Friday, June 23, 2017

Finding Inspiration in the Nature of Yellowstone

photo credit::

I get lots of inspirations for my jewelry designs from nature. I recently ran across an online guide to Yellowstone National Park that made me think back on a couple of recent trips there. One of the highlights of the park are the geysers. Yellowstone National Park offers visitors a unique perspective of the geothermal activity going on just below the earth´s crust. There aren´t many places in our world where you can go and say that you were walking around the mouth of a super volcano ready to erupt at any moment.  This guide has some breath taking images of them. Another reason, folks go to Yelllowstone is to see the wildlife there. Yellowstone has herds of bison, elk and pronghorn and one of the best places in the lower 48 states to see a grizzly bear.  This guide also has some great photos of the wildlife there.  I wish I had run across this guide before my trips there because it offers some really good tips on places to go there and things to see.

In a previous blog, I talked about a few pairs of  earrings that were inspired by my first trip to Yellowstone and I included a few photos of the geysers that served as the inspiration.  On my second trip there last year, we camped in the northern part of the park where you can find lots of wildlife.  Early one morning, I spotted a fox crossing a creek and I was very close to it. They are widespread throughout the northern part of the park with somewhat patchy distribution elsewhere in the park. Of course, I got so excited I blew all of my photos of him. But I was so close to the fox that the sighting was one of the highlights of the trip there and the memory has stayed with me and inspired me to create a couple of bracelets with the red fox serving as the centerpiece.

Fox bracelet by BayMoonDesign

Heather Powers of Humblebeads is a favorite bead maker of mine. When I saw that she made a component with a running fox on it, I know that I had to create with it. Jumping fox component has a sly little fox running through a birch forest. I love the muted earthy hues. It has oranges, olive greens, and muddy browns and grays,

Around the same time I read the Leather Bracelet with Micro Screws Nuts Tutorial by Powers of Humblebeads on her blog and I decided to give it a try while working with her fox component.   A real plus in this tutorial is that it lists component and where to locate them. It also has great directions with photos. I did deviate from the tutorial slightly when I used her fox component. It didn't have holes on each end like the bracelet bar in the tutorial. I had to create a loop and connect it to the jump ring and leave enough room to make a messy wrap next to the component. I then ran the wire horizontally through the component and make another loop. I used this loop to attach to the jump ring. Once again I left enough room to make a messy wrap next to the component. Now, that I made the bracelet I have mastered a new skill. Micro screws and nuts make this a no-fail project with very minimal tools and no riveting experience needed! In fact, I had the tools. I just needed to get the leather, E hook clasp, jump rings, micro screw and nuts from Lima Beads  My first fox bracelet was gifted to my daughter who loves in Atlanta.  She has foxes that live in her neighborhood.  She really enjoys watching them so I knew she would love the fox bracelet.

Fox bracelet by BayMoonDesign
My second trip to Yellowstone made me want to make another fox bracelet. Knowing Heather makes darling fox components I decided to purchase another fox.  This time I used the same directions but different metals to accentuate the tan leather I choose.  I selected brass instead of copper.  

Which bracelet is your favorite--copper or brass?

Friday, June 16, 2017

We're All Ears :: June Inspiration :: Fireflies June 16

photo credit ::

The June We're All Ears challenge is to create earrings inspired by fireflies. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve what we called lightening bugs. Actually, these magical creatures are neither bug or fly, but in fact they are beetles.  Many a night I enjoyed carefully watching these bugs put on a spectacular show in my backyard. 

Fireflies are found all over the world, from the Americas to Europe and Asia. In the United States, they are commonly found down South, in the Midwest, and on the East coast. Having lived on the East coast all of my life, I had lots of opportunities to view them on a warm summer evening. I also enjoyed catching them.  The best time to catch fireflies is typically between June and September. They tend to come out at dusk when it is still warm out. Since I grew up in the suburbs, I was in a prime viewing location.

Photo credit by

Since they rely on their light patterns for mating, fireflies are more attracted to darkness so you need to wait for the sun to go down.  Back when I was growing up, there were a lot less lights. Now, you probably need to turn off your outdoor lighting, such as porch lights and walkway lights, to draw in more fireflies.

