Woodside WireWorks

Wit, Whimsy, & Wisdom…

Come on Baby, “Deck Out that Denim”…The Reveal

B’Sue Boutiques Build a Line Challenge, Susan Bowerman, Woodside WireWorks

Deck out that Denim

Meet Skittles Bowerman, Woodside WireWorks Quality Control Director…inspecting the line.

A few years ago, my creative life changed with a simple mouse click. I was perusing Pinterest for inspiration and discovered a red-headed firecracker named Brenda Sue Lansdowne. She was making the coolest necklace out of buttons. Buttons!   And it was bursting with tropical colors. She grabbed some buttons, dabbed them with glue, and stuck them on a blank. While she was making it, she chatted, giggled, talked. I felt as if I had known her for years. Here was a woman who was fun, made groovy stuff, had an authentic voice and her quirky, inviting down home style, captivated me. The end result of that video was a show stopping, stinking cute necklace. We had to order pizza that night because I watched videos ALL.DAY.LONG. I was hooked and soon joined the B’Sue Boutiques Creative Group on Facebook. Here are some pieces I’ve made for my “Deck Out that Denim” line, most of which were inspired by those videos I watched so long ago.

These are the first pieces made for my "Deck Out Your Denim" line.  I love how the mixed metals play off of each other.

These are the first pieces made for my “Deck Out Your Denim” line. I love how the mixed metals play off of each other. This is the lower tier of my pricing pyramid. They are simple, elegant pieces, which will make an outfit pop.

As I sat there, watching the first video, I thought, “I can do that,” and placed an order from B’Sue Boutiques. I about assaulted the mailman until it came! Then came the glue part. I’m a glue stick kind of girl. Holy Guacamole! The stuff I tried to stick kept sliding all over the place while Skittles, my crazy cat kept walking through it. My “eureka” moment lost its shine during those first futile attempts at assemblage.

Meanwhile, I joined a few other jewelry groups on Facebook. Oddly, for some reason the only one I participate in is the one I had no business being in!  These were mixed media artists, something I hadn’t even attempted. Up until then, I only made beaded jewelry. It never crossed my mind to use glue and patinas and all the stuff these folks use with ease.

Here's another part of my denim line.  I love that Lion and Rose Ox filigree from B'Sue Boutiques.  Picture this on a simple shirt.  It's going to pop!

Here’s another part of my denim line. I love that Lion and Rose Ox filigree from B’Sue Boutiques. Picture this on a simple shirt. It’s going to pop!

More of the line.

But, in my heart, I knew I’d be wise to participate…to stay the course.  I fell in love with Brenda, made wonderful friends among the members, and soon nicknamed it “The B’Sue Creative Group and University.” Chances are, whenever I get stuck, and ask a question, someone in that worthy forum will provide a fast answer. Still, I was so out of my league I often felt like quitting.  Plus my life was taking many stressful detours so I drifted in and out, only occasionally participating in the monthly challenges.

When I had this wonderful blank on my table, I kept staring at it.  I've seen quite a few members of the creative group use it beautifully, often embellishing a piece like this a great deal, with many smaller components.  I find these larger forms gorgeous in their own right, and opted to enhance it only slightly with a flower and a dangle.

When I had this wonderful blank on my table, I kept staring at it. I’ve seen quite a few members of the creative group use it beautifully, often embellishing a piece like this a great deal, with many smaller components. I find these larger forms gorgeous in their own right, and opted to enhance it only slightly with a flower and a dangle.

The pull to be part of the group was strong though, I knew I’d be a fool to ignore it. It was if the universe was taking a sledgehammer to my head screaming, “pay attention,” so I did. I realized I would learn much, be frustrated often, but the learning outweighed the angst and on a deeper level and most importantly, intuitively I knew I found my creative home.  I bore easily and at the creative group, there is so much talent and inspiration. It is an ideal environment for someone who wants to learn, to forge new territory, to create imaginative pieces, and add to improve their skills.  Brenda and the creative group have taught me more than I would have ever learned flying solo.

This is an example of an embellished blank.  Once I add a chain and a clasp it will be finished.  Because I still tend to be "glue challenged," this one was "less than cooperative" to assemble.

