Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bead Soup Party

The day is finally here!

Remember where we have started from? For a long description - read the original Soup Ingredients post here. For a very short introduction: we were paired with another designer, and we sent each other a 'bead soup' out of which we had to create something, using at least the focal and the clasp. My soup came all the way from California, from Dita Basu and it is pictured below:
Bead Soup Party - the Ingredients :: All Pretty Things

I knew from the start what to do with the Jade focal... I also knew I had no jade in the house - so I made a trip to the store... just to come back home and find a vintage strand of jade, from my mom. It is somewhere in the vicinity of 40 years old and it matches the doughnut to perfection! I also found some amazing Czech glass 6/0 seed beads that imitate stone.

Out of my mom's strand there were some stones left, so I made a slightly asymmetric bracelet.
This is what came out of this adventure:


Jade set: necklace & bracelet (jade doughnut, vintage jade nuggets, gold wire, silver clasp) :: All Pretty Things


The only thing I'm not happy with is the half toggle I used (it's sterling silver... I will replace it with a gold plated / filled as soon as I find one :)).

The polymer clay focal was a pretty easy one - matching the pastel colours was fun albeit a lengthy process... many a bags I have picked until I was happy with the result. I also knew what I wanted to do with it... at least half-way... Sterling silver wire crocheted with the beads, a few cute beads on the drop and here we are.

As luck or fate would have it - when I found the vintage jade strand I also discovered a couple of vintage bracelets made of raisin... amazingly enough in the exact same shades as the focal flowers and the Czech beads. When this happens all you have to do is to return the favour and make something out of them. And that's what I did: 2 bracelets using the double-whole pieces from my bracelets (which I wore many, many years ago until their string broke) and some co-ordinating Czech beads to bring the set together.

Pastel set: necklace & bracelet (polymer clay focal, vintage raisin beads, Czech glass, sterling silver wire and findings, wire crochet) :: All Pretty Things

I am not 100% happy with the necklace (I keep thinking triple strand braided together for more 'volume'); even asked my son about it - he was adamant it doesn't need the multiple braided strands, to quote him exactly "The simplicity of the design makes it nice" - there you have it, the wisdom of an almost 9 yo!

You really have to see them together to appreciate how beautifully they match - 3 different ingredients (the focal, the Czech beads, and the bracelet 'squares'), from completely different materials and from different times. I just love the whole set!

So far I used both focals - but none of the clasps yet... hmm... both were too beautiful to be hidden at the back of the necklace; none would match the jade necklace (and I wasn't sure if using just half is acceptable)... What to do, what to do?

While making my Valentine's Day set (you can read about it right here) it just hit me - the Krobo beads! After searching a bit - I found everything I needed: the beautiful sterling silver toggle clasp, a silk cord, some silver wire, a couple of fiery Swarovski crystals, chain, and some head pins.

Balance (Krobo beads, swarovski crystal, sterling silver, silk cord) :: All Pretty Things


Just don't ask how many times I wrapped that silk cord before I was happy with the result :) I just love this necklace - it is so simple and yet so powerful!

In the meantime I have used the wood beads too (a simple and quick project):

Colourful earrings (sterling silver, wood beads) :: All Pretty Things

The cutest pair of earrings I've ever owned! A new trip to the store is needed soon - I intend to find matching beads to make a bracelet or a necklace (or both if I know myself).

I thought I was done - I still had those beautiful turquoise beads I couldn't for the life in me figure out what to do with them (they have very large holes and are very light). At the same time I was still trying to figure out what to make for the 7000 bracelet hop - and somehow my muse woke up and guided my brain to a Shambhala bracelet. I have always loved them - now I did a bit of research to see what is their meaning / history. Finding out they are a symbol of peace, tranquility and happiness I knew I hit the double jack-pot: an idea for the turquoise beads and (hopefully) a piece to brighten someones else's day too. I am truly sorry to let it go - I am very pleased with how it ended up:

Shambhala bracelet (turquoise beads, cord) :: All Pretty Things

Believe it or not, I still have a few elements of my original soup!
Thank you, Dita, for being so generous.
Thank you, Lori, for allowing me to be part of this party - it has been the best jewelry-related adventure so far. I had tons of fun with my ingredients, and I am quite pleased with the results.

