Woodside WireWorks

Wit, Whimsy, & Wisdom…

Fifty Shades of Folly…Build a LIne Challenge, Woodside WireWorks, Part 2


I found this little treasure on Purple Clover’s Facebook Page. Love it!

Whips and Chains…Come on now, get your mind out of the gutter for crying out loud—not those whips and chains…we’re not talking THE Fifty Shades here…at least not that version! Metaphorically speaking, I’m talking about creative bondage… And in case you are wondering, no, I have not seen the movie. This discussion is entirely different. I’m referring rather to fuzzy, unfocused, and very gray thinking, far more than Fifty Shades of foolish thoughts in my case.  The Build a Line Challenge sponsored by B’Sue Boutiques has enlightened me on just how twisted my thinking can be.  Time to work smarter!

My kind of "chains."

My kind of “chains.”

For instance, my beliefs about making jewelry, which I held so dear, made sense only to me. Fuzzy indeed! I’ve been clinging to my notions as if they were a life raft in a turbulent sea.  For roughly eight years. I’ve been adrift, approaching my craft as nothing more than a hobby. And you know what, doing the same thing, over and over with no new innovation—in terms of selling and marketing—yields the same results. Duh! It’s no wonder why the outcome of my efforts is less than magical.

Deck Out Your Denim

Works in progress for my Deck Out Your Denim line. I do believe I’ve remade the piece on the right at least five times.

Don’t get me wrong; when I do a show, I do well. I’ve sold quite a bit of my work over the years. My designs are unique. I give myself permission to experiment and follow my intuition. The feedback I get is usually positive. Does everyone like my style of jewelry? Heaven’s no! Do I like everything I make? Oh please…I have a box of failures awaiting a pair of cutters and a set of fresh eyes…some of it is quite dreadful, actually. Do I like all of the jewelry I see on a daily basis? No, of course I don’t.  That’s not the point.

I’ve learned a few things in the course of a month, which will prove to serve me well should I take those lessons to heart. That would be good, as my business plan up to the point should be labeled, “Monkey Business,” for I haven’t a real ‘plan’ at all. I LACK FOCUS! When I threw my hat in the ring for this challenge, I hadn’t the foggiest where it was going, or where it would take me. Not a clue! What I didn’t expect was to have a total overhaul of what I do and how I do it. Were talking a major psychic shift! While I may not make my first million dollars, one bead at a time, at least—thank you Brenda and classmates—I’ve come to realize I need to set the bar quite a bit higher than I have in the past, unless of course I want to be singing the same tired song this time next year.

Wire-wrapped spoon pendant.

I “decked out” this spoon with wire and beads. I like the result.

Here are a few conclusions I have drawn while participating in the Build a Line Challenge sponsored by I need to create jewelry for customers, not other artists. Having my work admired by those who also make jewelry is wonderful but has little impact on the bank account. I love seeing what other’s make, I know what it took to make it, it is often breathtakingly beautiful, and I love seeing how others put their stamp on things. I also love having those of like minds admire my work. But if I’m going to make jewelry, I need to sell it!

That means I need to study style, pay attention to what is trending, and devote as much time to finding ways to sell it as I do making it. I love this wonderful little creative planet I orbit on a daily basis, but my little flights of fancy are not enough. My work needs to find its way around a neck, preferably one other than mine, and for a fair price. A shift in energy and focus is clearly in order.

Miss Skittles…always ready to help!

Miss Skittles…always ready to help!

And that stash of supplies I’m hording, well lets just confess that what I bought years ago I wouldn’t buy today. I’ve learned I need to shop smarter, use quality materials, and blend items that will go with more than one outfit. I need to simplify, and streamline. Yes, I want some “over the top, one of a kind really arty pieces,” but simpler pieces will sell sooner, can be made affordably, and will appeal to more buyers. In other words, this girl needs to approach what she does, through an entirely different lens, engaging her heart, hands, and head!

Pendant.  Coin Pendant.

My “Every Coin Has Two Sides” pendant necklace. After a trillion remakes, I’m finally happy with it.

The ideas we’ve discussed are whipping most of us into shape and that is indeed a good thing. For me, it has been an eye opening case of whiplash!

Oh, about those chains…that’s another thing I’ve learned. Most of what I’ve made in the past has been beaded. Buying chain, and have it look right isn’t as simple as it looks. Trust me, I think I’ve tried them all during this process while I’m getting better at choosing, I still find it tricky, thank you.

In our classroom, when one of us has a triumph, we call that an “Aha Moment.” I’ve had many of them through this opportunity. The biggest one occurred when I placed all of my works in progress together and studied them with an objective eye. My reaction was surprising: “Damn, I have a line…Deck Out That Denim is coming together. Wow!” I started this class not even sure what a line was. I know now, and yes, I have one. Life is good!

