There are no BAD SHOWS


Ginger 1

That’s a quote from Brenda Sue, who I am honored to know.

Brenda photo

This morning I posted in a Facebook group – B’Sue Boutiques Creative Group -a ‘reality check’ about a show I participated in yesterday.  It was a Spring Home & Garden show sponsored by the Ozarks Board of Realtors. The proceeds from booth rentals benefited several local charities.  That was one reason I wanted to be at the show.  I am also friends with two local realtors who are women I admire.  So, I went in knowing that it probably would not be a great show but I would use the opportunity to test out my new booth setup and network with other vendors.  I was literally the only crafter/artisan there.  And I sold several nice pieces of jewelry and lots of earrings.

Bolivar 2

My reality check post pointed out that I did not have a profit from that show – when you factor in the overhead costs of doing a show (which you absolutely must) and the cost of making the jewelry, I barely broke even.

But that is okay, because as B’Sue says – there are no bad shows!  This show was a great show for me.  I set up the new booth display – moving from purple overload to shabby chic – and figured out what works and what doesn’t.


I networked like crazy!  I had tons of compliments on my jewelry and my display.  And that is a huge plus.  And I loved hearing them.  I have a chance to get two wedding orders.  One of those is a pretty sure thing.  I handed out lots of my beautiful new business cards!   I also scored an awesome tote bag from a friend in exchange for making pendants from two pins – a cute horse and a rhinestone studded accordion.

I did not always believe there were no bad shows!

When I was a decorative painter, hubby & I did 20-22 shows a year!  We had many very successful shows and a few bad shows.  Including a few where we had no sales or only ‘pity’ sales from other crafters.  Most of those shows were bad because the promoters did a terrible job – bad signage, no advertising, etc.

Or the weather turned ugly – 70 mph direct wind that took our tent down in the middle of the night and dumped a bunch of jewelry in a lake.

So, What changed my “Tude?”

After a show that did not yield a profit I would spend days with “Why am I doing this?” -“What am I doing wrong?” – etc., etc., etc.  And, honestly, lots of tears – big old pity party!

I was doing some things wrong – I wasn’t spending enough time designing my booth – that ‘branding’ thing.  I was making jewelry I loved – a lot of beadweaving.  That stuff is gorgeous but very labor intensive.  Buyers admire the workmanship but don’t want to pay for the labor. I still love beadweaving it but it is no longer the primary collection in my line.

I fell into assemblage jewelry by chance – stumbled right into the middle of B’Sue’s group.  I have always loved vintage jewelry and the vintage look.  This was my niche and no one in my show area was doing it!  This year is only the second show season where my focus is on assemblage jewelry.  It sold very well last year – even in our small town local shows.

The big reason for my attitude adjustment, however, was my participation in the online class sponsored by Brenda.  It was a pretty intense three months of learning about vintage jewelry, business practices, branding and developing a line of jewelry.  For the first time in 16 years of jewelry making, I saw Lynn Leigh Designs as a real business.

I changed my focus from just making jewelry that I hoped someone would love enough to buy – to building my brand and finding ways to market my jewelry.  I have just started that journey.

Rose Build It

With all of the insights from the class, I realized that there are no bad shows.  You gain something from every show (unless that wind storm comes along).  I have a good friend that is a wonderful decorative painting teacher that says “you learn something from every class you take, even if it is that you never want to take a class from that teacher again.”  And some shows are like that.  I can’t compete with $5 junk jewelry from China so I will avoid shows that allow those dealers.  If I take a chance on a new promoter and they fail to do their job, I won’t be back.  But I have stilled learned something with those experiences.  And some of those shows have resulted in referrals and other sales.

Again, there are no bad shows!

If I have a show with low sales, it just means that my target customer wasn’t there. It does not mean my jewelry is not good enough or overpriced or any of those other things I have said to myself in the past.

Yesterday’s crowd was there to buy veggies, bread and flowers from the farmer’s market vendors.  They did not come in the door expecting to see jewelry.  The fact that I sold anything at all was a surprise.

I am cutting down on the number of shows I do – to 8-12 a year.  I am concentrating on juried shows so that I don’t compete with direct sales.  I am sticking to my brand and expanding my line as I go.  And I will see the value in every show I do!

BALC – The Big Reveal


I am so excited for the final blog hop for our Build a Line Challenge class!  All of the themes are intriguing and creative.  I may be up all night reading the posts.

I have learned (and re-learned) so much on this journey.  Brenda has done an amazing job with the modules.  She challenged us to turn on our thinking caps (mine retired nearly 20 years ago) and to up our game creatively.  The wealth of information shared by other class members is invaluable.

I have been making jewelry for nearly 15 years and, because of this class, I am now thinking of Lynn Leigh Designs as a real business.  Brenda’s modules on branding, social media, customer base, production, scheduling, and business planning made me realize how casual I have been about my business.  I was following the “make it and they will buy it” business model.

Rose Build It


My five-year plan is under construction.  I have set a business goal for 2016 to establish Lynn Leigh Designs on the internet, with the launch of my website this spring, my Etsy shop, an Instagram account, and a Pinterest page.   I will continue to do craft fairs, but will limit my participation to juried shows where I compete with other artisans and crafters.

One of my short-term goals included purchasing a new logo.  The amazing Lynda O’Mara took my color palette and designed a beautiful logo. She is also designing my website.  I highly recommend Lynda.  Her website is Lomara Designs.

Pretty in Pink!


