Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Bead Peeps Reveal 2020

Photo by Haley Lawrence on Unsplash

go down the rabbit hole

To enter into a situation or begin a process or journey that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes increasingly so as it develops or unfolds. (An allusion to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.)

Beads Sent to BayMoonDesign by partner

Bay Moon Design is participating in Bead Peeps 7th Annual Swap'n Hop 2020. I love the opportunity to swap beads and get inspiration from a new assortment of beads. This is a blog/social media hop event where the organizers partner up with other beaders around the world to swap beads and then post the creations made with them. Be sure to check out the Facebook group for more info on this fun event!
Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash
In a previous blog I introduced my partner Jackie Marchant from Middlesboro, Kentucky.  Jackie sent me so many beads to work with that I had to narrow down the selection to beads that I would attempt to use.  Part of the challenge is to create something with a focal that was sent.  With Easter right around the corner, I decided that I would use the rabbit focal and include the key and lock clasp.  The pastel quartz beads reminded me of jelly beans so I thought they would be perfect to include in a necklace.

Beads set aside for bunny necklace

Bunny Necklace by BayMoonDesign
This is the Easter bunny necklace that I made with the pastel quartz beads added to a long natural brass chain. There is 26 inches of chain and beads added to the rabbit pendant which is 3 inches long.  The clasp has the bronze skeleton key and lock.

Bunny Necklace by BayMoonDesign
I am very happy with the look of the necklace. I think that an Alice in Wonderland fan or nature lover would adore it. 

Beads Selected for Pantone Classic Blue 
Another part of the challenge is to use Pantone Classic blue beads in jewelry.  When I sorted through all of the beads that I sent, I set aside some blue beads that I hoped to incorporate into a design.  I had a blue bracelet bar on my craft table for months that I thought I would use this spring.  This seemed like the perfect time.

boho blue bracelet by BayMoonDesign

This boho blue bracelet has a blue and gold handcrafted bird focal piece with lots of Pantone classic blue beads combined with turquoise and green beads. I think the variety of blues and greens with the pop of gold make this a perfect spring and summer bracelet. This piece of art jewelry features a bird on a branch by Brook Boch. I think this would make a fun gift for casual dress.  Both pieces are available for purchase in my online shop.  

Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash
Happy Easter and spring!  Enjoy the sights and sounds of Spring.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Leather Jewelry with Sliding Knot Tutorial

I found several tutorials that show how to make a sliding knot. Once you have mastered the sliding knot you can use it to make a number of necklaces and bracelets.  Jewelry cord with a sliding knot closure is perfect for finishing casual necklaces and bracelets and offers many advantages. Sliding knot closures are adjustable in length, so one size fits all. It is also a metal-free finishing method for those with sensitive skin.

When selecting a cord for your project, let the weight and size of your pendant or beads be the guide for your cord. Use smaller cord with small, lightweight adornments, and use a heavier cord with large pendants.

Adjustable Boho Beach Bracelet by BayMoonDesign

I love the casual look of this leather bracelet and it is easy to make. I tend to gravitate to any quick easy design that allows for flexibility in length because making bracelets can be a challenge due to the necessity of sizing the bracelet correctly. Since I market my jewelry to a wide range of customers, I like to make it appeal to a broad range. This sliding knot design broadens the range of wrists this bracelet can fit. I wanted some great looking colored leather that would compliment the beads that I selected to use.

2mm gray cord from Plessmann Endless

I selected 2 mm round cord from Plessmann Endless Leather in gray. The reason I was drawn to this company is because I have have used their leather before because they have a wide selection and in leather cords. They have more than 2000 different leather cords at wholesale prices online. I selected gray because I knew that I was going to use some word beads by Scottish artisan Grubbi and a pewter sea urchin bead. I love silver with blues. Gray is a neutral color so it was an easy selection.

In this video by Beadaholique, you will see from start to finish how to make a bracelet with slide knots using 2mm round leather cord and large hole beads. You will also see how to use crimp covers to hold the beads in place.

Another tutorial with photos and step by step instructions that I recommend for making sliding knots is by Rings & Things.  In this tutorial the sliding knot is used to create a leather necklace.

I used the sliding knot to make this adjustable boho leather bracelet that makes a great gift for a beach lover. The beach bracelet has a pewter sea urchin with word beads surrounding it. The word beads say "the ocean calms my restless soul" and "salty air and not a care"'.  The pale blues, greens and yellows give the bracelet a peaceful bohemian beach feel.

I liked the design so much that I made another bracelet that is similar and includes some different word beads by Grubbi.  The bead says "the ocean breeze puts my mind to ease. Once again I used the sea urchin bead.  

I love that there is no limit to creativity with leather.  Comments are welcome!  

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Wearing of the Green in an Irish Leather Bracelet Design

four leaf clover
              Four leaf clover photo by Yan Ming on Unsplash

In addition to making jewelry and cards, genealogy is one of my hobbies. I have traced a line of ancestors to the Irish O'Hare's from County Armagh, Ireland.  O'Hare is one of the few surnames which resisted the general tendency in the 18th century to discard the 'O' in their name. Generally, the distinctive mark of an Irish surname is "Mac" or "O", according to the well-known lines.

