Thursday, June 14, 2018

We're All Ears :: June Inspiration :: Kaleidoscopes

Photo by Frida Aguilar Estrada on Unsplash
Photo by Frida Aguilar Estrada on Unsplash

June's We're All Ears Challenge inspiration is the kaleidoscope. This reminded me of a simpler time in the past when I was a child.  I am talking about back in the day when there was no Internet or television.  I was 5 years old when my family got a black and white television.  There wasn't colored television.  A kaleidoscope was pretty exciting.  Even though this
 handheld device meant you had to manually turn a tube of colored bits of glass to make ever-shifting patterns and colors, it brought lots of enjoyment!  I remember my mother cross stitching a kaleidoscope for my children. The cross stitching was on the outside of course.

I was in a panic over making earrings for this challenge.  I would like to have done something with polymer clay, but I'm not there yet.  I thought of  a pair of earrings that I made awhile back.  They were made of paper.  I went to my go to source of creative materials--Etsy and located kaleidoscope paper images.  There were so many choices I needed to decided on a specific size. I went with 1 inch circles.  I also wanted a variety of  colors. 

kaleidoscope paper circles
kaleidoscope paper circles
I purchased the paper on Etsy and downloaded it and printed 4 sheets on heavy, white card stock. I decided early on that these beads would have pattern on front and back. I also thought about putting them into bezels. If you are considering doing a project similar to this, you might consider using bezels at this point.

I used a one inch circular punch on them. I brushed on some Mod Podge on the non pattern side and put them together. I let them dry thoroughly. This left a little white around the edges which I darkened with permanent ink. I used Mod Podge matte. Here you can decide if you prefer a glossy finish versus matte.
Edges darkened to give richer and vintage look
Edges darkened to give richer and vintage look

I put some permanent ink carefully around the edges of the paper. This is where you apply the Mod Podge with a brush to the paper circles. This has the effect of sealing and protecting the paper. It also was the added effect of deepening the colors and gives the earrings a bit more weight.
Metal punch for tiny holes
Metal punch for tiny holes

I put on 4 coats of Mod Podge on each side and around the edges. The last step is the best-designing the earrings. I had the option of putting in however many holes I wanted anywhere. I used a metal punch because it cuts tiny holes easily through the paper beads.

Blue Kaleidoscope Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Blue Kaleidoscope Earrings by BayMoonDesign
The blue kaleidoscope earrings are perfect as an eco-friendly fashion accessory. These blue and yellow paper earrings are for someone who enjoys repurposed, ooak, or unique earrings. They also are perfect for a first anniversary which is the paper anniversary. Since the blue patterned components are very light weight, this offers lots of design opportunities.
chartreuse earrings by BayMoonDesign

I made these chartreuse earrings by starting with chartreuse and pink kaleidoscope patterned paper. Once again I put some permanent brown ink carefully around the edges of the paper to give an antiqued look. I added chartreuse glass beads and pink lava rock beads. Vintaj ear wires help give the earrings a vintage look.

What do you think of my kaleidoscopes earrings that began with paper ?

Thanks for stopping by and please visit other participants in this challenge and see what they created.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May Theme Challenge – Tide Pools

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Lesley Watt from the Arts Elements group issued a challenge for the month of May. There are no limits on what you can create for this challenge as it’s open to all mediums and any interpretation of the theme you choose. Your design can be inspired by colors, shapes, textures…it can be realistic or abstract, decorative or functional.  The only requirement is that the creation has to be inspired by tide pools.  Tide pools or rock pools are shallow pools of seawater that form on the rocky intertidal shore. Many of these pools exist as separate bodies of water only at low tide.

Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash
Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

I love everything about the beach so right away I knew that I was going to make something for this challenge. I try to buy beach themed beads that I love whenever I get a chance.  When I visited my stash of beachy beads, I spotted two that I thought would be perfect candidates for this challenge.  I had some ceramic beads by Maya Honey that I have been hoarding a while.  This ceramic has tiny shells and sand on it.  To me this is a tide pool--sand and shells in water.  I also selected a blue seahorse ceramic by Sherill Mallery.

Seahorse Necklace by BayMoonDesign
Seahorse Necklace by BayMoonDesign

Seahorse Necklace by BayMoonDesign
Seahorse Necklace by BayMoonDesign
I added an aqua ceramic bead by Mary Harding and a pretty aqua, yellow, and white Czech bead to create my focal pendant. I used a 20 Vintaj chain. The pendant hangs 2 inches below. This necklace is available in BayMoonDesign online store.  This handmade ceramic seahorse necklace is a great gift for the beach lover. 
Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash
Please visit the other participants to see what they came up with.  A special thanks to Lesley Watt for hosting the challenge.