My theme for the BALC.  I love pink. I love romantic. I love flowers.  I love feminine. I thought my theme would give me a good base for exploring pink but soon realized that it was probably too broad a theme.  After all, I could have done pink elephants and stayed with my theme.  So, I narrowed my theme to focus on pink flowers. Did I say I love flowers? Unfortunately I am allergic to most flowers.  With jewelry I can have all the pink flowers I want with no sneezes or tears involved.

The Pyramid of Sales

This graphic, originally done by Christine Cravens and updated by Brenda, is one of the most useful tools I have seen for helping develop a line of jewelry.  I printed it and taped to my wall over my desk.  I used the lower three tiers to decide on pieces for my line.

Pyramid of Sales Graph

Playing with Ideas

I love the porcelain roses from B’Sue and decided to use them as the feature element in my line. I painted a bunch of components pink, ivory, and green and put them out to play with.  Took lots of photos.  Here are a few.

Playing with Ideas Collage

The “Statement”

Came up with a basic idea for the statement necklace and played with the main components.  My wonderful husband led me through riveting.  Lots of components from B’Sue Boutiques and some from my stash.

PIP Component Collage Statement NK


Riveting done! Playing with embellishments.PIP Statement NK Collage 2

Ta-Da – Pretty in Pink!

I finished the necklace with vintage chain and a pretty hummingbird toggle clasp.

Statement PIP NK FramedStatement PIP NK Closeup Framed

The “Sweet Spot”

The main portion of the Pyramid of Sales is the “Sweet Spot.” I created several pieces that fall in this level.

I have really fallen in love with making assemblage cuffs.  This green cuff continues the color theme and the floral theme.

Cuff Collage

This pendant & earring set continues the pink rose theme and the green background.  I may change the pendant to a brooch/pendant.

Heart Pendant & Earrings Collage

This set continues the rose theme with a back piece that is painted pink.  The pearls in the earrings coordinate with the vintage chain.

Pink NK & EA Collage

This necklace also features the porcelain flowers on an antiqued pink base.

Feather Swirl NK2521 Collage

The “Base”

The “Base” level of the pyramid focuses on lower priced items.  I have found that earrings, simple bracelets, and pendants can bring the biggest profit margin.

Brooches are really popular now.  The brooch in the large photo is finished.  The others are works in progress.  I think most of them will be convertible to pendants. And I will make earrings to go with each one.

PIP Brooch Collage

This collage shows the earrings I made to go with the other pieces in the line. The white earrings with the rose cluster and the green leaf earrings both compliment the statement necklace.

PIP Earring Collage

This bracelet was an afterthought. It features one of Paula Gaskill’s pretty Polymer clay roses. I changed the color with acrylic paint to more closely match the beads on the vintage chain.

Bracelet Collage


The work isn’t finished until the back is finished!

When I was a decorative painter I learned how important it was to finish the back of your pieces.  Crafters were sometimes surprised when I picked up a piece and immediately turned it over.  The same is true for jewelry.  I still haven’t figured out a way to sign my pieces.  I just can’t get the hang of the engraver. That is my next challenge because I know it is important to always sign your work.

Back Photos Collage

Are you done?

I need coffee!


I truly hope you enjoyed seeing my collection.  I have plans for other lines.  One will be a rodeo theme, including boot bangles and hat bands for the cowgirls.  Another will be based on cameos.  Another based on lockets.  I can literally picture my booth setup with these lines.  I will include some of my basic jewelry (strung) and woven jewelry in each line.  I can easily convert a simple strung bracelet to a rodeo theme by adding some charms.  And I can use some woven jewelry as color ideas for assemblage jewelry in each line.  I will continue to make One-of-a-Kind jewelry using vintage pieces for my “Yesterday’s Treasures” line.

Curtain Calls!

Standing Ovations!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne deserves a standing ovation and a huge bouquet of flowers for all of her hard work as our teacher and mentor.  Miss Brenda, I am so happy to have found you and look forward to many years of being your friend.  I hope to meet you in person some day.

There are so many talented women in this class.  The intelligent and thought-provoking comments added to the richness of the class.  I am indebted to all of you for sharing your talents and creativity. I am really excited to see the creations of my fellow classmates.

Dang. This feels like saying goodbye on the last day of senior year!  But we are all still together in the Creative Group.  I am so happy to know all of you.

Hugs from my little corner of the world. Please note that I have cleaned it up since this photo was taken.

Office View My Little Corner of the World

You can find some of my jewelry in my Etsy shop – Lynn Leigh Designs and my Facebook page – Lynn Leigh Designs.  And very soon on my website – (the old version is still up for now).

Pink Bird

A little pink bird told me that if you follow the links below you will see some amazing and wondrous things.

