Build a line Challenge Part 2: Sponge-like Behavior Needed to Soak Up Information


Hello again and welcome to Part 2 of the Build-a -Line Challenge sponsored by Brenda Sue Lansdowne and B’Sue Boutique. I’m Susan and I’ve been very busy.



I have been exhibiting sponge like behavior so that I can soak up all the knowledge that B’Sue has given us.

Design Periods

I never knew there were so many parts to running a successful jewelry business.First you must have a strong understanding of the design periods of the past and how they effect present designers. Understanding the jewelry from past periods will makes a strong designer.  I figured out that my style is Victorian/Edwardian as well as Victorian Revival. That is why I feel so comfortable designing jewelry in the Victorian style.  I do have to admit that this part of the class has been my hardest to grasp and I still have work to do on identifying jewelry from the different periods but the more I practice, the better I become.

Audrey HepburnVogue









Secondly, I learned how to read fashion magazines such as Vogue to predict what jewelry to make for the next season. Through the help of my classmates, I see now what jewelry designer can obtain from studying fashion magazines. By looking between the lines, I can tell what colors will be popular in the next season and whether or not geometrics, florals or solids will be used.  After that,  B’Sue had use determine what type of business if any we saw ourselves. She created terms for 3 different business types:  Hobbyist,  Jewelry Makers or  Jewelry Designers.  I discovered that while I am currently a hobbyist, one who makes jewelry on my time frame making what I want and making little to no money, I aspire to be a Jewelry Maker, one who works on a time schedule making significant money.. During this month we have also learned about managing inventory and pricing the different  levels of our merchandise.  I also learned a new concept called artistic generosity. This concept requires that the artist try to meet the needs of the customer by creating products of different price ranges so that everyone can afford to by a piece of  our work.

Below is a graphic that explains “B’Sue’s Pyramid of Sales” designed by Christine Cravens.


After all the discussion was said and done, I realized that no matter what pricing theory I use, there will be times that pricing exceptions will occur.


I am so glad that I have learned about workshop organization and inventory planning/control because my family and I decided that I needed to move.  Well that was fine  because everyone knows that it usually takes several months before the hard core packing begins.  Well not this time.  We found a house the first week of looking so we are in the depths of packing.  Fortunately, my work space was fairly organized and I knew what inventory I needed (thanks to what I have learned from B’Sue) because now I am working on a card table in the living room. IMG_0885IMG_0884

On the upside, I get to design a new workshop in the new house.


In spite of all the chaos, I have been able to make progress on my line so I will give you a sneak peak at a few of the parts in my line.


I guess it’s true that with every cloud there is a rainbow.  Until next time…take care.



Below is a list of my classmates.  Please read their blogs also and leave a kind word:


  1. Brenda Sue Lansdowne  Jewelry Making Outside the Box

  1. Diana Buynak  –  Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

  1. Irene Hoffman  – Heartsdezirebyirene

  1. Clare Wells Nemeth  – Creative Magick

  1. Mary Reckmeyer –  Afrayedknot

  1. Marcia Tuzzolino  – Aurora Designs

  1. Elizabeth Wilks – Wearable Art by Lizzie

  1. Jeanette Rose Belmont – One Canvas at a time

  1. Lyn Joy Reeve – A Journey from Jewels to Jubilation

  1. Belinda Reed-Ingle  – Vogue Rocks

  1. Beth Trubman – The Journey of Jewelry

  1. Carole Carlson – Beadsophisticate

  1. Jann Tague – Clever Designs by Jann

  1. Shari Gardner – SLG Jewelry Designs

  1. Susan Bolton – Fern’s Place

  1. Chris Kemp – NoodlePie Bracelets

  1. Barbara Kelley – Angels’ Keep

  1. Susan Bowerman – Woodside WireWorks

  1. Pamela Anger – Novegatti Designs

  1. Joan Donovan – Hailey’s Cottage

    23. Alison Huie – Ally’s Baubles

  1. Sharon Palac – Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

  1. Erica Olmos – Beeb’s Closet

  1. Erin Whitacre – Shattered Time Jewelry

  1. Fran Sitton – Sitton Up Front

  1. Ginger Hammond – Lynn Leigh Designs

  1. Paula Gaskill – Lovely LaylaBug Jewels 

  1. Mary Katherine – The Rose Sword 

  1. Renee Webb Allen – Small Stuff Design

  1. Valerie Tilghman- ArtJewelsandGifts

  1. Chris Cravens Vintage Cravens

  1. Leslie Carver

  1. Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

  1. Gina-Marie Hammer – Tangles, Twists and Treasures

37.  Kelly Wymer  Winged Wisdom Enchantments


This entry was posted on February 26, 2016. 50 Comments

Jewelry Line Theme Revealed!