This is an example of an embellished blank. Once I add a chain and a clasp it will be finished. Because I still tend to be “glue challenged,” this one was “less than cooperative” to assemble. This piece, and those which follow, are at the top of the pyramid.

When I decided to join in the Build a Line Challenge, a few of my pals made the suggestion that the motivation behind doing something for a purveyor of parts was a brilliant ploy to improve sales. True and so what??? As the child of a self-made man who formed his own company, employed many, and had more integrity than most, I am an ardent believer in free enterprise. Don’t get me started on that! Everyone should be compensated for his or her time and talent. And, to get ahead, one needs to be an innovator, and creator of opportunities.  I would gladly pay a fee to be part of this class.

But, for the cost of a few parts, the lessons our group has taken from this far outweigh what we paid in supplies. Every step of the way, Brenda passionately returned our meager investments, empowering us with her knowledge.   She challenged, encouraged, nurtured, and inspired us, giving us the benefit of her thirty plus years experience in the trade. She gave far more than we did by a long shot. We grew as a group but more importantly, as individuals. We fretted, we whined, we had triumphs, and shared secrets.   Oh, and we were so often resistant to new ideas.   We had passionate dialogues and I’d be sitting at my computer going, “Damn, really?” So many of the things we were mentioning never crossed my mind.

I love this one.  Again, a blank was used along with many embellishments from B'Sue Boutiques.  I am so pleased with how this line is coming together.  I feel like these metals make an amazing statement when used together.

I love this one. Again, a blank was used along with many embellishments from B’Sue Boutiques. I am so pleased with how this line is coming together. I feel like these metals make an amazing statement when used together.

My dad used to say to me, “Susie, have you ever really learned anything with your mouth open?”  I would protest, wanting so badly to drive my point home.  But my dad was wise, he had the benefit of many years more than I had.  Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies.  It is helpful to see a situation through a different lens rather than being stuck in our own stale thinking.  Sometimes I wonder if the stars were crossed the day I was born. Misfit comes to mind, as does dreamer, dabbler, and maker of shiny things.  I was blessed with great parents, who set a good example and forced me to think.   Being part of this experience reinforced my image of myself. I guess you could say I have followed my own path for most of my adult life, but flying solo comes with a price.

This bracelet was made with 6 strands of beads from my stash and bracelet bars from B'Sue Boutiques.  It closes with a lobster clasp for security.

This bracelet was made with 6 strands of beads from my stash and bracelet bars from B’Sue Boutiques. It closes with a lobster clasp for security.

This charm bracelet was made with book chain from B'Sue Boutiques, and some bits and pieces from my stash and some groovy little charms from Virginia Beach Beads.  I love the movement of it.  It closes with a incredibly strong magnetic clasp.  When you "Deck Out that Denim" you can't forget to adorn the wrist!

This charm bracelet was made with book chain from B’Sue Boutiques, and some bits and pieces from my stash and some groovy little charms from Virginia Beach Beads. I love the movement of it. It closes with a incredibly strong magnetic clasp. When you “Deck Out that Denim” you can’t forget to adorn the wrist!

Belonging to a community like this fosters personal power, self-actualization, creativity, and enlightenment. The flow of ideas creates sparks, which become fires. Please if you ever have an opportunity to join forces with a tribe of like-minded souls, don’t wait forever, sitting in the wilderness with a wee book of matches as I did. Rather, jump in, enjoy the ride, and let your creative fires burn.  I will always be a dreamer, it is part of the tapestry that makes me “me” and I am totally good with that, but shared dreams often bear more fruit than do solitary ones.  My husband used to have a saying, ” He’s  like a little fire in the wilderness, cheerful but not too bright.”  I’ve been “brightened” on so many levels by being part of this group.

Look who is napping on the job.  Finding good help is tough these days!

Look who is napping on the job. Finding good help is tough these days!

Please, take a moment to visit the other members of our community. We are on this pilgrimage together. I know they will appreciate your visit as much as I do. Thank you for following each of us on our journey, and if you are so inclined, a comment here and there is always welcome.

