It's that time of year again! Time to sign up for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party, hosted by Lori Anderson. This year, there will be just ONE day to sign up, and one reveal date, so make sure you mark you calenders, leave a note to yourself, and don't miss out on this fun event that brings together beaders from all around the world!
If you've never participated in a Bead Soup Blog Party, it's pretty easy. Make sure you head on over to Lori's Bead Soup Blog Party website, and fill out the form to sign up. This year, sign ups will only be held for ONE day, Sunday, February 9, 2014. After sign ups have closed, Lori will pair everyone up with a partner. If you're a seed beader, don't fret -- Lori has taken us into consideration, and will ask on the sign up form if you want to be paired with another seed beader!
Once you receive your partner's information, you have until March 14, 2014 to send out a package of quality beads to your partner. We're talking the good stuff -- there's no passing off the horrible stinky fish bone beads you got from your Aunt Mavis in this event. Pick out beads from your stash that are beautiful and well-made for your partner. You have to include at least one focal bead (which can be handmade) and one nice clasp (no plain lobster claws, please!) in your package.
Feel free to include more than the minimum requirements. In the last few years, I've been the lucky recipient of quite a few lovely packages of beads from my Bead Soup Blog Party partners that included fibers, findings, chain, and some of the most beautiful handmade cabochons, beads, buttons, and clasps that I've ever seen.
When you start making your beaded jewelry using the bead soup you received, you have to use one of the focals and the clasp, but not necessarily in the same piece. Past participants have made multiple pieces of beaded jewelry using the beads they received, so feel free to let your creativity run wild on this one!
The big reveal date this year is set for May 3, 2014. Have your bead soup jewelry finished and posted to your blog before that date, and then try to visit and comment on as many blogs as you can! It might take a while -- last year, I had a blast reading all the blogs and commenting for several weeks!
If you don't have a blog yet, there's still time to set one up and get started blogging. And if you find that you love blogging about your beads and your jewelry, but still occasionally need to find something to say, Lori also has an incredible eBook called Finding The Path that is full of prompts, photos, and inspirations for filling your blog with interesting, engaging posts. (You can download it from her website for a small fee. I have a copy, and I use it every week!)
My favorite part of the Bead Soup Blog Party, and the part that always seems to just blow me away, is how Lori has, over the last few years, managed to single-handedly connect beaders from all over the globe into one, giant, bead-loving community. I've had swap partners from parts of the world I will probably never see in person, and some of my swap partners have even become close friends. Being part of the Bead Soup Blog Party is one of my favorite ways to be a member of the global community of beaders, and I'll always be grateful to Lori for all her work in putting together this fantastic event for anyone who loves beads.