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

Monday, October 31, 2011


This past Saturday, we had a very odd October occurence here in Maryland...it snowed.  Crazy I know...Weathermen were saying to expect 1-3"...then 2-4" and I think at one point we were in a higher accumulation area - but you see the little town I live in, likes to "escape"...and escape we did this time around!  It doesn't always happen, but fortunately for us - all we got was a lot of sleet, wind, rain and then some pretty snow.

Saturday is definitely a day we won't forget - not just for the snow...but it was also the day my husband and I were taking our Daughter to her #1 College choice for an Open House (and despite the weather - the Open House went on as planned).  However, instead of walking around campus on a beautiful Fall day, it wound up to be shuttle transportation in the sleet and ice lol.  However, everyone was in high spirits, and I have to say it will be a day that we will not forget (and I mean that in all the good ways).

Now our trip to the College was about an hours drive each way...and I was totally bummed when I realized I forgot my camera.  But it was probably just as well, because I don't think my husband would have stopped along side the Interstate while I hopped out to get a picture...lol....but take my word for it - there were long stretches of some glorious trees in tri-color peek that were just so much more prettier because of the snow!

I did catch this shot when I got home though...my metal Pumpkin Twirlers...on my front porch with our Red Maple Tree in the background...

About a week ago, the Maple Tree lost the majority of its leaves in a pretty heavy rain and wind storm...but there were a few die-hard vibrant red leaves hanging on for this photo...with the snow on the branches and covering the ground - you can see how it made the colors POP!

Now, as I was taking these photos from the front porch...I had a visitor fly in to say hello - seriously...he started chirping like crazy to get my attention and then "posed".  Some things you just know...and with that first chirp and glimpse of red...I knew in a heartbeat, that it was my "Lucky"...the baby Cardinal from this past summer!  You see, although he is just as big as his Pappa...he still has a little bit of brown left along his back and he has a different look to his eyes.  I know him because I've been watching him since he hatched (literally). 

Now if you are new to my blog, or do not remember "Lucky" - then take a moment and read the quick picture story called the "Cardinal Chronicles" from this past June...

Here's Lucky in all his glory - vibrant red against the beautiful snow, perched up high in our Maple Tree.

And another fun shot...
Just as Lucky was getting ready to take off in flight...
~ he seemed to freeze in place for a split second...
and although it's not a perfectly in focus shot...I LOVE - his sweet little face...
and how that misty, strong gust of snow & wind was captured...

So...yes snow in October was an oddity...as was attending a Fall College Open House in the sleet and snow...but the best thing about this peculiar day?  Is all these lasting memories...

Speaking of which...if you haven't joined in the fun before with our "PHOTO INSPIRATION" contests on Facebook and our Blog - join us!  This is strictly a fun contest - and this time around themed around Fall & Winter and the timeless memories we create.  New photos are being added to our "viewable" photo album here:
and...to enter - simply upload your photos at our:
 Photo Inspiration EVENT TAB on Facebook (or email me with your jpgs)

Deadline for photo entries is 11/1/11 as 12midnight (although we allowed for a 6 hour grace period with all the time zones which means until 6am EST)...

VOTING will take place 11/2 through 11/6 and PRIZES and WINNERs will be announced on 11/6 :)

Hope you have a fun last day of October!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

DIY Visual PAINTING Tutorial

Here it is...Part 1 of DIY - Yes you Can Paint Visual Tutorial! 

This project is one that Plaid sponsored over 15 years ago...I did MANY live demonstrations for groups and TV and had a blast doing it too!  It is such a great way to dabble in painting because it's so successful with this straight forward approach to painting.  So - we will be basing our tutorial on this simple stripe and leaf design - with your choice of colors...as well as, showing you how to incorporate what you've learned onto different surfaces (slate, wood, glass) and yes - even your walls!

Looks complicated but I will share with you just how easy it is...and you'll walk away with knowing some basic Decorative Painting techniques, including a few Plaid folkArt ONE Stroke methods.  The point with this tutorial is to get you practicing and playing in a very economical, friendly way!  It's practicing on paper first...practice, practice, practice until you get the feel of creating the paint stroke.

Now if you don't have a lot of extra cash on hand -take advantage of those 40-50% off coupons from the Craft Giants like Jo-Ann's, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and AcMoores.  Likewise - it's the perfect time to think about all the different things you might be able to do around your home to spruce things up...or create a fun coffee mug yourself...and certainly to create some "gifts from the heart" for your holiday gift giving.

