Friday, August 18, 2017

We're All Ears: August 2017 :: Moths

This month for the We're All Ears challenge over on the Earrings Everyday blog, Erin has challenged us to use the inspiration of moths for our earring creations.  I've always been amazed by the infinite and amazing variety of moths out there.  I still remember the first time I saw a Luna Moth in person... love at first sight!  Here's a lovely photo collage that Erin shared with just some of the moth species out there:

As much as I love moths, I quickly realized that most of my moth beads are more of the pendant or focal variety... not really earring appropriate in size.  (I do have a good number of lovely butterfly wing charms and beads... but those will have to be for another day/challenge!)

I did turn up a few sets of disk beads from Heather Powers of Humblebeads that I'm pretty certain are moth inspired.  I picked out a pair that sort of reminded me of the Luna Moth and then realized that they would play nicely with some colored bronze charms from Lesley Watt that I bought a while back and hadn't yet put away.  Added bonus:  one less thing needing to be put away!  ;)  I mixed in some Czech glass flowers, crystal rondelles, and tiny crystal beads.  Just for fun, I also added some tiny coordinating seed beads to jump rings in front of the flower charms.

This next pair I may be cheating a tiny bit as I think the Humblebeads are probably more butterfly than moth.  This time I was also thinking about cocoons and paired the discs with some wire wrapped silk "cocoon" beads from Anna Pierson of Saga Hus.

I really wanted to try my hand at making my own moth wings too.  I decided to try and adapt some techniques from Heather Powers' "Wings & Dreams" class that I took at the Adornments Retreat last month and even extrapolate a bit from there.  I also used some of the slices I created in Julie Picarello's class at Bead & Button as a veneer over a plain wing shape (the colorful pair on the left middle of the picture).  The pair in the bottom right is actually colored with some old eye shadow that I had in the back of my bathroom drawer!  After waiting (not so) patiently for my little wings to come out of the oven and cool I could finally get to work on more earrings.

Oh, and full disclosure, of course I waited until the morning of reveal to make the wings!  Oops.  I think procrastination ended up working out ok for me this time.  My favorite pair of earrings was made today and I'm super happy with my hand made moth wings.  They aren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but not too shabby for a first try at making wings.

First up, a pair where I was trying for sort of luna moth coloring.  I chose the light green partially because I love it and partially because I was also painting a pair of leaves I made and I was too lazy to change colors!  I hammered the ever loving snot out of some little copper blanks from Vintaj to go behind the wings and then added some faceted prehnite rounds and copper bead caps.

Next, I went for a black and white scheme.  I used pearl polymer clay as the base for all the wings I made.  Originally, I was thinking I'd use a single bright colored alcohol ink for this pair of wings so you'd see the sparkle of the pearl a little bit.  For whatever reason, I had a change of heart and decided to use some of the Onyx patina paint from Vintaj instead.  I knew that I could paint it on and then wipe it from the high points of the textured design I created with a texture sheet.  (I textured a bigger section of the clay and then used a butterfly cookie cutter to cut out a full butterfly shape.  I played around a bit trimming down the wings until I got a shape that I liked and still felt wing-like.)  I lightly buffed the edges of the Arte Metal blanks from Vintaj so you could see the hint of silver and then just layered the wings on top of them.  The gemstones are a faceted tourmalinated quartz.

I saved my favorite pair for the very last today.  These may not look super "wing-y," but seeing as they (like my luna wings) started out with an oval cookie cutter, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out!  This time I used part of a texture pattern sheet by Christi Friesen.  It was actually part of a dragonfly wing.  After I cut out and shaped the wings, I got to work with the eye shadow that I mentioned earlier.  Between the shimmer of the make up and the underlying pearl clay, the wings have a lovely soft shimmer to them that my photo doesn't do justice to.  I had fun stacking and layering Czech glass and brass bead caps... and through in some crystal rondelles for a little extra bling.

My other pair of wings might not ever fly away as earrings... I'm still not sure how I'm feeling about them.  Nonetheless, I had a productive albeit late flurry of earring making activity inspired by fluttering moths.  You can check out what everyone else was inspired to make over on the Earrings Everyday blog HERE!  Have a great weekend!


  1. Oh Sarajo, those are just beautiful. I like the last pair best too! So pretty.

  2. Wow, so many great earrings. The blue cocoons and the last pair are my favourites

  3. Those are beautiful! And what you made are great. I think it is wonderful that you were able to make your own wings....I love all of them. And the last set of earring are my fav. Great Job!

  4. All great pairs of earrings. And I like your own wings. Very much.

  5. What an awesome assortment! You really captured all the textures and the fluttery nature of the wings. I adore the idea of the cocoon beads. Never thought of doing that! I like that you created the wings yourself using a variety of textures and techniques. I like the soft shimmery nature of the last pair, but that black and white pair really stands out to me. I could see repeating that in a variation where you take one of those areas and paint a solid bright color, like a pop of red. Well done! Thanks for joining in the Earrings Everyday challenge! Enjoy the day! Erin