My Jewelry Designs

Blog reader, Susan Tanner, asked me to share pictures of the jewelry I created while I made my living as a designer. She wrote, “I would love to see some of the jewelry you made when you were into that and even hear more about how you were set up to do it in that chapter of your life. I would love to do some of that as a hobby for myself.”

I started teaching myself to create fashion jewelry in 1989. I created and sold my designs to more than two hundred boutiques and galleries for the following ten years. I had several sales reps, and my work was displayed in all the major Fashion Marts in the USA.

I devoted a great deal of time and effort toward locating the findings, beads, unique stampings, chain, vintage glass stones, and polished semi-precious gemstones I used in my mostly one-of-a-kind designs. For thirty years, I made my living, first as a designer and then later as a supplier to other designers.

Two years ago, I sold my supply company to Mr. Mickey’s daughter, Regina. She still offers thousands of unique components for jewelry making and other crafts. Visit the Vintage Jewelry Supplies website here.

All of the necklaces pictured were sold to collectors or donated for charity fundraisers. I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures of my work.

150 Comments
  1. Hi Susan, what beautiful, unique pieces. You should be very proud of your achievements. I hope you are finding things to do now and are keeping safe and well.

  2. These are stunningly beautiful! What an artist you are! Thanks for sharing!

    Here’s a question for you…do you subscribe to any magazines? In this lockdown, I’m finding that like you, I enjoy my coffee table books…mine are picture books of places I’ve visited around the world, but I’m thinking of subscribing to some magazines for variety. I haven’t subscribed to any in the past, because it felt like clutter, but now I’m thinking they could be fun or useful.

    Thanks, Susan!

  3. Dear Susan, my congratulations on your lovely creations, wish we have such a variety of accessories here in Europe

  4. they are lovely I am so surprised that you do not wear your own creations they are equal to what you wear only better

    in my humble opinion

    Kay Archer

  5. Susan, these pieces are so interesting and creative. What was the name of your design business? Thank you for sharing. You have certainly reinvented yourself over the years.

  6. Your designs are wonderful! Thank you for sharing the pictures together so we can get a real sense of your style. Did you focus on necklaces or did you have other types of pieces (bracelets, earrings) as well? In the latter case, it would be fun to see some of the other pieces.

    1. I created thousands of earrings, pins/brooches, belt buckles, and watches. I don’t have pictures of most of the other items. That was before everyone having access to the internet and digital cameras. 🙂

  7. You have an engaging and visionary eye. I love the beauty, feeling, and harmony of your designs.
    I’d like to ask a question to get a better explanation of what “self-taught.” means to you. What did that artistic process look like for you? Did you get inspired by designs from life and other sources, then try to buy the jewelry beads, elements to best represent your vision, idea, and feelings? I’m asking because I’m interested in learning how to design without going the “school” route. So I want to know, as a beginner in designing and making jewelry, how to develop things that are a true representation of my vision even though I’m not really sure about expertise and style. Any input or tips for me.
    Thank you for sharing your jewelry.

    1. I studied the finished pieces I was drawn to for the form, function, style, and color combinations. When I purchased components, I never had a particular design in mind. I started with the main stone and then built around it using random pieces like putting together a puzzle. It is important to tap into what appeals to you and then buy the components that fit that aesthetic. In the back of my mind, I always held that if I didn’t sell the piece, I wanted it to be something I would want to keep.

  8. I have been buying supplies from you, and now Regina, for several years. No other company has the selection and quality. I was getting ready to place an order this weekend, and thought I would just browse the site a little more to find inspiration, and then I see your beautiful work!

  9. How lovely! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these beautiful examples of your work! Thank you for sharing that time of your life with us!

  10. Several years ago you gave us the web site of Covered Perfectly. I loved their tops but unfortunately they went out of business. Now the company has been bought by new owners. Do you know anything about this and do you still recommend their products?

    1. I highly recommend them! The new owner is also a friend. Kimberly and I worked together on Covered Perfectly modeling shoots a couple of times. She is very devoted to the company and very professional.

