair notice. 2) I agree that 1 party date is better.I think that the people who had the third week did not get nearly as many views. 3) You can not control what other people send. Your guidelines are fair and I think that most people will send nice stuff. I really enjoy the challenge and even if I got a bad package I would deal with it. 4) I am not joining for the judging but I am not against it either. I agree that rafflecopter or a popular vote on the pinboard would be best and less stressful for you.

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  90. 1) A week and a half sounds fair
    2) One party date is fine
    I would say 2 months between sending beads and the reveal date
    3) Some basic Guidelines on what to send / what not to send would be great as a refresher for previous participants and help for the new folks
    4) The judging part was fine, I think it adds another layer to the event :)

    Is there something in place for the folks that don't get a soup from their assigned partners? I would gladly volunteer as a back up partner in case someone does not get a soup. Maybe make that an option when we sign up?

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  91. I'm OG :) I've participated in every bsbp and have always loved every minute of it. I can't believe grown ass adults have been so petty and whiny about something that you set clear guidelines about and is supposed to be fun! I'm good with whatever you decide on. Hope you are well and let me know if you need any help with anything, I'm happy to help! Hugs!!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!