About Me

My photo
JLynn has been in the Art, Craft & Jewelry industry for over 30 years ~ promoting creativity through Education and Media. As a published designer, JLynn is known for her detailed, colorful Jewelry, unique Altered ART Wood Tiles, and Artwork. Online since 2004, a former eBay Power Seller, and currently on Artfire and Etsy. Family, Art, Nature and Kaleidoscopes are her biggest inspirations

Sunday, July 31, 2016

For today...a Noteworthy Challenge!

Be Motivated...
 There are countless articles on finding inspiration - but the truth is that sometimes you just need to work at finding it - or maybe it's more about, simply noticing it.  Inspiration is often one of those intangible things at first - something that's more in your imagination, something floating around that has not been grasped by your mind yet.  But this intangible thing, well, it MOTIVATES us to create and be productive...in many different TANGIBLE ways.

Want a chance to win a $25 Gift Certificate to shop with me?  TAKE THE Inspiration/Goal CHALLENGE outlined in my Blog Post below, and comment on the J-Lynn Jewels FAN page on Facebook, or HERE on the Blog! WINNER will be chosen the old-fashioned way, Names in a hat :)   

And here's the quick read for the challenge...
to get you in the right mindset!

I suppose I'm one of the fortunate ones - my muse seems to take delight in everything around me.  From my every day life, to my every day things.  In fact, I notice SO much that inspires me in many different ways, that sometimes it's causes problems - and that randomness of my "Squirrel Moments" - delays my being productive, lol...

So if you're in one of those squirrel quandaries...
My best advice, is to go with the flow, but learn to utilize these distractions...

 For instance...
The floral photo at the very top, was from a simple Grocery store bouquet.  I was intrigued with the colors, the differences in flowers, and the textures.  I spent TIME photographing them in different lighting...then was inspired to "play" with the photos on my computer...Hours later...nothing much tangible...YET.   But...that initial inspiration, which caused that squirrel moment...ultimately led me to formulate and plan concrete ideas, and then create a variety of Notecard Sets with Pens, Prints, Jewelry, and of course new ART Tiles.

Something so simple - led to something very "Noteworthy"
An Intangible moment, which led to multiple Tangibles items...
Your mind is a very powerful thing when you work from both sides :) 
 

 Another thing that helps immensely is GOAL SETTING!
Whether it's in the number of items you create, or writing out your design plans, or sales forecasting.  In the creative business, I know from my own experience and years in the Creative Industry, that there are SO many intangibles in our field.  Things we know, we feel deep within the heart, things that strike a chord in the blood that runs through our veins.  Not something that we can touch, but something that we intrinsically know...

However, we can't live off that, can we?
It doesn't pay the bills, does it?
 
That's why TANGIBLE GOALS are so important.
Your inspiration is a great catapult for success - and I've learned that you CAN channel your inspiration in a very predictive and methodical way to produce results.  Once you realize the impact that your inspiration and productivity can make, when they work hand in hand toward setting goals, you can take your art and creativity to a new level - and it becomes a more viable way to earning whatever income you would like to have.  Whether that's replacing a part-time job income, earning the money to fund a vacation, or developing and maintaining a full-time income by doing exactly what you love to do.  Finding that balance between the intangible and tangible, does take work - but it is VERY do-able!   

So for Today...the CHALLENGE...PART ONE
Take a picture and/or write down Three things, 
that fuel your inspiration to create!

#1 - Color, #2 - Pattern, #3 - Texture

Here are mine for today, from just within the four walls of my Studio...
#1 - Color - a beautiful print from the lovely Nancy Standlee - I didn't frame this one...just hung it up on the back wall of my Credenza.  Colorful things INSPIRE me - so not only do I love supporting my fellow Artists, but it brings me enjoyment to surround myself with things that I love, because they often inspire me to create new jewelry based on the color palette, or the theme, or the emotions I feel, when looking at the artwork :)

 

#2 - Patterns...We live within a couple hours of two fantastic outlets...both of which have Vera Bradley stores.  Yes, I have a little addiction to small notepads and pens.  So when we go - I wind up "stocking up" on new pens & pads.  They always bring a smile, and inspire me to create in different ways - sometimes it's simply to write down my plans in the notebook, but other times, the patterns...like the "Aztec" like print, or funky florals - make me want to create ART Tiles based on that theme - or to create my own funky flowers by either doodling or painting...inspiration :) 



 
#3 - Textures...When we think of textures - the obvious is Fabric Textiles... However - in this photo (one of the shelves in the studio) one finds different types of textures...Wood, Glass, and Florals.  Seeing these every day simply reminds me to stay on course and not let any social drama distract me from being inspired or productive :)


Inspiration...can be found everywhere, and it's easy as
1, 2, 3... 

