Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Introducing my BSBP swap partner

It’s Bead Soup Blog Party time again! This year marks the 8th BSBP, and there are almost 500 blogging beaders and jewellery designers from all over the world taking part. Lori Anderson has once again put in a tremendous amount of work to carefully pair us all up, no easy task! She visits each and every blog along the way, and the pairing process alone takes several weeks (and a lot of help from her family, thanks guys!).

The idea is simple. We are paired up with another jewellery designer, and we send each other a bead soup, containing at least one focal bead or pendant, a special clasp and some coordinating beads to make the soup sing!

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my swap partner for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party. This year I am paired with Sandra Wollberg, who lives in Wiesbaden, in Germany. And I’m thrilled!

Sandra is someone I have crossed paths with many times on the Bead Soup Café Facebook group, and in various blog hops, but we’ve never really been formally introduced before now. We both tend toward an eclectic boho style: she works with more filigree and stampings than I do, but we both share a love for Czech beads, and like me, she tries out different techniques and styles as the mood takes her. This is what she made last year for BSBP7, from a soup put together by Finnish beader Merja Sundström:

Sandra collage BSBP7
Photos by Sandra Wollberg

So, I needed to come up with a soup that might offer a bit of a challenge, one way or another. Sandra tells me that she mostly works with earthy colours, greens and teals. OK, cross them off the list, along with the brass stampings. In the end, I sent her a few choices, a couple of different palettes to play with. I hope she has a lot of fun with her soup!

Here’s a teaser — I’ve pixelated this with Lego Photo (a fun app I have on my iPhone) and randomly chosen the colours too!


The package is in the mail, hope the trip across the world goes quickly!


I’ll blog about the soups we’ve sent each other once we have both received them. The big reveal is a couple of months away yet—May 3rd is the date. Can’t wait!

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Giveaways and contests, Swaps and exchanges

Oh my!

Yesterday I got quite a shock. There I was scrolling through Lori’s blog post about the 46 (!) winners from the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party contest. And all of a sudden, my name, and a big picture of the bracelet I made from Jane‘s wire-wrapped piece of batik cloth, popped up as one of Lori’s runners up!


At this point, I have no idea what the prize is, and to be honest, the thrill of seeing my name and my little bracelet among such exalted company is enough! After all, with some 900 jewellery creations for Lori to choose from, what are the odds it would be one of my pieces!

All I can say is, thank you again Lori for putting together such a wonderful Bead Soup Blog Party, while coping with some pretty painful personal challenges. Thank you Jane for sending me a fabulous bead soup to play with. And thank you again to everyone who has commented on my blog posts about the BSBP, it means a lot to me!

And if you haven’t already, go have a peek at the other winners. There are some absolutely SPECTACULAR creations among them! Congratulations to all!!!

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

Here we are, finally, at the 3rd reveal of Bead Soup Blog Party 7! I’ve been waiting impatiently for this date for a couple of weeks now!

Just a quick recap, for those readers unfamiliar with the Bead Soup Blog Party. It’s a giant bead swap and challenge hosted by Lori Anderson, with participants from all over the world. This year (and it’s now a yearly event due to its size), more than 500 beaders and jewellery designers took part. Each of us was paired up with another designer, and we sent each other a bead soup, containing a focal, a nice clasp, and some coordinating beads. The rule is that you must use the focal and the clasp, although they don’t have to be used in the same piece. Then, on the same day, you and your partner blog about your creations! This year, a number of beaders without blogs also took part, using their Facebook page to reveal their work.

The earlier reveals were on 30 March and 13 April—click the links to find the lists of bloggers participating in those reveals. And you can also look at many of the creations on Pinterest here.

My partner for this BSBP has been Jane Pranata Lim, who lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. We’re practically neighbours! Jane sent me a wonderful bead soup to play with, showcasing beautiful Indonesian wood and glass beads and focals and a clasp she made herself. Here is what she sent me (the clasp is not in this picture but you’ll see it below):

Bead Soup Collage

Well, where to start? The first piece I made used that gorgeous mask pendant. I knotted it onto some red waxed linen cord, along with some of the lampwork rounds and glass seed beads Jane sent to me. I finished it off with some Vintaj Arte Metal chain and a simple clasp.

Mask necklace collage

The next thing I made was a necklace using the wooden heart focal. I knotted it onto a pretty blue and gold sari silk ribbon, and then strung some large-holed brass spacers and a lampwork bead from Indian Creek Art Glass with the colours from the pendant and the ribbon swirling through it. I finished the necklace with another brass bead to make a sliding closure.


