Thank you, Malin! – a wee earring challenge / blog hop

Wow – I hadn’t realised it had been so long. I’ve just discovered that I haven’t yet posted in 2015. So, happy new year and all that.  I’ve just had to pay for my slackness by having to delete the 1100+ spam comments that had built up in my absence. I can only delete 20 comments at a time so it’s a laborious process. Anyway, on with the point of this post…

Several weeks ago, that lovely and talented woman, Malin de Koning, contacted me and a few other beaders to see if we’d be interested in participating in a little earring challenge type thing. Malin had sorted out a little bundle of beads and suggested that she send the same assortment of beads to each of us, and proposed that we each come up with some earring designs which we’d share on our blogs today. Malin was particularly interested in stacked earring designs, but it was agreed that we needn’t limit ourselves to such designs alone. The only other ‘rule’ was that each earring pair should include at least three of the beads that Malin sent. There’s something so Malin about this selection!:

10922104_10152884289906598_1029839112_nOne of the reasons why I’ve neglected my blog so far this year is that I haven’t made much jewellery yet. In fact, the only pieces that I’ve made have been for magazines (excluding some earrings for an ABS tute). So doing this challenge was something quite different to what I had been doing and it was a nice change. It was also surprisingly liberating.  Having a small pool of beads to start with lead me to reach for things in my stash that I may have overlooked another day. I’m afraid my stash is so ridiculously gigantic that I sometimes find it a bit overwhelming (especially when it’s all been tied up as it is at the moment).  I was also glad of the opportunity to have a bit of a think about earring designs. I’m aware that lately I’ve fallen into certain habits when it comes to earrings (and bracelets too). One of my challenges this year is to try and break from some of these.  Stacked earrings are a bit of a habit for me so, while I’ve made some stacked pairs, I’ve also tried out some other things. I’m not wholly happy with all the earrings I made and some may well get the chop or be re-worked, but I enjoyed sitting down one empty afternoon and just focusing on this little challenge. Indeed, I enjoyed it so much I ended up with 8 pairs of earrings! Here they are:pair 1These are perhaps my favourites; they may be keepers. The three beads at the top were from Malin. I love those green wheels: they’ve got a real vintage feel – not sure if they are or not. The tubes are from Jon Burgess’s recently(-ish) opened shop. (Go look! – but don’t buy the things I have my eye on….) This next pair turned out better than I hoped.

pair 2

All the beads here are from Malin with the exception of the faceted drops. I love using waxed linen in earrings but I find they’re hard to store if I do. Tips, anyone? Here’s a couple of kooks:

pair 3

Again, most of these beads are from Malin. The double ended copper twisty bobs are from Tracy Smith – wish the nearest one wasn’t sticking out at that distracting angle.  This next pair is (a) a bit of a cheat and (b) the kind of earrings I’m totally in the habit of making.

pair 4

Only the pearls and the ribbed wheels are from Malin. I didn’t mean to cheat; I was going to include some little metal rounds but the hole was blocked in one and I made these on the hoof so it couldn’t be helped. More John Burgess beads, btw.  And – of course! – Scorched Earth. Ditto:

pair 5

Here I’ve used the silver cylinders and gold wooden nuggets from Malin’s pack. Again, these are very me-y earrings. The next are less so. Amongst the beads that Malin sent were a couple of lots of donut-shaped beads with largish holes. These are particularly useful in stacked designs because you can sit a smaller bead above it, in the hole, and get a smooth tapered outline. However, I didn’t end up using them like that.

pair 6

Along with the wooden discs, the striped seeds are from Malin. I’ve done a similar thing with these, using linen instead of wire.


The white beads and the wooden tubes are from Malin’s pack. I’ve teamed them with some copper drop connectors from Joanne Tinley.  Finally, these nearly didn’t get made:

pair 8

But I couldn’t resist sitting those little enamel flowers in the large lucite ones. The metal spacers and the golden yellow wheels are also from Malin.

And that’s the lot. Big thanks again to Malin for organising all this! If, by any chance, you’re interested in owning any of these, please get in touch. I’m really intrigued to see what the others have made. Here’s the links to their blogs:

Malin de Koning – BeadingByMalindeKoning –

Rebecca Anderson – SongBead –

Leah Curtis – BeadyEyedBunny –

Heidi Post – ExPostFacto –