Friday, March 20, 2015

Build A Line Challenge From B'Sue Boutiques, Final Post

Hello creatives! Wow, is it already the final post in the 3-month challenge? Time both dragged on and flew by, depending on my state of readiness at any given time.

The B'Sue Boutiques Build A Line Challenge is to create a new line of jewelry with B'Sue supplies (of course!) consisting of at least 5 pieces. The line must be cohesive and recognizable as the Killam Creative brand. It should fall in a specific price range and be reproducible.

Easy peasy, right? Err... no. It was a fantastic challenge, but a challenge indeed!

I made it through with the support of 54 others building their own lines. You'll see the complete list of my cohorts at the end of this post. I'd love it if you could visit them, too!

What's My Line?

My line is called Flights Of Fancy. Fancy is a hummingbird who has extraordinary adventures and strong loves. Today I will share with you some of each. This first one finds Fancy in Paris. Oh la la!

Fancy Goes To Paris

It's barely visible in the photos, but Fancy is holding the Paris charm in her beak. Along the chain are pink, black and pearl glass beads. This is a fun and favorite color combination for me that "feels" chic. But then, I'm a child of the 80's, so..... The coordinating earrings feature the same black rounds and frosted pink Czech glass beads, as well as Eiffel Towers. Perhaps a "seine" from both the Left Bank and the Right Bank?


Yea, I know... really bad joke.

The next stops on Fancy's adventures are seasonal. In this first piece Fancy embraces spring just in time for today's equinox.

Fancy Welcomes Spring

The colors are subtle -- the filigree is white washed and the leaves have the barest touch of green. Nestled in the wee flower is a pink aurora borealis center. Fancy is wearing her teal and orange colors for this spring necklace.

Next up is Fancy's ode to summer. The custom colored vine is in full bloom and Fancy's own hand colored coat celebrates all the shades of a summer season. I don't know about you, but the "Summer Lovin'" song is now going through my head. (You're welcome!) 

Fancy's Summer Lovin'


Here's a view of the back.


Next I'd like to share one of Fancy's favorite hobbies -- singing! 


Inside the frame is a sheet of music paper coated with resin. Beautiful pearly notes swirl from Fancy's beak. I wonder what song she will be singing today!

Fancy Sings A Song

Last but not least (especially since this is only the beginning of the Flights Of Fancy) is my favorite piece in the collection. It's also the only one without a name, although it makes me think of our annual Baltimore Symphony Orchestra subscription. I always wear pearls, and she is, too!

It's funny for me to call this the favorite since I shy away --no, I RUN away-- from orange. This one just has my heart. I can imagine wearing it a lot during the summer!


Fancy is modeled after a Rufous hummingbird, which is mostly orange with touches of purple and white. Fancy is hand colored with acrylic paints. Her gorgeous filigree nest is colored with a combination of Gilder's Paste and acrylic paint. See the green pearl charm hanging from Fancy's pearl necklace? It matches the wee dangly earrings!

Fancy At The Symphony

Here's a view of the back filigree. It's also colored with a combination of Gilder's Paste and acrylic paint. This filigree is wired to the front piece for a lovely finished look.


The whole group together. Eventually I will have bracelets in the collection, as well as Fancy earrings. There's a lot in store for this adventuresome girl!


When this challenge came around I needed something new. I fell in love with the brass hummingbird stamping from B'Sues and thought I could make a go of a lower priced line to add to my Killam Creative Studio shop. My love of assemblage and 3D art fit well with the "collage/assemblage" type of jewelry I envisioned.

I didn't expect the bumps along the way and didn't anticipate the caring and supportive group of ladies I found myself amongst. This has been quite the adventure and I feel incredibly lucky to have them.

The necklaces will range from $30 to about $70, depending on the components used and whether or not coordinating earrings are included. I'm still considering actual prices, but these will be in the Studio shop in the next week or so. To be honest, I'll have a hard time listing the orange one... I should probably make one for myself soon. :)

Thanks so much for your support during the last three months! I'll be preparing for a paper-based project (cards, shadow boxes, altoid tins) show for the next month and will switch gears on the blog once again. Just like Fancy, it's always an adventure around here!

Here is a list of all the challenge participants. If you can, please visit everyone to see their new lines. We've all worked hard over the past 3 months to get to this point. Thank you!

