Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Art Jewelry Elements - Art Headpin Challenge


August's Art Jewelry Elements Challenge is a headpin challenge. This is an opportunity to use art headpins. What is an art headpin? It's a headpin that is handcrafted by an artisan, has been manipulated in a manner that is more than just a ball end, and has the potential to be the centerpiece of a creation rather than just playing a supporting roll.
Acorn Headpins by BayMoonDesign

I saw this as an opportunity to use some acorn headpins that I made in a design. I followed the directions in Beautiful Elements by Heather Powers to create some acorn polymer clay headpins. I made a number of these polymer clay acorn headpins. I mixed my own version of the acorn color. I didn't have the Spanish moss that Heather recommended but I had an emerald green color and yellowish green. I added bronze PearlEx that I had on hand for the caps of the acorn.

Wrapped the dark annealed steel wire 
When making the polymer clay into headpins I used dark annealed steel wire. I formed the wire into a circle and added some Czech crystal flowers to them.

They are suspended from handmade sterling silver ear wires that I created. These are striking chartreuse green earrings with a rustic woodland look to them. I decided to sell some of the headpins in my shop as well as the pair of acorn earrings.
I love acorns.  They are pretty works of art by Mother Nature and found on Oak trees.  When I go on hikes, I like to look for acorns and bring them home and sit them on my crafting table for inspiration. 
Acorns are also a source of nutrition for wildlife and people. In the popular, television series The Walking Dead, they are used in a cookie recipe.  After all, while out hunting walkers they have the time and opportunity to scavenge acorns. Here is Carol’s official cookie recipe for a batch of Carol’s Beet and Acorn cookies:

-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup acorn flour
-2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup shortening
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/4 white sugar
-1/4 cup beets, pureed
-1/4 cup water chestnuts, pureed
-1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep baking sheets with parchment.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, acorn flour, arrowroot powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the shortening, brown sugar, sugar and beets.
Add the pureed water chestnuts, pureed beets, melted chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until combined.
When the dough forms, roll into golf-ball sized balls of dough, press flat and place two-inches apart on the prepped cookie sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven. Let cool on a wire rack.

Personally, I find some of the ingredients off putting, like the beets and water chestnuts. Would you give these cookies a try? I would rather make jewelry than cookies anyway.  Lot less calories and more fun!

I can't wait to see what everyone else used and created in this challenge. Please stop by and visit the following participants.  We love to hear your comments.


AJE Team Members:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fall Pantone Colors Abound in August Art Bead Scene Challenge

Pantone Fall Colors

When I saw the August's Art Bead Scene Challenge inspiration piece it reminded me of Pantone's color picks for Fall 2016.  I love the vivacious colors--especially the pinkish purple.  and the earthy green.  The Pantone colors make me happy alive!

"Park Near Lu"
By Paul Klee, 1938
Oil and coloured paste on paper on jute; original frame strips

In the inspiration piece by Paul Klee, the artist gives us his impression of a park near Lucerne, Switzerland.  You can see there is a contrast between the hard black bar strokes that represent the tree branches and the bright colors of the spaces between them.  Spring and winter, death and blossoming are portrayed in equal amounts.  I really like the colors here.  These colors make me happy.  I love the peach, teal, lilac colors.  When making jewelry recently, I  have been using black and gray gunmetal so I was happy to see those colors in this.
Happy Bird Necklace by BayMoonDesign
I have to confess, I made about 6 necklaces before settling on this design.  I almost gave up.  Each necklace included the focal with the cute bird by Heather Powers of Humblebeads, the leaf which has "Be happy" is by Green Girl Studios, and the lilac bead that I made in a class taught by Heather Powers.  I thought that the leaf was perfect for this necklace because I wanted this necklace to scream "Be Happy".  I had to make a trip to Michaels because I needed gray gunmetal chain and I had to have peach beads.  None of my beads in my stash were the right color.  When I added those two items to the mix, the necklace started to work.  I was so happy with it that I decided to add a special birds nest clasp.  Somewhere I bought what looks like a silver nest and I also had a silver branch.  I combined them and added a silver leaf to an "extra" hole on the branch.  What wasn't a set worked out to be a pretty cute as a clasp.  The necklace is available in my shop HERE.

How do you like the colors and the necklace?  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

ZnetShows New Arrivals Blog Hop

Welcome to the ZnetShows New Arrivals Blog Hop!

As a Znetshows Designer, I was given the opportunity to select some of Znetshows new arrival beads to use in designs.  I picked the new cultured sea glass to use.  I selected their two-hole button clothing beads.  I have always had a thing for buttons.  I have been collecting them for years.  In fact on a recent trip to Savannah, Georgia, I added to my button collection when shopping at a few antique shops.  


For this challenge I selected cultured sea glass flat freeform two-hole cherry red and royal blue button beads.  Take a close look at the red cultured sea glass beads and you will see why they are called two hole button clothing beads

Southwest Colored bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Southwest Colored Bracelet by BayMoonDesign 
 I think these beads are perfect for a charm bracelet design and I found these turquoise buttons in my button stash so I mixed them with the red cultured sea glass and created this fun red and turquoise sterling silver charm bracelet.  I love the southwest colors in this charms bracelet.  Red and turquoise are a favorite color combination of mine.  The red and turquoise photo at the top of my blog which served as my color inspiration.

