Friday, February 15, 2019

We're All Ears Challenge:: February :: Frozen

Kayaking in Blackwater Sound
Kayaking in Blackwater Sound

There are two things that I like to do in the mornings especially in February. I like to watch the local Miami weather station and Al Roker's weather forecast on the NBC Today Show. Why? I live outside Miami in the Keys in the Winter. We have to be concerned about wind events like tornados in the winter. I watch the NBC Today Show weather out of a long addiction to it and because I have friends and relatives all over the place. I like to see what the weather is in their areas especially during storms. Another reason to know a lot about the weather when you are in Florida in February is that this is a peak time for visitors from the cold and snowy spots like Canada, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, Maine and the list of goes on. Weather is a common topic that unites conversations everywhere. It is a little embarrassing to be from a middle Atlantic state. Delaware has had a cold and wet month, but there is no comparison to some of the other places in the country.

Boating in good weather in the Florida Keys
Boating in good weather in the Florida Keys
From my vantage point in Florida, I do enjoy looking at snow, frost, and ice in a digital format only. February's We're All Ears Challenge is devoted to nature's icy beauty by creating FROZEN earrings!

Frost Photo by Shaun Holloway on Unsplash
Frost Photo by Shaun Holloway on Unsplash

Most of us are familiar with the first frost of the season. For many it is in end of allergy season, time to get warm clothes out of storage. The earrings feature natural kyanite rondels in a wonderful multi blue green shade which reminds me of frost. I surrounded the gemstones with arabesque shaped sterling silver frames which hang from sterling silver ear wires. The sterling silver mimics the sparkle in the frost. These make classic earrings for everyday wear.  They are available for purchase HERE.

Kyanite Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Kyanite Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Glacier National Park, Jackson Glacier
Glacier National Park, Jackson Glacier photo by K.Lindemer
Glacier's are snowy and icy spots that many of us haven't seen or if climate change continues the way we are headed, we won't see too many of them in the future. For example, based on current trends, glacier recession models predict that by 2030, Glacier National Park will be without active glaciers (i.e. those large enough to be moving).

Glacier Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash
Glacier Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash
I choose to focus my next pair of earrings on something more positive. This photo is what I imagine I will find when I go to Alaska. I hope to get this trip off the ground in the next few years. I want to see glaciers there. In my mind, the glaciers will be a beautiful blue and clean white. I decided some turquoise and freshwater pearls captured the colors of this glacier and created this pair of earrings.

Turquoise and White Freshwater Pearl Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Turquoise and White Freshwater Pearl Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Turquoise and freshwater white coin pearls are combined with sterling silver and attached to sterling ear wires. This pair of turquoise and freshwater coin pearl dangles are one of a kind.  On an earlier trip to the southwest, I noticed white pearl and combined with turquoise in all shapes and sizes. I fell in love with the combination and picked up the high quality turquoise that I used in these earrings there.   I always have nice pearls on hand!
Glacier Photo by Eric Welch on Unsplash
Glacier Photo by Eric Welch on Unsplash

Stay warm + be safe!
Now hop on over to this month's post to see what others created. 

Comments are welcome!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Making Leather Bracelets with Magnetic Lock Clasps

I have used leather in my jewelry before but there are so many projects and kinds of leather to consider when you want to utilize or expand your leather crafting skills. In a previous blog I discussed the challenge of picking out the leather and color as well as showed how I have added leather to my collection of handmade earrings. As with leather earrings, I have challenged myself to learn some new ways to incorporate leather into my bracelets.

Maroon Leather Bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Maroon Leather Bracelet by BayMoonDesign

I made this leather bracelet last year. This bracelet has maroon leather with an orange boho style, brass rectangle in the center that I made. The rectangle is natural brass which I applied patina and sealant to. The soft maroon leather provides a color contrast with the orange rectangle. I used micro screws and nuts to attach the metal to the leather. The leather I used is 3 mm wide, approximately 1 mm thick. It has a simple snap closure.

Trio of leather bracelets by BayMoonDesign
Trio of leather bracelets by BayMoonDesign

This is a fun trio of leather cord bracelets in orange, yellow and black with very cute bee and beehive beads. Ceramic bee charms, artisan enameled floral bead, and lamp work beehive beads make this a piece of art jewelry with a story to tell.

Making bracelets can be a challenge to begin with. There is 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. I found a few styles of leather bracelets that are quick to make and size easily. I recently obtained some leather samples from Sun Enterprise so I decided this was a perfect time to create some leather bracelets in another kind of design.  This time I am designing leather bracelets with magnetic clasps.  I have never worked with them before.

