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Bodacious Bangles


If you checked out my posts about the B’Sue Boutiques class you probably noticed the long list of my classmates at the bottom.  Maybe you did not have time to hop around and see all the beautiful work and their designs.   I love bracelets and I saw some fantastic pieces while I blog hopped and I thought I would bring some of them here.  I’m not going to get wordy, I’m just going to post pictures and links to their blogs.  If you see something you like, stop by and check out the rest of their work and tell them Lee sent you.

Hold on…….how about a little music while you scroll through these beauties.   The name of the song is Bright Lights but the key phrase, the name I call this song is You Gonna Know my Name…..and you are gonna know their names after you see their work!

 

marcia5uzz

Marcia Tuzzolino   Aurora Designs

jantague

Jan Tague  of Clever Designs by Jan

maricazammit

Marica Zammit  of Bead Lovelies

elizabethhildreth

Elizabeth Hildreth   Mad Scientist Designs

cassaday

Monica Cassady of MJ Cassaday Copper Designs

susanbowerman

Susan Bowerman   Woodside Wireworks

reneehong

Renee Hong    Fine & Dandy

nike

Nike Bottalico     of Nike Bottallico

Leilawest

Leila West    Leila Nicole Designs

Loribeek

Lori Beekman    B. Accessorized

erinwhit

Erin Whitaker    Shattered Time

There were a couple more but apparently they were protected so I could not get them to post, Dana Hickey and Kristy Le, sorry.

Last, here is one I made just for fun, to take a break from the men’s stuff I was making.   Hope you saw something you liked and visited my friends.

alice

 

 

 

March 28, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | , | 12 Comments

Build a Line Challenge: School’s Out!


 

Bsuebutton

Three months ago, I saw this badge while reading Brenda Lansdowne’s blog and determined to enter this challenge.  Little did I know just how much I would learn and how many cool ladies I would meet!  Over 50 of us entered this class, most with only a small idea of what we would accomplish.   There was much banging of heads, gnashing of teeth but lots of laughs and plenty of learning.

The class was free this time as it was the first time that Brenda Sue Lansdowne, of B’Sue Boutiques has offered such a challenge.  The only condition was that we use visible pieces from her shop, not an unreasonable condition at all.

The challenge was to complete 5 pieces of a cohesive line by the end of the 3 month period.   Sounded very simple, I mean, who could not do 5 pieces in 3 months?

Every time Brenda gave us  class notes, there were tons of questions and plenty of lively discussion.  We learned to research trends and styles even though we thought we were not fashion conscious ourselves, it was important to know what is trending.  We talked about color and its importance, about branding, about developing a cohesive “look” so that anyone who sees our work can tell that we made it.  We talked about pricing pyramids and everything under the sun.  To quote directly from Brenda herself  some of what we covered was

trends, color, using color to compliment customers, the selling pyramid, the diff between a hobby maker and a jewelry designer, the things that are necessary to become a jewelry designer, when lines become collections, pricing, quality components, how to manage manufacturing inventory so you don’t run out, how to pay attention to customer requests to learn how to design future lines….and how to concentrate on keeping looks together so that your style and brand remain cohesive

This was a very real challenge for me.  I had never made jewelry for men before.  I had never done assemblage before like most of the others.  I had never worked with lumiere paints (and they are so much fun I am now addicted).  I had only made OOAK pieces and had a great fear of being bored by reproducing the same pieces over and over.

While I had ordered from B’Sue before, almost none of what I ordered would fit into my line (or so I thought) and I had the challege of deciding what would work.  I ordered things I didn’t need and didn’t order things I could have used.  Most of all, I learned to FOCUS!  I think that was my hardest thing.  I am so easily distracted!  Now that I have focused, I can see many “series” in my lines and uses for so many more B’Sue items.