So - keeping it short for Part 1...the SHOPPING LIST (or gathering depending on what you may already have at home).  The first thing...Brushes!

Plaid folkArt ONE Stroke Value Pack #1059

If you can swing it - go for the Plaid Value Pack...these brushes are amazing and a superior quality for the cost.  Yes - there are cheaper brushes on the market but I can tell you from experience, they will leave you feeling frustrated with pieces of bristles in your wet paint.  When properly cared for - these brushes will last a LONG time...and if you can't swing purchasing the entire set - get the large Scruffy, #8 and #12 Flat, and #2 liner.

Shopping List:
  • ONE Stroke Value Pack #1059 (or individual brushes...Large Scruffy, #8 Flat, #12 Flat, and #2 Liner)
  • Artist Pad of paper for Acrylic Painting
  • Variety of Acyrlic Paints - for everyday crafts...I prefer Plaid Premium and if you're doing more fine art painting...then Liquitex Artist blend (in the Fine Art section)
  • Your choice of Paper Mache product (in our sample we are using a large heart - but there are so many more choices).
  • Varnish to seal & protect (Matte, Satin or Gloss)
  • Sea Sponge
  • Painters Tape
  • Wax Paper
Go gathering or shopping for your supply list :)

Example of Paper Mache product - choose any size or any style (round, square, or trinket boxes)


Prepare your kitchen/work/craft table with newspaper...wear old clothes...tear off a piece of wax paper (this is your cheap painter's palette surface).
Prepare your paper mache surface.
Dampen your sea sponge and squeeze out excess water.  Squirt a large amount of paint onto your wax paper.  Dab your sponge in and work the paint into it by blotting up and down on your newspaper and then do the same up and down motion on your paper mache surface.  This will give it a mottled look - keep going until you have covered the complete surface.  We used a Cream base for our Heart project.

Allow your surface to dry completely...then do a second coat of sponging.  Get ready for STEP THREE - where we will show you how to create simple two-shaded leaves, elegant scrolls and swirls, and of course no-fail striping!

Perfect stripes, Blended two tone leaves, Swirls, dots and stippling
 Easy dots with the end of your paintbrush (for real!)

Painting does not have to be perfect...consider it an expression of your moods - your heart - your feelings.  Once you know a few basic techniques, it is so easy to build upon your skills too ~ and it's also a lot of fun when you include family members or have a craft day with a special friend.

When I was pulling all the supplies for picture taking - I found this - one that my daughter started when she was probably 5 years old (she'll be 18 soon) lol.  So at the end of our Tutorial - check out to see what I do with her "base" painting of this heart with some special outlining and addition of glazes for blending...

Part THREE - Practice, Practice, Practice...
So - you've painted your base coat on your piece and now you're ready for the fun part!  But let's first revisit the Scruffy brush and pouncing - I'll be demontrating with different colors than the finished sample so it's a little more visible for you online - you of course are allowed complete freedom in your paint color choices...

Your Scruffy Brush is easy to use...simply load the brush by pouncing into the paint and onto your surface.  Keeping you brush semi-dry will keep the marks distinct - wet will give you a more blended appearance
 It's a good idea to pounce up and down on a white sheet of paper so you get a feel for the amount of paint needed to create your desired look.
  Pouncing can be done with a very dry brush for that scruffy dotted pattern,
or a wet brush that will give you a more watercolor like appearance/finish.

Next - are the stripes.
  To create these we are going to use any width of blue painter's tape.  To ensure a clean edge, make sure that you press down firmly
so that no paint seaps in under the edges.
Using our Scruffy brush again...and the color of your choice, load the brush
and in and up and down fast tap-tap-tap motion simly fill in the area between
your painter's tape.  Depending on the desired look...more defined separation - use a dry brush...for a more blended watercolor effect use a wet brush.
Next is removing the painters tape.  In our sample we wanted to show you what it would like if you did not press down firmly on the tape.  Note the
"bleeding" at the edge or the little bumps.  In this case since we will be painting an outline stripe on either side - it's not a worry - but if you weren't, you can see how important pressing down on your tape would be.
(see left side versus the cleaner edge right side).  In this particular sample - I decided to fill in the area with Gold paint and a wet, flat Brush.

