Thursday, January 17, 2019

We're All Ears :: January Inspiration :: Color of the Year 2019 Living Coral

Photo of coral reef by James Thornton on Unsplash
Photo by James Thornton on Unsplash

The We're All Ears January challenge is for January 2019 is to use the Pantone Color of the Year 2019 --Living Coral. Living Coral is truly an energizing and vibrant color found in nature. PANTONE Living Coral calls attention to our underwater reef systems. Beneath the sea, this warm and vivid color is spell binding and vibrant. It is namesake of an endangered species in our oceans that we need to fight to protect. The reefs are important because they provide shelter to diverse ecosystems that are crucial. They are too beautiful and important to loose. I love snorkeling in the Florida Keys. My favorite spots are just down the road from where I winter in Key Largo, Florida.  I love to snorkel at the reefs that are part of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park which is made up of 70 nautical square miles. While many visitors view the park’s colorful coral reefs and teeming marine life on glass-bottom boat tours, you can get a closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling. The water is so clear that when canoeing and kayaking through the park's waters you can see the underwater world too.

photo of author snorkeling
Me snorkeling

Pantone put together 5 color palettes that feature the living coral color. I often use them to help me make decisions on colors for my jewelry. One of the five palettes that I am most drawn to is --Focal Point. I love the combination of earthy colors that are combined here. I used this Focal Point palette to inspire a new pair of earrings.

Pantone Focal Point Colors 2019

I selected red ceramic pairs by Marsha Neal Studio. The vertical lines in them are the color living coral and reminds me of coral. Since these coral lines are surrounded by an even more vibrant shade I used the cooling color of golden lime. For my metal sterling silver seemed a perfect choice. The silver reminds me of the cooling Pantone color storm gray.

Coral Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Coral Earrings by BayMoonDesign
I connected coral color ceramics with stacked Czech Glass lustered avocado spacers with 20 gauge sterling wire and added sterling ear wires. These are bold earrings in this seasons freshest colors. They are available for purchase HERE.
You can see additional earrings in my shop by visiting

Photo coral reef by Tomoe Steineck on Unsplash
Photo by Tomoe Steineck on Unsplash

Pollution, disease, invasive species, and unaware tourists all cause them harm. Coral reefs control the amount of carbon dioxide in the ocean, making them critical to the food chain.

There are ways that you can help protect coral reefs. Something that everyone can do is conserve water. This is essential because less water consumption means that there is less runoff. Less runoff naturally leads to less wastewater finding its way into the sea and affecting the coral reefs negatively.

As a tourist:
Avoid striking or touching a coral reef.
Don't fish or boat near a coral reef
Don't litter on the beach or in the ocean

Coral reefs provide food and shelter for a variety of marine life. They are also important for people who live near the water and rely on the corals for food. Corals are also used to produce medicine, generate tourist revenue, and serve as a barrier against tropical storms for some communities. All strong reasons, to care for them.

This is a blog hop, so please head on over to Earrings Everyday to check out the earrings that other designers have created.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Making Earrings Leather

I have used leather in my jewelry before but there are so many projects and kinds of leather to consider when you want to utilize or expand your leather crafting skills. It is a challenge picking out the leather and color.  I love to make and wear earrings so I decided to see what leather earrings  I could add to my collection. For inspiration, I looked through Pinterest to see what others have created.  It was easy to pick something a bit out of my comfort zone. I recently obtained some leather samples from Sun Enterprise so I decided this was a perfect time to create some new leather earrings.

Sun Enterprises is a leading manufacturer and supplier of leather, locks, silk & jewelry components. They are based in The Netherlands and ship goods across 55 countries and work extensively with jewelry designers, artisans, jewelry makers, goldsmiths , wholesalers and hobby stores. I was amazed by their huge collection of leathers and locks. It was fun looking through their online catalog and seeing all of the types, colors and sizes of leather. 

punch tool and leather

In the samples of flat 5mm Italian leather that I received I found a piece of pink leather with the saying "La Vie Est Belle" in silver.   I knew right away that this leather would make a great pair of earrings.  I used a "good" pair of scissors to cut 2 pieces of leather with a complete set of words and I punched some holes at each end of the leather.  I used punch pliers to cut tiny holes through leather.

