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

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Captured Inspiration, Love & Life

Pictures...capture those "Timeless Memories"

So you're curious about the prizes are you?  Or maybe what my favorites were and why?? Well let me share a little background and then I'll share the Prize/Favorite stuff ;)

Photography for me, takes me back to my childhood days - with memories of actually holding and taking pictures with a Polaroid...then a 110...and the "professional camera"...a 35mm!  Amused??  LOL...well here's a little FYI and did you know???  In 1963, the very first color "instant film" was developed by Polaroid...in 1972 ~ the 110-format Camera...in 1983 ~ Kodak introduced the "disk camera" and two years later, Minolta came out with the first autofocus SLR system.  It wasn't until the 90s...that the first digital SLR was introduced.  We've come a very long way to be able to do what we can do digitally :)

Back in the late 70s, early 80s...my Father was moonlighting as a Photographer.  He took a lot of excellent shots - and taught me a lot in the process through  short "field" trips.  I'm not a "Pro"...but I do love taking pictures, the unique perspectives you can capture - and of course - Macros!  Photography is something that I use everyday and is definitely part of my life.  So when I have the opportunity to share my love of photography with others - it's a blast.

This is our 3rd JLynnJewels Inspirational Photo Contest - and each time it has grown...and we get to see a new mix of pictures - featuring people, pets, scenery, decor, and more.  The idea behind it is for everyone to share their photos and "Inspire" others...whether that inspiration is to take more photos, scrapbook, journal, or create things - pictures can tell a thousand words...and they do inspire.

NOW - the PRIZES....
Winners from our 2011 Fall/Winter "Timeless Memories" contest were put to a public vote - and we came up with the Top Three with prizes...and then I added a couple more from me!

To start - ALL of our participants will receive a coupon code for 50% off one  item of their choice (Jewelry or Tiles only) in any of our stores....if you shop before I have a chance to set up the coupon code for you...just message me :)

1.  Traci Zeller/Snow Covered- a beautiful photo capturing the Christmas Lights on a silent, still, crystal clear night.  PRIZE:  JLynnJewels Eiffel Tower Pendant Necklace and Complimentary JLynnJewels Tile

2.  Shay Burrows/Waiting for Santa  - Love how the lights from the tree illuminate the room and cast a warm glow.  PRIZE:  JLynnJewels Christmas Tree Earrings and complimentary tile

3.  Jana Carter "Moonin" - What an amazing shot of the moon on what I imagine to be a crisp, cool evening.  PRIZE:  Snowman Earrings donated by Karen of Swallowtail Jewellery and a complimentary JLynnJewels tile

The collage at the top includes our winning photos...and a selection of just some of my many favorites!

~ BEST in Theme ~ $25 gift certificate
If I had to visualize a poster for this particular contest and theme...it would have been conjured up by Shay Burrows and his "Waiting for Santa" photograph.  For me...this one hit me with that "Timeless Memories" thought...and a "nostalgic" feeling that year after year, love and traditions will bring together family, friends, and set the bar for a long legacy of generations to come...congrats once again Shay!

~ Unconditional Love ~ $10 gift certificate ~ Tie!
This year there was a few photos that were all about people, a romantic Heart locket symbolizing a couple's love...and a few with our furry friends and some with antique and vintage decor from our past.  I loved the pictures of the children - their eyes and expressions - all so full of happiness.  But if I had to choose one - it just couldn't be done...so this particular special award with a tie goes out to...Helen Bowen and her dog "Diggy" and Cathy Obbema and her grandaughter "Lily" - both just tugged on my heart strings and both ladies will receive a $10 certificate. 

