Friday, January 29, 2016

B'sue Boutiques Build A Line Challenge Blog Hop Post #1--What's Your Theme?

It's time for the first hop!

B'Sue Boutiques Build A Line Master Challenge Class 2016

I LOVE this class!! (In fact, I've already learned so much, I realized I have way too much for one post (or three)! So, I'll be spreading my thoughts out between hops in order to get right to the meaty goodness today.)

This was starting my point--a collage of previous pieces I've made:

Who made all of these? Okay, it was me.
"Lovely bunch of designers, isn't it? Wait, it's all one person?"

Over the years, I've done a lot of different things, as you can see, but I've never created a jewelry line on purpose with the intent of presenting pieces as a group. Especially reproducible ones. As a result, my customers may have experienced both the good and the bad side of never knowing what to expect from me.

I draw from so many things, enjoy so many techniques...where would I start? What to keep, toss, or transform? Who is my customer? Who am I? It can get pretty introspective pretty quickly, but you learn so much just by asking yourself these things. (Now you know why I need more than one post to tell you about what I've discovered, stay tuned!)

I've joined the B'sue Boutiques Build A Line Challenge this year in the hopes to sort some of this out.

One challenge here is for me to learn the practice of creating a set of pieces that have elements that tie them together; that look like they all came from the same person, that all sing the same song...even if I don't have my style "voice" nailed just yet.

"You're singing right now, aren't you?"
Maybe. I do have that "teach the world to sing" song stuck in my head now, though.

Those of us in the class each picked a theme that would be at the center of our lines, and for this first blog hop, we get to reveal them! So here is mine:

"Wait, what? Did you drop ink on your B'sue order?"

No, theme is BLACK. I've been gathering supplies and feeling out some ideas.
"You're making mourning jewelry? When did you go full-on Goth?"
Well, no. There's going to be more. It's more like "Black & Something."
"That's not a good name for a line."
We're working on that.

As I've been nosing about researching historical periods and peeping in on current runway shows (and boy at the posts that'll be coming out of that), I realized my theme has given me a great gift...and a challenge unto itself. If black is the thread that weaves the line together, I can meander around different styles to a degree--do some experimentation, even, and it will all still work together. I could technically use anything.



So much to explore... I can't wait to see where this goes! The blog hop, though, goes onward!

Check out my classmates' blogs and see their themes!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne Jewelry Making Outside the Box --our Host and wonderful Teacher!

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

Elisabeth 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  you are here!

Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

Gina-Marie Hammer, Tangles, Twists and Treasures

Kelly Wymer, Winged Wisdom Enchantments


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I love your designs and chuckled when you said 'wait - is that all from one person?' :) I see that in my work, too. I also love your BLACK theme - we are a good complement for each other. My theme is All Jeweled in WHITE!! :)

  2. Thank you for your fun intro. I went through a black phase myself in jewelry making and still have a box loaded of stuff to use. I like the color theme a lot!

    Mary Katherine

  3. Leslie, what a fun blog! You nailed it...articulating what all of us have been pondering...that cohesive thing. Yes that! I know you are going to have a blast with this challenge; I had a blast reading you blog. Looking forward to seeing all of those black pieces come to life!

  4. You seem like you are a wicked fun lady. Your blog gave me a chuckle or two. I am really looking forward to your Not So Basic Black jewelry line.

  5. Great blog Leslie. Cant wait to see the line you create.

  6. A great way to go with your theme! I get where you have been ( I feel the very same way ) when making things that are based off of creativity and fun. I am thankful that this class will teach us cohesiveness!

  7. I love your theme. You can take it in so many different directions. Can't wait to see the finished products

  8. Loved your post, Leslie! Black is a great theme, and has so many possibilities ... I know you'll come up with some great jewelry designs. It's so nice to be in the class with you! ;)

  9. Love reading your blog. I'm sure you'll do great.

  10. Using black as the unifying element so you can use multiple design styles - genius! Nice blog - and I'm excited to see what you come up with!

  11. Great Blog .. looking forward to our journey and seeing all of the black components come alive ..

  12. You're like the cool kid in class who picked 'Black' as a theme. What's that all about? Well, picking a color is completely amazing, and many designers have used it over the years. To be honest, it really excites and inspires me too!!! So I get where your coming from. Brilliant idea! I'll be keeping an eye out for what you'll create.

  13. Hi Leslie, What a great first post. I am so happy to be sharing this class with you and all of the other very talented artists. I can't wait to see what you design with all of the black. I love black too. Its funny I never knew there was such a thing until I found Brenda Sue on Youtube, with her videos. We're all learning so much. You've got a great first start, can't wait to see what you do.

  14. I love the pieces you have chosen to use in your line. I can see this could expand in so many different directions. Looking forward to seeing where you go with your line.

  15. Leslie love the background of your blog. Black! I will be interested to see where you take this theme. It does let you go in many different directions.

  16. Leslie love the background of your blog. Black! I will be interested to see where you take this theme. It does let you go in many different directions.

  17. Leslie, I really enjoyed reading your post and am looking forward to hearing more about your journey and self discovery process in our future blog hops. I love the black theme, and am excited to see what you do!

  18. Leslie, I truly enjoyed your fun post.....and I know you to be an excellent artist, so I know we will see some wonderful, engaging things from you. In fact, I just can't wait. This theme is intriguing, but I know it's gonna fly. See ya next time around and again, great job!

  19. Picking a metal color was very clever. You'll be able to do a lot with that, can't wait to see what you come up with.

  20. Great theme! I love that black finish. It always looks so polished and beautiful. That octopus is my favorite! Can't wait to see what you create!

  21. I love all of the black brass from B'sue! Can't wait to see what you do with it!

  22. Oh the places you could go with this theme! Looking forward to seeing the final product!

  23. Your blog was very enjoyable to read Leslie! And those black my, very striking. Your line will be just lovely!

  24. I love that rusty black and look forward to your new creations.

  25. Endless possibilities! Yea! I love your theme it will open so much to you as a designer. I am so excited for you and can't wait to see what fantastic pieces you come up with! :D


  26. Thanks for sharing with us Leslie!

    I love the black finish, that is why I chose to use it for my line. You could really take this anywhere. I would love to see a line of jewelry done entirely in black. Much like Chris Craven's line entirely in white. To do something like that is extra challenging but definitely gets attention – because people just don't do it often enough!

    I look forward to seeing where you take this.

  27. I really like the idea that your theme is black. Black can be so misunderstood. It has so much personality, and many people consider it flat. Gabrielle Chanel pioneered black in fashion, so you're in good company! Can't wait to see what you do!

  28. You are doing fantastic. I love the way you shared your creative process with us. Your work is beautiful! Well done. JewelryDonna

  29. Great blog and I love that you are using the black stampings. I love black and there is so much you can do with it. Looking forward to seeing your new BALC designs.

  30. I sense a darker theme here. Pretty interesting! Will look forward to see your designs!