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 9, 2011

Dreams & Sunshine!

DREAMs...we all have them don't we?  They may happen at night or during the day - they might distract us for a moment - but they never cease to be things of beauty and ones we hope to aspire to...

I'm having one of those days where dreams and distractions (whether literal or in my mind) are slowing me down LOL.  But I also believe that when the fates slow me down, it's a sign to take a breath and appreciate the simple things in life - with those thoughts...I had to take time to smell a pretty rose and was inspired to find a rose quote...so in case you're having one of those day too...I figured I would share.

A single rose can be my garden...a single friend, my world ~ Leo Buscaglia

So despite having one of those days where I'm distracted by my own shadow...you know what I'm talking about...you start a project, get pulled into another project, realize that you need to get a load of wash done, which leads to picking up things that were left laying on the laundry floor...which leads to a cup of coffee and seeing you didn't take care of the dishes...and unloading the dishwasher before reloading.  AND before you know it, an entire hour or two has gone by and you still haven't finished the project you originally started!  YUP...one of those days for me but I'm taking it in stride because the sun is shining, I'm thinking about things that make me smile...including having NO SNOW in the forecast.

I'm a four season lover...but this year I'm eager for the Spring and warmer weather due in part to last winter (when we measured our snow in feet) and this winter - where we seem to get these storms on a weekly basis.  Anyways - it's pretty blue skies and sunshine here in Maryland AND 25 degrees - compared to 10 degrees last night, it's like a heatwave, so I'll take it :)

Now a bit of news...
This past week I had the opportunity to actually clean up my workspace a bit - and have to say...it's nice to see the wood of the table LOL.  As I'm finishing up my instructions for publications in the July Bead Trends magazine today - I'm getting excited for all the new designs, mixed media projects, and lampwork beads I have planned and yes - dreamed about! 

Here's just a few new focal pieces I got in this past week (Wooden Celtic pendants and beautiful ceramic pendants from Nan of Spirited Earth - check out her blog to the right called SpiritRattles).  All the pieces are full of symbolism and I can't wait to be inspired by them.  Designing is like that for me...I hold a piece in my hand and sit quietly and contemplate the meaning and how I'd like to portray it with colors, textures and accents.

I currently have so many focals that are talking to me...it's like the Newsfeed on Facebook!  Welll...have a great rest of the week everyone - enjoy your HUMP day ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm back...and sharing some Jewelry Cleaning Tips

First off...let me apologize for being MIA for most of January!  It was a crazy month ending with me getting hit in the head with a shovel (a freak accident between my daughter and I, as we were shoveling our driveway that had over a foot of snow in it).  Wound up at the Walk-in Clinic on a snowbound day...received 4 stitches, two black eyes and a pretty new scar, that looks earily like Harry Potters' scar LOL.  Stitches came out yesterday and I'm almost back to normal (well as normal as I can be haha). 

Over my recuperation I actually took the time to go through my own jewelry and tag some things for "Green Granny" re-cycling, and of course general cleaning maintenance of my Sterling Silver pieces (which I'll admit were in sorry shape...).  So I thought I would share a few tips and pointers for cleaning and storing your jewelry.

Here's some before, during & after pictures....

Sterling Silver Spiral Earrings I created were badly tarnished...
took a little time but they were restored back to all their shining glory

A variety of jewelry being inspected - with some being dipped in the heavy duty chemical cleaner which is necessary for those pieces that have a severe build-up of tarnish (the type of cleaner I rarely use - and one that requires gloves, ventilation and additional cleaning afterwards)...while other pieces
 got the gentle no chemical dip and then bath in soapy warm water. 

A batch of freshly cleaned Sterling Silver pieces drying :)

Close up...most people might trash these Sterling Silver hoops - but as you can see with the right cleaners - they are beautifully restored to their original shining finish.

Tarnish is a natural occuring process that happens when Sterling Silver is exposed to the elements of air, sun, and yes even the oils from that wood dresser top they might be laying on.  That's why it's important if you're not wearing it, to put it in a storage bag with tarnish strip.  It's also a good idea to periodically use a simple polishing cloth (such as Sunshine) to restore it's brilliance.  Check out our Etsy "supply" store at JLynnJewelrySupplies - where you can purchase a small bag of tarnish strips and our favorite...a travel size roll of "Sunshine Cloth".  Additionally my Sterling Silver pieces went through one additional step of cleaning and protection with the MAAS jewelry polishing creams in a Lavender scent.

These are the BEST polishes I have ever worked with.  Use a soft lint free cotton cloth (old t-shirts or socks work well) - rub a small portion on and remove immediately.  These work on virtually all metals and help them looking their best.  The two items you see above are the Polish and Protector.  The MAAS Protector polish is used after your piece is clean - it puts a natural protective finish on your jewelry to help resist the tarnishing process - I use it even on my Vintaj and FAB brass metals - LOVE IT.  You can purchase directly from MAAS or online at other suppliers. There's also a variety of liquid cleaners and metal polishers that you can purchase at local retail stores - or check out the many offered online at bead supply stores such as Artbeads.com, FusionBeads.com, and Firemountaingems.com

And what about AFTER you do all this cleaning?  If it's a base metal or Brass - you're pretty safe at hanging it up on a jewelry stand or tossing it in a jewelry box...however with Sterling Silver pieces I recommend the following when not wearing:
Purchase small plastic 2x2 bags and pop in a tarnish strip with your jewelry & seal.
  These are the perfect size to fit in a drawer, jewelry chest...and really help keep them organized and untangled.  Even the simple Cardboard picture storage boxes work fabulous :)
The purple square you see here is actually my personal favorite...it's a three tiered stacking, satin covered jewelry storage box with a variety of individualized compartments.

Jewelry can lift your spirits, catch an eye, make an impression or simply make you feel great :)
So take time to care for these little treasures!