Contest for some AWESOME Polymer Clay Supplies

I just learned about this contest, this morning.  I think I need to get my head out of my studio world once in a while to check out Facebook and see what is going on more. Needless to say, this contest ends tonight, and I am just getting started trying to get some entries.

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Explorations in Voice Supply Box

Explorations in Voice GIVEAWAY PackageONE lucky winner will receive:

  • The entire contents of the picture at left! A box filled with delicious polymer clay supplies.

Entry Requirements:

  • Contest begins Aug. 22nd, 2016 at 6:00am EST
  • Contest ends Aug. 31st, 2016 at 11:59pm EST
  • Open Worldwide
  • The more times you enter, the better your chances of winning.
    • You do NOT have to complete everything in the giveaway. Every item you “complete” gives you an entry to win. So the more things you complete, the more entries you get.
    • NOTE: When visiting FaceBook pages for credit, please COMMENT on a post or on their wall.
  • Don’t forget to spread the good news across your social media too!
  • No purchase is necessary or required to win.
  • Please note: ALL entries are verified. If you have marked a task as “complete” and are chosen to win, your entry will be verified. If your entry can not be verified, your entry is automatically disqualified.
  • Good luck!

 

Here’s some additional information if you want to try to get entered also.  Good luck.  Look for new blog entries coming from me soon. I have had my studio torn apart for months and had a computer crash. The studio is almost complete, I’ll share pictures too. Plus I made a huge investment in my business and purchased a brand new computer. Still learning what all it has, just received it this past Monday.

All entries into this giveaway will enroll you in a free polymer clay email from The Blue Bottle Tree & KatersAcres

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A Note of Thanks

This collaboration, Explorations in Voice, would NOT have been possible without the donations of these generous sponsors. We are grateful for their generosity. Please take a moment to visit & shop their online stores. A list of supplies & links have been provided below.

B’Sue Boutiques

Christi Friesen

Lisa Pavelka

Tiny Pandora

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The RESULTS of the BALC 2016–Blog Hop

Hi everyone,

Well, I finished and NOW is the big reveal that everyone has been waiting for!  No jokes, at least if it is, no one told me.

It is morning, I did not go to bed and have pulled an All-Nighter, and I’m still editing this post, taking pictures, editing the pictures, then placing the pictures into their spots, after changing the main focal of my line since I was being overly picky and I thereby ruined those cameos with no time left to order more.  I had planned to use the traditional women cameos with my hand painted flair, but as I mentioned I started with the red and white resin cameo and painted her hair dark auburn.

painted and not--red and white cameo

Then I decided to mix it up with a different cameo, but after first painting her hair blonde and not liking her hair light,  I changed her to a darker brown with red high-lights.   But of course, this is where my picky-ness caused issues because I couldn’t possibly have both women have dark hair, so I changed the other to blonde and that is where my current nightmare began…I had to sand some of her first layers of paint because it was coming out to thick, but I sanded too far and she lost her face (lol..lost her features). I also had a strange reaction when I used a sealer over some of the cameos, which caused the paint and inks to run, almost like they melted, so some of my fairies, little girl cameos, and cats looked as if they are either possessed, crying and mascara has smeared their faces, and as I said above I didn’t allow enough time to order more pieces or time to fix everything.

Hair color

Unfortunately, if I had listened to my mentor I would have never been in this predicament.  One big lesson learned, because of experience is that I need to plan ahead.  Brenda has been teaching myself and my classmates that we each need a plan, something in writing to refer to, to plan for mistakes, plan for extra needed pieces, and plan for chain that all matches that I am now out of…from this day forward I will have a plan. It’s okay to laugh, I’m laughing at myself, especially because I am getting quite tired and still have more to do.

LaughingKittyCartoon

The Build a Line Challenge Master Class, sponsored by B’Sue Boutique where I buy almost all of my jewelry making supplies, and taught by the absolute best mentor- Brenda Sue Lansdowne, owner/jewelry designer- has officially ended with our final reveal Blog Hop.  Please, please, please continue the hop following the list of all of my other classmates, with the list at the end of my post. We have all worked so hard to finish our first, beginning lines of jewelry that everyone is sharing throughout the hop and I know that you will enjoy seeing what everyone else did as well as myself.  I know that I am truly excited to see what else my classmates have created and Brenda Sue created her own line too, which I can’t wait to see.