They are fairly easy to catch if you approach them slowly and calmly. Once you are close enough to a firefly, reach out with both hands, and try to cup the firefly between your hands.  Keep your movements slow and gentle so that you do not scare or harm the fireflies.  
If you plan on keeping the fireflies that you have caught, put them in a glass jar so that you can see their light. Mason jars are popular jars to store fireflies in. Most people end up putting their caught fireflies into mason jars, so you can skip a step by catching your fireflies in a mason jar.   Move slowly and calmly as you move your mason jar through the air to catch fireflies. Once a firefly has flown into the opening of your jar, place the lid on top to keep the firefly inside.

Do not poke any holes in the jar, as this could dry out the air and possibly cause the firefly to get injured while trying to escape. Remember that fireflies like humid, damp spaces. It is a good idea to put grass inside the jar.

Although it can be tempting to keep fireflies for a long time, it's best to let them go after a short while. Ideally, you should free your fireflies before going to bed. If you keep them overnight, be sure to release them the following morning. They need to be in their natural habitat in order to survive, and keeping them in a jar for longer than a day can cause them to die.

When I had my own children, I shared this experience with them and I got to relive this fun summer activity. If you haven't spent time watching fireflies, you have missed out on a great experience, so go and do it!

Cute lightening bug earrings  by baymoondesign
These yellow and honey brown filigree dangle earrings are inspired by the firefly.  To make this firefly jewelry I used some antique copper filigree and combined shinny copper elements with some golden glass beads and bright yellow Swarovski crystals.

copper and silver firefly earrings by baymoondesign

My other pair of firefly earrings are 
sterling silver ear wires that are  hand forged and hammered copper discs  by me.  I added hand forged copper rings and little silver charms.   The copper earrings are about 2 inches long. 

Don't you just love fireflies?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

My Take on June's Art Bead Scene Challenge

Profile on Red Meanders
formerly Jeanne d'Arc
Odelin Redon

Profile On Red Meanders is this month's inspiration piece for Art Bead Scene Challenge. It is a stunning pastel drawing Redon exhibited in 1903. It is a female head that stands out against an intensely red background, streaked with blues, greens, magenta colors. In the upper part, there is a kind of star on the left. Notice the orange, green, red and blue patches on the right, grouped together to form a nautilus shape. It can be interpreted as a night sky, fireworks, or phosphenes. It can also be thought to show the figure's inner mental space.

During his early years as an artist, Redon's works were described as "a synthesis of nightmares and dreams", as they contained dark, fantastical figures from the artist's own imagination. His work represents an exploration of his internal feelings and psyche.

The art historian Michael Gibson says that Redon began to want his works, even the ones darker in color and subject matter, to portray "the triumph of light over darkness."

Redon described his work as ambiguous and undefinable:

"My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined."

 A dot of glue to hold the knot

There are so many colors in the art piece that it is hard to select just a few of the colors to work with. I love blue so I went with some of the blues. I used a polymer clay bead by Brooke Bock because of the blues and grays in it. In order to assemble my necklace I needed to tie leather cord to the focal. I was not too fond of having the wires on the focal show because the would give what I planned as a contemporary necklace a rustic look so I came up a plan to disguise them. I took some gray filigree end caps and curled their ends up to sit against the focal.

Filagree end caps attached
Since the filigree beads were gray they had the aded advantage of adding more gray from the art work to the necklace.  I cut the beautiful royal blue leather that I bought for this necklace, attached it to the wire by knotting it and putting a dab of glue just on the knot to make sure the knot stays.  

 Floral Necklace by BayMoonDesign

This multicolored casual necklace is made from upcycled vintage tin beads.   When I saw these chunky recycled tin beads, I knew they would make a fun necklace . They even have a mauve pop of color along with a variety of blues and blacks. The large beads go well with the large floral focal.  All the parts are combined by knotting royal blue leather. I finished the necklace with an adjustable knot so the necklace can be worn as a choker or short necklace.

