Jewelry Artisans Community Blog Hop – Carole Carlson of Beadsophisticate

February 24, 2015
playing with texture and color

playing with texture and color

Each month some of the artists from the Jewelry Artisans Community blog on the same topic.  Since many of us are living in areas experiencing unusual weather, we thought we’d discuss how weather affects our creativity.

I live in a moderate climate, but this week the temperature is 30 degrees lower than normal for this time of year.  In fact, we had a snow event on Saturday that 1. caught us by surprise (thanks, Mr. Weather Guy and 2. turned into ice overnight.  The next day, the temperature shot up to 50 degrees. Go figure.

Trying out different shapes

Trying out different shapes

Snow and rain means time to cocoon for me.  I love to watch the snow come down, as long as my family is home, safe and warm.  Since this latest snow day fell on a weekend, it was the perfect time to start working with polymer clay.  I’m working on a line of jewelry for the B’Sue Boutique Build a Line Challenge, and I decided to include some polymer clay items, so I’ve been trying out some different things, just playing around and seeing where that takes me.

Textured beads

Textured beads

See what the other members of the Jewelry Artisans Community have to say here:

http://jewelryartbydawn.blogspot.com/2015/02/weather-and-creativity-february-blog.html


Build A Line Master Class Blog Hop, Part 2 – Carole Carlson of Beadsophisticate

February 20, 2015

beaded chain

This is a section of beaded chain I’m making for one of the pieces in my line for the Build A Line Master Class sponsored by B’Sue Boutiques.  In Part 1, we talked about the inspiration for our lines.  In Part 2, I’m talking about some lessons learned during the last month from our class discussions.

One of the challenges is to make pieces that are priced in the impulse buy range – $10 to $50.    Last month I mentioned that the inspiration piece for this line sells for $75- $150, depending on the materials, so I knew I’d have to be creative in reducing the cost.  I decided to use polymer clay to make some of the parts.  To do that, I spent some time making test swatches of textures and color combinations.

Test swatches

Test swatches

After getting opinions from classmates, I made a second round of test swatches.

Test swatches part deux

Test swatches part deux

I bought some bezels from B’Sue Boutiques to use with the clay. Only after coloring the bezels and baking the clay pendants did I realize there was no way to attach them to my necklace.  Lesson learned: a little planning is a beautiful thing.  You’ll see my clever solution in the reveal blog in March.  Hint: I’m still using the bezels.

Pendant parts

Pendant parts

I learned that I can’t really reduce the amount of time I spend making the necklace.  By making a production line, I cut assembly time a little bit, but making the pendants myself added time, so I called it even.  I am using silver plate and mixed base metals in this one to help keep the cost down.

I've got 3 different metals in this one.

I’ve got 3 different metals in this one.

Nevertheless, the necklaces are going to end up being my mid-range pieces. So then I had to come up with some lower-priced items.  I shall not reveal all now, but here is a sample:

Polymer clay bracelets

Polymer clay bracelets

You won’t believe how light these are!  I still have to test-drive them. If they can stand up to a couple of days of me wearing them around, they will be fine. I’m hard on anything near my hands.

From a business standpoint, generous class members gave some tips on improving blog features.  See my new search box on the upper right? And I added contact information.  I’ve also been encouraged to get pinning on Pinterest, so expect to see more from me there (Beadsophisticate on Pinterest).

Please visit Brenda’s class notes blog (B’Sue Boutiques), and the blogs of the other class participants to see what they are up to and get their take on what we’ve learned

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

Linzi Alford

Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott

Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson   (you are here)

Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten

Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit

Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck

VRBrose

Michaele Collie

The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig

Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman

Strega Jewelry

Erin Whitacre

Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady

MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West

Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson

https://howlingdogjewelry.wordpress.com/

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

https://baccessorized.wordpress.com/ (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

https://parisiennegirldesign.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/build-a-line-challenge-from-bsue-boutiques-lori-meyer-from-parisienne-girl-part-two/

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


Andrew Thornton Challenge Blog Hop – Carole Carlson of Beadsophisticate

February 19, 2015

Today is the reveal for Andrew Thornton’s Marsala Valentine challenge.  Andrew picks the theme and puts together a fantabulous kit.  There are only 20 each time, and he keeps one for himself, so you have to be on the ball to snag one.  This month the theme was Pantone’s color of the year, marsala.

