Sunday 4 January 2015

New Year Muffin Tin Challenge

Just before Christmas, Heather Powers of Humblebeads issued a Muffin Tin Challenge. The challenge idea is simple. As Heather said “Fill the cup of a muffin tin with everything you need for one project – the focal bead, accents, chain, findings – whatever you would need to complete one project and put that in one cup. Your mission is to simply arrange those beads in a sassy design and complete those 12 projects as quickly as possible!”

Although 12 projects is ideal, a minimum of 6 was acceptable. I had convinced myself there was no way I could complete this challenge, then realized I could accomplish 6 if I tried. 

Here is my muffin tin pan (Excuse the grungy look – it is a well used pan)

After I took the photo I realized it was really hard to see the components in the 6 tins so I made this collage (though it probably would have been better if I had taken the components out of the packages)

Working through each project, I made changes as I went along. My original selections either didn’t work the way I wanted or I wasn’t happy with the results. Here are my completed projects.

Wrap It Red Bracelet

This is a triple wrap bracelet, made for someone with a size 7 ½ inch wrist but adjustable up to 8 ½ inches. The bracelet is made with red glass Tilla beads in 3 shades and sheens and red glass teardrop beads for 1+ wraps. The remaining wraps are of Brass box chain. I made the extender using another brass chain with a teardrop bead wired to the end.

Ombre Sticks and Flowers Earrings

Next are these earrings, also made with glass Tilla beads. This time I used 4 shades of beads to give an ombre effect, and added Czech glass flowers in another shade of green. The space between the Tilla beads and the flowers was wrapped in mint green cording and everything was strung on copper wire, attached to copper lever back ear wires.

I made a second pair, slightly different, as an extra because I wanted to practice the technique again.

Ombre Garden Earrings

This time I used half the number of Tilla beads, went with light brown flowers and added multi shaded leaves. Did you notice the copper “bead” on each of the earrings? That’s a crimp cover. Yes, I used beading wire for these two pair of earrings. I couldn’t get the copper wire to co-operate and tried the more flexible wire instead. I think I’ll keep practicing with the regular wire if I decide to try something like this again. This was a bonus pair, not part of my original 6 selections.

Sunshine Bracelet

This bracelet is built around the gorgeous Magatama beads I picked up recently at a local shop. I was undecided about which focal piece to use with them (see the photo above for the other option), but then decided I liked this almost clear Lampwork bead with the touch of colour in the middle of it. There are hints of cream, yellow, green and the slightest bit of brown. The artist is unknown as I had purchased it about 4 years ago and forgot their name. I added button beads to complement those shades and used 14 Kt gold filled wire and clasp to complete it. I really like the sunny hue to this bracelet, especially after this weekend’s gloomy weather.

Shielded Earrings

At the sale where I got the Magatama beads, I also acquired these pretty copper embossed and domed circles. The discs are enameled with a deep purple on both sides and have a lovely variation in colours and shades. I used sterling silver to add natural white freshwater pearls in a diamond shape to the tops and bottoms and hung everything from sterling silver ear wires.

Pagoda Bracelet

The fifth piece is this mixed metal bracelet with copper and bronze pointed links, silver plated spacers, bronze filigree toggle clasp and ceramic beads. I had planned to use multi coloured Hematite squares but felt there wasn't enough pop so I went with the silver plated square spacers instead. This bracelet is a real mixture of several metals. I had a lot of fun making it.

Deep Forest Necklace
The final item that I planned was this necklace. The colours were chosen to complement this gorgeous pendant focal from Tesori Trovati, that I was lucky enough to win from Erin Prais-Hintz in another blog challenge. For some reason I used a different pendant from Erin in the photo, still not sure why I did that. The focal was paired with green ceramic beads, Bronzite beads, Copper and Bronze double hole spacers, Swarovski crystal clear Wild Heart beads, antiqued bronze toggle clasp, one leather cord and one deep green beading wire. I didn’t want to have a traditional strung necklace and tried to mix it up a bit with the double hole spacers and leather cord.

I was happy with the necklace and made a bonus pair of earrings to go with it.

Deep Forest Earrings

 With the 2 extra pair of earrings I ended up making 8 pieces of jewellery, and am pretty happy with the end results. Heather was certainly correct, talk about starting the year with a bang! Check out what everyone else made here.

Now to get them posted in my store…


  1. I absolutely adore all of your creations! Really diggin' the ombre earrings and that mixed metall bracelet ...terrific!

  2. Really beautiful pieces! Love the bead you chose for the focal on the sunshine piece. It's just perfect! Crazy about that mixed metals bracelet also.

  3. Stunning pieces, I love the 'shielded earrings' especially!

  4. Beautiful pieces. Very elegant I just love the pagoda bracelet.

  5. Ombre is hot and your designs are perfect! Nice job.

  6. Love them all but those ombre earrings are to die for!

  7. I agree those ombré earrings are a hit! I also really love the necklace with Erin's pendant!