So now we are ready for the decorative painting part using our flat and round brushes.  To start, we need to practice on paper and I've included these guideline practice sheets for you to practice a variety of strokes.  For this particular pattern we will be using a modified comma with an "S" stroke. 

Now...let's break out the Flat Brush size #12 to start (then once your feel comfortable practicing with that one - switch to the #8).  Squirt two different colors of paint onto your palette (either paper or your waxpaper).  thoroughly wet your paint brush with water or mix in a blender to extend your drying time (both will give you a smooth flow and allow the brush to work for you, versus you working the brush).  Dip each corner into the two different paints - so it looks like this (on both sides)...
Next you are going to blend the colors together by brushing them together up and down on a scrap paper twice.  Then you are going to RELOAD your brush like above one more time and blend only once before taking it to your painting surface (in your case you are taking it to your practice sheet)...

Now it's time to actually paint some "leaf" strokes...
Step 1...you will be doing these steps in one smooth flowing motions and remember it takes practice...each one will be individually different - and there's no such thing as "perfect".  So breathe...and place your brush on the paper with a bit of pressure so that is flattens and spread out as shown
Next you will begin to flow with the brush upwards for a tiny bit...then you are going to slightly twist/pivot your brush slightly to the right...
and then slowly release your pressure while pulling up to create the leaf tip

So remember...practice loading the paint & blending
then for the Leaf stroke it's...
Press-ssss, Twist, Lift - all in one smooth motion.
When you first start out - it is common for your leaf to look like the one on the left...but you will improve as you practice.  So keep practicing (I did MANY pages with hundreds of leaves when I was first starting out).
Now review...take a look at all the individual "leaves" on our sample - these were created with a dark sage and light sage green - but you can also use any color with a blending or white or cream too.  Not all are perfect but when randomely placed together (or if you'd rather draw a pattern on your surface - do it with a light pencil (or transfer paper).

And now all that's left - is to use your Flat Brush chisel end (just turn your paintbrush sideways so it's the skinny side in view - like how we did the outline on the stripe) or your can create the branches with a Round Paint Brush (I've included some guidelines and practice strokes for you if you want to continue on.  Then all that's left is the Liner for the Swirls - and this is EASY...

Round brushes are pretty universal - you load them, blend them and just follow the guidelines to get used to creating different strokes with them.  Like the Flat Brush either use a Blender to extend your paint drying time...or simply make sure your paint brush is wet by dipping it in water.

The Liner brush is one of my favorite ones to use because it's fun to swirl and curl - the key is that blender/extender or LOTS of water to dilute the paint and give it a more tranluscent look!

Keep in mind with the Liner Brush you want to keep it lightweight and airy and only use the very tip of the brush - if you press down, you'll get a "splat" and uneven swirl...so again very light, with lots of water/blender mixed in with the paint so it flows smooth and effortless.

Did I miss anything? Oh yes...the perfect "berry" dot...creating that is so simple...reverse your paint brush in your hand so the bristles are up - dip the wooden end of your brush into the paint and "dot" your surface - making sure to do this in a very strict vertical up/down motion.

Well - now it's time to put it all together and actually finish up your project. The Scruffy pouncing for texture...
The Painter's tape stripes & outline of stripes...
The Branches (painting with either your Flat or Round brush)
LEAVES...you've practiced and practiced now enjoy the look!
And finally the Swirls and dot details with your Liner Brush

And the only thing I'll be adding this week is how you can apply these skills to other painting surfaces and projects - such as: 
Fabric, Glass, Wood, Walls and more!
 Happy Painting - if you have any questions - feel free to post them here!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sari Silk Ribbon Design & Blog Hop

Today is the day for the "Reveal" as promised!
A special thank you to Brenda Sue of B'sueBoutiques for planning and organizing this!

"Emotional Tides"
My bracelet design that I created with the gorgeous Silk Sari Ribbon from B'SueBoutiques, JLynnJewels ART tile, Artisan Lampwork Bead from Dean of Bubby & McGurk Beads, Black Onyx gemstones, Swarovski Crystals and Fallen Angel Black Brass findings and charms.  I've included some highlights from our post yesterday "What Soothes and Brings Comfort to You"  (please take a moment to read this inspirational post if you have time - as it does explain in a little more depth the meaning behind the bracelet).