Sun Enterprises is a leading manufacturer and supplier of leather, locks, silk, and jewelry components. They are based in The Netherlands, ship goods across 55 countries, and work extensively with jewelry designers, artisans, jewelry makers, goldsmiths , wholesalers and hobby stores. I was amazed by their huge collection of leathers and locks. I revisited their online catalog for ideas and to look at their hardware.

 Leathers and an assortment of sliders

                                                      Leathers and an assortment of sliders

I gathered my supplies together before beginning:
magnetic clasps

Super Glue 

Super Glue is the key to attaching the magnetic clasps that I used with the leather. I was dubious that the glue would be strong enough to satisfy me. I tend to over build my jewelry because I don't want a customer to ever tell me something I made fell apart! These magnetic clasps add lots of style to the bracelets as well as being very secure and easy to attach with Super Glue.

Triple Wrap Leather Bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Triple Wrap Leather Bracelet by BayMoonDesign

For my first bracelet, I made a triple wrap bracelet by combining a rose gold slider in the shape of a heart with mint green Italian 10 mm. flat Italian leather. The color of this green leather just makes me happy! I used rose gold magnetic clasp MGL-271 for 10x2.5 mm leather from Sun Enterprise. The key to understanding how to select a clasp that matches onto the end of the leather is to use the width of the leather as your starting point. It sounds easy enough, but I struggled. I would be much more comfortable selecting clasps if I could physically fit them together which is not an option on the Internet.

punch for leather and decorations for leather

For my next bracelet, I wanted to add to the basic design. To do that, I need my leather punching tool, a couple of micro screw sets, and large sterling silver bead caps.
front of bracelet with metal flower and a punch for leather
front of bracelet
I centered the floral slider on the leather and then punched a hole to the left and right of the flower. I attached the micro screws to the sterling bead caps and nuts.  After tightening the nuts I cut off the excess length of screws.  I hammered the nuts in place to secure them.
back of bracelet with nuts and screws
back side 
This bracelet called for a silver magnetic clasp just like the one used in the previous bracelet.  It paired with 10x2.5 mm leather once again.  The only difference is the metal color.  
Red Leather Bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Red Leather Bracelet by BayMoonDesign

I think you can agree that this triple wrap red leather bracelet with the floral design and color of this leather can add lots of personal style to your favorite outfits. 

owl bracelet by BayMoonDesign
owl bracelet by BayMoonDesign
For my next bracelet, I designed a single strand leather bracelet. Once again I used 10 mm. flat Italian leather.  This leather reminded me of tree bark. I love owls so I couldn't resist an owl slider that seemed a natural fit with the leather. Once again, I used a silver magnetic clasp, but the difference is that it is sized for 10x2.3 mm leather. The leather is thinner so the clasp needs to designed for a thinner leather.

To put my spin on the bracelet I glued metal spacers to two beads that I had in my stash and then glued the beads to the leather. As long as I had Super Glue out I thought I would put it to use. It worked great and I love the fun look it adds.

For a single simple leather bracelet with leather, a magnetic lock and a bead, it takes no longer than 10 - 15 minutes. Obviously, it takes longer to make more complex designs.

photo of an owl

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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January Art Elements --Inspired by the Moon

Photo eclipse by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash
Photo by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash

January's Art Elements
 challenge is sponsored by Lindsay Starr. Since the theme is the moon and is open to any media I had to give lots of thought to this. This is a theme that I have used in the past and loved. Just last year I made this pearl and pewter necklace which I love. It is available in my shop. challenge is sponsored by Lindsay Starr. Since the theme is the moon and is open to any media I had to give lots of thought to this. This is a theme that I have used in the past and loved. Just last year I made this pearl and pewter necklace which I love. It is available in my shop.
Celestial Necklace by BayMoonDesign
                                                                  Celestial Necklace by BayMoonDesign

This celestial necklace has a pewter pendant of lady with crescent moon and stars. The gorgeous necklace is made with gray blister pearls with hints of pink. The pink is highlighted by the use of tiny pink beads and small silver bead to give some additional sparkle.

The pewter starfish clasp is made by Green Girl Studio. The pewter moon and star pendant is by Inviciti. This is a lovely piece of art jewelry.

I had such fun with December 2018's Art Elements Scene Challenge when I made wire flowers for my daughter's garden. I enjoyed the project and my daughter loved the flowers. I felt so good about this project that I decided to make a wire moon for my patio door. I wanted it for decoration and as a visual caution to prevent folks from walking into the glass.

