Saturday, 17 September 2011

Bead Soup Reveal - Lets get this party started!


Well it seems like a long time ago now since we found out who our Bead Soup Blog Party partners were and began swapping beads across 5 continents and 21 countries but finally the time for the big reveal has arrived. 362 reveals to be precise so this is going to be something of a marathon blog hop and whether you're reading this on day 1 or day 31, I hope you enjoy it and all the other ports of call along the way.

Before I show you what I've been up to here's a quick reminder of what my partner Julie Nordine sent me - a fabulous collection of lampwork and etched copper focals, Vintaj Brass, Silk Ribbon and assorted delicious beads...


The aim of the Bead Soup party is to stretch yourself by doing something different from your norm and whilst I do work a lot with Lampwork, Julie's selections weren't without their challenges for me. I'm a 'less is more' kind of person when it comes to jewellery design and my default setting for focals as beautiful as the three Julie sent me, is to hang them simply from a gorgeous chain or cord and let them speak for themselves - after all, who am I to try and improve such great work? For the purpose of this exercise however, that would make this stop on the blog hop pretty boring!

Akin to this is my use of fabric and textiles - or rather the lack of it. Other than using it as a straightforward hanging mechanism, I never really know what to do with fabric. I'm not that great with small beads either - I tend to use them as spacers or accents on earrings and that's about it.

When I set to creating these were the things I wanted to try and address along with one other that constantly alludes me - asymmetrical design which I love in other peoples work but, try as I might my brain always wants more order.

So let's get on with the show then shall we... As they were themed, my first inclination was to use all of the focals together in one piece, but I started to have so many ideas for each element that I decided to use them individually to create three separate pieces. The first of these is a necklace called 'Wood Nymph' which includes the etched copper oak leaf pendant and Vintaj chain and findings from my soup mix.

Click images to to enlarge
It's perhaps inevitable that one would think of woodland when working with oak leaves and acorns, but there's something about Julie's beads that quickly had me thinking about enchanted forests, fairies and things of that ilk - and that's not something I'm predisposed to by the way.


The weight of the focal on this necklace is held by a double rope of size 8 seed beads interspersed and linked with brass jump rings. The colouring on these is quite subtle and difficult to capture on camera but they are iridescent green and gold with pink flashes. The chain gives a decorative swag to the piece and the lovely gossamer light (detachable) silk ribbons from SowZere Designs add an ethereal, feminine touch that I imagine a Wood Nymph would have.

The inspiration for my next piece was a childhood memory that came to me when I first started shuffling the beads around to see what the possibilities were. The turquoise nuggets and the white pearls kept making me think of blue skies and fluffy white clouds and then as I shuffled, the tiny ivory acorn rolled into the mix and it hit me - sky and acorns can only mean one thing... So who remembers the children's tale of Chicken Licken (or Chicken Little depending where you hail from) who thought the sky was falling in when an acorn fell on her head...?

This piece is a bracelet which I've called 'The Sky never Fell" and in addition to the mini acorn focal, turquoise nuggets and pearls from the mix, I've added Vintaj rings and a clasp.


This bracelet has actually achieved quite a feat in as much as I rarely make and never wear bracelets with lots of little dangles on them because after about 10 minutes, all that jangling drives me nuts and I have to take it off. This one however has barely been off my wrist since I finished it - I just love it! The pearls tumble about in a soft, fluid fashion with the movement of the wrist and It feels very feminine - something else I don't do!


Now for my last piece... which turned out nothing like my original plan and is the one that gave me the most headaches - yes, it's the asymmetric one. I still can't quite get my head round this -  I think it works but that wire in my brain is still sending out sparks every now and then. Returning to my enchanted forest theme I've called this one 'Titania' after the queen of the fairies in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - hopefully it won't be "ill met by moonlight..."!


Here I've combined the large acorn focal, Vintaj clasp and silk ribbon from the mix with a matching Vintaj ring and chain from my collection. I've connected two lengths of chain with the tiny glass beads Julie sent me to create a broader chain which mirrors and balances the ribbon on the opposite side and I guess, sort of satisfies my need for symmetry...


Well, I've had a great time being part of this Blog Party - I've used up the vast majority of my soup mix and I think I've managed to meet the challenges I set myself. These pieces are very different from my usual style - a little more theatrical perhaps and I'm really pleased that I managed to achieve something different. It did feel a little odd at times but the whole point about being out of your comfort zone is that it's, well, uncomfortable -  but the stretch feels good.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you enjoyed the post - I'd love to hear what you think about my designs...Don't forget to hop over to Julie's blog to see what she's done with the goodies I sent her and then you can find the rest of the Bead Soup Party  participants in the list below. thanks again Julie for sending me such great ingredients to work with.