I learned about the difference between a collection, a line and a series.   What I have is Strega Jewellry’s Men’s Collection. It is called PHOPP and I felt it needed  its own shop and blog and “brand”

Here is my signage for shop, blog, FB page,  website (coming soon) and will be used on my business cards and tags.  Consistancy is important for a cohesive look that is uniquely mine. (I learned that in class)  I also needed a “catch phrase” that would tell something about my line.  I waivered between “gentlemen of esteam” and “esteamed gentlemen”, wanting to point out that this is not fashion/trendy jewelry but for cosplay.  I’m still not decided which is best and would like some thoughts on this.   I have chosen “gentlemanly” colors for “branding” of burgundy and jade green with creamy tans.  Their are reasons for those colors bit I won’t discuss them here.

phopps
For lack of any better names at present, I am calling my lines the Brass Line, the Copper Line and the Silver Line.  Each will have a series. Most chains will be hand made and all chains will be convertable. This stamps the look as MINE.  The focals will be mixed metals, interchangeable within the metals “lines”.   Some focals will be OOAK.

Although I originally intended this to be men’s jewelry only, I believe that many of the pieces will be unisex.  I do know that the collection itself will cater to folks who love cosplay.  I know this is a limited subculture but I am happy doing it right now.

I know……you want pictures.   I have the most done for the Brass Line.  I have other pieces on my table but need minor details before they are finished.  Here is where what we learned about “lead time” came in handy.  My stickpins bases have not arrived nor my cufflink bases, SIGH.   Here is a collage of the Faux Pearls series which includes a chain, focal, cufflinks and cravat pin.  The chain converts to a bracelet and shorter chain.  Chains will be my base pieces and toward the higher end because they are hand made.  Focals will fall into higher end and mid levels on the tier.  Bracelets will be mid level.  The cravat pins and cufflinks will be my lower tier products.

brasscollage

Also offered are a cravat pin (not shown) and a leather bracelet.

clockbrac

This bracelet blank from B’Sue is great for a men’s piece.  I’m not sure if you can see the little beetle under the goggles and leaves but he is there.  Blank, clock face, bug, rhinestone chain and leaves all come from B’Sue.

This focal can also go in the Brass line, the series of Order of the Kraken.  (I’d been reading  the Kraken King right before this challenge)

oklarge3

I fell in love with these Victorian button tops from B’Sue and used them for cufflinks in the Order of the Kraken series.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  So simple but so cool!  I could make dozens of these and not get tired of them!  I saw some other button tops on her site that will work well.

okcuff

These simple pieces are lower tier focals I will use with the brass line using these way cool dragonflies I  found at B’Sue.  I fell in love with these and wish I had a whole BOX of them!  I honed my lumiere skills painting these.

dragfly1

dragfly3

One last focal from the Entomology Series, a mother of pearl blister with one of Brenda’s fab beetle bugs.

mopfoc2

That is more than five pieces for the Brass line, Men’s Collection but I want to add a couple more items.  I do have pieces with natural stones but I am only showing here the pieces that use the most from B’Sue.

Here is a focal that will go in the Silver Line, Aviator Series using one of B’Sue’s balloon charms.  They paint up really nice, I think.  Note:  I used one of her brass gears and keys and the brass shows through on the balloon so this can be also used with the brass line.

balloon2

The Copper Line, I began in the last blog but I’ll put a collage up here just to refresh your memory.

coppercollage

This, again, is  my own chain but I used Brenda’s steampunk hats and gears on the focal and cufflinks and also have a cravat pin with the small hat.  These hats are the only thing I had in mind when I first planned to enter the challenge.  I found SO much more!  My whole line almost went out of control!

And last:  A huge copper focal that only used my own things I made myself with metal clay and dichroic glass.   I just HAD to have one OOAK piece.   This focal goes in the Order of the Kraken series.  It should have one of B’Sue’s little OK charms on it but I lost my last one somewhere on my worktable mess!  I’m going to need a lot of these.

OKfocalibg

So there we have it.  My Men’s Collection which will cater to those who love cosplay.   Series within the lines will be

Faux Pearls series which I showed here

Order of the Kraken (OK guys)

Aviator Series (balloons and propellers)

Entomologist Series (bugs and spiders)

Hat’s Off Series

Privateer Series (wait till you see that big clipper ship focal)

SOBS series (Secret Order of Baleful Snipers)

Paladin Series (western and horses)

It’s About Time Series

Mourning Jewelry Series

and, I’ll be making some pieces for those who love popular series or books, like Outlander or Truebloods  (come on with the bats!)   No Twilight, it’s already overdone.   I have seven costumes to make for the family outing to Comic Con this year and will need pirate jewelry for the Dread Pirate Roberts and his crew (my son and his boys are  going to advertise while they have fun).

