Gift #1150: Of Moths and Moons – Part 1

Welcome to my first challenge reveal of the year!  One of the art blogs I follow, Art Elements, hosts monthly art challenges open to any medium to keep our creative energy flowing.  For January, our theme was the moon.  Right away I knew I wanted to be part of that!  I’ve loved the moon as long as I can remember, but it is something that intensifies with years.  My first memories of a child thinking about the moon were framed by the ending of Disney’s Peter Pan – when the children were back in the nursery after their adventure and looked up at the pirate ship sailing across the face of the moon.  It turns ghostly and then slowly dissolves away into fragments of clouds.  That scene captured my heart and imagination in a wistful joy so intense that I’ve never recovered from it – just thinking of that scene still brings chills to my spine.  It’s a pivotal moment that shaped who I am and it still symbolizes for me all the magic and wonderment that the moon holds.

The moon has long held sway over men and in some ways, we are all moths entranced by its light.  La Luna drives some to poetic inspiration and others to the point of insanity.  It is a field rife with scientific discoveries and yet it is the indisputable realm of fantasy.  It shrouds our darkest nightmares and illuminates our brightest dreams.  It shifts, revolves, disappears, and fattens over and over as it dances with stars across the canopy of night.

It was exciting to focus my feelings about the moon into physical pieces of art that reflected what the moon represents to me.  When I thought about the jewelry I wanted to create, I knew I wanted to experiment with hand-form shapes that mimicked the moon.

For “Circle of Moonbeams” I soldered silver wire and hammered it into a ring.  I selected several tiny gemstone strands from my stash and strung them across the circle frame in an ombre fashion.


There’s tourmaline, citrine, aquamarine, amazonite, and fluorite, among others.   The earrings feature a stack of the gemstones layered against entwined silver rings.   I love the way the colors melt and mix with each other.


“Moonglow” was a design I had percolating in the back of my mind for several months and this was the perfect time to try it out.  I bent silver wire in a half circle shape and hammered it for hardness and texture.  I made loops at the ends from which I strung labradorite faceted stones on fine silver wire.


This is one of my favorite stones and I love the subtle, multi hues that emanate from this stone in the light.  They fluctuate in cool tones of gray, brown, and blue and I’m enchanted with them.  I found this strand at a local bead show and have been waiting for a special project to use them.


The earrings are miniature versions of the pendant.

“Moonlight Dance” might be my favorite of the necklaces I created.  This pendant was born last fall when I took an etching class on a bead retreat.  We played with the technique that night and I made a copper sheet full of stamped images, including a beautiful moth.


I knew it would be perfect for this challenge.  After cutting it out and filing it smooth, I had initially planned to cut out a brass circle and hammer texture on it.  But when I was rummaging, I found a brass plate I had etched a couple years ago in an art class.  We made the brass plates to run through a roller mill to emboss copper pieces.  I don’t have access to a mill anymore and decided to use this as the background – the effect is magical.  The resulting scene creates a story of a secret mountain meadow where fields of flowers open only at twilight, when moths emerge to dance among the moonbeams and drink their fill of the sweet nectar.

I also enjoy working with rubber stamps and paper crafts and created a few items for the challenge.  I love to create nighttime scenes with silhouette images against the moon – especially birds.    These stamps are from Stampers Anonymous (left) and See-Dees (right)


I couldn’t help but include a few that are more Halloween in style.  I did restrain myself from making this a Halloween-rich post since the timing isn’t right, but the moon and Halloween is a perfect match.


Halloween cards are my favorites to create because I can use all my bare trees and spiderwebs!  I also like blending multiple colors together with a dark overtone.  The stamps for both cards are from Memory Box Co.  The quote by Edgar Allan Poe is a special favorite of mine.  And no man knew more about the power of darkness and moonbeams.

The last set of projects I almost didn’t make because I already had a lot for the theme.  But when the challenge was announced I had thought how fun it would be to create a set of moon-themed canvases.  I put it on the back shelf, but it kept niggling at me and I finally bought some supplies “just in case.”  I had time over the weekend and they came to life beautifully.  May I present “Secrets of the Moon” trio.




I started by painting the canvases and adding layers of ink, spritzing with water to blend and create water-streaks, and adding more ink.  I used Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks and crayons.  Meanwhile, I tore tiny strips of paper up and used modpodge to adhere them to white cardstock in a random fashion.  After it dried, I cut out circles, wrote snippets of original poetry across the moon, and inked them in various shades of the Distress inks.  I stamped foliage on the canvases and highlighted with a sharpie and drew in little stars. I either hand-cut or used dies for the silhouettes.  Then I adhered the moon and animals to the canvases and highlighted with glimmer pens.  I love the whimsical feel of these and have enjoyed imagining the stories of these animals that live by the light and shadows of the moon.


Thank you for joining me today and following along with my moon-inspired adventures.  Please check out the links below for more participating artists.  And come back in a couple of weeks when I post  “Of Moths and Moons – part 2” reveal!

