Friday, December 6, 2019

We're All Ears :: 5th Annual Use Your Leftovers Challenge!

QUESTION: Do you like to do challenges like We're All Ears? I am trying to assess if this monthly challenge should continue in 2020. Maybe it has run it's course, or we should try something else. DO tell me what you think in the comments below.

I can't believe that it has been a full FIVE YEARS since I started issuing the Use Your Leftovers Challenge! 

I used to take a picture of the state of my beading area in my studio, but it really hasn't ever changed that much in five years. Sad, I know. [Read: I NEVER put anything away, just pile more on top, shuffle it around a bit and create a pathway through the tower of boxes and bins holding beads on the floor that I try not to trip on!]

I haven't had that much time to actually create these past few months. You would think that with both kids away at college I would have a lot more time on my hands, but there is always something that comes up, right? (Hence, the months that I totally neglected this which makes me sad.) But I also know that at this hectic time of year, this is a great opportunity for me to get back into a creative mode - and possibly use up some of my prodigious stash - with this annual leftovers challenge. So I look forward to this.

Are you like me, and have an overabundance of beads but just haven't used them or are just lazy like me and haven't bothered to put them away ;-)? 
Then this challenge is for you! The goals: 

So with those goals in mind, I invite you to take part in the  
5th Annual Use Your Leftovers Challenge 
Are you ready to play with me?

Make your own Keep Calm poster at

First, take a picture of the craftermath from your bead feast. Believe me, if it looks like mine it won't be pretty! My studio hardly has a path for me to walk through much less space to create. My table is littered with beady crumbs of all sorts. But think of those bits as delicious morsels waiting for your inspiration to strike!
I don't even know what year this was taken,
but I can tell you it is not much improved...and is likely MUCH WORSE!
Actually, I don't think I can even see ANY of the countertop!
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 Transformations.

Crank it up! I like to put on some upbeat music that can help me get the job done and boost my mood. I listen to Spotify. A lot. So here are some great playlists to get you creating!

Starbuck's Christmas Party Playlist
Have A Great Day Playlist
Heart Beats Playlist
100 Uplifting Songs Playlist
70s Upbeat Funky Soul Classics

Now, kick your creating into high gear! Consider this a Quickfire challenge...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 20th by adding your link to the Linky Tools 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!) I would love to have a lot of participation so I hope you will join me!

In the spirit of giving, I will offer a giveaway of an Emergency Earring Making kit - with beads and findings from my prodigious stash for you to use to make multiple pairs of earrings - valued at over $40. But in order to be chosen, you have to participate in the blog hop starting on December 20th. Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries on December 31st (that will give you more than one full week to make your Leftover Transformation magic happen!). I'll even leave the LinkyTools party open until December 31st so you have lots of time to play! 

I will announce the winner in the first challenge of the New Year on January 3rd!

Let's get this leftover party started...tell your friends to join in the fun, too! *<]:-}}}}


  1. Well, you know that I love a challenge! We had a lot of travel and such this year so that I wasn't able to play along as much as I'd like. If I count the pair I made for November but haven't posted, I did something 6 months... December will make it 7. I personally, would love to see it continue, but understand if you're looking to change it up. Wishing you a happy and productive holiday season!

  2. I love your earrings challenge and try to take part whenever I can. It is a great way to bring people over to my blog which keeps my analytics happy as well. But I do feel a bit let down when the bloghop post is not up. But As I havent done much jewellery making these past months, I understand how life gets in the way. So I support you regardless of whatever you choose.

  3. I love your challenge too, Erin! I think they've inspired earrings that were fun to make and great to wear, not to mention the loads of ideas from the blog hop. I agree with everyone else, though - it's your choice, and there's always a lot of inspiration on this blog either way. Happy holidays!

  4. I love you blog hop and I think I have participated in all of them. I like to make earrings and this blog gives me inspiration and incentive. The one thing I don't care for is the Linky Tools. I have trouble finding your blog sometimes in order to add myself to it. I prefer a blog hop format to Linky Tools. It is your blog and your time. I hope you continue, but I certainly understand if you decide not too. I appreciate your talent, time, and effort. I have love them all!

  5. Somehow I missed this post when you shared it, then discovered it at the beginning of this week. EEK! Since the reveal is tomorrow, I'm hoping I can gather materials and bust out a few designs before the day is out, but since you've got the linky tool open for a few days, I know I'll have a little extra time.

    I hope all is well with you. Your absence has been noted, and I've stopped myself a few times from e-mailing and bugging you. But, I've been concerned. Sending you happy thoughts!