About Me

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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

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Farwell to September...Hello to October!

I love this photograph I took on the Beach of Ocean City, New Jersey...

September was a VERY busy month!
It was the Grand Opening of my new Facebook Networking Group called
(note...this is a closed Group on Facebook - so you will need to join the group)

And that's exactly what it's all about...
Bringing Artisans Together and supporting one another - with Challenges, Give-Aways, Interest Articles, Group Share Days, Artisan Open Markets...
AND LOTS OF Featured Artisans and specialty Trunk Shows.  

This was our September Challenge (two fun color Palettes)...
 I made these two designs for Challenge #1...

And this pair of Earrings for Challenge #2

 
But now - it's October and it's all about FALL!
The above photo is one of those special moments I captured last year in Rocks State Park!  The leaves have not really started turning yet - but I imagine in another week, we will begin to see more color.  Until then - we are making our own colors - as my daughter and I had a lot of fun creating Fall decor last weekend.



Well - my friends - wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
I will be hosting my 1st show of the Fall season in the
Handmade Component Bazaar Group on Facebook!
Happy Fall!
JLynn

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Reveal - Pretty Palette!


Pretty Palette - August Reveal with Erin Prais-Hintz & Halcraft USA

In early August I received an invite from Erin for the Pretty Palette Challenge - I was honored and excited to be a part of such a project, and accepted the Challenge, sight unseen.  Once I received the details, I almost fell right out of my chair...I also had a few tears in my eyes - because the inspiration photo and colors reminded me, that there was so much to be thankful for, as I thought about all the unique and emotional connections.  It was one of those moments, where you know there are greater forces in this world, that are listening to you, and working for the positive good.  If you want to read more about these very special sequence of Events and Connections, I invite you to read my post from yesterday - the pre-post for this challenge, titled "Blueberry Story"!  It's a quick read with LOTS of pictures, including my design ideas.

This was the Inspiration and Beads...

Blueberries of course have a very special meaning to me, and as I explained, in my post from yesterday - they never fail to remind me of my Mother-in-Law who is known for using Fresh Blueberries to create Blueberry Buckle and has also been courageously battling NHL Cancer for the last two years. So Blueberries bring a very simple thought to mind...

Simplicity

Remembering that life is only complicated, if we choose to make it complicated...
and that the little things, really do make a BIG difference...
I can't help but think that sometimes less is more...

And that's why with this Reveal and the many layers of inspiration that came with it...I chose to look at each round bead individually - kind of like a round and round we go..but with a "back to basics" simplicity to allow the beads to find their voices.  There is beauty in the uniqueness of everything - and I am thoroughly enjoying designing with all of the Halcraft Beads and of course, I cannot wait to see what my partner, Erin has come up with too!  You can read more about her creation on the Halcraft Blog - August Reveal - Pretty Palette!

 So aside from the inspiration provided by the Blueberry Palette which generated my "Blueberry Story"...and the Earrings above (Hand-forged Sterling Silver Rings, Lampwork Spiral Beads by Serena's Beadery, gorgeous Blue 10mm Glass beads from Halcraft, with all Sterling Silver findings) - I created a LOT more, with additional designs still in the works!
 
For me, the Halcraft Beads had a special inspiration of their own, and it was such a pleasure to coordinate all the design ideas.  Pictured below is a photo showcasing a variety of Artisan made components with design possibilities for this very special Challenge.  It was so much fun pulling from my Artisan collections, because I was so inspired to create by the theme and beads.

The fun part about the beads from Halcraft, is they are so versatile in terms of making an impact when used together - as Erin did with her beautiful, sweeping Necklace design in her August Reveal Post.  Or, in utilizing them individually, as I have done here by breaking down the color palette.  Halcraft makes it so easy in providing you with "Possibilities" - that give you unlimited inspiration in colors, textures, depth and dimension.  No matter if you create jewelry for fun or are creating jewelry as a full-time Designer that sells both Retail and Wholesale - trust me, you will definitely want to have a variety of their beads, in your stash.

Confession...I'm STILL designing WITH these beads...
However...need to share to inspire!

A funny thing happens when I let my "Muse" on the loose...
She (as I tend to call "her" - who I picture as an ethereal, mythical Goddess), seems to be most creative when she has free reign to dance from one project to another and does so with a happy heart, and one that is full of gratitude.

The picture below is one design I was hoping to finish for today - but I still need a bit more creative playtime and experimentation before I'm ready to share the completed design.  BUT - I just had to share the design concept...it will eventually be (I think...) a beautiful multi-strand, dangle bracelet!
The small round Turquoise colored beads were part of multi-strand of aqua and green glass beads from Halcraft - all 8mm...LOVE!  Although what most would deem as a "standard" filler bead - this selection is fabulous and really would make a LOT of Drop Earrings - simply by using two for a variety of quick selling Earrings at your local Fall market or craft show.  The colorful ceramic focal piece you see in the center is from Helena of Areto, and earthy ceramic beads at the top of the photo, were created by Cindy of Art & Soul Jewelry.  I immediately pulled the 8mm Turquoise like Glass beads from the Halcraft strand, because they are such a perfect match with the Artisan components (and also a great way to keep cost down in the final pricing of the piece).  I'm looking forward to working with these components and Vintaj Natural Brass findings today!