Brenda, I definitely want to say thanks for this opportunity!    I’ve muddled along for quite a while, trying this and trying that but I think I have found my muse now with much help from you, your pieces and my classmates. I am honored that I was chosen to participate.   I will still keep a small Strega shop but I believe that PHOPP is going to be my main focus.   I can use all my other skills along with the new ones I acquired.  I can satisfy my desire to do original stuff at the same time.  I can be different even when using components that hundreds of others also use. I feel more focused..  AND, I met some fantastic and interesting people

I hope that some will be curious enough to follow along as I develop my presence, you can follow Liam Mac Steamish’s new blog, PHOPP’s Emporium.   Or “friend” Liam on Facebook.   I’ll annouce the opening of my shop both  there and here.

Here is a list of my classmates blogs.  They are doing some amazing things so check them out for yourself.

 

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques: Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino Aurora Designs

Jann Tague: Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King: Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford: Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott: Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson: Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten: Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit: Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck: VRBrose

Michaele Collie: The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig: Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman: Strega Jewelry X You are here

Erin Whitacre: Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady: MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West: Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson: Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher: Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen: Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger: Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams: Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara: LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth: MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey: Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo: Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark: Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman: B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger: Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen: Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed: Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson: Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields: Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam: Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis: The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico: Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman: Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le: Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters: Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider: Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett: Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson: From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton: Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman: The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter: TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer: Smithed Up

Renee Hong: Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris: Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer: Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams: Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier: Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen: Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams: Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens: 1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller: Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard: Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law: ab:coraldesign

 

 

March 20, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry, steampunk | , , , , , , | 64 Comments

Swapping Goodies


swapnhopbadge

Saturday was the deadline to send out our beads to our Swap and Hop partners and I barely made it.  Somehow, I lost my first partner but Shaiha Williams stepped up to be my angel and did I ever appreciate it!   Here is what I sent to her (and Shai, I had to use your pictures).   In my haste, I took pictures of what I was sending but when I went to use them they were unfocused and DARK (rainy, gloomy Ohio weather).   She did a great job on her blog so I just stole yours.

partner

On the left are all the beads I sent to match the components plus some little mother of pearl doo dads I picked up at Wonders of the Earth.   Bottom right are two ceramic focals, one from Bead Freaky and one from Glass Addictions.  That lampwork bead is from Covergirl Beads.    Top right is a clasp I made from copper clay and a Bronz Clay bracelet bar I made also.  I don’t have that many bronze pieces as I quit making them and I do not give them away frivolously but she stepped up so I could still be in the hop and took me on as a second partner and I much appreciated it, plus, I felt a kindred spirit after getting acquainted.

Shaila is a great gifter sending all my goodies in organza bags that I got to open one at a time!  Like Yule,  I was worse than a little kid!

swap1

Here are the goodies she sent to me.   Love these Goddess focals and the beautiful blue beads!   They are going to me MINE!  MINE!   MINE!  My grand daughter will covet them but she can wait until the will is read (Ha ha Jessie!)

swap3

 

These lampwork bows are really unusual.   I think I’ve got an idea what I am going to do with them but….you never know how my mind is going to work.  My idea is a little crazy…..ummm…you are not surprised?

swap2
And look at these pretty butterflies she painted to match the gorgeous beads!  I have a plan for these guys!

swap4

The real challenge is going to be this adorable little elephant.   Now, you know, I don’t do adorable.   I will say, aww, isn’t that so cute and go on and make something with spiders, snakes or bats, LOL, but look at him!   He’s so darn cute and look, he has a little elephant clasp to go with him.   Well, she has definitely got me working outside my dark and creepy comfort zone with this little guy.

swap5

Thanks Shaiha!!!    Stop back for the Swap ‘n Hop and see how I make out. Make sure that cutie pie is safe from swooping condors and giant anacondas!

March 18, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Language of Color: Green Vibes


According to Alison Lurie, the author of the Language of Clothes, green is the color for outlaws, fairies and Irishmen.