 CHALLENGE - PART TWO...
On the other side of the fence...Tangible Goals
 Write down THREE things that you're going to do this coming week to position yourself for productivity and results!

For me...
#1 - Produce 200 more Tiles for upcoming Sale
(woodburn 40-50 tiles) per day this week

#2 - List 50 items on Etsy (10 per day)

#3 - Sketch and finalize new Jewelry line
with Flow Chart and Time Table for Production & Release


Do I have more?  
Yes - but I am tackling things one day, and one week at a time.
So what is it that you want to accomplish this week??  Is it...  
Organizing, placing your findings/supplies order, taking a class,
designing 12 pairs of Earrings???

What TANGIBLE things can you plan on your To-Do List for this week, 
that will help you in making your dreams closer to a reality?

ENTER simply by sharing your One-Two-Threes from both Part 1 and Part 2 Challenge on my Facebook page (link above) or here in a comment on the blog!  Winner will be announced on Saturday, August 13th!


Be Motivated...
Find your Inspiration...
Utilize your Inspiration...
Set your Goals...
and...GO!
You got this...

Have a wonderful Sunday! 
JLynn 
 






Thursday, June 30, 2016

Inspiration TIPs & Special Events!


Inspiration Part #1 - Top THREE Tips...

First - Apologies for the delay in my Inspirational Quick-Read Articles!
I had many squirrel moments in June...and ironically I was inspired to create a number of things, thanks to a variety of sources...colors, fabrics, nature, animals, decor, jewelry findings, beads & techniques :)
  
So - here's the top three things on the list for getting into the mindset of being open to being your authentic, creative self :)

#1 - Before you start stressing out about getting inspired to create...or worrying if your creative mojo has left you for good (trust me, it's usually just taking a little nap lol).  But if you're feeling any of those things - take TIME to be still...and give yourself some quiet, contemplation time.  "Unplug" for a little while - as this often helps keep your ideas and vision, true to you - and also cuts down on the self destructive mode of comparisons to others. 

#2 - Pay attention to the things that catch your eye...
If you are out for a walk or shopping, notice the things that intrigue you, make you smile, or simply having you stopping in your tracks, because you just have to enjoy the moment!  Whether that's people, someone's stylish outfit, the pattern in the rug, a book, food, the scenery, the sky, an animal, or simply a feeling.  Enjoy those little things - take a quick picture.  Why?  Because the little things are what make you thankful - and being thankful, brings feelings of happiness...and happiness is the key to re-energizing yourself, and re-energizing yourself, helps you stay open to new creative ideas and thoughts.

#3 - Remember...your best source of inspiration and creativity is YOU.
Only you have YOUR ideas and thoughts (take time to write them down or sketch them out - I keep a little notebook in my purse).  If you're interested in something - take the time to learn "how" to do it, and experiment with a variety of ways to utilize that skill.  When you have an idea...no matter how far-fetched it may seem...plant the seeds and give it a little TLC and time to grow...water them...give them sunshine - and most of all give yourself some of that too.  Go have some fun, read a good book, take a day trip, go window shopping, Pin some things on Pinterest...the list is endless...

Many a seed, has grown into seedlings that turn into beautiful blossoms and tall trees!  Just have patience with your self, and your ideas :)


Part #2...Inspiration through Color & Patterns
coming next week, along with this...a SPECIAL EVENT ON FACEBOOK!



If you missed my ART Tile Show a couple weeks ago in this lovely Facebook Group called Handmade Component Bazaar - then mark your calendars for this fun upcoming event, as I'll be keeping company with my fellow "Hostesses with the Mostesses" as we share a lot of our creations, play games and do a LOT of Give-Aways! If you're not a member yet - just click the "Join" button!

