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.

14958310_10154535209831598_881510156_n

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.

dark-things

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

awkward-squad

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.

south-west

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!

curves

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.

plum-stacks

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…

steely-skinniesicicles

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 – www.beadingbymalindekoning.blogspot.se

Rebecca Anderson – SongBead – www.songbeads.blogspot.com

Leah Curtis – BeadyEyedBunny – www.beadyeyedbunny.blogspot.com

Heidi Post – ExPostFacto – www.expostfactojewelry.blogspot.com

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!).

12694508_10153593350643073_5537444787674999647_o

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

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

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.

IMG_7507

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 – www.beadingbymalindekoning.blogspot.se

Rebecca Anderson – SongBead – www.songbeads.blogspot.com

Leah Curtis – BeadyEyedBunny – www.beadyeyedbunny.blogspot.com

Heidi Post – ExPostFacto – www.expostfactojewelry.blogspot.com