Monday, January 30, 2017

Romantic Gifts by Some of My Crafty Friends

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February 14 is Valentine's Day. 62% of people say that they celebrate Valentine's Day.  It is the most romantic day of the year. I want to offer up some artsy gift ideas--handmade of course.
Romantic Gifts

Silver necklace

Heart wreath

Make a plan to celebrate the day!  Take time to enjoy nature with someone special.  Visit an art museum with a favorite someone. Invite a friend to breakfast. Say thank you to a friend for being there for you.   Just make the day special!  

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Valentine Gift Suggestions Featuring Some Friends from My Local Art Scene

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Valentine's Day is right around the corner.  I love holidays that involve flowers and candy.  Both are favorites on mine!  They are also tradition gifts on Valentine's Day.  I want to offer up some artsy gift suggestions to go along with them.

Conversation hearts
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When I think of Valentine's Day, I think of conversation hearts which are also know as sweethearts.  They were favorites of mine as a child. They are small heart shaped sugar candies only available around Valentine's Day.  They got their start in 1901.  By the 1990s, some of the sayings were updated and others retired. The romantic expressions continue to be revised for young Americans.  As of 2010, the classic pastel candy formula is abandoned.  Sweethearts are now softer candies with vivid colors and all new flavors, which are more intense and even a bit more sour.

box of chocolates
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As an adult, I loved getting a box of fine chocolates.  I savored each piece.  Unfortunately, my high blood sugar has put an end to my chocolate eating, but I still enjoy one piece once in awhile.  I just don't get to eat an entire box like in the good old days.

I want to give you some ideas for some other very special gifts--handmade of course.

Favorite Mug:

Nautical Mug Hand Painted by UncommonMugs
                                          Nautical Mug Hand Painted by UncommonMugs

Who loves pirates? If you do or know someone who does then look no farther than this amusing hand painted mug by UncommonMugs with To Err is Human To Arr is Pirate hand painted in black enamel paints.  This shop has lots of unique mugs to choose from.

Favorite Leather:

Leather Coin Purse by Across Leather

Leather floral zip up coin purse, coin holder, zippered case, zip up case by Across Leather. This gem is composed of a single outer piece of 4 oz. Vegetable tanned leather encompassed in hand tooled floral patterns along with a 4 oz. zippered gusset. Its hand tooled, oiled, beveled, dyed with sprite dye and finished with a poly coat finish. The edges are hand stitched wax linen thread then burnished to perfection.

Favorite Earrings:

Ceramic Red Earrings by BayMoonDesign

Of course, I have to include a pair of my handmade earrings. I don't know about you, but I wear a lot of red in February. These ceramic red earrings are a perfect Valentine gift or accessory. These ceramic red earrings are made with handmade artisan Ming porcelain beads by 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 handmade boho earrings
Favorite Ceramic Tile:

Lotus Ceramic Tile by JDaviesReazor
Lotus Ceramic Tile by JDaviesReazor
A gorgeous glowing blossom arises from the muddy waters. Lotus flowers often symbolize resurrection and beauty. They are also seen as a symbol of one's own potential - to bloom and grow; to acquire beauty and peace. Let the lotus tile illuminate and inspire you...

This tile  by JDaviesReazor is cast in a mold, made from my original hand sculpted low-relief sculpture. It is glazed by hand, in turquoise and green with accents of pink. It is signed on the back and also has a wire loop for hanging. 

Guess what these Etsy shops have in common.   Besides having great handmade items, they are all physically located in Delaware! Delaware is small but it has a mighty art community and Delaware has tax free shopping.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out these wonderful artists shops.

Remember to get out and support your local Art scene!
photo of roses
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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jan. Art Bead Scene Challenge

 Field of Flowers
Egon Schiele

January's Art Bead Scene Challenge is based on this chalk on paper art piece. This early drawing by Schiele is a mixed media study in black chalk, gouache, gold bronze paint and white body color on paper. Egon Schiele was influenced by the early expressionism of Van Gogh and Edvard Munch. He loved creating and whether it was an exuberance of flowers like this drawing or a forlorn stylized tree or a self-portrait dripping in suffering, he seems to have an honest examination of each and tried to get to the heart of his subject. 
I sought out to capture the exuberance of his flowers in my necklace.  The bright floral focal is a beautiful handmade ceramic yellow and white flower that reminds me of a daisy.

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 necklace has chunky yellow, orange and white beads with red Irish waxed linen thread and soft brown leather. The trending leather creates an adjustable neckline which makes it a great fit for all. The colorful ceramic necklace has a bohemian vibe to it. 

