Bead Soup Swap & Create 2021

After a long hiatus, Lori Anderson has brought back her iconic Bead Soup Swap Party, now called the Bead Soup Swap and Create. In this event, jewellery makers are paired up and send each other a bead soup which must contain at least a pendant, a clasp and a mixture of accent beads – the bead soup!

Signups were in January, and I was paired with Israeli beader Yocheved Chana. Sadly my beads have not yet made their way to Yocheved, although I am told by the post office that they are close!

Yocheved does steampunk-style jewellery and she sent me a mixed bag of beads and bits, literally!!! Random brass elements, some stones and evil eye beads, and all sorts of other bits and pieces.

A literal bead soup! So many different things in here — brass components including some steampunk bits and bobs, sew-on Swarovski crystals, evil eye beads, a few gemstones, glass beads, plastic beads, and more!

I was immediately drawn to the brass elephant head with its lovely patina as a potential pendant. I punched a couple of holes in the top to give it some stability when strung and added in a couple of the green stones and some long corrugated brass beads from the bead soup. From my stash I added some recycled glass Krobo beads from Kenya (given to me many years ago by a family friend) and some brass elements I had picked up somewhere along the way, as well as a little bit of chain. I couldn’t find a clasp in the soup I was sent so I made it long enough to pop over the head.

Another piece in the soup that caught my eye was a lovely faceted chunk, which I am calling citrine. I added a Green Girl Studios pewter wolf pendant and strung them on a simple leather thing with a knotted cord clasp.

Thanks to the pandemic my studio space has been taken over by my husband who is working from home, and my ability to get in there and make is severely limited, so these two pieces are it for now. Thanks for the inspiration Yocheved, and I really really hope your soup arrives soon (I will update her links once I have them)! And many thanks Lori for organising the swap and getting me inspired enough to make something for the first time in over a year!

Other participants (more than 50!) in the Bead Soup Swap and Create have posted their creations in blogs, on Facebook and Instagram and even on Pinterest. You can visit them all here:

Anastasia Urbanski

Andrea Garvens

Ann Snyder Rishell

Bee Kuhlman

Becky Pancake

Birgit Klughardt

Bobbie Rafferty

Bridget Torres

Candida Castleberry

Christina Hickman

Divya N

Donna Hoblit

Dorit Woldenga

Elaine Robitaille

Elisabeth Auld

Ginger Bishop

Heather Canepa

Hope Smitherman

Inge von Roos

Jackie Locantore

Jayne Capps

Jenny Kyrlach

Jennifer Reeb

Jill Bradley

Joan Williams

Jodie Marshall

Joyce Becker

Kate Dufour

Kathleen Breeding

Kathy Lindemer

Katie Nielson-Nunez

Katrina Baslow

Kelly Hosford Patterson

Kim Hutchinson

Lisa Baxa

Lisa Long

Lorelei Eurto

Lucy Clasen

Marianna Wehner

Melissa Trudinger

Monica Dockery

Natalie Ettinger

Natalie Moton

Pamela Traub

Raquel Rosario

Robin Reed

Rochelle Brisson

Sarah Beardslee

Shaiha Williams

Susan Kelly

Terri Gauthier

Terry Jeanette Carter

Valerie Norton