Some of the biggest thoughts and advice if you’re considering taking next year’s class or if you have the opportunity to take a similar class, my thought is do it.  There is never a good time, if you’re waiting, so throw all caution to the wind and just do it. Learning is something that can never get old and actually keeps us young..sshh, so I’ve heard…lol.

These last three months have been so enlightening for me and not just in jewelry. Brenda shared so much with us, but also had each of us really taking an indepth look at ourselves.  Where do each of us want to do with our jewelry and do we have big aspirations of being the next jewelry mogul?  I am still not quite sure what I want. If someone had asked me one year ago where I thought I’ld be, had I even considered having my own Etsy store or for that matter, would I be selling my work? Then I would have said no. So much can happen to a person in such a short amount of time, it can be overwhelming.  I have changed my mind so many times during the making process.  I do know I will have a plan, even if it gets changed a lot because it will help to keep me on track, I will have deadlines for myself to keep the lines recreatable, easily ensuring I will have the key pieces in stock and in my inventory, if I decide to keep having a line.  To me having a line is not really that different from creating OOAKs (One of a Kinds), except that the pieces will share pieces that are similar and that can be recreated, basically meaning more than one person can have that necklace or that bracelet. Maybe one person likes brass, or the “yellow gold look,” but someone else likes silver, with a line both people can get “the look” or color they want.  Also, while there is one top piece that is the starter piece, it might even be a OOAK, the line will share pieces of this design for all levels of the price pyramid, meaning if your budget only allows you to purchase something from the bottom level, you can still get the same quality because the bottom pieces are held to my standard of anything I make regardless of price. So if you see a pair of earrings that you like and then decide you like one of the necklaces a couple of weeks later and you got your taxes back or earned a commision, you can purchase those and they will go together perfectly.

Teal Floral Showstopper

For the final reveal I chose to use the resin floral cameos as my focus, but almost all of my cameo pieces are enhanced with my usual style of hand painting. I did use Gilder’s Paste in the silver, gold, black, and pinotage for each design I had in stock, and hand painted most with acrylic paints and a little Lumiere here and there. I also have some gorgeous acrylic stones and some decal pieces of glass cameos in limited supply, but all in all, everything whether it be the traditional woman’s portrait or fairies, unicorns, horses or cats, or the glass flowers, all relate to each other in some way creating some sub-lines within my line. The yellow bird, and porcelain and resin roses, rhinestones, and chain are prominent pieces and all going back to that one brass stamping that I just love for its design.

It’s funny I completely forgot, I’ve been participating in this class and as I was looking through my papers to look up reminders on what to talk about in our blogs and was reminded that there is actually a winner of best in class and a runner up.  During the past three months, judges have been silently listening in on our class, except for the weekends some chose to give advice and tips, as Alumni of the class of 2015.

The entire line

I, personally, would like to say “Thank You” to the Judges, Design Team Members and Admins, for taking your time to help Brenda with the class. I have learned so much from the discussions and your words of encouragement.  And, not to put her last, but Thank you, thank you, thank you Brenda. I am so happy you are in my life.

Now, please go visit my classmates and when you have time, stop by my Etsy store https://www.etsy.com/shop/SLGJewelryDesigns where I have mostly OOAKs (but that will change once I place an order for more supplies and get my new line of Cameos a bit more organized, then I’ll decide what else to make. I also have some gorgeous vintage pieces for sale too.

Hope to see you all soon, enjoy your day..

Good-Night..I’m going to bed, its 8am.

 

 

 

Here is the hopping list!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne Jewelry Making Outside the Box

http://www.bsueboutiques.typepad.com

Diana Buynak Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

http://butterflyemporium.indiemade.com/blog

 

Irene Hoffman, Heart’s Dezire by Irene

http://heartsdezirebyirene.wordpress.com

 

Clare Wells Nemeth, Creative Magick

http://www.craftingmagick.blogspot.com

 

Mary Reckmeyer, Afrayed Not

http://www.afrayedknot.net

 

Marcia Tuzzolino, Aurora Designs

http://auroradesignsjewelryblog.me

 

Elizabeth Wilks, Wearable Art by Lizzie

http://wearableartbylizzie.blogspot.com

 

Jeanette Rose Belmont, One Canvas At A Time

http://www.onecanvasatatime.com

 

