Dragonfly Totem Makes Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal Special

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, “Connection,” a beadweaving necklace creation for Bead Soup Blog Party 7

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, “Connection,” a beadweaving necklace creation for Bead Soup Blog Party 7

Count me connected! Count me excited about the first reveal for Bead Soup Blog Party 7.


My generous soup from partner Pam Chesbro of Tulsa, OK contained an inspirational dragonfly, a creature of the wind and water. One of the first connections for me involved researching the symbolism of dragonflies.

Rearranging my soup as I walked by helped the thought process somehow. As the beads connected with my fingers my mind began to feel the piece develop.

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Bead Soup mix

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Bead Soup mix

I embellished the dragonfly focal from Oklahoma artist Suzy Komar, (using Japanese beads and delicas) beading around it and then adding a sterling silver dragonfly charm to the top.

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Focal from Oklahoma artist Suzy Komar

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Focal from Oklahoma artist Suzy Komar

Pam included a high-end multi-strand clasp in my soup. She said she loved it. I do too.

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 12-strand, 6-gram sterling silver clasp

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 12-strand, 6-gram sterling silver clasp

My soup also included a wonderful face I wanted to use. Inspired by the connection between two women (Pam and me) beading in different cities, I decided to add a second face from my stash.

It didn’t appear to work. Could it be the shape, I wondered? After walking by the soup several times, I realized the problem was with the color.

In a charged moment, I painted colors onto my face. I felt electrified, creative. I could “see” the beadweavings connecting the focal to the two faces representing Pam and me, and then to rest of the necklace.

 ©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, two faces connect with focal and 12 strands

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, two faces connect with focal and 12 strands

At no time did I know for sure how the project would turn out. This necklace made itself.

For instance, I planned to inter-weave all the bead strands, much like the work between the focal and the faces. That didn’t happen. It simply didn’t look or feel right for the project.

I experimented with wire, with different sizes of beads, and with different lengths of strands. In every instance, I decided the dragonflies were in charge, not me.

The success of my face paint project did lead me to consider painting the earring tubes from my bead soup. Another connection. Some of each of the seed beads live in those tubes. It made a perfect pairing for the necklace.

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Connection Earrings

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Connection Earrings

BSBP Founder Lori McDaniel Anderson wrote about Bead Soup pairings and results they could create. Looking at the past 60 days, I realize these accomplishments:

    • Colors choices outside my usual boundaries
    • Techniques I might not otherwise have tried
    • Additional time spent in design discussion, sketching, changing
    • More blog posts and pictures
    • Creative enthusiasm fanned by the experience

My partner and I connected a number of times and I reached out to others in the BSBP7 event through social media.

In an amazing way, (thanks in part to Facebook and Pinterest) I feel a creativity connection with every Bead Soup Blog Party 7 participant. Congratulations to Lori for building community!

Please enjoy visiting other “First Reveal” BSBP7 participants and celebrate their accomplishments.


©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Connection

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Connection

The amazing dragonfly, a symbol of transformation is the plus in all of this. My totem. My connection. How cool is that!

How did Bead Soup Blog Party 7 affect you?

About Mary Ellen Merrigan

From embroidery to dressmaking to needlepoint to beading, Mary Ellen Merrigan weaves a lifetime of handiwork into one-of-a-kind works of art that speak to the spirit. Her pieces are adventuresome, creative, and sometimes, magical.
This entry was posted in Blog, Events|Shows|Find ME and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Dragonfly Totem Makes Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal Special

  1. Pam Chesbro says:

    Wow…inspired by the painted faces. I have to be the round one! You did an incredible job on your piece. Love it very much. Now, did you buy something new to wear it with? (I did to wear with mine. LOL)

  2. Silvia says:

    Stunning, I have no words! Such an awesome piece!

  3. Cindy says:

    Wow wow and wow! The multi strand necklace is the perfect foil for the pendant and it’s just a gorgeous piece of art!

