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.


  1. Good morning Janice,
    Thank you for such a nice post. I did a little decoupage last month and got frustrated with the results, so I've puy it aside. I'm going to take a more relaxed, gentler appraoch when I try again.cb

  2. Thanks so much for the compliment Carmen :) and taking time out to post a comment - we love that! These new altered art/decoupaged pieces are very special and they are so much more vibrant and glossier in person. I can fully relate to your frustrations though...and the one thing that helped me is to have your layout planned and your pieces pre-cut. I even will snap a picture of the layout because it's great to refer to when you're in between layers and allowing things to dry. If you need any help or a cheerleader - you can count on me :) - and I'd love to see a photo of what you've created - feel free share on our Facebook wall J-Lynn Jewels or email it...Happy decoupaging!


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