Bead Soup Blog Party: Handcrafted Jewelry Tips and Tricks from the Participants

Lesley created this amazing masterpiece using the beads I sent her and supplies from her stash.

When I revealed my Bead Soup Blog Party necklace (made using beads and a gorgeous bead-woven clasp sent to me by my Bead Soup partner, Lesley from Sweet Freedom Designs, and some beads and other jewelry-making materials from my own stash), I was overwhelmed by all of the kind comments. But I wasn't a bit surprised to see what you commented on most: the little details that made the piece come together, such as that gorgeous clasp Lesley made, the small turquoise beads wrapped around a large red bead, the wire-wrapped stick pearls, and the little splash of red amid all the green and gold hues.

I think creative details like those are what take a design from "in progress" to "voila!"–and there was a wealth of them in the amazing jewelry that the other Bead Soup Blog Party participants designed. I'm still looking through all of the reveal blogs (there were 362 participants!), but here are some designs with that little something extra that caught my eye. (The photos are all copied from their blogs and copyright of the artists.)


Sally Russick received a great collection of hand-crafted supplies from her partner, so she vowed that her additions to the piece would also be handmade. One of the designs Sally created is this amazing mixed-media necklace. She made the letters to spell out "words" using wire; the wings using painted copper sheet metal and alcohol ink, and the heart using paper, wire, and resin. She added some beads, ribbon, and the fabulous little journal from her partner, and voila!

Staci Smith's addition of bright luxurious green ribbon took this piece over the edge to fabulous, in my opinion. I love the turquoise beads with the copper leaves she made–it's a popular theme in jewelry making–but that green ribbon makes this piece pop. I also love the addition of the bead on the end of the extension chain; little details like that remind me that there's always room for a little more pretty.



Lorelei Eurto used a short length of bright red leather with an enameled connector from C-Koop Beads to create a unique, handcrafted closure for her bracelet.

Saskia Kaffenberger created a uniquely shaped stitched and beaded leather piece to further highlight the bold red focal bead she received from her partner and attached the stylish toggle clasp to it to ensure the pretty clasp didn't get hidden in the back.  


In one of her necklaces, Shannon Chomanczuk strung round leopard jasper beads on waxed linen cord and used a pretty handcrafted metal flower her partner made for her as the focal pendant–but her addition of a pretty little bird bead among the jasper beads is a design detail that sets her design apart.


Shannon's partner Sharon Palac created copper wire S-link spirals that mimic the spiral, curving design in the flower focal that Shannon sent her. Repeating a motif in this way really ties a design together and can even pull together very disparate elements.


Barbe Saint John's necklace features one of my favorite color schemes–turquoise blue, red, and gold–but I also love the three distinct lengths in the necklace itself, including a traditionally strung section, a wire-wrapped bead section, and red sari silk ribbon section.

Rebecca Sirevaag used pink so effectively in her necklace, even though it was different from the other colors and not a color she usually uses, but it's the stacking of three or five identical beads together that stood out to me. It's just a little unexpected and I like it!


Rebecca Anderson's addition of bright pink ribbon took her pretty black lava cube and pearl earrings from pretty to fabulous, in one of my favorite color schemes: black, white/cream, and fuchsia pink. Black and white is such a classic combo, and the addition of pink brings a lively playfulness to it that I always love.

Vonna Maslanka's bracelet is mostly neutral–darker metal and light-colored ribbon, with a touch of yellow in the ribbon. Her addition of a single bright turquoise-blue bead makes the bracelet really pop, creating instant interest as well as giving the neutral color of the other elements a bit of sass.


Pam Ferrari received almost all metal and chain soup "ingredients," so I was delighted to see the addition of a bold orange fabric cord, which balanced her design perfectly.

Shay Stone used braided fabric in her lariat-style necklace and used an open rectangle focal as a kind of clasp, looping charms and other dangles through it. I love alternative clasps.

All of these great details, and I've only visited about eighty blogs so far! Only about 280 to go! Watch for more details on JMD as I continue to be awestruck by all of the talented people in this blog hop.

If you haven't visited the other Bead Soup Blog Party participants yet, I encourage you to make time to see a few a day. You'll discover so many talented jewelry designers and beautiful, inspiring designs that will help you add special details to your own jewelry. And thanks again to Lori Anderson for arranging the whole big party!

Post a Comment