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

Friday, September 16, 2011

Through the Looking Glass...

Today is the first day where I officially feel like Fall is finally "here"...
Although the leaves are still green, the Dahlias and other annuals still blooming with summer colors...Fall is definitely in the air.  It's always amazing how fast the time and seasons go by each year.  In just four short weeks or so...the view "through my looking glass" (aka...sidelight of my front door) will change drastically with an expolosion and flash of those glorious fall colors (photo on the right is from October of 2010).  I absolutely LOVE the changes Mother Nature brings to us this time of year - and although I am just a tad sad to retire my flipflops...I love the thought of bringing out my warm, fuzzy, black slippers - they are very squishy and make me feel like I'm walking on air - hence the dreamy like state of my below photo...in my humble opinion they are the perfect work shoe...

Yes...they just came out of hibernation so are in need of a grooming...

Each year, the seasons come and go...in a blink of an eye.  But no matter what time of the year it is...one thing is certain - the seasons are very consistent - like a faithful, loving, old friend.  For our family, each season contains certain family traditions, special recipes and treats, decorations - and typically a flash back of the year before, where we can reflect upon all that has changed and all the new people that have entered our lives and found a special place in our hearts.  Fall is also a time when I look back on my long history of sharing, the memories and meaningful projects, shared tutorials and classes - and ponder what I might do to inspire others in their creative endeavors.

Speaking of fall and creative things...over a decade ago, I painted a fairly large Watercolor entitled "Fall Reflections" - which was inspired by a visit and photo I took from a lake in Massachusetts during the early-80s.  Watercolor is something I've been doing for many years - and although I've sold paintings and taught classes - to me, I'm more of a Watercolor hobbyist since it's not something I do everyday.  However, like many other hobby-goers...there is something special and refreshing about creating when the mood strikes.  For me and painting - this year it's been a real treat to incorporate them into ART tiles for my jewelry and craft projects...here's the original painting and ART tiles that I created from it.

Fall Reflections - 1999 painting of a Lake in Massachusetts
Fall Reflections painting digitized/miniaturized for my ART tile creations (available in our Etsy store)

So my thought with all this Fall weather...is you've got to love Mother Nature...she provides us with so much beauty - and yet never ceases to surprise us.  If you look at the past nine months here in the NorthEast...we've had beautiful blue skies, perfect sunrises/sunsets, welcome rains and breezes...but there have also been a few "surprises", such as:  record snowfalls ~ record temperatures ~ too much rain/to little rain ~ floods ~ and most recently...an earthquake and hurricane.  

This if course makes me relate the seasons and raw power of Mother Nature...to real life.  I know that many of you (like me) have had your share of challenges, frustrations, and feelings of disbelief in your life.  However, if you think about the consistency of the seasons that continue to move forward...we too have the strength and capability of weathering the storms and can take comfort in focusing on the positive things. This year I have been blessed with so many things...opportunities that have enabled me to share all that is dear to my heart, the mindset to let go of things and forgive, and most importantly the new people that have entered my life who are incredibly supportive and caring.  Amazingly positive things that keep me moving forward like the Seasons with a quiet strength and unwavering faith in all that's good. 

That's all for now...
FYI...this weekend I'm finishing up a couple creative Tutorials and DIY projects to share with you (hopefully one this Sunday)...plus look for updates and new products coming to the Artfire & Etsy stores this weekend (I know finally...)!

Have a super weekend everyone!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Life is full of surprises...

Ocean City, New Jersey
Photography by Janice Everett
Vintage photo-edit by Amanda Austin

Sometimes things in life appear larger than they actually are (and sometimes they are large).  So when you have that feeling of not knowing whether to take two steps back, or stay frozen in your tracks - it's in those moments, that you need to give thanks for the little things in life, for your family and friends, and those people that you know can be counted on - these are the things that will help you get back on track and moving in a forward direction.     

Life is definitely full of roads with twists and turns...some of which are harder to maneuver than others.  Whether you are dealing with personal, work, or health challenges...experiences that leave you shaking your head in confusion and disbelief...or the community wide challenges that call to your heart and have you praying for better days ahead - the important thing is to maintain a positive outlook and keep on living life.

When moving forward seems an impossible feat...take a moment to
Stop...Pause and BREATHE...

You know...just a little over a week ago - I was sitting in the 2nd story of a library in New Jersey - working from my Laptop on photos, submissions and deadlines, when the earthquake hit.  With the Chandeliers swinging, and books falling off shelves...and the Library employees shouting "everyone out" - we were only too happy to oblige.  I have to say I was shaking a lot longer than the ground was though!  Evidently the East Coast is still a very large connected plate deep in the earth, so experts say that's why many felt it as far away as New England/Canada and down through Georgia.  But what made this week even more unusual...is that the very next day after visiting a local Bead Store (part of a planned bead buying trip)...we were evacuated off the Barrier Islands.  We made it home in time to prepare for Irene and although we had some clean-up here in Maryland - we consider ourselves extremely fortunate - but many weren't.  So please keep all those still dealing with the aftermath of Irene and personal destruction in your prayers...they have many months and even a year or more with their rebuilding efforts.

Despite the setbacks though...life does carry on.  But often we need a little something to bring a smile to our face - chocolate, coffee, color & creativity are some of my favorites ;)!  And of course - Beads...for me, there is nothing like beautiful gemstones and beads to create jewelry to make me feel a little more secure and grounded.  Although I would have loved to spend more time shopping for "said" beads before we were evacuated off the Island...I felt lucky to have had a couple hours at Potomac Beads. 
If you didn't catch my first time visit to this particular store in Ocean City, NJ back in June...take a peek at our former posts!  They've been open for a little over a year and have an awesome selection of luscious gemstones, findings, Swarovski Crystals, unique beads and premium Czech glass beads.
This is the beautiful selection that came home with me

This trip was about purchasing the beads that called to me...the ones that I had to touch and hold.  It was not about matching up colors, referring to my design sketches or following a set shopping list generated after researching the upcoming fashion and colors trends (which by the way...see the beautiful Pantone Color Palette for Fall below)...

This was about - as I said - purchasing based on my emotional attachments.  Ironically - if you look close through the clear protective bags of beads...you'll see many of these Pantone Fall colors competing for my attention!  And double ironically, by my shopping from the heart...the designs I create will just happen to be "in fashion"

With that last thought...I'm heading back to the design table to finish up a batch of special orders for jewelry and tiles/charms.  NEXT week...I'll begin sharing some Teasers for the new Fall Collection and sneak peeks for the Winter!  For now - if you're in the States - enjoy your long holiday weekend and have a safe and happy Labor Day tomorrow!