How does it work?
Over the course of four days, pop in whenever you want.  You will always see 10 listings from each of us - and as an item sells, it will be removed, and a new one will be added to the line-up - so always something fresh and new.

SO...make sure you turn "ON" your notifications for the Group, so you don't miss anything that might be calling out to YOU :)

What will I have there??
ART Tile Earring Pairs & Pendants
and...
my unique, Heat Embossed Wood burned Tiles too! 

For all my USA friends - have a safe & Happy Holiday weekend!
For my Canadian friends - Happy Canada Day!
And for everyone else - Happy upcoming weekend :)


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Inspiration...

Inspiration...
So many people have asked what inspires me to design...
Where do I find inspiration to create...
Do I design with top trends or popular colors in mind...
And lots more questions...

The answer is - there are so many possibilities
and
even more answers!

Next week look for the start of a series of Inspirational "Hunts"
where I'll share a variety of Photos, Ideas, and Exercises to rejuvenate your creative juices...and answer some of those questions above!

Until then - enjoy one of my own photos,
compliments of Mother Nature :)

Happy almost summer!
JLynn





Saturday, April 30, 2016

Where do I go from here?


Like any other creative person...there comes a time when you sit back, look at all you've done, all you want to do, and where you are at this moment in time...
and you wonder...where do I go now?  Have you ever had that feeling?  Recently I took part in a 10 day Challenge with Flourish & Thrive about Freedom...which reminded me of what I do every few years...and that's re-visit my thoughts, hopes & wishes...
and it made me wonder...

Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself the deeper "What" questions...

What is my dream/vision for my business/job?
Where do I want to take the business - and at what level?
What do I really want to do?  What do I still want to create?
What do I miss doing, because I'm not organized and spinning my wheels?
What do I like the least about where I'm at right now?
What is my favorite part about where I'm at right now?
What things do I want to learn?
What techniques and skills do I want to master? 
What do I need to make time for?
What do I need to do, to regain control and create a better balance for me?

Once I answered these....my vision of where I want to be, became a bit more clear once again - and I started pondering all the "How's"

As in...
If I want this, then...HOW do I make it happen...?
and
that's when you begin to PLAN...

There are so many possibilities...so many different ways to plan...
and you may need to tweak that plan as you go...BUT...
getting that "Plan" in motion is pretty exciting!

One of the days in the Challenge was about what the perfect day in your business would look like...mine was bringing my Wishful Thinking List to life in all the best ways - and this was the basic outline :)

The really cool part about doing things like this, is that it's the starting ground to expand on your ideas, and plan the best ways to set your goals - while taking into consideration the reality of life.  It took me most of 2015 to finish organizing my studio/office, improve some "lazy" habits, and create challenges for myself in creating the better balance between work and my personal life - all the while moving my business forward in a new, refreshed direction.  A return to my roots you could say - a beautiful dance but with simplicity of looking at the world with the eyes from my younger years.  I may have a ways to go, but the journey so far?  It feels fabulous!

I've been creating Jewelry since the mid 80's - but with my ART Tiles - did you know the reason why I started creating them?  It was simply to give me another way to share my own Watercolor paintings and express myself.  I also love spending time designing additional color combinations to create a variety of pendants and earring ART Tiles to not only use in my own Artisan Jewelry - but to offer the components for my DIY Jewelry friends too.  The only downfall, is the demand for my ART Tiles took on a life of their own, which eventually caused me to go through this exercise to bring back that elusive "balance" so it wasn't so one-sided (specifically with making Tiles lol).  
 


Personally for me - I've been so very blessed to have been part of the creative industry since the 1980s (not only in my own businesses - but in also the variety of professional positions I've had).  But right now - I'm at this place with questions of what and how - a kind of mid-life wish list for me you could say.  With all the Birthdays that have come and gone, I've gained a lot of knowledge and wisdom - but most importantly - I learned to appreciate things a lot more (the little things that is...), and I always try to stay focused on the positives and happy things in life.  Tim McGraw's song "Always Stay Humble and Kind" is a wonderful song with a fabulous message, don't you think??  

