Custom House Portrait - beautiful South Carolina Ranch home


Do you remember your grandparents' house? My grandparents were mostly in Florida when I was little. When I visited them there everything seemed so BRIGHT. The colors, the sofa, the house plants - WOW. My grandpa could not have been happier with the quality of the golf and citrus fruits, while my grandmother I think finally felt at home with her bold sense of style. It was like a different world to me. 
and there were rumored alligators in the swimming pool! 

I was so happy to receive a custom request to paint a grandparents' home. 

It was an absolute joy to work on this project. The house is nearly 60 years old and in South Carolina. The woman who contacted me told me the loveliest story of her grandparents living there and all the wonderful memories they made at that house. 

Her grandfather grew beautiful roses - red, yellow, and even a hybridized PEACH color. Gorgeous. I took a few liberties and painted roses throughout the left side of the house where they used to grow. I loved the lush green bushes in front of the house and how it seemed to be surrounded by beautiful trees. The front steps were a joy to paint and that white railing was just precious to me. 

The customer also asked me to paint in her grandparents. I carefully studied the pictures she sent me of them and it started to feel like they were just the sort of people who'd welcome you right into a family cook-out. I loved painting them next to each other, the grandpa's arm lightly holding the elbow of his wife. So cute. I mixed a teeny tiny bit of silver sparkle into the gray for the roof and a tiny bit of gold lustre into the brown for the door. If you bend the painting in the light - it really sparkles! 

Off it goes -- hope you love it, Jen! 

Would you like a custom home portrait? 
I'd love to work with you! 
Just pop over to my Etsy shop to see more. 

Spring Artwork in My New Etsy Shop!


Long time no see! As you may have gathered, things look a little different around here. If you're stopping by for the first time - welcome! 

My blog and craft work was largely focused around bridal jewelry since about 2007. While I still do many custom projects, I've switched gears to spend more time on painting and drawing. I've put my little jewelry shop on hold to focus entirely on Gwynne Studio on Etsy. I'm having a wonderful time painting custom house illustrations and bridal bouquets. Stylized faces, girls with fabulous hair, and wild greenery happen are all over my sketchbooks at the moment, too. I hope to share a bunch more on this blog. 

It's been about ten years since I started paying attention to blogs. It was all so fabulous c. 2007 - I can recall reading a huge list of blogs every day. No one knew about SEO or Instagram hashtags or any of that. We were all just sharing pictures from our digital cameras and writing with relative honesty. Slowly we watched as side bar ads and sponsored posts worked their way into every blog. "Following" someone was a positive thing and I watched several girls I really loved become rather famous from their work! (A few at this time also sadly quit writing entirely). 

For some, a change in authenticity upset the readership and for others I think there were just too many humble brags and stylized photo shoots. Things like GOMI and "trolling" caught fire and slowly all of it seemed like a middle school locker room. Not my cup of tea! So I took a break for awhile - both in reading and writing. But I miss it! I've always loved being able to chronicle my creative experiences through my blog and have the writing space to ramble a bit about my photos and thoughts. I'm back here to try do the same this spring and summer with some of my artwork. I'm glad to be able to share it with you! 

DIY Fall Ribbon Wreath


It took a little bit of wiggling, but Michael was able to unearth the box of fall decorations from our closet shelves. I opened it up with every hope of finding forgetting autumn treasures. Sadly there was a lonesome orange glittery owl and a two little pumpkins. I couldn't welcome fall with such a paltry showing! I ran out to grab all the proper supplies for a festive, new, fall wreath. You'll see they are quite easy to make, and a favorite around here. (Wreath 1, Wreath 2, & Seas the Day)

You will need a wire wreath form. I always grab mine at the earthly heaven of Michael's Crafts. Find at least three thick ribbons. I usually buy two spools just to be sure, but for the small wreath form, you'll likely need just one spool of each ribbon type. I nearly always use burlap as it makes for a nice foundation and fills the frame well. 

Start wrapping and tucking the burlap first. Pouf out the sides and keep things pretty loose. No need to be perfect at all. Weave it in and out of the wire. 

Start weaving in your next color. This orange ribbon has wire sides which can be nice for creating the pouf shape you so desire. Your pouf shape dreams can come true! 

I love this black and gold stripe ribbon. Weave in your next ribbon in between your other two colors. Pouf out the sides, keep it loose. 

