Friday, December 1, 2017

We're All Ears :: 3rd Annual Use Your Leftovers Challenge!

For our US friends, how was Thanksgiving? It is always a binge-fest, isn't it? Everyone has their own traditions for this holiday, from what you make to where you celebrate. We go to my sister-in-law's house but I always get asked to make the desserts (which means that I, unfortunately, don't get all the great leftovers for days). I am always trying to make something fancy and new, but my husband warned me not to mess with the classic pumpkin pie, so I didn't (I made it even better!). But I did make some new things: apple blossom turnovers that were really beautiful (tasty, too!), a cranberry curd bar (that was exactly like a lemon bar but pinky-red! But WAY too fussy...will have to find a better way!)) and made from scratch whipped cream. I don't even like whipped cream, but I  can tell you I will never buy whipped cream again! This stuff is so much tastier.

I might not get turkey leftovers, but beading leftovers are no stranger to me. 

My studio perpetually 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. (Never works.) 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 invite you to play the  
2nd Annual Use Your Leftovers Challenge 
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!

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.

Now, kick your creating into high gear! Put on some fun music (I like A Profoundly Funky Dance Party mix on Google Play). 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 onFriday, December 15th 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!)

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 15th! Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries on December 25th (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 25th so you have lots of time to play!

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


  1. Yay! I had so much fun doing this challenge last year... Hopefully my schedule allows me to play along this year, too. What fun! :)

  2. This looks like so much fun! I'm swamped right now but I'm gonna work hard to clear my schedule best I can!

  3. "My studio perpetually looks like you pulled open one of those giant crackers " that really cracked me up because my house too is exactly like that. I would try to put together some beads and findings and hopefully make them into earrings

  4. You must have seen my craft room! Looking forward to playing along and creating gifts at the same time!

  5. Looking forward to this challenge!! Thanks Erin

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