Sunday, February 23, 2014

Things to Remember When You Get Your Partner

I just sent another MailChimp mass email to everyone.  It can be viewed here as well.

If you are not getting the emails, please don't stress.  Look at the post before this and see how you can subscribe (or resubscribe) yourself to the list, but I will always post the emails here as well.

I'm working on pairing seed beaders right now.

Things to Remember
as You Get Your Partners 


First, please be sure to check on a regular basis as I'll also be posting things there.

Second, I asked on the Cafe last night what to do about the amount of time it takes to email all of you individually with your partner's name, blog, and email address.  The consensus is that for this party, I will be listing partners in batches, on (as well as this email), name and blog only, and you will need to go to your partner's blog to make contact. 

This means if you haven't already made it easy to reach you on your blog, you may want to check.  If you use Blogger, your About Me should include an email and not take someone to Google+.  If you absolutely do not want to have your email out on the internet, please, please check your inbox, look on Facebook, ask  Having a way for not only your partner but your blog readers to contact you privately via and email link or "About" button is a great way to gain new insights and interact with your readers.


Some quick notes.

All US participants -- PLEASE use Delivery Confirmation.  It's inexpensive and valuable.

Before you ship your soup, take a picture of it, but don't post it until your partner has.

PLEASE keep up with your partner, particularly in the early days and the days before reveal date.

ANYONE can send me a picture of their soup for an opinion.

Stay tuned -- pairing is in progress!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Partners to be announced Feb 28th

Hi guys -- I know you're anxious and excited, but I really am still here, just trying to manage a lot of things behind the scenes.

First, for those of you who said you did not get the "Welcome, You're In!" email, please check both your spam and deleted folders.  I use MailChimp to send all the emails at once, and some mail protocols either don't like mass mailers, or your security settings for your email is set such that it kills it.  If you follow this page, you should be just fine.  I'll post what I sent in email here as well.

I have no idea if this will work, but if you aren't getting emails, please try to add yourself to my list (even though you're already on it) by clicking here.  I tested it with an alternate ID but it still may or may not work -- some have been able to add themselves, so please do try that method.  But if you keep your eye out here, you should be fine.

About partners -- I have to individually email every single one of you.  I don't like putting everyone's email up for spammers to grab and have a hay day with.  It takes a LOT of time to email the "here's your partner" email.  Some of you may receive your partner BEFORE the 28th, so please keep a look out, and I will post partners and blog links here after I email you, too.

While I'm getting you all paired, please get your soups ready.  I know some of you like to wait and see who you get before (because you just may have made a soup that they already kind of use!) but the extended waiting period between sign up and partner list means there should be NO LATE MAILINGS.  Sorry to yell in all caps, but it is so important you get yourself as ready as you can. I absolutely know life can get in the way, so please start preparing now.

I'm now going to post the email I sent out last week that some of you say didn't arrive in your inbox.

Bead Soup Blog Party info!  



You are now part of the
8th Bead Soup Blog Party!

First, please be sure to check on a regular basis as I'll also be posting things there.

Second, I will be emailing you and your partner together to give you each your email addresses and blog addresses.  I would really like for you guys to try and chat a bit, get to know each other!

Third, PLEASE do not send a soup that is exactly what your partner already works with.  If your partner works in vintage, please don't send vintage.

That being said, don't go out of of your way to send something that is so crazy/wild/dare I say (eek) ugly that they're stunned into quitting.  (Don't laugh too hard, it's happened!)

Please take special care in preparing your Soup!

This blog hop has been written about in at least two magazines and has a stand alone book.  Consider the soup you send as not just a gift,but something you would be proud to send to a magazine editor.  I will be writing an in-depth blog post today or tomorrow that is a Must Read.

If you have an international partner, it's imperative that the two of you discuss EXACTLY how to fill out the customs form.  ALL packages are gifts.

I'll be writing up a blog post about preparing your soups -- please take the time to read it over, as there are some new rules and suggestions that will be helpful.

Please take the time to mark your calendars!

