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

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bead Trends Designer Highlight - January 2012

Bead Trends Designer Highlight January 2012 ~ JLynn Jewels

And the story goes like this...MANY years ago (ok not that many years ago...but let's just say in the early 60s...) I was born a Jersey Gal.  I don't know why, but I was blessed with two very identifiable talents ~ singing and creating.  Time flies...stuff happens...and let's just leave it as there's a lot of things in my life between then and now, that brought me to where I am today...(like College, marriage, kids, moves, and a variety of career hats with many, many years spent in the creative industry in Marketing and Education).  Jewelry however, has been a constant since my "young days".  And through it all, I can't believe how fast time flies...and it gets faster every day - my proof this year, will be the turning of the magical 49 (forever 49...) lol! 

So what's the funny story...?
Well at the time, it wasn't really funny...
But it was exhilarating and impressive in a sick kind of way...
 with feelings generated by my caffeine intake and sleepless world!
Looking back, I can find the humor in it...
and with it, a sense of pride that I survived!
Let me take you back to mid-July of 2011...
My husband and I, along with our daughter and her boyfriend were touring a local University.  After spending the morning walking in 90+ degree weather only to enter a freezing cold building...with flip flops flapping down empty halls, trudging up and down hills and a variety of steps, along with stops at a selection of undesirable dorm rooms and than amazing state of the art classrooms ~ it was finally nice to actually sit down and have lunch.  I hadn't checked my phone all morning, so when I logged on there were a slew of messages...lots of junk but one that definitely caught my eye - but the waitress brought out our lunches at the moment...so when we got home, I sat down and read the email (actually three or four time before the light dawned on me...)...and when it did, I let out a hollar and started doing the Happy Dance in my Kitchen.  My husband thought I had lost it...lol.  But being asked by Tatia, Editor of Bead Trends magazine, to be the January 2012 Designer Highlight was something that took me by surprise, and it was so EXCITING! 

You see Bead Trends is a favorite of mine...I absolutely love the selection of interesting and unique designs...as well as, the amazing photography - month after month.  As a team, they never fail to inspire, share techniques and resources.  I know I've said it before...but my heartfelt thanks is still going out to Tatia and the entire Bead Trends staff ~ it has been an incredible honor and journey with this fabulous company.  You can see all of the published pieces on the JLynnJewels website PRESS page - just click on the individual photos for details.  Plus if you like saving trees like I do...you can get an electronic subscription at Northridge Publishing Company's website 

So back to the FUNNY...well as deadlines go...I had a little over three weeks to pull together 7-8 designs for the 10 page Highlight spread.  That day I took my excitement and sketched out a variety of design ideas, then layed out a couple different color palettes complete with metals, beads, and focals.  In my mind...designing them would be a piece of cake - or so I thought...  Time continued ticking - and as I finished up a large amount of Custom orders (both tiles and jewelry), a few more College visits with my daughter, along with preparing for our family cruise (Novia Scotia/New England to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary) - it was the end of July.  So with less than ten days to go - I finally was able to sit down and focus soley on the designs.  However, after a couple hours of working with the palettes and components, NOTHING was coming together as I had visualized it. I stopped for that day and went back to it the next day...again NOTHING...this doesn't happen to me very often, and I was thinking to myself...of all the times...seriously, are you kidding me???...the WALL?  I can't believe it lol.  For a split second, I considered using some designs I had already created...and I really could have justified it (but in my case only wound up using ONE because it fit my theme and palette and it's a favorite of my "Green Granny" pieces that I designed by upcycling vintage finds).  But I was determined that for the higlight, I definitely would create designs that were extra special and new. 
BUT...when you hit that wall...
There's only one thing to do...
#1 - Clean up your area completely and....
"walk away" from the design table...

#2 - Focus on something mundane, like...
cleaning the bathroom, reorganizing the Pantry, or ironing

#3 - If that fails...go out to dinner, have a drink
and when you come home, get on Pinterest and "pin"

Which is exactly what I did...and it worked :)

A day and half later, refreshed and raring to go...I headed for my studio...sat down with ALL of my focal and bead collections and just started a fresh, visual journey...with no thoughts...no design ideas...I just let the beauty of all the pieces soothe me.  The ones that "talked" to me, got placed in a special "consideration" pile...and by the end of several hours - I had a mix of Artisan Lampwork Beads, Polymer Clay focals, Ceramic pieces, Czech Beads and of course my own ART tiles...and have to say I was feeling GOOD (yes thank you Michael Buble for your rendition of that song!).  Ironically, the one thing missing in my layout?  Sterling Silver (one of my favorites)...but this time it was pushed aside to make room for a mix of metals from Vintaj, Fallen Angel Brass, as well as some Copper from DMSupply on Etsy. 

So at this point...I had a little under 4 days before the deadline (and our cruise...).  Nothing like a little pressure!  If you know me - then you know I'm a very private, shy person - but at the same time, I like to have fun...and music definitely inspires me.  Like my decorating, choice of storage and organization...my tastes of music are the same...eclectic.  I started out with "soothing" piano and guitar music.  Normally this relaxes me and helps me with the "flow" - but not that day... I was in need of something that would make me move, stay focused and basically keep kicking my butt.  I put on my headphones, cranked the music up...and played, Maroon 5/Christina Aguilera, Moves Like Jagger over and over and over again!  Those 4 days before the deadline were non-stop jewelry designing, writing up the tutorials with early mornings...and late nights (which were actually mornings...) - but this is my design story and thought process...sometimes it's interesting to know what goes through the mind when you are creating...so here's some insight...

