Tag Archives: Metal

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.

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…

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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.

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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.

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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

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?

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!
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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.

 

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.

Slight Success

So, obviously, the season of Lent has ended. And therefore my three challenges have ended. I had very mixed results.

I wasn’t particularly successful at clearing things out, though I have a specific plan for the next few weeks now that life will (hopefully) calm down a smidge. And I did get a few things removed and tagged as “no longer needed in this house.” So not a total fail. Or maybe I’m just digging for the smallest feeling of success rather than failure. That’s possible. 

I did really well with my “NO EATING BETWEEN MEALS” bit. It stunk. Boy howdy did it stink. But I really did a pretty good job of sticking to it. I did drink some punch one afternoon at a 1yo’s birthday party. But considering they had an entire meal set out as well as cake, cupcakes, and cakepops, I think just drinking a bit of punch is pretty darn good. And there were two evenings (in a row) (at the end) (when my husband was out of town and I was really sad and stressed) when I just lost my mind. But other than that… Hmm. Okay. So maybe I didn’t do as well as I thought. *sigh* Oh well. 

I started off really well on the jewelry making bit. Which was the main focus, at least as far as this whole jewelry blog thing is concerned. I completed several pieces, many of which were earrings. So overall, it was a big success. I no longer feel panicky when I head down to the dungeon (aka: The B. Hive) And really that was the main goal for me. To get back in the game, lose the stress, and re-find the joy. And I really did take some huge steps in the right direction. And I got to take a cool soldering class in there, too. 

I did, however, hit a couple of snags with that third challenge. The first was that with my initial push to complete at least one thing each day, some of what I was making really wasn’t very good. I was just kind of “eh,” you know? And that’s just not cool. The other thing was that towards the end of the season, life got really really hectic, so there were days that I was just plain too pooped to party. And I decided to let that be okay. I didn’t want to slide back into having days of sitting down there just staring at everything with my brain all mushy. That’s just silly, and a waste of perfectly good veg time, which I was clearly needing. 

Probably the best thing that came out of this whole thing, though, was finishing a bracelet I started a while ago. Remember this one?:Image

 

I made a few slight changes, and it’s much better now! I’m really happy. I love how the resin piece turned out, and I love it with the leather. I don’t have a picture of it fixed yet, but I will soon. So keep an eye on Facebook and Etsy

Thanks for reading, oh ye few. 😉 I appreciate you, every one. =D 

 

Progress

So far I’m doing fairly well on my efforts for Lent. The eating thing is difficult at times, but I have really held to it. The decluttering thing is a bit harder than I thought it would be, but mostly due to time constraints. I’m hoping this week will go better on that end. 

The jewelry thing is going really well. I have managed to make something every day. Friday was tough, and I almost skipped, but I got something done. (I went on a double date with my hubby and some friends, which made it tough to fit in but I got ‘er done.) I haven’t been thrilled with all of the finished products, but I am already feeling so much less stuck, which was the point of all this. 

So. I’m feeling pretty good (aside from being really hungry) and the thought of heading down to the messy workshop (aka the B. Hive) is no longer bringing out a sense of dread and defeat. 

I have made 5 or 6 pairs of earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet. BAM.

And I’ve been torching some stuff. Because torching stuff is fun. Fire makes metals really extra pretty. Usually. 

If you are interested in any new stuff (or old stuff!!!), check out Facebook and Etsy