Build a Line Challenge Part 3… the final reveal. . .

Or maybe just April Fools…


Aren’t those baby blue’s  of Sammy Kat’s gorgeous? Don’t ya feel like you could stare into those eyes and see his soul?  We’ve done a lot of soul searching for the Build a Line Challenge Master Class, facilitated by Brenda Sue Landsdowne of

At least I have.  Many of the subjects covered were expected. Pricing, branding, styles of design.
There were a couple at least that had me tossing and turning way into the middle of the night. I really did not expect that this exercise could have me examining myself. I am grateful for the experience. Brenda is a wonderful instructor. I surely didn’t anticipate gaining such insight to my motivation and discovering what I really want to do with my work.

The first blog was reasonably easy.   I had mine completed days earlier than the deadline as I was going to visit my sister. With out computer access for 10 days, I knew I had to have everything ready before leaving.

For the second blog I managed to bring it in just in time! Oh was I really dreading the hop on that one…We have some amazingly talented writers in this group. This created a major challenge for me. I  really felt pressure to “measure” up.   It is totally a self inflicted condition. No one makes me feel as though I am not good enough.. I do it to myself.

And here now.. the 11th hour before this blog is published and I am fighting tears and panic attacks.  Ugh..  There is nothing so hard required, nothing I haven’t done before. The panic.. the emptiness where thoughts and ideas should be  is not new for me. A kind of  performance anxiety.   And now just admitting the problem is making me feel so much better.


12931229_10153757693464232_930351169932942510_nThe first topic that really gave me pause to think was the question: Hobbyist, Maker or Designer.  I know what I wanted  the answer to be. I also knew that by not being honest with myself I was never going to grow.
I am a Hobbyist.

I do not enjoy production, making duplicates.  I cannot do custom orders or special requests.  I block up, waste time and dawdle until the deadline. Mostly it causes me discomfort.  I have come to realize I love this process of makering  too much to allow it to make me uncomfortable.  I have to find within myself a happy medium.


The next module that made me sit up and think was the one labeled Getting in the way of your own productivity.  Was that written just for me, or what!  I can find a million and 1 ways to waste time. Yanno how a little kid pushes the food around on his plate when he really isn’t eating it?  .. Yeah… my signature move.  I start moving brass all around the table.. back into  it’s storage box and out again.  if there is pressure!!  When I am makering just for the fun of it with no deadline, no comparison to anyone elses creations or just cause..  I can sit an create for hours.  The module on business plans that followed was particularly meaningful.   Realistic goals. You cant get there if you dont know where you are going.

I did not complete 5 pieces of Jewelry to finish the Challenge.  I know I am not eligible for any consideration of prizes.  But I am a winner.  This wonderful class has set the seeds for me to know what it will take to put my dreams of a successful business into action. A plan. Creating my brand. How styles  and trends effect fashion accessories. Oh so many things I didn’t know I didn’t know!!
I did succeed in a personal goal.  I learned,  by finding a gladness in every circumstance I have the power to become more content in my life. This Straw Bonnet attitude   has made me more optimistic in general.  I smile more, frown less.

I am so very glad I discovered I don’t want to ever stop loving sitting at my workbench and “puttering around”.  One day I will come to terms with sharing my work with the group.  When this becomes stressful or uncomfortable it is time to walk away.

And now that the pressure is off.. I will skip back to my little corner and maker again.  I will probably finish (or start) my Straw Bonnet collection. It still makes me smile.

Thank you to Brenda Sue Landsdowne, and the judges for all your hard work. I appreciate everything you have done for us.   Thank you also to the class participants, and to the blog readers.  Please… continue on down and see the reveals of my class mates lines..

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


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


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



34 thoughts on “Build a Line Challenge Part 3… the final reveal. . .

  1. gingerh1202

    Gina, I love the colors and the way you used the straw hats. The most important take-away any of us has from this class is that we have new tools to use to build our business to whatever level we want it to be. Never stop sharing your work. Hugs to you.


  2. MarieGrubbs

    Thank you for such a revealing and honest look at your heart going through this process. It was very enlightening and gave me pause to consider my own plan. The pieces you show look like “fun.” Best to you as you continue to create.


  3. christinemkemp

    The Straw Bonnet Attitude! That’s the spirit. The finish line is not what’s important, it’s the journey. I enjoyed your blog, and your journey of self-discovery. Now that the pressure is gone, I’m sure you’ll be making some great pieces. I’ve enjoyed going to class with you, Mary!


  4. Karen Eaton

    Can’t wait to see more of your creations (no pressure)!! I, too, am not a “production” person-I create what I like and feels right, rarely do duplicates, because, for me, the process of picking through beads, brass, etc… is the “fun” part!


  5. Susan Ferrell Bowerman

    What a heartfelt, beautifully written blog. I savored every word. You are clearly a winner in my eyes. I guess we call this journey a challenge because that is exactly what it does…on so many levels for all of us. I think you are both a gifted writer and a talented designer. I think you are also wise to embrace those things which matter to you. I loved sharing this moment with you. Making jewelry is just a small part of who we are and it gives us pleasure. I’ve got 9 years under my belt and I still don’t know where I’m going. I’m okay with that. Glad you are too, Mary. Beautiful blog. You are a winner in my book!


  6. beadingmimi

    Loved reading your blog! I could relate to so much
    of what you said because I am the same way. Look forward to seeing more of your creations.