Next up..designs featuring Halcrafts 8mm Aqua Glass Opaque Rounds..
I LOVE this strand and created a themed Boho Batik Jewelry set.  More of a misty, aqua green versus blue - I just love the natural, relaxed color.  If you've ever actually gone blueberry picking...you will see so many different variations in colors within the rows of the Blueberry shrubs with the foliage and berries - alive with creams, purples, blues, and greens. 
 This design is a special one for me...
I'm a Watercolor painter too and create ART Tiles © (Florentine style Decoupage with authentic Woodburned bevel edges for jewelry making). So, one of my favorite things to do is take my miniature paintings, digitize them, and utilize the image for my Jewelry Tiles.  The focal piece in this necklace features a Watercolor Resist "Batik-style" painting that has lots of subtle color variations and layers (this one is just one of many color variations).  The Necklace is a LONG one - 36" in length (but I may decide to go a little shorter), and was created with all Vintaj Natural Brass findings, including a 7-strand, long chain Tassel.  I absolutely love wearing jewelry where there is a calming element in it - something you can twirl or run your fingers through.  A little quirky thing of mine - I suppose it's just my love of being in the "Creative Chain" Gang ;)


Then since I was so delighted to be working with the Halcraft green portion of the palette...I decided to do a bracelet.

 This design actually took up a lot of my time - not in the designing itself, but in the time it took to get from Idea #1, to the Final you see here.  Sometimes as Designers, we have an idea and start the project.  At some point - the design makes you happy or not.  My original idea was a simple link design with Vintaj 15mm Twisted Rings in between...it looked good, BUT I was not happy with how it laid on the wrist.  So I switched to a smaller decorative Ring...

Nope...still not happy.  It was dinner time - which meant break time.
After dinner, I went back to the table - and my Muse kind of slapped me upside the head - and all of a sudden I was breaking apart the original bracelet, and separating the wire wrapped links I made...in order to re-design that concept into these pair of Earrings...
Then another idea hit me...and as I looked at several of the "straight" links  still sitting on the table...and a "what-if" type of idea, turned into a simple double strand bracelet idea, which was ok...but my Muse and I, were still not happy, so we remained in deep contemplation.  Then I grabbed more Vintaj findings to experiment with, and in the process of pulling things from my drawer - a lone flower charm fell out. Yes...inspiring thoughts circled.  A vague idea began to come to life.  So I added the two links to the petals - but with an odd-number of petals - it meant that if I wanted to do a double strand, I would need to get a little creative with the balance.  So I attached the larger link from the original bracelet, but it looked like it was missing something, so I decided to frame out the "focal" bead with some delicate oval Vintaj chain.

Happiness...new Sweet Simplicity Bracelet.
  
Well the midnight oil was burning, but I figured I had enough energy left in me to create a few more Earrings...and decided on the three remaining strands in the Halcraft grouping...and had some fun with the "shiny & sparkly" beads!

First up...featuring the Halcraft Aqua Painted Glass 8mm Round beads - (these really remind me of the sparkling, Caribbean Blue waters, Mermaids and Sunsets)...and because of that thought - it made me reach for a pair of Polymer Clay, handpainted Artisan Shell charms from Susan of Earth Expressions...

 And these...
These feature the Halcraft Silver Plated 6mm Stardust Beads...
They reminded me more of sparkling Fairy Dust and the quote about not allowing others to steal your sparkle.  So I paired them up with some of my own Lampwork mini-Spacer beads, very delicate Sterling Silver Chain (yes I love chain...) and from Nooma & Vincent of Inviciti - these gorgeous pair of Pewter Charms with subtle sparkles, and a Fern like Fairy Grass Patina (yes, I made that Patina name up...because the color reminds me of that extremely soft grass/fern like plant you find in the woods - hence my nickname "Fairy Grass").

And lastly - these...

I call these my "Blueberry Dream" Earrings - totally in love!
Of course they feature more Halcraft beautiful beads...the 8mm opaque glass Turquoise colored ones...and the 6mm semi-precious Amethyst gemstones, with all Vintaj Brass Findings and the most exquisite, embossed and riveted floral charms I've had the pleasure of purchasing.  Ironically these were created by one of my ART Tile customers, Laurie Kaioula (she recently started selling her own components in one of the Facebook Groups) - and I hope to convince her to be one of my Featured Artisans in my new group "Artisans Create Together" which highlights both Jewelry Designers and Jewelry Component Creators - in a safe and positive atmosphere, for all those that love jewelry, or love to create jewelry - or simply love color :) - it is a closed group - so if you want to join in the fun, make sure you click on the "Join" button :)

Well - I have MANY more designs with all the lovely Halcraft Beads that I was gifted with from Erin.  A very special, heart-felt thank you goes out to her - because although she didn't know it at the time, it was just the refreshing challenge I needed in my life.  AND...a special thank you for Halcraft for supporting so many creative dreams with their beautiful products.