Necklace number three used some of the cute batik-printed wooden beads. I had a red ceramic pendant in my stash that coordinated nicely with the red in the batik print (I think I got it from a destash lot, and sadly I don’t know who made it, so let me know if you recognise it!). I knotted them onto a length of green silk cord and used Jane’s sweet little copper clasp to finish it.


With Jane’s batik fabric, which she had kindly wrapped around copper wire, I made a wrap bracelet, finishing it off with a simple copper S-clasp. I dangled a cute ceramic pendant/charm off it which picks up the blue in the fabric. It can also be worn as a choker necklace.


I had plans to make more bracelets with more of the glass beads but I ran out of red waxed linen and Vintaj chain—it’s on order so I’ll be able to make them in the next week or two!

And then I made earrings. Four pairs of earrings in fact! This set matches the necklace:


This pair I dangled some tiny brass spacers from:


This pair uses some tiny Swarovski crystals to pick up the colours of the floral pattern in the glass bead:


And this one is my favourite, using a pair of beautiful batik wooden beads strung onto some green sari silk:


I have had an absolute ball playing with this bead soup, the beads are really fun! Thanks so much Jane! I only have a few beads left, as well as the steel pendant, which I plan to colour with some of the Vintaj patina inks.

Now, please go and have a look at what Jane made with the soup I sent her. And then visit a few of the 200 or so other blogs from the third reveal! Here’s the list, and you can also find it here on Lori’s website.

Adlinah Kamsir
Agi Kiss
Alenka Obid
Alison Sachs
Amanda Tibbetts
Amy Sims
Ana Cravidao
Andra Marasteanu
Andria Poole
Angela Perkins
Anja Schultz

Ann Sherwood
Anna Nordeman
Annita Wilson
Arlene Dean
Astrid Boyce
Barb Fernald
Betty James Hoppensteadt
Birgit Klughardt
Bonnie Coursolle
Brandy Thomason McNair

Brenda Sigafoos
Carmen Lau
Carol Wilson
Caroline Dewison
Cassie Donlen
Catharine Temaluru
Catherine Turrell
Cheri Reed
Cherrie Warzocha
Christa Murphy
Christina Hickman

Christina Stofmeel
Christine Hansen
Christine Stonefield
Cilla Watkins
Cindy Cima Edwards
Claire Lockwood
Colleen Vinthagen
Dagmar Liebisch
Dana Fowler
Danielle Kelley

Deb Fortin
Dee Elgie
Denise Milward
Diah Anggreni
Diana Gonzalez
Diane Valasek
Dita Basu
Donetta Farrington
Doris Stumpf
Elizabeth Bunn

Elizabeth Drake
Elizabeth Jones
Elizabeth Stolarczyk
Ema Kilroy
Erin Kenny
Evelyn Duberry
Fay Wolfenden
Francesca Watson
Gen Smith
Ginger Davis Allman

Giorgia Rossini
Hannah Annear
Heather Otto
Heidi Kingman
Ildiko Jarai
Iveth Caruso
Jackie Locantore
Jacqueline Keller
Jane Pranata Lim    MY PARTNER!!!!

Jennifer Davis
Jennifer Tough Http://
Jenny Vidberg
Jessica Klaaren Http://
Joanna Matuszczyk
Joyce Becker
Judith Johnston
Judy Riley
JuLee Wolfe
June Butt

Karen Mitchell
Kari Asbury
Karin King
Karin von Hoeren
Karla Morgan
Kathrin Lembke
Kathy Stemke
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic
Katy Heider
Kay Thomerson

Kelley Fogle
Keren Panthaki
Kimberly Idalski
Kirsi Loponen
Klaudia Tóth
Krista Quantrill
Kristina Hahn Eleniak
Kristina Johansson
Laney Mead
Lara Lutrick

Laura Guenther
Lauren Potts
Laurie Vyselaar
Leah Tees
Lena Adams
Lesley Watt
Leslie Wayment
Linda Kropp
Linda Newnham

Linda Younkman
Lisa Boucher
Lizzie Clarke
Lora Bright
Lorelle McIntyre
Lori Anderson    OUR HOSTESS!!!!
Lori Finney
Lucie Bouvier
Malin de Koning
Marina Dobrynina

Marina Kosovic
Marion Simmons
Marita Suominen
Marjolein Trewavas
Marsela Schroth
Martha Aleo
Mary Govaars
Mary K McGraw
Maybeline Tay
Mea-B. Uebler

Melissa Trudinger    YOU ARE HERE!!!!
Menka Gupta
Merja Sundström
Merja Syrjämäki
Michelle Buettner
Michelle Escano
Michelle Wigginton
Milla Hope
Miranda Ackerely
Mowse Doyle

Mrs M Makes
Nan Smith
Natalie Davidson
Natalie Moten
Natascha Marty
Nikki Banham-Hall
Noemi Baena
Norma Turvey
Pam DeBoer
Pam Hurst

