The Big Reveal: My Bead Soup Blog Party 2012 Jewelry Creations

Soup's On! Welcome to the Bead Soup Blog Party 2012 Reveal. (If you don't know what Bead Soup is, check this out first.)

First, let me say WELCOME to Jewelry Making Daily, all of you Bead Soup Blog Party blog hoppers who haven't been here before. Glad y'all could stop by!

Secondly, I have to say I can't believe I actually complete three pieces! During last year's Bead Soup Blog Party, I was lucky to get my one piece done by the deadline (and with mere minutes to spare, I assure you). This year I took a new approach–I started with the bonus pieces, thinking that would get me in the spirit of things and get familiar with my materials before I had to make The Piece. As a side effect, it would mean I'd get at least one bonus piece done, too. It worked!

Good thing, because when it came time to make The Piece, I had a little trouble. I spent parts of a couple of days casually moving beads and findings around on my bead board, trying to decide what to make. What a luxury, to be able to put some things together, walk away, and see how I liked it a few hours later or even the next day. That's so rare for this procrastinator.

Finally I had a path in mind and started walking it, but when I was about halfway through, a new path came to me and I kept going in that new direction. I was almost done when I realized that new path didn't allow for the use of the focal, which is one of The Rules. Shoot.

As Scarlett would say, I can't think about that right now, I'll think about it later.

So, since my partner Szarka sent me turquoise beads and copper findings, I pulled out my box of copper findings and wire to see what I could add to the mix. In the box was a super shiny, very pretty little skein of DMC Light Effects Precious Metals metallic copper thread that I've wanted to use for ages, so I decided I'd string my whatever-it-is on that. When I made the first cut, it immediately frayed out into such a pretty spray of shiny coppery threads, I thought of tassels (loving the tassel trend!) and these tassel earrings came to me.

I was already thinking that I would make earrings, because my beads were big and bigger rondelles, and they just lend themselves to earrings, don't you think?

At the center of my graduated strand of turquoise rondelle beads was one BIG one, and I knew it had to be a ring. I love big, bold rings. I hammered one of the bead caps that Szarka sent me to flatten it just a little, to better match the shape of the rondelles, and stacked the big one and a smaller one with the slightly squished bead cap and a spacer on one of the head pins that I received and wrapped it around the mandrel. (I hammered it a bit first to strengthen it and then some more after I'd formed the ring). Naturally one copper head pin isn't going to be strong enough for a ring, even if it was hardened, so I coiled a thinner (26-gauge) copper wire around that wire to add some strength and stability. Voila! The Ring.

That just left The Piece. Comedy of errors! I told you that I strayed from my original idea for The Piece, and then later, a crucial wire broke at the last minute . . . so I'm not too happy with the results. At first I liked the look of the wires crossing the flat bead faces, but now I'm not so sure. I'll keep mulling it over and think about reworking it. The side pieces are strung on both the DMC thread and the wire, over under, over under so that they alternate on the front, while the front rondelles are all done in wire. That's a copper wire mesh rose from my stash, from Alacarte Clasps, and the whole thing is off center–one side is longer than the other–but that was intentional.

Finally, here are the leftovers–plenty of stuff to make another piece or two–and my work-in-progress for the focal piece. I like the back of the cross better than the front, and I modified one of the S-clasps that Szarka sent as a bail for it. I like the color of it and the copper on that hemp cord, along with some of the browner rondelle beads I picked out of the turquoise earlier.

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to visit my partner, Szarka Carter of Magpie Gemstones, and the other Bead Soup Blog Party participants who are part of this first reveal!

And for those of you who are new to Jewelry Making Daily, please be my guest to all of our free jewelry-making video tutorials and eBooks!

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