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, August 31, 2013

Changes...from Summer Sunshine to Autumn Leaves

Love Knots...

It has been a long time since I've made time to simply "write" from the heart, and say some things that have been on the mind.  With the last rays of Sunshine, the long Labor Day weekend, and the unofficial end of Summer, I thought it appropriate to share.  Love Knots...the necklace shown above - was published in the now retired "Bead Trends" magazine during the Summer of 2012.  It was created with a lot of heart, and thoughts of Summer.  It also symbolized that time in everyone's life when you need to dig in deep, keep the faith, hope for the best, and trust that you will be able to handle anything that comes your way. 

Stuff happens...
As I sit writing this blog post on my Mac, my very loved Dell laptop is sitting in the garbage can next to me...she made a valiant effort to keep up, but succumbed to electronic heaven this past week.  Yes, I had backups - but it was still a sad day considering I've nursed her back to health a couple of times.  So if you own a computer, you have probably been where I am right now, and can relate to my choices...
  • #1 - Use my son's old laptop (Windows/Vista) - unfortunately, listening to the sounds of it, I'm thinking it might last a few months...
  • #2 - purchase a new Laptop (would need to save a few more pennies and allocate savings funds that are tagged for my upcoming dental work)...
  • #3 - adapt and learn some new programs while trying to convert ALL of my files over to my Mac... 

Well - after a couple days of thinking, Choice #3 is the one that ultimately matched up with where I'm at.  Honestly, it's kind of scary and more than a little overwhelming thinking about making a major technical change before the "busy" time - but I'm going for it!  I'm not one to shy away from change - no matter how challenging it may be...

When I think of changes - I think about the path I've walked...one that's been filled with a wonderful mix and variety of things in my career and everyday life.    I have been blessed with lots of good times - and have also had my share of tough times too - but no matter what...Kindness and Love have always been a part of it all.  No-one knows what the future holds - but with every tick of the clock, I do know that having an open mind and a willingness to try new methods, have been key for me, when it comes to dealing with changes and "going with the flow."

Dahlias that I photographed from my front yard...

I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and typically bring forth some form of needed change to our lives.  The quote above is one of my favorites...so when I'm feeling less than my typical happy self - I remember the words, and realize that all of our experiences blend together, to lead us to that better place of understanding and compassion. Whether you choose to see the negative or the positive in any situation, your personal success will always be based on your perspective, focus in life, and how you react to things.  So make it count on the positive side!    

The "Winds of Change" are hard to pinpoint because sometimes they are so subtle...and simply appear like a gentle breeze on a sunny day.  Such has been the case with me throughout my life.  Many people are opposed to changes - but for me - I welcome and embrace them mainly because they have always brought new happiness into my life.  In just the last 10 years, time has gone by so fast...and I have no doubt that the next 10 or whatever time I have left on this beautiful earth...will go by even faster.  When I look back to 2001...my kids were in Elementary and Middle Schools...and now they are Adults.  My son graduated from College a year ago (currently working as an Assistant Manager while he still continues to hunt for a job in his field - Computer/Information Systems) and my daughter...she is in her second year of College majoring in Forensic Accounting and minoring in Management (along with obtaining her Master degree on a fast track).  It's mind boggling to see just how fast the changes have come for them, and knowing that they don't even realize just how fast their lives are moving too...because afterall, when I was in my 20's,  I thought I had all the time in the world lol.  

Life is full of surprises and we are constantly "growing" - and in some ways, we are all like Perennials - needing a little "rejuvenation" time in between the blooms.  For the last five years, I've recognized a progressive change for myself when it comes to combining my work, creative needs, and finding the  balance.  At this point in my life, it would be easy to fall back on my tried and true successes (such as a full-time return to Wholesale and Trade Shows); however, I'm one that is sensitive to those inner voices and needs to explore my creativity.  Embracing change is not without risk - but for me, the sense of accomplishment and new experiences far outweighs the worry.  So begins a new phase for me...

Emotional Tides...
A bracelet that signified my struggles of acceptance and love,
 during the months leading up to my Sister's promotion to heaven/November 2011

You see, no matter what paths we find ourselves on - the point is to keep moving forward.  It's as simple and complex as that.  Difficult and challenging, or happy and easy going - it's the old "Onward Ho"!   After losing my Sister (she was only 55), things changed for me.  I saw things a little differently, and realized how very fragile life is.  Health issues can be very challenging...and every family has their share of them.  Our family is no different ~ and this year...my husband ruptured a lower disk in his back in January...in April my Mother needed surgery on her Carotid Artery...in early June, I became temporarily blind in one eye (similar to watching the curtain close or a shade being pulled across your eye...and then total and complete darkness with no sense of control or feeling) - and at the end of July, my daughter had an accident at work, which caused a complete lacerated upper eyelid, Scratched Cornea and cut in the eye.  I share these things because I think it's important to remember that a little bit of Teddy Bear TLC along with the "Onward Ho" type of attitude is often the best way to get through the tough times so that you can be thankful for the healing progress and all the little positive things in your life.  Guardian Angels are sweet - and fortunately, my husband healed with two months of Physical Therapy - my Mother made it through her Surgery with flying colors (she was 90% blocked).  For me, my vision returned and all preliminary testing is showing normal - still have a few more tests they want to run - but for now, we are hoping that the TIA was simply caused by a piece of plaque behind the Retina.  For my daughter - she was fortunate to have a surgeon in our County that could do the layered procedure in putting her eyelid back together.  She continues to heal and goes back for additional eye vision tests and checkup on how the tissue/scar is healing in another month or so - but we are all extremely thankful and grateful...two very powerful words... 


