Friday, February 15, 2013

My Partner Has Received Her Bead Soup!

I can finally show you what I sent my partner, Nancy Boylan!  I had a lot of fun choosing what to send.  I first raided my private bead stash to get an idea of what direction I'd like to take.  I then decided what metalsmithed items I'd like to make.  When I realized that there was a bit of a void, I ordered a few pastel beads from Gaea and included some eco-friendly lampworked beads that were made by Mary of Fire Babies.  She makes them by recycling Coke bottles!  Once I learned the name of my partner, I started snooping around her lovely shop and blog.  I found out that, like Mary, she is a lampworker.  I also found out that Nancy likes turquoise and green so, I kept those colors in mind.

I worked on Nancy's bead soup during Carnival season and I think that the  bright colors and crazy patterns must have seeped into my brain.  They inspired me to decorate her box in a way that is definitely outside my usual comfort zone--just to do something different.  I started with a kraft paper box and added tissue paper and microbeads.  Usually, I would have simply wrapped a coil of decorative paper around it and added a ribbon!  I'm not sure if I should have kept it simple or done this:

Decorated Box For Bead Soup
Crazy box containing my Bead Soup

The beads that I sent were chosen with Spring in mind.  Our second reveal date made that an easy decision.

beads in pastel colors
Beads in pastel colors

coppersmithed items
Copper items (including enameled headpins by Sue Beads)

I'm usually a very decisive person but not with Bead Soup.  I made two clasps.  The etched button clasp can also serve as a focal.  The second is a simple soldered, hammered fish hook style clasp. I also chose to send two items that could serve as the focal.  The rectangular carved aventurine bead is probably not quite special enough to be a Bead Soup focal.  With that in mind, I also made a bezel set etched copper dome pendant.  The dome pendant has been patinated with the Vintaj/Ranger turquoise patina and sealed with Permalac.  Hidden within the dome is a slip of paper that reads, "Seek Peace".  I patinated some of my etched bead caps in green and purple.

detail of etched copper components
 I managed to use both turquoise and green--colors that Nancy likes!

I hope that Nancy has as much fun working with these items as I had assembling and making them!


  1. What gorgeous components you sent your partner. Your copper pieces are so beautiful. Love the turquoise dome. I like how you labeled all of the components, too. I like knowing what things are or who made them. And your box is pretty. It will be a keepsake for sure.

    1. 2nd time trying to reply--Blogger ate the first one!

      Thanks so much, Cynthia. I can't always remember the names of beads, so I labeled everything just in case Nancy is like me!

      I was really worried about the box because it's not my usual style. I did have fun making it! ;)

  2. wow, what a luck to be your partner, you sent a beautiful Soup, very inspirational and quality beads. your handmade components... wow!
    those headpins... what a dream (thanks for the link of Sue shop).
    a news: on september I will fly to US!! I will visit California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona... I will drive over US Ovest, I can't wait!
    I want to buy materials during my trip, any suggestions? thank you

    1. I just found your comment, Jò! Thank you so much.
      You are going to have such a wonderful time during your trip. You'll be visiting states that are known for their beautiful stone beads. Be sure to save up for it because you're going to want lots!

      Suggestions: Natural, undyed turquoise (Royston, Pilot Mountain, Sleeping Beauty, etc.) They are so beautiful. Jaspers are also reasonably priced and come in so many varieties. I really love picture, Owyhee, Deschutes, Biggs, and poppy jaspers.

  3. What beautiful colours - definitely Springlike with all those pastel tones! I especially like those purple and green copper bead caps.

    I have to say I'm now having a big dose of "imposter syndrome" about participating in BSBP because of all the amazing people taking part - I have to keep telling myself sternly "it's not a competition, it's about having fun and learning new things"

    1. Thank you, Sarah! The colored bead caps aren't for everyone but I thought I'd include some just in case Nancy's in the mood for lots of Springy color.

      You should never feel like it is a competition. This is my first time, too, and we're all in it to have *fun*! :)

  4. Lucky Nancy, you sent her a beautiful soup.