From the monthly archives: February 2011
Today is the reveal of the Bead Soup Party, where everyone shows how they turned bead soup into jewellery. Here’s the information on it:
What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?

 Each beader was paired up with another jewelry designer and tasked with sending the following:

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

Using the focal and the clasp was mandatory, but we could use anything from our own stash to round out the rest, and choose to use the coordinating beads or not.

Here is my soup from Rue’s Daftique:

Earth tones are really outside of what I usually do, and yet whilst I was using the materials Laurel sent, I found out that they’re wonderful to work with, as was the chunky, unsoldered chain. I matched the green and brass beads with some purple Picasso czech glass tabs that have been waiting around, seemingly for this project, because as soon as I put them with the other beads, it just looked right. On the other side, I made small sections of nugget and brass beads with crimps and beading wire, and connected them with chain, before adding more loops of chain around the beads to ‘capture’ them and add movement. Finally, because the necklace is asymmetrical, I thought making the clasp connect right to the centre of the piece would work, acting like an arrow into the focal pendant. 3 pics follow:

After making the finished piece, I have to say, truthfully, that working with the brass chain and beads was awesome. I really have developed a love for the material, whilst Laurel’s handmade focal pendant just reaffirmed how much I love the range of beautiful things you can create with polymer clay.

I feel like this bead soup did what it was supposed to; it took me out of my comfort zone, gave me a chance to try, and appreciate, materials I’d never worked with before, and resulted in a piece that made me smile. Mission accomplished, Bead Soup Party.

Come see what the rest made! 

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life 
3.  Michelle Heim, Life In the Bead Lane 
4.  Lisa Petrillo, Lucid Moon Studio
5.  Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
6.  Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
7.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
8.  Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
9.  Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto
10.  Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio

11.  Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
12.  Rachel Walsh, Balanced Crafts
13.  Marian Hertzog, M’s Place
14.  Mary McGraw, MK’s Musings
15.  Sarabeth Burke, Chronicles of Sarita
16.  Deci Worland, Gem Trails 
17.  Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
18.  Laura Zeiner, Stick Lizard Designs
19.  Kristin Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
20.  Cathryn Brooks-Williams, Chile Cats

21.  Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
22.  Janna Harttgen, Palima-Lim 
23.  Libby Leuchtman, Libby Leu
24.  Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
25.  Deb Hunter, Living On Air
26.  Diana Ptaszynski, Suburban Girl Studio
27.  Jennifer VanBenschoten, VanBeads 
28.  Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
29.  Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
30.  Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul

31.  Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie’s Sammelsurium
32.  Patricia Gasparino, My Life Under the Bus
33.  Tari Khars, Pearl and Pebble
34.  Kristi Bowman-Gruel, Kristi Bowman Design
35.  Jayne Capps, Mama’s Got to Doodle
36.  Becky Fairclough, Chameleons Designs
37.  Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead & Metal Works
38. Lynne Bowland, Islandgirl’s Insights
39.  Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
40.  Lorelei Eurto, Inside the Studio

41.  Stacy Hartis, Sissy & Jack’s
42.  Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
43.  Marcie Abney, La Bella Joya 
44.  Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
45.  Nan Emmett, Spirit Rattles 
46.  Melissa Mesara, One Eared Pig  
47.  Amanda Davie, Articulations
48.  Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady
49.  Virginia Joste, ViviBijoux

50.  Andrew Thornton, The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
51.  Lori Dorrington, Lori’s Glassworks
52.  Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
53.  Kate Gardenghi, Tropical Blonde
54.  Serena Trent, PinkIce Jewel’s Blog
55. Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin de Koning
56.  Shai Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
57.  Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio 
58.  Amy Freeland, Copper Diem
59.  Lisa Liddy, Joolz By Lisa

60.  Sandi Lee James,  Do Be Do Bead Do
61.  Mary Harding, Mary Harding Bead Blog 
62.  Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
63.  Leslie Gidden, Mad Maggie Designs
64.  Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
65.  Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
66.  Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.
67.  Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash
68.  Laurel Steven, Rue’s Daftique
69.  Ingrid McCue, Wrapped In Silver

70.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
71.  Diana Hawkey, Diana Hawkey
72.  Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
73.  Jeanette Ryan, Jeanette Blix
74.  Jackie Ryan, Silver Lodge Gems
76.  Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium 
77.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art 
78.  Jana Trupovniece, Stories of the Secret Garden  
79.  Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

80.  Emma Thomas, Fred Beans Nook
81.  Karen Zanco, Everyday Gypsy
82.  Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
83.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
84.  Dana James, Dana’s Jewelry Designs
85.  Kristina Johansson, Wild Roses and Blackberries
86.  CJ Bauschka, CJ Bauschka
87.  Angela Barribea, Re: Angela Rae
88. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
89.  Tanya Floyd, Glass Migrations

