Monday, January 25, 2016

Muffin Tin Challenge 2016

I've been a little quiet on my blog and, until the last few days, in my studio.  We've been dealing with some health issues with my sweet little studio kitty that have taken up a lot of time and emotional energy.  The upside is that I've been wanting to keep a pretty close eye on her this past week which means lots of time downstairs in my studio!  She's healing up well from her surgery, but now that the bandages are off we have to keep close watch to make sure she doesn't chew on her stitches. 

What does that have to do with the Muffin Tin Challenge?  Nothing!  Except that I had plenty of time to get the challenge done this weekend.  Heather Powers of Humblebeads issued a challenge on Saturday at the end of a sale she was doing on Facebook.  Get out your muffin tins, fill them up with beady goodness (roughly one project per muffin cup) and make at least six projects by the end of the day today.  Never one to miss a good challenge (or a good prize!) I had to play along.  Here's my muffin tin when I started:

As of mid-day Monday, I've completed 7 projects.  One of those is for another challenge, so you'll have to wait to see that one!  I'm going to keep working my way through the contents of the other cups, but I wanted to share my progress so far.  There is no light to speak of today, so my photos are a little sad...  I'll try to get better pictures if when we see the sun again.

First up, a pair of little hoot owl necklaces that are variations on a theme.  I bought these little ceramic owls on our trip to Asheville, NC last year and had a general idea of what I wanted to do but didn't have all the other elements just yet.  Fast forward to BeadFest in August when I found a ton of great wood beads including these little "logs" that were just the perfect perch.  I grabbed some fun decorative leaf chain to round out the rest of the pendants.  These woodsy necklaces will soon be flying into Unearthed Arts in Waconia!

 Next up, I've got another long necklace with a ceramic pendant.  For this one I made a fun fringed cone dangle with some swingy chain.  I think that the ceramic bead looks like some sort of alien pod... but in a good way!  I have more of these beads so I may play around with some variations on this design.

Of course I had to whip up some earrings to round out the muffin tin challenge... I love me some earrings and they are fast and fun to create.  The first pair reminds me of some big, rough cut rubies but the Czech glass is far more affordable!  I paired the English cut glass with some fun brass charms.  Next is a pair of feather patterned beauties from Humblebeads paired with copper colored filigree drops.  The final pair is meant to accompany a necklace that is still just an idea sitting in one of the remaining muffin cups.  It's a mix of brass and Arte metal with some of my new favorite Czech glass beads.  They are pretty long, but that seemed to be a theme here. 

If you've never tried this method, the Muffin Tin challenge is a fun and easy way to work through a bunch of projects quickly and to get your creative mojo going.  You front load most of the decision making as you fill your muffin cups up so you can just focus on putting your new pretties together!  Give it a try sometime!

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