Saturday, March 3, 2012

March Madness - the Big Reveal

Once again we plunge into the creative soup of the Bead Soup Blog Party, brainchild of Lori Anderson, hostess extraordinaire, who patiently matches and then husbands the pairs of  participants -- a full 100 this time! from receipt of their beads to the final grand finale of the Big Reveal.


In case you're not familiar with the BSBP, partners are matched and trade sets of beads, to include a focal, a nice clasp and some extra beads that coordinate. The goal is to make a piece out of those components and hopefully, get outside your comfort zone by working with someone else's colors, style and bead choices.

This is my third Bead Soup Party and since I work in polymer clay for the most part, I can usually work easily with whatever I'm given. But the brilliance of the BSBP is that you can just throw your preconceptions out the window because you never know what will be in the little package that you receive from your partner.

I was partnered this time with Deb Brooks of From the Heart Creations who handcrafted the focal she sent me out of vintage mother-of-pearl buttons. Did I mention that I have a teensy obsession with MOP? Well, you don't want to see my eBay invoices. I have quite the collection. Deb made a button stack of several of her beauties and wrapped them in brass wire with a sinuous Deco feel to both the focal and the clasp. I also love old jet buttons and Deb included one of them in the focal as well.


I wanted to pick up the subtle colors of the MOP in both the white buttons and the darker purple one so I chose ochre yellow, salmon pink and purple as a working palette. Black was my neutral and I tried to incorporate as many of the faceted black beads into my stringing that Deb included in the coordinating 'soup'. There were lovely salmon tracings in the long agate beads she sent so I decided to combine both copper and bronze metals in the piece.

I usually work with rather large elements in my designs and always incorporate polymer into them so my first issue was how to use polymer as well as enlarge the focal area of my piece. Making a molded copy of one of my vintage beads allowed me to emphasize my color palette by hand-coloring the polymer element and enlarge my design area. Then I decided to take a page from the book of the talented Cynthia Deis, owner of Ornamentea--who was my partner on the last BSBP-- and add a lush tassel to the bottom of the MOP focal. It gave me a chance to play with lots of tiny rare elements that I tend to collect, mixing and blending favorite components together-- vintage buttons, quartz beads, pre-war Japanese celluloid leaves, Czech glass, pearls and hand-dyed rayon cord.


To round out the necklace strands, I dug into my stash of old polymer beads and found some from a tutorial on making polymer clay ammonite beads by Heather Powers. Both the design and color of these were perfect for my purpose. I added some gilders paste to the edges in black and copper and then just because I love them, I added some vintage Japanese black beaded ball beads to the chains for bling.



 
'Opulence' necklace - Updated photo 3/5/2012

I've tweaked this a bit since the original Reveal day, since I had some other elements that I had thought about adding. I like to make a piece and then consider it for days or even weeks, until inspiration strikes. I sometimes like to add an extra freestanding chain and so I connected a vintage twisted link bracelet length to a box chain and colored the links some with gilders wax to make the colors blend better with the other elements. Another vintage chain and some Czech glass rondelles were added as well. Now it has the color and flow and a balance I wanted. This project definitely pushed me in directions I hadn't taken before. Just like a good Bead Soup selection should! Thanks, Deb! Thanks, Lori! Thanks everyone for playing along. Enjoy the Hop!

You can follow the action by going to Lori's site at http://www.prettythingsblog.com/ for a full list of participants.

64 comments:

  1. I checked your blog in the middle of the night when I was up briefly. See how anxious I was to see what you made. And I was right. What a great piece. I love all you hung from the focal, in your style of opulence!! Love the colors you chose- rich browns and oranges. Great piece!!

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  2. oh, how you do what you do! the tassel is gorgeous - you are a designer extraordinaire... i absolutely love your work -

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  3. wow, what a wonderful necklace!
    I'm a partecipant from Italy, I'm trying to visit all of you.
    this was really a great experience!
    ciao ciao

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  4. wow that is fantastic Christine.... I love what you did. I had so much fun with what you sent me. THANKS for being my partner.

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  5. Wonderful, Christine! I always love your colorways.

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  6. Beautiful piece Christine. The buttons, your focal and oh, those tassels - just perfecto!
    sandi

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  7. Opulence is right, and gorgeous to boot. Wonderful soup creation!

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  8. Opulence is right and gorgeous to boot. Wonderful soup creation.

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  9. Christine, I've been eagerly awaiting the reveal of your masterpiece, and I knew it would be one.... I am truly in awe! I had to rush my laptop right over to Randy to show him too! :-) I like the lead-in, and how you described the steps that you took, sharing bits of your creative process with us. The details around the necklace such as the dangles, the combination of colors, and glorious tassel make for an incredible statement piece. Well done, Christine! Your necklace is the star of the blog hop, in my opinion!

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  10. What a wonderful bead soup you received! The necklace you made is gorgeous, and I love all the sweet elements you tucked in here and there. A conversation piece for sure, and most likely an heirloom to be passed down to the generations.

