Thursday, May 28, 2020

Butterfly Theme Art Elements Challenge

Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash
In May I took part in the Butterfly Theme Challenge created by Art Elements Community. Butterflies were the theme for the Art Elements design challenge. The Art Elements Team has made some changes to the monthly theme challenges, including moving the reveals from a blog hop to a photo album in a new FaceBook group - Art Elements Community - for all challenges or to Instagram. I decided to stay with my blog and to test the waters of Instagram.

People of a certain age have much more difficulty with programs like Facebook and Instagram then you might think. I struggle with both. I have somewhat mastered Facebook and still have work to do on Instagram. I decided to use this challenge and the 100 days project on Instagram as motivation to accomplish both challenges. In the 100 Days Project you post your creations each day for 100 days on Instagram. I used some of the creations I made for this challenge as the subjects for Instagram posts and motivation. It was a win win. This has gotten me to post my work on Instagram on a regular basis and that should help promote my jewelry and cards. This will be a real life experiment for me.
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

This challenge allowed me to take time to create with a beautiful swallowtail stamp that I had never used.  I also discovered a wonderful tutorial that shows how to create stunning black and white cards with the stamp.  Even if you don't have this stamp, the technique that was used can be applied to many large stamps.  The tutorial shows the card being made with black ink on white paper and I loved the look so I used the color palette on my card.

Thank You card by BayMoonDesign
With an elegant black and white butterfly sitting on this card, the card can be appropriate for lots of different occasions. I used a detailed butterfly stamp with black ink to create a 3 dimensional butterfly by layering part of one butterfly on a portion of another. I added a clear gem to the body of the butterfly. To make a thank you note, I stamped the sentiment "A special note of Thanks to You" in black ink.
Wedding Card by BayMoonDesign

The same card with Congratulations stamped on it, is perfect for a June wedding. I have also made this card as a sympathy card by adding the text "With Sympathy". 

Thinking of You card by BayMoonDesign

I was interested to see how the butterfly stamp would look with white craft ink. I like how the white craft ink looks with brown card stock.  It has a totally different look--much more earthy and less formal.   It reads "thinking of you" on the front and
 is blank on the inside so that you can add a personal note. This thinking of you card can be used as a sympathy card, get well card, breakup card, or note card.  Both cards make add nicely to my Online shop.  I am eager to try another color palette.  I have been thinking of some pink on pink but I haven't found the time.  

Handmade Mother's Day Card from 4 month old grandson
Both of my adult children are on Instagram but not Facebook as much. They noticed my posts to Instagram had focused on butterflies. My son even commented that he noticed how much I like butterflies. My daughter helped my 4 month old grandson Petey make this butterfly Mother's Day card for me. I think that my Instagram posts planted the Mother's Day card in her mind.  I know she planted Petey's foot in that paint.

Vintaj Embossing plates and butterfly blanks
Vintaj Embossing plates and butterfly blanks
I just happened to have some Vintaj butterfly blanks and embossing blanks in my stash. I sandwiched them together and ran them through my embossing machine. I loved how they turned out.

Vintaj Embossing plates and embossed butterflies
Vintaj Embossing plates and embossed butterflies
Once again I was interested to compare some color palettes. Next, I got out Swellegant Tiffany Green/Rust Patina and Ranger Vintaj Patina. I decided to see what the butterflies would look like with different patinas.

Swellegant Patina on the butterflies
I used a Swellant Patina on these butterflies.  
I really like the results that I got with the Swellegant patina on the butterfly pieces.  I was hoping for a more Tiffany green shade than rust and that is what I got.

blanks painted with Ranger patina
blanks painted with Ranger patina

I also put a couple of shades of Ranger Vintaj patina on the same embossed blanks and went with a very different color palette that I also liked.  I especially like the small orange butterfly on top of a filagree piece that was a silver colored metal that I used the Swellegant on.  I have to admit that I was hoping to get more of the Tiffany Green color, I was surprised that it was similar to rust.  I love it paired with the small orange butterfly.  I am sure that this will be part of a component for a necklace some day.  Making more of my components and beads rather than making more jewelry is another one of my goals for the next couple of months. 

necklace component by BayMoonDesign
necklace component by BayMoonDesign
I am glad that I participated. This challenge helped me move forward in a couple of areas. I still am resistant to Instagram but I am determined to keep it up at least for the 100 Day Challenge. I am hoping I will see the benefit of it by then and get better posting. A blog takes longer, but I enjoy is more both reading and writing, but I do see the time savings of Instagram. I am just not sure my mind is wired that way.  Maybe with more time, I will love Instagram.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

We're All Ears :: May Inspiration:: May Day

 Floral Wreath  Photo by Chalo Garcia on Unsplash

                                            Floral Wreath  Photo by Chalo Garcia on Unsplash

May's inspiration for the We're All Ears challenge is the tradition of May Day: flowers in cones or baskets, dancing around a Maypole with ribbons.... or other signs of spring!

May Day is part of larger festivals and celebrations that are about dancing and songs all focused on the fields beginning to grow. Some celebrations envolve dancing around a Maypole while holding colorful ribbons woven in and out.  This dance symbolizes the celebration of the fertility of crops. Crowning a May Queen, or in the Catholic tradition crowing Mary statues, are also part of these festivities.

When I was a young child in the late 1950's, I attended a Catholic School and during the month of May we honoring the Virgin Mary as "the Queen of May". We had what is called a "May Crowning". Each day an assigned student was to make a fresh crown of flowers to be placed on a statue of Mary.

Virgin Mary Honored By Jacopo di Mino del Pellicciaio
Virgin Mary Honored By Jacopo di Mino del Pellicciaio - Self-scanned, Public Domain

This custom fell out of vogue in many places during the 1970s-80s, but has since made a comeback along with many other traditional Catholic practices. Today, May crownings occur in many Roman Catholic parishes and homes with the crowning of a statue of Mary. The climax of the celebration is the moment when the one of those present places a crown of flowers on Mary's head accompanied by a traditional hymn to the Blessed Mother. The ceremony often takes place with young girls in dresses carrying flowers to adorn the statue. 

Floral Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Floral Earrings by BayMoonDesign

I had some bell shaped floral earrings by Grubbi Ceramics in my stash and they remind me of the shape of a May pole.  The purple and blue flowers capture some of the best florals seen in the spring.

Bell Shaped Dangles by BayMoonDesign
Bell Shaped Dangles by BayMoonDesign

These floral purple earrings are perfect for spring and summer. The handmade earrings make pretty statement dangles. I added lavender freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals to bell shaped floral ceramics. These statement earrings have sterling ear wires. They hang 2 inches from curve in ear wire to bottom of ceramics. They are light earrings to wear and they are available for purchase and ready to ship from my online shop.

This is a blog hop so I am looking forward to seeing what others were inspired to create.   Pop on over to the Earrings Everyday blog to see what everyone else was inspired to make!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Gee’s Bend Quilts are Inspiration

Quilt by Lucy Mingo,
Pieced Quilt by Lucy Mingo

The Art Bead Scene challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork. This year's Art Journey #3 is all about the quilts of Gee's Bend. I love quilts and history, so I found the background of these quilts very interesting.

Gee’s Bend, Alabama is the home of one most profuse and creative African American folk art collections by a small collection of artists. The area of Gee’s Bend is like an inland island, surrounded on three sides by the Alabama River. This results in relative isolation has allowed a great tradition of quilting to flourish. There are few places where works by three and sometimes four generations of women in the same family can be found. Gee’s Bend’s art also stand out due to the quilts being composed of bold geometric designs that transform recycled work clothes and dresses, feed sacks, and fabric remnants.

Quilt Birds in the Air (1981) Lucy T. Pettway
Birds in the Air (1981) by Lucy T. Pettway

The colors in the "Birds in the Air" quilt inspired me to make a yellow and black bee necklace. I combined yellow and black beads to continue the colors of the bee throughout the piece. A red flower made with Czech glass picks up the red in the quilt and adds an additional pop of color.

Boho Bee Necklace by BayMoonDesign
Boho Bee Necklace by BayMoonDesign

I added chain to give the necklace length and a boho casual necklace. The lamp work bee was made by Marianna DeLuca Wehner. StarGirlJoolz is her online shop.

Boho Bee Necklace by BayMoonDesign
Bee Necklace by BayMoonDesign

I think this bright bee necklace has a whimsical look. It is available for purchase in my online shop.

Bee on Flower Photo by Good Free Photos on Unsplash

Bee safe and stay well during this Covid 19 pandemic.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Bee’s – the Art Elements theme for April 2020

Photo of bee by Dmitry Grigoriev on Unsplash
Photo of bee by Dmitry Grigoriev on Unsplash
The theme of the April Art Elements challenge is the inspiring bee.  Artisan Niky Sayers selected the bee for  this challenge.  The hardworking and industrious bee is an interesting insect. Since bees work together in a vast hive community with a central theme: survival,  they are a perfect symbol for the pandemic we are living through. 

Here are a few interesting facts about the bee.
  • There are about 20,000 different species of bees in the world.
  • Bees see all colors except the color red.
  • Beekeepers use smoke to calm bees when they are collecting honey or relocating a hive.
  • Bees make honey to feed their young and so they have something to eat during the winter.
  • Killer bees have been known to chase people for over a 1/4 mile once they get excited and aggressive.
  • Certain species of bees die after stinging because their stingers, which are attached to their abdomen, have little barbs or hooks on them. When this type of bee tries to fly away after stinging something, part of the abdomen is ripped away.
Photo of Bee by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash
Photo of Bee by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash
I pulled out my 2 sheets of bee papers with delight. I also gathered two bezels, ice resin, a pencil, sizzers and Mod Podge.

ice resin, Mod Podge

I decided this was the time to use ice resin for the first time. I watched a few You Tube videos and followed the directions. It was very easy and I love the results.
Bee components by BayMoonDesign

Bee components by BayMoonDesign

Leather, clasp and Super Glue for Necklace
Leather and cord findings with Super Glue for Necklace
I used a used some almond 4mm stitched Nappa cords from Plessmann Endless Leather. The main reason I was drawn to this company is because I love their color selection and large choice in leather cords. They have more than 2000 different leather cords online. This tan color picks up the tan in the gold bee component that I made. The component fit onto the cord perfectly and the clasp is glued to the ends with Super Glue. This company has a wide selection of leather cord findings that makes for one stop shopping.   Creating was quick and easy and I love the look.  

Leather Bee Necklace by BayMoonDesign
I had plenty of bee paper left so I used the remainder to make a few greeting cards.

Queen Bee Mother's Day Card by BayMoonDesign
With Mother's Day right around the corner, I made a special card for a Mom or wife-- the Queen Bee! This Queen Bee Mother's Day Card has a pretty floral panel next to some bees and a crown. I made a large bee from black and yellow paper that sits on top of the panels. These panels are on black high quality cardstock. The sentiment "Happy Mother's Day" is hand stamped on the inside of the card. There is a queen's crown on the bottom corner. This card is for sale along with other Mother's Day cards in my online shop.

Inside of Queen Bee Mother's Day Card by BayMoonDesign

With remainder of my bee paper, I made a bee themed birthday card.

Honey Bee Birthday Card by  BayMoonDesign

This handmade honey bee birthday card has a trio of honey bees on the front of the card. The greeting card is hand stamped on the inside with the sentiment "To a wonderful friend, enjoy your special day!".   There is plenty of room on the inside for you to add your own special words.

Inside of Honey Bee Birthday Card by BayMoonDesign
This card is also for sale in my online store along with cards for lots of occasions.  I am also running a sale on my cards. You can purchase two at a reduced cost and pay the cost of  shipping one card.  I also take custom orders.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I was inspired to make by the bee theme.  This is a blog hop so please take some time and visit the other artists to see what they made.
AE team:
Niky (host)

Kathy (here)
We love to hear your comments!
Bee on Flower Photo by Laura Barry on Unsplash
Photo by Laura Barry on Unsplash