  1. Brenda Sue Lansdowne  Jewelry Making Outside the Box

2. Diana Buynak  –  Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

3. Irene Hoffman  – Heartsdezirebyirene

4.  Clare Wells Nemeth  – Creative Magick

5.  Mary Reckmeyer –  Afrayedknot

6.  Marcia Tuzzolino  – Aurora Designs

7.  Elizabeth Wilks – Wearable Art by Lizzie

8.  Jeanette Rose Belmont – One Canvas at a time

9.  Lyn Joy Reeve – A Journey from Jewels to Jubilation

10.  Beth Trubman – The Journey of Jewelry

11.  Carole Carlson – Beadsophisticate

12.  Jann Tague – Clever Designs by Jann

13.  Shari Gardner – SLG Jewelry Designs

14.  Susan Bolton – Fern’s Place

15.  Chris Kemp – NoodlePie Bracelets

16.  Susan Bowerman – Woodside WireWorks

17.  Pamela Anger – Novegatti Designs

18.  Joan Donovan – Hailey’s Cottage

19.  Alison Huie – Ally’s Baubles

20.  Sharon Palac – Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

21.  Erica Olmos – Beeb’s Closet

22.  Erin Whitacre – Shattered Time Jewelry

23.  Fran Sitton – Sitton Up Front

24.  Ginger Hammond – Lynn Leigh Designs – YOU ARE HERE!

25.  Paula Gaskill – Lovely LaylaBug Jewels 

26.  Mary Katherine – The Rose Sword 

27.  Renee Webb Allen – Small Stuff Design

28.  Valerie Tilghman- ArtJewelsandGifts

29.  Chris Cravens Vintage Cravens

30.  Leslie Carver

31.  Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

32.  Gina-Marie Hammer – Tangles, Twists and Treasures

33.  Kelly Wymer  Winged Wisdom Enchantments

BALC Blog Hop #2 – Who am I and Where am I going?


This class is certainly a challenge!  On so many levels.  I haven’t had to think this hard in a very long time.  I am so inspired by my classmates.  Many of them face daily personal challenges much greater than my own – and they continue to create beautiful jewelry.  My hat is off to all of them.

For the second month of class we have focused on:

  • Why we should care about high fashion as seen in Vogue magazine and how it influences our jewelry making.
  • Define where we are in jewelry making – Hobbyist, Jewelry Maker, or Jewelry Designer
  • Managing our jewelry inventory so that we can determine our own personal supply and demand needs.
  • Pyramid pricing – creating price levels in our jewelry line
  • Pricing our jewelry for profit.

VOGUE – Ugh!

One requirement of this class was to subscribe to Vogue magazine.    I resisted this but finally caved.  Lots of photos – mostly advertisements – of skinny women in strange clothes.  Lots of dark colors.  I did like the Land’s End and J Crewe coats.  Must admit, I loved some of the purses.

The class module on Vogue said we should analyze the featured fashions.  Analyze the fashions??  I wanted to send the designers to analysis!  And I wanted to feed the models! So, I picked the photos apart – my version of analysis.  Began to look at the lines and the colors – mostly the colors.    I was disappointed at the lack of jewelry shown with the fashions.  The color combinations were interesting – some quite beautiful.  I began to imagine the kind of jewelry that would work with the clothing lines.

The result of my very rough analysis is that I still don’t like Vogue – will not be renewing the subscription.  But I will follow fashion online.  And I will be going through the issues I have and tearing out the things that appeal to me – colors and lines and shapes.

So, sorry Brenda.  No Vogue convert here.  But I did see the value in viewing the issues and considering the clothing as art as well as fashion.

If Not Vogue, then What (or Who) does Inspire me?

Why Pinterest, of course.  I get many ideas for composition and color combinations from the photos of vintage and contemporary jewelry.  I love the designs of Miriam Haskell, Juliana, and designers from the Victorian era. I like the complicated compositions and the colors that grab your attention.  I love analyzing vintage pieces to see how they are constructed.  Because Pinterest is the place you find things that people love, you have a good chance of seeing what your target customer loves.  I hope to appeal to women from their 30’s to their 80’s.  Women who shop for jewelry that speaks to them.  Women who truly enjoy wearing jewelry – even to the grocery store.

Most of my inspiration comes from members of the B’Sue Boutiques Creative group on Facebook!  – including the wonderful Miss Brenda. There are so many talented jewelry artists in the group.  I constantly discover a different way of using a component – usually with a slap to my forehead and a “Why didn’t I think of that?”.  Before joining the group I had never thought to use a bead cap as a bezel; had never tried to spray paint metal stampings; had only used patinas for dollhouses; had never added small accents like pearls; had never riveted jewelry; would never have used a heart stamping upside down or smashed a bead cap; and, heaven forbid, would never ever have mixed metals.  The list goes on and on.  So you guys and gals in the facebook group are my real inspiration.  I would like to spend a few days with each of you just to watch you create.


The Devil Wears Prada

One of my all-time favorite movies!  I adore Meryl Streep!  Meeting this class requirement was a treat.  And, I loved the fashions in the movie.  I would wear any of the Streep outfits. (And maybe some of Stanley Tucci’s suits.)  Can I have her hair also?

Costume designer Patricia Field was 65 years old when the movie was released.  Her designs set the tone for the movie. They illustrated the story of Miranda Priestly (Anne Hathaway’s character) so very well.   The “Cerulean Blue” scene is priceless.  And, the lesson is obvious.  The decisions made by couture designers influence clothing buyers for years to come.  Their runway fashions are altered and modified to sell in high-end boutiques, chain department stores, etc.  Most of us, I think, do not see the influence of the designers when we buy that pretty outfit at Macy’s.  But we are reaping the benefits of their imaginations.

So Who Am I? Hobbyist, Jewelry Maker, or Jewelry Designer?  

The class participants were asked to determine what category we fall in and whether we are happy in that category.

I have had many, many hobbies.  Some were born of necessity.  I took Wilton classes and decorated cakes because I couldn’t afford bakery cakes for my kids.  That ‘hobby’ was ‘work’ – walked away from it pretty quickly!  The wedding cake for my brother was the straw that broke that camel’s back.

Some of them remain wonderful ways to relax – cross-stitching and miniatures for example.

Two of my ‘hobbies’ transitioned to small businesses – very small businesses. We built dollhouses and vignettes for many years and I was a decorative painter also. For many years we sold at more than 20 craft fairs a year.

I returned to jewelry making after we closed “Sunflower Folk Art” – our retail store where we taught decorative painting and sold supplies.

We hosted several jewelry classes at our painting store.  After the store closed, it was jewelry-making that pulled me out of a deep dark hole.

I started out with simple stringing and then beadweaving.  And, then, discovered assemblage jewelry.  I will still do some beadweaving but assemblage has become my first love.  And I get to paint!

Began doing craft shows again about ten years ago. Had to support my habit. I love meeting people and listening to their comments.  There is nothing like direct contact with the customer.

Booth Photo Collage

So, I am no longer a hobbyist.  I am definitely a jewelry maker and maybe borderline jewelry designer.  That term implies that I create original designs.  Not sure that fits me in that you can find many jewelry pieces similar to mine.  When I create a beadwoven piece, it is most likely a  pattern that I purchased.  Although I may alter the pattern, I certainly did not design the piece.

I want to grow my business – especially my online business. I want to develop a brand that customers recognize.  I want  to transition from doing so many craft fairs.  Simply getting too old to do the hard work of set up and tear down.  And doing juried shows mandates travel – with all the costs involved.  Ideally, I would like to do five or six shows a year – good, juried shows.

I also want to have a line that I can present to retail shops in a 100-mile radius of our home.  My price points are established so that I can offer wholesale and still have a good profit margin.

The Pyramid of Sales

Pyramid of Sales Graph

This graph is an excellent tool for determining the levels of jewelry that you make.  As indicated by the pyramid shape, you should have the majority of your jewelry priced in the bottom two levels.  That will be the majority of your sales.  And, in my case, the bottom two tiers represent the items in my line with the highest profit margin.  I love making the statement pieces and will always make them.  But I will concentrate on the lower tiers.


My “Pretty in Pink” Theme

2015-09-23 14.08.10

This photo of “The Lady Elaine” necklace gave me the idea for “Pretty in Pink”.  She was created for a blog hop challenge in September 2015.

So, Where am I Going with “Pretty in Pink”?

PIP Step Out Pink Rose Statement Piece

I am working on several pieces for the line.  The constant theme will be the color pink, in many shades.  The collection I plan to finish for class will feature porcelain roses.   The photo shows components for a necklace that is nearly done. Wonderful components from

I have finished a necklace and am playing with ideas for simple pendants, brooches, earrings, and maybe a ring. Taking lots of photos as I go.

Where will I go from here?  I want to develop several collections to present to shops.  This floral pink line will be one.  I hope to expand on the floral theme to include other colors. I am developing plans for other collections such as  – Romantic, featuring hearts, cameos and figurals; Western, featuring cowgirl stuff.  I like the idea of “Collections” – lines built around a theme or a life event.

I will continue to make jewelry using vintage components. They will be one-of-a-kind or limited editions.  I now offer my “Yesterday’s Treasures” collection  in my Etsy shop and at craft fairs.

Streep in purple

Thanks for reading.

If you would like to see more of my jewelry, please visit my Etsy shop to see what is available –

Looking forward to seeing my classmates’ blog posts.  Please continue the hop by selecting any of the links below.

  1. Brenda Sue Lansdowne  Jewelry Making Outside the Box

2. Diana Buynak  –  Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

3. Irene Hoffman  – Heartsdezirebyirene

4.  Clare Wells Nemeth  – Creative Magick

5.  Mary Reckmeyer –  Afrayedknot

6.  Marcia Tuzzolino  – Aurora Designs

7.  Elizabeth Wilks – Wearable Art by Lizzie

8.  Jeanette Rose Belmont – One Canvas at a time

9.  Lyn Joy Reeve – A Journey from Jewels to Jubilation

10.  Belinda Reed-Ingle  – Vogue Rocks

11.  Beth Trubman – The Journey of Jewelry

12.  Carole Carlson – Beadsophisticate

13.  Jann Tague – Clever Designs by Jann

14.  Shari Gardner – SLG Jewelry Designs

15.  Susan Bolton – Fern’s Place

16.  Chris Kemp – NoodlePie Bracelets

17.  Barbara Kelley – Angels’ Keep

18.  Susan Bowerman – Woodside WireWorks

19.  Pamela Anger – Novegatti Designs

20.  Joan Donovan – Hailey’s Cottage

21.  Alison Huie – Ally’s Baubles

22.  Sharon Palac – Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

23.  Erica Olmos – Beeb’s Closet

24.  Erin Whitacre – Shattered Time Jewelry

25.  Fran Sitton – Sitton Up Front

26.  Ginger Hammond – Lynn Leigh Designs – YOU ARE HERE!

27.  Paula Gaskill – Lovely LaylaBug Jewels 

28.  Mary Katherine – The Rose Sword 

29.  Renee Webb Allen – Small Stuff Design

30.  Valerie Tilghman- ArtJewelsandGifts

31.  Chris Cravens Vintage Cravens

32.  Leslie Carver

33.  Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

34.  Gina-Marie Hammer – Tangles, Twists and Treasures

35.  Kelly Wymer  Winged Wisdom Enchantments

Please mark your calendars and join us!  The next blog hop is April 1 – No Fooling!



Build a Line Master Challenge Class – First Blog Hop

Southern Angel Closeup

I must confess to a great deal of trepidation about joining the BALC class.  It has been a wonderful journey with an amazing group of jewelry designers.  It is like a river tour where we discover something new about ourselves as jewelry designers at every stop.

Log raft

Nope, not this tour boat!

White water raft

And not this one – although I love whitewater rafting.

viking river cruise

This is the one!

Our teacher & leader, Brenda Sue Lansdowne, is a jewel.  You know her. She owns B’Sue Boutiques – the best source on the internet for quality brass stampings and other awesome stuff.  Brenda is our tour guide. We have learned some history of costume jewelry and how to identify vintage pieces with the historical periods they represent.  We have delved into identifying our target customer and our creative style. It is a whole new language for most of us.  I have learned so much this month and look forward to the rest of the journey.