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  11. I love the colour palette and the mix of bronze and copper. I suddenly feel the urge to buy some buttons and play! :) x

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  12. I KNEW you would rock this but this goes above and beyond what I thought you would do! I love tassels, they are so much fun and so cool. Your work is amazing!!!! Thank you so much for doing this.

    I hope you join me again this summer!

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  13. OMG - your necklace is stunning! I love every detail you included, the result is exactly what I would call opulence! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Lovely necklace! It feels so earthy and rustic. Cool tassel!

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  15. Awesome! I love your soup!
    Hope you don't mind but I didn't get to participate in this blog party and have featured some of my favourite soup on my blog instead.
    Deb x

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  16. hello Christine! Just watched your energetic video on Studiomojo & stopped by to say hi...then I realized you're in the BSBP too! yay! It's my first year and wow am I inspired by all the lovely work.

    Love what you've done with your bead soup. I have alot to learn!

    ♥ tejae

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  17. Opulence is right .. that is just amazing!

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  18. A very bold statement piece. It's nice to see buttons used as a focal like that. The tassel is like a treasure hunt all on it's own.

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    1. Holy smokes girl! You rocked your bead soup. Nice job.

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  19. I am drooling! I love, love this necklace. Opulence was the right name for it. So utterly lush and the color palette is right down my alley. I could stare at that tassel for hours. Wow!

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  20. Wow. I love that general idea- focal with lots of dangling things. Your piece is lush, opulence is a perfect name. The color palette is rich. Fabulous.

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  21. Love the earthy feel of your piece.

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  22. Wow! I was gone at Deco. This has to be my favorite piece.

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  23. It has a rich bohemian feel...yum

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  24. I love the button components Deb sent you - not something I'd usually use, but I may have changed my mind they are so beautiful! I love how you've used them.

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  25. Wonderful piece Christine. The MOP components Deb sent are divine, and right up my alley. I love how you pulled all those goodies out of your stash, just the right push a good bead soups allows! Thanks for sharing all your creative steps...

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  26. Wow! You created a beautiful necklace. I also know what you mean about MOP as I have a growing collection of vintage and antique MOP buttons. I can't seem to get enough.

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  27. Wow, I love what you've created with your soup ingredients. Very earthy feeling and I love all the dangles. Great job!
    Cheers,
    Lori D.

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  28. Great piece..fun ..funky..
    love the color combo..very bohemian! ;)

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  29. Wonderful!!! I love how this one turned out!!!
    You have thrown everything into the soup. Stunning!

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  30. I love the rich earthy feel of this! Love the colors and the balance you gave it.

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  31. Gorgous!! Completely romantic

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  32. I love the earthiness of it. Just beautiful!

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  33. The pieces you received were really awesome. I couldn't wait to see how you embellished them. And OMG. . .you really delivered!! Opulence is right! It really goes above and beyond. Excellent job!

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  34. You created a gorgeous statement necklace. Well done!

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  35. You really rocked it! I love how you used the focal, it is great!

    Ambra

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  36. Opulence is definitely the word for it. Love the color scheme and mixture of the metals with the mother of pearl.

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  37. Gorgeous focal and that clasp is awesome!!! Beautiful bod piece!

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  38. Oooo I just love all of the wonderful dangle treasures on your necklace! What a fabulous design!

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  39. Love the colors in your necklace! Beautiful work!

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  40. Those are some very innovative pieces Deb sent you. The necklace is making me swoon. Beautiful

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  41. This is truly a work of art and you have aptly named your piece! Just beautiful, creative, LOVE IT!

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  42. What a great piece. Your clay focal tied in very well with that wonderful MOP focal and clasp. I love the dangles at the end.

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  43. Wonderful as usual,Christine. Such attention to detail and creativity. Your work shines!

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  44. Beautiful! I just love all of these elements!

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  45. Christine, this is amazing. I can't believe how you brought so many different beads, buttons, chain etc and created such an amazing piece. You sure know how to throw in a bunch of ingredients and have everything come out delicious!

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  46. Wonderful necklace! I love this style!

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  47. I absolutely love what you made with your beads! And the focal is gorgeous!

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  48. What an amazing necklace....really stunning!
    Sonya

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  49. It's luscious! As always, it's a treat to peek into your creative process. And thanks for the reminder to embrace the urge to go back and tweak a creation until it's really, truly finished!

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  50. This is a masterpiece. What is pinterest@
    ?

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  51. Christine...Your necklace is exquisite! I loved the deco feel from your received buttons and focal...just the right touches to accentuate them!

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  52. really rich design, I think you made a winner!

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  53. Lovely mix of metals and media, and the colours on that necklace are stunning.

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  54. Awesome necklace! And so aptly named - it really is opulent. Great work!

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  55. Stunning, That piece speaks for its self.

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  56. Sorry I am so late to the party - still working my way through the Bead Soup! Your necklace is absolutely stunning. Great job!

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  57. Hey Christine,
    This piece is definitely different from your traditional pieces but you still created an amazing necklace! You are so talented!

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  58. Love, love, love the tassel necklace Christine! What a talent! Yes LOL...still hopping.

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