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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!

55 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2011 1:11 am

    OH MY HEAVENS SHEA!!!!!! This piece is out of this world! Totally GORGEOUS! Indeed, very hip and fun! Your so talented! I am so glad you liked my bonus pendant 🙂

  2. September 17, 2011 2:51 am

    Wow! I love the focal! What a beautiful piece of art to set the mood for the necklace. I love the different texture and style you used in assembling your necklace and that you used some beads from previous exchanges(I did this too 😉

    xo Genea

  3. September 17, 2011 8:08 am

    You made a great couple with Kim! Lovely soup, totally fresh and beautiful piece!

  4. September 17, 2011 8:13 am

    what a beautiful necklace, you did your bead soup proud!

  5. September 17, 2011 9:17 am

    Love to hear the thought process behind the design. This is just stunning, and you totally rocked it! I really like the little dagger beads on the one side, and the metal filigree (?) pieces. This is such a great design.

  6. September 17, 2011 10:26 am

    Oh Shea this is beautiful!!! I love turquoise and red or orange together and you really made the pendant pop – beautiful work!

  7. September 17, 2011 11:52 am

    Very pretty – love all the design elements that your piece has…very unique!

  8. September 17, 2011 2:19 pm

    Really pretty, Shea! And you did get some awesome pieces from Kim!

  9. September 17, 2011 4:13 pm

    very pretty piece

  10. September 17, 2011 5:42 pm

    That is absolutely stunning!!!!! Love the mixed media focal!! Great job!

  11. September 17, 2011 7:29 pm


  12. September 17, 2011 7:36 pm

    Hi Shea, as per usual, perfectly wonderful work. I just adore how you used one of the beads that I sent you last round, that made my heart sing!

  13. September 17, 2011 9:28 pm

    What a beautiful soup you made my friend, your work is truly stunning!! Thanks for sharing & all I can say is yummmmmy!!!

  14. September 17, 2011 11:21 pm

    I love how you highlighted that lovely focal. Great piece!

  15. September 18, 2011 12:39 am

    Wow, the colors in your soup would have befuddled me, but you really did a great job pulling it all together. Well done! It’s lovely!

  16. September 18, 2011 10:57 am

    Lovely focal, and your necklace certainly shows it off well. Great colors, great design, great necklace.

  17. September 18, 2011 11:43 am

    beautiful post and lovely creations. I like the slideshow approach

  18. September 18, 2011 12:25 pm

    what a wonderfully ecclectic necklace!

  19. September 18, 2011 4:45 pm

    Really pretty.

  20. September 18, 2011 4:46 pm

    Beautiful creations! Awesome job! I too love that pendant!

  21. September 18, 2011 6:56 pm

    That’s lovely! You did a WONDEFUL job, and I love the pendant!

    And thank you so much for allowing me to use your photo for the NEXT blog hop button!

    I hope you’ll join me on the next one — the badge and dates are on my blog!

    Love, Lori

  22. September 18, 2011 7:54 pm

    What a beautiful necklace with such a special message.

  23. September 19, 2011 1:29 am

    Your necklace is simply gorgeous!!! I love the soft colors, the stories you shared regarding the bead choices, and the inspirational message. Your photo looks fantastic as the next BSBP badge! 😉

  24. September 19, 2011 7:41 am

    Beautiful piece. The photos rock! And I loved reading the story of how it came to be.

  25. September 19, 2011 8:26 am

    Very nice! I love those links.

  26. September 19, 2011 11:33 am

    Such a gorgeous combination of colors and design…very well done!

  27. September 19, 2011 12:33 pm

    I love your necklace, badge and your way of showing it with the scrolling pictures.Gorgeous.

  28. September 19, 2011 6:35 pm

    Just beautiful, and I loved reading your narrative!

  29. September 19, 2011 9:07 pm

    Beautiful colors and design.

  30. September 19, 2011 9:11 pm

    What a neat focal! Beautiful work!

  31. September 20, 2011 5:06 am

    Gorgeous focal, beautiful design.

  32. September 20, 2011 9:29 am

    Wonderful! You have created a terrific piece of wearable art. I like your use of color and texture. Thank you for sharing your artistic process along the way. Cheers!

  33. September 20, 2011 11:40 am

    That I love your pieces goes without saying! But I am also captivating by your writing. I went from post to post – digging into your archives, laughing and learning!

  34. September 20, 2011 1:24 pm

    It is great. I like the assymetry of it. Your celtic links really work in this. The focal is delicious and you set it off ver well. The colors are so warm and inviting. Nice.

  35. September 20, 2011 3:37 pm

    I am so sorry for being so late my computer was resisting too labor intensive:^)Very nice designs. And there is still time to sign up for the give-away, Just go to Sept.16th blog and leave a comment
    Be blessed to be a blessing

  36. September 20, 2011 7:30 pm

    It is a beautiful pendant. Great job!

  37. September 20, 2011 9:53 pm

    Beautiful design! I love the color scheme!

  38. September 21, 2011 7:23 pm

    Absolutely wonderful! Love the meaning behind each part… just wonderful!

  39. September 24, 2011 2:44 pm

    Artsy & Beautifully designed. And I like the slide show presentation. Soup-er job!

  40. Bobbie Rafferty permalink
    September 24, 2011 5:49 pm

    What a lovely mix you cooked up there – and I love the fact that you included beads or references from past bead swaps. I’ll have to put my leftovers away and keep my fingers crossed that I get picked as one of the 200 in Lori’s next hop!

  41. September 24, 2011 6:14 pm

    I really like the beaded wire you used between chain links, really nice effect!

  42. September 24, 2011 9:02 pm

    I do believe you are funny and I do believe you cooked a fantastic job out of your soup! Love the story, thanks for sharing..

  43. christine permalink
    September 25, 2011 10:02 am

    Beautiful mix of colors!!

  44. jean yates permalink
    September 25, 2011 8:49 pm

    what a beautifully written entry and such a wonderful piece! I love it!

  45. September 26, 2011 9:52 am

    You did such a great job!
    Love what you made.

  46. September 27, 2011 2:25 pm

    Very pretty necklace! I like the mix of shapes and colours. Very well done!

  47. September 28, 2011 9:34 am

    i love the stash you had to work with!!! and you did them justice—what a beautiful piece!

  48. September 29, 2011 11:50 pm

    Simply beautiful pieces! love your creativity!

  49. October 2, 2011 10:27 pm

    That focal is so pretty…and I love what you did with it. I enjoyed looking at all the views in the slideshow!

  50. Ann Sherwood permalink
    October 2, 2011 10:45 pm

    Beautiful and the memories are so sweet. I love it.

  51. October 2, 2011 11:17 pm

    That’s some lovely soup and a beautiful necklace you’ve created!

  52. October 8, 2011 3:04 pm

    a Necklace holding memories from the past bead soups… that is such a romantica idea. Love it!

  53. October 13, 2011 5:40 pm

    Very fun and inspirational piece, love that you did a slideshow- my hand hurts from scrolling. Sorry to take so long to get to you. I am barely half way down the list!!

  54. March 24, 2012 12:00 am

    Come baaaack! you haven’t blogged in so long! Are you ok?

    • May 23, 2012 5:54 pm

      Oh Lori — just decided to check in and saw your message — I’ve been great … just shifted gears to the other type of writing/editing that I do and have neglected this blog something fierce … Kerry Bogert just sent me something in the mail recently that might help kickstart things for me …

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