So for me - my life and business need to really flow together like melted honey and butter :) - for me - it's worth taking whatever time that's necessary to make both, the best they can be - and make the days on the calendar count more than just a number you know??

Well,  if you're still reading this - how about grabbing a cup of your favorite beverage, grab your favorite pen and a pretty journal - and start asking yourself questions.  Then listen to the answers your inner self is providing, and write them down - you may just surprise yourself with a brand new view and perspective for not only your business, but the balance between it, and your personal life :)

 Have a great weekend!
JLynn






Thursday, March 31, 2016

April Showers...



April Showers...bring May Flowers...BUT...
They also bring a new creative spirit to my jewelry designing!

 Mystical Elements...
When you have an inspiration that comes from the soul, it's pretty amazing.
This relaxing sage green Earring design is one that just flowed
created with all Sterling Silver findings, and Pewter Charms from Inviciti
Interestingly...designing didn't happen much last year.  
So this year has been a "Plan the Work...Work the Plan" type of gameplan.
I missed designing jewelry - pure and simple - so things needed to change. 
It took almost a year...but I'm back with a much better balance in work and my persona life.

Thought I'd share a few designs from this week 
I've been in a Floral and Enamel component type of mood :)
 
Beautiful components from MarkaZo - Flowers...Elongated Ovals...and Diamonds
 
 
 
 
Love unique components because they make inspire me to think outside of the box :)
 
April may bring the showers...
but it's also going to shower my creative spirit
Looking forward to bringing many more new designs to you!
 
JLynn

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A confession from my Studio...and TIPS!

Confession #1...
I was in a self-imposed prison of doing "time"
6-8 months of NO design time that is!
Daily Disorganization!
Lots of "To-Do's" on the List but nothing getting done!

Sound familiar?
Seriously...I could give a thousand excuses, explanations, reasons...and I'm sure you could relate, understand, and sympathize - because you are probably in a similar boat if you are a work-at-home Entrepreneur.  It's a wonderful job...but can very often be a challenging, chaotic, creative mess.
Sometimes your Guardian Angel rescues you...
Sometimes a Woodland Fairy sprinkles the fairy dust...
For me...this time around it was a creative friend - one who over time, had taken an interest in my jewelry, my Tiles, my business, my family, my fur babies (and ironically in doing so, pushed past my Introvert safety-lines lol).  You know it's refreshing to find a fellow Artisan that cares, is honest and genuine, asks questions, networks, and offers opinions in this creative world we work in.  True blessings :)

But then one day...
Out of the blue...
This Friend of mine, asked ONE, very astute question...
One that had to do with why I didn't have
 more listed in my Etsy Store...

My first response back was a funny one - "Because, I don't want to" lol.
  My second response was a logical business one from the analytical side of profit margins, time, and finding this elusive "balance". 

But then the more I thought about the question - the more I began thinking...and that can be dangerous.  Then I started thinking about the question again...and then I just started LAUGHING...again.
I mean a really honest to goodness HARD LAUGH!
  
This question caught me completely off-guard...but oh my goodness, was it ever the breath of fresh air that I needed, at just the right time!

So I thought more...
Like...is it true?  Have I been LOLLYGAGGING???
 Could I be getting more done?
And as that thought sunk in, I started rethinking my entire business...my plans...then I started laughing again about the entire question thing - 
and I said...wait a minute...

 "My buttons were just pushed and my business choices were questioned"
and I'm like "Wait...what...!? - like did that just REALLY happen???"
LOL - YES IT DID!
(Insert a snort and more laughter)...
At that point - I simply sat back in contentment,
(as if I just ate a BIG Chocolate bar), and thought...

WOW - THIS IS SO COOL...
and this question... just freaking BRILLIANT!  
So began my ONE day re-exploration and re-evaluation of my 2016 business plan.  You see, I spent 2015 preparing for a better "BALANCE" and a return to my "Roots" in Jewelry Designing and Artwork...with a slight decrease in creating ART Tiles.  But what I didn't realize is that there was a key piece to my puzzle missing about the Tiles.  Which led me to a bit of soul searching with more questions of (If, How, What, Why, When), and then ultimately, the...

...WHY NOT?...
Followed by the affirmative "I CAN DO THIS"
and do it well, without sacrificing any of my original plans in the process...

