Tag Archives: B’SueBoutiques

BALC: What Did I Learn?

 

tired-frenchie

Now that the Build-A-Line Challenge is over, it’s back to life as usual, right? Yeah… No. I’m not sure I would go back even if I could. I feel so much better about the path I am on now. And it’s a path I had been meaning to take for a while. The challenge was really just that final push to really go for it.

So… what did I learn and take away from the whole thing?

The actual concept of what we were doing with this challenge made sense to me. I wasn’t surprised by the expectations or even what Brenda meant by creating a line. Don’t get me wrong… I still learned a lot about creating a line. I definitely am not saying I knew everything¬†about it. I just understood the concept. This class really got down to the nitty and the gritty with it all. I had already decided before this challenge that I needed to narrow down the scope of what I make, and be more focused and consistent. This just gave me the push to actually DO it. I’ve really had to rein in pretty much everything I do, from buying supplies to how I photograph the final products.

What I DID learn about was the rest of it. The stuff I don’t want to have as part of my reality, but it’s really a bigger part than the actual jewelry making itself. It’s the marketing stuff. And really, I kinda knew about that, too, but I was in denial about how important it was. Right now, that part takes as much time as the making side. It drives me crazy. But it’s necessary. Really necessary. So we talked about SEO, photography, packaging, and about a million other topics.

I asked a LOT of questions in our private forums. I’m nosy. I can’t help it. I consider it one of my special gifts. ūüėČ I figure other people are probably wondering the same things. And I also figure it makes more sense to learn from other people’s mistakes/successes/experiences. Maybe that’s the lazy way? I don’t know, but it makes sense to me to ask. If no one answers, then you move on. If they do, you apply what they tell you, and determine how to use the info (or not, depending) for your own gig.

Probably the biggest thing I learned in the three months of really trying to focus more was that I need to be more intentional when it comes to jewelry making. I need to schedule times for making, photographing, promoting, listing, etc. It’s not easy to find time consistently as a stay-at-home mom. And I’m still at a stage that my kids, husband, and home are still my main focus. That’s just where I’m at in life. But I’m feeling more like I can make Jewelry Making come up a little higher on the list. Now that I’m more focused on what I make, sticking more to one style, it helps simplify the creative process, which makes me more productive. And a whole lot more confident in what I am making, and how likely it is to sell.

So really… I learned a lot in this challenge, but I still have a LONG way to go. One thing I know for sure is that I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. Brenda, the BALC instructor and owner of B’Sue Boutiques, is so full of knowledge and experience, and it blows me away how generously she shared all of that with us.

B’Sue Boutiques Build-a-Line Challenge Blog Hop, Part 3

It’s here! The big reveal!!! I’m excited to show you all what I have been working on. It’s been a busy three months since the BALC began. Between snow days, stomach bugs, viruses, and just general “life” stuff, it has been interesting trying to find blocks of time to get everything put together. Boy am I glad I kept it simple…

So… without further ado… Here is my “line” (or the beginnings of it, anyway) for the challenge:

PicMonkey Collage Cuff

PicMonkey Collage E1

PicMonkey Collage E2

PicMonkey Collage E3

PicMonkey Collage E4

PicMonkey Collage N1

PicMonkey Collage N2

PicMonkey Collage R2

PicMonkey Collage Ring 1

If you continue through the hop (and I really hope you will!) you will see a huge variety of styles. The amazing thing is that we all got the bulk of our components from one place. B’Sue Boutiques offers an amazing selection of Made-in-the-USA brass, as well as just about everything else you could want. I spend a LOT of time drooling over her site and her YouTube videos. Seriously.

Please note: Prices are not set in stone… ūüėČ

Thank you for stopping by.  Happy Hopping!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques

Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino

Aurora Designs

Jann Tague

Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King

Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford

Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott

Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson

Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten

Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit

Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck

VRBrose

Michaele Collie

The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig

Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman

Strega Jewelry

Erin Whitacre

Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady

MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West

Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson

Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher

Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen

Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger

Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams

Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara

LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth

MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey

Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo

Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark

Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman

B. Accessorized        <<<<<<<<<< You Are Here

Jennifer Kroeger

Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen

Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed

Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson

Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields

Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam

Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis

The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico

Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman

Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le

Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters

Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider

Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett

Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson

From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton

Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman

The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter

TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer

Smithed Up

Renee Hong

Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris

Moondance Jewelry

Lori Prull Meyer

Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams

Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier

Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen

Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams

Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens

1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller

Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard

Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law

ab:coraldesign

B’Sue Boutiques Build-A-Line Challenge, By B. Accessorized, Part Two

DSC_0021 Once I finished the initial prep for my pieces, which was mostly adding patina with my torch and sealing the pieces, it was time to bring out the big guns. I gotta say, power tools are very therapeutic. Torches are, too. And hammers… I like tools. DSC_0002 ¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬† DSC_0019 (2)¬† ¬† ¬†¬†DSC_0033 Once the prep steps were finished, things kind of rolled right along for me. I knocked out some earrings, a ring, and I’m about 75% done with my cuff. I still have plenty of work to do, but I feel like I’m heading in the right direction, and it happens to be the path I started on, which is kind of nice. I still feel comfortable with the western boho concept. I haven’t had to totally re-think anything at this point. Granted, that could change at any time, but for now I’m content.