Patti Pruhs
Penny Houghton
Penny Mills
Rachel Van-Walsh
Rebecca Sirevaag
Regina Santerre
Regina Wood
Roberta Fauntroy
Rosanagh Watson
Rose Johnson

Rosemary Cheslock
Rossana De Gaspari
Sabine Dittrich
Sam Waghorn
Sandi James
Sandra McGriff
Sandra Wollberg
Sandra Young
Shai Williams
Sharon Palac

Sierra Barrett
Silke Gröber
Siobhán Keogh
Stefanie Teufel
Stephanie Stamper
Sue Hamel
Sue Rennie
Susan Kennedy
Susan McClelland
Susanna Lehto

Suse Stelljes
Susie Hibdon
Suzann Sladcik Wilson
Tara Plote
Terri G.
Terry Carter
Terry Matuszyk
Theresa Frank
Tina Bosh
Tina Noonan
Toltec Jewels

Facebook Participants

Audrey Allen
Cindy Wimmer Muse
Cynthia O’Toole
Deb Floros
Debbie Jensen
Erin Honeycutt
Kaushambi Shah
Lisa Lloyd Harrison
Mary Jane Tanner
Valerie Tilghman

Beads, Markets

Setting up at a craft show (and another Bead Soup delay)

A couple of days ago I did my first craft show with my jewellery—The Handmade Show, a monthly market for handmade goodies. While it wasn’t a roaring success—I sold four pieces, all to friends—I was really pleased with how I set up my stall and I got some lovely compliments from people about both my designs and my display! So I thought I would show you how I set things up.

But before I get to that, I need to update you on my Bead Soup Blog Party reveal. Our gracious hostess Lori Anderson has had some pretty serious health issues this year and with great reluctance, she had to delay the third reveal by another week. So it is definitely, definitely going to happen this Saturday 27 April—come back then to see, finally, what I made with the beads that Jane Pranata Lim sent me.

Back to the show. The internet is of course a great resource for seeing how people display jewellery at home, at craft shows and in galleries, and I have a Pinterest board set up for jewellery display ideas to save images that I like (feel free to follow it!). I also wanted to keep the boho feel that I think my jewellery designs have in the way I displayed them, so I have been collecting bits and pieces here and there for a few months now. Happily for me, the vintage-y, boho look is quite in at the moment, and some of our local chain stores had some good props.

Here is a picture of the whole table, just before the show opened. My sign is on a little chalkboard—I have no banner as yet. The table covers are seersucker tablecloths in a somewhat lighter seafoam blue than in this photo (which has a lo-fi Instagram filter on it).


After I took this photo, I put a little blue bird (about 6 inches high) at the back, behind the display tray in the middle, with a bracelet draped across it. It had been moved behind the other displays by accident.

The tray in the middle comes from Kaisercraft, a local scrapbooking and craft company that has an outlet in my local shopping centre. Here’s a closer, although slightly blurry picture. It comes as a bare frame, which I painted with acrylics and lined with scrapbooking paper (isn’t the faux wood cool?). It’s meant to be hung on a wall, with interesting knobs to hang your jewellery from, but I think it works well for my purposes lying flat. I might have to make another one to hang on my bedroom wall though!


I found paper-maché busts at the local big-box craft store and painted them for necklace displays. I also had several clipboards lined with scrapbooking paper as necklace displays. That was an idea I came across on Pinterest. I propped them up on metal display stands I got for $5 at a discount store.


The earrings in the picture above are pinned using mini clothes pins onto one of those wire jewellery trees that are so popular in the shops at the moment. It worked quite well, but the other earring display I had was even better:


This was from a chain of hipster stationery stores called Typo, and is for hanging on the wall to stick cards and photos into for display. I first thought I could dangle each pair of earrings from the little hearts, but then I realised that my business cards, which double as earring cards, would fit in very nicely! It holds 24, although maybe it’s a bit crowded with one pair in each slot, what do you think?


Kind of behind and next to the earring display, I had a wooden mini-crate (also from Typo) which I stood on its end so I could put a small display of bracelets inside it and also one of necklaces on top. It also came in handy for putting all of the display bits and pieces in when I was carting stuff to and fro from the market. Did I tell you it was literally around the corner from my house? I walked there in less than five minutes! Here’s a picture of me all packed up and ready to head home at the end of the day.


All in all it was a fun day, and a learning experience. I already have ideas on how to improve things next time (I’m doing it again in June and August). Any suggestions will of course be gratefully received! Hopefully next time I won’t be right in front of the entrance—I found that people walked in and either turned down one way or another and never really came back to see me. Sigh.

