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, March 21, 2011

Hope...and how inspiration takes flight in real life

Hope...sometimes that's all we have in life.
A hope that keeps us breathing, living, moving, and...
motivated to reach for that next promising day.

Thought I would share a true story with you...one that touched my heart and actually was one of the things that had me thinking of the special ways to express the word "hope" in my jewelry designs...what the word "hope" means at different points in our life...what it means for people going through trying times...and what it means to the special lady that I created this Altered Art wood piece and Necklace for... 

In this case - my inspiration was a typical, fun loving woman...one that had a lot going on in her life...one that worked...one that spent a lot of time with family.  And I learned from one of her friends…that one day last year, her world as she knew it, came to a stop...because she was diagnosed with Leukemia.  In a single heartstopping moment - all things changed and each day became a personal struggle.  But with wonderful family, friends, support group, and a team of terrific caregivers and Doctors…she was given some precious months to hope and treasure the memories before she earned her wings.  This necklace was given to her by my friend - as a special symbol of "Hope" and a talisman of sorts that she always carried with her for comfort. 

This is the part I love - how creative pieces are born - how inspiration can hit you quickly...and this is why creating jewelry has so much meaning - because you have the opportunity for creative expression for all your emotions.  Not all jewelry inspirations start with a person or story...sometimes it's as simple as a snapshot, a word, Mother Nature, an animal...a flower...a piece of fabric or painting - but no matter what...the findings, focals and details of a piece are all intertwined together with lots of heart-felt emotions which truly make them special, unique, highly personal and original.

You know I'm going to be 48 this year - not young anymore...but not too old LOL - and during the last 35-40 years some of my best memories have been spent sharing art and craft techniques.  Yes - even at the tender age of 8...I was sketching and helping others to express themselves through art.  Sometimes we are blessed to be part of a group that understands who we are and allows us to move forward - and that happened to me in the summer of 1998 when I was a part of Jo-Ann's (the sewing and craft giant) newly formed ETC superstores.  I had the privilege of being named Marketing, Community & Education Coordinator/Manager and had a feature article in the local Tennessean paper.  Aside from background history on me...the articles touched upon all that was trendy in the late 90s, ideas on how to take your craft to the next step...and how so many of the arts and crafts - are actually things that have been going strong for centuries (like "Decoupage" - which actually started in the 12th century...and became extremely popular in the 18th century/Victorian era).  Are you perhaps wondering where Scrapbooking gets its origins from?

This beautiful votive holder was created well over 15 years ago...it was decoupaged on the INSIDE of the glass with a pretty paper napkin with specialized flame resistant adhesive...and then decorated with glass dimensional paint.

My new wood "Altered Art" wood pieces are a combination of fine art techniques, faux finishing, detailed/layered decoupage created with artwork and specialized paper (including my own original watercolor and graphic art digitally reproduced with a scanner).  They can be used in jewelry, or as accents on frames, mosaics, made into magnets and lots more.  Here's a few examples of my finished wood pieces, followed by a couple original watercolors that will be manipulated and cropped into a variety of backgrounds and images to be used in my jewelry creations - modern technology is very cool!

The Hope & Wish pieces are wrapped with Vintaj Natural Brass Filigrees
Muted Fruit Bowl
Spring blossoms - when the trees are still bare but the evidence is before our eyes :)

Gentle reminders...a couple of my framed desktop original watercolors

Did you know?...
The word "decoupage" is French and means to "cut out" or "cut up" - and is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it.  This is a timeless art and craft from the 12th century...and became famous in the 18th century in Italy. 

Now...back in the 70s and into the early 80s...I remember decoupaging bottle caps, bottles, candles, popsicle sticks, lots of wood pieces, frames, and all with Elmer's Glue LOL.  Today we are extremely fortunate to have such a variety of adhesives including a craft favorite "Modge Podge" (availabe in a variety of finishes such as matte, satin and gloss) which allow most people interested in creating, the opportunity to decoupage in a craft friendly, non-toxic, easy way.  On the other end of the spectrum...and for those that are wanting to add more elements to their creations...the sky is the limit...and you can utilize any fine art materials such as special paints and effects, embellishments, different papers, alcohol inks (and you can blend these with some adhesives too...), as well as, things like gold leaf, crystal flatbacks ...all of which work well with the professional grade glues, dimensional adhesives, and resins that dry crystal clear.