There was a lovely black lace-style ribbon that probably wasn't necessary but it was too sweet to skip. You could weave in any other type you'd like. Don't worry about doing it perfectly. 
You'll adjust afterward and the messy look makes this wreath work!

I bought these little candy corns that I thought I might glue on to the wreath but it just looked awful. I am enamored by my new printer's tray which I hung on the wall and now fill with little trinkets. Candy corns seemed to be happy there. 

It took me forever to find good vintage printer's trays in the Boston area and about two minutes for my mom to find some in the country. 
I'm loving how they hold little treasures. 

 I took the monogram letter from our summer wreath and moved it on to this beauty. 
Welcome, fall! I feel ready for it this year. 
I mentioned tonight that I was excited for the colder weather and had a feeling it was actually going to be a good winter. Michael's eyes went wide. I usually mourn every passing minute of sunshine and long for the return of July 4. Now I feel like maybe this whole cozy fall thing might come to fruition?! We'll see. 

How do you welcome fall? 

With love, 

Want to keep reading?
Way back machine - September 2008, September 2010, September 2011, September 2012, September 2013

All the August Feelings


The end of August signals so many things. My dried out window boxes seem to symbolize everything I thought I'd be able to do in this time, but just didn't water enough. The end of August means back-to-school, final pool days, and "the last" soft-serve ice cream. It means feeling wistful about the time that passed in a haze of SPF and cold drinks. 

August makes me feel so much. 

As a teacher, there is a shocking realization that the pace of my days will soon be deeply structured. There will be new students, lessons, and novels. Never is this more apparent than when I set my alarm for about three hours earlier. There will be lunches to pack, calendars to schedule and lessons and websites to set up. I'll wipe down the board in the front and write out my name in huge purposeful letters. Junior English this year. Most of my days will be scheduled around bells indicating the end or start of a block. How different from the casual days of summer with time to paint in the morning before yoga. How different from weddings under the summer stars and beach walks to search for tiny, perfect shells. Because I live in complete denial right up until the last second (procrastinators, I know you hear me), I will likely feel the whiplash hit me hard during Monday morning's meeting. I'll scan back in my mind to all the days in full-sun, all the senses full of sand and seaweed. 

And then, suddenly, like how the changing leaves just sneak up on you, I'll be in full fall mode. Just like that. My shoes will click down the waxed school floors. I'll be moving fast toward something important because I'm a teacher dammit! All things become vastly important between 7:15-2:30! All pressing! All due! No late submissions! In fact, I realize, that's exactly where I should be, and if I really think about it, I probably seek out the swing of intensity. One time makes you so grateful for the other, of course. Purpose, determination, effort of the school yearto balance out the savoring, expansive, indulgent feelings of summer.  It is this time of transition that is hard to qualify specifically. I've tried before

And Mary Oliver to help me feel all these August feelings! 

What does August feel like to you?
Hope you get a few moments this weekend to try to soak it all in. 

August Wedding Preparation with Custom Jewels and Flower Girl Crowns


Apparently I had a deep need to make a baby floral crown. Who knew I'd feel such joy, enchantment even, working my hands across vintage lace? - the bride's grandmother's bonnet. Just lovely. 
The lace is very intricate with certain spots just slightly worn. I love the chance to have such a sentimental piece and be able to rework it for a bride's wedding.  

She wanted to use the small pale pink, silk rosettes from the bonnet for the flower baby's crown. My hope was that I would also find a way to incorporate the lace into the crown as well. 
The flower girl is really just a baby, so I wanted to make sure there wasn't anything that would be picky or scratchy on her little head. There are stretch baby head bands as just about every craft store. White would work perfectly for the color scheme: light pink, pale pink, white, and vintage lace. 

I sewed in the flowers, working my way around the band. I folded in snippets of pink ribbon and started sewing in little strips of the lace from the bonnet. 

For her bridesmaids we went with a similar pale pink framed stone with a beautiful thick french hook. Classic and simple. Sure to make her girls look beautiful and feel happy. 

The lace and bonnet put me in an old fashioned mood, so I folded half a doily into the decor on the box. Topped with tiny ribbons of pink satin with gold burlap thread.

In the next post I'll show you the delicate wire and pearl bridal crown. Hope you're enjoying this summer! Have you found a moment to sink into yet? Really feel it all happening? I think mine finally happened this past week in the pool. Floating around... looking up at the sky... could it be? A moment of true relaxation?!

