Build A Line Challenge from B’sue Boutiques, Mary Craig of Jewelry Alchemy, Part Three

Cleopatra Imagine if Cleopatra were magically transported to 2015 with nothing but the gown on her back. What would she do first? Go shopping, of course! But what would she buy?

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). scarab 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.


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My line called Cleopatra Reimagined combines the style and colors of ancient Egyptian jewelry with modern wearability.

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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


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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


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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


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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

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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


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“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

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38 Responses to Build A Line Challenge from B’sue Boutiques, Mary Craig of Jewelry Alchemy, Part Three

  1. Marica Zammit says:

    Oh I love the colors that you used in your line. That blue is spectacular!

    Who doesn’t like Cleopatra? She was the master of bling haha I love the name of your line and the symbolism behind it. Great job Mary!

    All the best 🙂

    Marica xx

    Like

  2. Not only did I learn something from your blog, I truly like your line. That cobalt is wonderful and were Cleopatra with us today, I know where that woman would go shopping! Well done!

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  3. Cleopatra would be very pleased! These are all beautiful pieces!

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  4. Beautiful line Mary. Your color choices are fantastic and thank you for sharing the symbolism of these pieces.

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  5. Sue Shade says:

    Cleopatra Reimagined – you’ve done an excellent job making your jewelry work with your title. I love your colors and your bead choices!

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  6. I love learning the history part of jewelry thank you for sharing that. My husband definitely likes your jewelry line because of the cobalt blue. He likes anything that color. So when I look at your jewelry line the first thing I think of is how my husband would love me wearing this jewelry

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  7. I still just LOVE the entire concept of your line. You did such a wonderful job with it.

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  8. Renee Hong says:

    Mary, simply elegant line! “Moths to a Flame” is my favorite. The blue color you’ve achieved on the scarab is perfect. I love the beads, and the triangular shapes. How wonderful that you have antique beads to use as well! Your line is unique, creative, and definitely fit for a queen!

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  9. Well we made it .. the final reveal .. love the blue’s and gold’s .. very elegant

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  10. lilisgems says:

    Lovely designs and love that blue!

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  11. Chi says:

    Stunning line, love the colors, too. Congratulations on a wonderful line!

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  12. Maria Clark says:

    The Egyptian theme is such fun. Colors are vivid and beautiful. Such a privilege to work with you and the other artists during this challenge. Good luck to you.

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  13. Your line is amazing! I adore “Rising Sun”!

    Cheers,
    Susan

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  14. Brenda Sue says:

    Great job, Mary, your post looks great and you’ve got a lot of interesting pieces! So glad that you joined us and thank you so much participating and doing a wonderful job.

    Like

  15. DragonzWench says:

    We all know where Cleopatra will look first for here jewellery
    lovely work

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  16. Beautiful work Mary., That blue is amazing. Cleopatra will certainly come to your shop when she returns, LOL.

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  17. Jjan Peters says:

    Good heavens girl! Your work is stunning! Rising Sun is my fav-the beads are gorgeous and your use of the lapis blue is wonderful-good color eye! Keep going, keep finishing(the hardest part I agree). This is just the start for you I am sure.

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  18. Yes we all made it to the finish line and were all beautiful designers too. I love your cohesive look and designs, also that rich gold and blue you used, just gorgeous.

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  19. Beautiful creations, Mary. Loved your blog post.

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  20. You know I adore your chosen theme~ adore what you have done so skillfully and beautifully! We made it to the end, yay! I have enjoyed meeting you and working along side of you! Way to go, good sales and most of all best wishes to you~
    xo
    nike

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  21. apttowander says:

    Beautiful colors and impeccable work, Mary! Great theme that can easily be fleshed out with more pieces!! Love it…

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  22. Dana says:

    Count me in as another vote for that gorgeous blue! Great job, I can tell you’ve put a lot of thought into it!

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  23. Janet Calardo says:

    Love your designs. They are really unique. Liked the end of the post of what you learned.

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  24. Tammy Adams says:

    Your colors are perfect for the theme. The shade of blue is exactly what I imagine when I think of Egyptian lapis jewelry. Gorgeous designs.

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  25. Fran S from NC says:

    My favorite part of your blog reveal is the back story behind each piece of artwork. It gives your line a personal connection that makes it memorable. You were so thoughtful about every detail and incorporated lines of connectivity that stream through the entire collection.

    Like

  26. Inspired idea- using the marvelous old trade beads found all over North Africa to enhance your designs of Egypt. Even your color choices shows how well you know your topic. Great theme & execution.

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  27. Those designs are flat out AMAZING!! Fabulous colors very regal and just beautiful!!! You did a great job on creating a cohesive line!!! Ihave really enjoyed working with you on this challenge! Be. Blessed

    Like

  28. Coral says:

    The blue is so impressive. When I see this blue again, I will think about your line. The combination of trade beads and your hand painted beetle is so perfect.

    Like

  29. Beautiful line! I, too, just love the blue-one of my favorite colors.

    Like

  30. gloria allen says:

    A color for royalty luv it. Beautiful pieces.

    Like

  31. kat bm says:

    I love how you are using such a traditional color scheme for your Egyptian inspired wearable art! great collection!

    Like

  32. Beautiful pieces, Mary … I love the vibrant colors and the amazing designs! It’s been a fun class, hasn’t it … best wishes on your new line! 😉

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  33. Bwaaaaa–now I want to go to Egypt–so inspiring is your line!! I love how you’ve used the scarab beetles and the blue and red and gold colors of Queen Cleo! Those red barrel beads and lapis triangle beads make the necklace totally pop!! Just love your refreshing line! :):)

    Like

  34. Lynda O'Mara says:

    Mary–This is a great blog. I learned so much. Your pieces are beautiful and I love the stories that you tell with each piece. I love anything Lapis and you paired it wonderfully with the gold and red. Congratulations!

    Like

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