Lyn Joy Reeve, A Journey From Jewels To Jubilation

http://lnreeve00.blogspot.com

 

Beth Trubman, The Journey of Jewelry

http://thejourneyofjewelry.blogspot.com

 

Carole Carlson, Bead Sophisticate

http://beadsophisticate.wordpress.com

 

Jann Tague, Clever Designs by Jann

http://janntague.wordpress.com

You are here:

Shari Gardner, SLG Jewelry Designs

https://slgdesigns.wordpress.com

 

Susan Bolton, Fern’s Place

http://www.fernsplace.org

 

Chris Kemp, Noodle Pie Bracelets

http://noodlepiebracelets.com

 

Susan Bowerman, Woodside Wireworks

http://woodsidewireworks.com/

 

Pamela Anger, Novegatti Designs

http://novegattidesigns.blogspot.com

 

Joan Donovan, Hailey’s Cottage

http://haileyscottage.com/

 

Alison Huie, Ally’s Baubles

http://www.allysbaubles.blogspot.com

 

Sharon Palac, Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

http://www.sharonsjewelrygarden.blogspot.com

 

Erica Olmos, Beeb’s Closet

https://beebscloset.wordpress.com

 

Erin Whitacre, Shattered Time Jewelry

https://shatteredtimejewelry.wordpress.com

 

Fran Sitton, Sitton Up Front

https://sittonupfront.wordpress.com

 

Ginger Hammond, Lynn Leigh Designs

https://lynnleighdesigns.wordpress.com

 

Paula Gaskill, Lovely LaylaBug Jewels

http://www.lovelylaylabugjewels.com/Blog.php

 

Mary Deis, The Rose Sword

http://theroseswordmdeis.blogspot.com

 

Renee Webb Allen, Small Stuff Design

http://smallstuffdesign.com

 

Valerie Tilghman, ArtJewelsandGifts

http://www.artjewelzdimensions.blogspot.com

 

Chris Cravens, Vintage Cravens

http://christinecravens.blogspot.com

 

Leslie Carver, Adorn Divine Designs

http://www.adorndivinedesigns.blogspot.com

 

Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

http://jewelrydonna.typepad.com

 

Gina-Marie Hammer, Tangles, Twists and Treasures

http://tanglestwistsandtreasures.com/blog/

 

Kelly Wymer, Winged Wisdom Enchantments

https://wingedwisdomenchantments.wordpress.com/

Etsy Banner

 

Blog Hop #2 for the BALC Master Class

Etsy Banner

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to Blog Hop #2 for the BALC Master Class, hosted by B’Sues Boutique. The owner and my mentor,  Brenda Sue Lansdowne, whom has graciously given so much of her time and is teaching me as well as a group of 35 wonderful ladies how to Build a Line of jewelry that is cohesive, that can be reproduced in a limited edition, and what will sell.  If you’re new to my blog, please feel free to look back at previous posts and you can read all about our first blog for this class, which was in the end of January. We each discussed what we had learned so far and we revealed what our theme would be for our lines.

Cameo Theme--1

In case you haven’t figured it out, my theme is Cameos.  At first I wasn’t exactly thrilled to have cameos as my theme, but the more I have researched them, and started buying supplies for my line, I started to see just how much I could do with a simple cameo.

Just these two above, show how different they can be. The first one of the couple is an unsigned brooch and the second is an Avon Cameo, both of which I personally own.

There are so many options,  vintage cameos with gorgeous hand painted pictures, to more modern cameos with decals depicting the same glorious scenes from old or entirely new . Today’s resin cameos have limitless possibilities and you can see from my pictures that I have options upon options: flowers, animals, people, fairies, unicorns, just to name a few. Here’s a few of my started pieces.

Over this past month we discussed making a line of jewelry versus just making One Of A Kinds  (OOAK). We also had to ask ourselves where we wanted our jewelry making to go? Did we want to be a hobbyist, just making things we like and to give to family and friends as gifts; Or did we want to be Makers, selling our designs in an Etsy store, or on Amazon, or have a booth at craft shows or in an Antiques/Craft Mall. Lastly, did we want to go for that big brass ring and become production designers, where we could sell our pieces to big stores whom would pay a wholesale price and then sell our pieces for retail prices. Possibly becoming known for our brand, having clothing designers asking us to make jewelry that would go with their line.  At this point, I’m not really sure what I want. I know I love making jewelry, and especially being able to add paint and make it mine. So with those closing thoughts, I will leave you with one more picture and the list of links for all of the other ladies in this class, so you can please “hop” to see theirs too.  Thank you.