Much love and have fun,

Monday, February 17, 2014

Participants have now been notified!

After a lot of hair-pulling, I just sent out the first email to the 490 participants of the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party.  If you didn't get one, PLEASE check your spam.  Please pretty please, before you say you didn't get one, check.  Thanks.

(This is the list of participants -- partners will be given by Feb 28th unless I completely fall apart.)

Now that I've sent out the "Congratulations" email, I'm starting to pair people up.  Now is ALSO the time for you to start putting together a few different soups.  Why prepare your soup before hand?  Well, for one reason, the idea is NOT to send what your partner normally creates with.  If your partner creates with vintage, please don't send vintage components.  If your partner is an earth tones person, choose other colors.  And if you have several soups ready, you can mail IMMEDIATELY.

A special ceramic pendant made by Nan Emmett

As I've said before, you do not need to send a million beads.  If you want to send more than one soup, go for it.  If you want to send more beads than required, that's fine.  You just cannot get upset if you don't get the same back.  As long as you and your partner are following the simple three steps of quality focal, special clasp, and coordinating beads, you're good.  And if you get a LOT of beads, you do not need to use them all -- just the focal and the clasp and not even in the same piece.

In previous posts, I showed examples of beads soups from my book.  Here are some photos of various types, styles, and amounts of bead soup other participants have sent...

The majority of people receive beads they have either never used before or don't have access to, and that helps expand your design power.  When you get your Bead Soup from your partner, dig into your own stash and start seeing what ELSE you may have that works with it, and embrace the challenge.

Things to keep in mind:

:: You are not required to use the focal and clasp in the same piece
:: You are allowed to make as many pieces as you want -- one or ten
:: You get to keep the piece you make and wear it, sell it, or donate it.

If you plan on making your clasp, please do not use craft wire or a thin wire that will not hold up.  If you aren't in the habit of making your own clasps, this may not be a good time to stress yourself out.


Some people like to go wild with their packaging.  I have done both -- sent beads in my normal jewelry boxes and beads in hand knitted pouches.  DO NOT feel that you have to compete with anyone with packaging, ESPECIALLY if you are sending overseas.  Packing needs to be secure so the beads don't break, but consider the weight of your package when you put things together.

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

If you get a focal that is not screaming "PENDANT!" to you, try what I did with one of my jewelry creations:

I used the lampwork tube bead in a bracelet rather than make it a pendant for a necklace.

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

:: Plastic, plastic pearls, or metalized plastic ::

(exceptions -- quality vintage beads in new condition)

:: Seed beads NOT going to a seed beader/weaver ::

:: Anything you have considered throwing away ::

:: Second quality beads ::

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

Also, if you are sending overseas, be sure to ask if there are restrictions.  Many island nations are NOT allowed to have seeds or certain shells sent into their country and it will have to be destroyed.

(Have a question?  Just email me.)

Stay tuned for even more info.

Please stay tuned to this page, as more information, tips, and hints will follow!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Still working....

Or rather, Rick is right now.

Most of you know I'm fighting a nasty case of Lyme disease.  It's vicious, and to trick the little ......monsters (ha, not the first word that came to my mind) my antibiotics are changed on a regular basis.  I started a new one the day of sign ups, and today I have to start a new one because frankly, I had no idea meds could make me THAT sick.  But they can, and they do, and they did.


Anyway.  Rick is following my input on how I need the spreadsheets organized.  First, we had to keep a clean copy of the original spreadsheet with time hacks, as that is how you'll be listed.  Second, I needed an alphabetical list so I can post it and you can find yourself easily.  Next, I need a spreadsheet with just international people.  Then one with those who only want a seed bead partner.

Don't be afraid of seed beads, though...did you see what Zack designed with this soup for my book?

Then I have to see who had whom for partners before so I hopefully don't repeat.

Then I match people with different styles.

Then I fix all the missing zip codes, partial addresses, things like that.

Next I enter all the emails into Mail Chimp so I can send you information.  You will get more than a few emails from me, so if you're not, CHECK YOUR SPAM...also make sure your partner's email doesn't hit spam.