Please, please, please take the time to read and see what the others in the Build A Line Challenge have been up to. This lively group will keep you entertained, inspired, and all have a few “Aha Moments” to share with you. Oh, do show some love and leave a comment. We creative types eat that stuff up! Thank you for your visit. I appreciate it!

Another work in progress.  This piece is at the top of my line.  I love how it is coming.

Another work in progress. This piece is at the top of my line. I love how it is coming.

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

Linzi Alford

Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott

Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson


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

  1. 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 – – -You are here.

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













  1. haha loved reading your blog Susan. Your writing is always so entertaining 🙂

    And oh la la! Somebody’s been working really hard on making the best and most cohesive line ever 🙂 I just love what you’ve made so far.

    The color scheme is beautiful and you’ve whipped up some really original and unique designs here. Bravo my friend!

    The coin necklace is my favorite so far. Followed closely by the spoon – I see that it has a bit of your trademark bead weaving? (not even sure whether it’s called bead weaving, let alone know how to make it lol) in it.


    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 5:06 am

      Marica, I’ve been following you on the hop all morning! You are making this class so engaging with your inspired wit, comments, and being engaged all the way. You are a treasure, my friend. I’m so happy to be in this group with YOU!

  2. you are a hoot! What an analogy ohmigoodness. Everything looks wonderful. It’s coming together beautifully. So glad you jumped off the pier and dove in!

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 5:07 am

      B’Sue, love you girl. I wouldn’t have “jumped in” had you not been holding the life raft! xoxoxo

  3. Excellent Susan…great new looks for you. Aha indeed!

  4. I really love your line with the mix of the rosy ox and silver. It’s beautiful and the mixed metals means it will go with everything, which is a strong selling point. It looks like you’re on the right track!

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 5:09 am

      Thank you, Michelle. I hope it sells, this girl is “lusting for” some new parts! I appreciate your kind words!

  5. My sistah, I know all about lacking focus! You and I (and indeed others in this group) have expressed that again and again. I think that you and I and some of the others have just created for the sheer JOY of it. You are absolutely right when you say that there is a need to stop creating what other artists admire and basking in the praise. It does not pay the bills. This class has been such an eye opener for you and I am right there with you. Thanks for putting it all out there.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 5:13 am

      Lee, I tend to err on the side of being too blunt, but my husband used to say to me when I basked in someone’s praise, “Try cashing that!” It was a hoot, but it was the truth. I’m really having a blast with this and I know you are too. I don’t know what I honestly expected but this has exceeded all that I imagined it would be. I’m going to go into withdrawals when it is over! Thanks so much! xoxoxo

  6. I really like the candor of your writing style as well as your jewelry.

  7. Susan, you’re hitting the ball out of the park with your line. I love the metals you’ve chosen to combine. And, of course, you know how I love your style of telling a story! Awesome blog, my friend!!

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Thank you so much, Marcia. I’m having a blast with this thing. Look at what we’ve learned in so little time. I find that amazing. I would do this again in a heartbeat!

  8. great piece of verbiage and great pieces of creations as well!

  9. As always I enjoyed reading your post. Your choice of metals is stunning and everything works so well together. ~Ingrid

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Oh Ingrid, thank you kindly. I enjoyed reading you blog as well. This is such a wonderful opportunity! I am so happy to be part of it.


    February 21, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Your a great story teller Susan .. I love your blog and your new style of jewelry is simply beautiful .. Lookin’ good lady

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Thank you so much, Jann. Your line is opening up a window to my childhood. Keep on creating, pretty lady. I love the memories!

  11. Great post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the process. Your line is looking great!

  12. Your designs are so amazing. I think you have a very special gift for creating something unique. And I really just enjoyed reading your blog. =)

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Thank you so much, Lori. I still have a great deal to learn. I love how this class is pushing each of us. What a wonderful opportunity!

  13. Oh My Gosh Susan, what a fantastic post and I so enjoy and look forward to reading your posts. Your jewelry is going to be outstanding dear lady and that top tier piece you are working on is going to be quite the showstopper. I have always loved the combination of silver and copper. Wise choice here. Love it all and can’t wait to see your finished line. You Rock!!!

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      Irene, you always make my day! Thank you so very, very much! I’m really thrilled with the color combination myself. Happy accident!

  14. You’ve got this, Girlfriend! Wonderful line!

  15. Wonderful post as always, Susan … love to read your blog! Your pieces are gorgeous, and the copper and silver together is amazing. I can’t wait to see what other cool designs you come up with. 😉

  16. Susan you are a natural at this blogging thing. I really enjoy reading about your journey. Your line is truly amazing… love love what you are doing.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      Linda, I really appreciate your kind words! Quite a few folks told me I should start a blog. Ironically, I don’t believe even one of them have read the first word. How funny is that?

