to the joyful fun of jewelry making
across oceans, from countries near and far,
as we join together today
to celebrate bead soup, friends, and our creative connections!
My Partner & Bead Soup
My partner for BSBP8 is Bobbie Rafferty of Beadsong Jewelry. I had wonderful fun creating with Bobbie and all the gorgeous beads she so generously shared. She is funny and light-hearted, and an amazing jewelry artist. Not only did she send me a generous, lovely bead soup - she created two of them! You can read more about Beadsong & visit the gallery, blog, & FB page -- as well as see all the beads we exchanged - here on my previous "Meet My BSBP8 Partner" post.
|Everything is exquisite. The soups are a jewelry makers dream come true.|
One soup features a blue & green colorway and the other a pink & neutral colorway. The blue and green colorway features a handcrafted lampwork kaleidoscope mandala, crystal rondelles, Czech, vintage, and sterling silver clasps made by Bobbie herself. The pink, peach, neutrals colorway overflows with gems and jewels galore such as fantasy faceted quartz, huge chocolate pearls, snow capped fire agate, cherry quartz, stick pearls, marble, and Czech flowers and rondelles.
Soups I Sent Bobbie of Beadsong:
My Jewelry & Joys
My challenge was to create using all the beads. I came close! Two projects are yet to be put together, yet everything is Mise en place: a gorgeous quartz crystal gemstone and crystal glass rondelles necklace and a necklace featuring the exquisite cherry quartz butterfly focal and stick pearls, along with my own vintage peach lucite beads. Now, here is what I completed with great appreciation & happiness:
Intention: The lampwork kaleidoscope mandala (artist unknown) gifted by Bobbie of Beadsong, on soft green suede (gifted from Lori Anderson) with adjustable Herringbone beadwork rope and vintage glass bead closure.
This one was not my usual style of color, although I love all color! There is no color I don't like. I'm a rainbow :) So I worked first with this Boho & bright beautiful focal. I loved using seed beads with the strong lampwork talisman. The repeating pattern of beads mirrored the focal's blue, yellow green & black colors, and made a meditation of the work. Only bead sizes changed. The finished necklace is soft and comforting.
Making these earrings, I thought of the incredible work of the many women artisans whose work inspires and sustains me. Facebook, blogs, Pinterest -- sharing within our community -- is a gift. Like an elixir, jewelry challenges and blog hops and bead swaps give me strength, encouraging me to try new challenges so I may continue to change and grow. How happy life is creating and learning within the jewelry and bead arts. What beauty we create; what great art we share!
Beltane Earrings: I used the Czech navy druk beads and lovely flower spacers to create a Beltane "crown" for May Day. I added shimmering teal lampwork beads by Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens of Glass Bead Art, Swarovski bicones, and lapis drops.
|Beltane Necklace is reversible: wire woven and beadwoven bezel made with Chysocolla seed beads, fine silver.|
Beltane Reversible Necklace: Wire woven and bead woven focal using a silver "flower crown" spacer, azurite-malachite chrysocolla gemstone seed beads from Beadsong, bail is created with fine silver & a lampwork BHB by Lea Avroch of LA Jewelry & Bead Designs, with fine silver chain is made of Swarovski sapphire bicones, Glass Bead Art lampwork beads made of recycled glass from French Bordeaux wine bottle.
With one basic wire weave stitch and beadwork picot, you can create this bezel.
Lisa Barth teaches the technique in the tutorial, "Woven Bezel with Beaded Back."
|Glass Bead Art Lampwork -- recycled French Bordeaux wine bottles|
Kai: The ocean bouquet came together with one of my favorite gems, blue coral, cotton fiber, Naos greek ceramic squares, lampwork flowers by LA Jewelry & Bead Designs, Bobbie's beautiful sterling silver "sea glass" clasp, Swarovski crystals, brass Celtic rings & daisy spacers, Vintaj chain, leaves & butterfly.
Kai means "ocean" -- it's also the name of my grandchild. This necklace is my most intricate and took days to conceptualize into a working design, yet came together from just one bead: a lucite flower Bobbie gave me.
Wanting to create a necklace that held its "v shape" and feature a bouquet of lucite & lampwork flowers, I made flat finding components rather than the simple loops that let the flowers spin around. I improvised a technique for my single headpins from an Art Jewelry Elements tutorial by Jen Cameron on using double ended headpins, "Quick Stack Disc Stack" by Jen Cameron.
|Lampwork flowers by Lea Avroch within the lucite flowers created a bouquet!|
|My spouse and grandson play in the ocean|
Kai Ceramic Earrings: Green glass from Beadsong soup, with ceramic sea horses by Firefly Design Studio.