Bead Soup Party - the Results (Jade, Sterling Silver, Polymer Clay, Czech beads, Shambhala, Wood beads, Krobo beads, Swarovski, Silk cord) :: All Pretty Things


Thank you, my loyal reader, for getting to this point - I know, it has been a very long post... thank you for being patient :)

Please visit the other wonderful participants (I know it'll be a very, very long weekend for me!)

174 comments:

  1. You sure made a lot with your soup! I still love that polymer focal the best of all - and how cool that your mom just so happened to have had the perfect vintage jade for you. That bracelet is awesome :)

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    1. Thanks Heidi - I like the polymer clay focal too; and my mom not only had the jade nuggets, she just had sent them to me at Christmas :) She knew something for sure!

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  2. Wow Alicia I am loving everything. They all look great. I love the foal.

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    1. Thank you, Pelima - yours are gorgeous too!

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  3. nice work Alicia, I especially like the polymer focal!
    I like the world map for the participants too,Bahrain is too small that it's not clear on the map lol !

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    1. Thank you - Bahrain might be small on the map, but your design is mighty :) Seems the consensus so far it's the Polymer Clay focal - my son might have been right...

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  4. Luv the focal! And ur designs All rock! Great work!

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    1. Thank you, Shanti - I had tons of fun reading your post :)

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  5. nice work!
    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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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Jo! You did great with the beads from Netherlands - I love your necklace. Ciao!

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  6. You've been very productive with your bead soup. It's a great collection, but that turquoise bracelet stands out for me - simple and yet so pretty.

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    1. Thank you, Adlinah... to think those beads gave me the most trouble initially, I just couldn't figure what I can do with them - and I loved their colour so much! I am happy I figured it out :)

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  7. You've realized so much ideas - I'm absolutely excited! One of my favourites is the shamballa bracelet with the turquoise beads - great job!

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    1. Thank you - the Shambala bracelets seems to be a popular one... and I had no expectations when I made it! Go figure :)

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  8. Wow! You made so many great designs and each is very different. I really like the jade necklace and bracelet.Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa... I think the designs just chose me, based on the ingredients - rather than the other way around :)

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  9. A lovely bright and colourful set. I love those earring too and would wear them to death hehe :) x

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    1. LOL, thank you, Jo - I love them too! I didn't get a chance to wear them yet (I don't like to wear long earrings in the winter, I would hate to loose one!) but I will as soon as this snow passes :) Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Thank you, Eva, yours are gorgeous too!

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  11. What a great collection. I love the simple wood earrings too. You could wear these with so much. My favorite piece is the jade twisted bracelet and how you paired it with gold spacer beads. I agree a matte gold clasp would be perfect or even a golden bronze.
    Cilla

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    1. Thank you, Cilla - I was quite lucky to find those small stone-gold beads. Bronze... that's an idea, I might find it easier locally. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  12. You made so many beautiful pieces! I enjoyed reading how they were designed. My favorite is that sweet pair of colorful earrings.

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    1. Thank you, Alice... Maybe I should have a giveaway with those earrings, since so many people seem to be taken with them :)

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  13. Wow, those are some neat pieces! I love how everyone has such completely different approaches to their beads

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    1. Thanks, Elaine - yes, I had the exact same feeling. I hop from blog to blog and I keep being mesmerized: it's hard to imagine so many different concepts! It shows each individuality so well...

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  14. Your creations are so lovely, Alicia, and the colors so cheerful. I especially love the chain earrings ~ so fun!

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    1. Thank you Karen! This was such a fun project :)

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  15. Wow! What a mix of designs and color. How unique and pretty.

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    1. Wow right back at you :) Thank you for stopping by (and Happy Birthday to your Mama)!

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  16. Everything looks great. I especially like the silver and black necklace with the Krobo beads and the turquoise bracelet and the fact that you gave it away. Plus you managed to get a shopping trip worked in. Very productive!

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    1. Thank you, Ann - any excuse is good when it comes to a bead shopping trip!

