Monday, September 28, 2015

Bead Finds and Scenery in Very Cute Ligonier, PA.

The Diamond

I took a road trip to Ligonier, Pennsylvania to attend a polymer clay bead making and metal working retreat.  I could not pass up an opportunity to meet bead artist and author Heather Powers of Humblebeads and this also gave me an excuse to visit this very cute town.  It is another small town charmer in the USA.  Ligonier is a borough in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 1,573 at the 2010 census.  It was settled in the 1760s. It is steeped in French and Indian War history at Fort Ligonier,  Located in the very heart of the town of Ligonier is The Diamond. This beautiful little park is home to trees, flowers and birds.

One of the many cute store fronts in town

The town is filled with more than 70 specialty shops, restaurants and places to stay.

Main Gallery
The retreat was held in the back of Main Gallery which had an array of handmade artisan crafts.

back of Main Gallery

How cute are these sculptures in the back of Main Gallery?

Fall gourmet temptations

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

One of the many spots to get some great food and beverage

Thistledown at Seger House

Across the Diamond and down West Main Street is a beautiful, red sandstone building with a long history.  This Ligonier landmark was most recently a hospital (for 66 years) and before that, a private home for the Seger family.  John Seger was a coal baron who built the house in 1918.  Presently, it is a 8 room Inn with a wonderful cafe filled with more gourmet temptations and a very cute yarn shop where folks drop in, sit down knit and chat. 

Lovely old home with coal chute
Speaking of coal, have you ever seen a coal chute?  Look at the lower left corner of this charming house and there is a coal chute.

Andrew Thornton's bead shop - Allegory Gallery

What town wouldn't have a bead shop?  I spent some time in Andrew Thornton's bead shop--Allegory Gallery.  He has a great selection of beads, sari ribbons, and waxed linen thread as well as some ceramics and jewelry.  I even spotted one of his handmade silver rings that I saw in a blog that he posted about making it.  

What about Fort Ligonier?  The fort deserves a blog of its down with lots of photos.  I was very impressed by this historic gem!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sept. ABS Challenge Features Suburban Girl Studio Ceramic

 Palette for Vanessa Bell's View of Pond at Charleston

This month's September Art Bead Scene Challenge is based on the painting 
View of Pond at Charleston by Vanessa Bell.  I love the painting and color palette.  The color palette has the fading colors of September before autumn sets in with brilliant colors. It has a nostalgic feel of not wanting summer to end.  Most of us can relate to that.  I know that I have lots of warm and wonderful memories from this summer and I feel that the painting fills us with similar feelings. 

Long Floral Necklace by Bay Moon Design

I decided to go with the floral theme of the painting and also use the colors from the palette as well.  The artist's muted colors of dark rose, peach and yellow play off of the warm and cool mix of greens with a nice variety of neutrals.  I selected a dark rose and cream floral focal by Suburban Girl Studio and paired it with dark rose, peach, and a neutral brown.  I used stone chips and beads with those colors as well as a mix of seed beads with those same colors.  For the metal, I used copper because of the peach color it has.  I used green green Irish waxed linen thread to literally tie everything together along with brown sari ribbon that has a hint of some of the green and peach colors.  

How do you like my long floral necklace that is inspired by this September ABS challenge?  If you would like to purchase it for a gift, it is available HERE.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Studio, Bead Shop and Retreat of Andrew Thornton featuring Humblebeads

Welcome to a peek inside the studio and bead shop of Andrew Thornton. It is called Allegory Gallery.

Sign on the wall of Allegory Gallery

Lots of goodies to be seen in Allegory Gallery

Bead temptations for shoppers are everywhere

I was in Ligonier, Pennsylvania,  this weekend for a instructional retreat hosted by Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery. Heather Powers of Humblebeads was the instructor.  We made some amazing pieces of jewelry.  The jewelry and instructions are featured in Heather's new book that is coming out in December, 2015.  I can't wait to see more of her designs and instructions.  

Power's illustrations line the wall of the shop

Heather is an illustrator and  polymer clay artist who creates beads around nature. Her bird beads and disk beads are favorites of mine.  The retreat and book also feature her wonderful metal work.  I learned how to make a metal leaf that can be used in a bracelet or necklace at the retreat in addition to get an idea of how she designs and makes her gorgeous disk beads.  I left the retreat with lots of knowledge 2 necklaces, a pair of earrings, 1 bracelet and misc. beads that I made at the retreat.  Heather is quite the task master! Heather is a member of Art Bead Scene and can be found

Power's black bird and disk bead are featured in black raven necklace by Bay MoonDesign
I think it is important to support local business and artists like Andrew and Heather.  When planning your holiday shopping think local and artisan.  Even if the goods are a little more, they offer more choice, better quality, and benefit individual artisans.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

September's We're All Ears Inspiration Is Based on Geometry!


                                                             ENRA Torque Starter

This September's We're All Ears inspiration is based on geometric shapes that are found in this video of of an ENRA dance troop performance.

ENRA’ is a visual dance performance troupe from Japan performing stunningly unique animation-based digital performances. The images used in the performances are not attuned to the dancers, but interactively staged in a way never imagined before. The members of ENRA are experts in genres including martial arts, gymnastics, ballet, animation, dance, juggling and street dance.

