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Erin Prais-Hintz, one of the contributors to the Earrings Everyday blog, had a fabulous idea for her monthly challenge, We’re All Ears, this December.  Usually she shares a visual inspiration, and participants make one or more pairs of earrings based on that and share on the third Friday of the month.  For this month, Erin challenged us to use leftovers hanging out on our work tables (go on, you know you’ve got some) to make earrings.  That sounded really good to me because I’ve had creative block for a while about making earrings. Erin laid out the challenge like this:

  1.  Take a picture of the craftermath of your bead fest. I’m not scared to show my mess. I’ve done it before.  I live in my truth (and my mess).  So here it is.

messy bead table 12.7.15

At least I’ve managed to scrape off the front so I have a little work space.  Next step:

2.  Quickly organize sets of coordinated (or not) materials to work with.

EE materials box

I didn’t agonize.  I just picked up things I thought would work well and put them in the sections of this box. (I think it was originally a tea caddy.  But once you start beading, everything starts to look like bead storage.)

3.  CREATE! Erin suggested putting on some music (which I did) and making it fun. That sounds a bit obvious, but sometimes I go into my studio and just sort of stress myself out.  That’s no good!  So I just let it be fun.  I made three pairs of earrings during the first session.  I started to get antsy after that, so I thought I’d better let that be it.  I had a good time.  I only took apart one earring and redesigned because it wasn’t working.  Pretty good.  I’m happy with this first session.

EE 1 - 3 PM

Later the same day, I was writing this post and reviewing Erin’s suggestions. She said set your own pace – set a timer or make one pair a day – whatever works.  So I figured I’m always good for one pair.  I went back to the studio and made one more.

EE #4

As an additional nicety of this process, I cleaned up a little.  In addition to using up some of the bits of my craftermath, as I dug around my bead table to supplement what I had put in the box, if I found finished pieces of jewelry, or whole, identifiable bunches of beads or art beads, I labeled them as necessary and put them away.  Yay!

Then I started to think, well, I could make one pair each day.  How hard is that? So here is the next day…and the next.

EE #5 and #6 PM

And then I made a few more on the weekend.

EE #7 and #8 PM

EE 9 10 11 PM

I got the hankering to really work on cleaning up my space, so I started to focus on that rather than making earrings, but while I was doing it, of course, I made one more pair with things I unearthed. All together, I made 12 pairs of earrings; I don’t think I’ve made that many in the past year, and here I’ve done it in less than a week.

EE #12

I am so happy to be making earrings again.  I also loved using up some leftovers which often just languish.  Thank you, Erin and Earrings Everyday! I will donate most of these to Ears To You and save a couple to drop for art abandonment.

Go visit the We’re All Ears December reveal on Earrings Everyday and see what others made.