Friday, January 23, 2015

Build a Line Challenge from B'Sue Boutiques, Mitzie Crider of Needful Luxuries, Part One

The handsome young man above is Ivan the Terrible, #3 in my list of favorite four legged house buddies.  That fuzzy afghan in the background reminds me of something I want to tell you...

I'm Mitzie Crider of Needful Luxuries.  Its odd to write that since this isn't a new blog, but of course its new to some readers, especially the other participants in the Build a Line Challenge from B'Sue Boutiques.  Welcome, y'all! (I'm from Texas)

The challenge is a master class that will last three months.  There are 56 participants from different countries, with different levels of experience and different styles.  The variety is exciting; so much to share with and gain from one another!  Each person is creating a cohesive line of jewelry in his/her own style.  We've already learned a lot, from each other and from Brenda Sue Lansdowne, who is graciously teaching the class.  At the end of the challenge (aka "project"), we will reveal a complete line of jewelry with at least five pieces.  This is Part One of three blog hops in the Build a Line Challenge.

I have a full-time job so there is limited time to design and make jewelry (too bad its about all I ever want to do.)  I've got a husband and three cats.  I started designing jewelry about four years ago for a distraction when my youngest went off to college, and because I Love jewelry but can't buy it all.

My design style is to one of a kind pieces that use vintage jewelry and/or found objects combined with modern supplies.  I enjoy repurposing heirloom (not necessarily expensive) jewelry into meaningful, wearable art.  I joined the challenge to learn discipline.  Knowing how to create a cohesive jewelry line should increase sales, improve my time management skills, assist with the eternal question "What do I price this?" and increase the potential for wholesale accounts.  
Here are a few shots of previous work.

I don't have a theme for this challenge, and my pieces will still be one of a kind.  They won't be able to be duplicated, because I use old/found components and because uniqueness is part of my brand.  However, they will be cohesive.  I will make a long necklace with some of my typical bells and whistles, a shorter and simpler necklace, a bracelet, and two pair of earrings.  I'll make more if there's time, but considering the speed at which I work there probably won't be!  I'm using antique silver and bronze, a beautiful sea green blue that I don't have enough of, off white, and some trademark components.  Nothing is finished yet.  And that's ok (she told herself repeatedly.)

Here is a shot of the left side of my work table, piled high with unfinished work.  The magazine is for inspiration (not copying) and the top bead board is covered with the start of the shorter necklace.  This photo is hard to share, like posting a pic of me without make up!  Not showing the right side, oh no.

The photo below shows the color I'm using.  I wish I had more beads that color; I'm in love with it and need them for the challenge!

The next shot is the bead board for the longer necklace with potential components, and piled high with bags of goodies from B'Sue Boutiques.  Those came a couple of days ago. Now its time to get going and have some fun!  (Designing is the best part by far.)

The photo below shows my first draft of the long necklace.  Its hard to show this, too!  Under the old glass pearls hides a strand of rhinestone chain; envision them side by side.  Dangles will hang from the old brass piece, which I think is part of a buckle.  The piece is unbalanced and could use more color.  I need to look at it upside down.  I'm looking forward to B'Sue's critique, but nervous, too.  The last time I took an online course, the farther along we got, the less good the teacher had to say about my work!

I've been struggling with this project.  I typically over-think designs; which reportedly stems from inexperience.  In trying to keep the price point at or below $50 I've worked on the first necklace so long that I've raised the cost above what it should be.  Stop over-thinking my designs; can that be taught?!  If so, can I learn it?!  To find out, come back and see my progress in Part 2 of the blog hop on February 20th.  Cat #2 will be introduced and he's a sweety, so you don't want to miss it.  The last blog hop is on March 20th when the completed, cohesive jewelry line (and favorite cat) will be revealed.

You Must check out the Part 1 blogs of the other challenge participants. There's an incredible amount of talent represented in the names below.  Grab your beverage and pet of choice, settle back, and check them out.  You'll be so glad you did!

Challenge sponsored by:

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
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


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