Art Elements Crew:

Blessings to you,

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21 Responses to Gift #1150: Of Moths and Moons – Part 1

  1. Cat says:

    Wow. WOW!
    Not only have you been so busy, but there is so much beautiful to see. I kept thinking, this is my favorite, no, this one is, no, this … aaaaah!! Impossible to choose! 😀

  2. Oh I love gemstones, your necklace and earrings sets are perfect! I love your paper art, as well, but the last ones, Secrets of the Moon, are awesome! Looking forward to seeing your next set!

  3. Erin Prais-Hintz says:

    A really complete collection! I love the first moon necklace with all the gems. Labradorite is one of my favorites, too! I also love all the paper art you made. And that moth necklace! Swoon! Enjoy the day. Erin

  4. Gracious! You made some seriously stunning pieces. I love them all. That ombre pendant with its rainbow hues is heavenly. The labradorite set, so lovely – my favorite gemstone! And the moth….THE MOTH!! It’s amazing. You make me want to learn to saw as your cut out is magical! The whole piece is absolutely enchanting! As someone who enjoys paper crafting some too, I think your cards and canvases are beautiful. I especially like the trio of canvases. You really knocked this inspiration out of the park!

  5. Anita says:

    Your gemstone earrings are really pretty, and I loved the picture you paint with your moth necklace. Your paper art – fabulous! It’s a beautiful series that you’ve created.

  6. Wow! You made such a lovely variety of things–I am very impressed! I’m honestly hard pressed to pick a favorite, everything is so lovely and unique. Beautiful work!

  7. Saraccino byCF says:

    I love to see the different projects you made and all the different ideas and interpretations of the theme! My personal favorite would also be your “Moonlight dance” necklace (although the wonderful color gradient you created with the gemstones come to a close second!), normally I am hesitant to combinations of different metals (I try to work on what… but still…) but the copper and brass work wonderful together in your piece! Love it! 🙂

  8. You had a busy month… they’re all fantastic designs, I particularly love the jewellery. I’m a sucker for tiny gemstones, I’d never take those off!

  9. Holy Smokes! You went all in! What a fun post to read. I love the tiny gemstones and silver, labradorite is my favorite! The half circle pendant would make a gorgeous brooch. In fact, that what I briefly thought it was. Your mixed media creations are perfect too. And honestly, halloween should be every day.
    Thanks for participating in the challenge! Looking forward to seeing you in future challenges.

  10. alycat55 says:

    You’ve been a busy, busy moth this month! All of your pieces are fantastic, I really can’t name a fave. Great work! Alysen

  11. Tammy Adams says:

    I love everything about this post from your writing to the photos to the actual designs. As I scrolled to each new piece I kept thinking “THIS one is my favorite.” but then there was the next one “my favorite” and the next one “also my favorite.” Overall, magical.

  12. Lindsay Starr says:

    I LOVE everything that you made! At first I thought the moonglow earrings were my favorites because my poor ears love itty bitty light weight earrings – I thought, oh I could actually wear those! Funny how much inspiration you can get from a simple single gemstone strand, right? But then I got to moonlight dance…this one IS my favorite of them all. I might be biased because I also collect insects and have had a lot of luck with Sphinx moths. I had an OOOOOO moment when I recognized your etching as a moth from the Sphingidae family! I’m so happy you found so much inspiration in our theme this month!

  13. Pingback: » January Theme Challenge Reveal – Moon

  14. Melissa says:

    What a beautiful collection of jewellery and art! I love the labrodorite earrings, it’s one of my favourite stones as well. And the moth is just beautiful.

  15. The magic of the Moon has inspired you in so many ways – I love everything but if I have to choose, the labradorite pieces are my favorite, such a great choice of stone! And the canvases, though I had a hard time choosing between them and the stamped pieces with those cool color blends!

  16. I love it all. The rainbow of gems in the first piece. Labradorite is a fave of mine too! And the last trio of mixed media pieces? Love them!

  17. Sarajo Wentling says:

    Oh Sarah, you are a woman of so many talents! I’m so impressed with all of your creations this month! Your Moonglow pieces are magical (and use one of my favorite stones too!) and so cool. I think though that you’re Moonlight Dance necklace is my very of this batch of designs. Love that moth against the textured brass plate.

  18. jewelsofsayuri says:

    I love the tiny gemstones and silver combination. Its elegant

  19. niky sayers says:

    What a beautifully worded post, I really love all of your creations but that “Circle of Moonbeams” necklace is just perfect I adore all of the colours from the stones, such a lovely design!

  20. Hello, Sarah! I honestly don’t even know where to begin… I love EVERYTHING you made! The gemstone creations are absolutely gorgeous, and the mixed media, well let’s just say I’m both envious and inspired all at once. As a writer, I have a specific appreciation for the piece with the Poe quote. And the canvases… absolutely wonderful! I hope to see more of your artwork in future challenges! (Oh, my apologies for the late comment — the past week has been super busy.)

  21. Catherine says:

    So many fun creations! Love your cards, and the multi-color necklace is absolutely gorgeous.

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