Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

It’s (Bead Soup Blog) Party Time!

It’s finally reveal day for the Bead Soup Blog Party: Bead Hoarders Edition!

When I received my bead soup from Denise Milward a few weeks ago, I was sure I would use the big striped agate focal first, and struggle with the yellow agate pendant. But then I saw a Design Seeds palette that gave me the perfect colour inspiration for the yellow pendant and I ended up struggling with the striped pendant instead!

Just to remind you, here’s the soup Denise sent me:

Here’s the palette that inspired me — that yellow is just about a perfect match for the pendant isn’t it?

Palette by Design Seeds { flora hues } image via: @botanical_tales

I knew I had some amethyst in my stash of gemstones, and I was delighted to find a strand of faceted oval stones. As I was going through a box of mixed beads, I also came across a bag of vintage Czech glass rounds in that very same deep amber yellow (I believe Lennis Carrier gave them to me in a swap a couple of years ago). I knotted them on lavender waxed linen to make a very simple but striking necklace.

So once I got that necklace out of the way, it was time to tackle the big striped agate pendant. I fiddled around for quite a while, trying different combinations of beads, including the honey-coloured matte agate rounds and the tiny carnelian beads that Denise had sent along with the pendants. I added some ceramic rounds made by Natalie McKenna and some wooden beads that I’ve had for ages. Then I found some big agate beads that my sister had brought me back from Vietnam or Laos that provided the weight the necklace needed to balance the size of the pendant. But it still needed something, the colours were too similar. And then I remembered the turquoise turtles, and added a couple — and suddenly it all fell into place!

I made a pair of asymmetric earrings with a couple more of the turtles and two more of the painted wooden rounds. I think they’re pretty cute, don’t you?

And here are all three pieces together!

I still have quite a few bits and bobs from Denise’s soup. I think the embellishment Denise made from daggers and rounds would look great stitched onto a cuff bracelet, but the leather cuffs I have are not wide enough. Perhaps it would work on a denim cuff if I can get some darker denim. Stay tuned for that!

Thank you so much for the beautiful bead soup Denise, I’ve had loads of fun with it, and I’m pretty pleased with the pieces I made from it. I’m looking forward to seeing what you made with the soup I sent you. (Denise is posting on Pinterest right here.)

Somewhere around 160 beaders and jewellery designers have joined in this round of the Bead Soup Blog Party, and none of it would have happened without Lori Anderson. I’ll be spending much of my spare time in the next week visiting all of the BSBP blogs and I hope you have time to look at a few too. Here’s a list of all of the blogs — and the odd Pinterest board too!

Lori Anderson :: Hostess

Claire Fabian

Jennifer Strehler

Rochelle Brisson

Annita Wilson

Melissa Trudinger :: You are here!

Loralee Kolton

Valerie Tilghman

Mischelle Andrade

Elizabeth Bunn

Marianna DeLuca Wehner

Johana Nunez

Jenny Kyrlach

Elizabeth Hodges

Lennis Carrier

Candida Castleberry

Mary Govaars

Sandi James

Arlene Dean

Kristina Eleniak

Nan Smith

Nadine Edris

Denise McCabe

Donna Marie Hanna

Audrey Belanger

Nicole Rennell

Robin Reed

Gail Zwang

Terry Jeanette Carter

Donna Hoblit Ann Schroeder

Klaudete Koon

Veralynne Malone

Lorelei Eurto

Ann  Sherwood

Jackie Locantore

Mowse Doyle

Dorit Woldenga

Cheri Reed

Dolores Raml

Palak Udeshi

Laurie Vyselaar

Heather Canepa

Dorothy Supri

Sharyl King

Elaine Robitaille

Heather Marston

Terry Matuszyk

Andra Weber

D’Arsie Manzella

Sooz Anzalone

Karin King

Leona Smith

Tania Spivey

Jasvanti Patel

Danielle Kelley

Shai Williams

Jacqueline Marchant

Erin Kenny

Becky Pancake

Kelly Schermerhorn

Renetha Stanziano

Rana Wilson

Janine Lucas

Kelly Hosford Patterson

Andrea Glick

Joanne Bell

Sarah Strover

Sam Waghorn

Helena Hatten

Jackie Ryan

Bridget Torres

Inge von Roos

Krafty Max

Iveth Caruso

Rebecca Ednie

Amy Severino

Sandra Wollberg

Blanca Medina

Dyanne Everett-Cantrell

Samantha Wescott

Christine Stonefield

Silke Groeber

Alenka Obid

Lori Bowring Michaud

April Grinaway

Yvette Goodridge

Kathy Lindemer

Kathleen A Breeding

Joyce Becker

Pam Farren

Divya N

Sherri Stokey

Terri DelSignore

Kate Gonska

Jean Wells

CJ Bauschka

Bonnie Coursolle

Barb Fernald

Noemí Baena

Dana Phillips

Karen Firnberg

Michelle Escano Caballero

Natalie Ettinger

Valerie Norton

Rachel Mallis

Denise Milward :: My partner

Bobbie Rafferty

Vonna Maslanka

Elisabeth Auld

Hannah Rosner

Carla Fry

Terri Gauthier

Teresa Fischer

Tanya Goodwin

Barbara Judy

Leanne Loftus

Carrie Stalcup

Lori Schneider

Joelyn Bissing

Kate Dufour

Gail Poveda

Katie Nielsen-Nunez

Pam DeBoer

Dee Elgie

Judy Jacobs

Elisabeth Matouschek

Shawn Elkins

Sally Russick

Susan McClelland

Tracy Stillman

Robin Lynne Showstack

Marianne Baxter

Maria Rosa Sharrow

Therese Frank

Sandi Volpe

Leslie Scholz

Joan Williams

Laura Guenther

Liz Engriser


Bev Breisinger

Radel Vela

Kim Dworak

Carol Dillman

Alice Craddick

Janeen Burlingame

Leah Curtis

Ann Marie Hodrick

Donna Millard

Hajer Waheed Khalil

Lucy Clasen

Michelle McCarthy

Maria Rios

Babette Cox

Natalie Davidson

Brenda Ballou

Christina Hickman

Heather Gunther


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!