Thursday, August 10, 2017

August Art Bead Scene Challenge


Ceramic leaf necklace by BayMoonDesign

watercolor Twelve Princesses on the Way to the Dance by Nieslen

Twelve Princesses on the Way to the Dance
Kay Nieslen
Published in 1923
Watercolor and ink

Twelve Princesses on the Way to the Dance by Kay Nieslen is a watercolor and ink that I love and it is August's Art Bead Scene Challenge inspiration piece. There are so many different elements to focus on in it  First and foremost being a retired children's librarian, I am fascinated by how this work delves into the realms of fairy tales. 

When trying to focus on some elements, Heather Powers sums up many of the choices with the following series of questions:
"Will you pull from the opulent patterns of the dresses? Play with silk ribbon and floral beads inspired by the Princesses? Will you explore the repetitive elements of the tall trees using wire or gather beads mimicking the branches and leaves cascading down from the forest canopy? 
Will you mix the dark tones of black and grey with the pastel tones of peach, coral, lavender, greens and warm cream hues?"

color palette for watercolor Twelve Princesses on the Way to the Dance by Nieslen
August Palette
I focused on the tall trees.  I noticed the contrast in shades of dark and light.  I selected the dark tones of brown, black, and gray and contrasted them with warm tones of green, cream, golden yellow.  I also mimicked  the straight lines of the trees by using agate spike beads.



ceramic leaf necklace by BayMoonDesign
Ceramic Leaf Necklace by BayMoonDesign

 I love the creamy ceramic leaf shaped ceramics.  Unfortunately, these art beads had been hoarded so long that the artisan who make them is no longer with us.  I used the largest of the leaves as the focal. Moss green and brown agate spikes in addition to round light brown jasper beads are found in this necklace.  I had some creamy yellow ceramic beads that I added to lighten up the necklace.  I made the brass clasp which reminds me of the sun.   This  necklace is 18 inches around.

I am happy to say that this necklace sold already.  It was one of those sales that you know you are going to make from the first moment you spot the customer.  I watched the woman smile and walk to the necklace.  She immediately put it on, admired it in the mirror, and bought it.  I could tell it was going to a loving home so I smiled too. 

 I have many other pieces of jewelry for sale in my BayMoonDesign store.  Stop by for a look!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

It's a Bee Thing


photo of bee
photo credit ::https://unsplash.com/@borisworkshop

Bees are considered extremely auspicious throughout the world. They have played an important part in symbolism since Ancient times. I have been collecting bee beads and using them in my jewelry because of their symbolism.

The list of virtues of the bee is very long. They have been considered to be messengers carrying news to the spirit world in many cultures. Bees represent wisdom and immortality. Bees symbolize love and also fidelity. They represent productivity and industry. They produce beeswax and honey which are golden. Gold and the golden color have always been related to wealth. Bees were believed to have knowledge of the future and secret matters.



photo of bee
Photo by Dominik Scythe on Unsplash
I did some research on fall trends for 2017 to get some ideas on what to add to my jewelry collection.  I found that leather jewelry is going to be popular once again.  I decided to go with the leather trend and make some leather bracelets.  I wanted a set of bracelet that can be worn separately or together.  To be worn together, a theme and color scheme is needed.

I decided to go with the theme of bees.  Bees are the true source of very positive symbolism. Bees represents such fine moral qualities as hard work, diligence, wisdom, spirituality, humility, modesty,  communication as well as physical and spiritual cleanliness.  Bumblebees are considered to be beneficial insects because they pollinate crops and plants. The tiny bee is essential for our very existence.  I also decided to go with a yellow, orange, and black color scheme. These are great colors for the fall. They also works with the beads that I decided to use.


Bee bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Beehive Bracelet by BayMoonDesign

I designed these earthy leather and bead bracelets to have a side clasp. In addition to the enameled flower, ceramic bee, lamp work bee hive, and assorted ceramic beads, I used in my 3 bead connectors for each bracelet I used: 


7 inches of heavy sterling silver wire
14 inches of 1.5 mm black leather
2 end caps
1- 7mm jump ring
1 – 9mm lobster clasp
Round nosed pliers
Wire cutters
Chain nose pliers


First, I created beaded connectors, which requires some simple wire-wrapping. About 3 inches down along the wire, bend it slightly to the left, then wrap it over the right side of your round pliers, forming a loop. Then, take the tail end and wrap it a couple times around the main part of the wire. Cut off the excess tail with wire cutters.

Add your beads, and repeat the process to form a loop on the other side. A few mm from the bead, create a loop, and wrap it around the main part of the wire until it fills the space between the loop and bead. Trim off the excess wire.

My connectors are about 1.75 inches long, which is a good size for a bracelet. I wouldn’t go any longer than 2 inches.
I spent some time looking at various leathers and I decided to go with 2mm leather cord because I wanted the leather cord substantial enough for a bracelet yet not too bulky when worn with other bracelets. I tried a new company to me Plessmann Endless Leather. It is located in Germany. They are a supplier with the largest choice of leather cords and leather laces worldwide. They have more than 2000 different leather cords at wholesale prices online. Braided bola cords, finest stitched and braided, nappa cords, cords made of finest salmon leather, suede, printed leather, exotic leather lace and much more and in a huge selection of colors. They also have a the selection of jewelry findings that you can select for their leather. I often find one shop has the leather, but they don't have the findings. I love that they have both.

I used one of the black Plessmann Endless leather cords and I threaded the leather cord through one loop, and tied it tightly in an overhand knot. You will lose a little bit of length tying your knot – but trim up your ends evenly so that you have about a 6-inch length of leather cord. Combined with the beaded connector you made, you will end up with a bracelet length of roughly 7 inches.
Finally, twist open a jump ring and connect a lobster clasp to the two holes in your end clasps. The lobster clasp will connect directly to the loop in your beaded connector.
Bee bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Set of bee bracelets by BayMoonDesign

I followed the same directions for this flower and bee bracelet.  I used some more of the black leather cord.  The orange and gray flower is enameled by 
GardanneBeads.

Bee bracelet by BayMoonDesign
1 of 3 leather bracelets by BayMoonDesign

For the third bracelet, I used a luscious orange leather cord, with ceramic beads. 

Bee bracelets by BayMoonDesign
Bee bracelets by BayMoonDesign

I like each bracelet individually. but I love them together.  If you love them, they are available for purchase in my online shop.


photo of bee with flower
Photo by Dixit Motiwala on Unsplash
What are your thoughts on the trio of bracelets and bees?