3/3/12

Welcome to the March 2012 Bead Soup Blog Party!


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 another picture of the beads I received from my fantastic Bead Soup partner, Melinda Orr:


With so many amazing beads to work with, I barely had to add anything from my own stash, and I didn't even use up all of them!

I am sure the design process is different for every one of us, and so I'll give you a little insight into mine in this post:

Originally I had wanted to create three necklaces that could all be worn together or separately.  This seemed like a great plan, but after starting to work on the designs, I ended up throwing that idea out of the window and instead created one earring/bracelet/necklace set and 2 other necklaces.  

Here's the first necklace I made, using the  lovely Sue Beads lampwork beads from Sue Kennedy, the sweet bird charm from Lisa Petraka, some of the amber resin beads, the handmade bead caps, some of the copper and the stone beads:

"Bird"

A close-up of the bird charm
Originally this was going to be the shortest of the three necklaces, and I wanted it to be fairly simple, which it is.  It is actually the one I will probably wear the most, as I tend to wear simpler designs myself.

The second necklace took on a life of its own, and it was during the construction of this piece that I decided to create three very separate designs:

"Forest"
I absolutely love the handmade clasp Melinda made, and knew I wanted it to act as a focal in one of the designs, and it fit perfectly with the beads I used here.  The coin pearls and jade are both large beads with the holes through the middle.  I wanted to show the height of these beads and not the width as much, so I had to come up with a way to wire them to "stand up", and here's what I came up with:


Basically I put a small length of wire through the center of the beads and created a simple loop on each side of the bead.  Then I created a kind of wire cage by putting a length of 16g wire with loops on each end on either side of the bead and wrapped wire around each end, effectively sandwiching the beads between the wire lengths:


This added heft to each link and gave the necklace substance.  I worked in the large hammered hoops from Melinda to break up the links.

The last design I made incorporates the beautifully patinaed components from Melinda, along with one of the glass domes and one of the beautiful photographs she sent:


The colors in the patina and the photograph are truly amazing, and reminded me of out trips to Rocky Point, Mexico.  For the focal I riveted the handmade bands Melinda made to the patinaed copper base plate, sandwiching in the domed glass piece with the applied photograph.  I knew this would be a long piece, and I felt that the focal needed more substance, so I added strips of antique lamp banding to the top and bottom of the pendant and used that to dangle some charms on the bottom.

"Rocky Point"

Then I started in on an asymmetrical design that features the patinaed circle and square links on one side and  wire-wrapped stones on the other side.  The necklace measures about 35", so there was no need for a clasp in this design.

I had tons of pieces and parts left over, so I decided to make coordinating earrings and a bracelet:



I love this set, and will be wearing it to church this weekend!


Melinda, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sending me such a treasure trove to play with in this bead soup.  I loved being your partner, and can't wait to see what you made with the beads I sent you!

Lori Anderson, thank you for being the mastermind behind this phenomenal event.  I know you put endless hours into making sure we are all taken care of, and I appreciate you so very much!

Please take some time to check out Lori's blog, Pretty Things, as well as the other participants in this blog hop:

Hostess, Lori Anderson Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer

1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)
21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs
32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)
41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)
76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
81.  Melinda Orr and Molly Alexander (you are here!)
83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)

72 comments:

Cindy said...

Molly, what absolutely stunning designs...and boy did you ever go to town creating multiple, distinctive pieces!! I love the fancy wirework and how you "caged" the beads. It's so hard for me to pick a favorite because I am really in awe of all of the pieces you designed!

Sabrina said...

Hi Molly,
Great work you did:) I love your style and the way you connected all the single parts....
Lovely greetings
Sabrina

roomforchange said...

I Love all the things you have made but the second necklace and the third focal are stunning!

Lorelei Eurto said...

Nice job Molly! Hey is that bird charm from Lynn Davis? I used something similar to that a while back in a magazine publication. Everything turned out great. Your soup was lovely!

Kym Hunter Designs said...

Very beautiful pieces! I love how you chose beads that picked up the colors in the metals.

Melinda Orr said...

Molly ~ Everything is wonderful! I love the bars on the center hole beads and the little dangles on your necklace & earrings! Thanks so much for being my partner~ I had so much fun!

Cece Cormier said...

Whoa. That pendant is !!!! And the earrings round out the set. Very well done.

Deryn Mentock said...

Lovely stuff, Molly! The colors are especially beautiful.

Kristen said...