~Travel Memories ~ $10 Certificate
Some of my best memories come from the many trips we have been on...whether that's near or far...short or long - destinations, day trips and shopping expeditions - we saw outings to a ball game, sea glass hunting expeditions, beach and Glacier shots - but the one that just made me smile and wondering what was inside was Charmaine's photo of "Bead Haven" in Frankenmuth MI - because bead stores are always something that catches my eye...congrats to Charmaine :)

~ Contemplation ~ $10 Certificate
I love photos that make me "think" - in a good way...about life.  There were so many photos here that made me do exactly that.  Having just lost my Sister, Karen's photo just made me smile and think life is so precious...and Traci's snow picture made me think of peace and all that's right in the world - Jana's Moonin' picture made me think of the future and all the possibilities...Jacqui's Sunflowers and Eucalyptus Tree about good times and simply finding a balance in this crazy world...but the one that really called out to me was Jennifer Justman's Leaf/Tree photo...her thoughts (which can be found in the photo album on Facebook) echoed my own thoughts on the symbolization of Trees and Leaves - I loved this...congrats Jennifer :)

SO - a big heartfelt thank you for all your patience during this contest...I know my timing has been off and I'm a wee bit late on my delivery...however - better late than never ;)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving - I'll be sharing a quick Tutorial sometime this week on BOW MAKING using the EZ Bowmaker...if you don't have one - go to your local store and pick one up - they are terrific!  Espcially if you get tired of making hand-tied bows for your decorating projects ;)...

Friday, November 18, 2011

VOTE for your favorite PHOTO!

It's time to cast your vote for our
Fall/Winter PHOTO Inspiration Contest...
Our theme...
"Timeless Memories & Coming Together"
From the colors of Fall to the frosty feelings of Winter...these are
the captured memories that are etched in our hearts and minds...
the things that make you smile :)

PLEASE take time to view the details and stories behind all of these beautiful photos before voting...you can see them here in our FACEBOOK ALBUM
Click FOLLOW our Blog in the right column to view all our posts throughout the year
and VOTE and SHARE this post/voting poll

#1 Amanda Austin - Wedding Cupcakes

#2 Amanda Austin - Sea Glass Beach Hunt 

#3 Cathy Obbema - Changing Colors 

#4 - Cathy Obbema - Grandaughter Lily 

#5 - Cathy Obbema - House of Disney for Lily 

#6 Cathy Obbemma - Ballgame for Grandson Lucas and cousin Mason 

#7 Charmaine Lipa - Fountain Fun Girl

#8 - Charmaine Lipa - Fountain Fun Boy 

#9 Charmaine Lipa - Marigolds 

#10 - Charmaine Lipa - Hot Air Baloon 

#11 Charmaine Lipa - Frankenmuth MI displays 

#12 - Charmaine Lipa - Bead Haven Store 

#13 - Charmaine Lipa - Riverplace Displays 

#14 - Nature Fountain at Riverplace, Frankenmuth MI 

#15 - Charmaine Lipa - Little Bavaria/Pumpkins 

#16 - Despina Veneti - GoldRuby Heart Locket - Gift of Love 

#17 - Helen Bowen - Diggy the Dalmation 

#18 - Jacqui Lawson - Yuma 1st day of Fall 

#19 - Jana Carter - Falls First Kiss 

#20 - Jana Carter - "Moonin" 

#21 - Jane Kettley - Mount Edith Cavell Glacier 

#22 - Jennifer Justman - Family Foundation 

#23 - Jennifer Justman - Autumn Elves 

#24 - Jessy Slack - "A Picture says a thousand words" 

#25 - Julie Shelander - Nostalgic Christmas 

#26 - Karen Vincent - Sisterly Love 

#27 - Liz Renee - Autumn Skies 

#28 - Patty Tuggle - Daisey Christmas 2008 

#29 - Patty Tuggle - Childhood Memories 

#30 - Shay Burrows - Waiting for Santa 

#31 Shay Burrows - Just Within Reach 

#32 - Traci Zeller - Snow Covered Lights 

#33 Traci Zeller - Calgary Run 

#34 - Tracy Webster - Coastal Oregon in Winter 

Yes - there are PRIZES...
JLynnJewels Gift Certificate & Tile Necklace
Swallowtail Jewellery (Karen Vincent) Snowman Drop Earrings
and a few other "Surprises"!

