Beading Challenges

Looking for the latest beading challenge? Look no further!

I’m thrilled to host the Bead Soup Swap & Create! Dates are in the header above.

For many years I hosted the Bead Soup Blog Party, an event that at its height had over 500 jewelry designers in almost every continent. It was an event that fostered many friendships and business relationships and helped shake the cobwebs from creative minds. It’s been a while, but I am happy to host a new design challenge that will take place over Instagram, Facebook, and personal blogs.

Feel free to save the header above to post on your social media. This challenge is open to all levels of jewelry designers who are able to complete the following:

  1. To participate, you must use either Instagram, Facebook, or a personal blog.
  2. You must be willing to send, by February 12th, a packet of beads as outlined below.
  3. You must make at least ONE piece of jewelry using the beads you received.
  4. You must post your creation on April 3rd on Instagram/Facebook/Blog (no earlier, please).

If you are interested in participating, sign up by clicking this link between January 15th, 10am to January 17th, 6pm (EDT). If you do not use the sign up sheet, you will not be able to participate, so please bookmark this page.

The largest bead swap I’ve hosted.

What Happens After I Receive a Partner on January 29th?

Once you get a partner, email/message them. Learn a little about them. Visit the social media, adding each other so you can comment on their work on reveal day. Afterwards, mail your partner a special bead soup. I strongly suggest tracking on your package.

You must send the following:

A special focal (pendant, large bead, etc)

A special clasp (not a lobster claw)

Some coordinating spacers or beads

Bead Soup with Kazuri beads; handmade enamel and clasp; gemstones, pearls

You are required to make one piece of jewelry using the focal and clasp you were sent.

Above and below are some examples of Bead Soups from my book to give you an idea of what is meant by “special beads”. This doesn’t mean they have to be expensive! In fact, a few of the focals and clasps only cost me $5-10 but are still special and unique.

You are not expected to send tons of beads or multiple soups. Some choose to, but it is not required or expected.

What Do I Do With the Beads I Received?

This challenge is built to give your creativity a boost by not only using items you receive from someone else, but to dig into your stash to flesh out your creation. All of the coordinating beads do NOT need to be used. You CAN use the focal in one piece, the clasp in another, and coordinating beads can be used with your OWN stash.

Thing I have made with soups I was sent.

(top left) ceramic beads with silver and filigree from my stash
(top right) copper stamped leaf with gemstones from my stash
(bottom left) lampwork focal with copper from my on stash
(bottom right) beaded frame with my on lace and crystal

What Do I Do on Reveal Day, April 3rd?

From January to April, I will periodically contact you with information with suggestions on how to make the most of this event, including posting ideas and ways to engage your audience. On April 3rd, everyone should post their piece (no earlier than 12:01 AM (EDT). You should visit your partner’s post first, and then visit as many other participants as you are able. Help each other with post engagement by making comments.

Please join the Bead Soup Cafe to join in the conversation, share ideas, and ask questions.