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.
Nope, not this tour boat!
And not this one – although I love whitewater rafting.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 – www.facebook.com/LynnLeighDesigns – and my Etsy shop – www.Etsy.com/Shop/LynnLeighDesigns. 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.
- 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.