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 Studio


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


Ingrid Anderson     Lilis Gems

Louise O'Shields     Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam     Killam Creative                     <--- You are here!


Nike Bottalico     Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman     Woodside Wireworks


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


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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Build A Line Challenge from B'Sue Boutiques, Part Two

Hiya creative folks! Today is the second installment of the B'Sue Boutiques "Build A Line Challenge". (Click here to see my first post if you'd like to read from the beginning.)


The challenge is simply to create a new line of jewelry, consisting of at least 5 different pieces that are cohesive and recognizable as the Killam Creative brand. I say "simply" but this has been nothing near simple. As I suspected would happen, my creativity has been stretched and I've learned about loads of new techniques. It's been great to experiment with new mediums and a bonus to discover new uses for products I already have on the shelf.

A goal for each of the challenge participants is to keep within a certain retail price point. For many of us this means simplifying (there's that word again) our typical style. If you know my paper-based works you'll know I don't design simple. I thrive on over-the-top, layered, finely detailed projects! 

Another goal is to design the items in such a way that they can be reproduced easily. Many of the challenge participants usually choose to make one-of-a-kind (OOAK) jewelry, as I've always made OOAK projects. For us to tackle simple and reproducible and pricepoint specific... challenges indeed!

So, these:
  1. Simple
  2. Price point specific 
  3. Reproducible
With that, I give you the current  Flights Of Fancy line. 

In my last post you saw this version of Fancy:


She is a wee girl at 1 3/4" long. I still want to perch her on this filigree with some kind of (smaller) greens and that lovely trumpet flower configuration. I'll attach a simple chain for a lovely necklace.

Next, we have a a 3" long Fancy in a more dramatic coloring. She's modeled after a brightly colored Rofous Hummingbird with oranges and purples. She's delightful!


She's perched (temporarily for now) on a gorgeous large raw brass filigree which has been custom colored with Gilder's Paste and acrylic paint. 

Fancy Attends The Symphony

I'm still deciding which chain to use for her, and how/if to adorn the base any more. It has been interesting to be working with that retail price point in mind, that's for sure! 

I have another 3" Fancy to share. She's on a small crescent shaped necklace blank, which I've stamped with music notes and sealed.

Fancy Sings A Song

I'm considering giving her a whopping big flower on the chain -- the scale is actually better in person than in the photo. 


The Flights Of Fancy line will have themed pieces, including bracelets and brooches as well as necklaces.

Possible themes so far:

Fancy Sings A Song
Fancy Attends The Symphony
Fancy Travels
Fancy In Paris
A Winter's Fancy

This challenge has a private Facebook group which has been an incredible source of inspiration for me and many others involved. We've had serious discussions about design fundamentals, fashion trends and pricing, as well as the importance of the pyramid model practiced by the likes of Louis Vuitton as well as many other high end brands.

I encourage you to join B'Sue Boutiques Creative Group on Facebook, where all of her customers are welcomed to gather. It's a warm, welcoming group. If you are into a little shopping and haven't discovered B'Sue Boutiques yet, click here

Please join my fellow challenge members to see how they have done in the past month. We have one more month together!

Thank YOU for joining ME!

Cheers,
Susan

********************
Brenda Sue Landsdowne                 <<<------------Organizer and Mentor
Jewelry Making Outside The Box

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                                <<<<<------------ That's me!

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

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Work Table Wednesday (On Thursday!) - "Flights Of Fancy" Line

Hiya folks!

It's the day after what was supposed to be my second WTW post... Ha! Keeping myself honest, here is what my work table looked like yesterday. I'll give you a bit of a tour!

Click the pic for a larger peek)

If you recall a post from a few weeks ago, my new jewelry line is called Flights Of Fancy. Here I'm trying to get over a hump on what to do with the small necklace crescent in the front. I knew I wanted to use the leaves. I've bent the end around to the back and one of those birds will be added, along with a few other details. The challenge for me is to keep it simple. I'm so used to making highly embellished collage-type art!

To move around the table, the black clamps are THE BEST. If you have a Harbor Freight nearby, they are $1.99 each. If not you can find them at any hardware store. I used them to secure the leaves to the crescent while the super duper adhesive cured. THE BEST!