My Jewelry Studio Collage

My jewelry journey began many, many years ago.  My parents were very crafty people.  My dad was a woodworker and wood carver – and he taught me how to tat.  My mom and I shared many crafts; candle making, ceramics, wreath making and others.  Her real talent was in the needle arts.  She was an avid crocheter and loved to do crewel embroidery.  She cross-stitched many quilt tops and tablecloths.  When I was in high school, Mom & I made more than 20 warbonnets for my brother’s boy scout pack.  Lots of glue & feathers involved.  I loomed all the headbands, a craft I learned as a Camp Fire Girl.

I have experimented with many crafts – most of which I enjoyed. (We won’t discuss cake decorating & knitting.)  I always came back to the needlearts and beading.  My first love, however, is dollhouses & miniatures.  My husband and I built more than 50 dollhouses.  I kept five dollhouses and about a dozen room boxes (vignettes).  We are still building vignettes to sell at craft shows.


I really enjoyed doing miniature needlepoint, tatting & crocheting for my dollhouses.  This is my favorite rug – 40 stitches to the inch and measures about 5×7″.  That is about 56,000 stitches.  Silk thread on silk gauze.  Nearly 100 hours.

Needlepoint Rug

For many years I was a decorative painter.  We owned a retail store in a Kansas City suburb for several years where we sold supplies and held classes.  We had five teachers and more than 150 students enrolled in weekly classes.  After we closed the shop and retired to a beautiful lake area in Missouri, I returned to beading.

Like many other jewelry makers, I began with stringing – using gemstones, sterling silver, pearls and crystals.  Fun, but not very challenging.  Through a facebook group I stumbled on to bead weaving and I was hooked!

Beadweaving Collage

Beautiful and challenging but not very profitable.

I also did a line of leather wrap bracelets, hatbands, bookmarks, boot bangles, fan pulls, purse charms, ornaments, amulet bags, etc., etc., etc.  Always wanting to try something new and challenging.

And then, I discovered the B’Sue Boutiques Creative Group on Facebook. A whole new world of assemblage jewelry.  I dived in head first.  When I inherited a large collection of vintage jewelry last year I began incorporating some of those pieces – that led to me visiting flea markets, auctions, and garage sales to find more.

NK2384 Pink Flower Collage

Avon Calling Collage

I loved the process of designing with vintage pieces but found that my “process” in designing was biblical – “Seek and ye shall find”.  I would get out a bunch of stuff and try to put it together – kind of like this:

  • Look, pretty beads
  • Look, interesting pattern
  • Look, cool photo
  • Look, awesome stamping

So I would spend hours going through my stash; find stuff that I had purchased over the years; create multiple piles of great stuff; stare at it for hours.  I would make one or two things and then spend hours putting all that stuff away.

My Jewelry Studio 2

And that leads to why I joined the BALC!  I love the process of making jewelry but I really, really want to sell my jewelry.  I have more than 800 items in inventory!  I need to identify my target customer, streamline my processes, and learn to create a cohesive line which I can market.

The purpose of this blog hop is for all of us to reveal our theme for the class.  Here is a hint for my theme.

Pretty in Pink 1

Pretty in Pink!

I envision several lines that fit this theme –

A floral line with flowers in collages with other goodies.

A romantic line with hearts and flowers.

A Western/cowgirl line featuring pink components.

We will see where my line goes.  As yet I have only a vague idea of the final pieces.

I will be using lots of B’sue stampings and components in my line – several of these stampings will be the foundation for my designs.

BALC Components collage

Speaking of ‘pretty in pink’, the photo of the porcelain doll at the beginning of this post is my “Southern Angel”.  She was a gift from my husband and is one-of-a-kind, made by a talented miniaturist.  She stands about 5″ tall (5′ in dollhouse scale).  Her carved cameo pendant is 4mm x 3mm.  She has gorgeous brown eyes and red hair. Southern Angel Collage

Whew, you have made it to the end of my post.  Thank you.

To all of my classmates – I am so happy to be on this journey with you.

And to Miss Brenda – you are a treasure.  I seldom meet someone so willing to share their knowledge and talent.  I am so grateful to have found you.

Almost forgot the commercial.  See some of my jewelry on my facebook page – – and my Etsy shop –  Only a few things in the Etsy shop but lots more coming.  I am also working on a web site.

Please take the time to visit the posts from all of the class participants.  I look forward to reading them all.



