Tag Archives: Chain

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.

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Stamped Small Bars for Necklaces or Bracelets
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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.

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Western Themed Leather Bracelet

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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.

A Moment of Inspiration

I had one! And the best part? I REMEMBERED what it was. Because, like all good ideas, it came when I was trying to sleep. And being the lazy sort, I wasn’t about to get up to go write it down. And keeping a notepad by your bed is all well and good for some people, but I don’t have any desire to turn on any kind of light once they are off. Anyway… back to my story.

In the morning, I’m not sure if I was more excited about my idea, or the fact that I remembered my idea. Either way, I was pretty pumped. When I was able to head down to the messy workshop, I was kind of nervous. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone down to work with an idea in my head, and I sit down, and it all just floats away… never to be thought of again. So, I did the logical thing… I texted my sister. Obvious, right? I had previously asked on Facebook for some suggestions for sayings, etc. for some metal stamping, and my idea involved metal stamping, and I didn’t want to pick. So I asked my sister for a saying. And she gave me one.

*deep breath*

And away I went.

I started with a strip of copper. Stamped the saying she wanted.

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Stamped copper

I needed to anneal it so I could shape it, so I hit it with the torch. (I cannot tell you how therapeutic using a torch can be…) I had planned on adding some patina after it was shaped, but I honestly really just loved the color the torch gave it. So I sent her a second picture to see what she thought. Thankfully, she agreed (she’s related to me, so she can’t help being awesome and easy to work with…) that the color was good.

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Look at that torch patina! Isn’t it pretty?

So, on to the next step. The step I was dreading. I didn’t want to mess up all the coolness that I had already accomplished. But it needed to be done. And let me tell you… this was no easy task. My fingers hurt so badly! But it went well, and came out pretty much how I had imagined. So… I was happy to have sacrificed my fingers for this little experiment.

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Look! It’s a mini scroll!

I put it aside for the rest of the day, primarily due to other obligations like children and such (lame, right?) but also to let it stew. I know I am not the only one that has created/written/done something that seemed amazing at the time, but upon later reflection realized it was a wretched idea. So I let it go for a bit.

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The next day I went a little crazy. Not TOO crazy. Just a little. I still liked the idea, and it’s one that is customizable, so I wanted to have a small selection showing how endless the possibilities are. These can be a favorite quote, saying, verse, proverb, or anything. A variety sampler, if you will. I even did one with my own kids’ names. I had stamped one more (May the Force be with you), but it was on a thicker gauge metal and it turned out that I couldn’t bend that sucker to save my life. I figured out how to be able to add dangles. Some folks love a good dangle, so I thought it would be a good idea.

There are so many directions I can go with these, and it makes me very excited. I will eventually do some with color/patina, and maybe add some more interest to the chain, though I feel the simple chain fits the concept really well. I plan to change up the metals I use, too, to add more variety. So. Many. Options!

So, what do YOU think of my little scrolls?

The Beauty of Downsizing

When I lived in Dayton, I had a workshop. The for-real kind. Pegboard galore, a huge workbench, a concrete floor I couldn’t ruin, and plenty of space. It. Was. Awesome. I had things sorted and organized. (At least until I used it and forgot to put it away.)

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Here it is. My beloved.

And there might have been a wall of shelves behind me there… Maybe. I’m probably not remembering right. 😉

And… here is my new *cough* workshop.

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Yup. That would be a closet. Needless to say, I have seen a significant reduction in production space. *sigh*

But you know what, I think this can be IS a good thing for me. If you read my previous post, you know I am trying to focus more. I can hear you yelling at your screen “HOW does a smaller space help you focus your creativity into a more concise line of jewelry?!?”

First of all, please calm down. I’ll let you do the count down from 10 thing…

Good to go? Great. What this much smaller space forced me to do was get rid of a lot of my supplies. I went through every container and strand of beads and asked myself if it would help me get to where I want to go with my jewelry. Some of them were really easy to let go, but others were really tough. (have great taste, and beads are so much FUN) But boy did it feel so great to purge so much. And really, I didn’t have room for it all anyway.

Here’s the main box of stuff that I’m getting rid of. That tin is filled with cross-stitch supplies that I have had for eons. So I’m not just getting rid of jewelry supplies, but other craft items as well. The bulk is definitely jewelry though. A lot of beads, plus some chain, wire, stringing materials, storage containers, and even tools and displays. So basically, a bit of everything.

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It’s hard to tell, but that’s a good sized moving box (I have a LOT of moving boxes..) and it is filled close to half way with just packages of beads. The other containers are on top of the beads. I had a lot to purge. =D
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Pearls that will be sold separately

I’m not at the point where I am excited to head down to the messy workshop, but I’ll get there. Eventually it will be comfortable and functional, and knowing I made that space work makes me feel pretty good. Is it ideal? Of course not. But will I make it work? You betcha.

PS: I found my stash of scarves. It’s not all of them, but the majority. If your neck is cold these days… I’ll hook you up. (Get it? Crochet hook? bwahahahaha)

A Discount with a Purpose

I have a problem. A problem that I have been mulling over, considering, and pondering for a while now. But I’m finally getting to a point where I’m moving beyond said mulling.

What it comes down to is:

I lack focus.

Not so much on individual projects, but on style, medium, and technique. You know, those things that cause cohesiveness and make things look like they belong together. I am the queen of seeing a new (to me) technique and wanting to try it. Forget the 37 projects I have started or prepped or thought of. This is something NEW. Which means I must learn to do it.

All this leads to a mish-mash of jewelry styles, like:

Collage!

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And an elephant with a crystal

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And a SPOON!

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Need a bib?

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And it makes me wonder if I would sell more if people knew better what to expect from me.

Another side effect of this problem, and the lack of sales, is I have a LOT of inventory. I will probably re-purpose some of the pieces, but before I do… I want to give you all the chance to grab some pieces that you have had your eye on, and at a nice discounted price. (I’ve been meaning to do a holiday shopping sale anyway…)

Buy 1 item, get 10% off.

Buy 2, get 20% off.

Buy 3, get 30% off.

Buy 4 or more, and get 40% off your ENTIRE ORDER.

This sale is through Facebook ONLY. Simply comment on each picture that you wish to purchase, and PM me when you are ready to complete your order.

So, you get to buy gifts for yourself or someone else, and I get to move some inventory. Everybody wins. =)

***While I believe my inventory is up-to-date, there may be things that I have missed. Thank you for your understanding and patience.