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I’ll believe in beauty (and leftovers)

September 17, 2011

First off, if you’ve landed here as part of Lori Anderson’s amazing bead soup blog party, welcome!

Please take a look at what I made from K Hutchinson’s delicious soup fixings. Aren’t they yummy? Personally, I just fell in LOVE with the pendant K made as soon as I opened her package

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Obviously, the message she chose to use is by itself an inspiration, but her clear talent in making a small design really pop should not be underestimated. The colors are so fresh and lively — and it just feels a lot more hip and young than the things I normally pick out for myself. Somehow, long ago, I got this idea in my head that monochromatic dressing was right for me, and breaking that fashion habit has been like getting over a bad crack addiction. OK. Maybe not quite that bad, but still …

And, too, I love the wonderful selection of beads K sent along with her package. They are so akin to the size and style of bead I usually use, I knew from the start I would end up with something that felt familiar to me, yet new and different. Each of K’s beads is carefully represented in this necklace, but as I put together the final mix I also decided to use some leftovers and lessons learned from previous soups I’ve made.

There’s a stunning tiger eye bead in there that’s from Sandi James, my very first bead soup partner. And see the glitter spiral disc bead that sits above the pendant? I’m reminded of the fantastic lampwork skills of my second Bead Soup challenge team, Stephanie and Chris Haussler, with that one. (All my beading partners have been so talented ~ I can’t wait to see how their soups turn out this time).

The glitter disc is sandwiched between a couple of Swarovski crystals, and I think that little bit of sparkle hovering above the focal piece reminds me to think of the infinite ways one might choose to finish the sentence “I’ll believe” … it’s like fairy dust from a magic wand.

I also added a couple of vintage grey, crackled acrylic beads into the mix. These were the very first beads I purchased on Etsy, and I love sneaking a few of them  into very special creations. I’m also fond of the Celtic-looking spacer links. They were just a little something I picked up a few years ago at Michaels when I was shopping with my son.

In terms of the assembly, it might be tough to see from my photos, but  I really like asymmetrical designs. In this piece I wanted to have the two sides of the necklace not only mismatched in terms of length, but also palette. There’s something intriguing to me about having one side strung full of warm colors and so many materials (glass, pearl, acrylic, Czech, quartz, carnelian). On the other side, I’ve stuck to a more simple arrangement, wrapping three cool green beads together using only a single color and those links with their infinite pattern …

If this creation were to represent the different ways I might spend my life and contain special messages from the universe to my subconscious about who I might spend my time with, what would this necklace be trying to say to me?

Jump into the soup and go down the path of warmth and friendship and see who you’ll meet; you’re sure to find variety and delight …

or perhaps the other, cool side would be saying:

Take the seemingly simple, singular path and you might find yourself lost; it may look more straightforward from where you’re starting, but you’ll never be able to finish tracing your way to the end of it …

Oh. Wait. Am I the only one who gets so hung up with such symbolism? No, I’m pretty sure at least a few of my fellow soup makers will know exactly where I’m coming from.

But enough with the metaphysical speculations, people, there are a lot of blogs left to see. Here without further ado is Lori’s link to all the participants if you need to be on your way (K and I are #95 on this list). But if you happen to have any leftovers from your soup fixings, take my advice and tuck them away for another bead challenge down the road. Your next batch is sure to taste even better if you do!