Friday, January 23, 2015

Thanks for Blog Hopping In! My Love Affair with Jewelry is Blossoming RIGHT NOW!

--->>   This is the Very First Blog Hop of the Very First B'sue Boutiques Build A Line Design Challenge!
--->>   At the very end of this post you will find the Full List of Participating Designers and all of our Blogs.
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Now to introduce myself:
I'm Jennifer Merrill Williams, Jewelry Designer and Lifelong Artist.

This luscious photo I concocted for my Etsy shop, LoveBeadz,  illustrates my love of jewelry design and vintage  treasures.

My earliest memory of jewelry is spending hours at age six or so, sorting through a small travel case filled with tangled 1960's plastic multistrand beaded necklaces. I was in the  Zone!
As I grew up, my Mom took me along when she volunteered at thrift shops, instilling in me an appreciation of vintage costume jewelry. (Some salvaged bracelet components from those days still live in my stash.)

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Mom lived in Baltimore, where I got my first taste of ancient and antique jewelry, visiting with her at The Walters Art Museum. I've since spent hours in the Museum's online Gold, Silver and Jewelry Collection. (Above: Lalique's "La Source" Pendant and Necklace, circa 1902, from the Museum's collection.)

Through the years, I added to my vintage jewelry collection, first for personal use and more recently for resale or redesign. Living in New York City, I found my treasures in thrift shops and flea markets. Once I even bought a fabulous Weiss pink rhinestone brooch from a man who walked up to me on the sidewalk! (At the time I knew nothing of designers, I just knew it was a must-have!) A roommate snapped the above photo of me styling in my collection. Below is some of my collection of beaded necklaces on display for sale.


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I was fascinated by the wide variety of handmade jewelry sold by New York City street vendors. Of course I couldn't buy everything I fell in love with! One fateful day, a vendor who was a Viet Nam veteran showed me how to make beaded earrings. Immediately I was hooked.

Since then, I've collected a zillion beads, tools and jewelry components. I've taken courses in metal working, enameling, fabricating jewelry using ancient techniques, and creating with precious metal clay. I've sold my both my own creations and vintage pieces through direct sales, commissions, street fairs, parties, co-op stores and online.

My vintage costume jewelry collection has grown around certain themes such as multi-strand beaded necklaces made in Japan, Hong Kong and West Germany. But I have never developed my identity as a jewelry designer in such an organized manner.
 My LoveBeadz jewelry designs tend to be one-of-a-kind, with the occasional series of pieces using similar colors and materials, such as the Valentine's Day earrings above. When displayed together, the variety of styles and colors can feel chaotic. 

B'sue Boutiques

When Brenda Sue Landsdowne announced B'sue Boutiques Build A Line Design Challenge, it was a LIGHT BULB MOMENT I am now on a mission to design and create my first official LoveBeadz jewelry line - a cohesive collection large enough for a customer to browse  for just the right style, size and color among similar-themed pieces. The Build A Line Challenge is incubating LoveBeads' very first Spring Collection.

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So What's My Line Already?
This blog post will not reveal exactly what I am developing for my first LoveBeadz jewelry line, but here are my inspirations and a sneak peek at some key design elements.

Ok, I'll give you a freebie: I'm kicking off my line with NECKLACES!

(No I did not make these.) 
I'm inspired by.....the style and elegance of vintage multi-strand beaded necklaces...

... with their multiple colors and materials in a harmonious color range.

 Fabulous high-quality metal filigree adding richness, depth and detail to the designs. Now filigree is gorgeous - one of my favorite inspirations - but here's a hint: My line won't use this much!  I'm carefully choosing from B'sue Boutiques' rich variety of filigree beads and components  in the sizes, color and finishes to complement my bead designs.

Finally, I looked at my personal jewelry collection. I keep the necklaces that I actually wear displayed in my room on this bulletin board that I painted with acrylics. I asked myself, what costume jewelry do I wear the most? When do I wear it? For what purpose am I most likely to buy a piece of jewelry for myself?