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  17. I agree -- I don't think that necklace needs more strands! And I love the turquoise bracelet! Very cool that you were able to use vintage beads from your mom!

    I hope you'll join me again in the summer!

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    1. LOL, ok, one strand it is, then. I'm wearing it too :) Oh, I have all intentions to join any challenge that comes my way. I figured out it's a great way to get me moving! Thank you!!

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  18. I love the jade bracelet...I think I'd wear that every day! And your necklace is perfect!!

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    1. Thank you, Tania - I will find some proper clasps for both, since that's what mostly stops me from enjoying them as much as they deserve.

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  19. Oh, that shambala (sp?) bracelet is very cool...and I LOVE, love, love that waterfall necklace...AND....well, you know *g*
    Thanks for your comment on my BSBP! And yes, you are registered to win my giveaway bracelet. Have a good weekend!

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    1. Yipee! Thanks, Lori :) Have fun hopping! Hehe, I wonder if anyone made something with a little froggie hopping happily (especially since it's leap year) :)

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    1. Thank you, Elisabeth, you're very kind. And your necklace is simply gorgeous!

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  21. You got a lot of milage out of that soup! I especially love the necklace that uses the focal bead. I would wear that in a heartbeat!

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    1. Thanks, Julie - I am wearing it right now :) Yes, the soup was so lovely put together by Dita, I was able to use it in so many different ways, really lucky girl I am :)

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  22. Love the turquoise bead bracelet!! :)
    All your designs a lovely.:)

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  23. All of them came out wonderful, Alicia. The jade necklace, the focal one and the little krobo bead one are all beautiful.

    I am so glad you could use them so nicely. I also like the way you wrote your blog. I have to work on the linky thing. As I live in CA west coast, half the day is already gone. Good luck my friend. Dita.

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    1. Hey Dita, glad to hear you like what I made with your beautiful soup. I simply love the amethyst beauty you created. I'm still slowly going through the blogs... it's going to be such a long and wonderful weekend!

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  24. Wonderfully creative pieces! Love that you were able to bring back to life some old favs too!!

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    1. Thank you, Dana - this is the first time when I incorporate personal old pieces, and the feeling is great: you're able to bring lots of fun memories to present, and to share them too.

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  25. I love what you made, but what I love best is the necklace with the black and white. Something about that cascading silver with the beads calls to me. And I love the bracelet you gave away too! You need another one now huh?

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    1. Thank you Amanda - yes, I have been looking for similar beads for a week now! I am sure they'll come to me one day :)

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  26. That Raisin focal looks so unique, I have never seen anything like it. You designs are lovely!

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    1. Thank you, Janel - it is a beauty, you should see it in real life! The colours and details on it... lovely.

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  27. Alicia - Those are very creative pieces. My favorite is the ones with the cascading chains. Great JOB!

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    1. Thank you, Sharon! To think those beads gave me the most headache (I had no clue what to make with 2 black and white beads!) :)

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  28. I love that you used vintage jade from your mom. The jade focal is beautiful. I love how each piece is so different its great!

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    1. Thank you, Charlie - I love how thw jade necklace ended up too. Now I have brand new jade beads I have to design into something (the ones that I bought before I found my mom's necklace) :)

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  29. I love the fact that you were able to use your mother's beads and that they matched so well. I also agree that you need to replace the half toggle with a gold filled on. The bracelet is certainly worth doing that. It would make a lovely family heirloom.

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    1. Thank you, Kathy - yes, I am looking into finding 2 suitable clasps for that piece.... the more I wear it, the more I want a gold / bronze one :)

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  30. Beautiful soup, I love the simple design that you used for the polymer clay focal!!

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    1. Thank you, Penny - the focal was so complex I couldn't bear to overpower it in any way. Glad you like it!

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  31. Alicia, All of your pieces are so very pretty I love the jade set gorgeous and a keepsake for sure.
    Therese

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    1. Thank you, Therese - well, since it's a bit older than me (or the same age, mom can't really recall exactly) I think I'll keep it :)

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  32. Wow you did a great job, every piece is so beatiful,but my favorite is your shambhala bracelet...its sooo cool;)
    Lovely greetings
    Sabrina

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    1. Thank you, Sabrina - I know, the Shambala bracelet was made on a whim and it turned out so great!

