Friday, December 2, 2016

We're All Ears :: December Inspiration

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Use Your Leftovers challenge! 

After stuffing ourselves for Thanksgiving in the United States, as well as getting prepped for holiday open houses, craft sales, gallery openings and the sort, it is likely that you might have a leftover problem. 

Beading leftovers are no stranger to me. My studio looks like you pulled open one of those giant crackers and out popped all manner of beads, findings, leather, cord, clay, wire, metal and the like. When a bead rolls off my table (which they frequently do), I rarely bother to find out where it went. I just keep right on going. There is always another right there waiting.

If you are like me, then you have multiple projects happening at all times (and in my case, in various rooms of my house, much to the chagrin of my darling husband). When complete, the resulting project gets buried by the next one...literally. I imagine my studio is like an archaeological dig...strata of projects past are discovered as you dig deeper into the ever-growing pile. Every so often I feel the need to sort through it and {attempt} to put it away. But more likely than not, I am overstuffed from my marathon creating and I just push back from the beading table, vowing to tidy it up tomorrow.

There is only one thing to do with a bead feast craftermath like that: USE YOUR LEFTOVERS.

So in the spirit of the holidays, I challenge you to play the  
Leftover Transformation Game 
with me. Are you ready to play?

Make your own Keep Calm poster at

First, take a picture of the craftermath from your bead feast. I know it won't be pretty! I expect that it will be littered with beady crumbs of all sorts. But think of those bits as delicious morsels waiting for your inspiration to strike!

Here is the picture of my craftermath from 2015 (oh, it's real people! And it hasn't really changed much in the last 12 months!):
The working corner of my studio room...if you can get to the table from all the boxes and bins behind it barricading it in!
Next, find a divided box, bin, baggies or small bowls and go through the stash on your festive table picking out coordinated sets that you can use to create earrings. They don't need to be same... this is a good time to practice asymmetrical earrings! Put these pieces together with ear wires, chain, findings, etc in each division of the box. I have found that a mini-muffin tin is a great way to corral these bits! Work quickly! Don't take too much time, just focus on filling the sections.Think of this like your staging area for Leftover Transformation.

Here is my tray from 2015...

Now, kick your creating into high gear! Consider this a Quickfire challenge...Put on some fun music...Set a timer (challenge yourself to see how many pairs of earrings you can create in an hour...or 15 minutes... or make one pair a day for 7 days... whatever works for you!). DON'T THINK ABOUT IT TOO MUCH (leftovers are supposed to be easy!), just make it happen. Sometimes the best things happen when you are on a deadline and you can't afford the time to overthink! 

Finally, share your bounty of tasty Leftover Transformation creations on Friday, December 16th with the blog party right hereI would be surprised if you didn't make multiple pairs of earrings from this exercise. The bonus is that you will now have a ready-made collection of quick gifts for stocking stuffers, teachers, co-workers and friends just in time for celebrating all the winter holidays and festivities! (Or a different pair for you to wear each day until the new year!)

In the spirit of giving, I will offer a giveaway of a surprise earring design grab bag of beads and components, valued at over $40. But in order to be chosen, you must participate in the blog hop starting on December 16th! Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries on December 23rd (that will give you one full week to make your Leftover Transformation magic happen!).

Let's get this leftover party started...tell your friends to join in the fun, too!



  1. What a fun challenge! And a great opportunity for me to clean up my workspace by creating with all the left over beads!

  2. Replies
    1. Hello Shaiha! Just make a bunch of earrings and then come back here on December 16th to post your link to the Leftover Challenge Blog Hop! This is always one of my favorite challenges! Invite friends to play, too! Enjoy the day. Erin

  3. Oh Jolly!! This is bound to be fun. I just hope that I get my blog up and running before then