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.


  1. I am so excited.... I'll be here on Sunday!! ~KM

  2. Can't wait!! - Lori - would hand made components be acceptable? (ie: Focal (I really enjoy working with polymer clay) and/or clasp (I work with sheet copper and wire as well). Thanks! Michelle

  3. Yay - I can't wait! I really need this... missed last year!

  4. Hand made components are fine if they are something you would be happy for a magazine editor to see. If you've never made a wire clasp, for instance, now probably isn't the time to send one. I'll be addressing this point this week.

  5. This is so cool Lori you are amazing to have all your health issues and still taking this on....I am def. up to this challenge and can't wait to be a part of it all...stay safe and take care of you your health is more important than all of us or this party....

  6. I've got the badge on my blog and I'm excited to participate this year, my first time!

  7. Lori,
    you wrote above WHAT HAPPENS NEXT - - - "On the February 9th at midnight,"............

    I think it should read "On the February 8th at midnight,........."

    Perhaps I am mistaken, and you meant the 9th at midnight, but I think that would make the sign up day on the 10th.

    I am looking forward to being apart of this wonderful event, thanks for your hard, hard work


  8. hmmmm maybe I should start a blog just so I can participate! lol

  9. Can't wait anymore!
    I am so excited

  10. I am so looking forward to this! I already have a couple soups chosen depending on who my partner is.

  11. I am looking forward to my first Bead Soup Blog Party! I will be here on the 9th!

  12. I want to join so badly this year! I will do my best to post the badge to my blog! But I will be here Sunday! I can't wait to get involved ! Love and Hugs to you Lori!

  13. I am always so inspired by YOU, that even though I am having reservations this year (about my own personal situation), I bet I will be seeing my name on the list tomorrow!
    Incidentally, I like all the changes you have made a LOT! Great work!
    Lots of love!!! -- and you should be proud--you have created a virtual institution in the beading community, worldwide!
    xoxox jean

  14. This is my first time to participate. I am looking forward to the challenge as I am looking to expand my beading experiences. I am in the process of trying to get the badge loaded to my blog but it isn't working right now. I will try again tomorrow.

  15. I just signed up! saw info posted on a friends FB page!

  16. This is my first and I'm so grateful that you do this. Thanks so much..can't wait to make some special Beads for this! ♥

  17. I am so excited ! I am on the list and it's my first Bead Soup! Thank You Lori! I can hardly wait to see who my partner is it's going to so much fun!! I had decided that 2014 was going to be the year that I would participate in as many events as I could as I have always just sat on the sidelines and watched everybody else have all the fun and see all the amazing work that was going on! Now I have a chance at getting in on all the excitement and creative fun!


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!