Welcome to the first blog hop in a 3 part series of Build a Line Challenge, sponsored by BSue Boutiques: Where You Get the Good Stuff!!

I live in Lawrence, Kansas, an artsy hippie university town west of Kansas City, and I really love it!  It’s hard to imagine a town like this in Kansas, but there is one.  :)  I really

like my workshop that I have, but I’ll be moving soon… so I get to build a new, custom workshop, and I can haaaaardly wait–  it’s going to be awesome!!

Here i am in my soon-to-be-old workshop.  I have lots of beads, brass stampings from BSue, I have books and yarn… you name it, i’ve got it in here.

I became interested in making jewelry through my love of rocks and minerals. I found that there were more styles of jewelry out there than I realized and some even called to me.

That is why I am enrolled in the BALC 2016, Build a Line Challenge Group. I want to figure out what style of jewelry lights my fire. Each of us must make a line of jewelry that is cohesive. That means the pieces of jewelry  go together.

I won’t make you wait any longer to find out my theme…….. and the theme of my jewelry line is………….


Charm Jewelry!!!!!


In this line I’m using Mona Lisa as the subject of the line but by changing subjects to say, Oh, Gardening, you have a whole new line of jewelry.

Below are a few pieces I may use to create my Charm line. All The pieces came from B’Sue Boutiques and are of the highest quality.


Charms don’t have to be metal or something you buy.

Piggie Charmie

Aren’t I charming (HAHA)

They can be pieces of lace and found objects from around the house.They can be seeds or washers, bits of china or even buttons.

Charms have been around as long as the cavemen have but it wasn’t until Queen Victoria wore them that they became oh so popular. The trend continued until the 1950’s when charm bracelets hit the big time.  There were all sorts of bracelets…I have a few examples for you to ponder over.  Charms and charm bracelets have continued to find a niche in fashion all the way to today.  Some bracelets only have a couple of charms but others still have many.

What theme of charm jewelry would you make?  Why don’t you join me in searching your studio and see what kinds of charms you come up with

REMEMBER: It can be anything — snippets of cloth, wshers, keys,lace –ANYTHING YOU WANT.  Next time I will blog about another step iin our journey for a cohesive line of jewelry.  Until then..Take care!

Participants of the BALC 2016, Build a Line Master Class Challenge —

Please visit each blog and leave a word or two of encouragement!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne Jewelry Making Outside the Box

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


Elizabeth 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


Donna Parry, JewelryDonna


Gina-Marie Hammer, Tangles, Twists and Treasures


Kelly Wymer, Winged Wisdom Enchantments

This entry was posted on January 29, 2016. 55 Comments

I Made It!!

BALC2016badgeI have great news!!!  I was accepted into  Build a Line Challenge Class sponsored by B’Sue Boutiques.  In this class, we will learn how to create a cohesive line of jewelry and then brand it through various methods such as social media.  I can’t wait but I’ll have to because it doesn’t start until the 1st of the year.  If you are interested in this, there are a few more spaces available just go to B’Sue Boutiques blog,  to check it out.

 I will be blogging about my experiences in the class and there will be 3 bloghops!! Yes, 3!! One a month. So until then…take care and be safe.

This entry was posted on November 18, 2015. 4 Comments

Hello and Welcome

Hello and12087209_10103170919404059_7283788223552802138_o welcome to Fern’s Place “Where Good Things Come in Small Packages”. I’m Susan and creator of this blog. For a long time now, I have been enamored with jewelry – all aspects of jewelry. I have thought many times about putting out my shingle but for one reason or another wasn’t able to. So when my daughter came in the door and said, “Let’s start an Etsy store, I’ll do fiber and you can make jewelry”, I was elated!

As I was getting out my tired jewelry made long ago, preparing for my part of the store, I stumbled upon an online boutique which was enveloped by an infectious enthusiasm.  B’Sue Boutiques, an online supply company, owned by Brenda Sue Lansdowne, sells amazing brass jewelry parts replicated from those of yesteryear. I watched Youtube videos which she made, visited a creative group she started and rummaged around the online shop. Suddenly a surge of adrenaline overcame me – I knew I had found my niche, I had come to my creative home. I was experiencing a passion for creating that I had forgotten. I ordered brass pieces from the shop, asked to join the Creative Group and turned my daughter’s bedroom into a workshop. Now along with my daughter’s help, I am fulfilling my desire to create artistically, to make jewelry.

Now, this is where you come in. I will be writing about anything and everything, from the emotional ramifications of becoming vulnerable enough to express myself through my new found friend, mixed-media jewelry making to determining which photo editor to use for the best online pictures. I will also be showing you pieces of jewelry that I have made. What I ask from you is that you read my blogs and leave heart felt comments in a sincere and gentle way so together we will both learn what it is like to be a jewelry artisan.  Until then, take care and be safe.

This entry was posted on November 8, 2015. 9 Comments