About Me

My photo
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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

REVEAL: Color of Spring Blog Hop is here!

This is my creation for Sally Russick's Color of Spring Blog Hop...and a special
THANK you to Sally for all her creativity and patience in organizing it!

If this is your first time visiting our Blog...Welcome!
We'd love to have you "follow" us or sign up via email...

"Above all else...choose Happiness"
Color makes me happy when I feel blue...
Now sit back and enjoy a fun little color story...
that involves me, Sally, the Pantone Colors for Spring 2012,
 as well as 21 other designers!

Fate, destiny or maybe it was pure luck...but I was one of the designers that happened to be online when Sally's Colors of Spring Blog Hop was announced.  I was excited and quickly hopped on over to The Studio Sublime's Etsy Shop.  I didn't know what I was really getting into, but I loved the fact that I had some details.  The kit I purchased was the Cabaret mix featuring a beautiful 22mm Lentil, and two 12mm Rounds, along with two 11mm x 7.5mm tube beads - all ceramic based beads that Sally enameled using various shades of powder glass enamel and a MAPP gas torch to create these awesome crackle finished beads in super fun colors as you can see below...

My original design plan was to create a beautiful free-form wire wrap with 16-20 gauge Fallen Angel Black Brass Wire, a bracelet and pair of earrings.  However, February I was down most of the month with some sort of crud...and then March was extremely busy with lots of Custom ART Wood tile orders, which then put me a bit behind in a number of other areas, including getting my findings orders "in".  So, long story short...I rummaged through all my findings and supplies on hand, and wound up actually coming up with enough to create ONE design using ALL of the beads together.

A little background...my bead set has been sitting next to my computer for the past month and a half. I do that sometimes when I know I have to work with something because very often, the beads kind of whisper to me, and I have to stop and jot down some ideas or sketches (peculiar...but it has never failed me...). I even allowed them to play "dress-up" and have their own little fashion show...and I can tell you, that they had a lot of fun trying on things ~ including a selection of metals...Vintaj, Sterling Silver and Fallen Angel Brass (FAB), and many different complimentary Czech beads, my ART Tiles and of course Swarovski Crystals.  In the end, we all agreed that FAB looked FABulous on them ;) - so we were off running with the new design ideas and a few other choices.

Yesterday, (yes I said yesterday...don't judge...life has been crazy, business has been busy and there is no other rhyme or reason...so I guess all I have to say is that the important thing is that I got the job done lol)!  As you can see by the above picture, I wound up utilizing some Black Silk Ribbon knotted and strung through the 22mm Lentil focal...then loosely woven in between FAB and an organic wire wrap attached to the clasp closure to create the "base" for the bracelet.
Once this was complete, it was then time to add my beads, charms, and other things I might want "dangling"...yes - I LOVE dangles!  I thought it would be fun to coordinate some of my new mini ART wood tiles with the bracelet...and started experimenting with some that had just been completed...along with some that were "in process" - and then I decided to digitize another piece of art, then do a print run and create a couple extra tiles for this projectew extra tiles for this project.
 My first experiment was with a multi-colored watercolor art that had pinks, greens, oranges, and yellows running through it.  I liked it - but when I started adding other charms - it seemed a tad too "jumpy"...so I changed things up a a bit to reflect a more subdued version while still utilizing my mini Art Tiles shapes.

Well if you knew me - nothing stays tailored and simplistic for long...and although the design would have been fabulous with "less" and featuring just the beads and Art Tiles...I had to keep playing, and playing, and playing...until the end result was this....

and this...

To create this fullly "loaded" bracelet featuring Fallen Angel Brass findings, Sally's Enameled Beads, a selection of JLynnJewels Mini ART wood tiles (1/2" circles, squares & contemporary hearts) that were digitized and color coordinated to match the beads, along with charms and Swarovski Crystals.

And when I was finished - for some reason it reminded me of the Grease Song "Summer Nights" - so that's what I named it :)

Well if you had fun reading about my Spring Color adventure...please go visit the other lucky designers who participated as well!  I had a of fun and have to give a big thank you to Sally Russick for creating these fashion bead sets and coordinating such a fun theme and blog hop!  Have fun HOPPING!



Sweet Lilac


Solar Power

Bell Flower



Tangerine Tango

 Have FUN!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

JLynn News! Challenges & more...

Crocus from my Front Garden - such sweetness...

March here in Maryland never came in as a Lion...and I think we skipped the Lamb part too - because with 82 degree temperatures in March - wool is definitely not necessary!  This pretty photo is a picture of my Crocus blooms in the front yard....if you've been following me you'll know these were somewhat of a surprise because we totally tore out our old garden and relandscaped the front - these had been removed but somehow - a few must have survived and grace us with the beauty of their delicate presence. 

