:: A focal ::
:: Some coordinating spacers or beads ::
:: A special clasp (not just a lobster claw) ::
Although Margareta had shared her love of seraphinite, boulder opal, and turritella agate with me, I tried hard to keep my favorites a secret, only sharing my general interests in polymer and lampwork beads. I am excited by the energy of my Finland bead soup and the new beads now before me! I'm happy to say I'm completely surprised by everything Margareta sent me. I adore it all:)
My Bead Soup from Finland:
My bead soup from Margareta arrived the day after I mailed hers.
Amazingly, the Express package I mailed on a Friday actually arrived on Monday! (My package to Canada for the Pantone swap took 10 days instead of the promised 3-5 days). I had decided on sending two servings of soup and some dessert, so I created two coordinated soups to represent each of us: one bead soup celebrates Margareta's love of fossils and one celebrates my beloved tropical paradise home in Orlando. Here's what I sent Margareta:
Bead Soup First Course: Fossil Soup
I am so proud of the U.S.A. artists' work I shared in "Fossil Soup"!
The copper wire wrapped fern fossil is a Carboniferous era plant fossil -- the fern existed more than 300 million years ago (before the dinosaurs)! My dear friend Audrey Allen of Wrapped Up in Magic created the amazing pendant. It's beautiful and I'm honored the rare fossil pendant is now in Finland.
Likewise, I so admire the work of my friend Lisa Liddy of Metal Me This, and love the earthy, copper handcrafted leaf clasp she created. Lisa is always inspiring and delighting me with her beautiful metal work. I love how the etched leaf impressions of the clasp compliment the fern fossils in the pendant.
Barbara Lewis of Painting with Fire created a rich copper heart with colors of copper touched by the fire. I thought it was perfect for copper soup! And finally, I added cool polymer beads by my friend, the gifted Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf. I had originally planned on sending an almost exclusive soup from Second Surf -- and Barbara kindly said she'd hop this year through me -- that is, until my daughter saw Barbara's mermaid key focal and fell in love. So I gifted the special Second Surf bead soup to my daughter so she may participate also! (I'll post a special look at our mother-daughter soups later :)
The rest of the soup is faceted natural jasper, carved and faceted goldstone, freshwater pearls, mother of pearl, Czech pearls, boulder opal, and lots of copper findings as friend Tina Holden of Beadcomber suggested I include for Margareta's convenience.
When the turritella agate finally arrived, I mailed out another 3 day express package with natural ruby beads for the fossil soup and fantasy faceted quartz crystal beads for the tropical soup. It was nice to add a few more nice gemstone beads!
Bead Soup Second Course: Tropical Soup
The tropical soup was based on the lovely Hibiscus pendant by Tina Holden. She created it using her Hibiscus silkscreen and her new texture technique. You can see the beautiful pendant and learn how Tina created the 'crackle effect" using polymer clay in "Texture and Micro Urchins" on her blog, "Polymer Clay Bites."
It was tough to give the gorgeous pink, blue and purple pendant, but Tina showered me with amazing pieces of her art during our Pantone swap; I have another Hibiscus pendant in green and gold (with lots of beachy peridot, I'm thinking); and I really really really wanted Margareta to feel and see the bright colors and tropical flowers of Orlando -- Holden's Hibiscus focal is perfect!
I added seraphinite and the "unusual wood" that Margaret had mentioned wanting with Margot Potter "Your Grandmother's Crafts" vintage buttons. The pretty Amazonite beads are an ingredient in the Tropical soup.
I included many silver beads and handcrafted head pins. Margareta shared her love for boulder opal, so when I found "Jelly Pins" in "Hawaii blue opal glitter," I was delighted. Although I did include a boulder opal bead in the fossil soup, the jelly pins brought some "opal" to the tropical soup. The numerous varieties of Jelly Pins in so many styes are very cool. There are even glow in the dark Jelly Pins! I loved finding Amber's Etsy store :)
Florida's gemstone is coral, so I included my favorite gem, blue coral, along with pink chalk turquoise, carved howlite flowers, carved and pear amazonite, turquoise cubes and pink jade cubes, a strand of natural rose quartz, and blue crackle quartz coins and rounds.
I also included two beautiful Second Surf beads by Barbara Bechtel. Like Holden's Hibiscus, it was hard to part with the blue pink and purple polymer beads. But I'm glad to share and glad to have a "mother-daughter" Second Surf bead party coming soon! :)
I kept in mind the idea of creating bead soup for a best friend, and I like the many gems, beads and various handcrafted treasures in both the bead soup courses -- in my eyes and soul, a very good best friend's gift!
Our "funny or fun" bead exchange:
Margareta said she would include something "funny" in her soup. And thus, I have the fun lampwork bumblebee! For her, I sent along a little kaleidoscope filled with semi-precious gems that make the changing patterns and designs.
Our Rukousnauhat (rosary) Beads:
After seeing Margareta's beautiful handcrafted rosaries, I suggested we exchange beads for rosaries too. The BSBP6 is an international, diverse bead soup party & as such, no religious symbols are allowed in the soups - no crosses, no goddesses, no Buddhas, etc. -- so we made rosary beads a separate swap.
Margareta sent me lovely blue quartz and Mystic rainbow quartz beads -- sensational! The mystic quartz is a bead I've wished for; amazing to have it now. The rich blue seed beads are perfect spacers. I love my rosary beads.
I decided to mirror the rosary beads Margareta had sent me, gifting purple quartz & Mystic rainbow hematine beads. The mix of Czech iris seed beads and the faceted rainbow glass rondelles look like the mystic hematine beads. Our rosaries will certainly be beautiful!
I sent the BSBP6 dessert directly to Margareta, and the package is scheduled to arrive just days before our August 11th reveal. I'm tempted to share the reveal, but I think it will be more fun for Margareta if I keep it a surprise. Can you guess what it is? (Ok, click here to peek :)
So, here's my soup in a nutshell:
See you in August! ;)
Big Hugs, TJ
Toltec Jewels is an author by day and jewelry artist by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Fransisco MOMA in a permanent collection of mixed media art and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. Her store offers small sets of beads for creating one of a kind handcrafted jewelry. As a gemstone collector and jewelry lover, she is happiest when making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family. She has won a number of awards for both her literary and jewelry art.
She is also the creator of Jewel School Friends, a community of expert and new jewelry artisans taking inspiration from each other, Jewel School, and jewelry art culture. Join her at Jewel School Friends on Facebook for challenges, fundraisers, contests, free jewelry tutorials, coupons, tutorials, networking, give-a-ways and of course beautiful jewelry!