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  33. You made so many great items from your soup! I love the silk cord necklace the best, simple yet powerful in design. I really like the bracelet too, my daughter would love this. I need to learn how to make the slide cord clasp. Have fun hopping around to the other blogs.
    Cheers!
    Lori D.

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    1. Thank you, Lori - check my 7000 bracelet post and the comments there, I have a link on how to make it, it is very easy :) That's why I think it came out so well - simple and easy will always win in my eyes :)

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  34. Like all pieces, but ...favorite...simple and yet so powerful necklace, perfect combination materials and colors! Well done!

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    1. Thank you, Milla - those beads posed my biggest challenge (maybe neck-in-neck with the turquoise ones) and I am really happy how they turned out.

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  35. Very pretty and creative designs! :)

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    1. Thank you, Wendy - and thanks for stopping by!

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  36. Great work! You were able to create so many lovely pieces! I really like the necklace with the resin floral focal!

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    1. Thank you, Lori - I like it too, perfect reminder for Spring with its pastel colouring.

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  37. Oh how I love jade and what you've done with yours! You've got such an exciting array of treats there!

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    1. Thank you, Sandra - I was pleasantly surprised to see how it turned out, wasn't sure for a long time about it. As soon as I'll get those golden clasps I'll redo it :)

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  38. great different work! Have a nice day, Hugs Doris

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    1. Thank you, Doris - hope you had a great one too!

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  39. Making a Shambhala bracelet for the 7000 Bracelets is a wonderful idea! I didn't know their meaning, maybe you could write it on a card when giving the bracelet. It will be a great gift.

    Ambra

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    1. Thank you, Ambra - yes, I did write the meaning on the card. I hope they'll enjoy it.

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  40. Wow - you've made so much! You were sent a lovely soup, and you've used it so well!

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  41. I have to say OH THAT JADE! Stunning!

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    1. Thank, Kristen - I am so glad you like it (I wasn't sure about the necklace until I finished it!)

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  42. I love that turquoise and black bracelet. Such a wonderful design and color combination!
    You did a great job!
    Sabine

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    1. Thank you, Sabine - I think sometimes the beads choose you and not the other way around :) It's sure true for those turquoise beads!

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  43. Oh the bracelt is so cool! But i love the necklace with that colorful focal too, and the jade!!!

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    1. Thank you - I love them all too (but I am biased, since they are 'my kids' :))

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  44. Must have been fate that your mom had that jade. . .totally 'meant to be'. You really got a lot done with your soup and they all turned so pretty! Nice!

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    1. Thank you - yes, I think so too. Fate has a lot to do with this soup so far :)

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  45. Wow! I'm not sure I can pick a favorite! I do really love the jade necklace - that is fabulous, and absolutely adore the Shambhala bracelet. Such amazing work!

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    1. Thank you - I love them all too :)

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  46. Nice work. I especially like the necklace with the dangles.

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    1. Thank you, Linda - that necklace seems to be liked alot, and those 2 beads weren't my favourite originally, but I am happy how it turned out.

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  47. Wonderful work. I really love the Shambala bracelet and the Valentines day set. You done good by that soup!

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    1. Thank you - the Shambala bracelet has very nice colours and feel.

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  48. Everything is beautiful! However, my two favorites, as it is impossible to pick just one, is the jade bracelet and the Shambala bracelets - love them both to death! Great job!

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    1. Thank you, Patti - you have a chance to win the Shambala bracelet (with similar beads), check the Giveaway post!

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  49. wow! everything turned out beautifully. like you, I like the earrings the best.

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    1. Thank you - I love them too, they are so cheerful... I need to make them a good companion, a bracelet of some sort...

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  50. I really like the necklace with the poly clay focal, and I wouldn't change a thing. You did a great job with all that soup making so many pieces!