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

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

https://howlingdogjewelry.wordpress.com/

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

  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

ab:coraldesign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

56 Comments

  1. WOW ! I’m so impressed. Your “Dack Out that Denim” collection is awesome !
    I enjoy reading your blog, you’re very talented !

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 21, 2015 at 12:44 am

      You have been so wonderful to follow this journey with me, Zsuzsa! I now I get to follow your RV adventure. Is that perfect or what? Keep posting, my friend. I’m loving your travels and I thank you so much for taking a peak here and for your kind words! Thanks again.

  2. Your beautiful design line is only second to your powerful and positive disposition, Susan. I’ll be sharing this blog as it states so beautifully what I cannot express myself.

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 21, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Thank you so much, Judy! Being with you in the journey has meant the world to me. I adore what you’ve been creating!

  3. Oh Susan, fantastic blog post. If it were in chapters I would read every single word. On to your line, you have flourished here, growing by leaps and bounds. Your technique with mixed metals, which is a fave of mine, is above and beyond and as if you have been creating for years. I love each and every piece. Job well done my friend. So proud of you. <3 <3

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 21, 2015 at 9:27 am

      Irene, having friends like you in my corner certainly helps! You are so wonderfully positive and upbeat, and have been a genuine source of inspiration. Much love to you, my friend!

  4. Susan, I am in tears. Did I really do all that for anyone? I think you ALL did it, and you helped ME….you taught me how to take all these thoughts I’ve had, rolling around in my head, and use to them to show somebody else how from the humblest beginnings (in my case as I say, 20.00 bill and a baby on my hip)….anyone who *wants to do the work* can take it to the limit, if they wish. You girls have all done an amazing job, but I believed in you before we started, even when you were so unsure of yourself. I’m tired, so tired, this has been INTENSE for all of us!— but at the same time I feel so energized. This truly is a window to jump out of, for ALL OF US….going forward.

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 21, 2015 at 9:31 am

      Brenda, yes you did all of those things and more for all of us! When you put your mind to something, you give it your all, despite what else may pop up as a life distraction. Know that each and every one of us who participated in this challenge cannot possibly give back what you have given to us–that rare opportunity to see what we can become. Thank you for opening our “collective eyes!”

  5. janntague@aol.com

    March 21, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Over the TOP beautiful .. I simply love the mixture of metals .. outstanding design line Susan .. you really have a great talent .. thank you for your on line friendship .. looking forward to many more days of fun with you .. 🙂

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 21, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Jann, thank you so much for EVERYTHING! We are all in this together. This is simply our new beginning! Can’t wait to see what this “alumni class” does next!

  6. Just plain beautiful stuff! So creative! Can’t wait to see it in person!

  7. So very gorgeous, and a complete line! Yes Demin with that metal, brilliant! I learned so much from you, thanks so much! xo
    nike

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

      We have all learned from each other, Nike! I’m so tired and moving through everyone’s blogs more slowly this time. I want to savor them. I will get to yours soon. Big hugs, my friend!

  8. This is a gorgeous line. Success!

  9. If people don’t jump on your pieces and buy them on the spot, I’m gonna have to come over and whack them on the head LOL Your line is so beautiful.

    I really like the name of your line too. So fitting. Your pieces will make any casual outfit pop. (Of course they can also be worn with more elegant outfits). It will give people a sophisticated look while wearing casual, comfortable clothes. And that is awesome in my books.

    I will miss our interactions in class. You are one strong, intelligent and funny lady Ms Susan 🙂

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 21, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      Marica, thank you my dear. You are our very talented, highly gifted little firecracker. I hope to be in another class with you–and soon. Keep spreading your magic, pretty lady! The pleasure was all mine!

  10. Susan: amazing post, incorporating your growth as an artist, your story along with your line. Decking out denim is far more than casual wear. I can see these pieces with business attire. My daughter works in an office and I know she would wear these pieces. I am so loving that charm bracelet with the book chain. Now I know how it looks on a charm bracelet. It’s really beautiful and chock full of goodies. Well done.

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 21, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      I appreciate that very much, Lee. I think I will make a few charm bracelets in all silver. Great class. I enjoyed being in it with you and the troops! I’ll miss it!

