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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Reveal - Pretty Palette!

Pretty Palette - August Reveal with Erin Prais-Hintz & Halcraft USA

In early August I received an invite from Erin for the Pretty Palette Challenge - I was honored and excited to be a part of such a project, and accepted the Challenge, sight unseen.  Once I received the details, I almost fell right out of my chair...I also had a few tears in my eyes - because the inspiration photo and colors reminded me, that there was so much to be thankful for, as I thought about all the unique and emotional connections.  It was one of those moments, where you know there are greater forces in this world, that are listening to you, and working for the positive good.  If you want to read more about these very special sequence of Events and Connections, I invite you to read my post from yesterday - the pre-post for this challenge, titled "Blueberry Story"!  It's a quick read with LOTS of pictures, including my design ideas.

This was the Inspiration and Beads...

Blueberries of course have a very special meaning to me, and as I explained, in my post from yesterday - they never fail to remind me of my Mother-in-Law who is known for using Fresh Blueberries to create Blueberry Buckle and has also been courageously battling NHL Cancer for the last two years. So Blueberries bring a very simple thought to mind...


Remembering that life is only complicated, if we choose to make it complicated...
and that the little things, really do make a BIG difference...
I can't help but think that sometimes less is more...

And that's why with this Reveal and the many layers of inspiration that came with it...I chose to look at each round bead individually - kind of like a round and round we go..but with a "back to basics" simplicity to allow the beads to find their voices.  There is beauty in the uniqueness of everything - and I am thoroughly enjoying designing with all of the Halcraft Beads and of course, I cannot wait to see what my partner, Erin has come up with too!  You can read more about her creation on the Halcraft Blog - August Reveal - Pretty Palette!

 So aside from the inspiration provided by the Blueberry Palette which generated my "Blueberry Story"...and the Earrings above (Hand-forged Sterling Silver Rings, Lampwork Spiral Beads by Serena's Beadery, gorgeous Blue 10mm Glass beads from Halcraft, with all Sterling Silver findings) - I created a LOT more, with additional designs still in the works!
For me, the Halcraft Beads had a special inspiration of their own, and it was such a pleasure to coordinate all the design ideas.  Pictured below is a photo showcasing a variety of Artisan made components with design possibilities for this very special Challenge.  It was so much fun pulling from my Artisan collections, because I was so inspired to create by the theme and beads.

The fun part about the beads from Halcraft, is they are so versatile in terms of making an impact when used together - as Erin did with her beautiful, sweeping Necklace design in her August Reveal Post.  Or, in utilizing them individually, as I have done here by breaking down the color palette.  Halcraft makes it so easy in providing you with "Possibilities" - that give you unlimited inspiration in colors, textures, depth and dimension.  No matter if you create jewelry for fun or are creating jewelry as a full-time Designer that sells both Retail and Wholesale - trust me, you will definitely want to have a variety of their beads, in your stash.

Confession...I'm STILL designing WITH these beads...
However...need to share to inspire!

A funny thing happens when I let my "Muse" on the loose...
She (as I tend to call "her" - who I picture as an ethereal, mythical Goddess), seems to be most creative when she has free reign to dance from one project to another and does so with a happy heart, and one that is full of gratitude.

The picture below is one design I was hoping to finish for today - but I still need a bit more creative playtime and experimentation before I'm ready to share the completed design.  BUT - I just had to share the design concept...it will eventually be (I think...) a beautiful multi-strand, dangle bracelet!
The small round Turquoise colored beads were part of multi-strand of aqua and green glass beads from Halcraft - all 8mm...LOVE!  Although what most would deem as a "standard" filler bead - this selection is fabulous and really would make a LOT of Drop Earrings - simply by using two for a variety of quick selling Earrings at your local Fall market or craft show.  The colorful ceramic focal piece you see in the center is from Helena of Areto, and earthy ceramic beads at the top of the photo, were created by Cindy of Art & Soul Jewelry.  I immediately pulled the 8mm Turquoise like Glass beads from the Halcraft strand, because they are such a perfect match with the Artisan components (and also a great way to keep cost down in the final pricing of the piece).  I'm looking forward to working with these components and Vintaj Natural Brass findings today!

Next up..designs featuring Halcrafts 8mm Aqua Glass Opaque Rounds..
I LOVE this strand and created a themed Boho Batik Jewelry set.  More of a misty, aqua green versus blue - I just love the natural, relaxed color.  If you've ever actually gone blueberry picking...you will see so many different variations in colors within the rows of the Blueberry shrubs with the foliage and berries - alive with creams, purples, blues, and greens. 
 This design is a special one for me...
I'm a Watercolor painter too and create ART Tiles © (Florentine style Decoupage with authentic Woodburned bevel edges for jewelry making). So, one of my favorite things to do is take my miniature paintings, digitize them, and utilize the image for my Jewelry Tiles.  The focal piece in this necklace features a Watercolor Resist "Batik-style" painting that has lots of subtle color variations and layers (this one is just one of many color variations).  The Necklace is a LONG one - 36" in length (but I may decide to go a little shorter), and was created with all Vintaj Natural Brass findings, including a 7-strand, long chain Tassel.  I absolutely love wearing jewelry where there is a calming element in it - something you can twirl or run your fingers through.  A little quirky thing of mine - I suppose it's just my love of being in the "Creative Chain" Gang ;)

Then since I was so delighted to be working with the Halcraft green portion of the palette...I decided to do a bracelet.

 This design actually took up a lot of my time - not in the designing itself, but in the time it took to get from Idea #1, to the Final you see here.  Sometimes as Designers, we have an idea and start the project.  At some point - the design makes you happy or not.  My original idea was a simple link design with Vintaj 15mm Twisted Rings in between...it looked good, BUT I was not happy with how it laid on the wrist.  So I switched to a smaller decorative Ring...