Sending my best to you... 


wild summer strawberry


The fridge is full of berries. Somehow we've ended up with three half-full cartons of blueberries, the washed strawberries are still in the colander (who needs a bowl?) and I polished off all the cherries by the pool just now. It is my favorite time of year. Leave the oven off, grill out for dinner, finally read the New Yorker. 

What better time to share a few pictures of a recent bangle to the shop. 

Adjustable wire bangles really can be manipulated more than you think! Pull the bracelet apart to make it as big as possible. 

Once an adjustable bangle is on your wrist, squeeze and push the wire to fit as tightly as you'd like. 
You can mold it into a more circular shape with your free hand. 

(har, har, har) 

Makes me think of this old book! When I was little I loved to think about a tiny mouse eating a giant strawberry.  

Summer is here. 
Gone are the days of this, and this
Time to jump in! 

And before you go - a summer strawberry poem. 

Easy DIY Ribbon Wreath


I was amazed to look at my calendar this morning and see that we are nearly through the month of MAY. Already!? Time to freshen up my little abode with all the signs of the summer to come. With Memorial Day on the horizon and this incredibly beautiful ribbon catching my, I knew a new wreath was just the ticket to saying hello, summer! 

Here is an easy tutorial to whip up a braided ribbon wreath. You'll need a wire wreath form. I found mine at Michael's crafts for about $3.  Choose all the ribbon that catches your eye - preferably some burlap, some wide heavy weight ribbon, and something a little different or textured.  Pull all the ribbon off the spools - you'll need the full length of each. I had scissors in this picture, but you do not actually need them! 

Start wrapping your heaviest ribbon into your wreath form. Bring pieces out, fluff em out, and then thread them back through the center of the form. Nothing needs to be perfect or even pretty, but just be sure to weave each side and leave space between. 

When you're done with your first go-round, you'll see that it's a little uneven and messy, but the full roll will make it all the way around. Don't worry about how it looks now, you can fix it later! 

Bring in your next ribbon. I opted for this gorgeous navy & white cotton ribbon. Reminded me of French kitchen towels. Tuck your stray end under the other ribbon into what is the "back" of your wreath. Weave the ribbon into the empty spaces in your wreath form, fluff it out as you go, remember that it doesn't need to be tidy.

Keep going all the way around. Tuck the loose ends into the back.

I already had chevron burlap and French stripe, so I wanted to bring in a more basic burlap with red and white wire border. Weave your third ribbon into the form. You will likely overlap your first two, but weave it in between the empty space as much as you can. I folded the ribbon onto the bottom base as a place for where I'll attach my gold letter B. 

I took the frayed anchor ribbon and stuck it in between. A little wild and not for everyone's taste, but who needs to be serious on a front door? 

Had to test it out on my little guy. Not sure he's a fan...

Time for my winter wreath to come down! I ripped off the letter B and found wire to attach it to the new one. 

Little more Patriotic and summery. 

Quick & easy. You'll enjoy it every day! 

Mala Necklace Give Away!


pop over to Instagram and check out my latest posting
This beautiful 108 bead onyx and aventurine mala
will be given away this week to a lucky friend of yours. 

Simply tag a friend in the comments of the Instagram picture. 
A winner will be chosen tonight in a drawing. 

good luck! 

Peace, Love, & Joy


Oh, hi! 

It's been ages since I've posted. No good excuses, really! I have been busy with all the things that keep me away from what I'd really rather would be doing! We moved last month. Finally, all the boxes have been broken down, I have hung every picture, and it is starting to feel like home. I've shipped out some beautiful holiday orders and have been preparing lovely baubles for a dear friend's wedding next week. I'm working with an old high school friend, Libby Wood, on a new logo and design concept for the new year. I've delved more deeply into meditation through the use of malas, and have been making them here and there for those who are seeking the comfort meditation can provide - and wishing for the beads to be just stylish as they are! Hopefully I'll be able to share more of these with you in the future. 

Oh, and I've been helping my father with his chocolate shop, Pomfret Chocolates! Business is booming! I am so happy to see him creating something he loves and sharing it with so many. Check him out here and here.   

I want to share a few photos before I sign off to wrap the last of these presents! I hope you have a wonderful holiday and look forward to the year ahead!

With love,