Sometimes it just takes ONE person asking ONE question...to help you create
not only that "Balance" but the "Redefined Balance"
and
TRUE JOY :)

You know sometimes events in our life (personal and business) hit us hard - and we forget to stay focused, or maybe we are so emotionally depleted that we need a break - and you know what?  That's ok.  Everyone is different - but we all have a limit to our "useful Lollygagging time" - so remember to be mindful that you're not missing out on creating or doing fun things.



Confession #2...
Speaking of LOLLYGAGGING...
You know that work I had been putting off?
Well it wasn't so hard - and I got it done in record time!  Yes, it initially made me a tad grumpy...but after finishing, it was a great feeling of accomplishment!


SO here's the BUSINESS TIPS...
because if I can do this - so can you...

Schedule ONE week of "Clean-Up Therapy" and
hold yourself accountable for all the things
 you've been saying you're going to complete, but haven't...

#1 - MAKE THE LIST of these THINGS
#2 - DO THEM!
 BREAK DOWN the tasks and Schedule them on your Calendar! 

These were some of my To-do's for the Jewelry Studio...but feel free to tweak them for your own business or home life!

~ Cleaning and purging the Studio (including files...)
I won't bore you with the Cleaning and purging part, but I did have fun preparing for Design Time by pulling Artisan components & findings.  FYI...the Daylight "Swan" Lamp (Retails at $180), however, with comparison shopping, expect to spend a little over ~$100. Best investment I ever made...lamp is going on 8 years and I am just now replacing the original bulb for the 1st time!


~ Organize Metal Findings and return unused to their proper place
Shown here is the one of the skinny drawers in my 6 drawer unit from Ikea which is currently housing my Vintaj supplies. Drawers are broken down by various metals and suppliers. My Sterling Silver findings are kept in several closed special Anti-Tarnishing containers (another investment well worth the price - keeps everything looking brand new for years - which is excellent for when you are purchasing while the price of Silver is low...).


~ Grouping Design Projects, organizing your design sketches,
 and utilizing everyday containers to organize. 
Shown here are "steals" from my Kitchen Cabinets...
and the Artisan Components (mind you this is not an all inclusive view lol), are from Inviciti, BlueHareArtWear, along with some of my newest Tile Creations.

~ Scheduling Purchases for Jewelry Findings and new components 
If you're serious about your business, you need to plan & budget...
Shown here are a variety of storage trays I picked up for very reasonable price at Michael's, Home Goods and Waverly on Amazon (50-70% off SRP). You don't have to spend a lot of money to get organized.  The smaller trays at the top left store a variety of Artisan Ceramic and Polymer Clay creations.  The fabric 12x12 trays - hold MANY Artisan Lampwork beads (categorized by Artisan and broken down by colors/shapes for the larger collections.  The smaller Paisley units on the right store all my Premium Czech beads (organized by color).  There is also a variety of other open baskets with individual storage bins in them for misc. beads...like Swarovski Crystals, Pearls, Gemstones, Wood beads, Seeds beads and more.  Keep in mind I have been designing since the 80s...which means I've had a lot of years of "collecting" and "replenishing" my Beads, Findings & Artisan Components ;)


~ Administrative Work (behind the scenes & Social)
Including setting up Excel Financial & Products spreadsheets for two years out


~ Print out & Organize Jewelry Earring/Bracelet/Necklace Tags
I love taking the time to print out my own tags...each one is specific to the jewelry piece I create and the type of gemstones, beads, and metals used.  Time consuming, but my customers appreciate the detailed tags versus a generic "Sterling Silver" or "Brass" tag.  I store my embossed gift boxes in a Hall closet - but keep the packaging materials handy near my main desk.


~ Designing and ordering Business Package Inserts (biz card size)
Utilizing a variety of companies - I order business cards, inserts, postcards, etc. Although my main logo remains the same - I do switch out the layout, background colors and different "tag lines" quarterly to keep things "fresh"


~ Redesigning and rebuilding my old Website - In process...




CONFESSION #3
YES, when I look at this and all that was accomplished in just ONE week,
It appears I was in fact LOLLYGAGGING...
Are You? . . . :)


Have a super week everyone!
Warmly, JLynn