When I signed up for this particular challenge, it was "before" our family experienced a little setback - my Sister who is in poor health, was taken to the hospital - and remains in ICU with additional testing.  (Update to this post...unfortunately, my Sister lost her fight for life, and made a peaceful transition to Heaven surrounded by her family - RIP Dawn).

So this design was created with a lot of mixed up emotions of stress, relief, sadness, happiness and love - it is about going with the tides of life...

With all that was going on...it wasn't until yesterday that the bracelet came together very quickly in an explosion of emotions, and of course love for design and colors.  Color Palette:  This rich palette includes Purples and Violets that hold an aura of deep, mysterious emotions - with contrasts of black and brown to indicate a strong foundation. It's brooding and dark, full of some confusion - yet at the same time...captivating, alive and certain of an underlying warmth and love of life. Purple, Brown and Black - remind me of the many unknown and mysterious things in life. Despite the darkness and uncertainty in the unanswered questions - this color combination is one that is "uplifting" because I have faith that no matter what - things will work out exactly as they are suppose to - fate & destiny are words that come to mind.

B'Sue's Sari Ribbon - This bundle of ribbon is so beautiful and unique because instead of being "one" dyed color/lot...it's a glorious, rich, long length of seamed together strands of colors - gorgeous! When I first saw it, it reminded me of the blending of people in our lives that create a rich tapestry. For me, Satin is a fine material that symbolizes "living" and "warmth" - so adding this to my design...it's like snuggling up with a warm blanket on a cold night - it brings a feeling of comfort.

Bubby & McGurk Lampwork Beads - this organic shaped beauty has an inner glow...that for me, symbolizes a life that is full of layers, depth, and mystery - not that they hold the answers to life or why we have to go through some of the things that are handed to us - but they have a solidity that silently communicates that it's up to us as individuals to use what's handed to us in a positive way.

 JLynn Art tile - I started creating tiles to simply reflect a personal story for a friend of mine - and the tile for this one, is no different. It was altered, digitized, with the colors fine-tuned to match not only the components (beads & ribbon) - but also because the scrolls reminded me that our emotions are constantly "in motion" - intertwining and mixing on the road of life.

FAB black brass metal (Fallen Angel Black Brass) - symbolize a "strength" and that place we all have to pull from when we are feeling weak and unsettled. I used a combination of Hearts, Filigrees, Flower and a Key - all symbolizations of my emotions.  The Filigree bead caps were intentionally all different and unique like the many facets of our feelings and what we go through.   Fallen Angel Black Brass for me is a symbolization of life in itself...like newborn babies...we all start our as shiny and brand new (like raw bright brass)...and over our years, time, and experiences - we become weathered in a beautiful, timeless way that truly indicates a love of life and at the core...an inner strength.

Now- go forth and visit!
The Sari Ribbon Party Blog Hop
Be inspired by all the many ways to use B'SueBoutique Sari Ribbon by visiting each of the participants blogs (you might enjoy "following" their blog too)

Vickie Wills

Susan Kennedy

Michelle Mach

Michelle Lee Hardy

Ruth Crawford

Hilary Frye, FryeStyle

Diana P.

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques

Elizabeth Owens-Dwy

Connie Rios-Relyea

Jennifer Justman

Deb Davis


Cathie Carroll

Rosemary Cowit

Georgene Lockwood

Cathy Buckley

Harry Wood

Sonya Stille

Mary Deis

Heather Goldsmith

Susan Rouleau

Terry Matusyk

Pam Chesbro

Mary Shannon Hicks

Janice Everett


Kristina Johansson, Maneki

Kris Binsfeld



Catherine Jeltes


Sharon Palac

Deb Beechy

Jean Yates

Patrice Pfeiffer

Dorcas Midkiff

Lynn Perry Bennett

Linzi Alford


Cynthia Wainscott

Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp

Alice Craddick

B'sue Boutiques Creative Group


Thursday, October 13, 2011

What soothes and brings comfort to you?

Photography by J-Lynn ~ "Reflection" (based on her photographs from the Fall of 1985/Massachusetts)

"There are some people who have the quality of richness and joy in them
and they communicate into everything they touch.  It is first of all, a
physical quality...then it is a quality of spirit" ~ Thomas Wolfe

Whenever I'm feeling a little confused, I remember this quote and it brings me strength.  Mainly because I try to live up to it, every day of my life. I'd like to think I have a connection to the author - not only because of the meaning, but because the author ironically had the same old Irish name as my Grandfather (who passed away the year I was born).  How I would have loved to chat with him about life...but in my heart, I know he would have shared my philosophy and outlook on life...very much like the quote above.