The ceramic is by UK artist Lesley Watt. The firey red teardrop shaped enamel beads are by Suebeads. This wearable art necklace has a boho, summer look of this necklace.

It makes a lovely birthday or anniversary gift and is available for sale HERE.

I love the painting and I hope I captured its colorful and bright feeling.  What are your thoughts.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Muffin Tin Challenge 2017

2017 muffin tin challenge
                     Heather Powers of Humblebeads is sponsoring the 2017 muffin tin challenge.

This 2017 Muffin Tin Challenge is sponsored by Heather Powers of Humblebeads.
The challenge is simple:

Fill the cup of a muffin tin with everything you need for one project - so the focal bead, accents, chain, findings - whatever you would need to complete one project and put that in one cup. Repeat with the other cups. You now have 6-12 projects in a portable container ready for you to put together. Grab your pliers/tools and sit somewhere comfy with your muffin tin and put each piece together knowing all your choices have already been made - your mission is to simply arrange those beads in a sassy design and complete those projects as quickly as possible!

These projects can be UFOs. (Unfinished Objects if you have a pile of half-finished projects.) And yes, it can be as simple as 6 pairs of earrings if that is what you feel motivated to create.

Project selected for creation by BayMoon Design in a muffin tin
Project selected for creation by BayMoon Design
I decided to jump right in and I took a photo of my muffin tin and my six projects that I selected for this challenge.
Lotus Flower Necklace by BayMoonDesign
Lotus Flower Necklace by BayMoonDesign
One of my business goals this year is to build my collection of jewelry that appeals to those who practice yoga so I decided to create with 2 popular symbols--the lotus and infinity.  This lotus flower necklace has a large, gold colored bronze lotus flower pendant. The necklace also has two infinity symbols. I paired the bronze pieces with aqua chips and gold hematite beads to create this pastel floral necklace

photo of lotus
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I love the 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 necklace would be a very romantic Valentine gift.                     
 Namaste bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Namaste bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Next I made a bracelet is another addition to my collection of jewelry designed who those who practice yoga. I took a TierraCast pewter link and put a slight bend in it to curve on the wrist. I made links out of sterling silver. I used these links as a way to connect it to silver chain. I also added one of my handmade clasps. It reminds me of the old school identity bracelets. I think this bracelet is perfect for those who practice yoga. In yoga, namaste means "the light within me honors the light within you. 

photo to inspire meditation
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You can also see a tiny Ohm charm has been included on the bracelet.  Ohm is considered to be one of the most sacred syllables in several Indian religions and is often used for meditation. You can wear it to express your spiritual dedication or as a reminder of the importance of personal meditation.

daisy necklace by BayMoonDesign

The rest of my pieces for this challenge feature some of my favorite makers of art beads. The floral ceramic is by UK artist Lesley Watt. I love the boho, summer look of it.  I also used Suebeads firey red enamel teardrop shaped beads in this necklace.

 The bright floral focal is a beautiful handmade ceramic yellow and white flower that reminds me of a daisy. This unique artisan necklace has chunky yellow, orange and white beads with red Irish waxed linen thread and soft brown leather. The leather is used to create an adjustable neckline which makes it a great fit for all. The colorful ceramic necklace has a bohemian vibe to it. 

cardinal bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Cardinal Bracelet by BayMoonDesign
I couldn't resist one of Lorelei Eurto's new tin snippets. This red cardinal bracelet was handmade using her tin cardinal. Cardinal bracelet comes with a vintage recycled leather button and leather clasp. The rustic boho bracelet has red colored natural Irish waxed linen thread woven it to add a pop of color. This handmade cardinal jewelry is wearable art that makes a special gift for you or a friend who is a nature or bird lover.

photo of cardinal
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I love cardinals for many qualities that they have. One of the first and most obvious qualities about the cardinal is his color. Cardinal red is so called because it is one of the three primary colors. Another notable quality is that cardinals are year round residents. Cardinals also exemplify health, strength and vitality. They are known to be feisty in nature, and the red crown on top of their head evidences their fiery personality. When a cardinal prepares to defend himself or his family, the red-feathered crown rises up like the flames of a fire.

Navy blue earrings by BayMoonDesign
Navy blue earrings by BayMoonDesign
Next, Heather Powers of Humblebeads made these black, blue and gold polymer clay headpins. She used copper wire in the design. The copper wire made it very easy to design earrings. It was soft and malleable. I loved just being able to stack the crystal, copper bead cap and sodalite beads on top of her polymer clay base. The earrings are 2 inches long. They make a great gift for someone who appreciates art jewelry and can be purchased here.