Kathy     (HERE)
AE Team Members:
Lesley (hostess)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

May Art Bead Scene

Title: Primavera
By: Sandro Botticelli
Date: 1478
Medium: Tempra on panel
Every month the Art Bead Scene challenges their readers to create jewelry inspired by a featured artwork. You have until the end of the month to share your work and then they pick two winners to receive beads and jewelry-making supplies from their sponsors. The only rule is that you must use at least one art bead in your piece!

May's challenge is based on Primavera by  Sandro Botticelli and it is one of the most written about paintings from the Renaissance.  His two most famous paintings are the allegorical subjects Venus in Primavera and the Birth of Venus. Most of his work focused on symbolism, allegory and religious subjects. His paintings were more stylized than other Renaissance artists with elongated features, weightless bodies and unnatural poses.  Many of his subjects focused on classical Greek and Roman myths.

I choose to base my necklace on the colors in the painting. The painting has lots of creams, blacks, brown and a little orange red. I was inspired to pull out a lighthouse bracelet bar by Brooke Bock which had the same creams and browns. After looking at it for a time, I decided to use it as a necklace focal. I just snipped some steel wire and filled the tiny hole to make the change from bracelet bar to focal.

Lighthouse Necklace  by BayMoonDesign

Size of  Lighthouse focal

I combined Brooke's cream lighthouse pendant with a ceramic bead by artisan Sandra Sapienza, and a black vintage bead. The neutral cream and black colors in the necklace have orange red beads included to add a pop of color. The beads are connected with black steel wire that I prepared by rubbing the wire with steel wool and Renaissance wax.  I think that the black links help to add more of the dark overtones of the painting to the necklace.  I used a natural copper chain with a handmade copper clasp that I made.  This lighthouse necklace is for sale in my online store.

What are your thoughts on this necklace?  Do you think that I was able to capture the colors? 

Friday, May 18, 2018

We're All Ears :: May Inspiration :: Movement + Momentum

Ocean Photo by Alex Stuart on Unsplash
Photo by Alex Stuart on Unsplash
May's We're All Ears Challenge inspiration is the mobiles of Alexander Calder. We are to pick our favorite Calder mobile and make some earrings inspired by it! Since earrings are the perfect embodiment of kinetic sculptures this makes sense. In designing earrings with Calder's mobiles in mind, creating the ability for the earrings to have some momentum seems to be a necessity. When we look around us, we see momentum created by Mother Nature in the oceans, sky, and earth.

Calder room at National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Calder room at National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Alexander Calder (1846-1923) was born to a family of sculptors. He is best known for his colorful, whimsical abstract public sculptures and his innovative mobiles, kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents. I found it interesting that Calder studied to be an engineer at the Stevens Institute of Technology before attending the Art Students League in New York. It was the French artist Marcel Duchamp who christened Calder's hanging sculptures "mobiles." To create these mobiles, Calder cut sheet metal into various shapes and assembled these elements in a chain-linked system so that the flat metal pieces move in response to currents of air. Many of his mobiles use bold, primary colors. Others like the one below are black.

Mobile by Alexander Calder
Mobile by Alexander Calder

I found a number of online articles that describe how to create a "Calder mobile.  Some of the articles are geared toward adults, but there are directions available for activities with students in upper elementary through high school.  

Casual Beige Earrings by BayMoonDesign

Since momentum is the force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes, I had to find a way to make that happen in my earrings. Just as Calder used chain to create motion in his mobiles, my earring design made use of black and brown chain. Both of those colors are in the ceramics I selected by Marsha Neal Studio. The beige ceramics have a gray that shows through in the handmade ceramics. Some brass beads and tiny seed beads dangle from chain and create momentum. These earrings are available for purchase in my online store.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash
Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash
I am anxious to see what other jewelry designers create. Personally, I found this a difficult challenge. It did result in my thinking about my earring design.  It also made me aware of all of the examples of momentum that surround us in nature.  I spent a lot of time figuring out how to construct the earrings. I ended up with a pair of earrings that are very different than anything else that I have made. That is a great benefit to participating in these challenges. A special thanks to  Erin Prais-Hintz the creator of this challenge.