If you've made it through all the detailed pictures - would absolutely love to hear your thoughts and what you are inspired to create by this Challenge - so I welcome you to leave a comment here on the Halcraft Blog with Erin's Reveal :)
Warmly, JLynn (aka Janice)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Blueberry Story...pre-post for the 8/31 Challenge!

August 2016 Pretty Palettes Challenge!

Erin of Tesori Trovati Jewelry invited me to participate in this fabulous Challenge sponsored by Halcraft USA.  I agreed to participate, sight unseen, because I love Challenges, and by some miracle of fate, was able to fit it in my schedule.  When Erin sent me the Information - it was one of those moments that just gave you that feeling of being right on the path you are suppose to be on - complete with the chills down the spine (but in a good way), and a little internal Butterfly Wing feeling :) - all because unrelated things in my life - some scary, some challenging...were suddenly all connected in a very positive way - signs...

First off when I saw Blueberries...well it made me SMILE.
We love Blueberries - but when I think of Blueberries, I think of a long family history that involves my Mother-in-Law, who is the Blueberry Buckle Queen in our family.  If you haven't heard of Blueberry Buckle - well, it's a cake like coffee cake that is delicious!


So from the get-go - I was inspired because of Blueberries...BUT...there's more...

As in every family, there are struggles.  My MIL has been battling NHL Cancer for the last two years.  Yes - two years with disappointment after disappointment between Surgeries, Chemo, Radiation, more Chemo, more Surgeries, and finally a Clinical Study.  She had some cautiously good news a month or so ago, and without the long-winded medical details, has now been placed on a Maintenance plan.  Struggles make you put things into perspective and truly appreciate what's really important in life, bringing value to all those "little" things.

Blueberries - my Mother-in-law - Connections

Then after looking at the Color Palette, I was connected again...
As I had just finished a batch of new Molten Metal Copper Components with my Ombre Watercolor painting on Metal - many of which were in the Blues, Purples, and Greens.  (Clicking on link gives you access to quick video on our Facebook Fan page).  

But the connections didn't stop there...
The day before my Birthday, I wound up taking my husband to the Hospital (long story - and he's ok - but it was a little scary in the ER at times).  The short story is they believe he had a Virus, which caused him to become very ill, then dehydrated (despite trying to drink and eat), which caused his blood pressure to plummet dangerously low.  While in the ER that night and into the wee morning hours - he received three bags of IVs in between lots of monitoring.  At one point his BP dropped to 77/53 and his comment was - if anything happens to me - just know I love you.  Needless to say, that was a little bit of a freak-out moment for me.  Doctor came in immediately - adjusted some things - took his BP again and he went back to sleep.   Now for me - I'm a big believer in all the positives, and have this special place in my heart for Guardian Angels.  That night I was like "HEY...Hello my lovely Angels...could really use a little company and looking over here".  I know it's kind of cliche - but sometimes after doing this - you get a calming, warm feeling - kind of reminds me of big soft feathers giving you a special hug that says everything is going to be ok.

And it was :)

The next day as my DH was recuperating at home, I received a message from Kelly of Vesuvius who creates a variety of Enamel and metal pieces.  I ordered a 1/2 dozen pairs from her - and she was sending me pics of the completed pairs.  Well in it...this:


Ironically - Angel Wings - more sweet signs and connections...

You see all these things happened within a few days of each other...
Nothing that you would immediately make connections with - just a part of life.  But after I received the message from Erin, to invite me to take part in this Challenge, you can imagine how I felt when I looked at the Blueberry palette and beads!  Immediately my mind mind flew from one thing to another (Blueberry Photo connected with my MIL, her Cancer, yummy Blueberry Buckle, then my husband, Angels, Kelly's Angel wing components and my molten Metal pieces (both in colors of the palette)
One of those OH WOW moments!

Positive Connections & Signs...they are there, if you pay attention :)


Needless to say - with all these signs and connections - I think it was a certainty that some things are meant to be, and to come together at exactly the right time.  Unrelated one moment - and then in the next moment - all connected.  When I shared this story of connections with Erin (which I have fondly named the "Blueberry Story") - she said she had chills, and loved when there are signs around us, that show the Universe is indeed listening.   As she said - sometimes we all need positive reminders of all the "something good" things.



 So as I complete a variety of projects today for the Reveal tomorrow...the picture above is what my planning table for possible jewelry designs looked like yesterday (well before I started designing that is)...

I'm not sure which designs will come out of it this - but one has already...
My "Blueberry Story" Earrings

Check in here tomorrow for the Design Reveal with Jewelry Details :)
JLynn

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 :)