  17. Two sides to the coin and both are beautiful!
    Look at you go! I’m really loving these pieces!
    I know I’ll love the rest of the line too 🙂

    I think most of us have had those aha’s now! Kinda nice!

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      Our sweet Brenda has her hands full with this tribe, Dana! She is a wonderful motivator. Yes, the aha’s are there for the taking thanks to this great group. See you in class, Dana!

  18. I love the mixed metals and your designs so far! Can’t wait to see the rest!

  19. Thank you for such a funny, uplifting blog! You had me at 50 Shades! Your sentiment about the journey really hit home with me and you express it in such an entertaining way. Your jewelry is beautiful and the colors used are my favorite together. Can’t wait to see the finished line.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Janet, I was going to title it “Whips and Chains” but I thought that might be too over the top. I strive to tell this story differently because we are all sharing similar insights. So glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate your kindness and I’m so glad we have this opportunity together. Thank you.

  20. I love to read you and see your art! You are very talented~ Cannot wait to see the whole line~

  21. Oh, I love how your pieces are coming along! And I once had a Torti girl myself and they hold a special place in my heart.

    I also know what you mean about not buying the same things you bought years ago. When I first started out 15 months ago CHEAP was the name of the game. Now, I find myself pulling old creations and re-making them with quality supplies I’m not embarrassed over. We all have to make mistakes to get great. Now, I’d rather buy one quality component than 10 cruddy ones. And my Jewelry thanks me for it!

    But your pieces are stunning. I just love them. Especially the one with the coin. Brilliant idea!

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm

      Leila, thank you so very much. It is so funny how we evolve. Our eye becomes more trained, we develop a greater sense of flow–I love this process! I appreciate your kindness and I’m so glad to be in this class with you. This girl is going to be very sad when it is over!

  22. Oh yeah I’m here to show some love girl you rocked this challenge!! I love the copper ( rose ox) and silver flavor in your jewelry line it is just beautifiul!!! Your blog is just so on spot and I enjoyed it immensely! Great job classmate!!!

  23. What can I say that hasn’t been said Susan? I’m so thrilled you took this pounge and am just amazed at what you have created! Now just how are you going to top this my friend? Outta the box, I’ll say! Love it and you, your spunk, humor…the whole kit & caboodle!! You go girl!

  24. And we have a winner!!! LOVE your line and all your humorous commentary to go along with it. You are the heart and soul of this class and adore what you are creating here. Seriously I think it really has potential to go far! The class might end but you’ll be making many more of these pieces because they are going to SELL.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      Nadine, what a wonderful thing to say. I really appreciate your kindness but Brenda is the heart and soul of the class. I’m just a class clown with a few others…Trying to keep it light! You made my day. Thank you again.

  25. Love love love your line, esp. using the coins! So flipping cool, Susan!

  26. Oh, you are singing my song. 🙂 My collection of jewelry has been so all over the place and it’s been a blast trying every new thing. But I am finally ready to focus. And develop a look that is mine. Your line is coming along so well. I absolutely love the colors of the mixed metals you are using.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 22, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Tammy, you are such a joy to be in class with! You are smart, engaging, and I love your lizards! Thanks for the visit, girl. See you in class!

  27. Awesome post to match the awesome Jewelry. I know you are suprised at how beatiful your designs are since you took this turn, and amazed that it didn’t occur to you before. I am soooo glad you took this class and you just keep reaching inside yourself and delivering some amazing pieces. Cant wait til the next blog installation.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 22, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      Gloria, I truly appreciate your kindness. We are all having so much fun together. Why didn’t we do this sooner? That’s what I’d like to know! Thanks again, my friend!

  28. really well written, and your line is really shaping up to be wonderful.

    and I love the pictures of your chains, yes, that is really drooool worthy, your stash of chain!

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 22, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      “Drool worthy,” that’s a good one Kat! Now if I could just figure out which piece to pair which chain with that would help! Thanks again for your dear words!

  29. Really love the colors for your line, looking forward to seeing the finished pieces!

  30. The mixed metal look is really cool and the addition of the coins is fun. Looking forward to the final reveal.

  31. Susan I loved reading your blog. I did what you did with laying everything out together and thought I made a line. A warm and fuzzy feeling when things are happening the way they are supposed to happen. Love your new jewelry line, The name of your line fits.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 22, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Cindy, you are such a dear person. I feel like I’ve gotten to know you better because of this class. You’ve been supportive of everyone’s efforts. I love you, girl! Thank you.

  32. Your coin necklace is fantastic, and so original. I love it.

  33. Susan your such a trip with your whips and chains LOL. I just love your designs and they are just gorgeous. I think your little kitty helper ia quite cute as well. XOXO!

