I'm a metalsmith with a lot of readers who are beginners but wanting to start to make their own wire jewelry. I've just put a hub up about making wire name jewelry called, Try Making Personalized Wire Name Jewelry For Fun and Profit. There's another one on making jewelry from forks, Making Fork Jewelry: A Fork In the Road For Aspiring Art Jewelers.
Both of these types of jewelry are pretty quick and easy to make but since you asked for "simple but cute" jewelry, I'd definately go with the personalized wire name jewelry. It's not that hard or expensive and it's quite a trend right now.
As an alternative, you might search around Hubpages for other kinds of beaded jewelry which can also be fairly easy to learn and make. Best of luck to you!