  4. Liz E says:

    I love how you embellished the focal. It was a beautiful piece to start with, but the addition of the seed beads and charm elevated it to the level of stunning! I also really appreciate your description of how you let the beads guide you. Artistic inspiration is a gift, a journey thats path is often unknown. We can’t be afraid to walk in unfamiliar surroundings. Your use of the Soup has inspired me.

  5. Careful with mixed media and altering components there… It’s addicting. 😉 You did some amazing work ! I don’t think I could bead-weave to save my life.

  6. Wow! This is absolutely amazing. Wonderful, wonderful job… I am awe-struck and inspired!

  7. Nancy Dale says:

    Absolutely gorgeous and really complex, alluring and tribal and perfect!!! I adore your set!!

  8. says:

    I’m on the 3rd reveal, I’m partecipating for the 3rd time on BSBP
    wow, what a stunning necklace! you are very talented!
    ciao dall’ Italia

  9. Eleanor says:

    You beadweavers never fail to amaze me. Beautiful work, and I love love the dragonfly motif.

  10. kathy stemke says:

    Excellent bead work! Great jewelry!

    I’m in the third reveal. Can’t wait.

  11. Jenny says:

    Gorgeous necklace!

  12. Wowww…… speechless…..fantastic…. fabulous…. amazingly beautiful…..

  13. Marti C. says:

    Totally awesome necklace and I love the earrings too! Fabulous!

  14. Dana says:

    Sometimes, you just have to listen to the beads. They know 🙂

  15. what an amazing accomplishment! I love that you were so inspired to try some new things too! 🙂

  16. Eni Fabian says:

    Wow – so much beautiful work!
    It is a work of art.

  17. Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry says:

    All I can say is “Wow”, beautiful work, you are very talented.

  18. beautiful work well done!

  19. paula hisel says:

    gorgeous pieces. your work is amazing

  20. Jayashree says:

    Double Wow! A feast for the eyes! Congratulations!

  21. I cannot for the life of me, work with the tiny seed beads as you have! Stunning!!!

  22. Ann says:

    You have such a great story to go with your creation. I love dragonflies too and you made them a huge part of your process. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as well as your piece.

  23. Ewa says:

    Beautiful design, lovely colors!Congrats!

  24. Just Beads says:

    Wow! Beautiful work, really gorgeous.

  25. Stunning colours, stunning jewelry, i just love it 🙂

  26. Shae says:

    Loved the way you took the focal from pretty to pretty amazing!

  27. Leanne Loftus says:

    Stunning work!

  28. Bobbie Rafferty says:

    Absolutely, jaw droppingly, gorgeous. The multi strands are so lush, and the beadwoven components are perfect. Delicious!

  29. bailaora says:

    what a great design! im impressed!

  30. Your necklace is a real show stopper.

  31. Love how the little dragonflies escaped from the cab! The clasp is perfect for seed bead strands, first I thought you made the wide part with ladder stitch 🙂

  32. Patty Johnson says:

    Beautiful set! Your bead work is really stunning! Great focal!

  33. That is absolutely spectacular! It looks like it took forever to make. Very well done! Thanks so much!

  34. Kim Houston says:

    LOVE the color combo of the peachy/pinky/coral with the little pops of turquoise blue. Your piece is stunning!

  35. Beautiful work Mary Ellen!
    I like how you encased/framed the focal and added on the dragon fly!
    Inspiring! The entire piece is attractive! The earrings are a lovely accompaniment

  36. SusanM says:

    You did a lovely job of highlighting the beautiful focal.

  37. CraftyHope says:

    It sounds like this challenge was more of an experience for you. I love how connected you seemed to be to the whole process. I’m sure it makes your pieces mean so much more to you. It inspires me to think beyond the beads and the palette. Thank you! Oh, and your pieces are just lovely! Nice job 🙂

Comments are closed.