I love blog hops, especially swaps. They’re the perfect way for me to challenge myself. Sometimes some of my best and most inventive ideas come to be because of something I got in a swap that sparked them. This year, I am lucky enough to be participating in the Bead Soup Blog Party! I posted a month or so ago about my partner Dolores. I’m so excited to reveal what I sent to her, what I received, and what I made. But what I’m most excited about is seeing what she made!
First what I sent Dolores:
You’ll remember this extremely filtered photo of what I sent her:
Tricky tricky! This is what I sent her unswirled and unfiltered:
I tend to send a lot in swaps. This wasn’t necessarily the assignment, but it’s not frowned upon. We were directed to send a hoarded bead or beads, and we were also instructed to put the box together before we knew who our partner was so it wouldn’t be biased. I’ll briefly discuss what I sent her. We’ll go clockwise starting in the top left of the box.
- I got this wood chain a few years ago and have squirreled it away ever since. It’s so unique. I’ll admit I have a couple more, but I thought I could bear to part with one.
- My leather feathers! These aren’t really a hoarded item, but I make them and like to see what people do with them.
- Then the most special items in the box: beaded leaves. These leaves were beaded by one of my most favorite people in the world, my grandmother who passed away a few years ago. I found these when we were going through all of her things after she passed. She was also very creative. These were probably made 30 years ago. I have a few more, but it still killed me a little to part with them. I know my Yia Yia would approve though!
- Next, the green bit of fabric is actually fish leather. For real. I hoard leather scraps, especially the fish leather, but I determined that I should part with some.
- To the right of that are pretty orange and purple freshwater pearls. I have quite a collection of these.
- A little bit difficult to see, but that mass of beads in the bottom right corner consists of carved jade, aventurine (the oval green ones), African opal jasper (the more triangular ones), and some river rocks.
- Then you have the pretty clasps I sent with a more floral theme. Those have also been hoarded for years.
- I also sent a strand of tiger’s eye because you can’t go wrong with that.
- Finally, I sent a glass pendant because Dolores mentioned she liked stained glass, and I thought this would be a nice little bonus.
Now, what Dolores sent me for this Bead Soup Blog Party! I took the photos on my laptop because her pretty packaging matched it perfectly!
The hoarded bead is that gorgeous ceramic flower from Marla’s Mud. Dolores also noted that while she was putting this package together with beads that went with the flower, she almost kept it! It ended up giving me so many fun, interesting options that I could see why she almost kept it! But I thank you for sending it on to me, Dolores! She also sent me that cool copper piece that she stamped herself.
I decided that I wanted to add three additional elements to this challenge.
- I wanted to try to use almost everything Dolores sent me.
- I wanted to do it in one piece.
- I did not want to add many things from my own stash if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
I chose to do this because the things that Dolores sent me all just went so well together. Of course, I wanted to create in my own style, but I also wanted to do her box justice. I knew the flower was meant to be for a bracelet, but doing a bracelet with it just wouldn’t be my style, so I chose to use it as a connector. I achieved most of my challenge elements. I used all of the beads but for three of the brown, rectangular beads. I ended up making two pieces, so it is a necklace and earrings set. I don’t really consider that a failure to the challenge though as I really didn’t use many beads in the earrings. And then the only things from my own stash were the oxidized copper wire, chain, clasp, and then the earwires which I made myself.
I had so much fun with this challenge! Thank you for being my Bead Soup Blog Party swap partner, Dolores!
The Bead Soup Blog Party is hosted, organized, and the brainchild of the amazing Lori Anderson. You can find a complete list of participants over on her blog.