Bead Soup 8 Reveal!

This has been an interesting challenge! I’ll just beg your pardon if this blog post seems a little choppy – I’ve been writing it in pieces as I went along, and photographing each piece as it’s come off the bench. So it’s about a month of working and writing in chunks.

While the bead soup that Robin sent me was really cohesive and would have worked in one piece really beautifully, I saw quite a few possibilities and decided that I would just go as inspiration struck me. I set myself two challenges for this Bead Soup Party. The first was that I would use at least one of my own handmade components in each piece. The second was that I would only use stash to complement Robin’s bead soup package – nothing new. No bead shopping!

“Mermaids at Night, Sailor’s Delight.”

I made: the focal.
Soup beads: green faceted Czech glass rondelles


When I saw the little strand of bright green faceted rondelles, I knew what I would pair them with right off! They were obviously meant to match up with my bamboo tile mermaid focal. I still had some of the beautiful purple pearls from last year’s challenge, which picked up the burgundy/purple tint of the bamboo focal tile really nicely. I used a Patricia Healey toggle and some African Amazonite from my stash.

“On Agate Beach.”

I made: the bracelet focal disc bead, and the tinted copper elements in the earrings
Soup beads: assorted seed beads, faceted agate rounds, faceted agate rondelle


About an hour north of where I grew up is a great little beach called Agate Beach. We used to go there as kids and hunt for agates in the sand. There would often be great clumps of kelp washed up on the beach, the empty shells of various sea creatures and sometimes you would find a glass float from a Japanese fishing net (if you were very lucky). Robin’s soup included ALL the agate!  The focal is a polymer clay disc bead that I made. It looks a little bit sea-crittery, yes? A green, faceted, agate rondelle anchors the focal bead to the Patricia Healey toggle closure from my stash.
I really wanted to create a pair of earrings that would work well with my new bracelet. The swirly lampworked headpins came from my stash and looked great set off with some soup seed beads. I paired those with domed and textured copper discs that I tinted with Ranger alcohol ink, then glazed. The layer of translucent ink over the bright copper is very luminous in the direct sunlight. It almost looks like one of those funky glass Japanese floats – imperfections and all. I feel like I really managed to capture my favorite childhood beach in these pieces!

“Love Letters”

I made: the disc beads and the tinted copper elements in the earrings.
Soup beads: Textured copper toggle closure (Melinda Orr), seed beads.


I used the toggle clasp from my soup in this set. It is from Melinda Orr ‘s studio. The shape and size worked just perfectly with my handmade disc beads. It was originally a little bit too bright, so I went over it with Gilder’s Paste I used some of the dark brown seed beads from the soup to accent the jump ring on the toggle and the ends of the linen cording.
The blue ball headpins are from my stash, they are balls of etched glass from Raida Disbrow’s studio. I really just liked that pop of bright blue against the deeper reds and purples. It’s very eye catching, especially with the earrings! Those are tinted with alcohol ink. I liked the ones I did with the beach set so well, I made a second pair.

“I Carry Your Heart”
I made: the focal element, and copper spiral clasp/hook closure.
Soup beads: “amber” glass rondelles, golden fluourite,


Originally I was going to just do the stamped copper as my focal piece, but then I found some textured copper sheet and made a little cover for it.


The spiral wire it hangs from was because I couldn’t get it to hang on the cord properly alone. So I just kept building.


By the time this post goes to reveal day, I’ll have patinaed and tumbled the clasp to match the focal. But on picture day, it was still unpatinaed.

This piece is all about mothering and every element is representative of the journey in some way, for me. Fire and water and oh yes, it roughs you up a bit on the way!

Thanks for a lovely soup, Robin Kae Reed! I had fun with it!

About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
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78 Responses to Bead Soup 8 Reveal!

  1. Marjolein says:

    Lovely jewellery! Well done!!

  2. Robin Kae Reed says:

    I really love all of your pieces!! Your tiles are now on my most wanted list!!! LOl I really love the earthiness and the uniqueness of your designs! You did an amazing job and i love it all!! It has been a blast to work with you!!!

    • Rainy says:

      Robin, and you only saw half of them because the post didn’t upload completely! I’m glad you liked them though. I can’t wait to see what you post when you get it up online!

  3. Cece says:

    Sweet designs. Very earthy feel. Well done.