painted and not

 

Here is the hopping list!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne Jewelry Making Outside the Box

http://www.bsueboutiques.typepad.com

Diana Buynak Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

http://butterflyemporium.indiemade.com/blog

 

Irene Hoffman, Heart’s Dezire by Irene

http://heartsdezirebyirene.wordpress.com

 

Clare Wells Nemeth, Creative Magick

http://www.craftingmagick.blogspot.com

 

Mary Reckmeyer, Afrayed Not

http://www.afrayedknot.net

 

Marcia Tuzzolino, Aurora Designs

http://auroradesignsjewelryblog.me

 

Elizabeth Wilks, Wearable Art by Lizzie

http://wearableartbylizzie.blogspot.com

 

Jeanette Rose Belmont, One Canvas At A Time

http://www.onecanvasatatime.com

 

Lyn Joy Reeve, A Journey From Jewels To Jubilation

http://lnreeve00.blogspot.com

 

Belinda Reed-Ingle, Vogue Rocks

http://voguerocks.blogspot.com

 

Beth Trubman, The Journey of Jewelry

http://thejourneyofjewelry.blogspot.com

 

Carole Carlson, Bead Sophisticate

http://beadsophisticate.wordpress.com

 

Jann Tague, Clever Designs by Jann

http://janntague.wordpress.com

 

Shari Gardner, SLG Jewelry Designs

https://slgdesigns.wordpress.com

 

Susan Bolton, Fern’s Place

http://www.fernsplace.org

 

Chris Kemp, Noodle Pie Bracelets

http://noodlepiebracelets.com

 

Barbara Kelley, Angels’ Keep

http://angelskeepbandbdotcom.wordpress.com

 

Susan Bowerman, Woodside Wireworks

http://woodsidewireworks.com/

 

Pamela Anger, Novegatti Designs

http://novegattidesigns.blogspot.com

 

Joan Donovan, Hailey’s Cottage

http://haileyscottage.com/

 

Alison Huie, Ally’s Baubles

http://www.allysbaubles.blogspot.com

 

Sharon Palac, Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

http://www.sharonsjewelrygarden.blogspot.com

 

Erica Olmos, Beeb’s Closet

https://beebscloset.wordpress.com

 

Erin Whitacre, Shattered Time Jewelry

https://shatteredtimejewelry.wordpress.com

 

Fran Sitton, Sitton Up Front

https://sittonupfront.wordpress.com

 

Ginger Hammond, Lynn Leigh Designs

https://lynnleighdesigns.wordpress.com

 

Paula Gaskill, Lovely LaylaBug Jewels

http://www.lovelylaylabugjewels.com/Blog.php

 

Mary Deis, The Rose Sword

http://theroseswordmdeis.blogspot.com

 

Renee Webb Allen, Small Stuff Design

http://smallstuffdesign.com

 

Valerie Tilghman, ArtJewelsandGifts

http://www.artjewelzdimensions.blogspot.com

 

Chris Cravens, Vintage Cravens

http://christinecravens.blogspot.com

 

Leslie Carver, Adorn Divine Designs

http://www.adorndivinedesigns.blogspot.com

 

Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

http://jewelrydonna.typepad.com

 

Gina-Marie Hammer, Tangles, Twists and Treasures

http://tanglestwistsandtreasures.com/blog/

 

Kelly Wymer, Winged Wisdom Enchantments

https://wingedwisdomenchantments.wordpress.com/

 

BALC Master Class – Blog Hop #1

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Hi Everyone,

Thank you for stopping by my Blog. For those of you that are reading my blog for the first time, I’ll give you a little bit of info. about me.  I am married, and have one adult daughter, a step-daughter that is almost 18, a yellow Labrador Retriever that loves to eat, and a long-haired princess kitty named Jinxy.

jinxy-bestclose-up.jpgWhen I first started making jewelry, I would spread out what I was working on, usually on my bed and Jinxy would lay and watch. I have always called her my helper, but in all reality she just waits for any opportunity that she sees, to steal anything that is shiny or if it’s plastic, she likes to chew stuff up.  Fortunately, my theme is Cameos and Jinxy can’t chew them.

