Sunday, July 26, 2015

Art Bead Scene July Challenge

Still Life with Seashells by Balthasar van der Ast

The Art Bead Scene inspiration this month is Still Life with Seashells by dutch painter Balthasar van der Ast. The color palette is predominantly taupe and blue. It also has bright pops of color-- yellow, orange, lemon and dark berry red. There is also light cream with shades of gray blue and navy.
July Art Bead Scene Challenge Necklace by Bay Moon Design
I decided to do a fairly literal interpretation by beginning with an artisan handmade 24 mm. in diameter lampwork bead that is by glass bead maker Carole Hughes of Calico Cat in Braintree.  Her beads are sold by Big Bead Little Bead The seashell swirl opaque glass and transparent glass remind me of an ocean wave. I decided to add a copper coral connector from CrazyCoolStuff to the top and coral branch from Rings&Things to the bottom of it to grow more sea life. I used copper spacers, carnelian red beads, cream beads, and blue gray chips. I also added tiny blue gray seed beads to add color and sparkle. I made the copper clasp with the intent of adding more copper and swirl to the piece.  This Ocean Wave and Coral Reef Necklace is for sale in my Etsy shop HERE.

How well do you think I captured the art piece in the necklace?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Bead Finds and Scenery in Very Cute Town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Gotta Love It!

I took a road trip to visit my son in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This gave me an excuse to also visit the nearby and very cute town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.   It is small town USA at its best.  The population is around 5,000.  

Main Street
The town has been called the "Switzerland of America" due to the picturesque scenery, mountainous location, and architecture.  It has survived and prospered over the centuries by repurposing itself.  Its scenery and its railroad and coal shipping center made it an attractive vacation and business location in the 1900's.

In the 1950's the town was in an economic down turn until it had an opportunity to rename itself after the Olympic medal winner Jim Thorpe.  There is a great story behind this.  Following the death of Thorpe, his widow was angry when the government of Oklahoma would not erect a memorial to honor him. When she heard that the boroughs of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk were seeking to attract business, she made a deal with civic officials. The boroughs merged, renamed the new municipality in Jim Thorpe's honor, They obtained the athlete's remains from his wife and erected a monument to the Oklahoma native, who began his sports career 100 miles southwest, as a student at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, PA.

Opera House
The town has found used for some of the historic buildings and been able to preserve them.  The Opera House serves as a spot for music venues.

This beautiful building is the public library.

Other buildings are home to restaurants, pubs, coffee houses.

Race Street

There are lots of shops here.  What town wouldn't have a jewelry shop?  I spent some time in Karen Blankenbiller's jewelry shop.  She makes contemporary jewelry and sells it in her New Day Finds Shop.

Beads I bought in an antique shop
There are also lots of antique shops.  This gave me the opportunity to look for jewelry that I can repurpose.  I found these white beads and earrings and I knew right away what I can use them for and snagged a bargain.  

Orange Crochet 
I make crochet necklaces with shells and buttons like this orange crochet necklace.  These beads are perfect for this jewelry.  In this necklace I used pale peach and bright orange colors.  I use white beads like in the necklaces I purchase for contrast. What I love about this type of beach necklace is that It can be worn around your neck with one, two, or three loops. I prefer three.   My daughter likes to wear this casual design as a bracelet sometimes. This sea shell necklace is crocheted using monofilament wire so it has lots of flexibility. This is a lively and fun addition to a casual wardrobe. Several other colors are available in my shop. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

We're All Ears :: July Inspiration

Primitive folk art quilts of the Siddi people
The July inspiration for We're All Ears comes to us from the Siddi people of Africa.   Our inspiration are their folk art patchwork quilts. They look like visual stories played out in bright colors and special fabrics. The challenge is to interprate  this primitive African art and storytelling.  I know that paper beads are being made in Africa so I decided to make paper beads as a means of honoring these artists of Africa.  I also decided I would also attempt to have them look like quilts.

 Another quilt of the Siddi people
In England, making paper beads is a traditional craft that goes back as far as the Victorian age. Young ladies would gather socially. They handmade paper beads from scraps of wallpaper rolled on knitting needles. They would then polish the beads with bees wax and string them on to long pieces of yarn. They would then be used to make door curtains to divide rooms.  This practice was then revived in the 1920s and 30s for paper bead jewelry making.

More recently paper beads have been made in cooperatives as part of development projects in countries in Africa. This practice contributes towards business enterprises that provide sustainable income and development opportunities. The techniques used for African paper beads remains largely the same as used in Victorian times, but with scrap paper from printing companies and paper recycling markets, rather than wallpaper samples.

Digital Papers I Selected for Quilt Like Look
For my paper beads I downloaded some pink and blue paper that I though looked like quilts. I also used some purple paper that was made up of strips of paper that were laid out on paper like a quilt. 