Bear Fetish Totem: Turquoise bear fetish gems, turquoise bear focal from Lennis Carrier of Windbent, Aztec symbol beads, triangle pewter beads (gifted from Lori Anderson :), sterling silver chain, Hello Kitty crystal, Swarovski erinite and grey shadow AB crystals, and Beadsong silver daisy spacers & clasp.
How could I create a genuine turquoise bear totem necklace with my soup? Because Bobbie brilliantly included daisy sterling silver spacers in two sizes. She also gave me three clasps. :)
Some of you may know my daughter passed on two years ago, during my first ever BSBParty. She had had MS & several operations & was sadly very ill, although we hadn't really expected her death so young. During that first BSBP, a Hello Kitty charm appeared -- her favorite! And I knew she was with me. And as I created for last year's BSBP and this spring, a Hello Kitty charm appeared sparkling right on my bead table -- again! Now, I feel she always creates with me for the BSBparties. And somehow, those Hello Kitty sparkling charms just simply appear on my bead table every time! They really do!
Frosted Fire: Snow capped faceted fire agate rounds from Beadsong soup created an Autumn in Spring with beads in my stash just waiting for the right spark: lampwork tube focal by Shazazz, fire agate rondelles, Czech leaves, Vintaj chain & brass leaf clasp.
"Wrapped in Warmth"
Wrapped in Warmth: Beadsong's beautiful Czech crystals, antique gold seed beads, Vintaj wire wrapped yellow jasper from BSBP7 partner Pam Hurst of Pam Hurst Designs, and my own handcrafted chainmaille in antique copper.
This began as a bracelet, but wanting to include something from every one of my BSBP partners through the years, I added a wire wrapped rich yellow jasper focal from partner Pam Hurst, BSBP7. I love the natural colors and the earth tones. A few more rings still to be added to the Half-Persian 3-1 chainmaille (known as snake chain) and ta-da!
Renewal: Beadsong's chocolate pearls & smoky iridescent Czech flower embrace the sweet spring renewal of my Humblebead focal, ceramic, Sleeping Beauty Mine turquoise diamond cut gems, natural howlite, Czech turquoise flower & leaves. Howlite is separated by matte turquoise seed beads; turquoise diamonds are separated by bronze seed beads. A simple memory wire design with additional Czech floral charms and a bunny ceramic by Grubbi.
"Reincarnate: Color Change Chainmaille"
|Color Change Swarovski crystals transform from pink to green in various light.|
Reincarnate: Chainmaille Renaissance necklace in copper and rose gold. The large center cherry quartz and faceted cherry quartz rounds are from my bead table (waiting & meant for this regal design!), with all other cherry quartz drops from Beadsong. Swarovski color change crystals in cantaloupe AB and cantaloupe. I created the textured copper handcrafted clasp with Swarovski dangles.
|The Swarovski crystals are a soft pink|
Above, the Swarovski are a peachy, soft pink color in traditional light (and somewhat silver pink in daylight). Below, Swarovski cantaloupe color change crystals change to a green shade in energy efficient light. This is so beautiful! My daughter will be modeling the necklace soon, and it is truly lovely worn. So, modeled photos upcoming soon :)
|The Swarovski crystals change to green in different light.|
Black Cherry Necklace: Beadsong marble beads & Czech pearlized drop, with rhodalite, brass flower & beaded "flower bud" chain (see the Gossiping Goddess), black organza ribbon, black aluminum chain, cording, and ceramic floral focal by Marla's Mudd.
Black Cherry Earrings: A special gift from my BSBP6 partner, Margareta Saari of Mags-Koruja, (Finland) surprised me with beautiful "endless" hearts lampwork by Pinocean, I created chandelier style earrings with Swarovski fire polished beads & Vintaj antique copper wire. The endless heart glass beads can turn & move in the design. I intended for genuine ruby briolettes to hang from the centers, but after one ruby vanished into the bead table blog party wilderness, they're a work in progress, hehe.. ;) With love from your friend from the U.S. A.! :) Thank you!
Enjoy the Party!
You'll find links to almost 500 artists here:
Pretty Things by Lori Anderson's
Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Francisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for both her literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning more jewelry techniques.