Stacked Earrings IV

It’s been a long old time since the last round of the Stacked Earrings Challenge, initiated by the marvellous Malin de Koning (full details here!). This latest batch of beads was sent by Rebecca Anderson. Before I received them, Rebecca had ‘warned’ me that I might need to dig out my neutrals. I would expect nothing less than full on colour from Rebecca!; but it hadn’t occurred to me that I might have a difficulty with that. But I did! And now, looking back over my most recent jewellery posts here or at the first page of my shop, I see that my work has become predominately neutral in colour lately. So, yes, this was more of a test than I’d anticipated! Here’s what Rebecca sent (Thanks for the photo, Leah!).

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As you can see, there’s some gorgeous beads here. And lots of really strong colours. I’m a big fan of rings and discs – which are perfect for stacking and sitting within each other – so I was really pleased to see all of those in the mix. To deal with the colour issue I’ve generally just gone with one or two brights and combined them with softer or more neutral shades. I’ve always really like those two tone, dotty, czech glass ovals, so they were one of the first things I reached for.

Whispering In The Hall 1

I’ve mixed a number of the little beads from Rebecca’s pack into the tassels.  Next, I was drawn to the combination of turquoise and yellow alongside some bright red.

framed

In truth, I’m not entirely happy with these. I’ve fiddled with them but ultimately they’re not right so they’ll be going in the chop box. Still, I thought I’d share them since they were part of the process and met the criteria. I’m also in two minds about these.

yellow centre

Last year, when I had a bit of a what-am-I-doing? jewellery wobble, I told myself that I would only list things with which I was totally happy. I’ve tried to stick to that but you can’t be completely over the moon about everything…. can you? Anyway, I’ve been bearing that in mind recently. I like the different elements of these earrings but together they’re not quite right.

I’m happier with these. I like the soft, faded pistachio with the dark metals.

A Later Age

Whenever I see turquoise and red, it always makes me think of Rebecca, as it’s one of her favourite combinations. So, to me, these are a very Rebecca pair.

Your Queen 1

I really wanted to add some gold into the mix here but when I did it was just too bright and brassy. Thank heavens for Novacan! Do I need to mention that the drops are from Petra? Here’s another pair that I’m a bit uncertain about.

Sunspots 1

I was unreasonably pleased when I discovered that the concentric rubber rings sat just inside the orange dots on Jana‘s earring charms. I added the grungy chains last as the earrings were feeling a bit too clean cut. But now I’m thinking that I could do to include some more grungy metal in the stack at the top. Shall I start again or leave them be? Hmmmm…

Finally, this pair of floozies.

Fierce, fiercer, fiercest 1

I reckon these’ll do.

Remarkably, I’ve managed to list all four pairs with which I’m definitely happy on Etsy.

Huge thanks to Rebecca for providing such a lovely – if challenging! – pack. I’m always so intrigued to see what everyone else has made; and so amazed by both the variety of designs and the points of connection. Go look see!:

Rebecca Anderson – Songbead

Leah Curtis – Beady Eyed Bunny

Malin de Koning – Beading by Malin de Koning

Heidi Post – Ex Post Facto

Stacked Earring Challenge the Third

Before I say anything else, I really need to apologise some. As I’ve said before, angrily, I have a whole lot of trouble getting my blog set-up to approve the comments I really want to read from you living, breathing, reading folk. At the same time as it’s busy marking these comments as spam, it happily builds up great heaps of actual spam in the moderation queue. So, it gets hard to pull your much-appreciated comments out from the slew of bunkum.  I’ve just sifted through a mountain of spam and found numerous comments for the last post and posts prior to that. In short, I’m really sorry that people are having difficulty commenting, but if it doesn’t appear immediately (for which: sorry!), your comment should be unearthed in the not too distant future and I will be extremely grateful that you made it.

Anyway, on with the earring challenge.  You can read all about what it’s all about here. This  time it was Leah‘s turn to send out the beads. It was a real treat of a parcel.

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I was really taken with a number of the beads in this little lot. I’m looking at it now and shaking my head over not having made more. Why didn’t I get round to using x, y, or z bead? Unusually, for me, I was particularly drawn to a number of the small beads in this parcel. The ribbed clay tubes were instant favourites when I spied them. I had soooo many  ideas for them – I had to get Leah to tell me where I could purchase more. Anyway, I had two designs I particularly wanted to try. One was to combine them with lots of the other small beads to finish little tassels on fine chain.

procession 1

(ear wires – Lucy Haslam)

With the exception of a couple of seed beads, all the beads on these chain drops are from Leah’s pack.  I guess they’re like lots of little stacks on the end of the chains.  The other plan I had was for these:

(candy cane sticks) 1

(polymer bicones – Graceful Willow)

I’m afraid they ended up being a bit of a cheat because while my design originally used three lots of Leah’s beads (one of the rules), it didn’t look right when I put them together.  Still, I really wanted to go ahead and make them anyway.  Similarly –

remembrance 1

These do have three sets of beads from the pack, however.  The other beads that really caught my eye when I opened my pack were the large turquoise czech glass bicones. I already have a number in different shades in my stash and I do like them a lot. I added red and purple beads from the pack and teamed them with some vintage filigree ring findings that I patinated.

dahlias and everlastings 1

(ear wires – Yvette Goodridge)

This pair also makes use of some of the larger beads in the pack.

tidemark 1

(ceramic tips – Scorched Earth)

Finally, I made these:

slinks 1

Again, I’ve gone with a number of the little beads for this final pair.  I really enjoyed working with this pack – thank you, Leah! Now to go see what everyone else has made!

Rebecca Anderson – Songbead

Leah Curtis – Beady Eyed Bunny

Malin de Koning – Beading by Malin de Koning

Heidi Post – Ex Post Facto

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