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Bead soup tease

I’m posting this from sunny, still summery Perth, where I’m holidaying with family for the next couple of weeks. But as yesterday was the first reveal of Bead Soup Blog Party 7 I thought I’d update on my progress! I have been very busy creating with the wonderful soup that Jane Pranata Lim sent me, and so far I have made 8 pieces. I would have made 2-3 more, but I have run out of 2 ingredients, and they will have to wait now until after my BSBP reveal date.

Here’s a sneak peek of one of my creations! I love this Lego-ised photo!


I am in the third reveal group and I will show you all what I made on 13 April. In the meantime, why don’t you go and browse through the first group of 161 jewellery designers, who have showcased their beautiful creations today! Visit the Bead Soup Blog Party blog for all links here.

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Bead Soup has arrived!

I got a lovely parcel in the mail today—my Bead Soup for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party—all the way from Indonesia. It was left by the door while I was dropping the kids off at school and daycare, so I had a lovely quiet house to unwrap it, oohing and aahing to myself as I took photos.

My partner, Jane Pranata Lim, lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. She sent me a wonderful selection of Indonesian goodies, and a few bits and pieces she made herself as well. It all arrived in a batik-patterned box.


First of all, the focals. Not just one, but three! The most amazing is a wooden batik mask pendant. Then there is also a heart shaped pendant with batik motifs. And a stainless steel pendant of a “gunungan”—a symbolic representation of an ancient tree motif. Alongside the three focals above is a piece of pretty batik fabric wrapped by Jane with copper wire. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll use this as part of a bracelet or in a necklace, it could go either way.


The clasp is something I believe that Jane made herself, a copper toggle clasp. I can’t believe it though, I missed taking a photo of the clasp! I’ll take one tomorrow and edit this post, as I really want to get it out there tonight.

And then there are the beads! A selection of different shapes of wooden beads with batik patterns. And a long strand of Java Gudo beads, glass beads from Indonesian bead shop Manik Jawa, owned by another Indonesian bead souper, Lili Krist.


I am really looking forward to working with this bead soup! I love the colours, so different to my normal selection, but so vibrant and exciting! The mask is fantastic, and I’ll write more about the mask style in a later post. Funnily enough, I have always had a thing for masks, and over the years I have collected quite a few of them, from Indonesia, from Venice, from New Orleans, although I don’t have them displayed right now. Thank you Jane!

Now, would you like to see what I sent Jane? She has received her soup now, so I can show you:


I built this soup around the “Bollywood Daisy” toggle clasp and matching connector, which was made by Queensland-based ceramic bead-maker Natalie Fletcher-Jones (Peruzi). I added a polymer clay pendant focal made by Barbara Bechtel (Second Surf Studio), which was the perfect shade of yellow, and a second clasp in bright brass as well as a few tiny brass leaves. And I completed the soup with a selection of colourful beads in coordinating colours. Clockwise from the top left are flat rectangular Czech glass beads in white, purple and yellow, then some smooth organic nuggets of West German glass in yellow and purple, a selection of Czech glass faceted rounds and smooth drops in amethyst lustre, a strand of tiny Czech glass rounds in amethyst shades, and in the bottom left is a mixture of glass beads (might be Czech but I’m not sure) in yellow, purple, green, pink and blue. Finally, I wrapped the package with a length of green sari silk (not shown).

Jane and I will be unveiling our creations on 13 April, so make sure you come back to have a look at what I make then!

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

It’s Bead Soup time again—introducing my partner


A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for the biggest jewellery making blog hop of the year—Lori Anderson ‘s 7th Bead Soup Blog Party! It’s my second time taking part … click here if you want to see what I made in BSBP6!

The premise of BSBP is to swap a carefully thought out bead soup with your assigned partner, including at least one focal bead and a clasp, which must be used in the resulting piece(s). On the reveal date, everyone blogs about the soup they received, and the pieces of jewellery they made. This time, like last time, there are 3 reveal dates spread over three weekends—with more than 500 participants overall, I’ll be visiting blogs for weeks! I’m in the third group, and will be unveiling my creations on 13 April.

Early last week, I was assigned my partner, and we sent our soups off to each other .


This time around I am swapping with Jane Pranata Lim, of Cherry Eve Jewelry, a beader who lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. Jane, who is a graphic designer and mum to a 2 year old, in addition to jewellery designer, works mostly with wire, seed beads and cabochons. Jane’s blog Cherry Eve Corner shows some really beautiful wire-wrapped and beaded pieces! I’m really looking forward to seeing what she sends me.

As for what I sent Jane, here’s a sneak peek! I can tell you there are a couple of main colours featured and the clasp is quite special!


Come back in a week or two, to see what we sent each other.