In addition to using a number of the colors in the painting I feel that the colors of the necklace also show the theme of triumph of light over darkness.  What are your thoughts?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Lessons Learned at Fine Arts and Craft Show

BayMoonDesign table at fine arts and craft show
BayMoonDesign table at fine arts and craft show

Over Memorial Day weekend I participated in a members of the Delaware by Hand Artisans Fine Arts and Craft show.  It was a held outside on the grounds of the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, Delaware. The show seemed to be heavily attended. I heard that my small town had 3,000 people at the Farmer's Market that day!

Metal Sculptures by 2nd Time Designs
Metal Sculptures by 2nd Time Designs

I thought I would show you a few of the vendors that were there this year.  On one side of me had 2nd Time Designs.  You can tour their private gardens in Millsboro, Delaware to see more of their designs.  Every year I admire their metal art that they bring to this show. Who won't want one of these sculptures in their garden?   This year I had a chance to chat with the folks.  Since I am starting to work more with metal in my jewelry, I am familiar with how difficult it can be to cut and punch metal.  At first, I thought that is what these folks did to create these beauties.  I am sure that some cutting and punching goes into these designs, however, what these artisans are doing is recycling metal.  I am sure that they have a grand time hunting down metal shapes that they can use to create flowers, insects etc.

Metal Sculptures by 2nd Time Designs
Metal flowers, butterflies and turtle by 2nd Time Designs
If you look closely at the bottom of this photo, you will spot a metal turtle that almost blends into the ground. The shell of the turtle is a repurposed helmet. How cute is that?  The large flowers had some sort of a wheel on the back.  I am a huge fan of recycling and repurposing so I was happy to see all of the metal turned into beautiful creations and not in the landfill.

Photography of Michael Ortiz of Limited Landscapes
Photography of Michael Ortiz of Limited Landscapes

My neighbor of the other side was Michael Ortiz of Limited Landscapes. He specializes in taking photos of Southern Delaware. I love the photo of an old barn which is no longer here. He was able to frame it with some of the wood from the barn. Once again, some art from repurposing.

Photography of Michael Ortiz of Limited Landscapes
More Photography of Michael Ortiz of Limited Landscapes

I enjoyed looking through his photography. I saw some scenes that I was familiar with from nearby Cape Henlopen State Park as well as some areas I have not traveled in Southern Delaware. All beautiful!

In addition to being a wonderful photographer, Michael is a really nice person to do a show with.  He introduced himself and gave a big welcoming smile when I started to set up that morning.  If you do a number of craft shows, you have probably encountered some grouchy and territorial neighbor vendors.  I know I have run into a few.  Michael is not that type--a real gentleman.

The weather forecast for this show called for a chance of rain in the afternoon. My husband who I could not do a show without his physical help, offered to set up our tent.  I was thrilled and surprised.  The last time we set that tent up it was a battle.  He purchased this particular tent because it was easy to pop up. That wasn't the case then or for the show.  I had to ask Michael for a hand with it or we wound never have gotten it set up. He was only to happy to help. Since then we have replaced the directions which came with the tent with some others we found on the Internet that enable you to actually have an easy to pop up tent.  

Custom stained glass by Sun Glass Studio
Custom stained glass by Sun Glass Studio

A few spots down from me I recognized a familiar face from Lewes--Connie Ballato of Sun Glass Studio. Her stunning creations can be found in area churches, homes, gardens, and offices. I bought a large stained glass fish for my husband for our 30th wedding anniversary which was more than 15 years ago. It has hung in our family room every year since then.

After every show I usually blog about some of the artisans that I have met and offer some lessons learned.  My lesson this year was using a tent is a good idea now that I have some better directions.  I didn't have to worry about the weather and it offered protection from the sun.  All good!  In case you are wondering, the rain came just as the show ended.

My other lesson learned is that is actually a good idea to pay more for a prime spot at a show.  I had a terrific spot part of which was just luck and it paid off in sales.  Next year I am going to be willing to pay more and go for location, location!  I do have some jewelry and handmade cards left from this show and they are listed in my online BayMoonDesign shop.

Father's Day Card by BayMoonDesign
Father's Day Card by BayMoonDesign
 If you need a unique Father's Day card, visit my shop.

I also have handmade jewelry available.  Lots of my jewelry is nature or yoga related.