Finally I'd like to thank Lori Anderson and her helpers for the time and effort that has gone into making this a truly memorable event - well done Lori and three cheers for you!

Happy hopping!

Lesley




The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke







67 comments:

  1. Lesley..your three pieces are a triumph. I love the elegant simplicity of the Wood nymph....gorgeous colours in the seed beads in combination with the focal and ribbon. Your bracelet is perfect..I would wear it all the time, too.I also thought your ladder effect on the last piece was exceedingly smart!
    great use of all the elements.
    jenni

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  2. Wonderful all around Lesley! I think the Leaf necklace might be my favorite!!!!

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  3. I adore the acorn necklace... it has a very 1920s feel to it... just lovely!

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  4. Wow Lesley, they are beautiful, gorgeous, magnificant, I could just go on and on, but you get my point! All three are my favorite I will not pick between them.
    Therese

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  5. Lesley!
    You should be so proud! Your designs are stunning! I love everything! I just love how you made your chain with the beads and jump rings!! Perfect! and I love how you made a ladder chain in the final photo. The bracelet design is perfect.You soup is amazing!!!
    Cilla

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  6. Great pieces - I love all of them! But especially these wonderful bracelet - it's soooooo romantic!
    Greetings, Michi

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  7. Oh how I love all of your pieces! The ribbon on the first piece is so pretty. Love the drops and colors of the second piece. And the asymmetry of the third piece - beautiful!

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  8. Oh Lesley... all three pieces are just wonderful! It's so obvious that you put your heart into these designs... each piece is quite special, I can't pick a favorite. You did a fantastic job... I'm really proud, you should be, too! Beautiful.

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  9. I love them all, including the asymetrical one that gave you headaches. but my fave is the first - so airily divine.

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  10. I am SO sorry for being late -- today our internet provider decided to crash. My stress level is through the roof, to say the least! They're still working on it, but it's like dial-up.

    Oh you lucky duck, Julie Nordine! I have a lot of her things!

    It's interesting you had her and did less and more and ROCKED it! I love the ribbon effect on the leaf -- totally pulled it together. The mini acorn on the bracelet -- perfect. But that LADDER chain on the last piece -- WOAH. Totally in love with that piece. Gimme. (OH dear, did I say that out loud?) :-)

    I hope you participate again!

    Love, Lori

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  11. Wow! Your pieces are ahhhhmazing! The sky never fell bracelet? Dreamy! =D

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  12. Lesley! Oh wow, what beautiful pieces you've cooked up with this gorgeous mix! As you scroll down your post, they just get better. That last necklace, the asymetrical one? *LOVE* Yeah, it works. Well. :)

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  13. I loved reading about your process. After seeing the first piece, I was blown away. I love how you did the beads with the rings. It looks so cool! Then each piece after that blew me away. And with your asymmetrical piece, you did an amazing job. It's asymmetric but balanced like it's symmetrical. Fab job!

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  14. What a beautiful soup you made my friend, your work is truly stunning!! Thanks for sharing & all I can say is yummmmmy!!!

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  15. Ok...the bracelet I'm dying for! Awesome work!!

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  16. You are so lucky to have gotten Julie! I lust over her acorns. I love the bracelet with the danglies, so perfect!

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  17. Wow! All three pieces are just beautiful. I love the nymph and sky didn't fall pieces especially. Really, really nice work!

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  18. All three of your jewelry pieces are wonderful. However, I especially like the two with the acorns. You did a wonderful job with this challenge. Isn't it nice to step out of your usual routine every now and again? You really showed how great the results can be!

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  19. WOWZER you totally ROCKED this challenge! I love them all, but the last one has to be my favorite! I am in love with the fibers! SMILE!

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  20. Stunning work Lesley.
    The Oak Leaf is a showstopper. Clean, bold, and very wearable. It's a piece I would wear everyday.

    I feel the same way about jangly bracelets. The noise and fuss drives me crazy!

    BTW -My favorite comment from yesterday was your comment about my girl Lulu. Thank you!

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  21. Lots of really interesting techniques and ways to put the various pieced together, the use of the ribbon was really pretty and the way you chose to showcase leaf was beautiful.

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  22. I LOVE Julie's acorns and leaves and you played with them wonderfully. I love the look of the bow on the leaf necklace, flirty and fun.

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  23. Lovely work. All three piececs came together wonderfully.

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  24. Well, I'm just gonna have to gush a bit here. First, your use of the little brass rings between the seed beads is creative and unique. I adore that bracelet, the white just glows! And then the last piece, I had my face smashed into the computer trying to see that ladder! What an awesome design! You hit it perfectly with all of them. Congratulations!

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  25. Really nice work, I love the elegant simplicity of the necklaces.

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  26. Incredible designs! I love the bracelet with all of its dangles! :-)

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  27. Fantastic pieces! Love them all!

