I am so excited to be a part of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party again. This is my fourth BSBP and, for many reasons, I think this may have been one of my favorites.
One of the best reasons was my partner, the lovely and talented Michelle Escano of The Cabby Crafter Blog. I loved the soup she sent me! (I have to share something terrible- my husband deleted ALL of the photos I had on our old hard drive when he was transferring the data to our new computer. I had more than 100 photos of my work plus some lovely jewelry inspiration photos. He was so angry at himself that I couldn't even get very angry at him. I am in the process of recovering the photos I had uploaded to my blog, but most of them are just gone.) The photo I had of Michelle's soup was terrible and the picture she took was a hundred times better than mine, so her picture is the one I'm sharing with you.
Michelle's picture of the soup she sent me
Thank you, Michelle!
I was dazzled by this lovely soup- Green is my absolute favorite color: however, I normally work with cool greens. Which meant I got to work out of my color comfort zone, with just enough of my favorite to be passionate about the results.
I was excited about the pendant and I had an idea, but I was so scared! I didn't want to mess up the wire and have to figure out how to fix it... So I decided to save it for last.
Instead, I started with some fun and easy earrings. I chose the two big black beads in the upper left corner, because I immediately saw large and swingy lantern-style earrings. I used four different kinds of chain, copper wire, and green beads. Then I set out to have fun.
"My Paper Lantern" earrings
They are cheerful and I'm pleased with them. My sister, Beth laughed when I put them on because I generally wear dainty earrings, but she still thought they had a fun modern-tribal vibe.
Next, I separated out the warm and cool tones in Michelle's soup so that I could focus on the earthy warm tones for my necklace. When I had them in their little cool/warm piles I discovered that the 'cool tones' beads wanted to be a bracelet. I mostly tell the beads what I want them to do, but this time they were determined to do their own thing. So I cooperated.
"Caribbean Beaches" bracelet
I already had some handmade aqua glass beads which mixed nicely with the 'cool tones' pile of beads. I braided five strands of beads and added a starfish charm. I love the heavy, chunky feel of this piece- rather different than my normal delicate wire-work.
I wish I had lovely slender arms and hands to show my jewelry to the best effect! Oh, well. =)
After working with the bracelet, I felt brave enough to start in on the necklace. What I loved most about Michelle's amazing focal was the texture. The cool mica shift effect and the rich deep colors. When I looked at it I thought of rain-forests and trees. I wanted to give the impression of a jungle with vines and movement. The first thing I did was lay out all the pieces I wanted to string and then I brainstormed the best way to put it all together. I ended up deciding to create a rosary style chain to keep the focus on the lovely pendant.
"Gecko Forest" necklace
After laying all the pieces out, I realized I wanted something more specific to point to the life and activity of a jungle. So I wire-wrapped a wood back to the pendant and added a little gecko on a chain to the front. (Here's another reason that Michelle is so cool: I NEVER would have thought of just leaving the wire poking out of the top of the pendant. She placed the wire but didn't wrap it, which allowed me to create the exact bail I needed, instead of having to work with a pre-made one. Very cool and a special touch I appreciated so much!)
"Gecko Forest" pendant
After creating the entire necklace I was happy with it, but I wanted just a little more texture, a little more attention drawn to the pendant. My sister advised that I try a bit of chain, and I loved her idea. I fought and fought with the chain to get the right balance, and I am pleased with the result. The chain adds a vine texture and points to the pendant. Exactly what I wanted.
"Gecko Forest" necklace in action.
After completing the necklace, I still had a week left until the new reveal date. And I had a bunch of left-over beads. So I made another bracelet!
"Earth Shake" bracelet
I used the fun orange & green glass beads from the soup, and paired them with the chain of copper discs. But the bracelet just didn't feel complete. So I added the creamy braided ribbon to add even more texture. The bracelet has a lovely gentle jingling sound and smooth soft feel when worn. Beth said this one had a 'Bohemian, East-Indian, Bali' vibe. It was a delight to make and kind of seemed to create itself.
"Earth Shake" bracelet in action
I still have beads left, and I still have some ideas, too. I expect to share anything else I create from Michelle's lovely soup.
Thank you, Michelle! I loved your soup! To see what I sent her, and what she made, go HERE.
Thank you, Lori! You are an amazing lady, and my favorite internet friend. Thank you for your effort and time.
So many more bead soup designers! Don't miss out. For the entire list of Bead Soup Blog Party goodness, go HERE.