Lotus flower necklace by BayMoonDesign
Lotus flower necklace by BayMoonDesign
This lotus flower necklace combines both of my loves--yoga and nature.  The necklace has a large, gold colored bronze lotus flower pendant. The aqua necklace also has two infinity symbols. I paired the bronze pieces with a aqua beads to create this pastel floral necklace which is 17 inches around.

I selected a lotus flower because it is one of the most delicate and beautiful flowers. Although lotus grows in muddy water, it grows beautiful and brings a smile on anyone's face who sees it. The Lotus has long been associated with purity, rebirth and beauty. I paired it with infinity symbols because of the shape is classic, fluid, and romantic all at the same time. Think love, for it is infinite, boundless, and everywhere. I think that this would make a beautiful anniversary gift.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day Calls for Displays of the American Flag

photo of U.S. flag with  photo credit by ::
                       photo credit by ::

Memorial Day is a time when many of us display our U.S. flags. We do this to show pride and dedication to our great nation. I love to see our flag on display but not if it is raggedy. Many people are not familiar with proper ways of displaying and disposing worn out United States Flags.  I hope this blog clarifies displaying and disposing of Old Glory.

How and When to Retire Your American Flag

According to the National Flag Foundation, a flag may be mended when torn and cleaned when dirty. If mended it should not be hemmed (shortened) to the point where its measurements are no longer in proportion. Even though you’ve cared for your American flag, there will come a time to retire Old Glory.

The United States Flag Code states: "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Organizations that Accept Flags for Retirement:

The following are some organizations that often accept flags for retirement:
Veterans of Foreign Wars
American Legion Post
Fire Department
Boy Scout Troop
Girl Scout Troop
Marine Corp League

If an organization provides a flag retirement service, the flag can be dropped off and they will take care of the ceremony.  Be aware of the fact that before accepting a flag for retirement, the organization should obtain information about its history. For example: Where has it flown? How long? Any memorable events happen at that site? This information is used in the ceremony so please include it with the flag. I would suggest folding the flag neatly and including the information along with the flag in large ziplock bag. 

Each flag retirement ceremony may vary slightly, but the common and crucial element to any flag retirement ceremony is that the flag is retired in a dignified manner.

The following is one sample of a proper flag disposal ceremony:

-Gather and pay respect to the American Flag. This can be done in a variety of ways. Many times a ceremony begins with reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

-Normally a statement will be made by the ceremony leader addressing that the flag has served its nation well and is now worn to a condition that it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of its nation.

-If the flag has been folded, the flag is then placed ceremoniously into the fire.

-If the flag is unfolded; it can be folded and then placed in the fire OR the flag can be cut into pieces. The stripes are to be cut apart from the canton and then the stripes are cut apart from one another. The stripes are placed in the fire first and should be allowed to burn completely. Then the canton of the flag is placed into the fire and it will be allowed to burn completely.

When thinking of Memorial Day and the U.S. flag, I was inspired to create a couple of items for my Delaware by Hand Memorial Day weekend Arts and Crafts fair.  One item that I make is this abstract American flag card.  I made a large numbers of these cards because I will also donate some to patriotic organizations in Delaware next year for their fundraising events.

photo of Abstract American flag card by BayMoonDesign
Abstract American flag card by BayMoonDesign

photo of Red, White and Blue bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Red, White and Blue bracelet by BayMoonDesign

 I also created several patriotic bracelets.  I kept one of these for myself to wear especially for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.  

I also followed my own advice and mended the hem of my U.S. flag before handing it outside.  

Friday, May 19, 2017

We're All Ears :: May Inspiration :: Trash Transformed

symbol for recycling and repurposing
Recycling and repurposing help the earth.

