Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What's New Wednesday - Bead Soup Swap Reveal!

UPDATE: I've completed the rounds to all the participants, it only took me 9 hours over a 2 day period! I really enjoyed visiting all your creations and hope to do this again soon! (there are still 6 that haven't posted yet and I will return to view yours too!).

The day has finally come for the unveiling! I've been telling you for weeks now about my participation in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Swap who got the idea from Heather Powers of Art Bead Scene.

Lori decided to put one together, not expecting the huge turnout! I'm sure it's been quite an undertaking for Lori coordinating this for the past month and a half and I stand and applaud her! When all was said and done we had 84 participants in our Swap! Jewelers from all around the world, both professional and amateur answered the invitation to join in the swap and participate in the party.

Each person got matched up with a partner that mostly worked in a different medium than the other partner. Lori made over 40 matches, wow! Some contacted their partners and asked what they might like, others had pre-gathered their soup and sent it out when they got their partners name. I think everyone had great anticipation while waiting for their packages to arrives. Some sent the essentials that were required some lots more but all were interesting stretching each participant to work with components not chosen by themselves in this artistic endeavor. Many also posted to the Flickr group Lori started so we could see what each one sent and received and speculate on how they would interpret them into a creation all their own.

Well today is the day we've all been looking forward to, the PAR-TAY! This is where we all reveal the creations we've been working on so diligently since receiving our soup ingredients.

I will keep this short since you have lots of other blogs to visit so I will let the pictures tell the story, from the package I received, to the steps I recorded along the way, to my finished piece.

What was required in the mix each participant sent was the following:

~ A focal
~ Some coordinating spacers or beads
~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)

This is the pretty package I got from my partner Boot~C aka Jayne, please stop by her blog to see what she made with my bead soup ingredients I sent her.


I pondered over this mix for days wondering what to cook up with my soup. Played around with the pieces to get some ideas and kept drawing a blank.... I think I was trying too hard, over-thinking it.
Jayne had put together a similar mix and made a necklace with it and posted to the group Flickr pool so I didn't want to make something so similar, so I put it on the back burner to 'stew'. Then one night sitting in Borders sipping coffee and looking through some magazines and books it suddenly came to me. I love how that works. You look at a piece and get a totally different design pop into your head using the components you were trying to get to come together. I wonder if it's looking at others works that somehow frees our wheels to turn without us realizing it? I guess it takes our focus off what we are trying so hard to do and taking in what others have made that allows our subconscious to keep working on it. Anyway I quickly made a sketch then and there in the coffee shop in my little Ideas notebook I keep with me and when I sat down at my work table to get it going I actually followed my sketch pretty much to a 'T'. Sometimes my drawings are only stepping stones to the end product but this one worked so well it didn't need much tweaking... except for positioning and doubling the wire on the perch and adding some feet to the little bird to balance on.

Here are the steps I took to make some of the components given in my soup into a 'conglomerate' focal. You can click on the photo to get a larger view, but hit the back button to come back to this page. I used the piece of bamboo for the perch and added a twisted wire bail to complete it.



Now I had to figure out how to showcase this focal. I thought since the focal was a rather large 'focal' point I didn't want to distract from it with competing large beads so I sadly had to put aside the green beads Jayne sent. She couldn't remember what these were but I think I have identified them as Aventurine. Since green is my favorite color I wanted to do something with them so after the necklace was completed I made this bracelet.


I added some Sea Blue faceted quartz beads and used the silver beads Jayne had included as well as a few coordinating ones from my own stash. I like the raw natural shape of the Aventurine next to the faceted blue quartz, it makes a great contrast and can go casual or dressy. (to those following the Magic Carpet ride this is the "Something Green" I am giving away! ) :)


I think I went through every bead box and bowl I have and settled on using gray and peacock potato freshwater pearls in two sizes and rough cut faceted Labradorite. I had originally wanted to use the beautiful leaf clasp on the side but after assembling the focal I felt it would be too much. I was also going to do an asymmetrical look

with one strand on one side and three on the other but felt it would be too distracting and take away from the focal instead of enhancing it. Less is better, so I went with a mixture of silver bugle beads, the various sized freshwater pearls and the Labradorite ovals. To tie it all in with the focal I added two of the larger pearls of two different shades to the bead 'egg' in the nest.


So without further ado I present: "Swinging on a Breeze"




To follow the party Check out Lori's Party post here and take some time to visit all the mysteries revealed in Bead Land!







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48 comments:

  1. amazing!! there are just no other word to describe this! I love how you showed the steps in putting that pendant together, that was brilliant. You are a real talent, nice work!!

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  2. You are genius and your creativity is awe inspiring. The entire piece is so beautifully put together.

    Thanks for showing the steps you took to create that fabulous pendant.

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  3. I am blown away by your talent... such a spectacular piece and so creative. I love it and love the photo steps.

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  4. Wow - what a surprising (and lovely) end result. I expected to see something all turquisy - isn't it amazing how one small thing can lead the way. I LOVE the pendant. Absolutely fantastic!