Nope...still not happy.  It was dinner time - which meant break time.
After dinner, I went back to the table - and my Muse kind of slapped me upside the head - and all of a sudden I was breaking apart the original bracelet, and separating the wire wrapped links I made...in order to re-design that concept into these pair of Earrings...
Then another idea hit me...and as I looked at several of the "straight" links  still sitting on the table...and a "what-if" type of idea, turned into a simple double strand bracelet idea, which was ok...but my Muse and I, were still not happy, so we remained in deep contemplation.  Then I grabbed more Vintaj findings to experiment with, and in the process of pulling things from my drawer - a lone flower charm fell out. Yes...inspiring thoughts circled.  A vague idea began to come to life.  So I added the two links to the petals - but with an odd-number of petals - it meant that if I wanted to do a double strand, I would need to get a little creative with the balance.  So I attached the larger link from the original bracelet, but it looked like it was missing something, so I decided to frame out the "focal" bead with some delicate oval Vintaj chain.

Happiness...new Sweet Simplicity Bracelet.
Well the midnight oil was burning, but I figured I had enough energy left in me to create a few more Earrings...and decided on the three remaining strands in the Halcraft grouping...and had some fun with the "shiny & sparkly" beads!

First up...featuring the Halcraft Aqua Painted Glass 8mm Round beads - (these really remind me of the sparkling, Caribbean Blue waters, Mermaids and Sunsets)...and because of that thought - it made me reach for a pair of Polymer Clay, handpainted Artisan Shell charms from Susan of Earth Expressions...

 And these...
These feature the Halcraft Silver Plated 6mm Stardust Beads...
They reminded me more of sparkling Fairy Dust and the quote about not allowing others to steal your sparkle.  So I paired them up with some of my own Lampwork mini-Spacer beads, very delicate Sterling Silver Chain (yes I love chain...) and from Nooma & Vincent of Inviciti - these gorgeous pair of Pewter Charms with subtle sparkles, and a Fern like Fairy Grass Patina (yes, I made that Patina name up...because the color reminds me of that extremely soft grass/fern like plant you find in the woods - hence my nickname "Fairy Grass").

And lastly - these...

I call these my "Blueberry Dream" Earrings - totally in love!
Of course they feature more Halcraft beautiful beads...the 8mm opaque glass Turquoise colored ones...and the 6mm semi-precious Amethyst gemstones, with all Vintaj Brass Findings and the most exquisite, embossed and riveted floral charms I've had the pleasure of purchasing.  Ironically these were created by one of my ART Tile customers, Laurie Kaioula (she recently started selling her own components in one of the Facebook Groups) - and I hope to convince her to be one of my Featured Artisans in my new group "Artisans Create Together" which highlights both Jewelry Designers and Jewelry Component Creators - in a safe and positive atmosphere, for all those that love jewelry, or love to create jewelry - or simply love color :) - it is a closed group - so if you want to join in the fun, make sure you click on the "Join" button :)

Well - I have MANY more designs with all the lovely Halcraft Beads that I was gifted with from Erin.  A very special, heart-felt thank you goes out to her - because although she didn't know it at the time, it was just the refreshing challenge I needed in my life.  AND...a special thank you for Halcraft for supporting so many creative dreams with their beautiful products.

If you've made it through all the detailed pictures - would absolutely love to hear your thoughts and what you are inspired to create by this Challenge - so I welcome you to leave a comment here on the Halcraft Blog with Erin's Reveal :)
Warmly, JLynn (aka Janice)


  1. You were truly inspired, Miss Janice! I love all the pieces you created and the thought that process that went into each. You really flourished with this challenge and I am so grateful that you were able to play along with me! I especially love how you showcase artisan made beads. Those green fairy dust earrings are my favorite! Thank you for your enthusiastic participation. I am always looking for partners for future months, and maybe someone reading this will want to be a future partner with me! Enjoy the day! Erin

  2. Thanks Erin! It was just the right Challenge, at just the right time. It has been YEARS since I've been able to make time to participate in one - but this one - was a very special one! Thank you again for inviting me. I had so many more projects lined up - including some special Simple Truth pendants that you created - but those will have to wait for another day now. So enjoyed working with all the beads - and looking forward to continued inspiration with your Pretty Palette Challenges! Janice

  3. So many beautiful designs! Your art beads and the Halcraft beads really play nicely together. I really like the Caribbean earrings--there is just something compelling about that orange/blue combo. Your photostyling is awesome, too!

    1. Thank you so much Michelle :) - it was very fun pulling the Artisan components and Halcraft beads together. The Caribbean Earrings are very colorful, fun, and also featherweight. Thanks for the compliments on the photostyling too - I work hard at switching things up periodically - but this has been my favorite one to date :)

  4. I LOVE that you let each bead speak for itself! That is how to get the most perfect pieces, which you did! My favorite is the Blueberry Dream earrings, they remind me of your connections to blueberries. I love how you incorporate other artisan beads and findings into your designs!!

    1. Thank you so much Alison :) - I love how the Blueberry Dream Earrings came out too! I absolutely love designing with a variety of Artisan beads - and that's probably the biggest reason why I started the Artisans Create Together Group on Facebook - to promote other Small Business Owners in the Artisan world :)

  5. Janice, WOW!! Everything is absolutely beautiful, such great designs! LOVE everything, especially those stunning Blueberry Dream earrings!! Thank You SO much for incorporating Vintaj into your designs, You ROCK! :)

  6. THANKs so much! I so very much appreciate the compliments - and as you know, just love all the many possibilities that happen when using Vintaj findings!! Had such a fabulous time designing with this challenge :)


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