  1. Brenda Sue Lansdowne  Jewelry Making Outside the Box

2. Diana Buynak  –  Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

3. Irene Hoffman  – Heartsdezirebyirene

4.  Clare Wells Nemeth  – Creative Magick

5.  Mary Reckmeyer –  Afrayedknot

6.  Marcia Tuzzolino  – Aurora Designs

7.  Elizabeth Wilks – Wearable Art by Lizzie

8.  Jeanette Rose Belmont – One Canvas at a time

9.  Lyn Joy Reeve – A Journey from Jewels to Jubilation

10.  Belinda Reed-Ingle  – Vogue Rocks

11.  Beth Trubman – The Journey of Jewelry

12.  Carole Carlson – Beadsophisticate

13.  Jann Tague – Clever Designs by Jann

14.  Shari Gardner – SLG Jewelry Designs

15.  Susan Bolton – Fern’s Place

16.  Chris Kemp – NoodlePie Bracelets

17.  Barbara Kelley – Angels’ Keep

18.  Susan Bowerman – Woodside WireWorks

19.  Pamela Anger – Novegatti Designs

20.  Joan Donovan – Hailey’s Cottage

21.  Alison Huie – Ally’s Baubles

22.  Sharon Palac – Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

23.  Erica Olmos – Beeb’s Closet

24.  Erin Whitacre – Shattered Time Jewelry

25.  Fran Sitton – Sitton Up Front

26.  Ginger Hammond – Lynn Leigh Designs – YOU ARE HERE!

27.  Paula Gaskill – Lovely LaylaBug Jewels 

28.  Mary Katherine – The Rose Sword 

29.  Renee Webb Allen – Small Stuff Design

30.  Valerie Tilghman- ArtJewelsandGifts

31.  Chris Cravens Vintage Cravens

32.  Leslie Carver

33.  Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

34.  Gina-Marie Hammer – Tangles, Twists and Treasures

35.  Kelly Wymer  Winged Wisdom Enchantments

Please mark your calendars and join us!  The next blog hop is February 26.





Brenda Sue Lansdowne Jewelry Making Outside the Box


Diana Buynak Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio


Irene Hoffman, Heart’s Dezire by Irene


Clare Wells Nemeth, Creative Magick


Mary Reckmeyer, Afrayed Not


Marcia Tuzzolino, Aurora Designs


Elizabeth Wilks, Wearable Art by Lizzie


Jeanette Rose Belmont, One Canvas At A Time


Lyn Joy Reeve, A Journey From Jewels To Jubilation


Belinda Reed-Ingle, Vogue Rocks


Beth Trubman, The Journey of Jewelry


Carole Carlson, Bead Sophisticate


Jann Tague, Clever Designs by Jann


Shari Gardner, SLG Jewelry Designs


Susan Bolton, Fern’s Place


Chris Kemp, Noodle Pie Bracelets


Barbara Kelley, Angels’ Keep


Susan Bowerman, Woodside Wireworks


Pamela Anger, Novegatti Designs


Joan Donovan, Hailey’s Cottage


Alison Huie, Ally’s Baubles


Sharon Palac, Sharon’s Jewelry Garden


Erica Olmos, Beeb’s Closet


Erin Whitacre, Shattered Time Jewelry


Fran Sitton, Sitton Up Front


Ginger Hammond, Lynn Leigh Designs


Paula Gaskill, Lovely LaylaBug Jewels


Mary Deis, The Rose Sword


Renee Webb Allen, Small Stuff Design


Valerie Tilghman, ArtJewelsandGifts


Chris Cravens, Vintage Cravens


Leslie Carver, Adorn Divine Designs


Donna Parry, JewelryDonna


Gina-Marie Hammer, Tangles, Twists and Treasures


Kelly Wymer, Winged Wisdom Enchantments




It is 2016 – Time Flies

NK2494 Clock Face & Prop on Filigree

Hi there!  I’ll bet you thought I had disappeared forever.  Can’t believe I haven’t posted since September.  Will try to do better this year!


I am excited to be a part of B’Sue Boutiques ‘Build a Line Challenge’ class this year.  The class began this month and we have already covered a lot of stuff!

It has been fun getting to know the other 30+ class members.  The focus of the class is to challenge us to create a cohesive line of jewelry, identify our target customer, use current fashion trends, and so much more.  The teacher, Brenda Sue Landsdowne, is a savvy business owner and very knowledgeable about vintage jewelry and jewelry design.

I have already learned a great deal in the class and look forward to the first blog hop on January 29, when we reveal our themes and begin creating our lines.


On the personal front, life is still wonderful in the little house at the lake.  Our winter has not been severe – yet!  I love snow and would like to see more.  Probably should be careful what I wish for.

Deck Feb 13 2015

My work area is in our family room which has nine huge windows. That’s my guy on the deck. (My area is on the left in this photo, taken when we were building the deck last year.) So, I have a great view of the woods that surround our property.  Last week we noticed a new resident in the woods.  A red fox has a den in a fallen tree just 40 feet from our windows.  We are hoping to see kits this spring.  The deer are also very active with the mild weather.  Our back yard is fairly open and the deer visit every day.  In the spring & summer they take naps in the yard.  The owls are a common sight – and they drive our two dogs nuts!

Owl 3 June 2014

Sunny Dec 2009

Sunny, our Cocker Spaniel, will be fourteen in June.  She was diagnosed with cancer in February, 2015.  Had a tumor removed from a foot pad.  The vet gave her 3-6 months.  She is still going strong!



DSCN0028 Stormy is our ‘cannard’ – as in can hardly tell what she is.  She is recovering from ACL surgery three weeks ago and is doing well.

Their names are weather-related because I worked for NOAA & the National Weather Service for more than 25 years.  Loved my career!


Looking forward to a great year.  Will be doing several craft shows and working on my web site.  To see my jewelry, Please visit my facebook page – and my Etsy shop –

Hugs from the little house at the lake.  Pomme de Terre Missouri.


Some serious musings for September

Mark your calendars.  I am posting two (count ’em – two) posts on one day.

Boys 5Cody Keiper & his buddies in front of our bunkhouse – July 2014.  Cody is the one without his feet on the ground.

A few days ago, one of my grandsons, Cody Keiper, posted on Facebook a text conversation he had with a young woman who drank alcohol at Cody’s house without his knowledge and then drove home.  Here is the Facebook post:

“Almost two months ago, I lost someone that I thought was a good friend. I lost her because I was trying to be a good friend to her. I had friends over playing a card game, nothing else. That night, she drank at my house from a cup that no one would know she had wine in, she drove home that night and left the cup at my house. The following day my brother found the chipotle cup on our bathroom sink, as he picked it up it smelled of alcohol, he told me and showed me to double check.