Torque Starter' is a feast for the mind. Using stunning visual effects combined with the perfectly timed movement of a lone performer who is juggling a lighted ball, 'Torque Starter' is filled with a frenetic energy and a host of geometrical shapes and images.

Blue geometric ceramic earrings by Bay Moon Design
Even though we were not given a color to rely on this month, I worked with color in my design.  I used the color to provide a means to create a mini mirror of the reverse of the colors in the cylindrical shape of the ceramic bead that I selected as the center piece of the design. The blue striped lampwork glass beads that I used are from Big Bead Little Beads in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. UK. Both of the beads have 3 stripes of color and I used those 3 colors on the top of the design.  All of the beads on the top are round and are stacked to show 2 shapes from the performance a circle and another cylinder.  So now the geometric design of each earring has 2 cylinders and a circle.  These long royal blue striped lampwork barrel earrings have handmade sterling silver ear wires made by me.  They are available for purchase HERE.

What do you think of these geometric earrings?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Pine Ridge Treasures' Favorite Things Blog Hop and Challenge

Sponsored by Lisa Lodge

Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures lured me into another of her blog hops.  I couldn't pass up on an opportunity to see some of her favorite things and I am not disappointed.  Her kit included lots of beads and a focal that put me in a mood for autumn.

Lodge kit and close up of Thornton Sugar Skull focal

I had to begin this challenge by creating something with the wonderful polymer clay sugar skull by Andrew Thornton.  I did a little research to learn about the sugar skull tradition before I began to bead.  Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. The first Church mention of sugar art was from Palermo at Easter time when little sugar lambs and angels were made to adorn the side altars in the Catholic Church.

Mexico had abundant sugar production but was too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations.  Mexicans learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their religious festivals.  Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, and had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments.  These wonderful artisans are disappearing as fabricated and imported candy skulls take their place.

Although it is more a cultural than a religious holiday now from  in southern Mexico.. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories of  loved ones who are now gone... through art, cooking, music etc..

This Mexican Day of the Dead Sugar Skull necklace began with the polymer clay sugar skull by Andrew Thornton. I wanted the skull and rose design to have warm and earthy colors like the focal. All of the colors that I used are found in the Dia de los Muertos focal. I decided to use the metal copper to bring out the warm colors in the focal. I made the copper component to attach the focal, 2 sets of copper loops for the necklace to attach the beaded section of the necklace to the chain section. I also made the spiral copper clasp that is attached to the chain at the neckline of the necklace. All were hammered and tumbled to harden them. I choose aluminum chain that is a copper color also. The firey sunset biwa freshwater pearls and orange and gray agate were strung on beading wire. I used both types of beads because their vivid oranges colors compliment the sugar skull focal.  This necklace is available for purchase HERE.

Next, I made a big, bold, chunky, bear necklace by using the large brown angular beads that were in the kit.  This bear necklace has a very handsome and strong looking ceramic bear focal by ceramic artist Moriah Betterly. I created a leather and chain necklace using turquoise Irish waxed linen thread to add to the Southwest colors in the bear. I added a bronze leaf clasp to add to the woodsy theme of the animal totem necklace. 

I used two ceramic leaves by Moriah Betterly along with a few dark brown oval beads from Lisa for both of these autumn leaf bracelets.  The first leaf bracelet has a ceramic with grays and brown so I used reddish brown beads, brown seed beads, and gray jasper beads. I made the sterling silver clasp and links.  This casual bracelet that is perfect for fall is available for sale HERE.

The second leaf ceramic is pale green with brown.  Once again I used a few dark brown oval beads from Lisa.  I added green and reddish brown jasper chips and used copper.  I made a copper clasp and link.  I also used tiny copper beads to attach one side of the bracelet to the ceramic.  This green leaf bracelet is available for purchase HERE.

Thank you Lisa for the great beads.  I still have lots left.  I didn't even use any of the pearls yet!  Please stop by the other participants blogs to see what they received and created.  

Hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Gloria Allen, Wings and Beads

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Jacqui Kipfer, Seven Oaks Jewellery

Shaiha Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings

Carolyn Lawson,

I think you can see that my thoughts and designs are heading into the fall.  I am also getting ready for a couple of camping trips.  I to get into the woods at this time of the year.  The leaves are starting to turn in the mountains and the air is refreshing.  Are your thoughts drifting into fall also?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Let's Celebrate Labor Day with a Fall Preview and Sale

Let's Celebrate Labor Day and the coming of fall with one of our favorite pastimes--saving money!  

Use coupon code THANKU2 at checkout for 10% off purchases of $10 or more now through September 7.

Bay Moon Design has been busy creating some new jewelry and cards with fall in mind.  This is the time of year when my customers are looking for jewelry, cards and gifts for such events as

  • Halloween
  • birthdays
  • weddings or bridal showers
  • baby showers or new baby
I put together this small sampling of some of the new Autumn items.  I hope something catches your eye!  

New Fall Earrings by Bay Moon Design

New Post Studs Added to Yoga Collection

Wearable Art
Fall Leaf Bracelet by Bay Moon Design
Raven Necklace by Bay Moon Design

New Sassy Cards by Bay Moon Design

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 Fall!  How about you?