Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bead Soup Reveal: Daphne of the Woods

The third and final reveal of the sixth Bead Soup Blog Party is upon us, and I have been stitching for three weeks on this one! I wanted to do justice to the lovely soup that Dot of Speedie Beadie sent me, and since she emailed me a sneak-peak of what she had made from the beads I sent her, I wanted to put as much effort into my creation and she did into hers.

I will also make you, dear reader, do a little work by posting step-by-step pics before revealing the completed necklace.

First off, here's the soup Dot sent me back in early July:

Crappy photo, I know, but there were tons of seed beads and bugles in shades of gold, brown and green, as well as some larger beads, coins and rings plus a raku face.

The point of the bead swap is to challenge yourself, and this was indeed a challenge, because the raku focal had no holes, and I had to figure out a way to make it the centerpiece of a necklace! My first thought was to bezel it, although I had never actually bezeled before.

My regular readers may recall that I blogged about my first bezel attempt a few weeks ago. (Dot, if you saw it, you were probably the only one to recognize your cabochons in the photo!) I started out doing the round cabs to get the hang of a peyote bezel, then I planned on tackling the diamond-shaped raku face. However,  after completing the cabs, I realized that in order to secure the face in a bezel setting, I would have to stitch up over the edges and thus partially obscure the eyes.

Gulp. Plan B: bead embroidery. I had gotten a copy of the Heidi Kummli/Sherri Serafini book The Art of Bead Embroidery several months ago and had vague ambitions to give it a try, but hadn't actually gotten around to it. A trip to a sewing goods store for Lacy's Stiff Stuff and ultrasuede backing were in order.

I thought the gunmetal green (I just made that color name up!) seed beads Dot sent beautifully matched the patina on the raku face, so I started with that. (Note that the Lacy's Stiff Stuff has been colored with a marker in a color I will call The Only Sharpie I Had on Hand Green. Yes, brown would have been a better choice, but I didn't have brown. I figured glimpses of green peeking through would be better than white.)

I had decided I wanted to make a freeform netting necklace like I did for a fairy tale-themed bead swap organized by Lori last year, which was inspired by the Wander With Color necklace design of Beverly Ash Gilbert. (It's on the cover of her book Beaded Colorways.) So I started pulling out all the seed beads in my stash in hues of brown, bronze, gold and green and stirred them up in a bowl to supplement what Dot had sent.

Beading round and round that raku face, I got to know that gal pretty well. In fact, she told me she was a wood nymph named Daphne, and that she liked to hide amid the tangled vines and leaves of the forest floor, so could I please whip up something like that to adorn her in.

Here's a completed Daphne gazing down on the bead soup, which she told me met her approval.

So OK, I had done bezeling and bead embroidery, two new things I had never done before, and I hadn't even started the main body of the necklace! I knew I could do the freeform netting, but I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to attach Daphne. I was just hoping that I could weave beads over and around and through her beaded edging, and that it would hold and look nice.

Here's how the "base layer" of netting looked just before I stitched Daphne onto it.

You'll see that I was working on a bead board. I was trying to learn from a mistake I made when I created my freeform necklace last year. I had stitched that flat on a bead mat, and it looked gorgeous, but when I put it around my neck, it didn't lay right, because I hadn't contoured it. I wound up stitching on several more rows while having it hang from a neckform in order to correct that.

So this time I used the bead board's furrows to create a U shape. This worked brilliantly until the necklace got too bulky, and it was a pain to rotate the board every time I got to an end and was ready to switch directions. I took it off the board and laid it on a mat.

This was my one mistake of the creation, because once it came off the board, it was hard to keep it balanced. One side would get a little wonky during the stitching, so I'd add a row of beads to smooth it out. Then I had to do the other side for balance. But wait, now this side is an inch longer. Let me add some to the top of the other side.... This went on and on, hour after hour over these past several days.

But here it is finished, your reward for reading this far!

A closeup:

I am absolutely thrilled with how Daphne came out--the swirl of beads does look like she is peeking out from a tangle of vines, as I envisioned. (You can't see it in the photos, but there is a little turtle bead at the top of the left shoulder that adds to the woodsiness--that was one of the special beads Dot sent.)

The piece is so dense with beads it feels more like beaded fabric draped around my neck than a necklace.This is one I'm definitely keeping for myself (A: I love it. B: I could never sell it for a price that represented the hours I put into it!)

Oh yes, about those bezeled cabs. You may have noticed they aren't part of it. I tried placing them in the design, but they stood up too high and took  attention away from Daphne, so they will shortly become a pair of beautiful post earrings for moi. 

I didn't use quite all of Dot's beads. I set aside two raku cubes to make coordinating earrings for the Daphne necklace, but I ran out of time before I could make them. They are next on my to-do list, because I'll want to wear them together with the necklace.