I know you're excited but hang in there!  The list of participants should (SHOULD) be posted this weekend.  Matching partners is another week, and then off you go!

Please either follow this blog and/or so you don't miss a thing.

And hey, but just askin'...have you read the book?  Feel free to leave your review of it at and  Thankyouverymuch.

Photo by Brandi Hussey

Thanks, and see you soon!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Now the work begins

The sign ups are officially closed.  Now I need you to give me some time to work on the spreadsheet with Rick -- fixing any duplicates, checking on those who had trouble signing up, and getting an email message out to everyone that yes, you are officially IN.

After that is over, I will start visiting all the blogs and pairing people up.

The list of attendees will be posted within the week.

The list of partners and partner emails will be out by February 28th.

I don't know what I expected, but sign ups were again epic.  I haven't removed any duplicates yet, but it looks like we have 490-ish people.   Mind:boggles.

For interest, this is the response for "Is this your first time participating"....

Thank you all so very much.  Stay tuned.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog Party sign ups are OPEN!!!!

Sign ups are officially closed.

to go to my main blog 
and sign up for the blog party.  

Don't forget, it's ONE DAY ONLY!

A few things to mention before sign ups TOMORROW

Some favorite Golem Beads --- will I use one of these in my soup?????

I'm currently working the hamsters that run my computer hard as I try to send out emails to past party participants (it won't work for me -- Rick's fixing it), set up a sign up sheet that doesn't miss something critical (one year I do believe I left out room for your blog address but luckily found it pretty darned fast) -- just the typical internal pandemonium that takes place here at House Anderson before a Bead Soup Blog Party sign up.  And I'm doubly worried this time because even though I've dropped huge sign boards about the party everywhere like bread crumbs in a Brothers Grimm forest, I'm afraid that I'm going to get emails from upset people wondering why they missed knowing about the party.  

I will blame the Big Bad Wolf, since we're talking Brothers Grimm here.  Then pray for a Fairy Godmother who bakes a mean apple pie.  I could use some pie.  

Mmmmm.  Pie.

My favorite local coffee shop, Rise Up.

But seriously, I do hope you will join me in not so many hours (midnight, US EST) and fill in the form (NOT THE COMMENTS) to sign up for this once-yearly event.  I will do everything in my power to help you out, but I do sleep, so please hang tight if you have a question.  

Now, a few things to remember:

:: Here's the badge and a TON of information  :click

:: There will be no contest this time.

:: There WILL be a Pinterest board.

:: There will be no Facebook entries this year.

:: A VERY important post to read about expectations :click

:: Participants will be listed in the order in which they signed up,
not alphabetically

::  Do not show what you're sending your partner until they get it

And again, entering "I'm in!" in the comments section will do nothing -- you must fill out the form that will magically, like Cinderella's carriage, appear at midnight.  PLEASE be sure to hit "Submit form".  All of your information then will go into a spreadsheet with a time stamp, allowing me and Rick to start our work.  

See you soon!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Badge for 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party ® (and a lot of help and hints)

(First, I know this is a LOT of information, but I will be sending reminders of portions of this epic as each step draw nearer.  Don't worry!)

The sign ups for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party ® are swiftly arriving (this weekend, February 9th in fact), so now is the time to get the badge on your blog, start planning your soup, and telling your friends!  It is a once a year party, and this year, there is only ONE DAY TO SIGN UP, so mark your calendar!

Basic Facts:  

::  I pair you with another jewelry designer
by February 28th.  ::

::  You send each other a quality package of beads
by March 14th.  ::

 ::  You make one or more pieces of jewelry or art with those beads, 
incorporating beads from your own stash as needed.

