Bead Soup and Small Changes
by Judy Larson
Years ago, I got together with a group of friends where we pooled three sizes of our orphan beads-and boy did we have a lot! You never realize how much you have until it is all in front of you! Anyway, we decided to make bracelets and/or necklaces to wear with our summer white t-shirts and white shirts. I made multi-color 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm necklaces and love wearing these pops of color "Bead Soup" necklaces. Bonus: The fun and laughter we shared is remembered every time I wear them.
Instructions
Oh, and if you were wondering, we had TONS of beads left over. Of course, not one of us would agree to taking the remaining beads home. After all, the whole idea was to clean out our stashes of beads, not add to them! In the end, we split them up and it was a good thing we did. Those few beads-who am I kidding, we each took home a snack bag full-were what I used to make small changes in the three bead necklaces I made.

Tastes change, and so did my coloring when I gave myself the gift of going grey. When we were stringing our beads, whatever bead we pulled from the bowl had to be used in order pulled unless two were the same color or close to the same color. That was hard for those of use who like things "balanced" in color, shape, and size. It was a good thing the beads were separated by size and shape.

I am still happy with the 4mm and 6mm bead necklaces. However, the 8mm bead necklace no longer worked for me visually as I felt it no longer complimented my skin and hair. Since some of the beads stood out too much from the rest, I thought a change was in order.
1. The first major change made with the necklaces was changing from 7 strand to 49 strand wire on the three original necklaces and using it on the new one. They drape better and there will be no more kinks in the wire because of this.

2. The second change made was to not flatten the crimp tubes or use crimp covers over them. For me, besides being easier and a time saver, using the Magical Crimping Pliers to crimp/shape crimp tubes makes a nicer looking necklace end finish.

Before pulling out the beads to be replaced, I set beads to replace them with in the groove next to the necklace beads on the bead board-first photo. After the new beads were inserted, more beads needed to be removed and replaced-second photo. The necklace was no longer a "Bead Soup" necklace, but much more to my liking. And I did not have to purchase any new beads! Of course, the beads removed replaced those used in the snack bag so I really did not use up any beads!

Pro Tip: It is sometimes easier to see where changes should be made in a photo than in person.
Judy Larson's Bead Soup and Small Changes - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, designing with beads
Judy Larson's Bead Soup and Small Changes - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, designing with beads
Judy Larson's Bead Soup and Small Changes - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, designing with beads
Sometimes just small changes can make a design more interesting. Since there were still tons of beads left, more 4mm than 6mm, I thought it might be fun and add a bit of interest to mix the two. Each 6mm bead was separated by three 4mm beads-first photo. The mixed size version is shown next to the 4mm version-second photo. And what do you know! As much as I like my other necklaces, the subtle difference in bead sizes made this necklace version my favorite-third photo!
Nothing remains static in my household. I wonder what the new iteration of these necklaces will look like in another five or ten years!

Judy Larson's Bead Soup and Small Changes - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, designing with beads
Judy Larson's Bead Soup and Small Changes - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, designing with beads
Judy Larson's Bead Soup and Small Changes - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, designing with beads

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Tools

Wire Wrapping/Beading Work Station
G16-43
  • G16-43
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Soft Flex Beading Wire--Medium--.019
BDC-419.00
  • BDC-419.00
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  • Price: $15.50
  • Gold Club Price: $11.63
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  • Category: Design
  • Technique(s): Design