Stacked Earrings V

Long time visitors to this blog may remember that about two years ago I participated in the first of a series of fun wee earring-making blog hops. The idea was suggested by Malin de Koning, who proposed that a group of five of us make earrings from a collection of pairs of beads that she had put together (head here for more details and to see the first blog hop). Subsequenty, each of us put together a pack of beads and then sent them out to the rest of the group. The last time we did one of these blog hops was in February 2016, so it’s been a while. This final pack that we’ve been working with was put together by Heidi Post. And, through an usual turn of a events, I’ve actually had them since May, 2015! At the time, it was thought that this final hop would be happening much sooner than it is, and Heidi had to send something else to me, so she included her bead selection in the parcel.


I actually made some earrings when I received them. Just recently, with a date set for this hop, I looked at them afresh and ended up taking most of them apart and re-designing them. Looking at this photo above, I see that I really haven’t done a very good job of incorporating the larger beads to the right of the picture. The beads that first caught my eye were the black stick pearls on the left. It’s a shape I’ve used quite a bit in earrings in the past, using tektite and black tourmaline crystals. These first two pairs were both re-made recently.


The marvellous dark things are from Petra, of course. The other beads are from the pack.


I really liked the unusual colour mix in the lampwork beads at the top of these, and so I worked with it throughout this pair. The thing I like about these earrings is that they’re actually slightly awkward and strange in outline. I think I tend towards more conventional, balanced profiles when designing; it’s good to diverge from these habits sometimes.

The next pair were made not long after I received the pack.


A good part of them are beads from Heidi’s selection.

Now for the earrings made more recently. Here I’ve combined some of my porcelain tusks with the curved tube beads and a couple of other tiddlers from the pack. I’m afraid that they look frankly peculiar in this picture!


When they’re on, however, they’re going to sweep gracefully below the chin, framing the face. In the next pair I’ve mixed a selection of the kinda earthy, autumnal coloured beads from the pack with some black slice beads and some unpolished amber.


The drops, which match so well, are from Robyn Cove. Finally, I have two pairs of skinny stacks that barely make the grade because they only include a few of Heidi’s beads. The minimum we’re supposed to use is three and I’ve not managed to use any more than that in either pair. Still, they exist…


Again, more Petra pieces here, along with some lampwork from Linda Newnham.

I haven’t listed any of these yet. I could only face taking a few quick snaps this morning (hence my failure to take a more flattering picture of the tusk-y jobs). The whole silver listing marathon has left me with scant appetite for photography and drafting listings. At least some of them will find their way into the shop anon. If there is anything that particularly catches your eye, do message me through Etsy.

But before you do anything else, go check out what the others have made – the links are just below. A big ol’ thanks to Heidi for sending this cool pack of treats! And thanks to Malin, again, for setting this whole thing in motion!

Malin de Koning – BeadingByMalindeKoning –

Rebecca Anderson – SongBead –

Leah Curtis – BeadyEyedBunny –

Heidi Post – ExPostFacto –

Back to stack – another wee earring challenge / blog hop

A couple of months ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long!), I participated in a earring making challenge / blog hop, organised by Malin de Koning. If you read this blog regularly you may remember it. Malin sent me and three others the same set of beads and we all made earrings from them, then did the blog hop. Here’s a link to my post.  Well, we all enjoyed it so much that we decided to do it again, only this time I selected and sent out the beads, which were these:

10984650_10152962219981598_930617816_nSomewhat inevitably, when picking these beads, I went towards things that had been in my stash for a while, things I’d been struggling to incorporate in pieces.  I combined these with some new beads that I bought especially for the challenge, some of my favourites, and some neutrals and some smaller filler beads to balance out the larger, more elaborate shapes. Perhaps it’s because of my ‘issues’ with the colour – I’ve written about my ambivalence towards green before – but somehow I managed to add lots of green to my pack.  Maybe it’s because I don’t tend to use it and so have more surplus to share. I don’t know… To make matters worse, for some reason, I ended up adding in a certain amount of purple. Now, I know green and purple is a popular combination with many – maybe one of the other participants will be delighted with it! – but I personally don’t get on with it. I think it dates back to when I was on the cusp of my early teens, when I painted my entire bedroom purple and green (they were my favourite colours then), and was a little too keen on tie-dye and patchouli oil.  As a result of this, I see purple and green and I see: !STYLE ERROR!  Consequently, when I came to working with this lot of beads, I found I’d hobbled myself.  I kept putting things together, seeing these colours together, and thinking, ‘no, no, nooooo’. Still, ultimately, it meant I was challenged to arrive at other combinations and to think about different colours a bit, so that was good.  Here’s the first pair I made.

pair 1

When Malin set the first challenge, she suggested we focus on stacked earring designs. I was feeling a bit stacked out at the time, so I tried doing other things with Malin’s pack. This time, maybe because I was struggling with the colours, I went super stack happy, as you can see above and below.

pair 2

And again here:

pair 3

In this last pair I allowed a bit of the purple and green in, whilst trying to dilute it with other colours. Here’s some more major stacking:

pair 4

Possibly a stack too far….