Pantone’s Communicating with Color states that according to scientific word association tests, most people equate green with nature, the outdoors and growing things.

The deeper shades of green with touches of black, like forest green and pine green give off quiet and traditional vibrations when you wear them.   Old money and prestige are also vibrations of this color.  Classic, classy and timeless are also words that come to mind.   This green can almost be used like a neutral color.  Almost anything will go with it.  This is your green most often used with fairy attire, the dark blends with forest pines and a grey tint gives the green a bit of mystery.

pine

These earrings from Paisley Lizard’s shop are perfect to wear with any color.  Their rich forest green with hints of deep blue  says class and style.

greenpaisleyliz

Emerald green, the lush bright green of the Green Man and Irishmen says, lush, fresh, lively, outdoorsy and connected to nature, very earthy and fertile.  When you add some blue to the emerald, the vibes you give off are soothing and cool, like ocean waves.

emerald

These earrings from Cherry on Top Designs are a perfect example.

greenearrings

or this scarf from Morgansilk

greenscarf

Mint green, or pastel green has cool and soothing vibrations.  when you wear it, you appear fresh and cool and calm.

shaihagreen

Circle Dance from Shaiha Designs.

Lime green says lively and refreshing, bouncy and vibrant, but be careful wearing it.  Wear it as an accent to liven up any outfit!   Too much lime can give you an air that puts people off…..they may think of tart acidic things.    Here is lime with different combinations of color to offset the harshness.

lime

These lime earrings from Steider Studio on Artfire are a perfect happy accent accessory.

greenblog

And this ring from Kelly Hostford Patterson’s shop, Pyxee Styx, is just so much fun, I would wear it with anything.

greenpeapod

Remember what we said about olive green when we talked about neutral colors.  It has such traditional associations with military olive drabs that you need to accent it with gold and russet colors,

So there you go.  Choose your green to suit your mood.   Here is a collection of accessories from my guild sisters on Artfire.     Surely with all these shades, you can find something fun to wear.

Handmade Gifts

March 11, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bead Swap Partner


May 2nd is the First Annual Bead Peeps Swap n Hop!   I know there are over 50 of us.  We get assigned a partner, we send each other beads then we make great jewelry from what our partner sends.

swapnhopbadge

My partner for this fun Swap is Shaiha Williams.   I’m excited about having her as a partner.  We seem to have a lot in common.  She’s an avid reader and from her book reviews, it looks like she is a fan fantasy and sci fi (my own favs).  She has a crew of animals at her house and is very aware of environmental concerns.  We also seem to have the same spiritual beliefs.   I like her already.

She lives in Washington State with her husband and pets and is a book editor.  She has a lively blog.  If you visit, it will be just like sitting down in her kitchen and having a chat.  Everything there seems to come from her heart.  I noticed last week, a mention of Leonard Nimoy (who I was secretly in love with for many years).  I enjoyed her book reviews too.  I’ll be keeping an eye on her blog because I’m always looking for new things to read.   It’s a lively place for sure.  She posts often and always has in interesting blog hop or contest with some beautiful jewelry plus pictures of various critters to liven things up.

I’ve seen Shaiha’s work around the internet.   She is a member of Znet Shows design team and always has really pretty designs in Creative Spark quarterly ezine.

Shaiha has a shop, Shaiha’s Designs.   She has a knack for taking an interesting focal and showcasing it with quality beads in a deceptively simple style that is very classy.  If you stop by, you’ll see some really pretty things.   I’m going to show you my favorites here.

shaihagoddess

I love this Goddess necklace, the colors, the focal and the earthy presentation.

shaihabracelet

She has some really cool bracelets also.  This one, called Clotted Cream is my favorite.

shaihalotus

These lotus earrings are gorgeous!  See what I mean about interesting focals?

And these are my favorite earrings of all.

shaihanevermore

Nevermore

I’m not sure what I’m sending her just yet.  I’ll keep you posted.    I’m excited to have her for a partner.

 

March 9, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | | Leave a comment

Creative Sparks Winter Issue


 

Creative Spark Fall 2014 Winter 2015

I am a proud member of the Znet Shows design team.  This means that, from time to time, I receive some of their beads which I must then use to create original pieces which may or may not be used in their ezine, Creative Spark.