  4. Sheila Davis says:

    Very pretty! I love your earthy style.

  5. Fabulous work on all your pieces!

  6. Heidi says:

    Oooo – so very pretty and organic! I love them and the Japanese net floats are a wonderful imagery that does come through. Beautiful work!

  7. medbeads says:

    Nice job..I like your bracelets…

  8. Such lovely work well done!

  9. artjewelz says:

    Very pretty designs 🙂

  10. Kari Asbury says:

    WOW! so many lovely pieces. “I carry your heart” is my favorite, but everything is beautiful!

    • Rainy says:

      Thank you Kari! That one is my favorite too. I didn’t go into all the symbolism but every element has some meaning for me as far as how it pertains to the mothering journey. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sell it.

  11. Very nice. You obviously put a lot of work into your reveal. And, it was worth it. Everything is fabulous. Great job!

    • Rainy says:

      Thank you 🙂 I’m glad I did it over time though, if I’d waited I think I’d have been really screwed.

  12. Love your creative designs!

  13. Wow! Incredible designs. I love how you set a goal to use some of your own pieces and then bits of the soup. Definitely met and surpassed the goal.

    • Rainy says:

      Thank you! Having goals made it much more interesting, that’s for sure. I am not sure what sort of handmade component I’ll use on the final necklace – that’ll be part of the longer chain that I couldn’t get done in time.

  14. Kumi Fisher says:

    So many beautiful pieces but my fav is the Love Letters set!

    • Rainy says:

      Thank you Kumi! I’m on the fence about the dangle on the bracelet – may remove it, but I loved how the clasp from Robin’s soup worked so well with the beads.

  15. I like the collage piece you started with your focal. Very cool. And I’m absolutely nuts about the “I carry your heart” focal you made. I already love your work, but I think this may be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen you make. AWESOMESAUCE! 🙂

    • Rainy says:

      Wow, thank you Kelly! Coming from you that’s high praise, I love your exuberant, wonderful work. You’re one of my inspirations with the art bead/copper/shapes/hammered/NIFTY stuff.

  16. Bjo Trimble says:

    Rainy, use a small hemostat to hold small metal pieces while hammering on them. I carry 2 sizes in my tool kit, to act as a third set of fingers and to keep my own fingers out of harm’s way. I got mine at a medical supply store.

  17. Dana says:

    Love the little bit of purple added to the bracelet, a perfect little touch.
    Actually I loved all the pieces you made.
    A couple of your Mandalas (or how to draw) made it onto my mood board, it’s nice to be able to say Hey you helped inspire the muse and me 🙂 Thanks!

  18. I got a chance to see the rest…OMG those are so amazing!!! The love letters one should come with a warning…tissue needed!!! I really love your style and your designs!!! Happy Mother’s day to you as well!!!
    When you see your mom today, hug her once for me and tell her thank you for the gift you are to all of your friends…me included.!!!

  19. Monique U says:

    Thanks for sharing all your inspirations as well as your gorgeous designs, Rain … beautifully done indeed!

  20. Tammy Adams says:

    I love the components you made and how you incorporated them into your soup. The copper components are spectacular.

  21. cheekymagpie says:

    Your work is so fun and whimsical. Love all the techniques you used. What a great way to personalize a soup!

  22. Rachel says:

    All of the pieces are lovely, but I love the first one! And you have a new fan of your components! I love them!

  23. Tandra Boyer says:

    Oh I LOVE all the pieces you made! Especially with your Bamboo focal, which is stunning! I want to go look for those green faceted beads, the color rocks!!
    Love you r organic style.

    • Rainy says:

      Thank you! It’s totally not a color I’d have picked for myself but they worked perfectly. Robin really nudged me in some new color directions with this challenge.

  24. Barb Fernald says:

    Wow, you really made a lot of beautiful pieces! I like how you combined so many of your own pieces in with the soup. Great bracelets!!

  25. Marilyn says:

    What a beautiful project and I loved every piece. Great job!

    • Rainy says:

      Thank you Marilyn! I had fun with it this year. I’m sad because they may not do it next year – the organizer has been sick and she was saying they might take a break. I hope they do have it becuase it’s become one of my favorite blog hops.