    And thanks for your kind words on my blog. I appreciate it. Please come back again.

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  5. Could there be a sweeter pendant, I think not! I LOVE this!!! Such a creative design.

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  6. oh my, how darling!! Love it.
    Jeanette Blix

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  7. That pendent makes me want to scream!!! I LOVE IT! And I so want one! If you make anymore - I am first in line!

    Your photography is awesome. Thank you for sharing with us in such a delightful way!

    In Beads and Happiness,
    Suzann Sladcik Wilson

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  8. This is so cute. My mother loves birds and when I see this, I think about her house. You did such a great job using the elements that you had been given. I'm so impressed, congrats!

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  9. Thank you all for such kind and inspiring words. I always second guess myself and with so many wonderful jewelry artists coming to look at my piece just made it worse so thank you for that encouragement, it means so much to me!

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  10. I agree with all the other comments, you are just amazing and your pendant is wonderful!!!

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  11. WOAH! You did an AMAZING job creating that pendant!!!!! Holy smokes. I'm really in awe.

    Thanks for being a part of the party -- we'll do it again soon!

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  12. That cane out great! What a creative way to incorporate the beads.

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  13. this is fabulous! what a beautifully creative and artful piece ~ it's so much fun to stretch yourself...

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  14. How clever you are and what a beautiful finished design!

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  15. OMG! I love it!


    You are welcome to stop by for a cup of “Spring” soup on my blog.
    http://www.mariagrimes.blogspot.co

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  16. Love it to the 3rd degree! Now that's thinking outside the box! Such talent.

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  17. Thank you for showing the steps! This is really pretty and I'd wear it!

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  18. WOW! the pendant is great! I really like what you did w/ the leaves. the pearls are great, this is a beautiful piece. after I worked w/ the brown pearls you sent, I am starting my love affair w/ brown pearls!I like the bracelet you made too, nice colour combo

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  19. Very inventive! I love the swinging birdie idea, and it was nice of you to show us the stages in its creation. Love it!

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  20. Really wonderful work...it was fun having you share the process. Thank you!

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  21. Hey Kate,

    I love that you made two pieces and the I adore the birdcage -- luck you to receive such a challenging swap. This has been so much fun!!

    Emanda
    www.ArtemisiaStudio.blogspot.com

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  22. Wow - I SO love the pendant! That's awesome! Great work!

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  23. That focal is amazing! I love how it tells a story all by itself. Great work!

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  24. You are so wonderfully creative! I just love how you made that pendant - very inspiring! :)

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  25. I love that you included the steps. What a great idea. Thank you so much. Great piece.

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  26. that little bird is singing to me...love this

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  27. I love the pendant that you made from these parts! Very creative! Thanks for sharing!

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  28. What an amazing piece and thank you for sharing your thought process in the design of that spectacular pendant.

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  29. The is such a sweet piece, Kate & you were so thoughtful in your approach to the whole creative process. ....& the bracelet is beautiful... chunky!! :o)

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  30. Oh my goodness do I LOVE your pendant! Well done on this beautiful necklace!! And the bracelet-exquisite!!!

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  31. I think by far this is my favourite of all the necklaces including my own as well! What a lovely lovely pc you made and sooooo creative!!! this gets not an A but an A x 100!

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  32. What an amazing focal pendant you created!!! Incredibly creative use of your bead soup materials. Very impressive!

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  33. I love, love, love the bird focal you came up with! And I think its great that you came up with a second piece out of your soup :) I'm currently working on my second piece right now!

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  34. What you made is amazing! I love your creative thinking and how you turned it into something so wonderful!Just lovely!

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  35. Wow this is completely amazing, I LOVE it, it is sooo original xxx

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  36. What genius! I love the bird pendant, so creative and adorable! Love the gorgeous bracelet as well!

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  37. What creativity, I love all of it.

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  38. Clever, creative and very cool!

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  39. how very very creative...what an awesome pendant!! I enjoyed reading how it all came together for you..and thanks for sharing the process in creating the pendant. The finished necklace is beautiful!...job well done.

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  40. what a fabulous pendant you created! I also am grateful for sharing the creating process. It is so wonderful to see people thinking outside the box on this bead soup challenge. Great, great stuff!

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  41. Oh Kate - I want want want this. I recently bought some earrings that look similar, but they are "just" sterling, and very simple. I love how you used all the great materials to create this pendant. I really really love it.

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  42. What an amazing pendant! I love this so much!

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  43. WOW! What a fantastic focal - it is beautiful, and thank you for sharing how you made it too!

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  44. Love how you did this...it's gorgeous!

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  45. Awesome, what an adorable necklace, great idea! love it. My compliments to the chef.

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  46. this is an absolutely wonderful piece! thank you for sharing how you made it.

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  47. Oh my goodness, this is over the top amazing!!! I think I did a double-take, I was just so blown away by your creativity! This is so adorable and creative. You have a winner here...I just love it!!

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