Where I have been putting a lot of my focus, and where I feel I really need the extra time/effort is on creating the whole “package.” I’ve been looking harder at packaging and presentation, which includes my logo, business cards, what I use for shipping, and even displays and photo backgrounds. Trying to figure out what non-jewelry pieces of the puzzle are missing has been interesting and very challenging for me.

I have been learning so much in this challenge. B’Sue Boutiques provides amazing supplies, but so many other things, too. I have had so much fun learning with the BALC participants. We have been helping each other work through some kinks, finding new ways to look at things, supporting each other in so many ways, and soaking in the knowledge that Ms. Brenda has to offer. I am so thankful to be part of this challenge. In the 3rd and final hop, next month, I will show my finished product line. I’m looking at it as a final exam for this class.¬†I just hope I’m really as prepared as I think.

Happy Hopping!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino Aurora Designs

Jann Tague Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck VRBrose

Michaele Collie The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman Strega Jewelry

Erin Whitacre Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer Smithed Up

Renee Hong Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens 1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law coraldesign

Branches and the B.a.L.C.

I have to be honest… I haven’t actually MADE anything for my B’Sue Boutiques Build-A-Line Challenge. I’ve been thinking about it, but mostly I have been making other things. I’m not hesitant about what I will be making. I’m feeling pretty good about the designs, though they are very simple. I know I won’t win the judged portion. And I’m okay with that. I am learning about building a line of jewelry that just might do that crazy thing… you know, where people buy it. Say Whhaaaaa’??? I know, I might be getting ahead of myself, but it can’t be helped.

In our “classroom” we have been talking about what a line really is and what it really means. Basically it boils down, for me at least, to one thing… will people know YOU made it? I don’t know how close I am to that but I really feel that I’m making progress in that direction. I’ve been having a lot of fun with stamps and metal. I want lots and lots of metal in my designs. Hence the stamping. Making pieces that are very gift-able is something else we have touched on. Stamped jewelry is very very easy to personalize. So I’m hoping to take (abundant) orders, while also offering a good variety of ready-made pieces that will range from spiritual to hilarious.

DSC_0011
Stamped Small Bars for Necklaces or Bracelets
DSC_0012
Stamped “FAITH” Small Bar Necklace
Stamped scroll necklaces
Stamped scroll necklaces

I also want to include leather in future pieces. I feel that it fits well with the “western boho” theme for my line. So, leather is a next step for me. I have worked with it some, and was successful, or totally unsuccessful, depending on how you look at it. I made a bracelet a while ago that I was SOOOO excited about. The techniques worked out pretty well, though my riveting needs some work. Really, the only problem was the size. It was way too small. So, it’s not a wearable bracelet, but otherwise it’s just fabulous.

DSC_0012 - Copy (3)
Western Themed Leather Bracelet

.

I feel that, while it doesn’t actually “fit” the western boho theme, the stamped metal works WITH the theme. They could be worn together very easily, and it would be a simple thing to add a stamped component into one of the designs that does fit. So I am looking at it as a branch of the western boho tree. I think I am looking at the info coming from the challenge in a slightly different way than some of the other participants. I’m not feeling limited by having a line, and like everything I create now must fit into that category. I’m thinking of my line as the central concept that other things can branch off of. I have an idea for a second branch of my tree, but it’s going to have to wait a bit until I make a bit more progress with my current projects. But the idea is there, and it will stay, I have a feeling.

And really, there’s nothing wrong with growing a whole new tree… As long as people know it is YOUR tree.

B’Sue Boutiques Build-A-Line Challenge, Lori Beekman of B. Accessorized, Part One

Big Sky Country
Big Sky Country

Welcome to the B. Accessorized edition of the Build-A-Line Challenge Blog Hop, part 1. This amazing challenge is sponsored by B’Sue Boutiques.

I’m Lori Beekman (the B. of B. Accessorized) and I have been making jewelry, on and off, and among other things, for approximately 7 years (or is it 8?). I have experimented with a lot of styles, techniques, and mediums on my jewelry making journey, and this challenge is pushing me to focus more. Which is exactly what I need.

It's ME!
It’s ME!

While I am a current resident of Iowa (and previously of Ohio, Nebraska, and Tennessee) I will always consider Montana home. I was born and raised there, got married there, and my oldest was born there. And really… it’s just an amazing place. I only have a little Native American blood myself, but I was surrounded by Native American culture. Montana still has an Old West feel complete with wild horses, bison, cacti, cattle, and everything in between. Nature, basically… My line of jewelry for this challenge is inspired by nature, with some of the bold colors of Native American jewelry, all with a simplistic feel. And metals. I love metals. B’Sue is a great resource for my metal addiction…

DSCN2759
The beginning…

These are the main components I will be using in my jewelry pieces. I really love torch patina, so I have colored some of the B’Sue filigree with my torch.