By Mac and O
You'll always know
True Irishmen, they say;
But if they lack
Both O and Mac,
No Irishmen are they.

After the Anglo-Norman invasion, the names in use in Ireland were almost purely Gaelic; however, the English forced the Irish to adopt English surnames. Accordingly, it was enacted by the statute of Edward IV (1465), that every Irishman dwelling within the counties of Dublin, Meath, Louth and Kildare, should take an English surname. The Irish people were forced into adopting an an English version of their Irish surname, therefore many removed the 'Mac' or 'O' from their surname. However the O'Hare families did not drop the 'O', nor did they adopt an English version of their surnames. As a result, they had to endure extreme hardship and suffering because of such opposition. The creation of societies such as the Gaelic League in the late 19th century resulted in the widespread resumption of the 'Mac' and 'O' prefixes to many Irish surnames and a rebirth of Irish language and culture.

picture of shamrock
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=482629
The color green as well as the shamrock became the emblem of sympathy for Irish freedom and independence. The British killed those wearing green, which was certainly a drastic and uncalled for measure.

"O Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that's going round? The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground; St. Patrick's Day no more we'll keep, his colours can't be seen, For there's a bloody law against the wearing of the green ...."

There are other reasons this hue is linked to St. Patrick's Day. Another interesting Irish tidbit is found in Irish folklore. Wearing green makes a person invisible to leprechauns. If you are not wearing this color you will be pinched by one of these wee fellows.

green leather bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Wearing of the Green Bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Along with many Irish and non-Irish, I celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. I decided to make to make a leather bracelet for The Wearing of the Green. 
I created this multi strand green leather cord bracelet in olive, emerald and gold. This leather bracelet has multicolor genuine leather cords and gold plated findings. I added a unique Celtic charm that I made just for this bracelet.

Making bracelets can be a challenge due to the necessity to size the bracelet correctly which can range from easy to maddening. Personally, I love to have any quick easy design that allows for flexibility in length. The design I selected allows the bracelet to be adjustable. I knew that I wanted some great looking colored leather.
I remembered finding some beautiful orange leather from Plessmann Endless Leather when I made some cute leather bee bracelets. The reason I was drawn to this company is because I recalled their wide selection and large choice in  leather cords. They have more than 2000 different leather cords at wholesale prices online.

For my "Wearing of the Green Bracelet", I used the following:
olive 1mm round leather 1 meter in length
green 1mm round leather 1 meter in length
gold metallic round leather 1 meter in length
TierraCast Gold (plated) large classic hook clasp 32x16mm or something similar is necessary.  I had beads and gold findings on hand for the six dangles that go on the ends of the cords. I made the Celtic charm from the TierraCast Antique Gold (plated) Medium Celtic Diamond Bead 14mm with a crystal added to it.  I use this bead in many of my designs because it has the Celtic Triskele symbol

Celtic Triskele symbol
This Beadalon tutorial shows how to make this style of bracelet. The one challenge that I found was locating a bead with a large enough hole to allow the 6 strands of leather to pass through and at the same time compliment the components. 

I love that there is no limit to creativity with leather. Comments are welcome!
                                                                                  Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Friday, March 6, 2020

Swap N Hop '20

Photo by Dave Phillips on Unsplash

BayMoonDesign is participating in Bead Peeps 7th Annual Swap'n Hop 2020.  I love the opportunity to swap beads and get inspiration from a new assortment of beads.  This is a blog/social media hop event where the organizers partner up with other beaders around the world to swap beads and then post the creations made with them. Be sure to check out the Facebook group for more info on this fun event!

 Some beads sent to partner
Some beads sent by BayMoonDesign to my partner

My partner is Jackie Marchant from Middlesboro, Kentucky.  Jackie likes to bead and crochet. She is currently crocheting for her 4th grandbaby. My daughter just gave birth to me first grandchild. It has been fun to chat online about our grandchildren.

More beads sent to my partner which include Classic Blue 
For this blog we are suppose to send some beads that are the Pantone Color of the Year Classic Blue. To meet this requirement, I selected to blue polymer clay Roses by Brook Boch. I also sent several focals that Jackie can choose from.

Beads sent to BayMoonDesign
Beads sent to BayMoonDesign
Jackie sent me a large organza bag that was stuffed with all sorts of goodies. There was so much to choose from that I had to come with a strategy of attack. The reveal is April 18, 2020. I want to be realistic about what I can get done in that time. I never have as much time to bead as I think I will. I decided to pick out some classic blue beads, a couple of possible focals and beads and metal that might work with the focals.

My focal will come from the above beads
My focal will come from the above beads.

I have some classic blue beads here to choose from
I have some classic blue beads here to choose from.

note from my partner
My partner included a sweet note.

My strategy is on track.  I used some of the classic blue beads in a piece that I love and can't wait to reveal.  I am now working on a piece using one of the focals.  I have an idea!  Stop by my blog on April 18 to see what I created.