BALC Master Class – Blog Hop #1


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?


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

  1. 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


Please mark your calendars and join us!



49 thoughts on “BALC Master Class – Blog Hop #1

  1. Hey Shari – great post! I loved learning about who you are. Thank you for sharing with us! I think it’s inspiring how you’ve faced hardship, and you’ve kept going. You always seem like such a positive person. That picture of your poor dog is so appropriate – now our class motto needs to be “Don’t be like Bailey!” We should never be afraid to go down the stairs, maybe just a little cautious. Can’t WAIT to see your line!


  2. I enjoyed your blog Shari. I admire your focus and determination to do what you want to accomplish despite challenges. That is what it takes. Just keep moving forward!!! The class is amazing is it not?
    I am happy you are with us.


  3. Hi Shari,

    I enjoyed reading your story, and look forward to everything you create in class. Your cameos are so pretty, I know you’ll come up with something fabulous!


  4. I admire your spirit of wanting to learn. What a great accomplishment to get as far as you did with your degree! i look forward to learning with you and seeing all that your accomplish for yourself through this experience.


  5. Thanks for sharing with us Shari!

    Jinxy makes me smile and laugh. She is much like my little troublemakers. The newest of mine now shreds up paper towel rolls and toilet paper.

    I think your idea for doing cameos as a line is pretty cool. I have never seen a cameo line. Will there be more cat cameos? I know I really liked those pieces that you came up with so far. I guess I will have to wait and see! Whatever you do, I’m sure it will be awesome!

    You have had a long path to get you to where you are. It is inspiring. Like you, I have been a restless sort of person. I was always involved in the arts, but I was told that art was not lucrative, and I needed to focus on a “real” profession. Here I am now with more degrees than a thermometer – doing art, (and no I don’t have any arts degrees).

    You can do whatever you set your mind to, whether it is building a line of jewelry or going back to school – you don’t need to be afraid of the stairs like Bailey. You ARE stronger than that.

    I think learning is very important for everyone – no matter your age! 40 is nothing, I have met women in their 60’s going back to school for degrees. Their kids were all grown up and they wanted to take their life in a new direction. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! If you want it – go for it, don’t let anything hold you back – you are worth following your dreams!


    • Thank you Diana, for all of your words of encouragement. Finding jewelry making has truly been a life savor for me. When all of my medical problems started I was very depressed and felt like a burden to my family and somedays I still do. I can’t drive anymore, so I am constantly having to rely on my husband or my daughter to take me to where I need to go, whether its a doctor appointment or just grocery shopping. Making jewelry has given me a new purpose/goal and on the days when the pain is bad, jewelry is my reason to force myself to get up in the morning.


    • Oh yes, she will try, but I have everything stored in containers now and I do most of my work on my dining room table and she’s too chubby to jump up on the table. Plus she knows tables and counters are no, no’s. But if I forget to put the lid on one of the containers and if its sitting on the floor she will very quietly reach in and grab a plastic bag…lol.


  6. Lovely blog Shari! I have some cameos that belonged to my Grandmother. They are going to be fabulous I just know it! Need to keep an eye on Jinxy….she just might end up with some of them 🙂


    • Thank you so much for visiting Val. I appreciate your support. I love cameos too, especially the old ones. So I’m leaning towards seeing if I can make the new ones look old. We’ll see how this goes.


  7. I almost went with cameos for my theme, I really like them. I’m looking forward to seeing your line. Also, thank you for what you say in class. Many time it is what I wanted to say. Enjoy creating..


    • No need for thanking me on asking questions…remember, there are no dumb questions. Sometimes I don’t understand something based on the way it was said, so usually someone will word it differently and then my lightbulb turns on.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Renee. I really can’t take credit for the size of my pictures. I just take the pics with my phone and PicMonkey does the rest for cropping, etc. I’m not real techy, so I actually don’t know how to change the photo sizes.


  8. Hi Shari,
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I took the exact same classes as you. English, children’s lit etc. How cool to know we share so many interests! I loved your blog, and your theme of Cameos is a great idea. I can’t wait to see what you make!


    • Thanks Chris, its funny but I knew we were becoming friends when you, me, and Kristy were up in the middle of the night and talking about chickens…lol. I did buy 2 of those roosters, but still have no idea of what I’m going to do with them.


  9. ::Toby waves to Jinxy:: Loved your post, Shari, and learning more about you. Using cameos as a theme is a great idea, and I’m looking forward to seeing your beautiful creations with them. Great to be in the BALC with you!


    • I’m so happy to be in class with you too. Your work is an inspiration for me, so I’m really hoping I can learn a lot from Brenda, but also you and the rest of the very talented Artists in this class.


  10. Shari, I like cameos allot so will look forward to seeing what you will create with them. It was a very nice and informative post.


    • Thank you so much for visiting Elisabeth. I’m looking forward to see what I’m going to do with the cameos too. I’m still trying to figure out my style.


  11. Shari, thank you so much for sharing your story. I think your choice of theme is just great – after all, who doesn’t like cameos??? I look forward to seeing what you create, and also look forward to working with you in the class and getting to know you better. Cheers!


    • I’m looking forward to getting to know you better too. I’m still undecided as to what I am going to do with the cameos. I have lots of ideas, but need to narrow them down. Fortunately, I really stocked up on the cameos, so I have extra If I mess something up.


    • Thank you so much for visiting Marcia. I am so happy to be in class with you and all of the other awesome artists. I really hope to create a truly awesome line that will help me create more sales.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for visiting Jann. This class is definitely an adventure and I’m happy to be in it with you and all of the other fantastic artists.


    • Thank you Ginger. I appreciate the support I have gotten from everyone in our class and I’m happy to be sharing it with you.


  12. You made it, Shari! And I know how challenging your week was. Please know you are loved and appreciated. You have so much drive and devotion to what you have taken on….jewelry making! Every suggestion has been humbly taken into account and you have improved so much in your skills. You’re gonna make it, kiddo. I have NO doubt. XOXO


    • Thank you so, so much Brenda. I am so happy you allowed me to be in this class and for sharing all of your knowledge. You have done so much for me, I don’t know how I will ever be able to repay you. I am so happy I stumbled upon your youtube videos and joining the creative group. I have learned so much already and having you as my mentor/instructor and friend, I can’t see anything but blue skies and bright sunny days. XOXO


  13. Shari, it sounds like you are one strong lady. I am glad to be in class with you and cannot wait to see your jewelry. Also I really like your peachy background color here, I find it both cheery and soothing .


  14. Tell little Jinxy to keep her paws off of those cameos! I want to see what you do with them. Your blog is beautiful, Shari and I am enjoying being part of this adventure with you. I’m certain the things which you make will be beautiful.


    • Shari – thank you so much for sharing your story and more about your journey through this life. Jinxy looks terribly mischievous and seems to be trying to work out how to steal those beautiful cameos. I am looking forward to continuing this journey with you and am hopeful you will begin to see your style and theme come to life over the coming months 🙂


      • Thank you Christine, I believe in Brenda and am taking everything she has said into account and trying to figure out how to apply what I’ve learned and am still learning. I have ideas for my cameos, but nothing actually decided completely yet. And don’t worry, my cameos are being kept very far away from Jinxy’s big paws.


    • Thank you Susan, it is an honor to be in this class with you. I’m still uncertain of what I am going to do with the cameos, but as I learn more in class, I should be able to narrow it down.


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