Being positive and hopeful - that's what I strive to be.  Creativity helps me with that too - whether it's through my Jewelry, Art Tiles, Photography or Painting - it's a soothing and calming process that allows me to tell the stories of my life, and express all the emotions trapped inside.  So to all my fellow creative Artisans out there (no matter what skill level you're at) - if you're allowing your inner thoughts to shine through in the things you touch and create...it's a good thing!  Be brave and don't allow anyone to dull your shine, bully you, or dictate what you can or can't create.  Surround yourself with positive people that uplift, support and encourage.  You are special and unique - and whether you choose to acknowledge it or not - what you say and what you create (emotionally and physically) are special and unique too.  


FALL will bring some changes for me...
Personal and Business wise - but all positive! 
Look for a return to my ART roots...including Miniature Paintings in Watercolor, 
Acrylics, Inks, Drawings, Photography & Digital Artwork

ART Tile and Jewelry NEWs...
Custom Orders will be available on our regular website at:  JLynnJewels.com
and...
Ready-to-ship ART Tiles & Jewelry will be offered in our ETSY stores at:
JLynnJewels
JLynnARTJewelry



Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!
~JLynn



Monday, August 19, 2013

The Chosen ONE!


LOVE to host informal Creative Challenges - and I'm working on doing these a little more often! 
 
This particular challenge was inspired by Peacocks...specifically the colors shown above.  The only rules for anyone that wanted to join us - were to use at last 2 colors and simply post a picture - and HAVE FUN!  Yes - I'm awarding one prize - nothing biggie - just a little "something" to the creation that simply made me go WOW...or oh, oh, oh - I LOVE that!
 
Well - to be honest - I'm so stinkin' objective, and have a tendency to simply love all that take the time to have a little fun and post their creations, that it makes it hard to just pick ONE...!  Here's our participants this time around...but let me start out with an inspirational share submitted by Jan...this amazing cake!  Talk about detail and color (and no she did not try to pass this off as her own creation lol).
 
 
 
And here are the designs in no particular order :)
 
Lisa Lodge - pretty Butterfly & Flower Earrings!
These made me feel happy as soon as I saw them...Aloha indeed!   Beautiful Polymer Clay beads accented with Butterfly charms and a little silk ribbon texture
 
 
 
 
Helen Bowen - Peacock Statement Necklace!  I simply adore linked chains and I know this would look fabulous with a fun summer outfit - great design that can be dressed up with a pretty silk cami and jacket...or a White T-shirt and Jeans!
 
 
Paula Schmidt - Two variations in necklaces...both beautiful - one with a lighter more delicate feel to it...and the other incorporating a variety of beads for a more chunkier and substantial look!
 
 
  Jan Williams - Beautiful gemstone single strand Necklace...
such a rich and elegant feel to this one - with beautiful colors that catch the light! 
 
Darla Buhler - Such a sweet Cluster that really popped with our color combo!
Great Choker style Necklace that would be a great accent to wear with a V-Neck Shirt

Tonya Busby - always love her intricate combination and selection of beads
 - beautiful use of colors, bead sizes and variations!
 
 
WELL...I bet you're wondering who I picked lol...I'll get to that in a bit, but first...I thought I would share my design ideas in motion (so to speak)...
 
With many Tile Orders processed the past two weeks, I worked right up until yesterday finishing them all up - so didn't have the time I wanted to design...however I did go through my bead stash and have a lot of future design ideas brewing...some of which are being "pondered" here...
And if you're wondering about those colorful, geometric earrings at the bottom?
Can you guess what they were upcycled from???
A Belly-Dancer's Chain Belt!
I call them "Belly-Up" - hard to see in the photo...but these are actually lightweight enameled brass pieces that I will be accenting with
 Fallen Angel Brass findings, Copper chain, Swarovski Crystals
 and tiny ceramic rounds from Karen of Starry Road Studio.
Currently - lot of works-in-progress :)
 
I LOVE COLOR!
It never ceases to inspire me...
AND...
with these fun Creative Challenges - it's like someone granting you permission to "play" and experiment with all the endless possibilities...
No telling what new designs will come to be!
 
Well - it's that time!  Here's the ONE...
The ONE I chose...and trust me, it was HARD...
Kristy's Earrings were really talking up a storm to me!
I can't tell you the number of times that I came back to look at her photo to simply admire and sigh.  Between the organic wire wrapping, and her blending of bead sizes and of course "color"...these earrings were the "ONE" this time around!  AS the "chosen" one ;) - Kristy will receive a free ART Tile of her choice
 
 
HAPPY DESIGNING!
Keep in mind that our Etsy store is in vacation mode while I take a little time off to play in the sun, get creative, design jewelry, and of course...add all the new FALL ART Tiles to our Etsy store over the next three weeks!
Look for our re-opening of JLynnJewels the first week of September...
AND...
Look for the GRAND OPENING of our JLynnARTJewelry Store!
 
HAVE FUN during the last couple weeks of summer...