Znet Shows is a wholesale website that has some really beautiful cultured sea glass which I LOVE to work with.   When they sent me beads for the winter issue, I was so happy with the colors and the styles!  THEN I read the enclosed and realized the theme I had to work with was ICY.   ICY!   and sea glass which makes me think of sunny beaches, not snow and ice.  What the heck were they thinking?

I was stumped for a while but one day just got out all my beads and started letting my brain do some mental doodling.   Actually, the colors they sent and the frosty look of sea glass was perfect for the wintery theme.

I’d like you all to go take a look at the winter issue of Creative Spark!  There are some very talented artists who are use other types of beads from Znet Shows so you can get an idea of what else they offer at their site.  There are earring tutorials and there is a great article about Yoga for Beaders.  To see this issue,  you can go to this link.   Enjoy it.  Share it with your friends!

 

I didn’t use all my beads this time.   These beautiful little starfish are going to be perfect for some summer barefoot bracelets!  And there are so many more colors!  I WANT!

starfish

and, I need some of these pretty little shells also though there are so many different colors I can’t decide which.

znetshells

and I have a strand of these beautiful sea blue chips! (Znet calls them pebbles, very apropos).   I see earrings and a bracelet happening!

znetpebbles

and I absolutely must buy some of these delightful fishbone beads.  They will make perfect daggers for a Halloween design I want to make later this year.

znetfishbone

A huge thanks to Hope Smithereen whose hard work is evident in this beautiful issue and to Bill Zhang of Znet shows who is kind and generous and easy to talk to and also runs Graphic Stock.

February 22, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, gemstones, Jewelry, znetshows | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Build a Line Challenge: Progress at Last


nevergiveup

 

Last week, my son posted this on his Facebook page.  I read it and thought how true it was.   He has had so much to struggle with these past years and I am so proud of him and the adversity he has overcome.  I commented on his post, and as I did, I thought……  he learned this from me.

I really needed that, to be put on notice that I should stand by what I taught my children.   I was ready to throw in the towel, to give up on BSue Boutique’s Build a Line Challenge  and resign myself to the fact that I was and always would be a hobbyist, a creator of fun things, one of a kind pieces,  and too scatterbrained to build a cohesive “line” of jewelry.

I had watched a video that Brenda posted to help us out.   In the video, she built the beginnings of a line in a few hours.   I had been struggling for much longer and had far less done.   What was different about me? I mean, what was different other than the fact that she has years of experience and knowledge?  Well, for one thing, Brenda knows every item she has.   I have things scattered all over the place and needed to sit down with a whole table full of different things and play around.   For another, she began with a big beautiful statement piece and took smaller components from that to create other pieces.  This was not exactly something I could do because I had chosen to build a men’s line and most men are not going to buy one of those big necklaces.

For a week after I watched the video I panicked!  I read the posts in class but refrained from commenting.  What exactly could I say?   ARGGHHH!   I can’t do this!   I’m too scatterbrained!  I can get great ideas but can’t follow through!   ARGHHHH.   What business do I have, at 70 years old, trying to fit into a culture like Steampunk?   ARGHHHH   I am the Charlie Brown of the B’Sue Build a Line Challenge!   ARRGHHHH!

Bsuebutton

charlie

 

Here’s where I was at when I watched that video.    I had discovered one thing about men’s jewelry.  SIZE MATTERS!!!!  Stop the snickering ladies and don’t go there!   Men have broader chests and somehow, I think their torsos are longer.   The links I usually make for my chains weren’t working.  They looked too frou frou.  I had torn apart my original links and switched to heavier gauge wire, like 16 instead of 20.  That worked well.   Men also need longer necklaces.   Steamers often wear cravats and vests and even greatcoats and I had to get my focals below the cravat line.   I found that a lot of the things I had ordered for links would not work with my links.

