B’Sue Boutiques Build a Line Challenge – Joan Donovan of Hailey’s Cottage Designs

Hi everybody!  I’m Joan Donovan, and Hailey’s Cottage Designs is my maiden voyage into the world of jewelry design.  I have always been creating in one form or another – I’ve done a lot of sewing, cross stitch, slipcovering, reupholstering, etc. etc. etc.  I love making things and preserving old things, and I’m always looking for something new to pique my creative interest.  One day I was tooling around on YouTube and I was fortunate enough to stumble across a tutorial by Brenda Sue Lansdowne of B’Sue Boutiques – and I was hooked!

Here is my current workspace – I have taken over our little sun room for the time being.

IMG_0487 IMG_0484

This is our dog, Sophie.  She likes to curl up in the corner when I’m working out here.  She is always available for petting when I need to take a break.


I have a room upstairs that has always been my studio –  this year I decided to pull everything out to reorganize and paint.  That was last fall –  Yikes!  Everybody is getting sick of looking at this mess!


Here’s a cool shelf unit I scored while flea marketing last summer, can’t wait to press it into service!

IMG_0489 (1)

What is my inspiration for trying my hand at jewelry making?  One is definitely my Mom.

Carol BarneySecond Convertible (Honeymoon)

She loved her jewelry!  She could be found most days watching QVC and ordering Joan Rivers, Judith Ripka, the Jackie Kennedy collection, and anything else that struck her fancy.   We just lost her last fall, and I miss her dearly.  I think she’s watching me go through this process and enjoying it – she certainly would have loved my B’Sue bling!

My husband and I recently took a trip to Savannah, Georgia for our 25th wedding anniversary.  We were both drawn in by its charm, history and architecture.  The city, particularly its Victorian architecture, is the inspiration for my theme.



We toured a bunch of historic homes.  I’m sure many of you already know this, but the house on the upper left belonged to Jim Williams.  In the early 70s, Savannah was a dangerous place – many of the once beautiful homes were abandoned and ready to be demolished.  A renowned collector of antiques, Mr. Williams could bear to see the marvelous homes disappear forever.  He became a pioneer in the Historic District – purchasing a rundown mansion and restoring it to its former glory.  He went on to be instrumental in saving many other homes that would have otherwise met the wrecking ball.  It’s due to his foresight and perseverance that we are able to enjoy them today.

We also visited the Bonaventure Cemetery – a haunting yet beautiful place.  Many of the monuments were carved by well-known artists during the Victorian era.


Of course this was in the days before modern medicine, so there are many children’s graves – sad, touching and beautiful.

IMG_0104 IMG_0203


The cemetery is also the burial-place of Johnny Mercer, the famous song writer and producer.  He enjoyed a good party as much as anybody,  and had a bench built in front of his grave  so that friends could relax and stop for a drink when visiting!


My line will be representative of the Victorian era, and will be (tentatively) entitled “Midnight in Savannah”.  I plan on using a lot of dark ox pieces, possibly mourning-type for some, and then segueing into pieces with more color.  I hope to  symbolize  the darker and lighter sides of the  city – as well as its rise from the ashes after years of dedication by a lot of very cool (and  wealthy!) people.

Here’s some pics of the components I plan on using – lots of B’Sue components and some vintage items as provided by my friends at Etsy!

IMG_0468IMG_0471 IMG_0472 IMG_0470

So there you have it.  I’m excited to see where this will lead!  Thanks for reading, and I’ll “see” you all back in class!

Happy Hopping!

1. Brenda Sue Lansdowne Jewelry Making Outside the Box

2. Diana Buynak – Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

3. Irene Hoffman – Heartsdezirebyirene

4. Clare Wells Nemeth – Creative Magick

5. Mary Reckmeyer – Afrayedknot

6. Marcia Tuzzolino – Aurora Designs

7. Elizabeth Wilks – Wearable Art by Lizzie

8. Jeanette Rose Belmont – One Canvas at a time

9. Lyn Joy Reeve – A Journey from Jewels to Jubilation

10. Belinda Reed-Ingle – Vogue Rocks

11. Beth Trubman – The Journey of Jewelry

12. Carole Carlson – Beadsophisticate

13. Jann Tague – Clever Designs by Jann

14. Shari Gardner – SLG Jewelry Designs

15. Susan Bolton – Fern’s Place

16. Chris Kemp – NoodlePie Bracelets

17. Barbara Kelley – Angels’ Keep

18. Susan Bowerman – Woodside WireWorks

19. Pamela Anger – Novegatti Designs

20. Joan Donovan – Hailey’s Cottage

21. Alison Huie – Ally’s Baubles

22. Sharon Palac – Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

23. Erica Olmos – Beeb’s Closet

24. Erin Whitacre – Shattered Time Jewelry

25. Fran Sitton – Sitton Up Front

26. Ginger Hammond – Lynn Leigh Designs

27. Paula Gaskill – Lovely LaylaBug Jewels

28. Mary Katherine – The Rose Sword

29. Renee Webb Allen – Small Stuff Design

30. Valerie Tilghman- ArtJewelsandGifts

31. Chris Cravens Vintage Cravens

32. Leslie Carver


33. Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

34. Gina-Marie Hammer – Tangles, Twists and Treasures

35. Kelly Wymer Winged Wisdom Enchantments


  1. mocki | 29th Jan 16

    Love the pics of Savannah and your inspiration, lovely blog! Can’t wait to see what you make!

  2. Susan Bowerman | 29th Jan 16

    Joan, what a captivating and beautifully written blog. Your theme is intriguing…I’m excited to see where all of this will lead. Kudos to you for a job well done. And hurry up already…I’m the reader who can’t wait for the next chapter! Seriously, I really look forward to see your next post. Well done!