Signing off with a thought...and thinking back to the past...and remembering those 18th century Artisans.  I can only imagine they "HOPE"d their craft would continue to be passed down through the generations.  But looking at history...I wonder if they realize just how successful it has been :) Happy Creating!

Next week...look for some of my free decoupage projects and free jpg images you can download for your own personal use for home decorating, or creating gifts.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone - I've been having a typical Irish day and have felt lucky all day and hoping that my luck continues and that I'm randomely chosen to be one of the designers in this Design Challenge from one of my Wholesale Suppliers, Rings & Things :) - lots of shiny Copper pieces! 
Take our design challenge!

Monday, March 14, 2011

HOPE...the passage of time...Spring Sale & Give-Away!

Well foremost on my mind is my heartfelt sympathy for all the people in Japan.  No words can really express my disbelief as I've watched countless videos of the destruction & devastation. Cities can be rebuilt...but the sheer number of lives lost...it's just so sad and heartbreaking.  It makes me especially thankful for everything in my life and how lucky so many of us are that we're alive, watching the clock tick, seeing a sunrise and sunset in normal settings.  So count your blessings, say some prayers, offer up thoughts of hope and make some wishes.

HOPE...and WISH....
The picture above shows two of my latest creations and will be transformed into some meaningful jewelry designs.  They were created in a new Altered Art/Scrapbook style which are handpainted with a special pearlized watered down paint in order to achieve multi-hued blending with simple faux painting techniques.   The muted, mottled, and patterned backgrounds are created with digital printouts (along with my own original watercolor artwork)...after which, "words" are flame burnt around the edges and layered on top.  The piece is then varnished, crackled, antiqued, and varnished again.  A lot of time consuming steps are involved in creating them...but they are so dimensional and make a big WOW impact in person.  Look for a variety of these wooden pieces in my 2011 jewelry designs (pendants, necklaces, bracelets and some smaller style earrings), and also in our Supply store where they can be purchased from $8-12 depending on size.  Here are some others in various stages of finishing...

And if you love Vintaj - check out our NEWEST additions featuring Vintaj Natural antiqued brass.  These are also created with art-style digital prints as well as my own Watercolor paintings.   These will retail at $5.50 - 10.00 depending on size.

Well - I'm signing off with one last thought...what would life be like if we didn't have any daylight savings time changes?  I'm not sure.  But after the latest "Springing Ahead" which caused a lost hour of sleep and deep confusion in my brain...I'm beginning to realize why Fall is my favorite time of the year LOL (because we FALL BACK and regain that lost hour of sleep)!

Don't miss your last chance to SPRING AHEAD to our SALE & Give-Away...All good  things must come to an end...so fair warning - our 40% off sale at our Etsy and Artfire stores will be ending on 3/21/11.

Etsy:  SPRINGTIME40 (promotional coupon code - enter at checkout)
ARTFIRE:  prices reflect sale (no code necessary)

Simply post a comment here on our blog and/or be an official personal Facebook Follower (J-Lynn Jewels) and you could win your choice of Earrings from our Springtime Contest Album http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=277981&id=135485981953

Next WINNER will be chosen on St. Patrick's Day 3/17/11
Have a great evening :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi-Gras Fun!

Figured I'd let you have a glimpse of our crazy household today...and to be honest I'm not sure why - and I'm equally not sure how I missed the Mardi-Gras pre-celebration this past weekend either as I'm usually on top of things that are cause for an impromptu celebration!  However - today it's official...I didn't miss a thing - it's Mardi-Gras AND FAT TUESDAY :) - as if I need a reason to eat something rich and full of calories?  Especially with St. Patrick's Day next week?  And especially since my daughter works in our local Shoprite Bakery and talked me into purchasing a loaf of this amazing Fresh Baked Soda Bread AND the imported Irish Butter to go along with it???  Yes - I do think I'm at least partially prepared for this fine Fat Tuesday Day LOL!  But I'm going to need to take time to prepare some more things...


