Friday, March 16, 2018

We're All Ears :: Pump up the Contrast

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!

I am definitely the White Rabbit!

Late into the evening last night (because if it weren't for the last minute nothing would ever get done) I was creating my earrings for our monthly challenge: All About the Contrast.

I typically go through my stash and pull out all the beads in the color palette that I intend to use. This time Black + White. That was a significant challenge for me! Everywhere I look there is a sandbox of colorful beads beckoning me to dive on in. But I did manage to find some.

Eagle-eye Friend of the Blog, Miss Divya, pointed out a mistake on my challenge post that it is a misnomer to call Black + White a monochromatic color palette. Of course, she is right! I will admit that I have not formally studied color, but consider myself more of a Color-Embracer, so I appreciate learning the correct term. She let me know that Black + White is actually called achromatic. So I looked it up.
The term achromatic can be confused with monochromatic. Achromatic means only the neutral colors are used in decorating. These neutral colors are black, white, and gray. A monochromatic color scheme, however, means that designers use varying shades of one color. -
Thank you for the clarification!

 What I was really going for was a play on mixing patterns this month, but whatever direction you decided to go in is completely okay. The point of these challenges is always to have fun and make earrings!

I decided that I would stick with just Black + White and not mix any colors. But I did decide to add some touches of gold that I think really pop, as would any other metallic. Here is what I created:

I found these black glass petal beads in my stash from a video shoot that I did for Interweave back in 2015. Then I spotted a baggie on the floor with a defunct "grandma" necklace in it. There were these knobby plastic pearls in the bunch separated with the gold filigree bead caps. I know you can't really see it, but under the bead caps were these sort of rubbery black plastic daisy bead caps that allowed a little black to peek out. Topped it off with some great chunky faceted snowflake obsidian stones. I could picture these elegant earrings on a character like the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey (goodness, how I miss that show!).

I have no idea where I got these twisted glass wreath beads. Then I spotted these carved mother of pearl leaves. I added some little black beads that came from that defunct granny necklace (see above). I couldn't come up with a name for these since my mind was too full. Ha!

Long ago I had purchased some lightweight vintage plastic beads. I have no idea why I buy things, because I rarely have a need for them in the moment, and I am realizing that my studio is filled to overflowing with so many things like this! I really need to start using them up! That has been my plan this year. But it seems that when I find something like this and use it, that things just seem to multiply. I used to have quite a stash of Jennifer Heynen's Jangles beads over the years (if you need a dose of happy, just head on over there!). She has since stopped making beads to focus on making fabric, so what I have left are pretty special to me! She knew how to mix bold patterns fearlessly. I auditioned all manner of spacers to give an added oomph, and these vintage brass bursts did just the trick. I think that Jennifer would approve!

I really do adore mismatched earrings. But I never find myself making them. But these little stacks just sort of appeared in the jumble. All very similarly shaped elements, which makes this work. Bits of Jangles and JulsBeads.

Who doesn't love penguins? I bought these cute little critter beads from JettaBug Jewelry some time ago (see above re: buying-things-and-never-knowing-how-or-when-you-will-use-them). Now was the perfect time to bust them loose! They make me so happy! I decided that these sweet friends needed a little block of ice to feel at home. Friends forever doing their dance!

Okay. That's enough for me. Let's see what you made!


  1. What fun earrings! I have some of Jetta's little penguins too. They are irresistible and I love how you paired them with crystal "ice cubes." I wish I had your stash of patterned B&W beads. Mine are mostly solids and I needed more patterns to choose from. Thanks for another great challenge.

  2. I love colorful things so much that I forget how beautiful just black and white can be. These are all quite striking - especially the mismatched pair and the wonderful penguins with ice!

  3. I love how you took a limited palette and made such different and lovely things! I honestly don't know if I have a favorite pair. Thanks so much for letting me play along! :)

  4. What lovely earrings! I would definitely say that you work well under pressure!

  5. Oh gracious, girlfriend! You put the bang in some black and white earrings. I really love all of them and couldn't pick a favorite if I tried. Though, you do make me wonder why I never picked up more of the Jangles beads. I remember lusting over them. I can't believe I never got any. You really let them shine in these pairs.

  6. What a plethora of earrings! I scrolled up and down several times and no, I can't pick a favorite - they all are so different, classic and whimsical, love all the little added details!

  7. I love the penguin earrings. They are just so darn cute. Thanks for this fun challenge.

  8. I am not sure if my first comment got posted but I wanted to say sorry for being a stickler and blurting it out like that (Teacher Syndrome!!) and thank you for accepting my views. I really wanted to participate as achromatic is very difficult for me to work with. But I couldn't manage my time well to create for this challenge. Your Happy feet pair is delightful. Judging from the linky, Everyone seems to have done a great job. I am off to check them out

  9. Oh my, what a wonderful collection of earrings!! thank you so much for organizing the monthly challenge Erin!!

  10. These are all fabulous! Have to admit being partial to the penguins ;) They look so cute on their blocks of ice!

  11. Great earrings, Erin! I think the Cartoon Blooms may be my favorites... such cute flower patterned beads! In your defense of calling the challenge monochromatic... that's what photographers tend to call black & white photos. :) Thanks for providing another inspirational challenge!

  12. nice post Its really nice on women's accessories store for Dangle earrings it's Very simple and fashionable.I like your blog about styling its really useful and helpful.