  11. Such a great result from your efforts! I love the use of coins in your line and the basic coloring which is so simple but packs a big punch. Such a privilege to work with you and the other artists during this challenge. Good luck to you.

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 21, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      Maria, I thank you so much. The coins have a story. I will post it one of these days. Thank you!

  12. These are great! I love them all and they really would deck out some denim!

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 1:00 am

      Thanks so much, Erin! I hope others will agree with you. I appreciate your kind words and it was great being part of this class with you!

  13. Marcia Tuzzolino

    March 21, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Oh, my dearest Susan, I am in awe of you! Your blog post is written with your fantastic style of intellect, wit, and down to earth wisdom.
    Your line is AMAZING, as I knew it would be. I am a huge fan of mixed metals, and you have created the perfect line to wear with denim.
    I know this will be a huge success for you, going forward. You’re one of the strongest women I have ever had the pleasure to know. I’m proud and humbled to call you, “friend”. <3

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 1:01 am

      Marcia, you are always too good to me. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. We have many more miles to travel together, my beautiful friend. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  14. I love your pieces, love the flowers, the simplicity, the complexity. It’s all perfect. You are an artist, don’t ever doubt that! Beautifully done and I’m proud to have been on this journey with you and all the others!

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 1:03 am

      Dana, that is so sweet of you. The pleasure has been all mine. We had such a grand time together, all of us! I hope we get to start “chapter 2” in one fashion or another. Thank you again!

  15. Susan your collection is a favorite of mine. I absolutely love the silver and copper together. I love denim and wear it everyday (even at my age I love it) and think this is a wonderful name for a line of jewelry. So glad I had the pleasure to share this journey with you and the other wonderful artists.

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 1:04 am

      Janet, I couldn’t agree more about this experience. We couldn’t have handpicked a better team if we wanted to. I love what you created, too. Can’t wait to see more of your beautiful work!

  16. Home run!!!!! Your designs are brilliant and your metal choices are perfect for your theme. Wonderful and cohesive line that says STYLE!!!!!!

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 1:07 am

      Oh Chi, thanks so much. I’m just itching to play some more when time permits. Loved sharing this experience with you and the rest of the crew! Thanks again.

  17. Beautiful work, most impressive.
    Cheers
    Lynn

  18. Susan you rock the world with your amazing soul spirit for sure!! Screaming oh my goodness what a phenomeanal line!!! Waaaaa I had made up my mind what piece I wanted and then I read your blog and said oh yes oh my to each and every piece!!! You are a phenomeanl artist and you just need to get ready for the unlimited business you are getting ready to embark upon! I have loved every minute of this journey with you!! ~Louise

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 1:10 am

      Louise, you are one of the treasures I found in this group. I love your contagious enthusiasm. Please keep on being you! You light a bright path. Much love, my friend!

  19. Positively gorgeous. Your line is spectacular. I love how you let the beauty of the metal components shine. And you’ve done such a fabulous job at mixing the metal colors, these pieces will be classics.

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 1:16 am

      Tammy, that is so kind of you! I loved sharing the experience with you and all of us appreciated your many contributions to the newsfeed as they were so enlightening. Thank you so much for everything. I ready for a second round!

  20. Susan your jewelry is gorgeous. You have captured something special by mixing the silver with the rose ox and your designs are stunning. I too at times felt like this was a bit out of my league as honestly “didn’t do glue” until right before this challenge came! I guess we as artists are our worst critics! Anyway love your designs and have enjoyed reading your posts and being on this journey with you. Ingrid

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 1:17 am

      Ingrid, we’ve all grown so much. I’m kicking myself in the seat of my own pants for waiting so long to do something like this. Live and learn, I guess. I hope we get a chance to be in another challenge together again soon. And thank you for your kind words. You are a dear!

  21. Very well written, I also particularly like the idea of “deck out that denim” and your super cute jewelry. Though I joined the creative group too late to take the class myself I have really learned much from reading the blogs of those who are enrolled, the discussions in the group, and of course Brenda’s video tutorials. I look forward to seeing more of your creations.