I now have a decent selection of filigree bases for my cagework and possibly this line. I could be content just shuffling filigree around on the table - it's so beautiful!

Ha! The large crescent was an embossing experiment with my Sizzix. I didn't get the result I wanted, so now it's just "textured". :)

The filigree on the paper towel in front started out as raw brass. I've colored the pieces with German Silver Guilder's Paste. I think this is my favorite color in the whole wide world.... until the next one comes along. I love working with and wearing both silver and gold, and this color is a nice blend of both. Guilder's Paste is a cool product that I've barely worked with; have you used it? I'd love to see your beauties -- leave a link in comments and I'll come visit you!

Thanks for stopping in today!

Cheers,
Susan


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It's Work Table Wednesday!

Hiya creatives! Remember my old "What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday" posts? I'm resurrecting that to keep you informed and me accountable... *ahem*

Needle Felted Heart Stick Pins

This week is all about stick pins - skull pins, Czech glass pins, vintage bead pins. The works! The needle felted heart pins above should've been in the shop a month ago.

Swarovski and Howlite Skulls, ready and waiting!

Swarovski skull stick pins in progress

I found great new caps (US made, of course!) that will add even more flair to the pins. They give a nice vintage feel, and in some cases -- like the front Swarovski skull above -- a gothic vibe. I love it!


This is my view this morning, plus Swarovski pearls that came out after the photo. See the cornflower blue beads? Those are cool vintage Czech pieces. Some have a givre effect (transparent glass fused over an opaque core), but it's more like a transparent random stripe. It's pretty cool.


That's all the show and tell for me today. It's time to get out of my pajamas, refill that coffee and get to work! I hope you make time to create today -- even if it's designing in your head. That counts, right? It does for me!

Thank you for visiting. As always, these will end up in the Etsy stick pin shop unless someone claims 'em first!

Cheers,
Susan


Friday, January 23, 2015

Build A Line Challenge from B'sue Boutiques, Part One

Hello creatives!

I'm Susan Killam of Killam Creative and am thrilled to participate in this first "Build A Line Challenge" blog hop for B'Sue Boutiques. This is a whopper of a challenge, and one that will stretch my creativity in ways I haven't felt before. I hope to grow all sorts of new branches on my learning tree. (Ha! See what I did there?)

There are over 50 of us in this challenge. All of us will be working hard to create a cohesive line of jewelry and pull our look and thought process together.   At the end, we will reveal a line of jewelry with a minimum of five pieces, all in our chosen style.

Flights of Fancy

Let me tell you a little about me. I've been making paper-based art for years. I started out with simple greeting cards and evolved into highly embellished cards. I was a design team coordinator for a small online paper craft shop for a few years.  I've since branched out to altering 3-dimensional objects, from mini Altoids tins to blocks of wood to old cigar boxes. Shadow boxes are my favorite projects now -- or maybe it's just the excuse to rummage through flea markets for the perfect "found objects"!

L-R: Halloween shadowbox detail, altered tin, embellished greeting card

In addition to the paper and mixed media, I make Argentium silver chainmaille jewelry. I start with raw wire and finish with a beautiful clasp and a tiny sterling silver heart. 

L-R: Hodo weave with Larimar clasp, Japanese lace weave, Byzantine with turquoise clasp

Last year I started collecting and wearing vintage rhinestone jewelry. I'm very inspired by Miriam Haskell, Stanley Hagler and Robert Demario. Being the creative type, I decided to learn cagework and tapestry beading and make my own new beauties from reproduction and vintage parts that couldn't be repaired. That's how I found B'Sue Boutiques!

My first cagework necklace; with vintage and new components

So, "what's next?" you ask...

The B'Sue Boutiques "Build A Line" Challenge!

Without further ado, let me tell you a little about my new line, called Flights of Fancy. Through each piece we will know a little more about the oh-so-busy life of a wee bird called Fancy. Here she's wearing her favorite peacock feather outfit. Tomorrow she might go for a phoenix's fiery reds and oranges.  She never knows until the first light of day!

Fancy wearing her favorite peacock "outfit"

I'm still getting to know her, too. What I do know is she will be featured in each piece. These gorgeous B'Sue Boutiques brass components below (plus much more!) are all part of this new line. I'm not sure how it will work out yet, but I'm sure Fancy will help me along the way!