 

from Steampunk Emporium

from Steampunk Emporium

Here is another thing about men of “esteam”.   They do not go to Comic Con every week so the big piece or even the cufflinks or tie tac might not get worn a lot.   I needed something they could also wear for the regular life.  I also realized that this “line” was set to appeal to a smaller subculture.  I needed pieces that would appeal to other men.  Jewelry for men is a smaller subculture all by itself and now I was truly limiting myself.  What the heck do I use that will appeal to men in the mainstream culture at the same time?

Most are not big fans of flowers and glitzy gaud in their jewelry (unless they are a banger or rapper) and most do not go for lime greens and pinks so I wanted to stick with mostly the basics, antique gold, copper and silver with maybe some dark green, black and blue.

AND last:  Most men, given a choice would prefer a sleek convertible to s comfy station wagon.

With these thoughts in mind, I made some decisions.

   Number one:   All of my pieces would be convertibles.   Each chain will come apart and become either two necklaces or a necklace and a bracelet.   One of the necklaces would be more ornate.   The other could be worn with jeans and a tee or with an open neck shirt so that whoever bought them could get more use out of them which should encourage the expenditure of the more significant amount.  Another reason for doing this:  the plainer one would go behind the collar and actually be more comfortable to wear than a chain of all large links.

Number two:  All of my focals would be of mixed metals using all 3 (antique gold, copper and silver) so that any focal could go with any chain.

With these things in mind, I began to work on themes.   Here is what I have come up with.

These are my chains.   The links look like springs and vacuum tubes and in some cases, are gears.   There is one of each metal so far.   I am thinking of combining gunmetal and gold for another basic chain but that is not a given.

antique brass links

antique brass links

copper links

copper links

 

The first lower end items I made came from Brenda’s video on Beerings.    I turned the beer caps into key chain fobs.  My grandson loves to test outlandish beers so he hooked me up with some weird beer caps.  My personal favorite is the Arrogant Bastard beer cap (the black one).   His is the 3 Floyds (with the pink and green).   I added a spring/sprocket link and a clasp so they can be hooked to a key ring   OR…………to one of my chains.   Josh loves his, by the way.   What’s great about these is that someone could custom order one in their favorite beer as long as they mailed me two caps (one in case I mess up) and were willing to wait until I received the caps and made the piece.

beer cap key fobs

beer cap key fobs

 

The first “theme” type things I made used those big pearls from B’Sue Boutiques.  I love them!   I used one in the chain for the bracelet on the gold chain, made a cravat stickpin with another and two for cufflinks.   There is a set now.   You could start with any or all of them.   I had this old vintage brass and mother of pearl button and paired it with a dark jade donut focal for the chain.   I’m setting a precedent here.  All my stone focals will be one of a kind.  A man will not went to see his own focal all over comic con.   Men do have some sense of style after all.   This also allows me some freedom of expression of my own which I really need.  I cannot simply turn out piece after piece that is all the same.

pearls theme

pearls theme

 

I needed a “theme” for the copper and that’s where those cute little steampunkish hats come in.   Notice I used all 3 metals in this one.   This particular focal can be repeated over and over.  The cravat pin and cufflinks will also remain the same.  For a slight extra fee, I can make the focal badkground in different colors of patinaed copper.

basic copper chain

basic copper chain

copper seaparated

copper seaparated

hats focal

hats focal

 

hats set

hats set

 

The “silver” set is not actual silver but tinned copper, which is silver colored copper wire, much more economical and never tarnishes. I used a stone focal for the photos but, of course, that is detachable and any of the focals can be purchased for this set.  I also used some beads in this one.  I think I’ll stick with hematite  beads, a silvery black that is so beautiful.

basic silver set

basic silver set

silver set separated

silver set separated

The plain silver chain, for everyday wear is so simple, but any small charm can be added, a key, a simple gear, a small arrowhead, endless possibilites to express in everday life that you have steamy associations.

 

Where is the assemblage you are asking?   We’ve been busting our butts, painting, gluing and putting things together.   What the heck are YOU doing over there Lee?  Brenda is giving me a sideways look and thinking,……ummm…..Lee, this is supposed to be the B’Sue Build a Line, not Lee’s original chain and stone line.  I want to see more of my product out there.

I’m getting to it.  I’ve had starts and stops and abandoned my original idea and started another so I know I do not have as much done as the rest of you.  BUT, I”m getting there.