This weekend, I'm in the middle of several projects...submission designs, Challenge designs, learning PhotoShop, and finally catching up on my hundreds of items to list (I mean that in the literal sense...over 300 tiles and probably 100 or so of jewelry pieces).  Yesterday and the day before were productive!  I counted ~80 new listings added to the store (some of which have already sold this weekend).  If you are a Facebook fan and a Blog Follower - feel free to use my unadvertised coupon code of SPRING10 to receive 10% off your entire order.

I have some exciting new to share with regard to my tiles...actually several things - but the first is that a group of my little lovelies have been highlighted in the Artisan Showcase in the Spring edition (April/May) of Step by Step Wire!  We are excited and honored to have been chosen for one of the first times this national magazine is doing this!  It's a lot of fun because most of the time you see JLynnJewels tiles published it is either with my own jewelry designs or one of our loyal customers - so to have them as a "stand-alone" highlight was a big surprise for such little things ;) - look for this fun publication on your newstand (you'll find us on pages 13 and 56)...

Have you been wondering when the next JLynnJewels ART Tile Challenge is...well all I can say is our last one was a HUGE success and we had a fabulous mix of designers from our starting newbies/hobbyists to our "oldies" this past summer 2011 - it was a lot of fun seeing what everyone came up with utilizing similar tiles.  We were hoping to host another one in the Fall - however, I lost my Sister in early November and simply needed a little healing time... 

The best part about this challenge is that so many of my participants from this became close friends - and I take such great pleasure in being able to see all their lovely designs as they create them throughout the year (regardless of whether they have my tiles or not lol). 

Anywhoo - all I can say is STAY TUNED...
Our SPRING 2012 Designer ART Tile Challenge is-a-coming (details SOON)!  But WAIT!  I could use your opinions as I finalize a few things...so would love to hear what you would want to play with in terms of themes, colors, tiles styles and shapes...who knows...if you're persuasive enough - you may just inspire me to change my mind on the entire set-up!  I'm kind of torn between a few "designer sets"...

These are actually embossed with many different
pyrographic tools in my own Kaleidoscope Patterns


The MIX-UP!!
A selection of coordinating images on a variety of tile shapes


The latest...our new "MINI" Wood ART Tile Links!
1/2" x 3/4" in size - these are super for
Earrings or Bracelet/Necklace "Links"


For those of you that like to have just a little fun every couple of weeks...you can take part in my PHOTO & COLOR Designer Inspirational challenges - these are very informal and really just an exercise in playing with colors, textures and design details.  You can vote on our current one...PINK BLUSH in our Facebook Fan page (just read the details on voting - it's really easy!  CLICK on the picture to be taken to our Facebook PHOTO album for our entries for this one).

AND....if you'd like to have a little fun for our next informal SANDBOX CREATIVITY Challenge - click on the picture below for the "GROOVY GREENS" Event board.  This is where you can leave comments and upload your photos - and I will take care of getting them all in the Facebook Album for Voting :)

Also...I am pleased to announce that I am part of Sally Russick's Colors of Spring Blog Hop coming up on March 31st...look below to see what I'm currently playing with for the Blog Hop :)

It's "Cabaret" Time!
This is my lovely mix I get to play with...
Beautiful ceramic beads - three of which are "crackled"
I can't wait to share what I create :)

Well - that's all for now...need to get back to "stuff" - but please (pretty please) share your opinions and thoughts on our SPRING 2012 Designer ART Tile Challenge!

Have a great rest of the night...!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SPRING has SPRUNG - have you got the fever?

I know...you were expecting a "FLOWER" picture from me
 for the first day of spring weren't you?
But instead you get FRESH FRUIT!
Yes - this was my yummy snack after dinner this evening (freshly cut by my daughter and her BF) - who also took time to wash their cars and mine today.  I'm not sure what got into them...but I like it lol.

I have to apologize for my tardiness in announcing our EMBOSSED WINNER from my last post.  As life happens - sometimes we don't always have as much control or time to do all that we have promised to do.  I've been trying to be more realistic in my time frames lol because you never know what life has in store for you...

