Friday, January 23, 2015

Build A Line Challenge from B'sue Boutiques, Sandra Ballard of Mama San's Mojo, Part One

Me as the Octopus - Ednalou (my step-mom) The Mermaid - My Dad on the top of the submarine

 Greetings Everyone! I am Sandra Ballard aka Sandie of Mama San's Mojo. I am thrilled to be a part of this challenge! This is the first installation of the Build a Line Challenge from B'sue Boutiques:.  Visit Brenda Sue's Shop!3 Hops over a 3 month period: Jan. 23rd, Feb. 20th and March 20th. All of us will be working diligently, creating a cohesive line of jewelry. At the end, we will reveal a complete line, with a minimum of five pieces, all in our selected style (we were all asked to select a theme for this challenge). I wanted to join in this challenge to learn focus. As, you may read, the information about who I am below, you will see I need discipline (as I'm all over the place with creating)!

Me & Booda (my feline friend) in our Studio

I've been creating since I was around 10. I'm the youngest, with two older brothers, and money was tight in our family. Ultimately, I got their hand me downs! In order to make their jeans, look like a girls pair, I would sew them into bell bottoms, elephant bottoms (the really wide bell bottom version) and mini and maxi skirts (you guessed it! I grew up in the 70's). I also did hand beading on the jeans. I didn't have a sewing machine, so it was done all by hand.
Me (Sandie), Scott & Steve (my older brothers) at the Mohawk Trail in MA.

Then in 1998, I was introduced to eBay. My son and I were guests on the FX Collectible Show in San Diego. I became friends with the caller, whom purchased a crystal necklace I was offering for sale; she later introduced me to eBay. I started selling her items for her on there, before I started my own shop. Back then my shop's name was Winter's Wicked Garden. And boy oh boy, did I love it!!! About a year or so later, I started selling in open markets in Solana Beach, Encinitas, California and Connecticut (moved back home). One day, my step-mom Ednalou, took me to a Gem Show in Meriden, CT. (I was hooked on creating jewelry)!

Here are a few pieces of my work:

I created a mold from a vintage brooch and then created this Genie with UTEE and mica powders.

Assemblage Angel (all pieces are wired)

Carpe Diem
Spring Flirtation with Sunflowers

Spanish Rose

Winter Solstice Ice Princess

Dancing the Night Away

In the past, I have made chocolates and candles. I also sew, embroider and knit. I love decoupaging old furniture with fabric, as well. When I had a spot (first crafter to be admitted to the farmers market in Collinsville, CT) I made and sold a lot of Handbags; I crafted from old books. Back in CA, I didn't sell any jewelry. I made candles, bath salts and soaps; from my brother's pure essential oils (he owns a company called Kobashi in Devon England). I like to research (often found day dreaming and drawing) new ideas to implement up-cycled items (don't throw me out I have more life) into my creations.

Drum roll please....................

Time for the Revealing of my Theme......... 


My reason for choosing this theme is: My love for Cat's! All the photos above are of my sweet Booda Boy! He is a Ragdoll Seal Point Mitted Breed. I rescued him from a breeder that had him locked in a cage for over 2 months. He was matted, full of fleas and over-weight from no exercise!

Here's a little bit of what I'm working on: CAT'S In Hat's

At the finale there were be necklaces, earrings and charm bracelets (with different options and custom orders for folks to have photos of their cats in the jewelry line).

Let's get this party started!

Blog Hop List:

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


  1. Hello Sandra...I put in a comment but not sure you got it so...I love this post. You have really done a lot of wonderful creative things!!! I love the theme of your line! I love what you have here and can't wait to see more!!! Great Job! Be Blessed

    1. Got it Robin! Thank you for your kind comments! Having so much fun with this!

  2. What a fun read, Sandra. Your "MOJO" is working overtime! Your theme is so cleaver; can't wait to see it come together. Well done!

  3. Love the Camelot Moon. Your line of cats in hats will be wildly popular because who wouldn't love one of your pieces with their own fur bucket's picture in it?! Way to go! :)

  4. cat's in hats! what's not to love!!! your kitty is so cute, def see were that little misfit maker would inspire you

  5. Hello Fellow sewer, lol refreshing blog and cool jewelry

    1. THanks Gloria! We love to see your sewing creations! I love Fabric as much as jewelry findings!

  6. I love cats and the cats in the hat are cute.

  7. Well, Sandra, of course Toby and I love your theme! ;) I thought about doing cats, but just couldn't get something together in my mind ... and it looks like you hit it purrfectly! Boody is gorgeous, and Toby waves to his new buddy. ;)

    1. LOL Pamela! Wish we could set up a play date for our kitty pals! Thank you so much!

  8. Meow! Great choice! Can't wait to see the finished pieces. :-) ~Elizabeth

  9. I have to say kitty in a top hat is just darn adorable. It's a great theme. I am looking forward to seeing more of it!

