My Tuesday morning brightened considerably when I went to check my mail and discovered that my beads for the Bead Soup Blog Party had arrived!
My partner this year was Tina Holden, from Victoria, British Columbia. She is a former seed beader who does absolutely amazing polymer clay buttons, beads, cabochons, and clasps. And, wow - I was impressed when I visited her Etsy shop, but I was totally unprepared for what she sent me:
The first set I saw was this heart pendant with a set of beads and a handmade button. Now, I'm not one who usually likes hearts of any kind in my jewelry making supplies, but this? Yes. This. The colors and the patterns - and even the two little sparkly crystals in the heart - made my own heart sing. Plans for this set? Maybe a lovely beaded rope.
The second set, well, this is totally up my alley. Sea urchin beads (that could double as cabochons, actually), and a beautiful handmade toggle clasp in rich, coppery colors - wow! I couldn't help but think about the huge stash of real vintage seashell beads that I have, collected over the years from various sources. A huge bead embroidered collar or maybe a right-angle weave and herringbone stitch collar made with these? Maybe.
Finally, these two beautiful polymer clay cabochons with rich copper accents. My, my, my... The copper and turquoise one on the right is just begging to be paired with some vintage glass bugle beads I recently snagged from Bead Stalkers for a piece inspired by the jewelry of Tibet... Hmmmm...
Now, I can't show you what I sent to Tina...yet. But after she receives her package from me, she'll be able to post it online, and then I can show you what I sent to her.
So now, my task is to create one (or more) pieces with the sets that Tina sent me, to be revealed on April 6th. (It doesn't seem that far away - I better get cracking!) Meanwhile, I must resist buying up everything in Tina's Etsy shop and ArtFire shop, because I'm totally digging her cabochons and beads!
For me, this is going to be quite a challenge. I haven't really used a lot of polymer clay components or beads in the past, and even though I've spent a good portion of the last year experimenting with making my own polymer clay beads and cabochons, incorporating them into some finished jewelry is going to be something entirely new for me.