Yellow and teal floral earrings
Yellow Floral Earrings by BayMoonDesign
These yellow and teal earrings are made with handmade artisan teal and gold polymer clay beads by Emma Todd.  The beautiful polymer clay beads have swirls of teal and gold which remind me of a peacock's feathers. I combined the polymer clay beads with Czech glass beads.   The Czech glass beads remind me of yellow sunflowers. These turquoise and gold earrings are 2 inches long. They make a great gift and can be purchased here.

Thank you Heather of Humblebeads for organizing this!

Which new piece of jewelry is your favorite?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

We're All Ears January Challenge

Pantone color greenery

This January's We're All Ears challenge revolves around the Pantone color of the year--greenery.  It also happens to be my favorite color which is why I was only to happy to get out my patinas.

According to the Pantone website the color is a refreshing and revitalizing shade.  Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.
photo of ferns
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Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate. 

Chartreuse and Green Fern Earrings by BayMoonDesign
                   Chartreuse and Green Fern Earrings by BayMoonDesign
This description of green by Pantone is the inspiration for my first pair of earrings.  I love seeing ferns come back to life in the spring. I made these
 fern earrings from natural brass sheets that I embossed with the fern pattern.  I love the look of the greens in these leaf earrings.  The chartreuse in the fern is picked up in the chartreuse Czech beads.  The green earrings are hand painted with patinas. The metal has a protective coating to keep the color vivid for years to come! I have hung them on brass ear wires and added green beads at the top.  These green leaf earrings are a perfect gift for the outdoors lover.

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Pantone describes greenery as nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally. A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront - it is an omnipresent hue around the world. 

A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.

Olympic Park, Rio
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Olympic Park, Rio

I think this design in the Olympic Park, Brazil, is a perfect example of green being used in an Urban setting.  The Olympic games are a perfect example of personal passion and vitality.  After the Olympic Games in Rio were over, photographer Martin E. Sanchez captured the tip part of the Olympic Park there which was designed as a Live Site where everyone would gather and large televisions would broadcast the events. Seeing it from the ground was one thing. But he knew that the real magic was from up above so he took this aerial photo.  The greens and reddish browns inspired this pair of these green fern earrings.

Green fern earrings by BayMoonDesign
Green fern earrings by BayMoonDesign
This leaf jewelry is nature inspired and are perfect casual green earrings. These green leaf earrings are a perfect gift for the outdoors lover.  Both pairs are available for purchase in my online BayMoonDesign Shop.

photo of greens

Just wondering --what shade of green is your favorite?

Friday, January 6, 2017

There Be Dragons- -Art Elements Winter Challenge

The Art Bead Scene Challenge for December is a dragon themed challenge! The challenge is to create something (it could be beads, jewelry, art work etc…) inspired by dragons! 
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically scaled or fire-spewing and with serpentine, reptilian or avian traits.   Dragons are featured in the myths of many cultures. The two most well-known cultural traditions of dragon are the European and Oriental dragons. 
flag of Wales

 The European dragon is derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Balkans and Western Asian mythologies. Most are depicted as reptilian creatures with animal-level intelligence, and are uniquely six-limbed (four legs and a separate set of wings) like the dragon on the flag of Wales.

The Oriental or Eastern dragons are from areas like China, Japan, Korea and other East Asian and South Asian countries. These are depicted as a serpentine creature with above-average intelligence, and are quadrupeds (four legs and wingless).
                                                                           Fantasy Dragon Bracelet by BayMoonDesign
 Being of Celtic heritage, I decided to use the European dragon.  To do that I selected a very handsome pewter Celtic dragon by Green Girl Studios as the focal for my Celtic dragon bracelet.   I love that there is a dragon is on one side and a Celtic weave design on the other. 
Celtic Weave Design on opposite side
I choose to use green jasper, reddish green Czech beads and sterling silver spacer beads.  I made the handmade sterling silver clasp for this bracelet.  

I selected green as the primary color because the color has meaning in Celtic tales.  In Celtic myths the Green man was the God of fertility. The Green Man is primarily interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of growth each spring.
By Llywelyn2000 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Later in the millennium, Early Christians banned green because it had been used in pagan ceremonies.  By the 15th Century, the color green was a choice for a bridal gown because of its earliest symbolism. The color green Green has been reinterpreted by late 20th century American culture to signify a state of heightened sexuality in this specific situation.

Since the color wheel shows primary–secondary complementary color to green is red, my other beads are red Czech glass beads that have a hint of green.  This bracelet is available for purchase in my BayMoonDesign online shop.  I think it makes a great St. Patrick's Day bracelet or birthday gift.

A special thanks to Nicky Sayers for putting this challenge together.  Grab a hot drink and take some time to see what others came up with for this challenge--always a treat!

AJE Team