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    1. Thank you, Vonna - I promise I wouldn't change a thing, everyone said the same, so I will be a good girl and listen :)

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  51. You are amazing, all your creations are beautiful!! I'd wear them all!! ~KM

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    1. Thank you - I already wore them all (I do that with all my new pieces, to figure out how they wear)!

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  52. I love what you made with your beads!
    Very unusual, but lovely!

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    1. Thank you, Mariposa - I love your bead-weaving too (and I am in awe of anyone who can create things from seed beads!)

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  53. Love that turquoise bracelet. So clever!

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    1. Thank you - it seems to be the most liked :)

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  54. I love the jade necklace. What a wonderful idea with the clasp in the front! I can't believe you made all those pieces and still have leftovers!

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    1. Thank you, Andra - I can hardly believe it either! but here I am - I will make use of those leftovers in future projects.

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  55. Wow you made a ton of stuff, you did wonderful with your soup.

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    1. Thank you, Jean - I hope you have enjoyed the party (I have just finished going through each and every blog)

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  56. Beautiful jewellery! My fave's the turquoise bracelet -- really like the colour combo. The jade necklace is also very nice. If you don't find a goldplate or brass toggle bar you like, maybe antiquing the silver bar would also be an option? Not completely black, just enough to blend in with the rest of the colours.

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    1. Thank you, Maneki - that's an interesting idea! I haven't done that before, I might as well try it :)

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  57. Lovely, looks like you had fun. I'm really liking the simple necklace on the cord.

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    1. Thank you, Lara - oh, yes, I had the fun of my life! Didn't know what to expect when I signed up, and when I got the note from Lori I thought 'OMG... now what?'. But the soup arrived and after starring at it for a while - it somehow started to get together :)

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  58. I can't believe all the variations in styles you used. Lovely pieces.

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  59. I really like the necklace with the fiery Swarovski. I love those beads and have used some of them in my pieces. I also like the turquoise bracelet. I love the colours on that one!

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    1. Thank you - I am not a 'black and white' person and I wasn't sure how to bring some colour into those otherwise gorgeous beads. Luckily for me my son made a red magma and fiery opal necklace not long ago, and I had leftovers :)

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  60. Lovely work, Alicia! I really like that you used the jade piece as part of a toggle. If you can't find a gold-filled or plated component that you like to replace the silver, you could always make your own out of wire!

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    1. Thank you - oh, yes, I thought about making one... but I have no golden stuff in my house, period :) I am a silver person... guess I could buy just some wire, though, that's true - that's an idea!

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  61. Wow, the variety is awesome. I really love the vintage beads in the first piece. Excellent work!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle - indeed, they are lovely together, it was such a lucky moment!

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  62. Wonderful pieces Alicia! I love the way you have played with the focals...they are so pretty.

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    1. Thank you, Menka - playing is indeed a good way to describe what I did :) I had so much fun!

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  63. WOW!!! You got sooo many beautiful pieces done!! Wonderful work!!!

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    1. Thank you, Stacey - I hope you had fun at the party :) I have just finished hopping along and I am in complete awe of everyone's designs and colours and materials!

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  64. Goodness do your fingers hurt from making so much SOUP SOUP AND MORE SOUP!!!??? LOL each piece is lovely, the fact that your mom had given you the jade long ago and now you refind it makes it all the more special!

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    1. LOL Keri - no, they don't, since I didn't make everything in one pass (that would have been something) and... actually the designs aren't that bad on fingers. Maybe that silk cord wrapping, I think I wrapped one side 4 times before I got happy :) Thanks for your kind words - yes, the jade necklace is very special to me!

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  65. These all look great! I love that you found inspiration for the 7000 bracelets project too, it's so unique!

    By the way, I've nominated Lori for the Force of Good Awards, please stop by my blog at creatingcures.blogspot.com and read a short post.

    Be Well ~~T

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    1. Thank you - and such a wonderful post for Lori; I am glad you won!

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  66. such great pieces and all so different, great job

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  67. What a great collection! I love how different all of the pieces are-such a great range! I love the bracelet the best! wonderful job!