I am so appreciative to our Blog Hop and Master Class Instructor, Brenda Sue Lansdowne, the owner of B’Sue’s Boutique, which is where I buy all of my brass stampings, and anything else that I need in order to make my jewelry, for offering this class and being so willing to share her wealth of knowledge. Since class began on January 5th, she has been unknowingly to us, steering each of us into the direction of not only learning what our style is when it comes to jewelry, but she has been having us take a good hard, long look, at who we are.  Who am I?

056

I have always been involved in one form of art or another my entire life. I was in choir all through school and after was in a semi-professional group for a bit. Then life changed as it usually does when I had my daughter. During the years I was married to her father I took a few college classes here and there, English Literature, Children’s Lit, Writing for Children. I took Art classes too, drawing and paint. I even worked for a collectibles company and hand-painted figurines while my daughter was young. I worked in car sales, then as a Licensed Realtor and worked in the Classifieds department of a big newspaper here in Michigan. After my daughter’s father and I separated, I went back to school at age 40. Sounds horrible doesn’t it, not really, it was hard though because I was still trying to find out who I was, and I met my husband whom was extremely understanding when I had a lot of homework, and has been my rock while I have had to deal with medical issues that forced me to stop school and working, just shy of an MBA in Marketing.

So, what have I learned?  A Lot, especially about myself. IMG_20140408_051723I’m stronger than I thought I was. I’m not afraid to go down the stairs like my dog, Bailey.  I have not narrowed down my style completely, but I’m guessing B’Sue will have a special way of showing each of us how to discover it before this class is done. I am certain, I’ll have more to show you all then.

 

Below is a list of all of the participants in the B’Sue Boutique’s Build A Line Challenge, which I am taking part in.  I hope you’ll join me and visit my friends and classmates too.  The hops are all on Fridays for the 2016 class.

Jan 29

Feb 26

April 1

Brenda Sue is our instructor/mentor and I just love her dearly for all of the help she has given me and I hope that I can show my appreciation in return some day (soon, I hope).

 

Brenda Sue Lansdowne Jewelry Making Outside the Box

http://www.bsueboutiques.typepad.com

  1. Diana Buynak Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

    http://butterflyemporium.indiemade.com/blog

     

    Irene Hoffman, Heart’s Dezire by Irene

    http://heartsdezirebyirene.wordpress.com

     

     

    Clare Wells Nemeth, Creative Magick

    http://www.craftingmagick.blogspot.com

     

    Mary Reckmeyer, Afrayed Not

    http://www.afrayedknot.net

     

    Marcia Tuzzolino, Aurora Designs

    http://auroradesignsjewelryblog.me

     

    Elizabeth Wilks, Wearable Art by Lizzie

    http://wearableartbylizzie.blogspot.com

     

    Jeanette Rose Belmont, One Canvas At A Time

    http://www.onecanvasatatime.com

     

    Lyn Joy Reeve, A Journey From Jewels To Jubilation

    http://lnreeve00.blogspot.com

     

    Belinda Reed-Ingle, Vogue Rocks

    http://voguerocks.blogspot.com

     

    Beth Trubman, The Journey of Jewelry

    http://thejourneyofjewelry.blogspot.com

     

    Carole Carlson, Bead Sophisticate

    http://beadsophisticate.wordpress.com

     

    Jann Tague, Clever Designs by Jann

    http://janntague.wordpress.com

     

    Shari Gardner, SLG Jewelry Designs

    https://slgdesigns.wordpress.com

     

    Susan Bolton, Fern’s Place

    http://www.fernsplace.org

     

    Chris Kemp, Noodle Pie Bracelets

    http://noodlepiebracelets.com

     

    Barbara Kelley, Angels’ Keep

    http://angelskeepbandbdotcom.wordpress.com

     

    Susan Bowerman, Woodside Wireworks

    http://woodsidewireworks.com/

     

    Pamela Anger, Novegatti Designs

    http://novegattidesigns.blogspot.com

     

    Joan Donovan, Hailey’s Cottage

    http://haileyscottage.com/

     

    Alison Huie, Ally’s Baubles

    http://www.allysbaubles.blogspot.com

     

    Sharon Palac, Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

    http://www.sharonsjewelrygarden.blogspot.com

     

    Erica Olmos, Beeb’s Closet

    https://beebscloset.wordpress.com

     

