Friday, March 20, 2015

B'Sue Boutiques Build a Line Challenge--Part 3





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Do you see the lines above? Actually, it is a "collection" of lines! They go together, but are totally separate. But that is not the type of line I want to talk about today. The "line" I am going to show you today is jewelry made from gemstone cabachons I have collected over the years, most of them from Judy McCourt and brass findings, mostly from  B'Sue Boutiques .

Three months ago a group of us began this journey with teacher Brenda Sue Landsdowne of B'Sue Boutiques. She gave of her time and expertise to teach us how to build a line of jewelry to sell. But it was so much more!! We learned about color, components, pricing, fashion, blogging, the difference between a "line" and a "collection" and the pyramid related to selling what we make. You can read Part one and Part 2 by clicking on the links.

Finally, pictures of the jewelry I made!

Simple necklaces


Mookaite and Malachite with brass chains.



Labradorite, Azurite and Malachite with Chrysocolla, and Seraphinite with Sterling Silver chains.


Laramar, Faceted Amethyst, Azurite, Turquoise, and Labradorite in ring findings from B'Sue Boutiques.


Have you seen this brass crescent from B'Sue? This is what I used to make several bracelets!


Used bronze patina, and other patinas and findings to adorn this cabachon-topped bracelet.


A crazy lace cab used with  brass findings oven baked with vinegar and salt.




Brass findings colored by Swellegant and Gilder's Paste.


Moss agate with a copper cuff torched for color by me.



I have more bracelet components ready to put together. Below is Lepodolite with painted brass findings, jade and amethyst beads.





Seraphinite cab and beads.




Below is Leopard jasper and Goldstone with Crab Agate and Ocean Jasper beads



Montana Agate with Black Onyx and Smoky Quartz.



Picture jasper with Czech beads.


A big Ruby, with raw Ruby beads and brass!!



Earrings made with Kyanite, Black Tourmaline, Unakite and Fossil Jasper.



Turretella, Lapis x 2, and Turquoise with Swellegant-altered spoons.


So, do I have a cohesive line? The short answer is yes. The long answer is .....it depends. Making a line from cabachons is challenging. To use pre-made components, I need to have a stock of certain-sized cabachons, which may not always be available. To make earrings, I need to have matching pairs of cabachons. It was a real challenge to find those matching cabs for eight pair of earrings.

I learned so much from my classmates. I am sorry to see this class come to an end. The conversation, the aha moments, and the verbal exchanges were unmatched for any class I have taken. Thank you, everyone, and especially thank you, Brenda! Want to see what everyone else did?

Brenda Sue Lansdowne --TeacherJewelry Making Outside the Box
Marcia TuzzolinoAurora Designs
Jann TagueClever Designs by Jann
Judy KingApt to Wander Studio
Linzi AlfordMagpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales
Cynthia WainscottExotic Peru
Carole CarlsonBeadsophisticate
Lynn StintenDragonzwench
Marica ZammitBead Lovelies
Catherine ShattuckVRBrose
Michaele CollieThe Vintage Gem
Mary CraigJewelry Alchemy
Lee KoopmanStrega Jewelry
Erin WhitacreShattered Time Jewelry
Monica CasadyMJCasady Copper Works
Leila WestLeila Nicole Designs
Cindy PetersonHowling Dog Jewelry
Leila BelcherLeila Bee Designs
Gloria AllenWings and Beads
Pamela AngerNovegatti Designs
Tammy Adams                                                           Paisley Lizard  
Lynda O’MaraLOmara Creative
Elizabeth HildrethMadScientistsDesigns
Dana HickeyWind Dancer Studios
Janet CalardoJan Lea Designs
Maria ClarkSweet Willow Designs
Lori BeekmanB. Accessorized
Jennifer KroegerRelic Charm
Amy JorgensenHoarder’s Corner
Robin ReedArtistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs
Ingrid AndersonLilis Gems
Louise O’ShieldsDesire Divine Jewels
Susan KillamKillam Creative
Mary Katherine DeisThe Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry
Nike BottalicoNike Bottalico
Susan BowermanWoodside Wireworks
Kristy LeKristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs
Jan PetersStylized Vintage
Mitzie CriderNeedful Luxuries Occasional Blog
Gina HockettFreestyle Elements  **You are here**
Linda AndersonFrom the Bead Board
Alexandra SeftonImaginary Jewelry and Altered Art
Melida BomanThe Journey of Pens and Things
Teresa ShurterTreeZ’s Treasurs
Melissa LatimerSmithed Up
Renee HongFine and Dandy Jewelry and Art
Nadine EdrisMoondance Jewelry
Lori MeyerParisienne Girl
Jennifer Merrill WilliamsArtists of All Stripes
Denise Lussier PoirierJewelry by Denise
Renee AllenSmall Stuff Design
Autumn AdamsAutumn Dawns
Elizabeth Owens1996 Shabby Lane
Kat BarronMillerMidnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry
Sandra BallardMama San’s Mojo
Coral Lawab:coraldesign

Friday, February 20, 2015

Build A Line Challenge from B'sue Boutiques, Gina Hockett of Freestyle Elements, Part Two


From my first post about the Build a Line Challenge, taught by Brenda Sue Landsdowne of B'Sue Boutiques


This was a picture of my worktable as I sought to combine my collection of gemstone cabachons with brass stampings from B'Sue Boutiques to create a line of jewelry that would be cohesive, be recognizable as mine, and that would narrow my focus to build a successful business, creating jewelry to sell.