  7. Sue Shade

    Your blogged touched me at the heart. I too am a hobbyist. But I so love to create as you do. I love your creations Mary. I hope you continue to enjoy the journey!


  8. Dana

    Those bonnets will be wonderful once you’ve decided you’re ready to maker again 🙂
    I really need to tell you though………thank you for the reminder. I’ve got some stuff going on right now and I’ve been treading water. I so so needed to be reminded how much I love to swim. ❤ THANK YOU!


  9. Kristy Le

    Mary these pieces you are creating are just as precious as you are girl and you do things I. Your own way and have fun with it. Love the little straw hat and flowers piece! Love nyou bunches always sweet girl! XOXO!


  10. christinecravens

    Mary, thank you so much for sharing your journey in this blog post. It is amazing how much each of us learned in this class – and all so many different lessons! I love your heart and the designs you’ve started pulling together here are so beautiful – the hats, the flowers. They make me think of spring and getting out in the garden 🙂


  11. Valerie Tilghman

    Big hugs Mary! It is REALLY hard to work under pressure and I am right there with you. I will never do custom work….its always healthier to do what is in your heart and what your spirit tells you to make. Your bonnets are beautiful and just keep on creating when you can 🙂 Lots of love to you!


  12. Vonda

    Mary, I really enjoyed reading your blog. I can really relate to a lot of what you shared. You’re a winner in my book, because you had the guts to take the BALC class. Good for you!


  13. Janet Calardo

    A great blog of honesty and true feelings. I am a hobbist as well and I also leave things to the last minute then stress to get things done. I have had a hard time getting back to creating regularly but hope to soon. I really loved your blog..


  14. Mary Lou Guidry

    I Enjoyed reading Your Blog & I Appreciate that You shared Your Personal thoughts & feelings with Everyone. You are Very Special Person that Enjoys doing things Your way at Your convienience…. I like dong that too😊. I love Your Straw Hat & the bright colors that you are using & I can imagine that Your completed Design will be Beautiful. Mary Lou Guidry.


  15. haileyscottage

    I appreciate your honesty – I recognized a lot of my own traits in your blog – procrastinating, performance anxiety, etc. I’ve never blogged before and despite my love of creating in just about any medium I was freaked out about blogging and sharing my work – on the internet of all things. But now that I’ve done it I’m glad I did! Your straw hat line is cheerful and colorful, keep developing it in whatever way makes you happy!


  16. Belinda

    Mary, first of all I would like to say how incredibly brave you are to share so much of yourself, I could never do that (baby steps maybe). I can relate to so many things you said. I love designing jewelry, but there are more important things at times. But I still love creating jewelry! Anyway, I love your straw hats theme and hope one day to see some of it. (No pressure) and you will see some of mine. ;D


  17. B'sue

    Mary I am proud of you. You gave it your all. This is a class of discovery and you are right….it’s not just about jewelry making….it’s about pulling the thought process together. You have a great start, keep working!


  18. Novegatti Designs

    You are definitely a winner, Mary …. that’s what this class is all about. Learning about ourselves, how we work, and what works best for us. Your line looks wonderful, and I’m really looking forward to seeing new pieces from this line and others when you’re comfortable with it. Toby sends big kittyhugs to his pal, Sammy! ❤


  19. Jeanette B

    Beautifully said. I find your bravery and honesty inspirational. I really enjoy reading your blog, and will continue to do so, hopefully we will get the pleasure of seeing what you create with your bonnets.


  20. wings and beads

    One of the most valuable things I learned last year, everything is not for everyone, and sometimes you just have to know when to walk away. follow your heart, love you and what you do!


  21. fernsplace

    I like your straw bonnet jewelry but I love the Straw bonnet Attitude. I believe that the jewelry line is a by-product of our journey over the last few months. I admire your honesty with yourself – that is sometimes really hard to do.


  22. Beth Trubman

    Thank you Mary for sharing your feelings … it was a brave thing to do. I admire you tremendously for being so honest. Keep doing the things that give you joy.


  23. Leslie

    It sounds like you made a lot of progress just where you needed to, and that really is a win. Thank you for sharing your process, your progress…because more than one of us struggles with some of the same dilemmas, and it always helps to know we’re not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Donna Parry

    When You slip back into your creative mode, I want to be your first customer!!! Those hats, and the meaning surrounding them are simply wonderful. I felt personally, that my brain was so over loaded with information, it was a challenge to rein in all my wild pony thoughts. I needed more time to be my creative self. Please give yourself more time….
    I had high hopes that I would be able to really focus on this class. Well, my dads best friend passed away, my mom reached another level of care and I kinda crashed. I did really enjoy it and learned a lot, but I know that I will go through all the information several more times. My line was still in the evolving stage, its our secret. You have true talent Mary, and never loose your joy. That would be a crime of some sort. You have an incredible writing style. I never want to miss one of your blogs. Please cuddle Sammy for me, and hug him.
    Your Friend, JewelryDonna


  25. Donna Parry

    I enjoyed this class very much. It was so much information, it felt like wild ponies running in my head. I personally will reread the information a few more times. I felt like my line was incomplete. I did not have enough time for designing the details. It will come in time. In fact..I felt a rush of a few ideas when I finished taking my final pictures. I am officially putting an order in for something with one of your bonnets as soon as you get finished making them. I love what the bonnet stands for. You have a lot of great ideas! I hope I never miss one of your blogs!
    Your Friend JewelryDonna


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