Follow our Blog...VOTE...and SHARE to spread the cheer...it's always fun seeing other's photos!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Teardrops from Heaven...

These earrings were designed for the Blissful Garden Beads Earring Challenge.  I first "met" Heather way back in the mid-2000's and have such a beautiful collection of her beads (I hesitate to say stash...but yes - I'm rather addicted to the sheer beauty and elegance of her beads...)!  So whenever my schedule allows...and I'm lucky enough that timing is on my side for sign-ups...I LOVE doing her challenges!  This Challenge was all about Earrings - specifically Chandelier or Hoop style designs.  I named these earrings "Teardrops from Heaven" for a very specific reason which I will share in a little bit - but first I wanted to share the designs details with you...

Earrings feature Blissful Garden Beads with florals in shades of purple, lilac, burgundy, mauve and touches of sage green on a black base.  They are absolutely gorgeous beads filled with exquisite details. Originally I was going to use a Sterling Silver Chandelier finding, and a complimentary color palette of Swarovski Crystals. But in the end, I made a complete turn around, and wound up creating my own Chandelier findings with the use of Fallen Angel Brass links, chain and Teardrop charms.

When the earrings are hanging you can't really notice all the little details...

But if you look closely you will see what lay beneath those Filigree Teardrop charms...the exquisite FAB mini-Flourish 3 point links that delicately hangs from the double wire wrapped loop from above - with a group of five staggered Figaro chains attached to the link using petite jump rings to create a unique pair of Chandelier Earrings.

And now you're probably wondering the meaning
 behind "Teardrops from Heaven"...

Let me begin this by saying that personally for me, the entire month of September and October have been very stressful and trying times.  They say that everything happens for a reason - and I take so much comfort from that simple little saying because I believe you can always find the positive in all of life's experiences - whether they are happy or sad.  I'm sharing this highly personal part because I believe what a blessing creativity is to us all.  It soothes and soul and often brings comfort ~ especially when words have little meaning...

When I originally signed up for this Challenge in October, my Sister was in the hospital...but had just been upgraded from ICU to a regular room.  The Docs were hopeful, and took the time to update my Mom, encouraing her with a "let's wait and see before you make the long journey" knowing that she was almost 80 and would have a difficult time making the trip.  The other part of this story, is that due to my Sister's disabilities, distance and finances - my Mom and I had not seen her or her family in over 12 years.  Unfortunately, last week, we got the call that my Sister was back in ICU and that we should come.  My husband helped make all the arrangement for both my Mom and I - and it wasn't until I was packing my carry-on that I realized I never made the Earrings for the Challenge.  I was simply going to tell Heather my circumstances, knowing that she would understand...

But then I looked at the beads and simply knew...I had to make them...but  not the ones I originally planned with Sterling Silver - but ones that suddenly came to my mind using Fallen Angel Brass. The combination of FAB and Heather's beads reminded me how everyones lives are full of history ~ and the soothing colors in the flowers brought to mind my family, opportunities lost over the years apart, but most importantly...that love remained, and would trandscend all time.  So when I finished the earrings, I felt at peace.  And I didn't now then...but in the coming days when I wore these earrings...they continued to bring comfort simply by touching them and allowing the chains to gently flow through my fingertips.  So for me - these earrings are a living symbol of life, family and love.

So the name "Teardrops from Heaven" because I knew our trip signified that my Sister had limited time left here on Earth, that I would need to come to come to terms with a number of things - including doing what I could to support all of us in making the sad and difficult decision that would allow my Sister to be set free...which she was...very early Wednesday morning, she began her journey of peace to that better place.

Remember...sometimes with creativity - we don't realize how important a piece will be to us...until after we create it.  And very often, if we choose to listen to our senses - and allow our heart to guide us, we wind up creating something extraordinary that brings comfort, peace, and happiness as these earrings did for me.

I hope you can take the time to visit Heather's blog and view the many other beautiful earrings - and then VOTE for your favorite on the Earring Reveal/Challenge post :)

Create, Design & Live from the heart...
~J-Lynn (Janice)