Paper Bead Making Tools And Materials that I used:

  • Paper – I downloaded and printed 2 sheets of paper with quilt designs
  • Ruler – for measuring.  My pink and blue beads are 1 inch in length.  
  • Rotary Cutter or Scissors – for cutting out. If you are using scissors you should use the longest pair available so as to reduce the number of cuts required along each length.
  • Self Healing Cutting Mat – for cutting on.
  • Drinking straws– for rolling paper against
  • Soft Paint Brush – for applying glue to the paper.
  • Glue – for securing rolled beads.
  • Soft Paint Brush –  A quality brush is preferable at this point as it is less likely to leave bristles on the surface of your beads
  • Mod Podge Gloss Luster. – for waterproofing your rolled beads. 
  •  Clear Nail Polish-for a glossy finish
  • Florist Block, Polystyrene Block, or Jar – for securing the beads while drying. I just left my beads on their straws and hung them across a glass jar.

My paper earrings with end caps glued to them
Finished Paper Earrings by Bay Moon Design

I finished my earrings by attaching some sterling ear wires that I made.  They are available to purchase in my shop HERE.
If you would like to see what others were inspired to make, click HERE

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Andrew Thornton's Endless Sky Challenge

Andrew Thornton sponsored this Endless Sky Challenge by putting together 30 kits and challenging jewelry designers to use as much or as little of the kit to create a piece that showcases your creativity, individuality, and artistic expression. Ideally your creation will spotlight the great assortment of beads included in the kit, but the (endless) sky is the limit with what you can make!

Andrew Thornton's kit
The kit is an airy mix of Japanese Miyuki seed beads, Toho seed beads, Japanese Matsuno seed beads, vintage French seed beads, vintage Venetian seed beads, vintage Czech seed beads, freshwater pearls, glass pearls, Czech glass (both old and new), LOTS of aquamarine, agate, chalcedony, sodalite, stone, vintage sequins, German glass, jade, Swarovski crystal, vintage Japanese glass, vintage lucite and MUCH, MUCH MORE!
Thornton kit that Bay Moon Design received

For this challenge, we were given the creative spark in aquamarine. Thornton said, " I looked at the stone,  thought of the sky... an endless sky, studded with lazily drifting clouds. It's easy to say, "the sky is blue". But in reality, there are lots of colors represented above; there are shades of pale gray, subtle purples, and even tinges of green. The stone aquamarine has all of these colors".  This kit attempts to capture that ever-shifting blue.
Dreamy Blue Cloud Necklace by Bay Moon Design

The mystery component is the Thornton focal which I used in my first necklace.  When I saw all the seed beads I thought-not for me.  They were so gorgeous I found a way to incorporate them into this blue necklace as well as a second necklace. The stone and agate turned out to be perfect to use with them.   I also added one of my handmade sterling silver clasps to it. This dreamy cloud necklace is available for purchase HERE.

Butterfly Component in this necklace is by Jenny Davies-Reazor
This butterfly necklace features a handmade signed ceramic butterfly by Jenny Davies-Reazor . The pink and aqua heart ceramic below the butterfly is from Jeraluna Designs. With the yellow, pink, and aqua butterfly pendant I added royal blue and medium blue cultured sea glass with blue seeds from this kit on Irish waxed linen thread. The boho necklace is held together with a handmade silver lobster clasp. It is a real statement necklace with these vibrant colors and it is available for purchase HERE.

Textured Ceramic Earrings by BayMoonDesign

Sometimes you just need the perfect pair of beads to pop up.  Here, I found a pair that went perfectly with Susan Kennedy ceramics.  I love these textured blue, green, tan ceramics paired with soft aqua beads from the kit.

Jellyfish Necklace by Bay Moon Design
I managed to use a few more beads from the kit in this jellyfish necklace.  The large, round vintage lucite and powder blue bead that I put into the center were perfect to incorporate with the ceramic jellyfish to make the focal.   The jellyfish ceramic is by Suburban Girl Studio.   I also used some of the oval shaped grayish blue beads in this fun, summer necklace which is available for purchase HERE.  I think it makes a great summer birthday gift or hostess gift for a stay at the beach.

Can you believe I still have some beads left?

Here are the links to what other folks did with the same beads.  It is always interesting to see what others come up with!

Andrew Thornton, Melissa Wynne, and Laurel Ross

Do you have a favorite?

Monday, July 13, 2015

UFO's-Unfinished Objects

Unfinished Objects not to be confused with Unidentified Flying Objects
                                                               photo by K Lindemer

Art jewelry Elements sponsored a UFO challenge--unfinished objects The challenge was simple.  

