Friday, January 23, 2015

Build A Line Challenge from B'sue Boutiques, Micheale Collie of The Vintage Gem, Part One

Welcome! I'm Micheale Collie of The Vintage Gem and I'm so excited to participate in my first blog hop with the Build A Line Challenge sponsored by B'sue Boutiques. This is the first of three blog hops where I'll share a bit about myself, why I chose to participate in the challenge, and what inspires me to create art jewelry. The Build A Line Challenge is actually a fabulous opportunity to learn how to create a line of jewelry with the support and guidance of 50+ other artists.

Here are a couple pictures of what I think are my best pieces, so far. 

And here's me in my very messy work space!

What can I say, I get organized, then I mess it up. Guess I work better in clutter. 

I started creating jewelry several years ago as a stringer/beader; making necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. I did custom work, designed original pieces and even made wedding jewelry. My decision to make jewelry was two-fold; I had become allergic to base metals and couldn't afford to replace my earrings with ones made of sterling silver, and I was looking for a creative outlet. I've always been a creative person. I've been a musician since childhood, have a degree in music, and besides jewelry making, I sew, have had a cake decorating business (I love to bake), knit, play guitar, write-you get the idea.

I became frustrated with the type of jewelry I was making because it didn't hold my interest. I felt there was more I could do, but couldn't find my niche, so I stopped selling jewelry. I continued to make pieces for myself, family and friends. You can imagine the joy and excitement I felt when I found Brenda Sue Lansdowne's videos on YouTube last summer. Finally, here was a completely different and challenging way to make gorgeous, unique jewelry. 

Being a part of the challenge was very important to me, even though I felt completely overwhelmed when I trying to come up with an idea for a line. I knew this would be a great learning experience, while challenging me to think of jewelry design in a new way. With a vague idea in mind, I applied for the challenge and am very grateful to Brenda for accepting me. Inspiration finally hit and the theme for my line is Dragonflies and Butterflies, two of the most beautiful creatures in nature. I don't have any finished pieces, but I have ideas and a few components, plus a couple works in progress. (I need to place another B'sue order!)

You can find my jewelry at  I'm so excited to learn from all the other talented artists in the challenge as we begin this three month journey together. 

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques
Marcia Tuzzolino
Jann Tague
Judy King
Linzi Alford
Cynthia Wainscott
Carole Carlson
Lynn Stinten
Marica Zammit
Catherine Shattuck
Michaele Collie
Mary Craig
Lee Koopman
Erin Whitacre
Monica Casady
Leila West
Cindy Peterson
Leila Belcher
Gloria Allen
Pamela Anger
Tammy Adams
Lynda O'Mara
Elizabeth Hildreth
Dana Hickey
Janet Calardo
Maria Clark
Lori Beekman
Jennifer Kroeger
Amy Jorgensen
Robin Reed
Ingrid Anderson
Louise O'Shields
Susan Killam
Mary Katherine Deis
Nike Bottalico
Susan Bowerman
Kristy Le
Jan Peters
Mitzie Crider
Gina Hockett
Linda Anderson
Alexandra Sefton
Melida Boman
Teresa Shurter
Melissa Latimer
Renee Hong
Nadine Edris
Lori Meyer
Jennifer Merrill Williams
Denise Lussier Poirier
Renee Allen
Autumn Adams
Elizabeth Owens
Kat BarronMiller
Sandra Ballard
Coral Law

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It's nearly time to submit my proposal for the Build A Line Challenge

First off, I can't believe it's been a week and a half since my last post. My mind has been on other things, my proposal and would you believe it, getting back into online dating.

I'm taking another swing at online dating, but it's nearly as much work as jewelry design! Argh.

I finally had a revelation, of sorts, about why I've been so overwhelmed when it comes to creating jewelry and writing up my proposal. There's a myriad of techniques I could utilize in jewelry design and part of me gets caught up in trying to use them all. Here's where the revelation hit. I know what I do best and what sells. They just happen to be one and the same. So here's the place to focus my energy and creativity on a line. Once I narrowed that down, I realized I already have ideas and pieces for what I'm calling my spring line. As usual for me, I make everything so much more difficult than it needs to be. Shocker. While I can't reveal what my line proposal is yet, I feel such relief just knowing what I'm planning to do.

I'm so excited about this opportunity, offered by Brenda Sue Lansdowne and her creative team. This will be an invaluable learning experience for me and one which I'm very grateful for.

I hope to have good news to share here Monday. I've applied to be a vendor at a local market for unique, handmade items held the first Saturday of the month. I'll know the decision Monday. Fingers crossed!

Here are two of my newest pieces:

  This was made using a vintage mini tea strainer as the pendant with B'sue tea-themed charms added, using blue rosary beads as part of the chain and leftover bits of B'sue chain for the rest.

The butterflies are from and I've been racking my brain for a couple months trying to figure out what to do with them. Then I discovered Lumiere paints and here's the finished product. Nothing vintage, just a bit of my own creativity.

I'll keep you posted on becoming a vendor, and the Build a Line Challenge.