Friday, July 19, 2019

We're All Ears :: July Inspiration :: Blueberries

Blueberries -- Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
Blueberries -- Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

July's We're All Ears challenge is to create a pair of earrings inspired by blueberries.  Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with blue– or purple–colored berries. As soon as I thought about the blues and purples in these luscious berries, I knew what I would make.

The blueberries we eat today are a more or less recent invention. Prior to the 1900’s, only North American natives utilized the berry, which was only found in the wild.
Today there are three types of blueberry: highbush, lowbush and hybrid half-high. Blueberry harvesting season can be anywhere from late May through mid-August, depending upon the variety and your local climate.  When blueberries are in season, there are many farms that let families pick these plump, sun-ripened morsels.  It is fun to do some research and find a patch near you and plan a fun day with family and friends.
Some Picked Blueberries-- Photo by Farsai Chaikulngamdee on Unsplash
Some Picked Blueberries-- Photo by Farsai Chaikulngamdee on Unsplash

There’s no great secret to picking blueberries. Beyond the actual picking of the blueberries, there isn’t an easier fruit to prepare and serve. You don’t need to peel, pit, core or cut plus they freeze, can or dry for long-term storage if you don’t make short work of them as a pie, cobbler or just a snack. Best of all blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients.

Store fresh blueberries in the refrigerator as soon as you get them home, without washing them, in a covered bowl or storage container. If refrigerated, fresh-picked blueberries will keep 10 to 14 days. Freeze berries in freezer containers without washing to keep the skins from toughening.

Blueberry inspired earrings by BayMoonDesign
Blueberry inspired earrings by BayMoonDesign
The colors in blueberries are what inspired my blue and purple paisley ceramic earrings. The handmade earrings make fun statement dangles. These are vibrant and tropical in this seasons freshest colors. I added lavender and blue freshwater pearls as well as aqua crystals. The bell shaped ceramic by Scotish artisan Grubbi. These statement earrings have sterling ear wires.

Fresh fruits are one of the best parts of summer.  What is your favorite fruit?

Photo by chen zo on Unsplash

I plan to spend some time in doors this weekend and read the blogs of the other participants in this blog hop! Join us and leave comments in your travels through them.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

June Art Elements Challenge --Selkies

photo of Selkie by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
The theme of the June Art Elements Challenge is Selkies.  Selkies are not mermaids. In Scottish mythology, Selkies or Selkie folk  mean "Seal Folk".  They are mythological beings capable of changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin. They are found in folktales and mythology originating from Orkney and Shetland.  

Photo of Seal by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

In Orkney lore, selkie is said to denote various seals of greater size than the grey seal; only these large seals are credited with the ability to shapeshift into humans, and are called "selkie folk".   The type of large seals that might have been seen on the islands include the Greenland seal and the crested seal.   Something similar is stated in Shetland tradition, that the mermen and mermaids prefer to assume the shape of larger seals, referred to as "Haaf-fish".  The legends of the selkies are found in Ireland, Scotland and Wales; coastal tales as selkies are from the sea. return to the sea.

Photo Selkie by Joanna Nix on Unsplash
Photo by Joanna Nix on Unsplash
Having Scottish roots and having red hair and having a ceramic pendant made by Jenny Davies-Reazor who is the originator of this challenge,  I was eager to use the Reazor pendant for this. 

Selkie ceramic by Jenny Davies-Reazor
Selkie ceramic by Jenny Davies-Reazor

I love to make crochet necklaces because I enjoy crocheting and I love the organic look.  Copper wire was selected because it helps to draw attention to the red hair of the selkie on the ceramic.  I crocheted a variety of pearls because they come from the sea just as the selkie.  Glass chips that look like sea glass seemed like a natural fit. Other beads that compliment the copper wire.

Copper Wire Crochet Necklace by BayMoonDesign
Copper Wire Crochet Necklace by BayMoonDesign
I made this statement necklace by stringing beads onto copper wire, crocheting 4 strands and then weaving them together.  Lastly, I  attached the pendant that I put together. 

