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

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)


Lynn Stinten


Marica Zammit

Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck


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

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


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

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



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

  1. Cat says:

    “a little planning is a beautiful thing” That’s something I’m not good at myself …

    So now we’ll have to wait until March to learn more about the pendants? I’m not a patient person …. 😦


  2. Carole, those bracelets are to die for. My goodness you have a gift with clay and color. Your line is coming together, nicely…some detours provide the best inspiration. I enjoyed my visit with you!


  3. apttowander says:

    Carol…these are just fabulous! Your eye for color is impressive…looking forward to the next reveal.


  4. I’m on the edge of my seat to see how you finish the pendants!



    • beadsophisticate says:

      Yes, I’m kind of interested in how it’s going to turn out myself, since I’m stepping out into the unknown. Waiting on a delivery from B’Sue. Fingers crossed that it works.


  5. Simply lovely. Been working hard I see!


  6. Erin Whitacre says:

    Can’t wait to see the finished pieces!


  7. lilisgems says:

    Your polymer pieces are lovely. The bracelets look amazing and hope they stand up to the testing!~Ingrid


  8. Can’t wait to see your finished pendants and really like your bracelets!


  9. ssblogs says:

    Great works in progress Carole, and those finished cuffs are so pretty for spring! ~Renee H.


  10. Dana says:

    Those colors are so soft. I’m really looking forward to seeing the ned results.


  11. I love that color palette. I didn’t realize you could make cuffs from PC. That’s so cool.


    • beadsophisticate says:

      I can’t remember where I saw the idea, pretty sure it was one of the polymer clay groups, and while I was pondering how to make lower-tier items, it popped into my head.


  12. your palette is very soft .. love the colors .. the finished cuffs are beautiful


  13. HEY! I’ll test drive one of those bracelets for you! they are beautiful! Just gorgeous! Love those colors and I am a bracelet freak!


  14. Wow wow and wow. Love the colors and textures on your polymer clay pieces.

    Those cuff bracelets are gorgeous!!!

    Can’t wait to see your finished line in March.


  15. Chi says:

    Those cuff are fab!! Can’t wait to see the finished pendants. Your colors are wonderful, perfect for spring!


  16. sweetwillowdesigns says:

    So pretty the way you colored the polymer clay. Love the bracelets.


  17. Melida says:

    I wish my clay stuff looked as good yours! Can’t wait to see the finished stuff.


  18. Wonderful blog post, Carole. Really like how you show and explain your process. The colors are fantastic!


  19. MJ Casady Copper Works says:

    I really like the colors you’ve chosen, and am looking forward to seeing your big reveal!


  20. yummy colors and I cannot wait to see your entire line! great blog!


  21. What a beautiful pastel color pallet you have chosen just beautiful and great post too.


  22. Your chain is impeccable and the way it matches the polymer pendant’s or visa versa is beautiful!


  23. Autumn says:

    I love the clay pieces you created. I discovered myself that sometimes you have to step back before you go forward. I think experience is the best teacher.


  24. Janet Calardo says:

    Your design elements are beautiful. Love the textured polymer. I am trying to add the polymer bracelets as well but needing to do some work of the flowers I am adding to it. Trying to lower the profile. Yours are gorgeous. Can’t wait to see your line finished.


    • beadsophisticate says:

      Janet, I wore the bracelet to do errands this morning, and I found it stretched a bit, so I’m going to have to make some kind of a clasp to make sure it doesn’t fall off.


  25. DragonzWench says:

    Love your clay work, your colour blends are great


  26. beadsophisticate says:

    Thank you. Color is my thing.


  27. Your pendants are lovely. I’m looking forward to seeing more! ~mary


  28. Louise says:

    Carol your jewelry pieces are beautiful! I love the acents on the bracelets and the pendants. Your color choices are brilliant. Uhhh now you have us all waiting ohh so curious about the bezels! I will be right on your blog page day one to see what comes from the bezel victory! ~Louise


  29. Tammy Adams says:

    Love the textures and colors on your polymer clay. LOVE. Those bangles are fabulous. Can’t wait to see how you solved the bezel dilemma.


  30. Very pretty coloration and the bracelets are great!


  31. I love PC and some of your stuff resembles Mokume Gane (I’ve been playing around with that lately). Can’t wait for your reveal!


  32. Pretty pieces! Looking forward to seeing the finished line. 😉


  33. Love how you showed us the color adjustments on your polymer! Very curious and excited to see your pieces with the bezels and your whole line! :):)


  34. Linzi Alford says:

    Great colour palette and love that you make your own components too- looking forward to seeing how you fuse that with B’sue supplies for your line in the final reveal in a month .


  35. beadsophisticate says:

    Thanks! It has been interesting for sure.


  36. Great Post! I really love the blend of colors and your texture is wonderful! The chain looks really good but those Bracelets are to Die for!!! LOVE those!! Great Job!!! Be Blessed!!!


  37. Nadine says:

    I wouldn’t call myself someone who loves pastels. You addition of the all the textures make these an exception. Your work is lovely and emanates a peaceful feeling. Can’t wait to see more.


    • beadsophisticate says:

      Nadine, thank you for saying this. The inspiration for this set of pieces is “Me Time”, so I am so glad that you see a peaceful feeling in the work.


  38. amemedesigns says:

    Very nice! I love the creativity that comes from limits! Can’t wait to see it all 🙂


  39. Lynda O'Mara says:

    Carole–I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing what you’ve done so far. I love the colors in both Part 1 and Part 2 of your test samples. I don’t do polymer, so I’m even more impressed, especially the textures. Looking forward to seeing how you put them in the bezels and pull everything together!


  40. It is so much fun reading this blog hop and seeing the different approaches! It is inspiring me to try my hand at designing my own lines! So far the most I have done in that regard is creating matching pieces, but not something I would call a line per se. Planning is something I definitely need to get better at as well! I am looking forward to all of the beautiful results!


    • beadsophisticate says:

      Isn’t it amazing that with 55 participants, there are so many variations? No one is the same, even though we are all using materials from B’Sue Boutiques.


  41. Carole your pieces are beautiful, I love to work with polymer clay I can see how much work you have put into planning your design and cost, I can’t wait to see your finished pieces


  42. Coral says:

    I really like the color and texture of the polymer clay. They are like some broken tiles found in a house with colorful walls.


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