First up in my reminiscing about my designing party - were the glorious Mykonos Greek ceramic beads, probably because I was thinking winter and New Year Eve parties with family and friends.  Now in case you're wondering...this design was not planned at all.  I just looked at the shape of Mykonos beads with the large hole, and felt a circular connection of FUN...one that had me wanting to utilize large Vintaj Jump Rings as the focal pieces and then  accenting with the charms and beads themselves...just a little different approach than the norm.  It came together quickly (~20 minutes) and the earrings followed suit.  Have to confess though...when I put this one on...I was really hesitant to send it in because it felt so right sitting on my wrist lol.

Here's the first pages of the Designer Highlight
Best Memory - chair dancing to "Moves Like Jagger" while designing lol...

My next thought...NEXT!
So the next project involved choosing between a few ART Tile sets that I had created.  I went with my gut/intuition and chose the beautiful vintage fabric print in warm, chocolate browns and rose pink colors and Fallen Angel Brass was the perfect compliment to it, as well as some beautiful Rhodonite gemstones (known as a love stone - it is said to balance the emotions and clear resentments so you can forgive).  Gemstones brought back lovely memories of two different bead buying trips to Potomac Bead Company in Ocean City, NJ.  The combination of the vintage print on the tiles, the meaning of the gemstone, and the deep, dark brass of FAB (Fallen Angel Brass) reminded me of Victorian days, Ladies in Waiting and romance.  I worked at least 3-4 hours straight trying to create what was in my mind...and I can't tell you the number of times I scrapped things...but I was driven with an energy and recurring thought reverberating through my mind that said "you are SO close...try again...you can do it" and I kept going until it was all that I visualized and then some.  The Lady In Love Bracelet is relatively easy in terms of technique, but it's very time consuming with the detail oriented steps with the chain and jump ring placement.
More pages from the magazine...

At this point, I had a fabulous idea for a pair of earrings...and wound up creating a pair of doube sided Dog Tag Tiles (which was unexpected additional work because my tiles are a lot more involved than the standard decoupaged and distressed ones - but the time I spent was worth it).  I knew that I wanted to use the FAB hearts and key charms...and for me - the chain symbolizes a loving relationship...the chain coming from the back, represents all the internal emotions that are kept inside or close to the heart...and the chain coming out the front of the tile, represents all of our expressions of love.   

Soon after these Earrings were complete, a quick flowing necklace seem to magically appear - it was just one of those designs that just came together so easily due to the inspiration of the other two pieces in the "Lady in Love" collection.

As I was typing up the Supply List and Tutorials for the above designs, I still had two more designs to go and I was excited for them too...I wanted to use a combination of Vintaj, FAB, and Copper accents with a very eclectic selection of lampwork beads, gemstones, Czech Glass, crystals, and a very organic like Ceramic pendant by Yoland's Clay.  I remember when I was typing...I would take a quick breaks to go find a bead or component that I thought would work great in the Naturally Yours necklace.  It was kind of like a structured Treasure Hunt - and as I added to my pile, I started laying out the design while I was typing.  Now who said computer work wasn't inspirational?  So the last design set completed for my highlight...was the "Naturally Yours" set...and included a mix of the old and new, metals, gemstone/ceramic/glass beads in a very intentional, asymmetrical design.

LOVE these earrings!
Reversible "Naturally Yours" bracelet -
Wear the Filigree out (as shown in Bead Trends)
or in as shown in the photo below

So you're wondering I know...the funny.
Well after a week of non-stop jewelry, working under immense pressure to finish up my to-do's and meet the Bead Trends deadline, I had to get all these designs with their directions/resource listing in the overnight mail by 4pm...and I'm happy to say that I made it to my Post Office to Overnight these pretties with ~10 minutes to spare (but I was sweating it).   OK - so here it comes - the funny...here I was breathing a HUGE sigh of relief that I got everything shipped off in time...all that was left was to follow up with electronic versions and pack for our cruise which we were leaving for the NEXT day.  I pulled in my driveway, jumped out of the car and raced into the house.  And low and behold - there's an email from Belle Armoire wanting to publish a necklace and pair of earrings of mine...I don't know how I did it...but I wrote an 800 word article/instructions with resources and was able to get it all shipped out the next day - as well as packing for our cruise - so it was definitely a big funny - funny that I got it all complete...and just simply FUN!

Having come from the corporate and creative sides of the big fabric and craft retailer Jo-Ann's, I know first hand the importance of Education.  Tie that in with my personal background and love of the Arts, Music, Crafts and of course Jewelry - you'll understan what drives me to keep sharing and inspiring.

Exposure to the Arts and Crafts inspires & generates interest, to...
Educate & Create, which in turn...
Grows the Economy through...
 sales of products and handcrafted items

Creation of Arts and Crafts brings personal happiness,
 as well as a legacy to pass down to our children

THIS YEAR...I hope you take the time to CREATE
and I hope you take the time to let me know if I've inspired you...
along with sharing those creations with me and our followers/fans!

1 comment:

  1. that jewelry is incredible! way better than mine! by the way, i'm a new follower, and hope someday, you'll be mine too!



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