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 1:18 am

      I can speak for all of the artists when I say, thank you for visiting our blogs and following the experience. We appreciate that more than you can imagine. See you in the creative group, and thank you again!

  22. Susan I really feel like like I’ve gotten to know you over the last couple years and I just love your blog. You shared so many personal feelings and stories and now I feel like I know you even better. Thank you for sharing. Now regarding your jewelry absolutely love that use the the colors of the metal to make the colors in your jewelry if that makes any sense. This jewelry can be worn with anything because it makes its own statement all on its own. He you have a lovely jewelry line it’s very artistic. I am so glad you took this journey with me. Someday I would love to meet you.

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      Cindy, you are so kind and so very talented. I so enjoyed being in class with you and wish we all had a few more months at this. I would love to meet you as well! We would have a glorious time!

  23. Susan — you have been such a beacon for me in this challenge. I don’t know if I ever told you that, but there it is. 🙂 I love your Deck Out That Denim line. In fact, I was thinking about it a few weeks ago while I was packing for a few days away. A necklace in your line would’ve been perfect for my all-black outfit!

    Cheers,
    Susan

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      That’s the magic of “two Susans,” Susan! I loved sharing this adventure with you. You are smart, your contributions were awesome…I hope we have the pleasure of doing it again!

  24. I absolutely adore your designs. Every piece is amazing. I’m a huge mixed metal fan, and you have mastered that look. Beautiful.

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 24, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Lori, we had such a marvelous time, learned so much, the experience is one I know most of us will treasure for a long time. I enjoyed sharing this experience with you and thank you so much for your kind words!

  25. Pamela, Novegatti Designs

    March 24, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    What an amazing post, Susan … and even more amazing line! I love the silver and copper together, and what you’ve done with it … simply beautiful. They sure would deck out some denim! You’re a person with amazing strength, Susan, and I wish you well with your jewelry journey. It’s been such a fun time being in the class with you! <3

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 25, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Pamela, thank you so much for your kind words. I am so delighted that we are going to keep the group alive for the “alumni!” So glad I’ll still get to see you and the groups in class!

  26. Melissa Latimer

    March 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    “Come to the Jewelry Side, Susan! We have cookies!”

    You are so darn cute I can’t stand it. And your husband’s quote made me laugh as hard as you make me laugh. I am so stealing it!
    I’m so glad you found B’Sue, because you have made the group better. Your humor, your grace during hardship, your persistence (stubbornness?), and your extraordinary talent have been just what I needed to see this sucker through.
    You did it, and you did it beautifully.

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 25, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      Melissa, I do believe I found a lifetime friend when I found you. Brenda is the “Pied Piper” of creating just the best relationships ever. I loved laughing it up with you and Louise over that book chain thread. I was laughing so hard I nearly fell out of my chair. Thank you so much for being there! Big hugs! xoxoxo

  27. Mixed Metal Magic I think is what I call it! so very well done and I love the bracelets with the different charms and metal. I too love shiny metal things. Great job, but you are going to have to find a way to keep producing lots of goodies without waking up Skittles!

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 25, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      Oh I like that title, Jjan! I’m taking a breather for a wee while and then hope to jump back in the saddle again. When I do, you can be certain that Skittles will be front and center! That little monkey is always in the middle of my business…

  28. Awesome post Susan! First off your jewelry is amazing, I love the colors and textures in this line. Very nice, keep it up! Secondly bravo for joining the group and taking the challenge. It is a good feeling to find your people. I am always preaching to others about stepping outside of their comfort zones, do something different, reach out to others. There is so much awesomeness in the world and if you don’t make an effort to get in on it it you are loosing out!
    I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to a local meet up of crafters and my entire life changed course for the better. I had found my people. 🙂 plus, I love being part of a group because it makes you accountable. I feel like once I start engaging with someone about this, that and the other I have to see it through. And you have obviously seen it through. Yaaaaay!

    • Susan Bowerman

      March 25, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Sloane, I really appreciate you popping in for a visit. Thank you so much! You are so right about the accountability of belonging to a group. No one wants to disappoint and I think everyone works a bit harder. I loved this experience so much. Can’t wait to do it again!

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