Pile of Beads that I Selected as Candidates for a Jellyfish Necklace
Collect up piles of half done work, those that you put into a draw and forgot about, the ones that you just could not find the right beads for or just lost interest in, the pieces you are not happy with and need to remake/rework, the works in progress....Gather them all up, and get them finished (or be brave and rip them apart and start again if they really do not work) so that you can move on to the next project with a clear mind or more importantly a clear desk.  Join the linky party to show off your newly completed treasures.

Completed Jellyfish Necklace by Bay Moon Design
I have a number of projects that would fit into this challenge, but I only finished one--my jellyfish necklace.  This blue necklace has an artisan ceramic jellyfish pendant by Suburban Girl Studio.    I attached it to some sea unique circular beads with blue Irish Waxed linen thread to give it an ocean look. This jellyfish necklace has white and powder blue cultured glass beads contrasted with oval, gray beads. This beach necklace is great fun and perfect with a casual outfit. This necklace is created to remind you of summer fun, the ocean and its underwater creatures.   I am glad that I finished it when there is still lots of summer left.  It is available for purchase HERE.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Backstory to Publishing in the 2015 issue of Create Jewelry

2015 issue of Create Jewelry 
I just received my complimentary copy of the new and super sized  2015 issue of Create Jewelry in the mail.  The magazine was packaged along with my earrings that are featured in it.  I also got back 3 other pieces of my jewelry that were considered for publication.  I dove into the magazine right away.  It is packed with 50 new and trend setting design and I am happy to be a small part of it.

Minimalist Earrings by Bay Moon Design
Have you ever wondered how a piece of jewelry ends up in a beading magazine?  To begin the process for this issue, we were given color palettes to use as our inspiration.  My published piece ended up being submitted by me to an "Earth Tone" color palette.  You can see that how these earrings work with that palette.  I was the one that named the earrings Minimalist.

These chocolate brown and beige ceramic earrings have an rustic and earth look to them. The ceramics are made by Marsha Neal Studio.  I used natural brass ear wires from Vintaj.  The natural brass ear wires go great with the colors in the ceramics and give them an bohemian look. Minimalist, simple, lovely, go with anything. They are available for purchase HERE.

Earthy Necklace by Bay Moon Design

I also had 3 other pieces of jewelry that were considered. By considered, I mean I was asked to send them to Create Jewelry.  Once there the company looks at all of the pieces that they are considering. They then select the ones that will appear together in the issue.  This earthy necklace was considered for the same "Earth Tones" section.  I used a vintage lucite focal that is layered on top of a triangular shaped handmade piece of brass. I  added some natural brass chain and Irish Waxed Linen thread to suspend the focal and attach the beads. Orange and gold print fabric is woven through the chain. I added a handmade copper clasp to completed the rustic necklace. Looking at the issue, I can see why the company was interested in the necklace.  Clearly, it is earth tones.  

Turquoise Boho Earrings by Bay Moon Design

These turquoise earrings were also considered for the "Jewel Tones" section which included a palette of orange, turquoise, green, brown.  These handmade turquoise earrings combine turquoise Irish Linen thread and turquoise polymer clay beads made by artisan Saraccino. A few white seed beads are added for contract and color. The bohemian earrings have a wonderful boho look or tribal look. They are available for purchase HERE.

Champagne Sunset Necklace by Bay Moon Design
Another piece that I was asked to send in is what I call my Champagne Sunset Necklace. I submitted it for the same "Jewel Tone" palette section. 

The beautiful peach orange crystals and turquoise chalk beads remind me of the colors of the sunset. The blue necklace has lots of sparkle. I used gorgeous hand dyed peaches and cream silk ribbons as the means to close it.

I am thrilled to have my pair of earrings included in this issue along with jewelry by 22 other designers.  The issue even has a photo of all the designers and a small bio of each.

I think you can see that a designer goes through-- looking at submission criteria, creating the jewelry, photographing it, writing descriptions and directions, submitting, mailing accepted pieces etc. What is the reward? The thrill of seeing your piece in the publication along with other designers that you admire.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Let's Celebrate the red, white, and blue with one of America's favorite pastimes--saving money!  Exercise your independence and enjoy your Fourth of July.

Use coupon code THANKU2 at checkout for 10% off purchases of $10 or more now through July 6.

Bay Moon Design has been busy creating some new jewelry and cards.  This is the time of year when my customers are looking for cards and gifts for such events as:
  • graduations
  • birthdays
  • weddings or bridal showers
  • baby showers or new baby
I put together this small sampling of some of the new items.  I hope something catches your eye!  

 July Earring Collage
                             New Earrings by Bay Moon Design

July Necklace Collage 2

                                   New Wearable Art Necklaces 

July birthday Collage

                                     New Handmade Cards

These new designs plus others are available for purchase in my Bay Moon Design shop now.  Don't forget that custom orders are welcome.  Please feel free to email me at

 I'm ready for Summer!  How about you?