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.


28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. howlingdogjewelrycapdap1838
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 00:24:24

    I love your story and all the crafts you have done. My Dad also was a wood crafter and he also carved wood . Some of the guys looked like him. He is also legally blind and at 84 still crafting. I can’t wait tos ee what you do as a fellow pink lover.



  2. christinecravens
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 01:52:49

    I have enjoyed getting to know you in the month we’ve been together in class and absolutely LOVE your theme! I cannot get the song out of my mind now, but that’s okay with me. I am looking forward to seeing where your line goes and have faith it will be beautiful as with everything your hands touch!



  3. Vonda Stephenson
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 09:48:20

    I enjoyed your blog so much. Thanks for sharing your story. Good luck with your line!



  4. Jeanette B
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 14:39:40

    Great story, I look forward to seeing your pretty in pink designs.



  5. gingerh1202
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 14:51:05

    Thanks to you all. I am certainly challenged with this class and learning so much.



  6. Brenda Sue Lansdowne
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 15:17:51

    Ginger, you are a fine blogger and with all that background in craft, you cannot help but succeed in your endeavor to pull it all together, make it work and get it out there. You already make perfectly lovely things and I have used your photos in our newsletters with such pleasure. Thanks for the awesome post! So glad you joined us for the class of 2016!



  7. Aurora Designs Jewelry
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 16:10:16

    Ginger, loved reading about your journey to joining the BALC. So happy to be on this journey with you, too. Pink, in any shade, is my favorite color, so I’m really looking forward to seeing your creations!



  8. lilisgems
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 16:16:03

    You truly are talented! Your miniature needle point is amazing! I am sure your Pretty in Pink line will be amazing. (Love the Molly Ringwold photo!) Love the brass stampings you have chosen. Ingrid



  9. Val Tilghman
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 16:20:31

    A beautiful story and love the doll! Can’t wait to see Pretty In Pink 🙂



  10. Paula Gaskill
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 21:04:30

    I see you too are very creative. How great is that! Pink is a great color to do a line in. Look forward to seeing it!



  11. Shari Lynn Gardner
    Jan 30, 2016 @ 11:45:08

    Hi Ginger, I too am so happy to be sharing this journey with you. I think we are all learning a bit about each other, as we learn about ourselves. I am so happy you chose to share some of the pictures of your dollhouses. One of these days I’ll have to do some digging and find some of the pictures of the ones I have made in the past. I’m certain you would get a kick out of some of the pictures, because at the time I was making them, we had an all white cat named Ringo that used to climb inside, move all of the furniture around so could he could fit and on a number of occasions I would find him sleeping inside. I have pictures and we used to call him monster kitty. I loved making those houses, but I found them to be a bit out of my budget and had to find other things that I could do that took up less space and cost and so my journey of crafts began. I can’t wait to see what your finished pink pieces will look like. You are so talented, I’m certain they will be beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person


  12. gingerh1202
    Jan 30, 2016 @ 11:58:12

    Thank you Shari. We ‘financed’ our miniature habit by building dollhouses for the customers of several miniature shops in the Kansas City area. You know, the parents who gave their daughter a dollhouse kit for Christmas or birthday, then opened the box and hit the panic button. Sometimes we just built the shell and other times decorated and wired. It does take a lot of space!

    I have learned so much in this class and have enjoyed all of the other students. I love your Cameo theme.

    Miniature Hugs.



  13. Elisabeth Wilks
    Jan 30, 2016 @ 13:51:02

    Wow what a lovely post! thank you for sharing with us your history in art. I will look forward to seeing what you create. Love the doll she is wonderful.



  14. beadsophisticate
    Jan 30, 2016 @ 20:12:41

    Your post is so interesting. I share your love of miniatures, although I have not made anywhere near as many. Pink is a great theme and I look forward to seeing what you make.



  15. beetique
    Jan 30, 2016 @ 23:18:35

    I love pink!



  16. Beth Trubman
    Jan 31, 2016 @ 14:28:53

    Well said Ginger, you tell a great story. And I love pink!!! I’m looking forward to seeing what you will do with the pink line. Gosh, you could make sub-lines in different colors!!! Endless possibilities.



  17. Novegatti Designs
    Jan 31, 2016 @ 20:57:17

    Great post, Ginger …you sound like a very crafty lady! I love dollhouses and especially miniatures … I wish the cats would let me have some around here! 😉 Your pink line will be wonderful, and I can’t wait to see it. So happy to have you in the BALC this year!



  18. shatteredtimejewelry
    Jan 31, 2016 @ 20:57:27

    Great blog thanks for sharing your journey! I think you chose a great theme and have so many options with it!



  19. Janet Calardo
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 00:52:56

    Great blog.i love all the info you shared. Looking forward to your new line of jewelry.



  20. Leslie
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 14:56:24

    So pretty! Going by color lets us go so many places, can’t wait to see where we wind up. 🙂



  21. Sharon Palac
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 22:33:33

    Ginger, you are a prolific artist! I look forward to your Pretty in Pink line, I’m sure it will be gorgeous!



  22. Mary Katherine
    Feb 02, 2016 @ 12:26:15

    Pretty in Pick. . .lots of possibilities. Should be fun to play with !



  23. Diana Buynak
    Feb 03, 2016 @ 11:43:12

    Thanks for sharing with us Ginger!

    I am also fascinated by miniatures, I used to do lots of miniature projects. I recently did micro – miniature cardinals out of ceramic for a project someone was doing (I don’t just make beads! 😛 ) Not sure if I would do micro – miniature again, but I definitely love doing miniatures ( they were about 1-2mm in size). Your doll houses are amazing as is your doll, your husband is a sweetheart!

    My mother was an Avon representative and had countless President’s club awards. The lady is called Mrs. Albee and you received a ceramic Mrs. Albee doll every time you hit top sales. I like that your re-purposed the pin the way you did. Most Avon stuff is completely worthless now-a-days and just gets junked so it is nostalgic.

    Pretty in pink is a fun theme, you can really branch out and do so many things with it! I look forward to seeing what you create.



  24. tanglestwistsntreasures
    Feb 04, 2016 @ 01:23:32

    What a great post Ginger! I’m so glad to see you included pictures of your doll houses and miniatures. I think you’ve gotten me inspired to do some miniature work again! I love your theme – so many people are doing colors this time, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. There’s so many places you could go with it! Btw, I LOVE your doll. I also collect dolls, so when I saw that first photo, all I could think was how lovely she was! Can’t wait to see what you do!



  25. Lucy
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 01:14:08

    You have a lot of talents when it comes to crafts, I’m amazed and envy at the same time. Very nice, you focused on jewelry making this time. Your porcelain doll is very cute too.



  26. Catherine
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 22:19:55

    PINK POWER!! My fave designing color, too! Enjoyed reading your post very much! I’m looking forward to the seeing the pieces you come up with! 😉👍



  27. allysbaubles
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 22:49:50

    Oh, how I love pink. Can’t wait to see what you do with those wonderful stampings



  28. Heart's Dezire by Irene
    Feb 27, 2016 @ 13:04:03

    Great blog post Ginger. Ditto to what you say in your opening paragraph. Your designs are always lovely and I look forward to seeing your line on April 1st



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