Molly I already knew you could rock the seed beads but this set is just to die for. I have to say the bird necklace is my favorite of all the pieces. I knew when I first heard you and Melinda were paired that this was a perfect match for awesomeness!

Pam Chesbro said...

Your lovely necklaces are my favorite of those blogs I've visited. Stunning. I love your creations. The earrings are perfect!

Lori said...

so far, this is my favorite as I hop from blog to blog. You and Melinda were perfect partners

rockcreekcreations said...

I love the focal you made with the glass dome metal and pic. How wonderful!!

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

Molly - Seeing your beautiful creations made me ponder the question: "What is a gifted artist?" Is it someone who combines colors and textures in new and unexpected ways? Someone whose work tells a story? Someone whose work creates happiness in others? If this is a gifted artist, then this would be you. Thanks for sharing your talent with us!

Michelle W said...

Beautiful! I love all the metal work you used in the designs!

Moobie Grace said...

Adorable bird pendant...and your metal work is gorgeous...you outdid yourself for sure!

mairedodd said...

molly, you have incredible design and color sense paired with great ability and imagination - beautiful pieces!

Ann said...

The bird charm is just darling and you showcased it perfectly. The way you wrapped the beads in the second necklace is really clever and they look great. Beautiful.

Cindy Cima said...

You received a fantastic soup - love those copper elements!
I love everything you made - that focal with the glass dome is amazing!
Fantastic job Molly!!

Regina said...

Wow, what beautiful jewelry. You did Melinda's copper components proud. Love the necklace with the coin pearls and jade reactangles. Bravo, well done!

Tracy said...

Such beautiful designs and you made so much with your soup ingredients...I'd wear them all in a flash!

Lori Anderson said...

That pendant is AMAZING! Your work is so beautiful, and you keep finding ways to make me want everything you make!

I hope you'll join me again in the summer!

Jean said...

wonderful work!! Love seeing work "constructed"!!

Alice said...

Molly, there's so many beautiful pieces here! I love the rich colors and wonderful designs. Rocky Point is just stunning! No one will be listening to the sermon because they will be staring at your jewelry!

Marie Cramp said...

Outstanding!! Everything you created has such soul to it! I love everything!! Absolutely everything!

Jenn said...

Melinda did send you a treasure of beads, and you really created a treasure of finished jewelry! I simply love all those pieces.

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Such. Great. Pieces! Oh my goodness, Molly. They're all lovely. I think that the third necklace is my favorite though. I love how you created a focal from your components. What a terrific soup!

Patti Van said...

I had goose bumps looking at your designs! :) Your works of art are truly phenonimal! Gorgeous!

Wendy said...

Really beautiful designs with rich colors and textures! :)

Morwyn said...

All of your work is stunning, but I have to say I'm mighty partial to that little bird.

Cheryl Brown said...

You designs were all outstanding. You should enter them into the Belle Armoire magazine. The photos look like they are from their pages. Way to go.

Karyn B said...

Oh, everything is so fabulous! I love those clever wired "stand up" links, and the focal on that third necklace is smashing! Everything just works together flawlessly.

adlinah said...

That focal in the long necklace is gorgeous! I love the rich, earthy tones of all your pieces. What a beautiful job you did on all of them.

Barbara Lewis said...

You're a genius! I love all of them. How in the world did you dream up those awesome little cage things! Beautiful work, Molly!

Diane said...

Molly,
I don't know where to start...you worked long & hard on these pieces. The way you cages the center drilled beads was a unique feat in itself...and the clasp really is beautiful. Riveting the glass dome onto the pendant was really ingenious! Love those earrings too! You rocked it out of the house for sure =)

vonna said...

Molly, I love the 'Bird' necklace, and 'Forest' necklace, and the 'Rocky Point' necklace.. and of course the earrings! I just can't seem to pick a favorite! Maybe 'Forest' - oh I just can't decide!! :)

jojosbeads said...

Gorgeous, just gorgeous! Especially Rocky Point. Lovely :) x

WindDancerStudios said...

I really enjoyed the creativity you have in your pieces. They're really fun and still wearable, I love the bird necklace and how you caged the beads in the second necklace.

Jennifer Cameron said...

Wow! I can't pick a favorite. Each is unique and amazing for different reasons. Melinda sent you a fabulous soup, but you made it sing. Great job!

la mar de bonita said...

Molly, I enjoyed to read every detail of your designing process! You're so creative and talented and I love the finished pieces very much! Rocky Paint surely will be an eye-catcher at your visit in the curch!

Beads2Die4 said...