The journey so far has provided some valuable discoveries. Before, I made pieces of jewelry that pleased....me. As I tried to narrow my focus to concentrate on designing pieces of jewelry that would be profitable and pretty, I discovered that there was so much more to building a successful business...and designing and creating jewelry.

I started with these pieces. Doesn't everyone love Lapis and it's deep blue color?


And these pieces..


I tried to keep in mind the cost of supplies and gemstones,  the time that it took to create and finish a piece, and a final price point goal.  As I played with combinations of gemstones and brass stampings in different finishes, I asked some hard questions, then realized how many possibilities that there are in the direction I wanted to go.



Rhodonite and Ebony Black.



There is a sapphire in the group below--


Zebra jasper, Leopard jasper, (uh-oh, my cat is named Jasper), Labradorite, and Pietersite with Ebony Black stampings from B'Sue Boutiques.


Did I want to pursue this direction? Or try another combination or combinations?


Variscite and Noreena Jasper with Swellegant colored raw brass stampings.



How many lines could I create? More possibilities danced together.


Unakite and Turquoise finish brass earring stampings above. Fossil jasper and Malachite in the ones below.



After contemplating so many different combinations, I realized that color is a big player in determining possible outcomes. Since color plays such an important part in everyday fashion choices, perhaps I needed some illumination and education concerning how fashion affects jewelry choices, which affect jewelry sales. In fact, there were several big discussions among participants in this challenge on acquainting ourselves with what is happening in the fashion world. 


How would my choices affect my sales if fashion knowledge were incorporated into the decisions that went into making a cohesive line of jewelry?  What is big in the fashion world now and what will be big in a few months? 

Would the following pieces have a place in someone's jewelry wardrobe if I were to make, market, and try to sell these--when they become finished, of course! 

Tourmaline chips, ruby, and Lepodilite with B'Sue brass stampings.


Would more "valuable" gemstones have more of a place in a fashion conscientious woman's wardrobe? Would perceived value influence buying decisions?  In the picture below, there are rubies, turquoise, labradorite, seraphinite, picture jasper, and turretella gemstones along with brass stampings from B'Sue Boutiques. No additional colorization on the brass has taken place.

Turquoise, anyone? Notice the turquoise is much smaller than the other stones represented here.



Labradorite ring.


B'Sue's exclusive Silverware Silverplate finish--along with Seraphinite,  Kyanite, and Black Tourmaline.



The more precious gemstones, of course, command a higher price. Would that price meet my pricing goals for a finished line that would sell well?

In thinking how color and perceived value affect pricing and buying choices, I did find one color combination that I personally love.



Jasper, one of my feline darlings, loved it so much he tried to help me paint the flower pink to match the pearl. It went so well with B'Sue's chocolate findings! I think he wants a bowtie with a flower to show off his personal style!

Tune in next month to see how I finished my line--or lines. This class has been a spectacular experience so far. My visualizations may be far different than reality when I am done, but isn't that the beauty of taking such an awesome class with a knowledgeable, experienced teacher? Thank you Brenda Sue!!  In the meantime, take a look and see how my classmates are faring:

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques


Marcia Tuzzolino
Jann Tague
Judy King
Linzi Alford
Cynthia Wainscott
Carole Carlson
Lynn Stinten
Marica Zammit
Catherine Shattuck
Michaele Collie
Mary Craig
Lee Koopman
Erin Whitacre
Monica Casady
Leila West
Cindy Peterson
Leila Belcher
Gloria Allen
Pamela Anger
Tammy Adams
Lynda O'Mara
Elizabeth Hildreth
Dana Hickey
Janet Calardo
Maria Clark
Lori Beekman
Jennifer Kroeger
Amy Jorgensen
Robin Reed
Ingrid Anderson
Louise O'Shields
Susan Killam
Mary Katherine Deis
Nike Bottalico
Susan Bowerman
Kristy Le
Jan Peters
Mitzie Crider
Gina Hockett--You are here!!  
Linda Anderson
Alexandra Sefton
Melida Boman
Teresa Shurter
Melissa Latimer
Renee Hong
Nadine Edris
Lori Meyer
Jennifer Merrill Williams
Denise Lussier Poirier
Renee Allen
Autumn Adams
Elizabeth Owens
Kat BarronMiller
Sandra Ballard
Coral Law

Friday, January 23, 2015

Build A Line Challenge from B'sue Boutiques, Gina Hockett of Freestyle Elements, Part One


Wow!! My worktable today! Something must be going on here!!



Hi! I am Gina Hockett of Freestyle Elements. I applied and was accepted into the master class that is a three month Build A Line Challenge class under the tutelage and guidance of Brenda Sue Landsdowne, of B'Sue Boutiques  Many of you have probably seen her teaching videos that are actually mini classes on many different jewelry making techniques. As the first in a series of three blog hops, this hop will explain what the Build a Line Challenge is, how I came to be here, and where I hope this three month journey will take me. There are almost sixty other participants on this journey as well, and we all hope to create a cohesive line of jewelry with at least five finished pieces for the final reveal. 

Gizmo, one of my seven feline family members, remembers the day that I became involved in designing and making jewelry. My first foray into the world of jewelry design and construction was introduced by my daughter-in-law, and the frenzy of bead buying began. Blissfully stringing my way to simple, then more complicated designs, the hunger for knowledge pertaining to the myriad ways of putting together a necklace or bracelet intensified. I wanted to do it all--wire wrapping, metalsmithing, mixed media, assemblage, resin, polymer clay, metal clay, ceramics and porcelain--the list is long....and varies significantly from one technique to another. The need to focus on honing my skills and find my "niche" began to weigh heavily on me, paralyzing my hunger, replacing it with lethargy. Sort of like Gizmo after eating his evening meal. 



 B'Sue, who runs the Facebook Group B'Sue Boutiques Creative Group suggested this challenge as a Master Class on creating a cohesive line of jewelry with at least five finished pieces of jewelry. The goals were that the jewelry pieces had to go together, is recognizable, and additional instruction in pricing, marketing, and blogging would be provided as well, at no cost! I jumped at the chance to narrow my focus and to make jewelry for a specific targeted group instead of just for me or my friends and family. B'Sue was volunteering hours and hours of her time and expertise to help all of us gain insight and knowledge into becoming a successful jewelry artisan.


Jasper must have felt the exact same way as I did when I was accepted into the class/challenge.The application process required a specific theme, so I went through every bit of my "stash" trying to narrow it down. 


After narrowing down the items I thought I would use, I had to narrow them down again. 










Oh, wait, that wasn't all of them.Here is more!!








Still more to consider.......


And what would I use with these items? Bezels are required to have something to show off.....Shown below are just a few of my gemstone cabachon collection!

Should I go with just a certain color----like black, for instance?


My components for Build A Line Challenge will be gemstone cabachons nestled in beautiful brass bezels and mounts, attached to brass necklace, ring, and/or brooch blanks. These choices leave a certain amount of flexibility pertaining to color, colorization techniques, target appeal, and can be done within a very reasonable price point. 

Hmmm, kinda like this unfinished piece:


I used a raw brass necklace blank and deep bezel blank, colored with Swellegant Patina and used an aqua-colored brass cover, all from B'Sue Boutiques. The gemstone cabachon is a lovely Jasper in colors that complement the Swellegant. Needs a little work, but almost finished!

Be sure and tune in next month to see the progress being made. It is bound to be sensational!

As Magellan, one of my resident felines (named after the world traveler) would say--Don't forget to visit all of the other participant's blogs that are listed below. I am sure there are some very exciting things happening!! And thank you, Brenda Sue Landsdowne, for donating your time, expertise, knowledge, and experience to this group of creative souls. You are appreciated and loved!



Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques
Marcia Tuzzolino
Jann Tague
Judy King
Linzi Alford
Cynthia Wainscott
Carole Carlson
Lynn Stinten
Marica Zammit
Catherine Shattuck
Michaele Collie
Mary Craig
Lee Koopman
Erin Whitacre
Monica Casady
Leila West
Cindy Peterson
Leila Belcher
Gloria Allen
Pamela Anger
Tammy Adams
Lynda O'Mara
Elizabeth Hildreth
Dana Hickey
Janet Calardo
Maria Clark
Lori Beekman
Jennifer Kroeger
Amy Jorgensen
Robin Reed
Ingrid Anderson
Louise O'Shields
Susan Killam
Mary Katherine Deis
Nike Bottalico
Susan Bowerman
Kristy Le
Jan Peters
Mitzie Crider
Gina Hockett
Linda Anderson
Alexandra Sefton
Melida Boman
Teresa Shurter
Melissa Latimer
Renee Hong
Nadine Edris
Lori Meyer
Jennifer Merrill Williams
Denise Lussier Poirier
Renee Allen
Autumn Adams
Elizabeth Owens
Kat BarronMiller
Sandra Ballard
Coral Law