Thursday, December 30, 2021

December Inspiration::All Things Christmas


                                                         Photo by Olesia Buyar on Unsplash

This December's Art Elements theme is --all things Christmas.  You can use any medium you feel inspires you.  This time of year, I love to make handmade ornaments and gifts.  I also made it a goal to cut down on waste in wrapping and tags.  


One of my favorite artisans is Brooke Bock.  She made the ceramics that I turned into Christmas ornaments.  The first ornament is for a special friend that loves the beach. Our favorite thing to do is to go to the beach to sit and catch up on our lives.  I only needed to add the connection between the ceramic and my handmade hanger.    



My next ornament is for the nature lover in my family.  I added a cream ceramic to Brooke's.  This cream ceramic is one that my cousin made which makes this ornament even more special in my eyes.  A red bow and handmade ornament hanger complete it.


Next I made this holiday wreath for my daughter's door.  I am very proud of the  bow which I made.  I bought a bow maker a few years ago. I have yet to use it, but I am determined to master it.  I have dragged it out to use which caused me to look at the instructional video twice. It seems to have a big learning curve but I am determined to master it.  



I feel that reusing and recycling is becoming more important every day.  In my last blog about gourds,  I talked about putting my pumpkins outside for the animals to eat and to keep them out of the landfill.  I did this and to my surprise when I returned to see the pumpkins, the ones that I had cut open when placed in the woods were completely eaten.  There was nothing left. The pumpkin in the above photo was originally whole when left outside.  Currently, you can see some animals worked hard to get into it and I am sure they will return and finish it off. 

My efforts to do better with my Christmas wrap were more successful than last year's.  I began with my giving up using glitter on most things.  I love glitter but I learned it is bad for the environment.  This year instead of buying gift tags, I embossed brown bags and used a die to cut them into gift tag shapes.  These tags looked especially cute with brown craft bags that many stores gave out and I saved to reuse.  I had thought about stamping the bags with snow flakes but I simply did not have the time.  I added some festive tissue paper and some ribbon. The gifts had a co-ordinated look plus I saved at least one trip to the store.  


Throughout the month of December projects can be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and they will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page
 
I hope everyone has a healthy and happy 2022!  I would love to hear any tips you have for cutting back waste and reusing.









Saturday, November 27, 2021

November Inspiration::Gourds

                                                       Photo by Jenny Kalahar on Unsplash

This month's Art Elements theme is --the gourd.  You can use any medium you feel inspires you.  This time of year, I love to decorate with my favorite gourd --the pumpkin.  Its range of colors make it perfect for fall inspiration.   
 

Now that the  trick-or-treaters are gone and the costumes and decorations are packed away and Thanksgiving is over what about the pumpkins? 
Millions of pumpkins are sent to landfills each year, There they will decompose, releasing methane — a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide — into the atmosphere.  Rather than sending your pumpkins out with the trash,  think about some other options.  Composting is a perfect solution.   Even if you're going to compost your pumpkins, scoop the seeds out first and save them for the wildlife.  If that is not an available option then consider cutting your pumpkin into pieces and spreading outside as a treat for local critters. Birds, squirrels, chipmonks, foxes, deer and other mammals.will feed on the flesh of the pumpkins in addition to the seeds.





These unique pumpkin statement earrings combine beautiful ceramic orange ceramic ovals that remind me of pumpkins. I added small green beads that look like stems. I used brass leaf bead caps and copper wire to create the stems. Natural brass ear wires provide contrast.

Throughout the month of November projects can be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and they will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page. I hope you have discovered a new way to reuse your pumpkins and help the planet a bit. 


Friday, October 22, 2021

October Inspiration::The Skull

 



It wouldn't Halloween without some fun scary skulls, skeletons and ghosts.  The  Arts and Elements Inspiration for the month of October is Skulls.  This is a perfect time for me to make some Halloween earrings.  I grabbed a pair of skeleton beads I had on hand and then looked through my bead to see what I could add.  It wouldn't be Halloween without lots of orange and black so I used that as my color palette.



These are long skull earrings that are perfect for Halloween and Dia de Muertos . The skull is pale gray with piercing black eyes. This skull art jewelry is hung on sterling silver ear wires. Black and orange are traditional Fall colors so I added the orange ceramic bead to bring in those colors. I loved creating the loops at the end of the earring with the black wire the beads are stacked on. These light weight earrings are about 2.5 inches long and are sure to make a statement.





Everyone associates black and orange with Halloween. I decided to see what I could find out about this tradition. In fact, these two colors have been a staple in Halloween celebrations throughout the United States for over a century. Along with pumpkins, orange represents the changing of the seasons that comes with Halloween. Orange is also associated with the harvest season, fire, and warmth. Black represents darkness, death, and winter. Together, the colors are high-contrast. In recent times purple has made its way into the Halloween colors. 

                                                       Photo by Daniel Lincoln on Unsplash

Throughout the month of October projects can be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and they will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page. I hope you have fun with this challenge! I certainly did.


                                                      Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash


Sunday, September 26, 2021

My September Inspiration is a Favorite Book


                                                         Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash


This month's Art Elements theme is "favorite book."  A broad interpretation is permitted.   It can be your favorite book ever, favorite book this year, or favorite book from a specific period in your life. Or, if you couldn't possibly narrow it down to one book, pick one that creates vivid imagery for you. Or maybe literally use a favorite book to create something new.  There's bonus points if you tell us about the book and why you love it or why it inspired you to create.  You can use any medium you feel inspired to share your books. 

I decided to select Winnie-the-Pooh, also called Pooh Bear and Pooh as my inspiration.   He is a fictional teddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne  and English illustrator E. H. Shepard.  He comes to life in the stories as  soft-voiced, cuddly, loveable,  quiet teddy bear and the main protagonist. Despite being na├»ve and slow-witted, he is a friendly, thoughtful and sometimes a very insightful character who is always willing to help and try his best. As you might imagine his love  for honey often leads to trouble.  In the books, Pooh is a talented poet, and the stories are frequently punctuated by his poems and "hums". He is humble about his slow-wittedness, but comfortable with his creative gifts.


                                                           Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Being a retired children's librarian and a huge fan of Pooh.  I still have the Pooh stories that I read to my children and now I am excited to share them with my grandson.   I also happened to have a little collection of handmade ceramic beads inspired by these stories.  I could not resist them!



                                                        Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash



These handmade sterling silver Pooh Bear and Piglet earrings are made for adult Winnie the Pooh fans.   As a gift these are unique dangles are sure to please.  I used sterling silver wire to connect the charms to the blue Czech flower beads.  The earrings hang 1.75 inches below sterling ear wires.  The ceramic charms are made by Scottish artisan Grubbi and are available for purchase in my BayMoonDesign shop.. 

 


Throughout the month of September projects can be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and they will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page. I hope you have fun with this challenge!  I loved it.  My only regret is not having gotten to making a necklace for these earrings--another challenge!