    Erin Whitacre, Shattered Time Jewelry

    https://shatteredtimejewelry.wordpress.com

     

    Fran Sitton, Sitton Up Front

    https://sittonupfront.wordpress.com

     

    Ginger Hammond, Lynn Leigh Designs

    https://lynnleighdesigns.wordpress.com

     

    Paula Gaskill, Lovely LaylaBug Jewels

    http://www.lovelylaylabugjewels.com/Blog.php

     

    Mary Deis, The Rose Sword

    http://theroseswordmdeis.blogspot.com

     

    Renee Webb Allen, Small Stuff Design

    http://smallstuffdesign.com

     

    Valerie Tilghman, ArtJewelsandGifts

    http://www.artjewelzdimensions.blogspot.com

     

    Chris Cravens, Vintage Cravens

    http://christinecravens.blogspot.com

     

    Leslie Carver, Adorn Divine Designs

    http://www.adorndivinedesigns.blogspot.com

     

    Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

    http://jewelrydonna.typepad.com

     

    Gina-Marie Hammer, Tangles, Twists and Treasures

    http://tanglestwistsandtreasures.com/blog/

     

    Kelly Wymer, Winged Wisdom Enchantments

    https://wingedwisdomenchantments.wordpress.com/

 

Please mark your calendars and join us!

Balcbadge2016

Class So Far???

Glenn and Shari- Xmas Holidays are over, so its time to get back to work.

 

Its January, I am getting to be an old dog, but unlike my dog, Bailey, I’m not afraid to go down the basement steps, nor am I opposed to learning new tricks.  In just the first weeks of the BALC class I am in (first blog hop on January 29th), I have learned so much about the jewelry business trade, but also about myself.  Over the next few weeks, hopefully shorter, I am deactivating some of my listings that have not seemed to get any interest from anyone. If you are looking to purchase something that is gone, let me know and if I have not taken it apart yet, I will sell it to you, just send me a message. Look for a lot of new stuff over the next few months, stuff that has been spiffied up like these kitty earrings that are now all sitting on top of some vintage heart lockets, some things that will be permanently replaced with something totally different, because I looked at it and thought “what was I thinking?”

Cats with ball Locket-1Tiny Kitten LocketBowtie kitty locketCat locket 2

I am going to start having lines of jewelry, possibly fewer one of a kinds (OOAK) with repurposed pieces and, of course I will still have Vintage pieces that just need a little clean up or some minor repair to keep their history alive.

 

Casper and Jinxy in Sink

Can’t do a blog without showing you at least one pic of Jinxy.  This one is with her brother Casper, whom we lost a couple of years ago…that’s why she is so spoiled now.

Don’t you just love my new store tag line (look below)??  One of the wonderful women in my class came up with this for me. I’m not going to share her name, unless she wishes for me to do so, but I truly appreciate it.

Tomorrow’s heirlooms lovingly handcrafted today,
as a romantic tribute to the past.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SLGJewelryDesigns…

 

Ta,Ta, for now.  I’ll be keeping you posted as I have time to post.  This class is keeping me busy, busy, busy.

Class starts in less than 2 Days

The BALC Class starts on Tuesday.  Considering in the middle of December it felt like it couldn’t start quick enough, Christmas and New Years came and went, and now I feel like I need to rush to get ready.  I haven’t taken the tree down yet, I just got in one good size box of Vintage jewelry and another on the way, so those need to be researched, photographed and listed on Etsy…hopefully sooner, than later.  I’m still making new things for the store and considering repurposing some of the stuff that doesn’t seem like anyone likes.

satin brass with pearl earring repurp ruby silver earring repurp 4 clear rhinestone cigar ring ruby copper ring turtleback repurp pearl and rhinestone broooch

I did manage to squeak in just a little time to watch the documentary/movie on Netflix about Iris Apfel…what a wonderful woman. If you have a little time, I highly recommend seeing it if you have the opportunity.  The whole story of how she got to where she is in the fashion and jewelry world is very interesting. It is a little sad that she never thought of herself as pretty and she explains in full detail why. The relationship she has with her husband is just awesome.

Well, I got lots to do. I’ll be checking in sometime during the week I’m sure. Thanks for reading.