The first few pairs came together relatively easily, but then I hit a bit of a wall. I was at the point of thinking I was all done, but it was then that I really pushed myself to try mixing in other colours and being a bit more inventive with the beads I had left. I put a couple of wooden discs in the pack, unsure what they’d be used for.  Eventually, I thought to use them as a backing to these tin bead caps (from Lorelei Eurto).

pair 6

I really like the top of them but I’m not certain about the drops. One of the ‘rules’ Malin set was that we should use at least three beads from the pack in each pair of earrings and it seemed a shame not to include these vintage glass leaves somewhere.  Now I’m thinking that I might ultimately cannibalise several of the pairs I’ve made and combine the top of one with the bottom from another, etc.. Anyway, next pair: if I hadn’t been pushed, I’d never have thought to use the colours I’ve used here.

pair 6

I really like the combination. I think I’ll leave them as they are.  More heavy stacking here:

pair 7

Yes, that baggy wire on the top right bead is annoying!  Again, after I made these last ones I thought I was done, but then this improbable pair came together, which I was quite pleased with.

pair 8

I’ve stacked the lower section on some skinny vintage chain links. Then, when I really, really thought I was done….

pair 9

After which all I had left was:

left overs

I should probably have forced myself to make something with this last little lot – hey ho. I can’t wait to see how the others have used the beads I sent to them. And we’ll be doing this challenge again soon with another pack chosen by Leah Curtis. Looking forward to that too!  But for now, here’s the links to all the other participants blogs. Go look!:

Rebecca Anderson – Songbead

Leah Curtis – Beady Eyed Bunny

Malin de Koning – Beading by Malin de Koning

Heidi Post – Ex Post Facto

Art Bead Scene – team members’ challenge blog hop (July 2014)

When this impromptu blog hop was suggested a couple of days ago I had a couple of doubts.  I knew I didn’t have any art beads that obviously fitted the subject matter of this month’s Art Bead Scene challenge image.Little_Mermaid_-_mermaids_treasures_-_Edmund_Dulac_for_Andersen

(Edmund Dulac – illustration for ‘The Little Mermaid’, 1911)

But also – can I admit this? – it’s not an image that’s entirely to my taste.  Also, I’m not a great enthusiast when it comes to mermaids and other mythical creatures.  But I wanted to play along and take part in the challenge with the rest of the team.  So, I decided to be led by the colours and some of the textures and shapes, rather than focusing on the narrative content. In concentrating on the colours, I found Brandi’s colour palette post really handy.  I started with a pair of earrings.

ocean bed 1

I received these scrummy turquoise droppers from Scorched Earth earlier this week. I’d left them on my bead table because I knew I was keen to do something with them. I’ve added some faux coral lampwork beads from Glass Bead Art. They have all sorts of colours swirled through them; primarily, they’re a plum colour but there are also purples, blues, reds and creams.

ocean bed 4

The frayed sari silk bow and the copper twists (from Cinnamon Jewellery) nod to the fronds of seaweed in the image. I’ve listed these earrings here on Etsy.

I had planned to use some of my precious selection of Carolyn Saxby‘s fibre beads to make another pair of earrings. They seemed a perfect match for the many shades and textures in Dulac’s painting.  However, I didn’t have two in the right colours that matched in size. So, I decided to use just one as a pendant focal instead.

ocean bed necklace

Along with Carolyn’s bead, I’ve used a lampwork barrel from Helen Chalmers, some patinated chain and a hammered ring from Grubbi, and some of my own patinated chain. It’s a fairly simple necklace but it’s a style I really like to wear so I think I’ll be keeping it for me.  Now I’m off to see what everyone else has made. I’m anticipating some great designs!

Mary Harding
Rebecca Anderson
Ema Kilroy
Claire Lockwood (you are here)

‘We’re All Ears’ blog hop

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on here but I was recently invited to join the Earrings Everyday blog team.  (Very gratifying it was, too!)  Today is the reveal date for our new ‘We’re All Ears’ blog hop, which will be happening every month from now on.  We’re hoping blogging designers will want to join the team in making earring designs inspired by a monthly image.  Here’s the inspiration for this month.


Any blogger who wants to participate can do so by making, blogging and linking here.  Here’s what I came up with:

love bugs 1

I’ve mixed some beautiful wirework head pins from The Curious Bead Shop with Petra’s (Scorched Earth) wonderfully vivid wild lime connectors.  Then I added in a mix of wee czech glass and recycled glass beads in what I’m calling ‘rainforest’ shades.  These Love Bugs are available in my Etsy shop.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with. We’d love to have lots of bloggers participating.  To join the hop or see what others have made, here’s where you want to be!