This year's partner is the multi-talented Helen Simon from Louisiana. Here's one of her bead listings from her ETSY store -- stunning, right??!
I have to admit when I first saw Helen's website I was gobsmacked, as my dear Aussie friends would say. There was absolutely no way I could send her any of my humble lampworked beads, and my fusing kiln is on the fritz so creating a fused glass focal or two was out of the question. SO -- I dug deep into my private stash of beads that I've collected over the years, and chose a very special one that I hope Helen likes.
There are a couple of requirements that Lori sets forth for the Bead Soup exchanges which can sometimes be challenging:
1. You must send and use the focal and clasp that your partner sends you
2. Send beads/items that are different from what your partner typically works with
Helen's work is bold, vibrant and fun, fun, fun. Like me, she's not afraid of using color and lots of it! So.....putting together a package that would be different meant (to me) that I'd better tone things down a bit. Without sharing too many details, here's a pixelated photo of what I sent to my charming Bead Soup buddy, Helen -- I certainly hope she likes it and am excited to see what she creates. I'll publish a real photo of what I sent after I receive my package from Helen, so stay tuned!