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!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Glide And Soar

I recently purchased 2 pairs of wonderful polymer clay feathers from Helena Benkoczka of Areto.  They were my first purchase from Helena and they turned out to be even prettier in  person than they appeared online.  I was so happy when I received them that I set right out to design a pair of earrings with the feathers. I forgot to take a picture of the feathers before I made the earrings, but here is a picture of the second pair that I received.  Cool, huh?
At fall Bead Fest I got some very cool chain that I was dying to use. I love that each of the links have such detailed textures.  My new feathers were the perfect excuse to try out an idea that had been floating around in my mind, since I got the chain.

I disassembled part of the chain and used two of the stick shaped links.
I very carefully bent the sticks into U shapes - I learned to shape them slowly and gently after I snapped the first stick link in half!
I attached the U shaped links to the feathers using some of the jump rings from the chain and then I used some smaller jump rings, from my stash, to connect the U shaped sticks to the ear wires. 
These feather earrings are so lightweight, that I picture them soaring upward on a gust of wind and then gliding gently back down to earth.
The Glide And Soar earrings are available in my shop.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I've had these pretty Bails for awhile and decided to tweak them a bit and put a beautiful Glass Headpin through them top them with a coordinating bead and they turned in to beautiful earrings.

I think these were the first pair I made and they sold at the last show I did along with a few other pair I didn't get photographed.  But I dug around my stash and found a variety of bails I could use for this technique.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brick and Mortar

Once again, I'd like to welcome our lovely friend and wonderful designer, Meridy Migchelbrink, of TwoTreesStudio, and thank her as well for giving us her time to design and create these earrings special for today. I love Meridy's style, her work; she is also one of the loveliest women you will ever meet. She works color expertly! If you have not yet, a walk through her shop is joyful.

I love well-crafted, beautiful, and whimsical earring components, so when I found these beautiful, playful enamels by Marlene Kazor Quigley of MarkazoI knew I wanted to make something with them! 

The enamels begged for RUSTIC, so I went looking in my stash to see what beads I might have that would work with them (I’m trying to cut back on my bead spending—yes, you may laugh now, I’ll wait).  After no immediate success, I remembered that I still had a pair of Leese Mahoney’s, GlassByLeese, gorgeous crusty-rustic cones in a perfect shade of green. 

So I started to play.  I needed a bit more red, so I pulled out some chunky 10mm red horn discs, which looked great with the cones and the enamels.  I also wanted motion, so I made small wire-wrapped dangles in red and olive green and hung them from matching green niobium jump rings (thank you, chainmailling habit—I always have plenty of rings to choose from!).  Since I wanted to use my signature fiber-wrapped earring technique, once I got the cones and horn discs onto the linen cording, I had to weave the cording through the holes in the enamels AND through the rings, making sure the linen was wrapped tight enough around the area between the enamels and the beads (so that all was secure) before I started the decorative wraps that drape over the tops of the rings.  

When I was happy with the look of the earrings, I trimmed the cord ends and made backings from red handmade paper and glued them to the backs of the enamels to hide the cord ends.  
And the finished product.  Pretty, whimsical, swingy, and definitely fun. 

And they’re even a tiny bit Christmas-y—which hadn’t even occurred to me until I had finished them!  ;)

Thank you for inviting me to sit in here at EE again—I always enjoy being here with you all.  J

Meridy Migchelbrink
Two Trees Studio on Etsy  -- 
Two Trees Studio on Facebook  -- 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lampwork bell caps

I was lucky enough to snag some of Elaine Thornton's bell cap beads as they tend to go pretty quick. Here's a quick collage of most of the caps I got. I knew exactly how I wanted to use them. 

So I painted some brass wings

and made these earrings

Red bells

Clear gold bells

Purple passion scruffy bells

Frosted ice bells

Yep all in the same design but I do love them :D hope everyone else does too <3

I did make a couple of non 'wingy' pairs

Hope you like them.  The purple pair has sold and the rest will be listed in my Etsy shop over the next few days.  See you again soon <3

Suhana xxx

My Etsy shop: Buttoned Up Beads

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What's Wrong With This Picture!

Do you see it?  OMG, I posted them for sale and splattered it all over social embarrassing!   I really didn't notice until the customer who bought them had to point it out and ask me if I could fix it.  If you don't see what I'm talking about; the far left dagger has the glass bead at the bottom of the coil, not the top.

Excitement got the best of me and I just lost focus.  Well, we're not perfect are we?  Absolutely not, I can say this isn't the first time I've done this.  I wish I could say it won't be the last, but I can guarantee I'll be looking more closely from now on.

They're still a magnificent pair of earrings.  I love the colors, the bamboo design and Asian flare- ♥

The porcelain charms were purchased from Kiyoi Design. You can find her shop on ETSY.  I have purchased from Cheryl for a long time.  Never disappointed with excellent customer service.

The half moons shapes above are discs of round Kuchi gillets that I cut in half.  I took thick silver wire and bend it in half to create the daggers on the sides.  

I loved these so much that I ordered another pair from Kiyoi which I will be offering in my shop.  Trust me, these will be detailed correctly, ☺

Thank you for stopping by friends~
Wishing you and your family a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving Holiday ♥

Lynn Ferro aka Yucca Bloom Fine Artisan Jewelry

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hip Chick Star Charm Earrings

First, does anyone know where Hip Chick has gone? I have loved her charms for... forever! I'll admit, I  stopped ordering a while back  when my jewelry designs went a different direction. But I still have a small personal collection I adore (horde).

Hip Chick beads & charms are sterling silver and have a rustic handcrafted appeal.

Today I bring you Hip Chick Star Earrings featuring small blue handcrafted ceramic beads by Cindy's Art & Soul Beads. (new sets coming soon!)

Wrapped in a thick gauge pure silver wire with tiny Indigo Swarovski crystals dangling below. 

Available at Art & Soul Jewelry...

Peace & love to you, 
today and always.