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    1. Thank you, Amanda - the bracelet wins over everything else, apparently. To think those are the beads that stumped me the most originally :)

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  68. Wow, you did a great job with your soup! All of the pieces are just lovely

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    1. Thank you, Steph - I am glad you enjoyed them. Hope you had lots of fun hopping through the list, I have just finished today!

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  69. You did a lot out of your bead soup that is great! I love everything you made, very creative. Have a great day

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  70. Wow! You made so many different things and they are all great!

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    1. Thank you, you're all so very kind!

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  71. What lovely designs you mixed up! The recipient of your blue bracelet is sure to love it... and feel so much love while wearing it! How generous of you!

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    1. Thank you, Rebekah - I hope she'll feel the love, the bracelet was fun to make and I hope it'll just brighten the day of the recipient.

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  72. What lovely pieces you have created from a gorgeous soup mix. I think my favorite is the one with the crocheted beads and polymer clay focal, but the one with the sterling toggle clasp in front is also up there. Beautiful job! :)

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    1. Thank you, Molly - those focals really chose their own designs. I like the polymer clay focal too, it has such a warm feel of a sunny spring day (like today :)).

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  73. You had such a varied bead soup to work with. My favourite is the gorgeous jade necklace and bracelet. So nice that you could add your mother's beads too. That makes the set extra special.

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    1. Thank you - yes, I was extatic when I found that necklace, it is matching the beautiful doughnut so well! And now, of course, every time I wear the set I think of my childhood :)

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  74. Wow, you made quite a few creations with your bead soup...all beautiful!! Nice job!

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    1. Thank you, Lupe - you're very kind!

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  75. Love everything you made. But the bright dangly earrings are too cute! And loved the bracelet.
    ~diana

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    1. Thank you, Diana - I'm glad you like the earrings too, they spell 'happy summer day' :)

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  76. Wonderful, my favorite is the necklace with the Krobo beads, like you said, simple but stunning!
    Sonya

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    1. Thank you, Sonya - it is a very nice necklace and extremely easy to wear (since it'll happily match pretty any attire).

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  77. Love the asymmetric bracelet - that is really cool!
    how exciting that you found your mom's vintage jade strands to use! All or your creations are great!

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    1. Thank you, Cindy - I was really happy to be able to incorporate a piece so full of personal history and memories.

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  78. Shambhala bracelet was so cool. I need to check out the research on it as well. I never heard of Krobo beads before. You received a bounty and did beautiful work.

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    1. Thank you, Andrea. If you read the original post (where I describe the arriving of the soup ingredients) I have a link for the Krobo beads. Shambhala - well, it's a symbol of that magical Tibetan place you might have heard about. A place only the Budhist monks can find - high in the mountains, a place of pure happiness.

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  79. These are all wonderful. Really crushing on the 7000 bracelet.

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    1. Thank you, Jeannie - the Shambhala bracelets has the majority of votes :) I will ask Dita where she got them from!

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  80. So many beautiful pieces. Love them all. I especially like the bracelets. And your son, what a hoot! Bless his heart.

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    1. LOL, Jean, thanks - yes, he might make you laugh every now and then (especially when he's not a perfectly normal monster of 9) :)

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    1. Thank you, Lea - you did wonderful too! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note

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  82. What great designs from your soup!! I look forward to seeing all your new creations as I have become a follower of your lovely blog!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie - and welcome to our community of fun-loving people :)

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  83. I love how you used the clasp in such a creative way!

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  84. The interesting diversity of your soup made for some great designs!

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    1. Thank you, Morwyn - you are absolutely right, it's the diversity of the ingredients that helped me a lot!

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  85. Beautiful designs, the jade is fantastic.

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    1. Thank you, Sandi, glad you liked my 'heirloom' necklace :)

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  86. Wow it looks like your bead soup really got those creative juices flowing! Wonderful work!

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    1. Thank you, Genea - yes, lots of flavours in that soup :)

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  87. I like so much your job! My favourites are your bracelets mainly the turquoise one. Greetings from Hungary!

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    1. Hi Agnes - thank you for stopping by! [I have good friends in Hungary :)] and thank you for your kind words, I'll just have to go and get myself more of those turquoise beads, that bracelet seems to be the favourite of crowd!

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