                                                                       components used for one earring

I selected silver as my metal and used a pair of sterling silver ear wires, tiny heart charms, some silver chain, and some spacers. I found Czech glass among my collection that complimented the color of the leather.

Loving Life Earrings by BayMoonDesign

The key to making these earrings is to attach the heart charm to the chain before starting. Then I used a piece of 6 inch, 20 gauge sterling silver wire to go through one of the holes in the leather. Next, I added the chain to the wire and added the other side of the leather to create the loop. The rest is easy to figure out.

5mm flat Italian leather from Sun Enterprise

I located some more 5mm flat Italian leather to create more earrings. I found 5mm the perfect size for these earrings. I used about 2 inches for each earring. What I really like about using this leather is that isn't very heavy. I am always trying to keep my earrings as light as I can. 

Copper and brown leather hoops by BayMoonDesign
I made a very different looking pair of earrings using the dark brown leather with a thin black edging.  I added a pair of art beads by Humblebeads and used copper to bring the colors together.  This leather was thicker than the orange leather in the pair below so I used 20 gauge copper wire with this pair.  The pair below has thinner leather so I used 22 gauge bronze wire. 

Orange leather hoops by BayMoonDesign
This is a very light weight earring in this year's hottest color-- orange using the same technique.  I used a pair of art beads by Humblebeads.  I paired this leather with bronze.  

I look forward to working with more leather this year.  

Friday, December 28, 2018

Art Elements December Theme -- White

Photo of white clothes by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash
Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash
This Art Elements December Theme is white.   There are so many shades of white.  Just consider the collection of white dresses above.  There are so many whites in the dresses-- a bright stark white like found in ice, the warm shade of egg-shells and antique linen in some of those dresses.

About the same time that I read about this challenge, I read one of the Crafty Hope blogs where she shares a look at her week.  At its end, she shares a few of her inspirations.  Her inspirations sometimes become mine.  In this particular blog,  Hope highlighted some Wire Whimsies by Fresh Bakes Designs that are great for gifts or decorating gifts. 

I decided I would make a set of white flowers as a gift for my daughter.  She has planter's on her deck that a set of these flowers would look cute especially when waiting for spring flowers.  I gathering my tools which included:
Wire cutters (not jewelry cutters)
wire straightening tool
round nose pliers
24 gauge wire
16 gauge black annealed wire
30 6 -8mm beads -your choice
Sealant for wire-I used steel and Renaissance wax

Next, I spiraled the wire right off the spool to prepare the wire. I cut a total of 7 feet of wire and rubbed it with steel wool and then Renaissance wax to make it suitable for the outside. Fresh Baked Design offers another way of treating the annealed wire.  I then took 5 feet of wire and made 8 wraps. I bent the wire at 90 degrees and straightened the curve out with my wire straightening tool for a stem. Then, used pliers to create the leaf. Nipped off the end to leave the stem piece about 12 inches long. The length is up to you. The total wire length for the frame was about 7 feet. The flowers ended up being 4 to 5 inches in diameter.

Using the 24 gauge wire, I wired the bottom of the flower spiral to the stem and wrapped the beads around the outer spiral. You can use the 24 gauge wire wrapped to wrap down the stem to add a touch of more detail and stability.  The amount and size of the beads you use will affect the stability.  Expect to use about 6 feet of this wire.  I plan to go back and do that.  I found stability a slight problem that I will correct and I think it will add to a whimsical look.

whimsical wire flower by BayMoonDesign
whimsical wire flower by BayMoonDesign

I really like how these are free flowing and a bit wonky.  I think it adds to the charm! You can also fiddle with the spirals to suit your needs. Or push them out a little so they have some dimension. I used white beads that had a blueish glow like an iceberg.  I plan to make a set of white wire flowers for me.  I have always wanted a night garden of white flowers.  I don't have a green thumb so I see this as the perfect solution for me.

