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

Friday, June 24, 2011

Butterfly Haven Bracelet designed for Blissful Garden Bead Challenge

Butterfly Haven

FEATURED in the December 2011 Bead Trends Magazine
This was my design entry for Blissful Garden Bead Challenge (voting begins tonight on Heathers website - link below).  Heather (the very talented lady who creates these beautiful beads), periodically does bead challenges.  I've always wanted to participate, but for one reason or another, never get my name on the list - but this time I did, and I have to say it was a LOT of fun!

The beads I received (which were a complete surprise to me as I didn't know colors or design)...have a pretty periwinkle blue base with Cream and Pink raised florals with leaves.  I knew I wanted to do something a tad more elaborate and also decided that I would add a quad-color scheme (versus just accenting with one or two colors).  So here's a little show & tell of how I got from the planning stages to the final design...

It all started with the beads...and pairing up a selection of Swarovski crystals.  I chose Rosaline, Khaki, Light Colorado Topaz, Silk and Light Sapphire Swarovski Crystals.  Originally I was going to create this Bracelet in Sterling Silver but opted for the warm and antiqued shades of Vintaj Natural Brass.  Adding interest and lots of details is one of "my things" - so choosing the chain was just as important as choosing the colors.  Two variety of Vintaj chains, along with my hand-made connector chain using flattened blossom bead caps, Swarovski Crystals, and wire.
Close-up of the Blossom Bead Connectors - stacked crystals wire wrapped and ready for the next links (these can be completed with jump rings...but I encourage you to practice your wire wrap loops)

Planning quickly goes to full out design...below...
Once strands are connected, it's time to start adding the little details with dangles, wrapped blossom bead caps on tiny Riverstone teardrops, creating dangle charms using more flattend Blossom bead caps and a variety of sizes and colors of Crystal dangles.

Close-up of the triple strand Bracelet (this would make an awesome necklace as well) that needed just ONE little additional detail...
A beautiful Vintaj Butterfly :)

Simply gorgeous...I haven't decided whether this will remain with me, be given as a gift or sold to one of lovely fans.  But wherever it goes - it will be well loved because of the relaxing color combination, and happy thoughts and good vibes eminating from it.  It's so much lovelier in person as I've buffed some of the brass to reveal some of the golden hues that lay underneath.

Happy Summer thoughts to all of you - please feel free to share my Blog link and if you want - visit Heather's website and vote for your favorite Bead challlenge Bracelet at http://www.blissfulgardenbeads.com/ - I sure hope you pick mine, but then again there are a lot of other gorgeous designs - so my wish for you is to simply enjoy them viewing all of them and vote for the one that tugs on your heart string...or makes you go "ohhhhhhh" :)
Be inspired!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tips for Jewelry Shopping and Designing...

Repaired Swarovski/Garnet Sterling Silver Earrings

Sometimes for family...I give in and repair Earrings...even when they are not my designs LOL.  Since I've taught jewelry design and other creative classes for decades...this is a little Tip I'd like to share for all my fellow jewelry designers (whether you are seasoned or just starting out) OR for those of you that purchase jewelry at craft shows...this will help you know what to look for in choosing designs that are quality products and made to last.

Having taught Jewelry and many other creative classes for decades, I thought I'd share a quick little tip and lesson on using the proper gauge wire and taking the time to practice your wire wrapping technique.  The below picture is how we started out yesterday...
These earrings were originally made with Sterling Silver findings, average grade Garnet gemstones and Swarovski Crystals in a simple stacked drop design.  Whoever originally made these...had good intentions I'm sure - but unfortunately didn't choose the proper wire gauge or use correct finishing techniques on their wire wrapped loops.

Take note of the earring in the forefront...you'll notice that the Headpin is completely in tact at the base.  So what happened?  The unknown designer chose a higher gauge wire (26 gauge in this case), which is allowed the Swarovski Crystal and bead cap to simply "slip" right off the headpin.  When choosing your headpin take care to "test" to make sure the tip has a large enough diameter to accommodate your bead (when purchasing - look at the base bead and make sure that the headpin completely covers the opening).  Larger Swarovski Crystals have a slighly larger opening then a 4mm and below...so most of the time when I'm working with 6mm and above, I'm using 22-24 gauge wire.  I repaired these earrings with 22 gauge headpins.