At that moment, my design focus switched from myself to my customer! For me, that 's what  B'sue Boutiques Build A Line Design Challenge is all about.

Now, Dear Reader, after all these  tantalizing hints, I wonder what image of LoveBeadz' new jewelry line you are developing? I'd love to hear from you!

Stay tuned - follow this Blog - I promise you 
More will be revealed!
Thank you again from Moi!
- Jennifer Merrill Williams, LoveBeadz Jewelry Designer -
 for hopping onto my Blog, Artists of All Stripes


Participating Designers and their Blogs:

Brenda Sue Lansdowne
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

Micheale 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
Once Upon a Line

Elizabeth Hildreth
Mad Scientists Designs

Dana Hickey
Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo
Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark
Sweet Willow Design

Lori Beekman

Jennifer Kroeger
Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen
Hoarder's Corner

Robin Reed
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
Objects and Oddities

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 Schurter
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. YAY you got 'er done! And I get to be the first commenter! GREAT JOB!

  2. So glad to see you're up and running! Oh how I envy you New York. I buy most of my truly vintage beads from a great seller in New York who goes to estate sales of past jewelers & beaders. Those old treasures really have helped me to define my colors, w/o them I don't think my ideas for my theme would have come together.

  3. Love the colors in those necklaces.

    Can't wait to see some of your designs in the next blog hop :-)

    Bead Lovelies

  4. lookin good .. looking forward to lot's more pretty pieces .. Jann

  5. I'm really looking forward to seeing your new line!

  6. Your line sounds intriguing, Jennifer ... I'm really looking forward to seeing what you'll come up with! ;)

  7. Very interesting. I can't wait to see more!

  8. NYC is a mecca of Wondrous shiny things! Jennifer I look forward to seeing your completed line of shiny things!

  9. Oh, you are such a tease! Gorgeous stuff in your photos, I can't wait to see what you do with it all.

  10. Ack, it's another of those movie trailer teaser posts where I don't know what the movie is about but I know I want to see the whole thing. ;) Can't wait to see what your theme will be.

  11. I'm a lover of vintage jewelry too and just loved your story. (Must admit I'm a bit envious of your experiences picking pieces in NYC!) Can't wait to see your line evolve over the next three months!

  12. I too grew up going to flea markets, antique stores and shows and museums. My true love is vintage, especially art nouveau jewelry. I am looking forward to seeing your collection! ~Ingrid

  13. Great blog and I cannot wait to see your collection! ~ nike

  14. Just enough to get us hooked without revealing a thing, how sneaky are you

  15. You have a GREAT story! Can't wait to see your line :-)

  16. A rich interesting blog. Can't wait to see your line of jewelry.

  17. Enjoyed your blog as it took me right back to my own love of beads and rhinestones. Looking forward to your amazing line.

  18. I can't wait to see what you come up with! I love those multi-strand necklaces too, your stash is to die for!

  19. Looking forward to seeing how you develop your ideas for the multistrand necklaces and vintage look for your line :) Linzi

  20. Jennifer--Great blog, great story. I think you're well on your way with your new line and I'm looking forward to seeing your new pieces...all of them!

  21. While I always prefer vintage, I'm relatively new to wearing necklaces -- I always chose bracelets and brooches for my bit of flair. Now that I've bought a few multi-strand ones I'm hooked! Your line sounds excellent, and I love your history.


  22. Amazing story on how you got hooked on vintage jewelry and your creative process. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  23. I too loved haunting the vintage flea markets, secondhand stores, antique treasure troves--and didn't take away nearly enough. I love your inspiration, as vintage multi-strand necklaces are so rich in color, stones, depth, and visual excitement--excited to see where you go! Gina H

  24. Thank you everyone for your encouraging comments. I am still hopping around the blogs myself and enjoying getting acquainted with everyone in the challenge.

  25. It will be great seeing your new twist on vintage multi-strand necklaces. I love the story about how you learned to make jewelry from the street vendor that was a veteran!