Now this is a tad off-subject (well not really if you can make the connection like I did...) but everyone once in awhile you'll find that I blog just a wee bit about something personal that has touched my heart.  My daughter, who is a Senior this year (heading off to College in just five short months) has been dancing for over ten years.  She is part of an awesome pre-professional competitive company filled with High School Students that do pretty much all styles of dance and receive top awards for their hard work.  If you saw them perform you would swear they were a lot older...Well sometimes seeing is believing...so click on the picture below to view their HipHop piece...
Yes - hard to believe - young adults ranging in age from 14-18...amazing in their art...and doubly amazing at having a supportive attitude to one another (not to say they are lovey dovey all the time or that they never fight, or have an issue with one another...but they have learned to work together under the guidance of some terrific choreographers "On the DL" of the Rage Box Contemporary Dance Studio on FB).   They may not be technically perfect all the time - but they are always true to the art of dancing, the emotions, the meaning...the "Artistry" - and they believe in themselves and one another - and they have amazing work ethic and dedication that proves if you commit yourself totally to something you love - you will be successful in a number of ways...for their group efforts - yes they consistently receive Platinum first place awards, and recognized by the judges.  But on a personal level, I have to say it is SO inspiring to see their absolute joy in dancing and performing within the group - because they have bonded as young role models with like minds and spirits.  THAT alone without any other awards is the "point" of it all isn't it?

I've said before that a picture is worth a thousand words...and this one is too.  Crying while taking this photo...it is, as my friend said "A Moment..."

You see on Wednesday night of last week, during Company rehearsal, my daugther strained/tore her hamstring and unfortunately was out for the competition.  We are fortunate because things could have been a lot worse...and with Physical Therapy and being "smart" - the Doctor said there's a strong likelihood that she will be back dancing in 2-3 weeks - and hopefully in time to compete in one of the last competitions of the season.  This photo is their group getting together before their Lyrical number on Sunday...lots of things were said - but let's just leave it as "they are all for one, and one for all" and are, in their own ways, and as a group ~ "changing the game" :)

I share this with you because it's something that we as Artisans can relate to...
I for one have always felt the need to reach out to others that are like me and "bond" - it's pretty simple if you are committed to your art (no matter what your level)...and if you are true to you - as well as, true to your Art and that spirit and energy to create.  There will always be others that try to put you down...or try to turn people against you for a variety of reasons...but if you find those special people that are what I call true blue...well you need not look any further because you are "home" and surrounded by those that "connect" and thrive and feed off each others POSITIVE ENERGY - Changing the "games" so to speak...

So I hope that you take a little time to explore our closeknit but growing group - we love adding new people to our SANDBOX...(just click on Sandbox to read more about it - as well as enjoy the first "Jewel" of the month...Designer Jennifer Justman.  Until we can officially launch our creative and informational website - you can visit our pre-launch page at http://www.SandboxCreativity.com

ANNOUNCING...our SECOND "Jewel" of the month is someone very dear to me and a person I always love collaborating with...she is loyal and does an AMAZING job with not only her jewelry designs, but incorporating so many other Artisan components into them...care to guess?  You may just be right...look for that special article coming up early next week (or sooner)...

Doesn't matter what kind of designer you are - or what you create...because our Sandbox Creativity Challenges are simply an exercise in fun and sharing - it is not scary or some serious type of challenge... ;) - it is very informal and meant for the joy of creativity.  Want to participate next time?  It's simple - I'll post a picture...and you create something...I'll be supplying some fun little prizes...but if you'd ever like to sponsor a prize - give me a hollar!! 

PINK BLUSH (inspirational photo above) was our first one - so click on the picture and you'll be taken to our Facebook photo album!  We'd love to have you "VOTE" for those that participated in this round - simply decide on your favorite creation and COMMENT "My #1 FAVORITE" on ONE picture.

Drum Roll please...
as chosen by RANDOM.ORG list generator...

KRISTY of Kristy's Kreations!

 That's all for now...don't miss our next informal Designer Challenge "GROOVY GREENS" - upload your creation to our album by 4/14/12 :)

Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New: Embossed Wood ART Tiles!

NEW!  Embossed Wood ART Tiles by JLynnJewels

This project has been many months in the making...and it began with a dream that woke me up out of a sound sleep...then followed up with lots of what I call "thought snippets" over the course of a few more months.  While I was woodburning my regular ART tiles, I began to plan in my head some "experiments" all while revisiting my past projects dating back to the 80s when I would woodburn with my husband (truth be told...he was always better than me with those lines and shading - so I keep hoping that he'll pick up the tool again).  I confess to loving the smell of burning wood (I know it's odd) - but the smell of wood burning in a fireplace, pit, or when I'm woodburning all bring feelings of comfort and seem to have a calming effect on me - could be the visuals of Smores too... 