      1. Yippee!!! Had bought some pieces just before they closed and love them. Tickled to know they are still going to be around! And, oh! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to retire to Spain!?! 🙂

  11. Stunning, beautiful, classy pieces. Thanks for sharing your amazing artistic talent. I so look forward to your blogs!

  12. Hi Susan, I enjoy reading your eletter. Your fashion style and clean eating ltips inspire me.

    Loved seeing your handmade necklaces. They are more than jewelry- they are art

    All the best,
    Emily

  13. The turquoise design as well as the grey and pearl are my favourites, however, they are all beautiful ❤️
    Best,
    Peggy Ann

  14. Susan, your jewelry pieces are exquisite heirloom treasures. . What talent and creativity you have. Thank you for sharing a little glimpse of your jewelry creations..

  15. Your work is stunning! I too use to make jewelry and I have bought many jewelry findings and bead items from you in the past! Small world! I don’t make jewelry anymore due to the loss of strength in my hands. Thanks for sharing Susan.

  16. Oh my goodness, they are just gorgeous. You are a woman of many talents. Hope you are having a great day, Cheers, Carol

  17. Susan, your jewelry is absolutely one of a kind. I wished I had a chance to purchase one of them. Would you wear one of them with an outfit? You are truly and an amazing artist who pays attention to details. Your beautifully decorated home, manicured garden, and photographs are a reflection of your talent. Thank you for sharing your lifestyle with us. Your blogs keep my spirits up during these challenging times. Stay healthy so you can continue to post and inspire others, as well.

  18. Susan, what beautiful pieces. Absolutely superb. I have never seen anything this lovely in Australia. I now understand your love for French Kanye.
    You are the most inspirational woman I know. You are so kind and caring.
    I wish that you were my friend and that we could meet and have a meal and conversation. I would love to meet you.
    You have absolutely inspired me. I have lost 11kg. My wardrobe has become much more successful although I still have more classic items to buy.
    I find it really difficult to find suitable knitwear and tops at reasonable prices in Australia. Postage from America is prohibitive but I will keep looking.
    Thank you again for being you. I was worried that you were unwell again. Best wishes to you and Mr Mickey.
    Ceri

  19. Wow! What lovely jewellery. As soon as I saw your first piece, I understood your love of French Kande.
    I love your blog. You have taught me so much and I have sorted my wardrobe so I can now now build an outfit easily. I can go into shops now and tell myself I don’t need extra new tops as I already have nice classic pieces that mix and match. Thank you. I just wish that we had the selections you have ,here in New Zealand.
    Take care of yourself.

  20. Your designs were lovely. I love jewelry that is classic and unique. The pieces that you shared were all beautiful. It would be hard to pick just one. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Yes I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures. Thank you. I love to make jewelry myself and find it so relaxing since I just made pieces for myself, friends and family. I can’t imagine the treasures you had at your disposal while you were making beautiful jewelry. I also love to do beading on wedding dresses and formal wear. Did you do beading too?

    Hi to Mr. Mickey and have a great week!

  22. WOW, all the pieces are so creative but my favourite is the first one it’s stunning.
    Thank you for sharing Pamela , Wales UK

  23. Wow your jewelry is fantastic, unique, inspiring, each piece more beautiful than the last. So nice to see yet another of your talents. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Gorgeous pieces – hope you kept some for yourself…..you are a very talented artist….Glad that you sold your baby to someone whom you can observe and see how your company is doing…

  25. Hi Susan,

    Thank you for sharing your jewelry “one of a kind” pieces of art. Lovely, wow you were a very busy lady, lots of balls to juggle. As you may recall we owned a sales and marketing company for over 32 years. Working 24/7 is not an easy task.
    I admire your creations. What a blessing you were able to sell your company.

