Bead On and On and On with Bead Soup Blog Party 8

“Soup’s On!”

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan Bead Soup 8 Peek

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan Bead Soup 8 Peek

The beauty of the annual Bead Soup Blog Party (BSBP) is its capacity to catalyze the creative forces within each participant. In addition to the challenge of making a specific piece, I love the idea of creating within the collective of 500+ beaders. For the second year I enrolled.

According to the rules, we BSBP participants trade our best beads with someone we’ve been paired with (someone we’ve never met or hardly know) and from the soup we receive, produce a design for reveal date.

Each soup must include a quality focal, a special clasp and coordinating beads. Learn more on founder Lori Anderson’s Pretty Things blog or in her book.

My 2014 partner, Marde Lowe of Columbus, OH announced she’d mailed my box Monday. (Check out FanciMar Designs and on  Facebook, too!)

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan Bead Soup 8 Simmer

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan Bead Soup 8 Simmer

There, on the workbench under a protective cover of mauve, simmered my Bead Soup, waiting for its final seasonings in which I’d describe intentions and beads. The pressure was on!

In “Pay it Forward” style, I chose to package my selections into a box shared with me by Pam Chesbro, my first Bead Soup partner.

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Bead Soup 8 Container

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Bead Soup 8 Container

In so doing, I choose to share the child-like exhilaration I felt in first lifting the lid. That effort symbolized an opportunity, a new and different level of competition with myself.

Pam, an accomplished beader and experienced Bead Soup Blog Party member introduced me to BSBP7 with thoughtful choices that became part of my beading history. I’m grateful for her contributions.

On a daily basis, I enjoy her gifted, jeweled tape tool and the fact that some of my seed beads live in her little boxes.

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Bead Soup 7 Tool

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Bead Soup 7 Tool

I credit Pam with mentoring me. My intention is to do the same for Marde.

Rather than reveal the contents of my soup, let me tease readers and recipient (yes, I’m calling you out, Marde) by stating:

“This soup shares a sense of the Southwest and a sense of me. It’s an eclectic collection, part of which (private stash) I didn’t want to part with, designed to spur creativity and a sense of empowerment. It’s my pleasure to share with you, Marde.”

Reveal date is May 3. Check back then to see what I create with my soup as well as what Marde produces. And, if you’re up for blog hopping, there will be more than 400 other fabulous displays. It’s part of the bead collective! The one that goes on and on and on!

What will you create?

Special Note: Lori Anderson produces Bead Soup in spite of the debilitating illness lyme disease. A tip of the hat to Lori, her helping husband Rick and son Zack as well as friend, Lisa for getting BSBP8 off the ground in spite of continuing health obstacles. If you care to donate to defray BSBP expenses, please visit Lori’s PayPal page, also accessible from her website.