Red and Blue Gunmetal Bracelet by BayMoonDesign
In an earlier summer blog, I selected a patriotic theme for my jewelry so that it could be worn especially on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Olympic Games celebrations. I made a couple of bracelets with red, white, and blue color theme. I used some vintage beads that have the US flag on them that I took off a bracelet that I had for years. The beads on the original bracelet were held together by elastic and was stretched out. It was just crying out for a make over. Since I sold both bracelets for that design challenge and still have a few flag beads left, I thought I would make another patriotic bracelet in a third design. I combined red and blue cultured sea glass two hole button clothing beads with trending black gunmetal links. The bracelet is available in my shop HERE.


Cherry Red Button Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Of course, I have to make some matching earrings for these bracelets. I designed large, modern cherry red earrings using the two-hole cherry red button clothing beads . I love the casual look of the red cultured sea glass with the large sterling silver ear wires. These are cherry red earrings that are about 2 inches long from the top of the ear wire. The color makes them perfect for lots of holidays like Labor Day, Olympics celebrations, Christmas, Valentine's.  They are available for purchase HERE.


Silver Fish Necklace by BayMoonDesign

When I was in Key West, Florida this winter, I picked up a few silver fish focals. I paired one of the large silver fish with royal blue faux sea glass button clothing beads, black chain, and a white and blue ceramic to create this multi strand necklace. The outer strand of the blue and black necklace is 20 inches around. This fish pendant necklace is versatile enough to wear with jeans as well as a little black dress. It makes a great gift for someone who appreciates contemporary jewelry.


I love these two hole button clothing beads and Znetshows New Arrivals.  How do you like what I created for this challenge?  

Now, grab a cool drink and enjoy seeing what the other designers in the challenge have created.  Just click on their names to view their blogs about the designs with the same beads I selected as well as other beads from the new arrivals.  Enjoy!  I know I will.
Karla Morgan (revealing on 8/22/16)

Friday, August 19, 2016

We're All Ears Outdoorsy Theme for August

Getting My Hiking Boots Out
August's We're All Ears Inspiration is the outdoorsy theme of campfires. This includes the wood, the fire, the colors, the s'mores....whatever you think of as evoking this summertime tradition. It is funny I have been thinking of sitting around the campfire on a cool night and really looking forward to that. It has been blazing hot and very humid for weeks here in Lewes, Delaware. I am really looking forward to spending Labor Day week with my adult children at the beach, but at the same time I am thinking about an upcoming camping trip that begins right after the family beach week.

Camper and truck 

We just got our camper back from the repair shop.  We had a rough camping trip last fall.  Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong.  The final straw was a flat tire on the camper just as we were into our last day of the trip.  I am hoping that this year's trip will go smoothly.  We are headed to Glacier National Park.  I have been to Montana before, but never there.  I am excited about being in the mountains and viewing the lakes and wildlife there.

Buffalo at Yellowstone National Park

On the way to Glacier National Park, we will be stopping at the north end of Yellowstone National Park.  We didn't spend as much time in that area as we did at other places in the park when we were there before.  I know the weather will be cooler in both parks and campfires will be inviting.

[Photo credit :: Luke Porter :: Unsplash]
I love the smell of campfires and the sounds of the wood crackling in the fire.  Who doesn't enjoy the warmth of the fire on a cool night?  I find the colors of the flame mesmerizing.  

Firey Red Earrings by BayMoonDesign
These firey red earrings were inspired by this month's campfire theme. The colors in the porcelain reminded me of some of the colors in a campfire--especially the red and golds.  I made them with handmade artisan Ming porcelain beads by a favorite artisan Scorched Earth. Natural brass ear wires are used to compliment the hints of gold in the porcelain beads. I love the rustic look of these boho earrings.  They are available for purchase HERE.
Right now as the days are getting shorter my thoughts are still clinging to the summer and the beach, but I will soon be enjoying wearing my hiking boots in the cool mountains of Montana.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mystery Challenge 2

Mystery Challenge 2--here's the deal:  Participants of the challenge purchased a kit put together by Andrew Thorton of Allegory Gallery.  No one knew what was in it except for Thornton.   Mystery Challengers had a few weeks to make something with the kit.  We could use as much or as little of the kit as we like and supplement the kit with beads from their own stash if we desire.  Then we share all the creations in our Facebook group.  CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group just for our design challenges.

Mystery Challenge Kit from Allegory Gallery

I have to say I was shocked when I opened the box and saw all of the bright yellow beads.  Why?  I already participated in a challenge this summer with that same bright yellow color and I found it a daunting task.  I have no idea why I have such an eversion to yellow, but I do.  I rarely wear it or work with it when designing jewelry.  So, I put aside all of the yellow beads for another summer!

Blue Gold Necklace by BayMoonDesign
Blue Gold Necklace by BayMoonDesign

I just came back from a trip to Savannah, Georgia, and I brought back some wonderful vintage beads and buttons that I found a few of the antique shops. The gold beads that I used in this necklace are part of my vintage finds. 

 I added a few of the blue beads from the kit and used the pretty focal made by Andrew Thornton as well as the blue Irish waxed linen thread from the kit.  I just found the gunmetal chain and I think the color and geometry of the chain went well with the pendant.

I am very happy with all of the goodies from the kit I have left to use at another time as well as this necklace.  The necklace is available for purchase HERE.

Did you know there is a Mystery Challenge 3?  Well there is.