Since I Started Making Jewelry…

JinxyGirl--1

This is Jinxy, my little “ha,ha” mascott. She loves helping me, either by stealing my chair, stealing anything shiney that she can grab with a claw, or just plain getting in my way and meowing at me until she has 100% of my attention. Let’s just say she’s a bit spoiled,but I love her dearly.

Hi everyone,

As the holiday season continues to creep up on us, I am finding myself feeling a little overwhelmed, and Jinxy has been of no help at all.  No different than usual, I always want to get so so much done, but my brain doesn’t get to win every argument, since if my body decides to take a stand and say no more, it is usually expressed by being over tired, or the chronic pain and nausea that I usually have will suddenly worsen until I just have no choice but to stop, decide what is most important, and the rest gets to wait for another day or it just doesn’t get done at all. This year, since I am trying to make as much jewelry for my Etsy store as possible and it has taken up a lot of my free time, there will be no cookies getting baked this, unless my daughter makes them. I haven’t even put the tree up yet, let alone have time for shopping, and although I wish it were so simple,  I can’t make jewelry for everyone on my Christmas list.

Leather Bee

After the holidays are over, then it will be time to focus on the Build A Line Challenge class that I was accepted into. The class being taught by Brenda Sue Lansdowne, owner/operator/jewelry designer/mentor of B’Sues Boutique will run from January 5th through mid-April. This is an exclusive group, since this is only the 2nd year she is teaching the class, and its very limited in the number of students, because she wants to ensure every student totally understands the concepts and doesn’t fall behind. There will be 3 blog hops, so people not attending the class can follow along and see just how much we have learned. I am seriously looking forward to this class and have even joked that I wouldn’t mind just skipping the holidays and getting to work.BALC2016 Badge

But, January will be here soon enough. In the mean time, I work on all of the challenges that Brenda offers in her Facebook Group. B’Sues Boutique’s Creative Group has almost 4000 members and everyone within the group makes jewelry. Members may be totally new to jewelry making or some members are extremely advanced, have books published, teach their own courses, and everyone else is somewhere in between. One member may be very knowledgeable in metal work, whereas someone else may be more experienced in polymer clay or using patinas, and any other number of things. The group is a great place to learn through Brenda Sue’s tutorials or anyone in the group can ask questions, and if a member knows the answer, they are free to answer. There are absolutely no dumb questions.  Sometimes there are some very lively discussions. Everyone learns from everyone. The group is considered to be a “drama free” zone, so no one is made to feel unwelcome, and Brenda Sue takes it very seriously.

Yesterday morning, as I was reading through the group’s news feed, I read as another member was asking for answers to questions. These were actually questions I knew the answers to, so I replied. Within a short amount of time, other members were thanking me for answering, as they had the same questions. I haven’t been making jewelry for that long, however I am a very quick study and once I decide I want to learn something, I will start researching and asking questions, until I have learned everything there is to learn about that specific subject and then I move on to the next challenge.  Although I started out doing beaded necklaces, just like most people do, I wanted to learn more. My opportunity came when my husband bought me my first Blazer torch for Christmas, and I have loved metal ever since. I’m still learning, and getting tools, since working with metal requires special items, depending on what your doing to it.  I am going to stop here in regards to metal work for this post, since my goal of this post is to answer the easier questions that people new to jewelry making want to know and are sometimes afraid to ask.

First and foremost, if you truly want to make jewelry and if your intentions are to open an Etsy store, or sell on eBay or Amazon, you need to learn the basics and have the correct tools for the job. I highly recommend joining B’Sue’s Group on Facebook, since this is my sanctuary for learning. I have made some wonderful friends and I have learned 10x more than I could have possibly learned without this group. Its not hard to join, just go to her page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bsueboutiquescreativegroup/  and ask to join, its that simple.  She has free tutorials on YouTube that cover so many topics, you’ll want to jump in with both feet and get started. Plus you will get a good laugh watching her and her family who are often in the videos interact with each other. AND you may even get to see her kitty, Millie. She publishes a newsletter twice a week, http://www.bsueboutiques.typepad.com/  so everyone knows what’s happening, if she is running any contests or challenges, sometimes she gives away gifts and prizes. Every week is something new. She also sells the absolute best supplies and at reasonable prices: https://www.bsueboutiques.com or her Etsy store for bulk sales:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/bsueboutiquesupplies .