    Sending Smiles,
    Katherine in Arizona

  26. Hi Susan
    I have been reading your posts for the last few months and have really enjoyed them. They are positive and uplifting.
    Thank you .
    Mary Grufferty, Ireland, Europe

  27. Susan, The jewelry is stunning. How lovely that you donated the unsold pieces to charity. Thank you for sharing the pictures with us.

  28. Your designs are gorgeous, Susan, especially because they are one-of-a-kind. Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos. Those of us who also design and sell jewelry know how much time, energy, and creativity go into each and every piece. I’m sure anyone who owns one of your stunning designs will treasure it forever. You are always an inspiration to each of us who follow your blog.

  29. Susan, you are such a talented artist in so many ways-your exquisite jewellery designs, your beautifully decorated house, and the classy way you style outfits. Your blogs brighten up my day and I so look forward to your posts because I learn something new each time.
    My closest long time friend (since 1963, when we were kids) just gave me this gorgeous, very detailed book on jewellery:
    Portrait Jewels – Opulence and Intimacy from the Medici to the Romanovs by Diana Scarisbrick. I have also read books on the jewellery of the Duchess of Windsor as well as Chanel jewellery. All such relaxing reading that you might enjoy.
    Thoughts for future blogs-how & when to apply facial serums; how to be sure that a Shapeez bra fits correctly; caring for leather & suede shoes and handbags.
    A BIG thank- you for not having ads jumping out of your blog posts, like others have now allowed (and whose blogs I have now dropped).

    1. Elizabeth, I enjoyed reading your comments because I feel the same way. And your special thanks to Susan for not allowing those annoying ads. I have occasionally purchased items through her blog so I feel grateful for her sharing her taste, her life, and her wonderful outlook for life!

  30. Beautiful jewelry Susan. You are very talented! Thanks for sharing your story and the jewelry with us. I am hoping you kept some designs for yourself to wear!

  31. Absolutely beautiful! Truly works of art. Thank you for sharing as I have wondered about your jewelry work as well. I do believe you must have inspired some of the current designers as I see elements of your design in some designers as French Kande and Whispering Prayer jewelers.

  32. So beautiful Susan..God has blessed you to bless others and you certainly have reached thousands, I’m sure. Me being one of them.

  33. Thank you so much for sharing!! Beautiful designs! I have promised myself that one day I shall own a REAL Italian byzantine bracelet. Someday!

  34. Hi Susan I’ve got so involved in this blog about your jewelry that have me fascinated and inspired me to go and make jewelry for me, for the fun of it! I am 77 and I feel I still have lots left in me to create things. I, like a lady from Australia wish she could be your friend and have lunch with you. Well, I live in the US and maybe I’ll be able to have lunch with you some day, why not? I look forward to your blogs. Thank you so much for sharing!

  35. These designs are incredible! I missed out on collecting your jewelry for all those years and would have loved to have some of those pieces. Thank you for sharing the photos.

  36. Those are really beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I love the use of stones and metal, plus they are classic and elaborate at the same time. Kudos!

  37. Your jewelry is lovely and unique! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. The women who own your pieces must treasure them.
    I look forward to your blog posts and love reading them, but I understand the need to reduce the number of hours you spend on each blog post…I retired this past year so I can certainly relate! I admire how you’ve changed focus a bit due to circumstances and wanted to let you know that I’ll be looking for your posts, whenever they come!

  38. I’d like to reread your earlier blogs but don’t know how to get to the first blog in Fifty Not Frumpy. Pls let your readers know how to access this info. Thanks!

  39. Simply elegant classic jewelry Susan! Every piece is a statement. Thank you for sharing your talents and lifestyle.

  40. These pieces are beautiful. I wish I had found your work when you were making jewelry. I love the look of vintage items and the quality of your pieces is outstanding. Thanks for sharing.

  41. susan

    all of your necklsces are beautiul but I love Love love the first one with carnelian? or Garnet?. Do you still make any like this or have one like that to sell now?
    thank you

    lisa crandall

  42. These pieces are beautiful, Susan. Your life story is a wonderful example of making lemonade out of lemons. Blessings!

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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