90.  Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
91.  Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous 
92.  Jenni Connolly, Jenni’s Bead 
93.  Nally Parfyonova, Nally’s Creations 
94.  Karyn White, Releases By Rufydoof  
95. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia Studio 
96.  Sandy Richardson, Sandy’s Coloring Box
97.  Cindy Dolezal,  Cindy Dolezal Designs 
98.  Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
99. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads

101.  Nicole Valentine-Rimmer, N. Valentine Studio
102.  Jacinta Meyers, Jamberrysong’s Creations 
104.  Rubiee Hayes, Glitter and Keys Galore
105.  Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
106.  Elizabeth Freeman, Turquoise Sky
107.  Shelby Foxwell, Sundown Bead Designs Rhetoric
103.  Charlene, Gray Girl Studios
108.  Lynda Moseley, Diva Designs
109.  Grace Danel,  Grace Beading
110.  Lois Moon, Que Onda Quitman

111.  Agnes Shapiro, Beader Bubbe 
112.  Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo 
113.  Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
114.  Mary Ellen Parker, Bee Tree By Me
115. Barbara Bechtel, Second Surf
116.  Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
117. Alice Craddick, Alice’s Beads and Baubles 
118.  Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie 
119.  Ronda Adams, The Ravished Heart 
120.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs 

121. Anna Lear, The Laughing Raven 
122. Susie Hibdon, Vintagesusie & Wings  
123.  Amanda Austin, Sea Shore Glass 
124.  Jennifer Velasquez, Jen Judd Rocks 
125.  Hazel Ward, All Those Things **(ME – you’re here now!)**
126.  Brenda Salzano, Salzanos 
127.  Dee Gordon, Runako Designs by Dee 
128.  Anna Denisova, Anita-M 
129.  Margaret Saari, Mags-Jewelry

130.  Genea Crivello-Knable, Genea Beads 
131.  Penny Neville, Copper Penny
132.  Angela Blasingame, Hopemore
133. Helena Fritz, Beadwork by H’s Blog
134. Stephanie LaRose, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
135. Stephanie Haussler, PixyBug Designs
136. Diane Cook, Rosa & Josies  
137.  Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
138.  Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by J.P.
139.  Shannon Chomanczuk, For My Sweet Daughter

140.  Lisa Godfrey, Bead Happy
141.  Heather Pyle, Welcome to My  Muse
142.  Regina Santerre, Regina’s Writings
143.  Liz DeLuca, Creative Arty Facts
144.  Sig Wynne-Evans, Beaded Bear’s Nonsense
145.  Loretta Carstensen, Loretta’s Boutique
146.  Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads 
147.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul 
148.  Shelly Graves, Stars Dance With Me  
149.  Jess Italia Lincoln, Vintaj Blog 

150. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
151.  Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
152.  Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
153.  Katarzyna Kwiatkowska, Quiet Area 
154.  Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
155. Magdalena Sikora, Poranna Gazeta
156.  Nicole Keller, Nicki’s Reef
157.  Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
158.  Noemi Baena, Fire, Metal, and Color 
159. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman 

160.  Barbara Blaszczyk, Labotorium Flory
161.  Collette Collins, Firefly Myst
162.  Carola Greiser, Polymer Clay Shed
163.  Joanna Kopijczuk, Bizuteria z Filcu
164. LeAnn Weih, Summers Studio 
165.  Cassandra Watsham, Design by Cassandra
166. Anna Motz, Stunning
167.  Shea Zukowski, Gr8findings
168.  Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
169.  Lisa Boucher, Lisa’s Clay Happenings

170.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
171.  Alison Crenshaw, Beads by Earth Tones
172.  Dorcas Midkiff, Wondrous Strange Designs 
173.  Melissa Rediger, Sea of Glass 
174.  Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre  
176.  Menka Gupta, Menka’s Blog
177. Patsy Evins, Patsy Evins Studio
178.  Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie’re
179.  Suzette Bentley, Ellie’s Bijoux

180.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
181.  Lyn Foley, Lyn Foley Wearable Art
183. Natalie Schuetz, Natalie S Perlen 
184. Kim Hutchinson, Running on Ink
185. Haley Frank, Wide Eyed Smilin 
186. Grace Caputo, Suddenly Last Summer
187. Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp, Skye Jewels 
188. Erin Siegel, Erin Siegel Jewelry 
189.  Janea McDonald, Organized Chaos