So, keeping everything above in mind, the question from one of the group’s newer members was how do you know that what you made is made well enough that it won’t just pull apart or break.  The real answer to this question comes down to having the correct products for what you are making.  The jump rings from B’Sue’s are all 18 gauge so they are much stronger than what you get at the big box stores. If money is a concern, you could get 18 gauge wire and make your own. Its truly not hard, as long as you have the correct tools, such as flush cutters for cutting the wire. You can also make your own ear wires and there is a little tool for it to make sure every wire you make is exactly the same shape and size. E6000 is the best glue for majority of your projects, unless your setting rhinestones with the foil backing, then you want the GS Hypo Cement, otherwise E6000 will eat away at the foil backing over time and the rhinestones will lose their shine. If what you’re putting together is heavier than normal, you might want to try riveting those pieces, or soldering if you have a torch. You can also solder your jump rings so they can’t come apart.

Another way of making your metal pieces stronger is to get a tumbler and you can harden a piece in just a short amount of time, it is also great for polishing the pieces to shine brightly, which by hand can take a lot of time, plus put wear and tear on your hands and fingers. One other thought I have is always make sure your glueing to the original brass….example if your using one of the necklace bases and you tissue decoupage it, the area that your glueing to, remove the tissue from that spot, just sand it off, so the piece being glued is glued to the brass and not the tissue or it could come apart. Tie NecklaceAnother important piece of information to know is always clean your brass components before you do anything else. When they come from the manufacturer they have oil on them from the machines and if you glue over the oil, they could come apart. So, it’s a good practice to keep in mind when you get an order delivered, use some Dawn dish soap and clean all of the brass components or copper, silver, etc. and then make sure they are very dry before you put them away and they’ll be ready to use when inspiration hits.

Holiday Shopping?

Hi everyone,

For all readers I hope this message reaches you happy and healthy; for those of you in the United States, I hope you enjoyed the turkey, stuffing, yams and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving…now the rush is on for everyone that believes in Santa Clause to start putting up the Christmas decorations and a tree, AND buying presents for those we love.

Personally I love buying gifts and seeing their expression when they open it…but, being a kid at heart, I love getting presents too and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Anyhow, I have been working my fingers off to make as much beautiful jewelry as I am able to for my Etsy store.  I will be making a few items that will be gifts for those I love, and I really hope you can find something in my store that will bring joy to someone you love.

My Etsy Store is running a HUGE sale from now through December 6, 2015 to hopefully compete a little against those big box stores that sells the same piece of jewelry to so many people.  I prefer one of a kinds and knowing someone took the time to make just one piece of jewelry that no one else will ever have, unless I give it to them in my will.  So, come on over to my Etsy store, https://www.etsy.com/shop/slgjewelrydesigns and use code CYBER25 and 25% off your order of $25 or more (through December 6-one coupon code per customer and only one coupon at a time please.), plus get free US Shipping.  Here’s a few examples of what you could buy.  Remember though, these are one of a kinds and if someone else gets to it before you do, it’ll be too late.  So, run, don’t walk…or should I say, type fast..LOL    Talk to you soon, Happy Shopping.

Chance of a Lifetime

Sorry, meant to get back to letting you know what was happening, but started working on the rest of this blog site, to make it more appealing and I think most people know how it goes. My exciting news is I got accepted into the Master Challenge Class for B’Sue Boutique’s Build A Line Challenge 2016.  The class will start in January and goes until mid-April. It’s a pretty exclusive class and Brenda Sue the owner of B’Sue’s Boutique is sharing all of her knowledge.  This is a chance of a lifetime, so I am extremely excited for it to start, however, I have to look at what’s happening right now…Next week is Thanksgiving already, then there’s black Friday and Cyber Monday.  So, I am going to be pretty busy from now through December.

I already have quite a bit of some hand made jewelry and I also found many pieces of vintage that I have saved and are up for sale instead of being discarded as trash or garbage. If it was possible to just clean them up and replace missing parts with matching time period pieces, I have. Some unfortunatley were too far gone to repair, so I have salvaged what I could and repurposed them into new pieces to continue on into history. I love my pieces and hope to share them with not just the generation of the person who purchaes them, but hopefully with that individuals’ daughter or son and have it continue to be a joy that meets many generations.

So please, if your looking for something special for a gift, esepcially if you celebrate Christmas, stop by my store on Etsy and make someone smile.

I will check back in soon and keep you updated. Ta,ta, for now!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SLGJewelryDesigns