A Little Bit of History It’s well known that Cleopatra loved bling. Luckily for her, Ancient Egypt was rich in precious metals and minerals. Cleopatra took advantage by adorning herself in fabulous jewelry of gold and gemstones. Among her favorites were lapis lazuli (which symbolized the color of the night sky) and carnelian (which symbolized life with its rich, blood red color). The jewelry of ancient Egypt tended toward clean, geometric lines and vivid colors. Familiar motifs from nature included the sun, lions, falcons and scarab beetles.
My line called Cleopatra Reimagined combines the style and colors of ancient Egyptian jewelry with modern wearability.
A winged scarab takes flight in the first necklace, called “Moths to a Flame.”
The mother beetle is joined by four small beetles. All are headed toward two antique Venetian Red Heart beads from the 1800s, and triangles of lapis lazuli. The necklace closes with a handmade lapis blue toggle. Price: $65
Materials: B’Sue Vintage Style Egyptian Beetle, fig04121 B’Sue Heavy Patterned Circlet, fig04568 B’Sue Bead and Link Connector Chain, CHN0117 B’Sue Beetle Connectors, BROX01370 Antiqued brass hook Antique Red Heart barrel beads Contemporary lapis lazuli triangle beads
This necklace is called “Rising Sun” because the Egyptian god of the rising sun, Ra, was often depicted as a scarab beetle. A bright blue scarab sets off four antique Venetian millefiori (“thousand flower”) glass beads, probably from the 1800s. The millefiori beads are interspersed with rounded barrel-shaped lapis lazuli beads, and accented with small antique carnelian beads. The necklace is given a substantial look with a second row of chain to match the scale of the millefiori beads. Price: $80
Materials: B’Sue Brass Beetle, FIG01542 B’Sue Bead and Link Connector Chain, CHN0117 Antique Venetian millefiori beads Antique carnelian round beads Contemporary lapis lazuli beads
The third necklace is called “Watch & Wait” in honor of its centerpiece, a beautiful blue and gold wading heron. Herons symbolize patience and determination. They will stand motionless indefinitely, waiting for the moment an unlucky fish swims by. The heron is flanked by two antique Venetian millefiori barrel beads. Each millefiori features a lapis lazuli disk bead as well as a butterscotch amber nugget. The necklace is strung on memory wire for easy on and off. Price: $45
Materials: B’Sue brass heron pendant, FIG02007 Antique Venetian millefiori beads Antique blue Dogon glass donut bead (on end of pendant) Contemporary butterscotch amber beads Contemporary lapis lazuli beads Contemporary brass disks Memory wire Seed beads
“Got the Blues” (left) These lightweight earrings are made with B’Sue connectors that have been patinated. The connectors are finished with antique Dogon donut beads in cobalt blue and clear white, and suspended from gold-filled french hook earwires. Price: $20
“Let’s Dance!” (right) These 1-1/2 inch, gold-filled hoop earrings feature fun brass drops that were originally part of a vintage necklace. They dance between round lapis lazuli beads and round coral beads, which add the color of carnelian but keep the overall weight light on your ear lobes. Price: $20
What have I learned from the Build A Line Challenge?
This has been one of the most challenging, and most rewarding, projects I have taken on in recent memory! I couldn’t possibly list all of the revelations I’ve had over the past 3 months, so I’ll just list the first five that come to mind:
1. Focus is Critical: My incessant curiosity and love of new challenges can sometimes get in my way because it keeps me from really finishing things. Having one focus for my jewelry creations over the past 3 months has definitely helped me be more productive and produce more cohesive pieces.
2. Understand the Customer: I’ve spent time mulling over who my ideal customer is. As a result I have a much clearer idea of what designs are most likely to be successful.
3. Use the Pricing Pyramid: In the past I haven’t focused much on the lowest tier of the pyramid. But now I understand the value of focusing on all the pricing levels in order to take advantage of impulse purchases.
4. B’Sue Boutiques has “best in class” merchandise, to be exceeded only by their “best in class” customer service! Special note to Javi: You rock, girl!!
5. Finally, thank you, Brenda Sue for making this experience possible. Your knowledge, you humor, and your generosity are truly exceptional! You have made one more lifetime customer in me.
Now, I can’t wait to see what my fellow participants have been up to, and I’m prepared to be blown away by their work! Please join me in visiting them:
Let’s get to it! The final participants are: 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 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 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 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