Here are some of the focals I’ve worked on this far.   Some are very simple to go with the plainer necklaces.  Some are not.   More are in the works.  Every focal comes with a clasp and can be detached.  A guy could have a whole wardrobe of focals if he wanted!  You go guys!

bugs and leaves

bugs and leaves

Purple Heart medal

Purple Heart medal

058

simple key

simple key

 

I’ve been a wire wrapper for a long time and have plenty of spare wrapped stones.   I’m thinking these wrapped stones would look great with the chains and while they might not be exactly steamy, they are manly.   I have this idea of gluing some of the little charms to them, as you can seen with the  white calcite and the little dragonfly charm.   I’m thinking that I can make up a few with a bug or a dragonfly or bird or key or more on them, then I could offer a selection of the charms and a person could choose which one he wanted on his stone (here I could add some color to match the stone also).

Ohio flint

Ohio flint

arrowhead

arrowhead

stones with charms

stones with charms

 

I have three more themes that I am working on right now, one uses bugs and will be lots of fun if it works out the way I plan.   One uses clocks.   I actually have the focal done but cannot show it yet because it’s getting published in an e-zine that comes out in March and I can’t use it in any blog or facebook page until after that.   I can only say it’s called Frozen in Time.   The cufflinks and cravat pin are not ready yet.  The last one uses those little propellers from B’Sue and while the focal should be fine, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how in the world I can use them for the cufflinks.   I believe they will catch on the jacket cuff and get ruined.   I need some biplanes!  Brenda!!!!!!  Any other ideas?

Anyhow, I’m having fun, lots of fun and am so glad I did not give up on this.  And, I’ve even gotten a reward of sorts already.  My son, Justin, is very sparing with praise.  I had him try on some of the pieces so I could judge if my size estimates were correct.  He actually said “these are actually pretty cool, mom”.    Even if my line never takes off and I sell nothing, I have learned so much from all of you and I am glad I did not throw in the towel.

Why not hop around and see what the rest of the gals in the challenge have made?   Here’s a list for you.

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques: Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino Aurora Designs

Jann Tague: Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King: Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford: Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott: Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson: Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten: Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit: Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck: VRBrose

Michaele Collie: The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig: Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman: Strega Jewelry X You are here

Erin Whitacre: Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady: MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West: Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson: Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher: Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen: Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger: Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams: Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara: LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth: MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey: Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo: Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark: Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman: B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger: Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen: Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed: Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson: Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields: Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam: Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis: The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico: Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman: Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le: Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters: Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider: Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett: Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson: From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton: Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman: The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter: TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer: Smithed Up

Renee Hong: Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris: Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer: Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams: Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier: Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen: Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams: Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens: 1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller: Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard: Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law: ab:coraldesign

February 20, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry, steampunk | , , , , , , | 69 Comments

In the Pink: Language of Clothes for February


February is Heart Month and of course, Valentine’s Day is the big commercial holiday so it’s only fitting that I chose pink for the color vibration of this month.   What are the messages you send when you wear pink?

When you wear pale pink, you send out a romantic vibration/message.   The feelings evoked by pale pink are of soft things, sweets and cute and cuddly.   On the downside, it sometimes sends out baby girl messages or vibrations of delicacy so if you want to impress your boss with you capabilities, don’t wear that pale pink dress.  Or, if you do, add some darker accessories to take away that delicate or babyish message.  Here’s one from Macys that sends out the young and romantic message without being too young.

lightpink

Dusty pink is my choice if I must go with pink.   It’s cozy, soft and subtle and has a romantic hint.   It’s really close to mauve which has grey undertones and subdued, sentimental vibrations.  It was my choice for my grand daughters wedding, a romantic occasion, somewhat subdued (yeah, right, you know me better than that though I did tone it down)   I had hat, dress, purse and jewelry all in mauve.   I felt beautiful and peaceful wearing it.  And that is part of the reason for choosing your wardrobe colors carefully, not only how you appear to others, but how you want to feel yourself.

sweet little old lady

sweet little old lady

Bright pink sends a whole different message:   it’s exciting, happy, energetic, youthful and spirited.   It’s fun, trendy and often considered “hot”   It’s attention-getting for sure.