Excuse any language used in this post, quoting word for word from texts. I will not mention any name either.

I then proceeded to text my friend:

Me: “Drinking and driving is bad”

Her: “who’s drinking and driving?”

Me: “You last night, found your cup in my bathroom”

Her: “Yeah having half a glass of wine totally equals drinking and driving”

Me: “It does, I’m just being a friend and don’t want anything bad to happen.”

Her: “Lol okay”

Me: “Drinking underage and staying inside is one thing, Underage drinking and driving is a serious problem.”

Her: “Okay lol you’re being seriously ridiculous. Calm down and don’t text me about this shit anymore. It’s immaterial.”

Me: “Well coming from someone who’s great grandparents were hit by someone drinking and driving it isn’t immaterial. So I’ll stand my ground here on this subject cause of the accident that killed my great grandfather. And many other accidents that happen due to the same thing every damn day.”

Her: “Okay I’m not swayed by your sob story at all. My fucking mother was hit by a drunk driver. So fuck you for trying to lecture me as though I’m some immature girl. I am responsible and your suggestions otherwise are 1. Laughable and 2. Insulting. I would suggest dropping it, because you’re out of your league, child.”

To conclude, all I was doing was trying to be a good friend and look out for her. What she really told me in this is that we aren’t good friends, because good friends would listen to each other and talk about it like mature human beings. Also if your excuse for drinking and driving is that someone close to you was hit by someone drinking and driving, your mind is opposite of every other person that’s been affected by someone drinking and driving. Isn’t it supposed to be I should never drink and drive cause someone close to me whether it be family or friend or coworker has been hit by someone drinking and driving?

The majority of people have been affected by drinking and driving in some way. The people that haven’t been affected will be at some point in their lives, I hope that they learn it’s a big problem before they get a wake up call.

Why I didn’t share this sooner, I’m not sure. Maybe I thought she would realize how disrespectful she was when someone was trying to be a good friend to her and rethink what she said. I was wrong.” (end of post)

I cannot express how proud I am of Cody for standing his ground.  His great-grandparents (my husband’s parents) were struck by a drunk driver on December 5, 2001.  Franke died at the scene.  Wanita suffered severe injuries to her ankles and lived nearly four more years.

The drunk driver was a 36-year-old mother of three young children.  She was drunk at 5 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon. There was a male passenger in her car, who was also drunk.  I remember her name well but refuse to include it in this post. She crossed the center line on Hwy 83, just north of Bolivar, Missouri and struck the Hammond’s minivan in the rear quarter. (She thought she was turning left onto a county road but missed the intersection.) She did not stop, but fled the scene and abandoned her vehicle several miles away; and then reported it stolen.  She hid from authorities for days and tried to get the passenger to say he was driving because she had prior arrests for drunk driving. After the impact, the van crashed into a deep culvert and caught fire.  Three drivers stopped to assist and pulled Franke & Wanita from the burning van.  They had to be removed from the back hatch window, which means that two men crawled into the burning vehicle and pulled them out.  We are forever grateful for the intervention of those men.  Franke suffered a broken neck and his sternum punctured his aorta.  He was alive after the initial impact because he said to Wanita “Honey, I am sorry I couldn’t save you”.  Their airbags had deployed after the initial impact and then quickly deflated, so they had no protection for the second impact in the culvert.

Franke & Wanita were married in 1944. They had just celebrated their 57th anniversary.  My husband is their only child.  in more than 50 years of marriage they had never been apart for more than a few days, except for the time Franke served in the Merchant Marine Corps during WWII.  Their love for each other ran deep.  They still hugged and kissed and held hands all the time.  Their marriage was a model for us and our children.

A tragedy like this changes the family dynamic.  It brought ours closer together and sparked an awareness of the criminality of drunk driving.  It is a crime that should be punished like any other crime that involves a deadly weapon.  With a drunk behind the wheel, that vehicle is a deadly weapon.

Those who have not had such a tragedy probably do not understand how deeply it cuts into a family’s everyday lives.  At the time of the wreck, Terry & I owned a small business where we sold painting supplies and held decorative painting classes.  Terry moved to his mother’s home to care for her for several months.  (I have never been more proud of him.) We closed the business eight months afterwards because we just couldn’t live two lives.  In 2003, Wanita came to live with us.  She died in October, 2005, technically of pulmonary fibrosis.  The wreck really ended her life.  She never fully recovered from the injuries and her heart was shattered that day.

Terry & I have been blessed with two great kids, Teresa & Ryan, who have married their soulmates.  They have given us five grandsons: Marcus Hammond (22), Cody Keiper (20), Cole Keiper (18), Jakob Hammond (14), and Carter Hammond (8),  Carter never knew Franke & Wanita; Jakob was 7 months old so he has no memory of them.  The three older boys were terrifically impacted by their great-grandfather’s death.  And they all have taken a stand against drunk driving.

The text conversation is clear evidence of their stand. Coincidentally, Cody posted this text on what would have been Franke’s 92nd birthday – September 23rd.

Granny & Grumpy are so over-the-top proud of Cody! And of Cole for giving the drink cup to Cody!

September Change It Up Blog Hop

Source: September Change It Up Blog Hop

It’s time to hop!