Pewter ladies earrings by BayMoonDesign
Pewter ladies earrings by BayMoonDesign
am happy to report that this month's inspIration finally pushed me use a pair of ladies in pewter by Inviciti.  They have been on my jewelry table for at least a year while I waited for a perfect background for them.  For awhile, I had planned to make a copper oval disk and use that as the background for the ladies. When I spotted these vintage white mother of pearl disk in my stash, I saw that they made a nice, bright background for the ladies.

cup of coffee Photo by Sarah Shaffer on Unsplash
Photo by Sarah Shaffer on Unsplash

Grab your favorite beverage and sit back and enjoy seeing what this talented group of artisans creates with white as the inspiration and the medium wide open.

Guest Artists










Kathy (here)






Art Elements Team








Photo of heart by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Thanks for stopping by!  I love to hear what you have to say.  If you don't already follow my blog and facebook page, please do.  I am having a 20% off sale in my BayMoonDesign online store to celebrate my having surpassed a total of 700 sales on Etsy.   This is a great time to stock up on my handmade greeting cards and art jewelry.  Grab an end of the year bargain between now and New Year's 2019 Day.

Friday, December 21, 2018

We're All Ears :: 4th Annual Use Your Leftovers Challenge!

Make your own Keep Calm poster at
The We're All Ears::4th Annual Use Your Leftovers Challenge arose out of the furry of activity around Thanksgiving and Christmas for those of us who make jewelry. We are usually surrounded by lots of beads and baubles and bits that are cast-offs from our flurry of frenzied making leading up to the holidays.

It seems that I devote much less time to putting things away then I do to adding to the collection aka pile of beads. As a designer there is no way that I escape the curse of leftovers--mounds of beads in my case. And that is exactly what this month's challenge is all about.

Earring parts
There is only one thing to do with a bead crafter-math like mine: use my leftovers!

To give you an idea of the scope of my aftermath, I will just focus on my earrings. The picture above is just my selection of matched pairs of beads under my main focus for earring designs--not my entire collection.   Now, imagine the ear wire selections I need to have, the different gauges of wire and colors of wire. Then, there are the beads. This is the point at which the reality of my environment sets in.  How do I maintain the size of my bead collection in my environment? I have beads grouped by color, size, metals, fabrics etc. I think you can see that to maintain the organization that I have in place, I need to put things back into their defined category. I like this the least of all my creative processes. Truth be told if I were a hermit and left to my devices, I would just have piles everywhere.

I find that using something that has compartments for little bits and parts is wonderful to have. I picked this muffin tin up at the Dollar store and it is perfect. I had big plans to make 6 pairs of earrings. I got 3 done and 3 more planned.

                                                            Earrings by BayMoonDesign

I wanted to use a lovely pair of Susan Kennedy's lamp work beads and I also wanted to photograph them in a way that shows their beauty. I love the deep purple mauve swirls and the fact that the beads show through the light which reminds me of a purple haze. I spent a great deal of time and built a large pile of beads trying to decide what I had that would really show her beads off. I decided on some lavender and cream Czech leaf beads and some pretty crystals in a matching shade of purple mauve.

Earrings by BayMoonDesign

I am happy to report that I finally decided on how to use a pair of ladies in pewter by Inviciti that I have had on my table at least a year. I found the perfect beads to pair with the pewter. For awhile, I had planned to make a copper oval disk and use that as the background for the ladies. When I spotted these vintage white mother of pearl disk in my stash, I saw that they made a nice, bright background for the ladies.

                                                   Earrings by BayMoonDesign

The third pair of earrings feature ceramic circles by Marsha Neal Studio and a pair of beads with gorgeous swirls of copper and brown. I love the subtle pop of blue in the brown glaze of the these ceramics. Personally, I love large, circle earrings. What makes these special are the ceramics.

I hope you will visit the others in this challenge which is open until Dec. 31. I am looking forward to it after the holidays. Please feel free to leave comments.