Well, I was gonna say Forest rocked my world and then -- Rocky Point --- are you kidding me?!!! Creating that pendant alone was an amazing show of creativity. Bravo!!!

Natasha said...

gorgeous, all of them, but forest is my favorite for sure--that clasp is to die for and i really love how you wrapped the stones and pearls. absolutely my favorite on the hop so far! nicely done!!!

Cillaw said...

Beautiful! Melinda must be so proud.
Everything is great but I just want to wear those earrings now!

jelveh Designs said...

they are so lovely...you made so many great pieces...

Jean A. Wells said...

Your pieces are stunning and you really made Melinda's handmade pieces shine. You did a beautiful job. I really love the way you caged the side drilled beads.

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Wow-what a gorgeous collection of necklaces! I am enjoying the artistic elements of the design; the colors, textures, different design aspects. The second necklace is my favorite-I love the color combination (that is what drew me in). Really wonderful work, bravo!!

B. R. Kuhlman said...

Your designs came out fantastically! I love all of those findings that have that patina finish. Your designs played off of that beautifully.

Courtney said...

From wonderful fresh ingredients, you can create amazing soup and that is exactly what you did. Beautiful pieces!

Your second necklace is my favorite, the colors and texture. Perfection.

Alicia said...

Dear God, Molly, you created some stunning pieces! It's hard to put them 'together' visually, but they might still go together :) I love each set - and I like how you have described your train of thoughts while designing the pieces. Gorgeous work!

Steph L. said...

Beautiful pieces, all of them - your wirework is wonderful!

LoriF said...

Molly, what a phenomenal job you've done of combining Melinda's beautiful patina pieces with other colors and textures. I especially love the focal you created for "Forest". Wow!!

SoulsFireDesigns said...

Oh Molly! I can't get over how gorgeous everything is! I am trying to decide which is my favorite... I think the second, the "Forest" necklace! I love green and it is just so rich!

Laura said...

Molly I just love love your jewelry
You have so many talents and I am always blown away
And I just have to tell you again and again: you make the most perfect loops out there

Stacey said...

Molly - you are so extremely talented! Love all of these pieces, the color the warmth, the textures, just beautiful!

Loris Glassworks said...

I love all your designs, but my favorite is the Rocky Point necklace. You captured the spirit and colors of Mexico perfectly. I would love to wear this piece on my next adventure to Mexico.
Cheers!
Lori D.

Maneki said...

Beautiful jewellery! Love your designs, and not least the little details like how you wired those centre-drilled beads in the 'Forest' necklace. Fab job!

Pelima Jewellery Design said...

Beautiful. They are have a real rustic feel.

Bobbie said...

They're all so beautiful and rich looking -- I really like how you solved the engineering problem of getting the pearls and jade to be oriented the way you wanted. So clever!

Heidi at MyBeadTherapy said...

Wow - these are stunning designs! Truly beautiful!

Kat BM said...

wow, lots of jewelry out of your soup! but I love how you made it all organic, almost ethic looking. Love the wraps.. course I love wire!

Rachel said...

SO COLORFUL! Beautiful!

crafty1 said...

beautiful beads to play with, LOVED what you did with them.

Shaiha said...

I really like how you used the coin pearls. That is such a unique idea. And that necklace 'Rocky Point' is simply stunning. I love the focal.

Cynthia said...

Very lovely, I like the one with the bird the best, but they are all stunning.

Karen Vincent said...

Wow!! Beautiful creations!! I love all of them. Especially the bird necklace with the copper beads - gorgeous earthy piece. Adore those cute earrings too! Great job!

Sandi Volpe said...

Beautiful pieces, love all the wire work and riveting.

CraftyHope said...

I love them ALL! Ohmygoodness, you really created some amazing pieces. I'm fascinated with the way you wired those beads in the second necklace (probably my favorite). They really work and how ingenious of you! Wonderful, wonderful work all around!

Rebecca said...

Beautiful! I love all the colours and textures!

Michelle said...

Amazing! I love "Rocky Point" The focal you created is so gorgeous!

Charlie said...

What beautiful creations. You did a fantastic job with your soup. I love how colorful your pieces are and I love how each one is very distinctive.

Kari Carrigan said...

Just beautiful work! I honestly couldn't pick a favorite! So creative!

dreaminofbeads / SAS Jewelry Designs said...

Your pieces are so inspiring...I just love the fun colors and designs. Your are truly talented, the way you "caged" those beads is amazing!
Sonya

Lisa Michele Creations said...

Beautiful pieces...love your style!