My apologies...for my absence and not taking the time to post a little something here on my Blog.  Life - it happens - and sometimes the words in your mind are trapped inside, bobbing up and down on a turbulent sea of emotions...unable to find a voice.  Which is definitely OK in my book - because I'm comfortable with silence and the resonance in the quiet.  I've learned that sometimes we just need to sit back, and allow things to settle in around us - to reflect and simply "be".  Want to know where I was "reflecting"??  I was right here (in my mind...sigh)

Photo by SallybytheSea on Facebook

Well - today, my voice was found...and this post is prompted by a long two weeks of submerging myself in creativity to cope with some personal things going on in my family's life (a relative of mine has been in the hospital and although it's been a tough time filled with lots of uncertainties) - I'm happy to say that there have been remarkable improvements with good news. 

Which leads me to how we cope with things in our life...and thinking about some of the things that bring comfort in times of life's profound events. There are no right or wrong answers.  However, when I have a choice to be absorbed with anger, confusion, depression or self-pity...I will always try to get on that higher road, in order to turn that experience around into a positive one.

For me...my moods, will always have an effect on my designs - so whether it's complex or simple...happy or sad - I've learned to allow the emotions complete freedom of expression through my hands and components.  Because of this, I'm usually left with a design that depicts many underlying emotions with a positive and hopeful feel to them.  So I encourage you to allow time to mimic some of the "colors" in life through your creativity in art, dance, music or design - here's a little personal design story I'd like to share... 

So what's the scoop on this particular design palette?  It came together as a result of two things - 1.  My own personal release of emotions, and 2.  A Design Challenge from B'Sue Boutiques.  This rich palette includes Purples and Violets that hold an aura of deep, mysterious emotions - with contrasts of black and brown to indicate a strong foundation.  It's brooding and dark, full of some confusion - yet at the same time...captivating, alive and certain of an underlying warmth and love of life. 

Designs can tell a story if you are brave enough to let them out...so let me share my own personal thoughts about this design I'm currently working on today.  And tomorrow when you see the finished piece, you will "know" the story behind it - and the meaning of the colors and components.
  • Colors of Purple, Brown and Black - a complex mix for me, as they remind me of the many unknown and mysterious things happening in my life at the moment. Despite the darkness and uncertainty in the unanswered questions - this color combination is one that is "uplifting" because I have faith that no matter what - things will work out exactly as they are suppose to - fate & destiny are words that come to mind.
  • Bubby & McGurk Lampwork Beads - these organic shaped beauties have an inner glow...they symbolize a life that is full of layers, depth, and mystery - not that they hold the answers to life or why we have to go through some of the things that are handed to us - but they have a solidity that silently communicates that it's up to us as individuals to use what's handed to us in a positive way.
  • FAB black brass metal (Fallen Angel Black Brass) - symbolize a "strength" and that place we all have to pull from when we are feeling weak and unsettled.  Fallen Angel Black Brass for me is a symbolization of life in itself...like newborn babies...we all start our as shiny and brand new (like raw bright brass)...and over our years, time, and experiences - we become weathered in a beautiful, timeless way that truly indicates a love of life and at the core...an inner strength.
  • B'Sue's Sari Ribbon - This bundle of ribbon is so beautiful and unique because instead of being "one" dyed color/lot...it's a glorious, rich, long length of seamed together strands of colors - gorgeous!  When I first saw it, it reminded me of the blending of people in our lives that create a rich tapestry.  For me, Satin is a fine material that symbolizes "living" and "warmth" - so adding this to my design...it's like snuggling up with a warm blanket on a cold night - it brings a feeling of comfort.
  • JLynn Art tile - I started creating tiles to simply reflect a personal story for a friend of mine  - and the tile for this one, is no different.  It was altered, digitized, with the colors fine-tuned to match not only the components (beads & ribbon) - but also because the scrolls reminded me that are emotions are constantly "in motion" - intertwining and mixing on the road of life.

So - stop by tomorrow to see the "REVEAL" of this very meaningful bracelet...