Party-Gras...yes I'm also visually prepared because I LOVE colorful glass...this picture shows just one of my collections of mini-vases on a window ledge and although you can't see them - there is also Hand blown glass ornaments (the big Friendship style balls) hanging in each window and a variety of stained glass pieces in the windows.  And of course who doesn't need a little Red Tinsel Shaker in their lives???

"Baby you're a FIREWORK"
Our Red Shaker has gotten a lot of mileage (my daughter who will be 17 soon and dances competitively was given this at a recent dance competition - the dance show sponsors were throwing these up high to Katy Perry's Firework song)...my husband and I have a lot of fun taking turns shaking this while singing the Fireworks song REALLY LOUD - our best rendition was the morning after the competition when she just came down the steps after waking up ;)!  And we are still contemplating taking it with us to the grocery store where she works and singing really loud there too.  We are a tad crazy...but like to have fun!

Well - time is ticking (pun intended)...so I'm going to leave you with another colorful visual...my Furnace Bead Dangle charm style Watch :)

Well - I'm off to get some fun jewelry pieces created and possibly play with a little fire (as in torching lampwork beads in my studio) - wishing everyone a FUN and colorful day AND no matter what your age...take 3 minutes of your time and listen to "Dancing in the Streets" with my boys Mick & David from 1985 - and just so you know...that's the year I graduated from College LOL...I'm starting to feel very vintage in a good way :)

Have a good Dancing in the Streets type of Mardi-Gras day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Lion & the Lamb...March?

Well - we've always heard that March comes in like a Lion and goes out like a lamb...we started off with rain, then beautiful blue skies and sunshine yesterday with warmer weather - and today a little overcast and back down in the mid-30's - brrrrr.  This Lioness must be very temperamental LOL!

January and February flew by for me...and at the end of January I took a snow shovel to the head which required 4 stitches - my family would say it knocked some sense into me LOL!  Well between healing from that, getting some sort of bug, needing a molar pulled, dance functions with my daughter and Taxes...you probably understand why it flew by!  At any rate I have a new energy for March - and I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of everything (just not shovels...)!

Here's one of our new designs featuring beautiful beach glass from Puerto Rico.  This design was inspired by many summers at the New Jersey shore (yes I'm a Jersey Girl...but haven't lived there in MANY years) - see the photo below the bracelet - you'll see lots of illuminating colors at a beautiful sunset in August which was my inspiration for this piece :)

We are growing both our JLynnJewels Facebook Fan page AND attempting to do the same on our new Blog here!  We know by our behind the scenes numbers we have a lot of readers that are checking in - but it would be great to see you as an official follower (16 looks a little pathetic don't you think?)....and to bribe you into doing just that...we will be doing a lot of Freebie Give-aways during the month of March!

March 7th - FAN day (one winner from our Facebook official Fan List)
March 17th - IRISH LUCK (winner from FB Fans/Blog Followers)
March 21st - SPRING AHEAD (winner from FB Fans/Blog Followers)

AND on April 1st...
one BLOG FOLLOWER will get their choice of Earrings from the March Give-Away Album.  To be eligible for this drawing, you must be an official JLynnJewels Blog "Follower".  For each comment you post, your name will be entered into our drawing - so the more you post - the better your chances :)

Well - here's my Irish Good Luck Wish going out to all of you...and here's hoping that March definitely goes out like a tame, loveable, little white Lamb!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Need a good laugh? Watch this one!

So I'm listening to Inside Edition tonight while I'm working on the computer and got giggling myself when I heard this...a baby laughing hysterically at something simple - ripping paper! Hope it bring a little laughter in your life tonight :)