Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Heart Lab: THE B-LINE

A special treat today! Amy of THE B-LINE has kindly agreed to share the making of one of my personal faves... the Paloma Bracelet.

1. Generating an idea (an instant or a little longer, depending on the day)
I never know when inspiration will strike, so I always carry around a sketchbook to record my ideas. I usually have more ideas than I know what to do with, but if I’m having one of my less creative moments, I’ll crack open my sketchbook, my closet, a magazine, or a book for inspiration.

2. Working the clay (30-60 minutes)
With my concept in mind, I sort through my huge container of polymer clay, playing with color combinations or blending clays to reach the color I want. For the paloma bracelet, I shape the circular “button”, which I then decorate with “stitch marks” using a wooden stick. I shape the dove by hand and affix it to the button, using stitch marks to give it that final touch.

3. Finishing the button (60 minutes)
Once the clay piece looks just right, I bake it for about 30 minutes. After the clay has cooled, I sand or file it, if necessary, to remove any rough spots. I then seal it with a satin varnish.

4. Assembling the bracelet (15 minutes)
As the varnish dries, I sort through my stash and choose beads for look that I am trying to achieve. I then assemble the bracelet.

5. Photographing and editing (20 minutes)
I try to get outside in mid-morning if possible, since that’s when the light is best in my backyard, where I like to take photographs. I’ll usually spend no more than 10 minutes photographing each piece and then another 10 minutes editing shots to be used for posting.

6. Listing the item (15 minutes)
I take about 5 minutes to write a description for a piece and another 10 minutes to complete a listing on etsy.

7. That little extra something (5 minutes)
I want each of my customers to feel like they are treating themselves to something special when they shop at the b-line, so I ship all of my pieces in a handmade blue felt pouch. Cutting the felt and ribbon, sewing the pouch, and trimming all the strings takes me about 5 minutes per pouch.

8. Packaging and mailing (5 minutes)
Hot dog! I love selling things! When an order comes in, I pull the piece from my inventory, bundle it up in a felt pouch, and write a thank you note to the buyer. I then place everything in a padded shipping envelope and weigh it on my printer scale so I can print the correct postage and the shipping label. Then it’s out the door to my incredibly friendly mail carrier the next morning!

Visit Amy at

Thanks Amy!!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

So lovely! What a lot of love that goes into each and every piece. It would truly be "something special" to receive a gift like this.