This month's We're All Ears challenge comes at a perfect time for me. I hate to throw away so many things, but I have to downsize or my house will explode. My favorite part of the challenge is to disguise something or alter it to save it from being discarded.   Before I began I checked out this collection of recycled jewelry from Who knew trash could be so beautiful? One trick to creating from junk or trash is to transform something unrecognizable from its former state. Another tip is to mix materials....found objects with new beads, art beads with upcycled treasures. The challenge is to take something that no one would expect in jewelry and elevating it to the level of adornment thus saving it from the landfill.

photo of buttons and beads
photo credit ::

 I took a long look through my large button collection. This made me organize my buttons a little more by size as well as color.  I threw out some broken ones along the way,   I then searched for matching pairs.  I was pretty surprised that I did't have too many matching pairs. I then went through my bead collection to find beads that went with the 2 pairs of buttons that I choose to turn into earrings.

Olive green button earrings
Green button earrings by BayMoonDesign

I found two matching olive green buttons in my stash that I turned them into a pair of long dangle earrings. These OOAK earrings combine the colors of olive green, chartreuse, and yellow. I used olive green buttons and beads with silver jump rings, and chartreuse leaves. These upcycled earrings hanging about 2" long from silver plated lever back ear wires.

 Silver and Gray Button Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Silver and Gray Button Earrings by BayMoonDesign
The other pair of matching buttons I found are gray.  OOAK silver dangle earrings are created with gray buttons, silver jump rings and beads, and red flower beads. These upcycled earrings hanging about 2" long.  I love silver, black and red together.

Button jewelry is always unique and I think these green dangles hit the mark. 
Please take a look at some of my other earrings at I pride myself in making reasonably priced and unique earrings.

photo credit by ::

I have lot more buttons and junk!  I have some tin cans I have been saving to make beads for jewelry.  I hope to find time to get this project done soon and blog about it.  Right now I am busy trying to get ready for a local craft fair--The Delaware by Hand Spring Outdoor show.   If you are in the Lewes, Delaware area on Saturday, May 27, 2017, please stop by.   More to come on that topic next week.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

May Art Bead Scene Challenge

art piece Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle Pablo Picasso

Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle
Pablo Picasso
Oil On Canvas

This month's May Art Bead Scene Challenge is based on the painting "Bowl of Fruit, Violin, and Bottle" by Pablo Picasso. The painting is an example of the Cubist technique that was developed by Picasso and Braque in Paris before the First World War. Cubism moved away from the traditional realistic depiction of an object from a single viewpoint. Objects were fragmented and seen from different angles, blurring the distinction between two- and three-dimensional representation. The two artists were influenced to some extent by C├ęzanne's method of breaking down all forms into basic geometric shapes. In this painting the fragmented forms of a table, a bowl of fruit, a bottle, a newspaper and a violin are present. Picasso put together areas of color and texture to evoke objects that can be recognized. The shapes and colors are balanced to maintain the appearance of flatness.

Pale Pink Bird Bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Pale Pink Bird on a Twig Bracelet by BayMoonDesign

When designing this bracelet, I kept in mind the colors and 3 dimensional shapes used in the painting. The pale pink in the painting is mirrored in the ceramic bird by BlueberriBeads and the brown in the ceramic twig by artist Diane Hawkey. I pulled in more of the pale pink by using pink leather from Classic Elements.

Pale Pink Bird on a Twig Bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Pale Pink Bird on a Twig Bracelet by BayMoonDesign

This bracelet is very 3 dimensional and geometric. I used some interesting beads--vintage beads as well as a handmade copper ring which is a reproductions of vintage beads from a private collection. The handmade copper clasp made by BayMoonDesign. A pale pink leather is knotted in parts of the bracelet to add more pink.

What are your thoughts about this bracelet?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Bob Dylan Loves Duluth

photo of bird in snow credit ::
photo credit ::

I haven't made any jewelry for several weeks because I traveled to Minnesota with my husband and son.  My son moved there to start a new chapter of his life and we helped with the relocation.  I knew very little about Duluth except that it is cold there in the winter.  I discovered it is cold in the "spring" there too--just not as cold.  When we arrived at the end of April, there were still traces of snow on the ground.  That got my attention!

I also new that Bob Dylan was born in Duluth and when he was about 16 or 17 years old, he went to hear his idle Buddy Holly play at the Duluth National Guard Armory which is still there today.