Here’s what we got in the kit:

kit contents

I didn’t use any of the luxury bead blend this month, but I’m still showing the close up, so you can see what the options were.

bead mixNote the large marsala and white bead near the lower

left of the first picture. That screamed focal bead to me, so I wanted to use it.  It has a large hole, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to use the waxed linen thread, which I’ve always wanted to try.  But wait! There wasn’t any included in this kit!

Dang it!  Month after month, there it is, and now that I have an idea for it, no linen thread.  After sulking for a few minutes, inspiration struck.  I ran to my past challenge boxes, and sure enough, I found some in a color I could use.

Next, I settled down to knot some beads.  Let me tell you when the last time I knotted pearls was.  About 20 years ago, that’s when.  I was hoping muscle memory would kick in, but alas, no such luck. Internet to the rescue! I picked the first video I found.  The lady went way too fast for a beginner, but between my wayward memory and the video, I managed  to make the handful of knots I needed.  I also got to use the ribbon included in the kit, another first for me.

knotted necklace with ribbon

knotted necklace with ribbon

The mystery component was not one, but two of Andrew’s ceramic pendants.  I whipped up a pair of earrings with them.  Here’s a closer shot of the earrings.marsala valentine piece close

I’m working on improving my photography.  If you don’t mind, please tell me which of the two jewelry shots you prefer.  Thanks!

Please visit the other challenge participants at their blogs here:

Carole Carlson (that’s me)
On Andrew Thornton’s Blog:

Jewelry Artisans Community Blog Hop – Carole Carlson of Beadsophisticate

January 27, 2015

Each month some of the members of the Jewelry Artisans Community blog on the same topic.  This month we’re talking about creative block. You know what that is.  Whatever your art form, you just can’t get started.  Writers and art journalers call it blank page syndrome.  We all experience it from time to time.

So, how to deal with it.  I have a few different techniques I try.  The first thing I do is clean my studio.  That usually generates some ideas as I find things I forgot I had.  If not, at least I now have a tidy space to work with.

Whenever I buy several beads that I think will work together, I put them in a Ziploc bag and put them in a box.  Then when I want to make something but don’t have a particular idea, I’ll go to the box and see if there is anything I want to work with.

turquoises and blues

turquoises and blues

If that fails, I’ll pull out my sketchbook and flip through it to see if anything strikes a spark.  Sometimes I’ll choose a particular technique to try out.  Of course, there’s always perusing books or magazines from my collection.

If I really just can’t think of anything, I will put my beads away and pull out my art supplies and work in my journal.  Sometimes the best thing is to just give your brain a change of pace. See what other members of the forum do here:

http://www.catswire.blogspot.de/2015/01/creative-block.html

http://jewelryartbydawn.blogspot.com/2015/01/coping-with-creative-block-january-blog.html


Build a Line Challenge from B’Sue Boutiques, Carole Carlson of Beadsophisticate, Part 1

January 23, 2015
parts is parts

parts is parts

Just look at all those goodies!  Welcome to the Build A Line Challenge from B’Sue Boutiques. I’m Carole Carlson of Beadsophisticate, and somehow over the next two months, I will turn that pile of random stuff into a cohesive line of jewelry, with the help of Brenda Sue from B’Sue Boutiques, who is providing a master class of sorts in designing a line. I’ll be joined by 54 of my fellow designers, and we’ll share our ideas and thought processes in a series of three blog hops. At the end, we’ll share a line of at least five pieces of jewelry.

Secret Garden bracelet

Secret Garden bracelet

I’ve spent my free time all my life diving headlong into one craft after another.  After having my first child, I realized that my then-current love, dollhouse miniatures, wasn’t really practical for a busy working mom.  I needed something I could set aside and pick up weeks (or months) later, and know exactly where I was and what to do next.  I went into a bead shop looking for something for a miniatures project and was hooked. I started with stringing, moved on to beadweaving and wireworking, followed by metalsmithing and now torch-fired enameling.  The end result is that, although I’ve had loads of fun, my jewelry is all over the place as I try first this and then that.

Isn't the lampwork luscious?

Isn’t the lampwork luscious?

 

 

I’ve known for some time that I need to settle down and create jewelry that expresses my personality in a way that is clearly me. That’s the goal of this challenge.

The lime-colored beads were enameled by me, using a torch.

The lime-colored beads were enameled by me, using a torch.

