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.