Mermaid photo by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash
Photo by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash
From seal to woman, from sea to land - join us this month by visiting the blogs as we take inspiration from these transformative creatures of mythology and folklore!  We love to read your comments!
AE team: 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

We're All Ears :: June Inspiration :: Storms

photo of storm with a rainbow by Photo by Brian Taylor on Unsplash
Photo by Brian Taylor on Unsplash

For June, the We're All Ears Challenge offers a perfect inspiration -- storms. This type of weather includes storm clouds, lightning, raindrops, rivulets on the window, umbrellas, puddle jumping, and of course, rainbows. On the East coast we have had plenty of storms. My home has survived fine, but a brother had a wind shear come through his area and cause lots of damage.

What Is Wind Shear? Wind Shear defined as is a change in wind speed and/or direction over a short distance. It can occur either horizontally or vertically and is most often associated with strong temperature inversions or density gradients. In my brother's case it occurred horizontally and took off the tops of trees and poles in his area. His house had the top of a tree leveled off. Fortunately, the top half of the tree top landed in an empty spot in his yard. It could have landed on his roof if the wind had been in a different direction. He also lost his power for 2 days which I was really surprised that it took so long to restore the power in a residential area. I guess the lesson is be prepared!
Photo of pale blue clouds by Dominik Schröder on Unsplash
Photo by Dominik Schröder on Unsplash

We have been very fortunate to not have the flooding that many areas of the country have had.  There have been lots of clouds and evening storms with thunder, lightening, and heavy rain this spring. It seems the clouds build all day as the temperature rises and then we have the thunder storms at night. 

Photo of blue and white clouds by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash
Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

The cloud cover is the inspiration for my latest earrings. I used some ceramics by Marsha Neal that have light blue and cream colors and look like the colors of clouds. They have swirls in them that remind me of the highs and lows in the clouds.

Light blue summer earrings by BayMoonDesign
Light blue summer earrings by BayMoonDesign

These handmade light blue earrings have textured ceramics by Marsha Neal Studio. The earrings dangle below a couple of blue accent beads. Silver is used in the ear wires and to connect the ceramics to the accent beads. These rustic boho earrings are 2 inches and are light and comfortable to wear.  I love this pale color for the summer.
I plan to spend some time in doors this weekend and read the blogs of the other participants in this blog hop! Join us and leave comments in your travels through them.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Art Elements --- Repurposing and Recycling

tin cans repurposed into wall hanging with plants Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash
Repurposed tin cans as wall planter, photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash
The April's Art Elements theme is Repurposing. Member Lesley Watt issued the following challenge:

"Upcycle, recycle, pre-loved, repurposed... call it what you will, this month you can make anything you like provided that the finished product includes some element that was originally intended for a different purpose or is used in a completely different way from it's previous incarnation. It can be decorative art or it can be functional and practical - or both, the only limits are your imagination. I know some of you have already dabbled with this and I hope it fires up some exciting ideas."

The tin cans in the photo above are an example of trash turned into an attractive wall planter with almost zero cost. It is bright and cheery as well as functional.  

My bird feeder in Lewes, Delaware USA

I decided to take an old but loved bird feeder and repurpose it into an object of beauty.  I don't use it as a bird feeder now that I spend the winters in Florida because that would be unfair to the birds.  This left me looking at an old plastic tube in the center.  I thought I would use some of my large collection of sea glass to fill the center.  Surely, that would look more attractive.  Don't worry I have plenty more sea glass left.

Sea glass stored in garage in plastic bag

Bird feeder with sea glass

I think you will agree that the feeder is more attractive with the sea glass.

Inspiration for my repurposing project

My next project involves my selecting one of my old pins that I purchased when  wearing pins on a dress was the height of fashion--especially if you worked around children. I also took apart an old handmade card with a nautical theme that I made awhile back. Add an Altoids tin and these items can be repurposed into a shadow box. I have written several blogs about repurposing tins. Previously, I blogged about making an owl ornament, several faerie ornaments, and a Christmas ornament.
Bear's inner tube reads "When in doubt... float.

Ink added to wood frames 
I added some paper twine, ink, sea shells, painted wooden frames and some hot glue.

Summer Shadow box by BayMoonDesign

I took the pin off the back of the bear and hot glued it to the tin after I created the beach scene complete with waves and sea shells. The background paper is from the card that I had made awhile ago. It made the perfect background for my floating bear. Now my bear will live outside a jewelry box and can be admired on a shelf in my studio along with my other altered tins.

Grab a beverage and enjoy seeing what everyone else was inspired to upcycle, recycle, pre-loved, repurposed. Thank you to Lesley Watt for a perfect challenge during a month where we celebrate Earth Day.