DSCN2762
Brass filigree colored with a torch.

I manipulated some bead caps, too, before hitting them with the torch.

 Bead caps manipulated and torched. (before and after)

Bead caps manipulated and torched. (before and after)

I have a few other elements that might make an appearance, or might not. Once I begin assembling, I’ll have a better idea.

DSCN2755
The Maybes.

I’m really excited for this challenge. It has already been a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of the hop.

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques

Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino

Aurora Designs

Jann Tague

Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King

Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford

Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott

Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson

Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten

Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit

Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck

VRBrose

Michaele Collie

The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig

Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman

Strega Jewelry

Erin Whitacre

Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady

MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West

Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson

Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher

Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen

Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger

Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams

Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara

LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth

MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey

Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo

Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark

Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman

B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger

Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen

Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed

Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson

Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields

Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam

Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis

The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico

Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman

Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le

Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters

Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider

Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett

Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson

From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton

Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman

The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter

TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer

Smithed Up

Renee Hong

Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris

Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer

Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams

Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier

Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen

Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams

Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens

1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller

Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard

Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law

ab:coraldesign

2015

Yes. It’s January 5th. Yes, I’m late getting to a New Years blog post. But, here I am. Ready for action.

Rumor has it that telling people your intentions with a goal you have increases the likelihood that it will go as planned. More or less. So you all have been nominated to be my people that I tell my goals to. Aren’t you excited?!?

Since it seems best to let the anticipation build, I thought I would start with a quick look back at 2014. Overall, it was a pretty good year for my business. It was definitely my most successful, and it also was a year that I found more direction, tried new techniques, and pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

Okay. Moving on.

This past fall, I came across a planner that I am really excited about. It features a lot of what I wanted when I thought I would create my own (due to the fact that I think the majority of planners out there are lame and not particularly functional for this lady.) This planner, along with having plenty of space to write down your places to be and things to do, it focuses on GOALS. Short term and long term. (which is what Ms. Brenda is trying to teach us with the challenge) And allows space for planning to reach those goals. I’m really excited to have it and use it up.

This year, as the majority of people I know are doing, I am trying to improve my health. But that’s not surprising, and not particularly¬†relevant here. One of my short term goals is to sell 15 pieces by April 1. And I want to sell at least 2 on Etsy. Yes, that sounds pathetic, but I only sold 3 items on Etsy last year. Total. Yeah. Talk about pathetic… So. 2 sales in 3 months sounds like a good goal, doesn’t it? I’m also working on treating my jewelry making like a for-real job. In other words, scheduling time to really focus on creating, photographing, and promoting. Time management. Who would have thought? I also want to participate in at least one craft fair this year. I’ve only done one in the 3 years since we moved away from Omaha. So that means working on displays and packaging, as well as creating a product that is different from the eleventy-seven thousand other jewelry vendors at that same craft fair, and appealing to enough people to make it worth my time.

I definitely have my work cut out for me this year. And really… it’s about darn time. I have been coasting for far too long. I have some other, more personal, goals too, but making my jewelry business a success is a big focus.

Thank you for reading, and feel free to nudge me along at any time if it seems as though I am slacking.

Metal Fever

I think that’s a good name for what I have. Mmmmmmm… Yup. Sounds about right. Metal fever is my problem. And the prescription?

Oh, how I wish it was more cowbell…

More metal! (Though… when you think about it… Cowbells are MADE from metal. So maybe I DO need more cowbell.)

The problem is… metal scares me. As much as I love it, and love designs featuring metal, it intimidates me like none other. I have been wanting to get into metalsmithing for, oh, 4 years, give or take. And I have dabbled with it. But every time I hit a snag, my brain is all “Well, let’s move over here to the stuff you already know how to do” And off I go…

Well, NO MORE, I say!

Uh-uh

I am feeling more and more determined to focus and really push to go where I want to go. Early next year, Ms. Brenda of B’Sue Boutiques, is holding a challenge that has to do with creating a “line” of jewelry. Odds are slim that I will ever have my jewelry in boutiques across the country, but I’m going to¬†participate¬†anyway. It’s a great way to focus, learn more about becoming a for-real business, and really push myself. I’m a little on the terrified side, but I’m excited, too. And I’m planning on metals playing a part in the 5 pieces I will create for the challenge. And those pieces will kind of be a jumping off point for creating other pieces that will move me further into the world of metalsmithing.

I’ve already started playing a bit with some new techniques, though I haven’t spent a lot of time with either. I did some etching for my daughter’s project when we moved. That was kinda fun, and I’m anxious¬†to do more with it. And I have started experimenting with fold-forming.

Fold-Forming! Fire + Hammer = FUN!
DSCN2234
My first etching project.

I cannot wait to work more with each of these techniques, as well as soldering and more cold connections. Metal is really fun to work with. I refuse to be a chicken any longer! Wish me luck.