  34. First we need to discuss how you are gong to give me Miss Skittles! So adorable! Anyway–I cracked up reading your bog–well your blog actually! Your style of writing is so funny and refreshing! And I LOVE your copper and silver 2 sided coin line–beautiful and really unique. Looking forward to seeing your complete line all at once! :):) I’ll be home all weekend so you can fly to Denver and bring M. Skittles. LOL. :):)

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 22, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      Alexandra, Miss Skittles is a trip. When I first started making jewelry and was trying to come up with a business name, I really considered “Cat Track Accents.” I kind of regret that I didn’t use that. It would have been fitting. This little fur ball has inspected and “helped with” every piece I’ve ever made. She is a handful! Trust me! Thank you for your kind words! They mean a great deal to me.

  35. Shopping smarter…that is something I need to be better at. A great post and those aha moments are precious. Looks like you are off to agreat start with a cohesive line coming together. Congratulations!

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 24, 2015 at 12:47 am

      Gail, I’d be wise to use what I have and quit shopping! I can’t afford to add a wing to the house for all these little shiny treasures!

  36. Great post! I know exactly what you mean about needing to overhaul everything, it’s over-whelming, but exciting at the same time.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 24, 2015 at 12:49 am

      I hear you, Amy! I think being part of this adventure has at least given many of us a great deal more clarity!

  37. Susan- I really, really enjoyed reading your blog! It’s fun and informative. and I really, really love your pieces, especially the two with the pennies and the mixed metal.

    I also appreciate your insight about welling to other artists and that you need to expand more to the public. That being said, as a fellow artist who wears jeans most of the time, I would love wearing your pieces!

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 24, 2015 at 12:53 am

      Well then, Lynda…have I got a deal for you! LOL. Thank you so much for your kind words. What are we going to do with ourselves once this challenge is over? I for one am going to be sad! Take care, girl. See you in class!

  38. MJ Casady Copper Works

    February 23, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Thanks for sharing, I’ve made some notes from the insights you gave! Your line is really coming together, nice job!

  39. Love your kitty and these should look amazing with denim!

  40. Looking great, coming together nicely

  41. Love, love, love this, Susan. You have such talent and vision. I adore seeing how your mind works and even more how you put it down in writing!! Beautiful design line, my friend.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      Judy, I love being in the class with you and love the pieces YOU are creating! What an adventure we are having thus far. I thank you so very much for your kindness. Keep up the great work! See you in class and thanks again!

  42. I’m having trouble sourcing the chain I want to use, so I feel your chain pain. Looks good, keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing the bog reveal. 🙂 ~Elizabeth

  43. Yes, ma’am!! Fifty shades indeed! I so enjoyed reading this post, but also empathized with your sentiments–you said it so well! And makering for the public instead of other artists–well, I am pretty guilty of that too. Loved your AHA moment. Looking forward to your next blog post!! Gina H

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      Oh Gina, thanks so much. All of this snow has put a brief damper on my Aha moments! Hoping to get back in the groove today.

  44. Oh Susan, Susan, Susan. You almost made me snort coffee through my nose! I can carry your 50 Shades a little further by telling you how HOT HOT HOT the photo of chains is… Ha!

    Your Deck Out That Denim line is coming together so nicely. I love the mixed, unpainted metals so much. I truly credit you with that new fascination for me — silver and copper? Who knew?! Your layering is simply perfect.

    I wish you ALL THE SUCCESS with your new line. It is fabulous.


    • Susan Bowerman

      February 27, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      Susan, thank you so very much. Sorry about the “near mishap” with your coffee! I’m truly enjoying being in this class with you, Susan. See you in class and thanks again for your kind words!

  45. Great blog post- love your humour! You seem to be getting to grips with this line business 😉 Look forward to seeing your final reveal

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 27, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      Linzi, I’m a goofball! I figured I ought to have fun with all aspects of this thing since I committed to doing it. Thank you for your kind words. See you in class!

  46. OMGoodness, Susan! You have me ROLF!! Love your blog post and your line is amazing! You and Marica need to get together! You’d have a riot! LOL!!~ Catherine S.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 27, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      Catherine, so glad you enjoyed it. We’ve got quite a few fun personalities in our class, including YOU! Thanks again for your kind words.

  47. Great blog, Susan! I just love your designs and mixed metals, especially your coin has two sides necklace.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 27, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Thank you so much, Micheale. I appreciate your kind words and am enjoying being part of this adventure with you!

  48. Susan, your lion is so awesome! Combining the rosy copper and fine silver looks so rich. I love your writing style, too! ~Renee H.

    • Susan Bowerman

      February 27, 2015 at 10:56 pm

      Renee, I really appreciate your kind words. I like the lion, too. Brenda has some wonderful pieces for us to work with! See you in class and thank you for your kind words.

  49. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will make sure to
    bookmark your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future.
    I want to encourage you continue your great posts, have a nice

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