So what's new?  Aside from our regular line of Florentine Decoupaged ART Tiles - I've added two styles with my newly developed technique for "Embossed ART Tiles" that feature many of my own Kaleidoscope patterns that I create with multiple pyrographic tools and tips.  You'll soon find these Natural/Stained Embossed ART Tiles in our stores - as shown here...

And you will also see some of these colorful Embossed ART Tiles too...
shown here in a various stages of my finishing process

And you may find some special heat curved Bracelet focals as seen below too...

as well as a variety of Pendants, links and earring pairs

  You know back in February I wanted to share the beginning basics of Woodburning and wrote a short informational Tutorial for those that just want to try their hand at something "new".  So whether you try woodburning - just to try it...or it becomes more than a hobby for you, as it did for me - you'll never know, unless you try!  Fortunately, there are many complete kits on the market that allow you to do that reasonably too - just check out my WoodBurning tutorial from February 19, 2012.

So I admit that my biggest concern when I took on this project was my health, air quality...and safety - especially with any tool that involves heat.   Whether that's a glue gun, an iron, heat embossing tool for stamping, a basic Woodburner, advanced Pyrographic tools, or a Torch and Kiln.  You need to do your homework in terms of not just your set-up - but ventilation as well.  Many items you work with (ceramics, metal, clay, glass, wood) give off unhealthy toxins that could effect your health down the line.  So I'm always reading into everything that's needed in terms of doing what I can do to enjoy what I'm doing for as long as I can. 

So - here's a little share that you will rarely see...because I'm the type of person that likes to stay behind the camera (despite having been in the front of the camera and on TV many times lol).  But since we are talking about safety - I thought I would share a picture of me..."suited" up in my Respiratory mask and my old Corduroy Jacket (which we all joke is my standard "uniform" because most days you can find me chillin' in my jeans, socks/fuzzy slippers and my cord Jacket - or denim and bare feet in the summer months...)!  So don't judge I think I snapped this one at 2am in the morning, so not too shabby of a picture lol (yes I'm a night owl...) - and for the record...I don't have "real" prescription glasses - but do where "cheater" glasses for reading and doing detail work (aka reading glasses) - however, I know it's only a matter of time before I have to graduate to the real ones (sigh...)

When I first started woodburning (in the 1980s...) there wasn't a lot of thought given to air quality and the effect on your lungs.  But since we were labeled as "Occasional Hobbyists" - it wasn't really something that we thought twice about.  If it got a little stinky...well, we would open the window.  Today though, I woodburn for several hours at a time - so doing what's necessary health wise is important (ventilation, fans, exhaust and these very fashionable respiratory masks with filters).  So whether I'm woodburning the edges and creating my bevel frames for my regular decoupaged ART tiles or doing the details carving or woodburning for the Embossed Tiles - I'm definitely playing it safe.

Many of you have asked...what makes my ART tiles different? Well, whether it's my new "embossed" ones or my "decoupaged" Tiles - both are handcrafted with many of my own images, artwork, and patterns - then finished in a high quality technique I developed (similar to Florentine Artisans that use a variety of added on details such as gold leaf, wood carvings, wood burning, and embossing) - each is handcrafted ~ one by one and finished with my own blending of Adhesives, Sealants and Varnish applied in multiple steps in a Fine Art method with lots of high quality layering and sanding, in order to bring you a meticulous finish that is smooth, durable and beautiful.

So to recap...YES - I'm still creating LOTS of tiles...both decoupaged and embossed ~ but if you're still a tad confused with the differences in my various ART tiles....here's the scoop and a little fyi:

Anytime you see a paper image on an object,
and it is adhered in any fashion...
it IS, in fact "DECOUPAGED"

Have you ever wondered what I start out with when creating my ART tiles?  Here they are...freshly cut (and laser cut), top of the line "naked" newbie wood tiles!  I use a variety of wood types (including some hardwoods for my "BEAD" tiles which have an invisible hole running the core of the Tile).  Here's a group picture of some of my newbies waiting to get "dressed" ;)

AND...here's a picture of the recent batch of decoupaged tiles that will be working their way into my online stores...each unique in their own way... 

So remember...

"Decoupage" is the art of adhering paper to an object
"Embossing" is the art of
creating raised or imbedded patterns to an object
I lovingly create BOTH types with my ART Tiles :)

Have a great evening!  OH - and if you've made it this far in your read...well then I'll let you know that if you are one of our blog followers and leave a comment - you have a chance of winning a small pair of EMBOSSED WOOD TILE EARRINGS PAIRS (in tile pair form for your own creations...OR I'll whip you up a pair of earrings if you don't design).