Here's an example of how one necklace may turn out. There's a lot of tweaking to happen, but I like where it's going!


The next "Build A Line" blog hop is February 20th, and I'll be showing you a couple of finished pieces as well as progress I've made along the way. There is a lot that is new to me and at this point I'm either frustrated that something didn't turn out as I'd hoped, or doing a happy dance that it did. :) I like the happy dances much better!

Here's a peek at my work space. 

Yep, I tidied up. It doesn't always look like this...
Supplies for all types of jewelry making and mixed media conveniently behind me!

Here is the complete list of "Build A Line" challenge participants -- women from all over the globe have taken on this challenge. We are all at different stages of jewelry making experience but have one common goal: to learn the skills and discipline to build a successful, cohesive line of jewelry. Won't you join us?

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques    <<<<--------- Our hostess with the mostest!

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                    <<<<--------- That's me!

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

Monday, January 19, 2015

Lime Green and Gold!

Hello creative folks!

I want to share the first repurposed vintage* jewelry piece I made. All the beads had a former life, just not necessarily together.




The lime green and gold beads were on a Lisner multi-strand necklace, along with some interesting marbelized green ones (to be used later). The glass pearls were in a vintage log I purchased somewhere. I thought they were from my teenage jewelry box, but no. Those are still waiting for a project.

That lime green is almost exactly the same as my studio walls. Yup. Lime green inspires me!

Anyway, all the beads were wired by hand. I found a great tool to make the eyes -- called the Bead Looper. It's not perfect out of the box and did require some tweaking to get the eyes right, but it makes the job easier.




Here's an early planning photo. Changes were made to this design! I found that, much like my paper-based projects, it's better if I start with a very basic "outline" and just get going. Otherwise I spend too much time on planning. Plus, art of all kinds evolves as it takes form, right? That's my story and I'm sticking to it!




I forgot to add the earrings! There are matching earrings, but I need earwires for them. I'll show them another time.

Thanks for visiting today! I'll be participating in a blog hop Friday for the B'Sue Boutiques Build-A-Line challenge. I'll be able to share my idea for this new line and share some of the components. It's pretty exciting! Oh, and it will not involve repurposed vintage* bits, so it will be very different from what you see today.

I hope your day is great!

Cheers,
Susan

*I really need to find a better way of describing this...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Jewelry "Build A Line" Challenge, Accepted!

Hello creative folks! As you might imagine by the lack of projects posted last year, I wasn't exactly prolific with my paper passion. This, that, and the other took precedence and many paper projects started have not been finished yet. They will be, I promise! ...Especially an awesome 3D Christmas themed piece I can't wait to share.

But! That's not why I'm here today. I want to share my new adventure with you!

One thing I did manage to do last year was develop a healthy obsession with vintage costume jewelry. Oh, the auction sites I've seen! I've purchased many lots and, along with the pretty pieces I can wear or put in my vintage jewelry Etsy shop, I also have a bunch of pieces that really aren't salvageable. Soooo, off to the web I went to learn about repurposing vintage costume jewelry, and I found Brenda Sue Landsdowne at B'Sue Boutiques. She is an experienced maker and generous with her time and knowledge, both with her Facebook Creative Group and her YouTube channel


This month through March she is is hosting a challenge/master class to build a line of jewelry, and offering her expertise to those of us signed up to learn the skills (and discipline?) of making a line of jewelry. There are nearly 60 of us! Of course we have to feature items from her shop in our designs, but that won't be a challenge for any of us as she stocks a huge amount of high quality components. 

This challenge will also help me develop the skills to make one-of-a-kind vintage assemblage jewelry - combining gorgeous old rhinestone pieces with new components to make truly unique necklaces, bracelets, earrings, brooches and stick pins. 

For this challenge we will all participate in 3 blog hops, the first on in 9 days. I'll be able to share a little of my design ideas and progress photos. Wait, did I just write "9 days"?!?! Yikes. I've got to get to work fast!

I hope you will join me on this journey to learn new skills. *wink* I'm practicing coloring raw brass with various mediums now. It's going... umm... err... Well, I can tell you it's going. I'll still share paper projects as I make them --or at least start them!-- including a Hallowe'en In Wonderland mini album I have on the shelf.


Thanks for stopping by today. I hope your day is filled with creativity in any form.

Cheers,
Susan