  3. Vonda Stephenson | 29th Jan 16

    What a fabulous blog! I look forward to seeing your new line.

  4. Jeanette Belmont | 29th Jan 16

    I like your blog set up. It is very easy to navigate. Looking forward to your designs.

  5. Val Tilghman | 29th Jan 16

    I love Savannah!! I can be there in a few hours but I dont get to visit often. Cant wait to enjoy your line. My mom loved QVC and I have a lot of her Joan Rivers pieces too. I know that both of our Moms are cheering us on from the other side 🙂

  6. Jann Tague | 29th Jan 16

    oh my such pretty components .. looking forward to our journey and watching us all grow .. great job

  7. Susan Bolton | 30th Jan 16

    What an intriguing concept! The Victorian period is my style so I will be watching you develop your Mourning Jewelry. I’m sure it will be great!

  8. Alison Huie | 30th Jan 16

    Your theme sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to see your beautiful creations

  9. Chris Kemp | 30th Jan 16

    I’ve enjoyed your comments, and ejoyed sharing with you in class.
    Your blog is beautiful. And, it looks like your new digs will be great, though it must be hard to leave that pretty sunroom.
    You have a very original theme. Sorta of a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Cool!

  10. Sue Shade | 30th Jan 16

    Love the idea of Midnight in Savannah. Sounds victorian and sultry. Looking forward to seeing your line.

  11. Irene Hoffman | 30th Jan 16

    Wonderful blog Joan. I hope to visit Savannah some day. Love mourning jewelry and look forward to seeing what you create with all thos beautiful components.

  12. Brenda Sue Lansdowne | 30th Jan 16

    Joan, this is just excellent. I love your concept. I visited Savannah, once, when I was a teenager. I loved it. I did not know what disrepair some of the stately homes had fallen. I would have been so touched by that, too. I am also a lover of cemetaries. The monuments speak great stories, if only we knew them all, I’m certain history would be re-written. Thank you for your participation in the group, and for your ideas and for following through with this excellent post. You have done an excellent job and I cannot wait to see what becomes of all the lovely things you have brought together. A++++ XOXO

  13. Marcia Tuzzolino | 30th Jan 16

    Joan, great blog post! Loved reading about your trip to Savannah and what you found to inspire you there. Your theme is wonderful, and I really look forward to seeing your inspiration come to fruition!

  14. Beth Trubman | 31st Jan 16

    Joan, I think you have chosen an excellent theme. There are many possibilities and I know what you create will be beautiful. I enjoyed reading your blog with your lovely pictures of Savannah.

  15. Carole Carlson | 31st Jan 16

    A delightful trip through Savannah. I look forward to seeing how you interpret this theme in your jewelry.

  16. Debbie Beechy | 31st Jan 16

    I love the pictures of the old houses. You’re lucky to live in such a historic area.

    • haileyscottage@gmail.com | 31st Jan 16

      I don’t live there – we just visited for our anniversary! I’d love to retire there, though!

  17. Shari Gardner | 31st Jan 16

    Hi Joan, I’ve never been to Savannah, but your theme is very intriguing and I can’t wait to see your glimpse of that wonderful historic city. I’m happy to be sharing this journey with you.

  18. Shari Gardner | 31st Jan 16

    Joan, Please skip posting this one..I have been copying parts of my posts and didn’t realize I forgot to change the name on it, so I called you Sharon instead. Sorry. I reposted with the right name..please don’t take offense.

  19. Erin Whitacre | 1st Feb 16

    So many great components! Savannah is so beautiful ! Lots of great inspiration!

  20. Paula Gaskill | 1st Feb 16

    Can’t wait to see your line. I love your blog. Great historical picture.

  21. Janet Calardo | 1st Feb 16

    Great blog. Really like the theme and the background for it. So sorry for your loss. I also lost my mom in November. She watched me go through the 2015 BALC but I knew that I could not fully participate this year. However I love reading the blogs and seeing what everyone is making for the challenge this year. Looking forward to seeing your line.

  22. Belinda Reed-Ingle | 1st Feb 16

    Loved your pics of Savannah, and your blog was very well written, I’m so excited to see your next blog and another glimpse into your line. It is truly exciting to see where our path is going to takes us.

  23. Elisabeth Wilks | 1st Feb 16

    I like your tentative title to your theme “Midnight in Savannah” it gets the imagination going! I am interested to how you will step out your theme.

  24. sharon p | 2nd Feb 16

    Hmmnn, reminds me of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil! Your new beautiful jewelry line will be the good part, by far! Looking forward to seeing your next post.

  25. trendyjewelrybykrisyle | 3rd Feb 16

    What interesting a d unique story and your them will bne fabulous can’t wait to see what you create!

  26. Diana Buynak | 3rd Feb 16

    Thanks for sharing with us Joan!

    I decided to tear apart my studio in October 2015 and I feel your plight. I just took off the month of January to get back to work on it after the busy holiday season (but have yet to finish). Hope you can get yours done soon!

    I like the theme that you chose for this challenge. I am not familiar with Georgia, I have only passed through on occasion. I do enjoy the Victorian time period though, especially architecture. I look forward to seeing what you create! You have a lot of components selected already!

  27. Pamela & Toby | 5th Feb 16

    Super post, Joan … thank you for sharing your trip with us! It inspired a great line theme for you, and it’ll be interesting to see what beautiful designs you come up with. So happy to be in the BALC with you! 😉

  28. Lucy | 19th Feb 16

    Hello there Joan! I love your blog post! Your mom is very pretty. I thought for a second if she’s a hollywood actress before. Your theme “Midnight in Savannah” is pretty interesting too! Will definitely wait for your update!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *