Thursday, February 19, 2015

B'Sue's Build-A-Line Challenge Blog Hop 2 is Here!

Last time we chatted, I shared that I had been doing a lot of thinking. And, boy, have I. There are 55 other women in this classroom and we have been talking about a lot of things. Pricing, favorite designers, what makes a line a line—all of this plus more has been discussed. What designer’s really inspire us? What inspiration drives us to create?

Flowers drive me. I failed to mention two other influences which have gotten me into this task of creation: Wendy Baker’s assemblage and collage jewelry and The BSK My Fair Lady Collection of Jewelry created for the film. I mentioned a few in the last blog, and you can go back and read it, if you want to. It’s just below in an earlier blog.
I fell on Bendy Who’s (persona for Wendy Baker) site on Etsy about six years ago.  What she was doing with metal flowers-OMG! The monochromatic flowers were fabulous. The color combos were fresh and unique. And that was just for the component site.  When she put things together for sale, she prepared with a line in mind. The collage arrangements were over the top runway gorgeous.  If you haven’t been introduced to her style, Google her name. It was a real inspiration.  What I learned from studying the pieces that she made was that she showed consistency yet diversity in her designs.  Yet, you always knew they were hers. I also learned you had to use quality materials for quality results.
The BSK My Fair Lady line was all about the flowers—colorful, enameling holding the line together in rich colors on Russian Gold Plate.  Glorious! I had the entire collection at one point.  Beautiful.

How difficult could it be designing a line? Easy peasy, you say? In what universe, I ask?
I thought this would be an easy thing to do.  Had my ideas. Ready to go. Ordered my pieces. And then we started talking in class.  And this was and still is a very good thing.
Somewhere in the middle of some night I was awakened by the thought that I was used to doing one of a kinds.  Even if they looked similar, they were not a line.  Essential questions like, would I have enough materials available to do 10 or 12 of each piece if I needed to emerged and demanded an answer.  And, I had to listen and start all over at the beginning because I was repurposing or using limited vintage components. And much of that work did not come with hundreds of pieces to purchase and use.

This is one unfinished piece I could justify getting enough of the vintage pieces from B'Sue and another vendor. In progress--please note that! My sole regret that as a non experienced person with a blade, I could not cut out the back of the cameo setting before mounting to show the light through the intaglio cameo I had placed onto the base.

I teach English.  To high school students.  Most days.  When they will listen.  Which isn’t often.  For the past thirty years. Please don’t judge me by my writing here. I say that, to say this: when writing, one must know one’s audience. Speaker. Audience. Occasion. Purpose. (How stuffy was that?) So, back to basics for me. . .to whom did I want to sell ?  Who was my audience? 

I wanted to do my thing.  I wanted to make flowery semi-steam punk beautimous deliciousness which would elicit awe and perhaps money. And I started putting together stampings. And I thought I had it.  Didn’t LOVE it, but I thought this will do for the assignment. How many times had I done that in college classes? This is what I thought I would use when I started. . . and I did.  Sort of. . . .

Then the class talked about a lower tier impulse collection for the line. Not lower quality , mind you—lower price.  Something that would make a girl scream, “That’s it! The price is right!  I want it now!” And so, I started there. And everything changed.

These pieces reflect my theme.  I do not feel as if I settled for anything.  My audience is women aged 16-65. These pieces are clean, classic and timeless. Anyone could wear them. I do not see them as trendy. I could see these being part of a yearly collection of favorites. . .worn with all white as spring slides into Summer.  I could see them being found years later and being worn as contemporary as they are today. 

                                                           This is the gold plate

                                               This is the silver plate

I call them “The Hidden Portal.”  They come in silver plate and gold plate .  I chose to place them on neck wires instead of on chains as the neck wires work so well with B’Sue’s charm bracelet wires so connect in terms of line and construction. Portals are important for time travel in most steam punk art.  The gold plated and Silver Plated rings on the white floral resin pieces and the connectors are all B’Sue’s.  These pieces are part of my lower tier—high quality—low price—giving you a taste of what you can expect and then making you return for other pieces. They are still femme but less Victorian fussy.
I have designed the charm bracelets so they have a few charms on them.  I did not want them overladen with cha chas. Not a hater of cha cha's. . .I have made and sold many of those.  I wanted them clean and simple.  I wanted them unburdened so a person could see the beauty in buying several and wearing them layered together. These are in progress as I need to add flowers to them.

Here is the list of supplies that were used for these products. All are available on the B’Sue Boutique of B’Sue ETSY sites.  I have links listed.

Pear Shaped Acrylic Flower

Supplies- Big Satin Matte Connector

Brass Circlet Steampunk Connectors

Brass Circlet Silver plate Connectors

Wire Charm Bracelet Antique Silver

Wire Charm Bracelet Gold

This is what constitutes the lower tier bread and butter pieces of the line. It’s just a sneak peek at what’s to come!  See you soon and don't forget to give me a holler so I know what's on your mind.  Questions are welcomed!

So, now onto the rest of the Blog Hop:
Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques
Marcia Tuzzolino
Jann Tague
Judy King
Apt to Wander Studio
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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What's Up ? Blog Hop 2!

So, what have you been doing the last month?  I can tell you what I have been doing. . .a lot of thinking about a lot of things.

We’ve been having many, many talks about many, many things in the B’Sue Build –A Line classroom.  How to price our items. . .what designers inspired us. . .how to look at designs for lines.

Some designers that inspire me are Miriam Haskell, Edgar Berebi, and the 1928 Jewelry Company—assorted Designers, I am certain.  Art Nouveau pieces—inspired in France and Eastern Europe.  Lalique. The light that shines through the plique a jour. . .how to simulate that using stampings.

A secret you must know about me, before we begin, is that I am a collector and purveyor of Vintage and Antique Costume Jewelry. I don’t covet the rhinestone bling as some do, but I am known to have some brilliant stones in clip earrings that I have worn to work and have been handed my mom’s D and E (Juliana) that she was given by her mother at Christmas which I will wear.  I more than appreciate a good deal only next to a phenomenal markup and sale at my end. I love the figurals.

I love the cagework on Haskell.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with cagework, it is wire work on a base that has holes all over it, or more recently, on filigree pieces.  If you type in cagework on B’Sue’s sight, it leads you to metal items often associated with cagework such as leaf grouping. 

There are 15 pages on the site that show filigree findings useable in cage work. 

How easy would it be to attach components such as flowers, leaves, birds to this in assemblage using wire? It’s actually the hunt for components like these that led me to B’Sue’s site and these wonderful groups that she supports in such a positive manner.

The Berebi pieces that I was first introduced to were the earrings.  It was the 1980’s.  Everything was big.  Big hair.  Big color.  BIG earrings.  Shoulder pads. Amazing.  And in and amongst it all was a designer for such an eclectic line that it stretched from earrings to broaches to accessories to mezuzahs.  As well as a little known Santa line which shows great whimsy. The 1928 pieces I love are the ones that are either figurals with acrylic or the silver plated cherubs.  One of the reasons I veer towards B’Sue’s silver plate is because of the high quality on it.  It reminds me of that set , which I have collected.

That being said, as we roll into the next blog hop, on Friday the 20th, which I am so excited about. . .I wanted to go ahead and invite you to join us.  Please make the time.  And leave us a bit of a note, would you?  Always good to hear what people think!