Photo of moon by Stephan Herb on Unsplash
Photo by Stephan Herb on Unsplash
The Super Blood Wolf Moon lunar eclipse was big news in January 2019 and it caught my attention. After all, it isn't every year that this happens. Lunar eclipses can occur only during a full moon, and this one was extra special because it was also a supermoon.  A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon is full and passes into the shadow of the Earth. This causes the usually bright full moon to turn a dark, coppery-red. Depending on weather conditions, it may appear rusty, brick-colored or blood-red. Hence, this eclipsed moon is nicknamed the ”Blood Moon” in the media. It certainly creates more drama with "blood".

photo of wolf by Josh Felise on Unsplash
Photo by Josh Felise on Unsplash

I have to admit that the "wolf" part added to my interest. Why a wolf? Each moon has its own name associated with the full moon. In January, it's known as the "wolf moon".  According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the name was inspired by hungry wolves that howled outside of villages long ago.  My color palette was created with these visuals of browns, red, oranges, yellows from the super blood wolf moon in my mind.

Since I used 16 gauge wire in my flower project, I thought I would use it for this. I then switched my thoughts from the black wire that I used previously to copper wire. I love copper and I decided it would look great with my color palette so I used 16 gauge copper wire. There was my first mistake. I also used 28 gauge copper wire. This decision I am still wondering about. I might want to up thickness on that wire. I then gathered all of my quartz chips and clear beads in my color palette and strung them on the 28 gauge wire. I did this bead by bead by hand picking each one with care. I selected beads that I thought were the best size and color.  This took much longer than I thought it would.  In the beginning all went well but the more I wrapped the beads around the wire, the more I noticed structural problems. I didn't want to use heavy copper wire to shore of the design for artistic reasons. I used some Washi tape instead and it worked surprisingly well. I really had to force myself to finish this.   I am viewing this as a prototype of a future attempt. I have to regard this as a learning experience.  Any suggestions for my future attempt, are appreciated.
Photo by 🐣 Luca Iaconelli 🦊 on Unsplash

Grab a hot beverage and enjoy seeing what everyone else was inspired to write.

Thank you Lindsay Starr for hosting challenge.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

We're All Ears :: January Inspiration :: Color of the Year 2019 Living Coral

Photo of coral reef by James Thornton on Unsplash
Photo by James Thornton on Unsplash

The We're All Ears January challenge is for January 2019 is to use the Pantone Color of the Year 2019 --Living Coral. Living Coral is truly an energizing and vibrant color found in nature. PANTONE Living Coral calls attention to our underwater reef systems. Beneath the sea, this warm and vivid color is spell binding and vibrant. It is namesake of an endangered species in our oceans that we need to fight to protect. The reefs are important because they provide shelter to diverse ecosystems that are crucial. They are too beautiful and important to loose. I love snorkeling in the Florida Keys. My favorite spots are just down the road from where I winter in Key Largo, Florida.  I love to snorkel at the reefs that are part of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park which is made up of 70 nautical square miles. While many visitors view the park’s colorful coral reefs and teeming marine life on glass-bottom boat tours, you can get a closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling. The water is so clear that when canoeing and kayaking through the park's waters you can see the underwater world too.

photo of author snorkeling
Me snorkeling

Pantone put together 5 color palettes that feature the living coral color. I often use them to help me make decisions on colors for my jewelry. One of the five palettes that I am most drawn to is --Focal Point. I love the combination of earthy colors that are combined here. I used this Focal Point palette to inspire a new pair of earrings.

Pantone Focal Point Colors 2019

I selected red ceramic pairs by Marsha Neal Studio. The vertical lines in them are the color living coral and reminds me of coral. Since these coral lines are surrounded by an even more vibrant shade I used the cooling color of golden lime. For my metal sterling silver seemed a perfect choice. The silver reminds me of the cooling Pantone color storm gray.

Coral Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Coral Earrings by BayMoonDesign
I connected coral color ceramics with stacked Czech Glass lustered avocado spacers with 20 gauge sterling wire and added sterling ear wires. These are bold earrings in this seasons freshest colors. They are available for purchase HERE.
You can see additional earrings in my shop by visiting

Photo coral reef by Tomoe Steineck on Unsplash
Photo by Tomoe Steineck on Unsplash

Pollution, disease, invasive species, and unaware tourists all cause them harm. Coral reefs control the amount of carbon dioxide in the ocean, making them critical to the food chain.

There are ways that you can help protect coral reefs. Something that everyone can do is conserve water. This is essential because less water consumption means that there is less runoff. Less runoff naturally leads to less wastewater finding its way into the sea and affecting the coral reefs negatively.

As a tourist:
Avoid striking or touching a coral reef.
Don't fish or boat near a coral reef
Don't litter on the beach or in the ocean

Coral reefs provide food and shelter for a variety of marine life. They are also important for people who live near the water and rely on the corals for food. Corals are also used to produce medicine, generate tourist revenue, and serve as a barrier against tropical storms for some communities. All strong reasons, to care for them.

This is a blog hop, so please head on over to Earrings Everyday to check out the earrings that other designers have created.