We were tasked with proposing a theme around which we will build our line.   My idea is to make several necklaces using a reproducible formula that can be translated into different metals.  Each necklace will have its own mini theme, which will be expressed using charms, beads and bezels.  I’ll also include some coordinating earrings, and who knows, maybe a bracelet or two. The necklace I’m turning into a formula is one I have made and sold several times before.  Here is a picture of the prototype.

kyanite and brass necklace

kyanite and brass necklace

I like to make jewelry that is fun to wear, that is suitable for the workplace but can carry you through to happy hour and dinner after work too.  The pictured necklace is priced at $75, and I’ve sold a sterling silver version for $150, so bringing the price down to the recommended $30-$50 range for the line will require big improvements in efficiency and sourcing materials.

Planning to use my newly-acquired resin skills.

Planning to use my newly-acquired resin skills.

Below is a list of the other participants in the challenge; please visit them to see what others are doing.  We will be blogging twice more, on February 20 and March 20, when our new lines will be revealed.  Follow along with us as we work out our designs. And be sure to check out our fabulous teacher and sponsor of this challenge, http://www.bsueboutiques.com.

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

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

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


Star Frost – Andrew Thornton Challenge

January 7, 2015

I’m back with another entry in Andrew Thornton’s challenge series.  This one is appropriately called Star Frost, and the kit is made up of beautiful white, clear and blue beads.  And the mystery component is magnifique! Andrew really outdid himself this time.

As usual, I was long on ideas, but short on time (I really have to work on that for 2015), so I ended up making a simple strung necklace.  You know I can’t do anything the easy way, so I jazzed up the pendant a bit with some dangles.

I always like to show Andrew’s luxury bead blend, because it’s so pretty, but as it happens, I didn’t use it at all this time.  I’ll use it for something else later.  The kits always have much more than you can use in a single piece.  Besides being gorgeous, they are a good deal.

bead mix

And here is the necklace I made:

necklace

The mystery component this time was really awesome, so I have to show you a close-up.

Pendant close up copyThe blue microbeads sprinkled on it really make it sparkle.

Check out what other participants did with their kits at the links below.

Carolyn Lawson
Shai Williams
Karin Grosset Grange of Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Ann Schroeder
Tammy Bowman of Inner Muse Jewelry
Alison Herrington
Kari Asbury of Hippie Chick Jewelry Design
On Andrew Thornton’s blog:
Andrew Thornton, Cheryl Tucker, Mia Nutick, Joanne Goldberg, Lisa Mendum

Year in Review – JAC December blog hop

December 30, 2014

Each month some of the members of the Jewelry Artisans Community blog on the same topic.  For December, we are reflecting on how 2014 went.

For me, there were ups and downs.  A huge positive was that I was able to take Barbara Lewis’ Painting With Fire certification course back in February, and I’ve been able to get in a bit of practice.  I located a venue to teach classes, but wasn’t able to find time to set any up.  I plan to correct that in 2015.

I had hoped to set up my own web site this year, which did not happen.  Realistically, I don’t see it happening until maybe summer of 2015 – if I’m lucky.

I wanted to make more jewelry this year, and to that end signed up for some of Andrew  Thornton’s challenges.  I think I completed about 60% of them.  This evidently happens to other people, because Andrew’s decided to give us a catch-up blog hop in February.  I missed a couple either because I failed to write down the hop date, or because I couldn’t tell which kit I was looking at. Andrew doesn’t include a label, probably because he figures we’re on top of things. However, some periods were so hectic for me that sometimes I didn’t open the box for weeks, by which time I had more than one.  Gotta stay on top of that going forward.

I missed a few JAC blog hops, too.  I think my creativity well was running a bit dry this year, although I had a great idea for the fashion period post, and even made some polymer clay beads for it, but then got sick for 2 weeks and did not dare descend to my freezing basement studio.  One thing I will be working on next year is creative “play dates” to help me with ideas.

Great news!  I’ll be moving back to my own home with my two workshops and sunlight.  That in itself will probably boost the creative juices.

Lastly, I had a wonderful experience in October, taking a three-day intensive class working in polymer clay with Christine Damm.  Incredibly inspirational!  Check out Christine’s blog at http://storiestheytell.blogspot.com/ if you have some time.  She is a true artist.  The other people taking the class were great as well.

Due to illness and the holidays, I accomplished very little in November and December, but I feel much better now and am raring to go in 2015.

See what other members of the JAC have to say here:

http://catswire.blogspot.de/2014/12/year-end-reflections.html


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