Before going there I did some reading to discover more about Duluth and found that it is a major port city in Minnesota and has a population of 86,110. Situated on the north shore of Lake Superior at the westernmost point of the Great Lakes, Duluth is accessible to oceangoing vessels from the Atlantic Ocean 2,300 miles away via the Great Lakes Waterway and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Around the start of the 20th century, the city's port passed New York City and Chicago in gross tonnage handled, making it the leading port in the United States.

Lake Superior
One huge surprise for me were the steep hillsides that climb from Lake Superior to high inland elevations.  Duluth has been called "the San Francisco of the Midwest.  Before World War II,  parts of Duluth had a network of streetcars and an "Incline Railroad" like San Francisco's cable cars.

photo of Fitger's Brewery
Fitger's Brewery
I had been told that Duluth has great food and beer.  There are over half dozen breweries in Duluth.  I am not a huge beer drinker but I did sample a few and they were tasty.  There are a variety of restaurants here.  We ate at a few of the most popular in our short stay.

Located in a historic and renovated building the Fitger's Brewery dates back to 1885.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  I loved the historic atmosphere, food, and beer here.

photo of Pickwick Restaurant and Pub

Pickwick Restaurant and Pub
Pickwick Restaurant and Pub is another historic restaurant located right next door. An area landmark since 1914, it offers award-worthy meals with an Old World atmosphere. The European style woodwork and furniture is a hardy hat tip to Duluth’s skilled immigrants.

We had to visit a ribs joint and we picked out the newly opened OMC Smokehouse. OMC stands for Oink Moo Cluck.  Too cute!  The menu featured items like  pulled pork, grass-fed beef brisket, St. Louis style ribs and Nashville hot chicken (fried and spicy).  They also carried beer from a local distillery.

Whether it's the homemade comfort food like pies, pasties or pot roast (made with bison, of course) or the commitment to doing strange things like raising bees on the roof, Duluth Grill makes you take notice. 

Black Woods Grill and Bar is another great spot to get a great meal.  I was very impressed to read that Brad Pitt and Rory Gilmore were a few notables who are there.

Downtown Duluth's waterfront has a 3.5 mile sky walk that allows walkers to travel in climate controller comfort to movies, shops, restaurants, etc. We were glad to escape the 40 degree and heavy. 
I love seeing the old buildings and homes from the turn of the century. 

photo of image wall
Image wall

A visit to Canal Park along Lake Superior is a must.  On the way you can enjoy the natural beauty of the lake.  You can also view an image wall with mosaics based on photographs from Duluth's waterfront history.  

photo of Canal Park, Duluth
Canal Park, Duluth

photo of ship William A Irvin

In the heart of Canal Park, set against the majestic Aerial Lift Bridge, is a Great Lakes vessel from 1930's. Despite carrying iron ore and coal for 40 years through treacherous storms, the William A. Irvin remains in pristine condition today and you can tour through it.

photo of Spirit Bay Trading Company
Spirit Bay Trading Company

Every time i visit a new place, I always try to find a bead shop and stop in to buy some beads.  I love to create my own souvenirs.   I found a gem in Duluth in the Canal Park area.   The Spirit Bay Trading Company  supports local (and USA made) businesses and artisans. The carry products inspired by the northwoods and nature.  

Even though I was only in Duluth for a long weekend,  I got a real feel for the town and hope I get to return there.  It definitely has a strong arts scene that I would like to explore.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Sending Love on Mother's Day

                      photo of tulips by
                            photo credit ::

Mother's Day is right around the corner and I want to share some of my fave gifts with you.  None of my picks are expensive, but they are thoughtful and say you care.

Keep scrolling to see a few of my latest finds…

Sending Love on Mother's Day

 iphone case

Body cleanser

$37 -

Sterling Heart Shaped Locket with Hammer Finish. Perfect for

photo of 2 kids on a sand bar
photo credit::
Some of my favorite Mother's Days were sent on a sandbar in Lewes, Delaware,  when my children were young. We would walk through the water and look for sea creatures and shells.  Sometimes if it was an especially warm May day we would bring our beach chairs and a picnic lunch and enjoy sitting on our little island in the bay.  We didn't do any thing expensive, but we had plain old fun.  The important thing is to send time with your family and do something everyone enjoys.  Create a memory this Mother's Day!