Bead Soup – 3rd Reveal is HERE!!

At long last, the third reveal of the 2013 Bead Soup Blog Party is here! We postponed it twice, due to the illness of our wonderful hostess Lori Anderson, and I am so excited to finally be able to share with you my first experience with this wonderful blog party.

Bead Soup Reveal

This is my first time participating in the popular Bead Soup Blog Party, and I was paired up with the very wonderful Michelle Buettner, whose work I have admired since long before she became my BSBP partner. You can read more about the wonderful items she sent me in my first BSBP post and about the things I sent her in her first BSBP blog post. If you aren’t familiar with the BSBP, the idea is that partners send each other beads, a focal and a clasp (more if you want to) and each one has to make at least one piece from what they’re sent. I’ll admit that I am extremely excited to see what Shel created with the things I sent her!!

So without further ago, here’s my piece:




Most of the things that went into this necklace were part of the soup that Michelle sent me – I only used a few things out of my own stash. I was really nervous about using resin on the focal, because it’s one of two things we’re required to use out of the things we’re sent (the other is the clasp), so I had no idea what I’d do if I messed it up. But it all came together just fine – I stamped a small piece of scrap copper with the word “see” and captured it in resin in the open bezel on the focal. I was really, really happy with how it turned out. Then I made up chain links out of the clay beads and the Czech glass beads teamed up with the copper rounds and flower jasper rondelles. Between each of those links, I used three copper jump rings for substance and to keep the links from kinking. I finished the necklace with Michelle’s copper-plated chain, then added some of my own copper rolo chain for a little extra visual weight. I really love the two of them together! Michelle’s clasp rounds out the length, although at 35″, this is plenty long enough to go over the wearer’s head without a clasp.

Then I decided to try using some of the recycled sari silk from the soup as an accent. I have never used textiles in my work, because I’m concerned about colorfastness and durability, but I was determined to get over that fear this time! I paired up some deep chocolate brown silk with two short lengths of teal colored waxed linen cord (also from the soup! Michelle was so generous!) and knotted them randomly at the top or bottom of the larger link sections. I used my fingers to “shred” the silk and make it look a little more ragged and rustic – the pops of teal thread against the silk are pretty cool, and I can totally see myself using textiles in my pieces in the future.

The only bad moment I had was when I quickly dipped the finished piece into some Novocan black to take the shine off the copper wire and the copper rounds. The necklace was in there for just a second or two, but when I pulled it out, the dyes on the big clays beads was running. Oh no!! It never occurred to me that they hadn’t been sealed (lesson learned!) so I rinsed them thoroughly and quickly dried them off. Although I lost some of the original color, I sealed everything with Renaissance Wax and the more muted colors wound up working really well with the piece.

Finally, I made a pair of earrings using Michelle’s bead caps, head pins and fun ear wires, with the addition of two honey-colors glass beads.



These don’t “match” the necklace, but they are certainly complimentary and I love, love, love Michelle’s earwires!!

So there you have it – my first Bead Soup Blog Party! Head on over to Lori’s for a complete list of participants in this third reveal – there’s lots to see just by hopping around. But whatever you do, be sure to check out Michelle’s blog – I can’t WAIT to see what she came up with!!

31 replies
  1. Michelle Buettner
    Michelle Buettner says:

    Oh my goodness – your necklace and earrings are so fabulous that I got tears in my eyes and chills!! Seriously.
    I love how you added resin and the word ‘see’ to the pendant – it’s perfect. And you did wonderful with the fiber – it looks fantastic! Sorry about the beads ‘running’ when you dipped them. I would have never thought of sealing them since I didn’t make them myself,….good to know and thanks for the ‘heads up’ on that! Won’t be dipping those in LOS or anything of the sort any time soon, that’s for sure! LOL!! And those earrings – yep, I LOVE them!! So cool. So very, very cool. Your photos are super, too – as always!! I hope you had fun and still have stuff left over to play with!! Thanks for being a wonderful partner. You’ve made this Bead Soup Party ultra-fun!! **hugs** ~Shel~

  2. Alenka
    Alenka says:

    Beautiful necklace and earrings! I like that you got over your fear of using textiles, the recycled sari silk fits perfectly in the whole picture!

  3. sandi m
    sandi m says:

    Perfect balance of beads+chain+fibers = beautiful!
    I agree about using fibers in general; will it stand the test of time? Your workmanship is impeccable. Great job!

  4. Sherry
    Sherry says:

    Oh Checky, I really enjoy seeing your creations and studying every little detail. Having done a few creative things in the past, I can identify with your joy and satisfaction … and sometimes, “how did I do this … thank you Lord”. Love, Sher

  5. Becky Pancake
    Becky Pancake says:

    Francesca Your necklace is beautiful. Your resin made the focal even better. Kudos for adding the fiber. The turquoise fiber makes the pink pop. Your earrings are very creative.

  6. Michi
    Michi says:

    Beautiful pieces, Francesca! I love the colours you used in your necklace and those tiny sari silk knots – a really great idea to give the necklace some accents!

  7. Rebecca Sirevaag
    Rebecca Sirevaag says:

    Love your necklace in particular. I would have been terrified to use the resin on the pendant! Kudos to you for going for it.
    I’m not one to use fiber in jewelry, but it has slowly been creeping into my work. I used a ribbon in one of my bracelets this time around for the reveal. I like how you used it- lightly and just to add depth. Good work!

  8. Patty Johnson
    Patty Johnson says:

    All your pieces are really lovely…I especially like the necklace with silk. Fantastic job with your soup!

  9. Penny
    Penny says:

    Wow that pendant came up amazing. Gorgeous necklace. I’d wear those earrings in a blink of an eye too! Must say your photography is top-notch.

  10. CraftyHope
    CraftyHope says:

    That necklace is just YUMMY! I love all the little accents you gave it and how much thought you put into it because it really shows! And those earrings are just too cute. They make me think of ice cream cones.. .ha!


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