I also didn't get a chance to use the four green bead-frame circles or the gold Chinese coins, and I hope to make a bracelet out of those items. I still have a few of her opaque gold faceted rounds left too, although lots and lots of them were woven into the necklace. Lastly, there was a packet of wing-shaped French sequins. I have no idea what I will do with them, but they are so cool and unusual that I love having them in my stash until inspiration strikes.

Thank you for reading to the end of this long-winded post--please be sure to check out what my partner Dot made from the beads I sent her. And here is a list of the other participants in the 3rd reveal. So start hopping!

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads 
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities

Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry

Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog
Sally Anderson, Wild Sally Road
Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo

Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs
Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs


  1. Wow! The necklace is amazing.

  2. That is a transformation of the unbelievable kind! wow!!!

  3. You did an amazing job with the raku focal!

  4. That's a lot of incredible work, such a great design

  5. Brilliant! I bough Beaded Colourways too. I tried the beading around sea pottery.

    Your design is excellent. I'm hoping to crack that method next :)

  6. Wow, such amazing creativity! You and your partner were very well matched! Fantastic work!

  7. Wow! What a lot of work, but well worth it. Your focal and necklace turned out great.

  8. LOVE! I'm a face freak anyway - but this is too cool. But then, who could expect any less from Dot of Speedie Beadie? Very cool piece....

  9. That turned out fabulous. I had to laugh in sympathy when I was reading about the hours you put into it and the lessons learned- it seems that is true with every piece.

    It is lovely. The focal is gorgeous and the colors are great. You and your partner were well matched.

  10. Wow! WTG, Geneva. This is lovely and uses the soup ingredients so well. Congratulatons! I love this necklace.

  11. Hi Geneva! Wow! I'm so in awe of what you created. So intricate and yet so peaceful at the same time. I have NO idea how to do that kind of bead work, but maybe with your gorgeous necklace as inspiration I'll try it!

  12. Just would not have the patience! Simply stunning result!

  13. Daphne is gorgeous, and I am sure she holds her creator very dear! x

  14. What a labour of love Daphne is! A lovely necklace. I'm not surprised you don't want to part with it :)

  15. Great design! Another uber talented beader!

  16. I love that you challenged yourself with the cab! And that NETTING! Wow, that puts my sad little attempt to shame!

    As for the sequins, there's actually a sequin-centric blog hop hosted by Saturday Sequins you might want to consider...

    Thanks for the beautiful work!

  17. My goodness! That is such a beautiful work of art! I've never been much into seed bead jewelry, but yours is different! I'm just in love!

  18. Daphne is gorgeous! What a wonderful necklace to keep for yourself!!

  19. Your name fits your marvelous design. So bold & eye catching. It's very kool that you did new techniques & have them turn out so well.

  20. I picked up the Beaded Colorways but I was immediately lost. But I am so glad that it inspired your beautiful piece. It is just perfect!

  21. wow all out.Lovely Love and hugs Tanya

  22. What a lovely looking soup- well done!

  23. That is an awesome design! Just love it!

  24. I can't think how many time to make something like that... so beautiful and difficult!
    great job
    ciao dall'Italia

  25. what a beautiful design! you shaped that incredible focal perfectly!

  26. Beautifully intricate work; love the palette!

  27. Unusual project! Fantastic seed bead work, congratulations!

  28. You did an absolutely FANTASTIC job it love it...and to think we both were just challenged to the max but we both have pieces that are so unique and priceless...and I too had so many left overs.. Used the pink seed beads in my south beach reflection piece. Again...I am so stunned at how you took that soup & came up with something I never in my dreams would imagine when I packed it all up.


  29. I can't believe you started making jewelry just 2 years ago, this is such an incredible necklace, what a statement piece!!

  30. And what a reward it was! Definitely worth the work of reading the post! lol What a beautiful necklace. I can't believe it was your first try. Great job!

  31. Wow! You should be so proud of your piece! I love how it drapes--and it's perfect for fall! :)

  32. What a great piece. Very ambitious. Love the design.

  33. Wow , amazing bead embroidery, beautiful colors.

  34. I LOVE your storytelling, and Daphne is gorgeous! I hope you blog about the earrings and bracelet, too, because I'd love to see the completed set! :)

  35. You seed beaders are very hard workers. You did a great job with your soup, I can totally see your story. I'm glad you are keeping it after you worked so hard on it.

  36. Wow. . .just wow! I know so much work went into Daphne and she is amazing! I really admire your ability to have patience and stay focused to get something like that complete! Fabulous work!!

  37. what a stunning pieces! Well done, it's a very beautiful necklace!

  38. A stunning piece! Your beadwork skills are fantastic! And I love the name you chose for this piece.

  39. Well done with this. I love the colours, so lush. ;-)

  40. I think Daphne looks superbly happy in her new woodland setting! Very beautiful!

  41. That's a seriously amazing necklace -- I can see why you wouldn't want to part with it!

  42. Wow, what amazing beadwork! Gorgeous!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.