190.  Kristi Evenson, Colie Bug & Co.
191.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
192.  Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
193. Whitney Lassini, Whitney Lassini
194. Nancy Schindler, The Rabbit Muse
195. Pam Brisse, The Blue Between
196. Beth Bricker, Vintage Sweets
197.  Ruthie Stickney, Rose Works Jewelry and Gifts
198.  Rose Noble, Lady Noble Designs
199. Karen Williams, Baublicious

200.  Claire Maunsell, The Next Bend
201.  Christine Damm, Stories They Tell
202.  Kerry Bogert, Kab’s Creative Concepts
203.  Wendy Blum, Sand & Sea Designs
204.  Juli Cannon, Julsbeads
205.  Jenny Robledo, La Dona Boutique
206.  Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
207.  Pam Krinski, Ewa Beads
208.  Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love
209.  Dana Jones, Dana’s Jewelry
210.  Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread

The next party’s sign ups begin August 1-3, 2011.  Don’t miss it!


A quick eye-candy post to show this new style of bracelet I’m obsessed with – I love watching sugar art being made, and just had to have a go at a ribbon candy-style bangle.

In other news, there are some some items in my Etsy shop.

In other, other news, I had a tutorial in the March 2011 issue of Making Jewellery called Polymer Poppy Pendant. I learnt a LOT from it – mainly that I hate macro-settings on cameras, and their desire to show every flaw *G*


Just a few signs that you probably think too much about polymer clay:

You snap your glasses and try to mend the bridge with a snake of metallic gold polymer clay before it occurs to you to get them mended at, y’know, the opticians.

You catch sight of your latest blue-to-purple Skinner blend and your immediate thought is, “That is so sexy…”

You condition polymer clay in one hand while you’re reading/watching TV/eating/in the bath (okay, I’ve never done that last one).

You pick up a magazine you haven’t read for 3 months, and find an actual skinner blend tucked between the pages (sidenote: you wouldn’t believe how much plasticizer had leeched off into the paper!)

Other signs of Polymer Clay Addiction


I’m sure that a lot of people who do any sort of creative work have had the experience of getting an idea into their heads and being unable to let it go until they’ve exhausted it, even if is blatantly not working. Yes, that’s right, this is one of those stories *G*

I’ve always loved the look of polymer clay mixed with alcohol inks, but seeing as the people who make the ones most used with polyclay never got back to me about whether or not it was vegan, I gave up on those inks. Then my desire to use natural products in my work (which is a bit of a stupid desire when you consider than my favourite material is a polymer…and thus, essentially plastic) collided with my desire to experiment with paint effects, and I embarked on a week long period of madness, during which I discovered:

1). I do not have an inherent knack for making stamped, carved or inked pieces. Other people’s efforts in this vein look distressed in the artistic sense; mine look like the person who made them *was* seriously distressed, and possibly did her in a darkened room with a rabid squirrel as her only tool.

2). Liquids with a high concentration of water are a no-no with polymer clay.

3). I don’t know when to give up.

At the end of this week, all my surfaces were covered with pooling liquid and half-dried scabs of my paint, my hands were stained, and I’d used a silly amount of nice white clay for something that ended up disappointing odd. I’m not giving up though (see point 3) – there is a tiny glimmer of prettiness lurking in the idea, and it will be nurtured as soon as I can face anything paint-like again. I daren’t go looking to see if this has been done before, partly because that would mean the experiment of stupidity could have been shortened. partly because I can’t bear to read about stuff that I can’t currently bear to do.

So can you guess what the ‘paint’ is?

Yup, it’s beetroot juice. Beetroot juice mixed with liquid fimo (turns orange), beetroot juice mixed with Pearl-Ex powders (lovely colours, needs work to keep it *on* the clay), and neat beetroot juice (sporadic patterns, can be pretty). Also, the best way to apply it is by letting soak about 40 seconds in a capful of beetroot and mica powders. Any longer and the clay cracks.

By the way, here are the ‘best’ of the experiments:


Yesterday, my Bead Soup parcel from Laurel Steven came, and my response was pretty much ‘Wow’. Here’s a picture of what my lovely soup partner sent:

I’m no good at recognising stone/semi-precious beads (the only ones I have are amethyst chips from two years ago!), but whatever they are specifically, these creamy-tan nugget beads and green rounds are stunning; they feel lovely and weighty in the hand, and have beautiful subtle colour variations. Accompanying them are little brass fillegree beads (to the right) and some pretty green glass beads too, as well as a length of brass chain, a handmade brass clasp (seen in the centre of the brass spacer beads), and best of all, a stamped heart focal. Most of the materials are ones I haven’t worked with before, and to be honest, they’re awesome; I completely understand the attraction of Vintaj and Trinity now that I have brass in my hands (feel free to laugh at me if it’s not brass but something else – whatever it is, I love it) *G* Thanks Laurel

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