  10. Love the theme you chose Sandie :-) I'm sure that you'll do very well with it because cat jewelry is very popular. And you've added an extra bit of cuteness with those hats :-)

    Enjoyed reading your blog and seeing all the photos you shared. Great job!

    Bead Lovelies

  11. I'm lovin' the cat with the hat .. so cute .. looking forward to seeing more .. Jann

  12. From one cat mama to another, I'm looking forward to seeing your designs. Very innovative and fun!

  13. Really like your blog and you are truly a talented artist. I look forward to follow you through this challenge!

  14. Such a creative journey you've had! Looking forward to all your kitty goodies as your line evolves.

  15. Great story. Yay for cats. ;)

  16. Cats in hats, you can't go wrong with that!

  17. See my reply to your comment on my blog!! We've got things in common besides love of cats! :)

  18. Wooo Hooo Mama San's you are awesome!!! Your artwork is phenomenal!! I loved your blog story. I can truly see you creating your way beautiful!! I can't wait to see your new line!! Warm Regards Louise

    1. THank you Louise! Yours was indeed inspirational as well!

  19. Sandie-
    So proud of you and your work! This is your true essence-truly innovative. Don't stop, love the blog and pieces-

    1. Thank you Devra! It means a lot to me (your kind words)!

  20. Love the inspiration photos for your line. Rescued cats are awesome. And your jewelry is so unique. Looking forward to seeing the line.

  21. Wonderful idea, Sandie! Looking forward to this journey together.

  22. Love your story! Cats are a great choice as there are so many other cat lovers out there that will appreciate the line!

  23. Sandie--Of course, both Tessa Kitty and I LOVE your theme! She's actually a little bit jealous that Booda Boy is being immortalized in your jewelry. The cats in hats idea is brilliant as is the customized idea! I'm really looking forward to seeing more of your kitties!

    1. Thank you Lynda LOL ~ Tessa Kitty can also spotlight as I will do custom pieces !!!

  24. oh I love your cat and your creation! I cannot wait to see the whole collection!

  25. Cats cats and more cats and the best part is there can never be too many.
    Love your idea

    1. Yes true and remember Dragons dragons and more dragons! LOL
      thanks for visiting my post!

  26. Love your kitties! They obviously love the camera, you'll have unending inspiration there! Wonderful story too! Can't wait to see more.

    1. Thank you Teresa! Just one Kitty (different photos of before an after he was shaved).

  27. Your art work is very unique! Can't wait to see you merge it with your design theme.

  28. Love your blog. Great idea for your theme. Really cute.

  29. Sandra, enjoyed reading your blog. Looking forward to your "Cats" line at the reveal.

  30. Cats in hats! Love it :) I liked your blog post, sounds like you add bit of flair to everything!

  31. Good story telling.... pulled me right down the page. Love the blog Mom!!! keep me posted

    1. Thanks Kenny; means a lot to me that you stopped in and posted !

  32. OOH cats! I love them (have 3 ) -look forward to seeing what you come up with for you catty line! Linzi

  33. Lovely work!! Can't wait to see what you do with cats. I'm very allergic, so seeing them from afar will be wonderful!

  34. Lovely work!! Can't wait to see what you do with cats. I'm very allergic, so seeing them from afar will be wonderful!

  35. Well I just adore your little steampunk Kitties and I can't wait to see more of them.

  36. As a cat lover, and one who shares their living space with 9 awesome felines, I adore your theme. Love your pics of your rescue!! Count me in as one who would love to see a line of cat jewelry! Yay, it will be meowvalous!! Gina H

  37. Cats! How fun! Boo da Boy is adorable and I'm sure he will supervise along the way. 😀


  38. Cat in a hat! I love it. It's nice to have your personal model for the photos too.

  39. Hah! Fabulous!! :) ~ Catherine of

  40. Hi Sandra!
    your creeations are all so creative and just like you said eclectic! Filled with so much expression! I LOVE your idea to design your line around your handsome Blue point boy!! Cannot wait to see what beauties you come up with!! Have fun creating!!
    See you in class!
    xo Liz

  41. Cats, yay! I love your Ice Princess necklace. Great stories and photos, I love your studio. Your "Cats in Hats" are super cute so far!