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.