Nature is the Key to Happiness- Challenge accepted the journey begins


My name is Leila Belcher of LeilaBeeDesigns and I am a Widow raising four wonderful boys ages 14, 13 and two 8 year old twins. Everything I do is for these guys and the desire to stay home and be a Mom to them is what set me on the path of Jewelry making. I have been making one of a kind pieces such as this:


But I recently applied for and was accepted into the B’Sue Boutiques Build A Line Challenge which is a Master Class/Contest that challenges Artists to design and create a cohesive line of Jewelry that can be reproduced.  I eagerly accepted the challenge as the next step on my Journey.  This challenge is sponsored by Brenda Sue Lansdowne, Owner and Artist of B’Sue Boutiques in Ohio.

Or check her out on Facebook

Not only is she a classy Lady but she’s one heckito of an Artist.  Please look her up at one of the above links.  You won’t be disappointed.  And if you’re a fellow Artist, be sure to check out the B’Sue Boutiques Creative Group on Facebook.

This is a collection of fabulous Artists.  You don’t want to miss them.

So, with the full support of my Family behind me, I embark. Below is a picture of the Studio the little sweethearts made for me one afternoon as a surprise. I just had to include this picture because it tells a better story of my wonderful little Family than words could ever do.



Above is a picture of the four of them posing with some of their Mama’s bling. They may not like “girlie” stuff but they don’t mind helping their Mama if she asks.

I got started in Jewelry helping my Mom with her craft booth.  I sort of caught the bug and began researching and studying on my own.  My Pinterest Jewelry board became quite full of designs I admired.  Then, one day I stumbled upon a collage necklace design with brass leaves and flowers that lit up my world. The caption led me to B’Sue Boutiques for supplies and components.  Fast forward to today and here I am working with Brenda Sue Lansdowne and some of the most amazing Artists for the Build a Line Challenge.

I have named my Jewelry line “Nature is the Key to Happiness” and have chosen to focus on the beauty of the seasons. Each season has its own colors and atmosphere and inspires different emotions and that is what I want to express and convey in my Jewelry line.  There will be a collection for each season,  a set, or Parure consisting of a pair of earrings, a charm necklace, a leaf cuff bracelet and a charm bracelet. Each will have a common theme and color scheme.

Below is a picture of a Fall charm bracelet I made several months ago to serve as an example of the type of beaded charms you can expect in the charm bracelets and necklaces along with brass charms and accessories from B’Sue Boutiques.


For “Nature is the key to Happiness”, I wanted each piece to have a key and a heart somewhere in the design.  Quite by accident I paired up the perfect key and heart and it has become my logo for this line.


Nature is the key to happiness so meet me at the garden gate where nature holds the key.  This heart charm reminds me of my Mom so it holds a special place in my heart. This charm logo will appear on each design with the exception of earrings.

I don’t want to give too much away on my first hop but I will tease and tantalize you with Winter. Hellebore is my inspiration for the Winter collection as they are my favorite Winter bloomer creating a bright spot in an otherwise dreary landscape.


Below you will find the leaf cuff bracelet for the Winter collection. It is nearly finished.  I still have a few elements on the way.



The Fall collection will see a focus on Maple leaves and deep, rich, traditional Fall colors.


Below are some photos of the beads and components for the remaining collections.  If you would like to see more of my line then you will need to come to the next hop on February 20th. I hope to see you there.





I am hopeful people will love the style and attitude of my Jewelry and keep coming back for the next Season.  My brain is already racing to possible expansion opportunities such as multiple styles per collection or even Special Editions. The possibilities are endless and exciting. I am just as curious as you to see where this ends up.  Already, the line has taken twists and turns and seen the changing of my mind but it is just too fun for words. We will arrive together.

My Collections will soon be available for purchase on my Etsy Shop for affordable prices with pieces ranging from $18 to $50.  So, please check back!

One final thing before I sign off.  It wouldn’t be fair to not include pics of my little makering buddies.  Toby the wonder dog and Queen Rosalee . They are always with me in the Studio.


Please see below for your next blog hop address and have a Blessed and Creative day!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques

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


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


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



Happy Accidents

So, despite your best intentions the night before you wake up and walk into your Studio or Craft Room or Kitchen table and find a DISASTER. This. This is NOT how it looked when you went to bed. Is it?

Maybe the colors aren’t right in the light of day. Maybe your perfectly glued components slid when you weren’t looking. Maybe, you made a big fat gluey MESS.  Doesn’t matter. That’s right. Don’t despair. Whatever you do, DO NOT toss it aside like the piece of trash you think it is. Resolve to fix it, today or chances are it will never get fixed. It will sit, forlorn and forgotten at the back of your table. Forever the ugly duckling that “didn’t turn out”.

This recently happened to me. I’m new to blogging so unfortunately this idea didn’t come to me until afterwards. So, I will apologize or the lack of “Before” pictures. That won’t happen again!!  Below are the “after” shots. image

I had an idea for a spoon pendant. I gathered all my supplies together and began gluing my components to the bowl of the spoon. I first glued a button to raise my floral arrangement. Then glued the leaf circle and finally the Swarovski flower.  The first thing that went wrong was I used entirely too much glue and it had squirted all into the spoon bowl. I quickly resolved that with Microbeads. Problem solved. Or so I thought. When I went to bed that night the pendant looked GREAT!  I was pleased.

Fast forward to the next day and the pleasure turned to Horror.  While the purple Microbeads were a good idea, I hadn’t taken into account that the edges of the button would show. Also, completely unexpected was that the flower ,which was supposed to be in the center had slid upwards at least 3 mm and the whole thing now looked off centered and unbalanced. In disgust I pushed it aside. Well, this didn’t turn out the way I envisioned at all!!  All was lost. Or was it?

A few days later I pulled it back out and took a look with fresh eyes. I realized the button issue could be corrected with mini leaves. Tried it. It worked. But it was still off center. How could I fix that? Bottom line?  I couldn’t. When you use E6000 it’s pretty much stuck. So, if I couldn’t make it look like my original plan, what were my options?  Well, I could throw it away or I could drop my original idea and refocus. What could I do to fix this?

The answer suddenly struck me as I was poking through my tiny flowers and bead caps. Wait. That’s it!  I will put down some tiny flowers and it will re-center the piece.

It worked!  The pendant was salvaged and nobody was the wiser. Nobody knew that I almost threw it away at least 7 times. No one knew what a colossal disappointment it originally was. Nope. It looked like I had made it this way on purpose.

Another example occurred just last night. I put a pair of brass stampings in the oven to heat them up for coloring. I got busy with children  and forgot them. When I pulled them out of the oven I was shocked to see two beautiful copper and blue stampings  instead of the raw brass. Well of course!  I overheated them and now they had a stunning oven patina. I stood there, stunned in my kitchen for a few heartbeats and then let out a loud WOOP!  Technically, what I had achieved by accident was far better than what I had originally planned. You see?  Happy accidents.

Life is what you make it, I’ve learned. I’m  learning that Art follows the same rules. imageSometimes, you throw everything together but you get a mess. It’s all about how you react to that mess. So, never give up on a piece just because your original vision disintegrated. Sometimes, the best things come from Happy Accidents. And no one will ever know but you. Unless you choose to tell them.