  26. Andrea says:

    Your pieces are very moving. I lack the proper vocabulary to describe it I think. They are all so beautiful. I always love bracelets and yours are absolutely profound. I am not one to accessorize, but I would pick your jewelry and then clothing to match. lol

    • Rainy says:

      Andrea, I often pick my clothes based on what jewelry I want to wear in a given day. 😀 Priorities… it just goes to show we’ve got them straight!

  27. Lori says:

    They are all wonderful, love your earthy style! Love the locket you are working on too, it’s going to be great!

  28. autumnskyadornments says:

    What a fantastic idea, to work your gorgeous handmade elements into your soup pieces! I particularly love the stamped copper piece, with it’s sweet little cover and the spiral adaptation!
    You constantly amaze me with the breadth of techniques and materials you work in and with, and these pieces are no exception.

    If not for you, I wouldn’t have known about this challenge, so for that, I thank you! ❤

  29. Ghislaine says:

    one purdy after the other! I think my favorite is the ‘I carry your heart’ piece, would love to see it in it’s patinated version (is that a word?) good job on all though!

  30. Alenka says:

    Beautiful pieces! I specially like the first bracelet! Congratulations on using your own components in each piece. It was my idea too, but didn’t accomplish it …

  31. Marti C. says:

    Great pieces from a wonderful soup!

  32. Margareta says:

    Such a talent you have, every piece having something awesome made by you! I’ll pop and see what you’ll make with the last one 🙂

  33. Silvia says:

    No bead shopping seems hard, but then I can see you had everything you needed to make awesome pieces! ALl is beautiful, but the I Carry Your Heart necklace is just stunning and so original

  34. Corrie says:

    I love your use of mixed media. Your work is very inspirational and beautiful.

  35. Rainy, your work is absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful work and amazing variety. Sorry about your bum knee, hope it gets better! Xo Kris

  36. Um, wow! Where do I even start? The photos are amazing, you ROCKED your soup with so many wonderful designs! I love the names of your work and your thoughtful and precise construction of your pieces. Love your boho style! xo Genea

    • Rainy says:

      Wow, omg really? *flails with tiny dinosaur arms of joy* Thank you, Genea! I love your beads so much. I made my Love Letters beads after reading your tutorial in Belle Armoire jewelry magazine and the stringing of them was TOTALLY from that tutorial – you mentioned Lorelei Eurto’s book about Bohemian Jewelry so I went and bought it to learn the technique. You’re one of the artists who inspired me to start making beads, not just buying them!

  37. Wow what a display of amazing talent. You creations , you designs, are brilliant …I love everything about the along with the names you have chosen for each piece. The colors , the textures, the workmanship are perfect. ty for sharing bye now …gotta get ta hoppin…boy are my legs tired

  38. Dorota says:

    gorgeous bracelet, so stunning mixed media necklace!

  39. All your pieces are gorgeous! My favourite is “Mermaids at Night, Sailor’s Delight” which is unusual because I don’t normally love green, but I do adore Czech beads.

  40. Hi Rain, The focal that you made in “Mermaids at Night, Sailors Delight” is wonderful and it matches the soup beads perfectly. This is my favorite piece. “On Agate Beach” really does look like kelp. The focal cover in “I Carry Your Heart” is very unique and creative. “Creekside Dryad” is awesome. You are a very talented artist.

  41. I love that you combined your own work in with what your partner gave you. I especially like the book you made. How wonderful to end up with so many pieces! Great job

  42. Louise says:

    I love your work, and the titles are poetic! The mermaid tile is perfect with the intense green beads.

  43. Linda A. says:

    What beautiful pieces! You have such a quirky and fun style – I often wish this was my style. =) Beautiful pieces and I love, love, love the bracelet with the discs you made. Curious – what type of material did you use to string them? =) Gorgeous pieces, indeed!

  44. Silke says:

    Wow, I love all your pieces. You made a really great job. I can’t make a decission whats my favourite. I love all the harmonious color combinations and designs. So stunning!

  45. Pure artistic magic, you complimented your soup beads perfectly showcasing both, all your pieces are stunning.

  46. All of your pieces are beautiful and I really like the way you told us all which was your work and which beads came from the soup. It’s wonderful how it all came together so perfectly!

  47. Fun pieces – love them all!!

  48. It was interesting to follow you through your creative process, each creation has a story and a personal meaning to you. The mermaids and dream beach bracelets are my favorite but the Carry my heart is an amazing piece and one cannot be but fascinated with the expression of its symbolism!

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