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  28. I love the colors, texture, and asymmetry of Titania, but that pearl and turquoise bracelet is my favorite!

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  29. I would wear each and every one of those pieces you made!

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  30. Wow, I would love to own each piece they are beautiful and well thought out.

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  31. Stunning! I really like the silk ribbon and how you used it on the first necklace!

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  32. HONESTLY!!! How can a person walk away from your post and not say OMG!! It is soooo hard to even pick one that is more of a favorite than another!

    How awesome and wonderful!!

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  33. I adore the "Sky Never Fell" - such a pretty and wearable design.

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  34. Wonderful! You have created three terrific pieces of wearable art. I like your use of color and texture, and the Wood Nymph necklace is stunning. Thank you for sharing your artistic process along the way. Cheers!
    Lori

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  35. That ladder chain - what a neat idea. Love everything you did with the soup, the acorns, the amazing ribbon, lovely elements of surprise.

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  36. Great pieces! It seems it was a lot of work. The beads you sent are gorgeous too.

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  37. They all turned out great. The leaf one is just right. Simple, yet drawing attention to that leaf focal. The bracelet is so cute. And I love the way you used small beads to attach the 2 lengths of chain to broaden it to match the lovely ribbon on the other side. It all ties together very well.

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  38. I am so sorry for being so late my computer was resisting too labor intensive:^)Very nice designs. And there is still time to sign up for the give-away, Just go to SandysColoringBox.blogspot.com Sept.16th blog and leave a comment
    Be blessed to be a blessing

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  39. Beautiful designs, as always! My favorite is "Titania" - I am in love with the seed bead ladder! :)

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  40. LOVE Wood Nymph! The ribbon really gives it that extra something. :)

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  41. Very pretty! Love the use of ribbon in the designs!

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  42. Gorgeous collection! Stunning bead soup. I really love the first necklace. The pendant is gorgeous (I love leaves-they are my favorite) and the ribbon adds a really beautiful touch to it. I also really like the asymmetric design of the second necklace. Well done!

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  43. Oh my my my! Such beautiful things! I don't know which is my favorite although I'm leaning towards the bracelet... then again I LOVE that last necklace... Oh such beauty!

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  44. Oh! I absolutely love your designs! They are all so balanced and well executed. That second necklace in particular is simply stunning!
    Julie and Andrea

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  45. Love what you did with the bead soup you were sent. I just adore what you did with the necklace! All of your designs are such eye candy!
    Soup-er Job!

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  46. Love, love LOVE everything that you have made! So creative, unique and beautiful. The bow off to the side is perfect - sweet and feminine but not too much. Very inspiring!

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  47. Oberon would be charmed by his Titania - and by everything else you created. Lovely!

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  48. these are pieces I would be proud to own!

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  49. Beautiful pieces! They are so unique & stunning - love them all!!

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  50. You made some super fun pieces.
    Love them!

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  51. I do like the use of the bow in your first necklace, and the double use of the chain (ladder) brings very interesting texture to the design of the second necklace. The bracelet, turquoise and pearls. One of my favorite combinations. Great Job! Thanks for sharing.

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  52. I love all of your designs! That bracelet reminds me of seafoam bubbles on the beach, and that first necklace is truly stunning with it's muted colors- gorgeous!!

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  53. oh! each one is so peaceful in its beauty. they each have such a strong presence in a soothing way. the leaf with the drops is just such a strong visual and gives a true feeling of fall. and the ribbon necklace is elegant and colorful in such a quiet way. i love the movement you gave the bracelet!

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  54. Really beautiful jewellery! I love the chain you made with seeds and jump rings in the first necklace. Colours are lovely in all of them. The bracelet is my fave: love the colours as well as the mix of shapes and materials. Fab job!

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  55. Beautiful work! I think you succeeded in reaching all of your goals. Both necklaces and the bracelet are gorgeous. Nice work with the ribbons!

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  56. Very pretty, I especially like the asymmetrical one. The ribbon is so pretty that way and the colors of the beads go with it perfectly.

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  57. Oh those are absolutely gorgeous creations! Beautiful!!

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  58. the bead and jumpring chain may be one of the most awesome things I have ever seen!

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  59. In the first necklace the chains and the double strand holding the focal create different ways that lighten the design. Well thought!
    Ambra

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  60. Some really delicious soup- I am fascinated by the last piece with the acorn- I love how you used the two pieces of chain and linked them with wraps! and the ribbon going 3/4 way around- wonderful and unique design. Your other pieces are fabulous too but I can't stop thinking about the last one!!

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  61. I'm glad I found you through sitemeter...I'm being very slow eating the soup.
    I love your pieces...the double row of seed beads on the first necklace is a very nice touch. Very well designed, I love this necklace.

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