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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Jewelry Designer's Event of the Year Is Here - Lori Anderson's Bead Soup 2014

I have participated in this event for the last five parties and let me tell you, it is the event that I look forward to every year.

"What is Bead Soup?" you ask.  This is the concept of Lori Anderson.    It is open to anyone that wants to participate and after sign ups are closed, jewelry designers are paired.  They send a soup to their partner, which has to include a focal and a nice clasp, but may include (and most often does) additional supporting beads and components.  Each partner creates jewelry from the soup they receive, they have to use the focal and the clasp, but not necessarily in the same piece, and on a "reveal" date, all the participants post their creations on their blogs. 

We are now at the point in the 8th Bead Soup where partners have been chosen, soups have been exchanged, and we are revealing our soups, both what we sent and what we received, and introducing our partners.

I would like to introduce my partner.  This year I was partnered with Ginger Davis Allman.  She has quite a famous blog known as the The Blue Bottle Tree.  I am so excited and happy and proud and honored and ......well you get it.....  I think we were paired by the universe through Lori somehow.  Amazingly enough, I had seen her work on etsy and last year in the reveal of the blog hop.  It was her first time to participate and after I viewed her reveal, which was gorgeous by the way, I got distracted by the rest of her blog. 

Her blog is amazing.  She must devote most of her time to writing posts and looking for material.  She is always hosting other people's work and believe me if you have any interest in polymer clay she should be the first place you look for information.   She is a wealth of knowledge on the subject and even markets some of her tutorials on Etsy.  She also sells absolutely gorgeous rustic headpins, connectors, pendants, charms and other components there.  After I learned she was my partner but before I received her soup, I drooled over the things in her shop and wondered how in the world I could have been so lucky as have been chosen as her partner.  You know, sometimes, the universe has a way of really putting you in your place.  More about that later.

We have been getting to know each other better and as she pointed out in her introduction on her blog yesterday, we have uncovered many similarities.

First, we are both from Springfield, MO.  I have lived in Kansas City, MO since 1990 when I moved here to become an attorney, but my family and four of my sisters and my brother, along with my Mom, still live there so I spend a great amount of my time in Springfield.  It is about 170 miles south of Kansas City - not a bad drive and we have driven it many, many times in the last 25 years.

We both graduated from Southwest Missouri State University in the spring of 1990, different majors, but we walked in the same ceremony.  We both left Springfield to pursue our careers in larger cities.  I went to Kansas City and she went to Chicago, but she has since returned to raise her family.   We both had dark hair when we were young and preferred darker metals and warmer colors in our jewelry, but now we both have gray hair, although I have had it much, much longer than she has, and now we have both found that all of a sudden silver or pewter metals and cooler colors look pretty good on us. 

Ginger received her soup from me before she mailed her soup to me.  She reports that she burst out laughing when she saw it.  I would soon know why. 

She sent me some wonderful polymer beads and pendants that she made.  A couple of them are faux glass, a couple
are faux biwa pearls and some nuggets.

She also sent a beautiful silver toggle clasp, a smaller round toggle clasp, and a fund teapot and spoon toggle clasp, along with a gorgeous victorian silver stamping.  There are miscellaneous glass beads, some ceramic tube beads (which I particularly love) and some blue freshwater pearls.  Another one of my favorite beads is a handmade lamp work lantern shaped bead.

Everything is very pretty.  Even though I had a wonderful and absolutely giddy time looking at it over and over and fondling each beautiful piece, once I started to think about what to do with it, I thought "Oh my God!" Nothing was coming to mind.  It didn't take me long to figure out that this was going to be the most challenging soup I have received so far.

But, that is really one of the main purposes of this party.  Of course, one of the great things about it is getting to know other jewelry designers that we may not have yet become acquainted with, but another one of the main purposes is to push us out of our comfort zones by designing with things that we are not used to designing with.  Ginger really, really, really understands that purpose.

She also packaged the fantastic soup in some charming handmade surcees made by Etsian Lynda Moseley, who sells a tutorial for making them in her shop at Diva Designs Inc.

The funny part that I hinted to above having to do with the universe being a real bitch sometimes had to do with the soups we sent each other.  I mentioned that I was drooling and lusting over some of her rustic or more tribal pieces in her shop.  Well, guess what!  She sent me a soup that could have been the twin of mine.  She called them long lost sisters.  I don't think they are long lost at all.  I think they are more like litter mates.

Here is the soup I sent her.  See what I mean? 

I am really looking forward to seeing what we both make.

I am genuinely enjoying getting to know Ginger better, I look forward to meeting her in person on one of my frequent trips to Springfield, and I am so thrillled and excited with the soup she sent me. 

Reveals are scheduled for May 3, 2014 so be sure to check back for the blog hop itself. 


Sharon Driscoll said...

Wow, what that freaky or what - are you sure you two weren't separated at birth or something? Beautiful soup.

Roxanne Mendoza said...

Great minds do think alike! Love the cool tones in the soups.

ps...the sewn pouches are so adorable. I wish I was handy with a sewing machine. I will have to check out that link!

Pookledo said...

What a gorgeous palette!

Sharyl said...

I've been in a blue and purple mood too lately! Can't believe you both added pearls in addition to your common color schemes and inclusion of flower-shaped beads! I can't wait to see what the two of you make! I admire both you so much!

Sharyl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ginger Davis Allman (The Blue Bottle Tree) said...

Gosh, Jean, you say the nicest things! I do think it's absolutely fabulous that Lori matched us up, especially since there's really no way she could have known we are from the same place. I've heard she has a magic divining rod for these kinds of things. I love your beads so much and I can't wait to get busy making jewelry. I just hope I can do them justice! I'm totally worried about that part, but the whole point of this is challenge...and challenged I am!

potterygirl1 said...

Really looking forward to seeing what you both end up creating!

createmyworld said...

Such gorgeous soups! I can't wait to see what you both come up with for the reveal!

Mags said...

Lovely soups! They really look at least half-sisters :-) I'll be back to see what you make.