The focal and clasp you were sent MUST be used, 
but don't have to be used in the same piece.  ::

::  You post your creation on the blog hop reveal day, May 3rd,
and you try to visit as many of the other designers' blogs. ::

A badge for your blog: 

Every time I try to make one of those slick HTML badges with the code to cut and paste, Blogger decides, um, no, I don't like you, let's mess it up.  So here's how to add it:

1.  Right click on the above photo to save it to your computer.

2.  Choose the Photo Gadget in Blogger and upload the photo.

3.  Add the link to the space for HTML.  

You may need to click the "Shrink To Fit" box -- that option only seems to show up BEFORE you add the photo.  Experiment with it as your blog borders may be different than mine.

(I'm sorry, I only know Blogger, but email me or post on if you need help!

The Details!

:: First, you must have a blog!  There will be no Facebook entries this year. ::

:: Second, no, you do NOT have to make your own beads! ::

:: Third, YES it is open to International beaders!  ::

:: Sign up time is via US Eastern Standard Time (EST):

I will be posting here and sending emails regularly, 
so while this is a lot of information, don't worry -- 
I'll be resending pertinent details 
as the time for each action comes near.  

I will be taking all who wish to participate. This can make a large blog hop, and not everyone will have the ability to visit all the blogs, but I will make a permanent link for each blog hop post so blogs can easily be visited throughout the year if desired.

(Exception: If you joined a previous party but never posted your creation,
never sent beads to your partner, or feel you do not have the stash to do this, 
please do not sign up.)

What happens next?

On the first minute of February 9th EST, a form will appear at   It will be open the entire 24 hour period, covering  Feb 9th, US EST.  There is a built in time stamp when I get the form.  Please fill in all the questions, as they are then automatically entered into a spreadsheet that make this MUCH easier on me.

  When the sign ups close, I will visit all the blogs, create spreadsheets, and email everyone with their partner by Feb 28th.  I'll also list and list all the Party Blogs at

(The actual blog hop will take place at the Pretty Things Blog site.
This blog site is for information and questions.)

Once you get a partner, you must email them.  Learn a little about them.  Then you'll then send that person a Party Pack:

::  A quality focal  (pendant, large bead, etc) ::
 ::  Some coordinating spacers or beads  ::
 ::  A special clasp (not a lobster claw)  ::

Below are some examples of Bead Soups from my book to give you an idea of what is meant by quality.  That doesn't mean they have to be expensive!  In fact, a few of the focals only cost me $5.  But the focal and clasp should be special.  This also shows you what is meant by "coordinating beads" --they should coordinate with to the focal.  They do NOT need to be used at all, or can be used with other focals or beads in your own stash.  But you MUST use the focal and clasp you were sent (although they can be in separate pieces).


As you will see above, some people will send various amounts of beads, which is PERFECTLY OK, yet some will send a larger amount just because they want to.  That is FINE -- but please do not feel you must send an entire bead store.  Also, if you send a truckload of beads and don't receive the same, you can't get upset about that as long as the rules were followed.  And if you get a truckload of beads, you are NOT obligated to use them all.

Beads should be first quality, not seconds,
 not beads you were going to throw away.

I do my best to pair you with someone who does not work in your medium, although sometimes I goof.  The idea is to help you think outside the box and work outside your normal comfort zone, pushing you into creative directions you may never have gone.

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

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

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

When you get your package of beads, show your beads on your blog.  
You can also talk about your partner and what they do.  
I want you to get to know your partner in the days leading up to the reveal.

(Do not show your complete creation until your reveal date.)

Once you get your beads, get cooking!  Make a piece (or several pieces!), take pictures, and post on your blog on the reveal day.  Feel free to talk about your process.  Everyone hops around to as many blogs as possible to see what people made.  You don't have to hop all on one day and you aren't obligated to visit all the blogs.  Usually, the more comments you make, the more you get.  But I don't want anyone to stress out over this!

Feel free to tell your friends!

An easy way to keep up with Blog Party happenings?

Join me at the

(No need for a blog at the Cafe!  Join it for chat, 
information, bead swaps, and challenges.)

You can also purchase the book that grew from this
amazing blog hop at Kalmbach Publishing or your favorite book store.

photo by Brandi Hussey
I hope to have you sign up this weekend!

(Bead Soup Blog Party ® is a registered trademark  and protected as such.)

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.