Let's discuss the wire wrapping...these were a good attempt...but needed just a wee bit more TLC in the wrapping and professionally finishing.
Tipster...practice your wire wrapping techniques so that your wraps are even and not on an angle...and make sure that you cut your wire end flush and professionally tuck - otherwise you run the risk of losing repeat customers due to your creations falling apart or hurting your customers (sharp ends). 

Check out my online Tutorials for step by step visual instructions designed to assist you in improving your technique and knowledge of how to spot quality jewelry creations.

Close-up of finished repair...even wire wraps on 22 gauge Sterling Silver headpins with properly cut and tucked wire ends

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Should I apologize or not?

I still love you all...just have been really busy...
Good Morning everyone...it's been a long while...and I'm thinking that maybe an apology for my absence is in order...but then again...I have been creating lots of new jewelry designs, lampwork beads, and of course the Wood Art Tiles.  So...maybe I will just leave it as "Sorry I was busy creating and didn't realize how much time had passed since I last posted on my blog - I have high hopes to do much better" ;) - well here's the quick catch-up with some fun photos!

May was extremely busy...not just with the business but personally too.  My son finished his Junior year in College, and my daughter who is a dancer performed at the Joyce Theater in NYC...as well as a few local ones.  So aside from business to-do's and dance things...I was also juggling Birthday and Anniversary milestones...and a few out of state Road Trips.  I love May but am always glad to have things slow back down to a normal speed with June!

So here's a quick catch-up...
  • In May - we all went to the "Melting Pot" for the first time...it's a 2 hour deal with all the dipping and cooking your meal LOL - and I have to say that my favorite part was the Cheese Fondue and Chocolate Fondue...pictured above :)
  • My Earrings "Gypsy Soul" were featured in the June edition of Bead Trends - and here they are:

The July Bead Trends edition will feature two designs of mine - a gorgeous necklace and a pretty amazing Bracelet - hope you like them once I am able to reveal them in a couple weeks!

WOW...so in May we also had a fabulous Photo Inspiration contest which resulted in me getting LOTS of ideas for new jewelry designs based on the actual photographs.  You can check out my album of the photos, Wood TILES I created - as well as "inspired by" jewelry designs here...just click on the photo to view the complete album on Facebook...
Decoupaging on Wood tiles is nothing new to me...I actually did a demonstration for TV on it ~10-15 years ago.  But I was inspired to create a special tile for a friend back in late February (Hope Tile)...
And from there it's all blossomed into new artwork...and I'm so enjoying creating the ART & PHOTO tiles that feature my fellow artisan's artwork, my own Watercolor artwork, as well as some very talented digital artisans too...here's some photo samplings.  Although I'm trying hard to get things listed...many times the tiles will be sold prior to ever getting on Etsy  or Artfire...so if you haven't liked our Facebook page yet, please do so...as that's where all the sneak peeks happen (and "Reserved Listing" sales too).  Look for new shapes, jewelry designs and some special new Watercolor art from me too...
1" double sided ART tiles 

J-Lynn's Watercolor ART 3/4" Tiles (scanned/digitized in miniature)

CUSTOM TILES for our professional Photographers
Copyright Amanda Cargill Austin
Look for our Photography Partner program rolling out at the end of June 

1 1/2" Tile Pendants (excellent for Filigree wrapping or your own design- drilling is free)

Elongated Hearts are making many people happy!
Available in 1" charm/dangle style (single or double sided), 1 1/2" and 2" as well
Chunky Hearts also available 

New...rectangular "Tag" Tiles - excellent for wrapping or drill holes to create your own design

Well I leave you with a few samples of jewelry and home decor pieces made with our tiles...keep checking in on Facebook to see the latest from J-Lynn and other Jewelry Designers using our ART Tiles :)
J-Lynn Watercolor and Jeff Dostalek Photo image featured on Tiles

J-Lynn's Watercolor ARTwork featured on tiles

Pink Rose Delight in Flight

New...Home Decor Danglers...for Car Mirrors, Hooks, Purses, Cabinet Knobs and more...