B'Sue Boutiques Change it Up Blog Hop

Being a member of the Facebook B’Sue Boutiques Creative Group ( has been such a wonderful experience.  I belong to a lot of jewelry-making groups on Facebook, but this one stands out as the most caring, sharing group!  I consider myself an accomplished jewelry maker and bead weaver.  Learning about assemblage jewelry from this group has led me down a new creative path – and has given me a way to repurpose all that jewelry I have hoarded for years.  I must confess that I have bought even more vintage jewelry since joining this group.

Brenda Lansdowne, who owns B’Sue Boutiques (, is a savvy business owner and a wonderfully creative jewelry artist.  I cannot begin to tell you how much I learned the past few months – from her blogs, her videos, and her posts.  I believe that the way we ensure that jewelry artistry grows is by sharing what we know so that future jewelry artists can learn from us old-timers.  Brenda epitomizes this concept – she shares her 25+ years of jewelry design with us all.

One of the things that Brenda and her design group have done is to present the group members with monthly challenges.  I have not always participated in the challenges but I have gotten such inspiration from the members’ posts of their challenge pieces.

For September, Brenda offered two related challenges –  “Vintage Flair….a piece driven by fashion trends (color, style, etc) that gives a nod to the past (vintage design)” is the monthly challenge to the Facebook group; and a Blog Hop challenge with the same theme.

I really love the September theme but I am not a blogger – I am not a blogger – I am not a blogger!  Oh, hell, I started a blog just for this challenge.

Brenda selected four American-made brass pieces from her shop inventory and asked us to choose one and use it in an unusual way.

Blog Hop Pieces

When I saw the photo, I thought “Oh goodie, I have two of those pieces.”  I chose to use the Cuff stamping in my challenge piece.  It is a good thing I already had the cuff because, as usual, I waited until this week to actually construct the piece. I had written down ideas and planned the overall look in my head for a couple of weeks.

Part of the challenge is to use the piece in an unusual way.  So, I cut the cuff into two pieces – one to use and one in case I had to start over.  I wanted to create a necklace with the altered cuff piece. I colored the piece with “Old Silver” Inka Gold, a product I learned about from Brenda’s group.  I loved the look it gave the brass piece.  I bonded it to one of B’Sue’s necklace blanks and secured it with clamps to allow the glue to cure.

2015-09-21 18.20.22     2015-09-21 18.19.00  2015-09-21 18.23.43

While patiently waiting for the glue to cure – not! – I scrounged through my vintage jewelry pieces and other B’Sue components and came up with a vintage cameo that I purchased at a garage sale.

I bonded the cameo to a brass oval so that I could glue the pretty rosaline opal czech rhinestone chain around it.  And added a vintage pink rhinestone bow at the base of the piece.  Also cut a B’Sue leaf pinwheel stamping in half and placed on each side of the central piece.

2015-09-21 20.34.18

And here she is!  The ceramic roses are from vintage earrings. The neckpiece includes pink Swarovski Pearls, pink Czech crystal rondelles, vintage gold-filled spacers, vermeil daisy spacers, and vintage gold-plated stampings.  I actually assembled three different neckpieces. The others were too light & too heavy. There are bits of pearl cup chain added to cover the necklace blank because, as I learned from Brenda, the base piece should be covered!

2015-09-23 14.08.10   2015-09-23 14.11.39  2015-09-23 14.10.07

This challenge was a double challenge for me – the toughest part was the blog.  I am not a blogger!  But maybe I will show up occasionally just to keep you wondering.

Please check out all of the other B’Sue bloggers who participated in this challenge.  I can hardly wait to see what inspiration I get from their creations.

Hugs from the little house at the lake.


P.S. My website is up – only a few items listed. That is my next, and ongoing, challenge.

List for Blog Hop September 25, 2015:

Brenda Sue Lansdowne

Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Mary Deis

The Rose Sword

Jann Tague

Clever Designs

Lori Beekman


Renee Hong

Fine and Dandy Jewelry

Cynthia Wainscott

Exotic Peru Jewelry

Dana Hickey

Magpie Approved

Mary Beth Quigley-Spiker

Q Settings

Karen Eaton

KJewelry Creations

Shari Gardner

SLG Jewelry Designs

Alison Huie

Ally’s Baubles

Pamela Anger

Novegatti Designs

Carole Carlson


Cindy Peterson

Howling Dog Jewelry

Marcia Tuzzolino

Aurora Designs

Charlotte Smothers

Sea Horse Ranch Life

Catherine Shattuck

Victorian Rose Boutique – You are here! 😉


Clare Wells Nemeth

Papercrafting Magic

Erin Whitacre

Shattered Time

Lynda O’Mara

Lomara Creative

Ginger Hammond

Lynn Leigh Designs

Ingrid Anderson

Lilis Gems Artisan Jewelry

Deb Beechy


Harry Wood

Oscar Crow

Delyssa Maxwell

Past Time Fancies

Paula Gaskill

Lovely Layla Bugs

Irene Hoffman

Heart’s Dezire by Irene

Alexandra Sefton

Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Leslie Carver

Adorn Divine Designs

B’Sue Boutiques “Change It Up” Blog Hop

B'Sue Boutiques Change it Up Blog Hop

Brenda Lansdowne loves challenging the members of her facebook group – and this one is a real challenge for me.  I not only have to have a blog, but I have to create a piece of jewelry with a “vintage feel but driven by fashion trends” – her words, not mine.  Now to figure out that fashion trend thing.  In Hickory County Missouri, the only fashion trends are long jeans for winter and jean shorts for summer – hoodies for winter (I have 6) and tee shirts for summer (would hate to have to count mine).  Guess I will have to do some googling for this project.  Now that I can do!

We have to use one of these wonderful brass pieces from B’Sue Boutiques.  If you haven’t visited her store, you need to do that!

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