Consider this hot pink necklace.   It actually has a sort of dark nature but the playful pink color makes it happier, poking fun at the death/goth aspect.

pinkskellie

Or these bangles, so fun, so playful.

103

I don’t think we need any pictures of “hot” dreses………….you can check out Victoria’s Secret for that .

Our last pink color is burgundy.  It’s vibrations are rich and elegant, very tasteful and txpensive

.   It’s a mature color but one that is incredibly feminine.   Pantone’s color of the year, Marsala, is a variation of burgundy.

How elegant is this set made by one of my guild sisters on Artfire, the Glam Duchess, Hegi Kazhachi

burgundy

And here is a collection of accessories from my guild sisters on Artfire.

 

Craft Supplies

February 10, 2015 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AJE Reveal


Every month, Art Jewelry Elements gives away three or four components made by one of their members.  If you are lucky enough to win, you join in the fun as a guest and make a piece with your component.  I was lucky in December and won these great beaded rings from Kristen Stevens studio.  they are made of little seed beads and teenie weenie little beads that are iridescent.  My gosh, I don’t know how she does it! Well, it got to be the second week in January and I still hadn’t received my component so I emailed AJE.  Some glitch in the mail I guess with the holiday season and all.  Anyhow, long story short, I ended up with 2 sets.  So I made 2 different things. For this first piece, I only used one of the rings.  I’m saving the other for a piece that is exactly like it.  when I saw these little brassy colored rings, I thought way back in time to riding a carousel horse.  Who was daring enough to reach all the way out and grab “the brass ring?” Remember the thrill.        stretching all the way out……… carousel My grand daughter, Kelsey, is turning 18 next month and she will graduate in June.  These are steps into the adult world.   I made this necklace with one of Kristen’s rings and one of my own bronze heart charms that says DARE.   I wish, for Kelsey, that she will always be brave enough to reach out and grab that brass ring and follow her dreams all of her life.   The copper chain has a pinkish color and so do those teenie weenie little beads on the ring so I put a hint of pink on the bronze heart.  (It’s Kelsey’s favorite color).  You can’t really see it in these shots though.  My camera batteries were low and somehow, it makes the pictures darker. 039 I wanted a close-up of those little rings to show how beautiful they are. 040   The other set, I made these earrings with copper filigree and “black” glass pearls from Swarovski.  I’m keeping them for myself, LOL. 027   Hop around and see what everyone else made.   It will be fun!

AJE team:

Kristen Stephens

Susan Kennedy

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Lesley Watt

Melissa Meman

Lindsay Starr

Jennifer Cameron

Caroline Dewison

Linda Landig

Guest Participants ( aka winners)

Lee – Strega Jewellry

Shai – Shai’s Ramblings

Samantha- Wescott Jewelry

Kathy – Bay Moon Designs

Nikki – Silver Nik nats

Melissa Trudinger

Becky Pancake

Yvette – Blue Kiln Beads

Karin – Ginko et Coquelicot

Bonus participants!

Sarajo Wentling

Leah Curtis

Susan Delaney

Karen Z

Christine Walker

January 31, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | , , , | 14 Comments

Pretty Palettes Challenge


Every month, Erin Prais-Hinz posts a color palette for Halcraft.   Just so you know, you can find the beads at Micheals Craft stores.   Erin always has a great blog about the color palette of the month and everyone is invited to play along, creating something with beads from that palette. This month, the January Pretty Palettes Challenge was to be in colors that matched Pantone’s color of the year, Marsala.    This was her photo.

prettypalettes

I’ve always got some beads around from Micheals and just happened to have some dusty pink and some wine colored ones.  I also had an old fashioned bonnet focal and some little tea party charms that I had been wanting to use some way, some how.  So I got out some alcohol inks, colored the bonnet focal, put some tiny  garnet beads with the pink and wine beads, made a bit of beaded chain with the garnets and wire  This is what I came up with.

029

Garden Party Necklace

 

I know, Erin, I probably should have taken a photo of the beads from Micheals before I used them.     I did, however, keep the SKU numbers for two of the bead strands. YAY for me!

garnets    10120993

dusty pink     10401972

January 28, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, gemstones, Jewelry | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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