Monday, February 11, 2013

Bead Soup: So Good You Can Taste It


As I sat looking at my Flickr photostream in preparation for this post, looking at the pictures of my bead soup from Kristin again, i couldn't help but begin to imagine all of the wonderful possibilities. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I love these colors - the monochromatic coral color scheme, these textures, these shapes ... and I love that they give me an opportunity to explore my wilder side. Since I started doing the Art Bead Scene challenges in December I feel like I've gotten very familiar with the boho style aesthetic. Obviously it's hugely popular right now, despite the fact that I was largely oblivious to it. Ironically, while the Bohemian style originates from a region in Germany, I credit my Germanic heritage for the anal-retentiveness that guides my style choices, steering me away from the earthier aesthetic and techniques that the Boho style encompasses. Now I feel like I have an opportunity to jump in, because these are the perfect materials with which to begin:

My Bead Soup From Kristin

So, let's start with the supporting beads. Here are some neutral peachy, tan peanut-shaped seed beads. These are great for spacers, fringe, or to add to a beaded element. While I didn't want a specifically seed-bead-focused project, I am a seed beader when the mood calls, and these will be a fun addition.

My Bead Soup From Kristin

In the same colorway is a lovely selection of pressed glass beads. I think the golden shimmer makes them really special. They'll play a leading role in some way; for me, they're a little too big for fringe. (I *love* the texture and movement of fringe.) Whether they'll fit into my design using the main focal bead or clasp, or not, I still need to decide.

My Bead Soup From Kristin

In addition to these light peach-colored beads, Kristin decided to spice up the mix with a great selection of coral colored beads. Below, we have some crystal pearls. They have the bright colors and clean lines that's usually part of my trademark designs, so I have a natural affinity toward them. They're small, though, so I can use them as accent or fringe beads, which will help me avoid completely reverting back to my natural style.

My Bead Soup From Kristin

Kristin may have to correct me on these, but to my eye they appear to be a really lovely variety of coral and apricot colored rhodochrosite disc rondelles. These are a shape I always gravitate toward because of the dynamic way they can be used. They add a small sliver of color between darker beads when strung, they also work well as fringe - not only when they're strung vertically, but also when they're used like a briolette and hung with the hole oriented horizontally. If that's not enough choice to fill your mind with wonderment, then you can also use them button-style as an embellishment on a wire, beaded, or fabric base.

My Bead Soup From Kristin

This next group is a really fun collection of beads. Some barrel shaped, apricot colored coral; a really unique shape for this kind of bead. Again, these beads are going to have a central role in some way, given their size and color. There are also some really lovely coral colored baroque pearls. These are usually drilled through the center of the long side. I've always found that awkward in my work, so I've become really adept at drilling pearls, giving me a huge range of possibilities for these - using them as-is, or in new ways. In a biased, glass-loving-girl way, the sand-etched and drilled glass squares in coordinating apricot and coral have a special place in my heart. Kristin will have to tell us, but it looks like they might be from Taylor's Falls, MN? Again, like the disc shaped rondelles, these work great as really unique embellishments that you can use in a lot of different ways.

My Bead Soup From Kristin

At this point, as if I weren't already feeling a little embarassed wondering if I didn't send enough, Kristin also sent me an uber-sexy selection of silk and cord. Oh, the possibilities! My head is brimming with ideas. So. Many. Ideas.

My Bead Soup From Kristin

Like the purpose of salt in food, I've always felt that you don't properly appreciate the color in a piece of jewelry if you don't have the neutral tones of metals to set them off. So, here Kristin has given me a superb selection of antique silver and gunmetal spacers, floral end cones/caps, and the pièce de résistance is the love clasp. Have you ever seen anything like it? I haven't and I really admire the creativity behind it! Breathtaking!

My Bead Soup From Kristin

So, you've seen the clasp. You know what's coming next. The focal! And what a focal it is! A carved and drilled stone in the shape of a heart with four drilled stone pebbles and one drilled stone link. For me, these are the most inspiring, and I'm already imagining a bracelet using that link.

My Bead Soup From Kristin

Sigh.

I do want to reassure you all that I promise to do my very best to make the most beautiful jewelry out of these pieces that I can. I don't want to let you down. I will be revealing what I make in the second reveal, on April 6th. But, in the meantime, I'll still be blogging, and I'd love it if you stopped by from time to time. I'll be checking out the blogs of the other challenge participants, too! See you there!

Thank you for stopping by!

Julie

7 comments:

  1. What beautiful beads! Looking forward to your finished piece(s)!

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  2. Great blog...I am so humbled!!!!!! The faux beach glass and the Basalt heart ( from the shores of Lake Superior) are from my favorite bead shop. Taylors Falls Bead Shop all made by a wonderfully supportive owner...who gives 50% off business that purchase from him...his name is Jeff Plath.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TFBEADSTORE?ref=seller_info

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  3. What a fun soup! I've never seen a clasp like that before, special indeed. You've got lots of possibilities here, I love this time in the exchange seeing everyone's soup and designing in my head with them all

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  4. ~sigh...i adore the heart stone...a beautiful array of bits for you...can't wait to see what will come to be...warm wishes and bright blessings~

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  5. @Tanya - Thank you so much!
    @Kristin - I love Jeff's work. I have yet to be in the shop itself, but this is amazing motivation to go!
    @Cindy - right?!
    @Emma - I totally know what you mean. We all imagine what we'd make. That's part of the pressure to make something stunning! :)
    @brandi - I absolutely agree. Thank you! I love the positive pressure to make something amazing!

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  6. Stopping by visiting all the blogs taking part in the Bead Soup Blog Party cant wait to see what you make!

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