Sunday, December 20, 2009

The "Name That Collection" Giveaway Winner Is....

Darlene Cox! Darlene submitted the name "Sassy Neck Wraps" for my new line of fabric tube scarves. A variation of her submission, Sassy Wraps, will be used to promote this exciting new collection of tube scarves made from gorgeous fabrics in both solids and prints. As the winner of this giveaway, Darlene will receive this piece from the new collection:

Special thanks to everyone who participated in this latest blog giveaway. I appreciate all of your comments and submissions.

Happy Holidays everyone!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

A 'Name That Collection' Giveaway!

OK, readers, I need your help! I've been working on a new product line and am struggling with a name for the collection. It's a line of scarves made from luscious fabrics. They are sewn as continuous tubes that can be wrapped around your shoulders shawl-style or left hanging loose for a drapey, dramatic effect. Longer scarves can be doubled up around your neck for a stylish cowl. They can be used as the finishing touch for a dressy outfit or to dress up a more casual look. They can be thrown over your head, gathered in the middle, and secured with a favorite pin or brooch for even more versatility.

So here's the deal: submit your entry for the name of this new collection by posting a comment here on the blog. ALL entries will be considered! HURRY--entries must be submitted by 6:00 p.m. Central on Thursday, December 17, 2009. Winner will receive a piece from the collection chosen at my discretion. In the event multiple entries are received for the winning title, those names will be thrown into List Randomizer and the winner will be chosen that way. I will ship the prize on Friday, December 18, 2009, via U.S.P.S. Priority Mail, hopefully just in time for holiday gift least in the U.S. I'm sorry, but participants outside of the U.S. are unlikely to receive their prize in time for holiday delivery. Of course you can always keep the scarf for yourself; it's totally up to you! PLEASE be sure to include your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you've won. If you're not comfortable leaving your email address, feel free to email it to me at

So have a look at the photos and post a comment with your entry. I look forward to your submissions.

Thank you!

Contest is open to all persons 18 years or older, regardless of location. Shipping and handling costs, including delivery confirmation, are paid for by Jean May Originals. Jean May Originals is not responsible for lost or stolen packages, or packages damaged en route to their intended destination. Thank you for your understanding.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Discover This: Wearable Art

The Discover This Series is finally back! This time around I bring you Cheryl F. Cameron of Champaign, Illinois. Cheryl's specialty is hand-painted silk scarves, and they are some of the most beautiful works of wearable art you can find.

Cheryl's been painting for some years, but only started painting silk about a year ago. Having done a little formal drawing study, she's self-taught in painting and researched silk painting herself. With a lot of trial and error, she found out what worked well for her. She says "It's a continual process - I'm always looking around for new ideas and ways to experiment and branch out. It was a natural branching out from painting on canvas. My drawing teacher mentioned that she painted scarves and I thought it was the greatest idea because it merged all the things I loved - painting, fashion, batik and the vast scarf collection I already had. From that point I did research to see how silk painting was done, found a technique that I liked and gradually fine-tuned my method till I felt good about the results." I think anyone who sees her finished pieces would feel good about the results! Cheryl says inspiration for her designs "...are very intuitive. I don't really think when I'm painting, I just go with what feels right in shapes and colors. Also, I seek out new aesthetic influences - in music, movies, dancing, folks you see on the street. Beauty and artistry is all around, and I try to pay attention to that. But trusting my instincts is the biggest lesson I have learned. "

Cheryl hopes that other people would like her scarves for the same reason she does - they are a great combination of practical and pretty, they're versatile, and add a little spunk to an outfit. Silk especially is nice because it feels good on the skin and is strong and beautiful. She tries to create what she finds aesthetic, and hopes that comes through in her work. In my opinion, it most definitely comes through in her work!! Her work can be found at boutiques and galleries in Central Illinois as well as in her etsy shop. She's also done a few outdoor art festivals.

In closing, Cheryl shares that this "has been a fascinating couple of years - realizing that art was very important and finding a way to make it the focus of my life. I’ve been amazed at how helpful and encouraging folks have been - like Jean, offering to feature me like this. Thank you!" Thank YOU, Cheryl, for sharing your work with us!

Silk scarves pictured, from top to bottom:
"Too Much of a Good Thing can be Wonderful"
"Green Leaves"
"Burgundy and Violet Curls"
Please visit Cheryl's etsy shop, Frances Cameron Silks, for more information and pricing on these and all of her currently available pieces.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

JMO Jewelry Is Back!

After putting the JMO Jewelry line on hold for nearly a year, we've brought it back with some fabulous new pieces just for you! Here at JMO we like to design beautiful works of wearable art using an assortment of beads...from wood to glass to crystal. Our simple yet fabulous creations are sure to delight everyone.

Below are a couple pieces we've been working on lately. Over the coming weeks our website will be updated with more designs that have been handcrafted with quality, love and care. In the meantime, you can check out these pieces on our new etsy shop. We've reopened the etsy shop temporarily and are currently offering FREE U.S. shipping on any item in the shop from now through September 30, 2009. Only a select few items will be available on etsy; our website will contain the entire collection in all of our product lines.

Look at these beauties! We call these Crystal Blue Persuasion. Recycled vintage clip-ons have been given new life! Baby blue crystals sparkle in a silver curve and dangle daintily from the lobe. Very pretty!

And here we have the Danielle Hoop Earrings. Silver hoops measuring nearly 2" in diameter with a single column of red, black, and speckled white glass beads with a silver cone accent. They may be simple, but they're fabulous!

Want a one-of-a-kind custom piece designed just for you? We will work closely with our customers on designing the perfect piece that meets your color, size, and quality specifications as close as possible. Use the Contact Us page on our site to submit your request. We'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Word About Arts & Crafts Vendors

Participating as an arts & crafts vendor is alot of work. If the event is outdoors, a tent is not only preferred, but pretty much necessary. Then there's tables and their coverings, displays, packaging, chairs, signage, credit card processing equipment, sufficient change for cash transactions, business cards, lighting, pen and paper for on-the-spot custom orders and recording sales and, of course, the items you have for sale. Setting up for an event usually takes me about an hour to get everything just right. I sell a number of different items so I'm constantly rearranging pieces to ensure a top notch, eye catching display. I attempt to draw visitors into my booth as soon as I see them approaching by saying hello, asking them how they're doing, and then quickly launching into a discussion of the items I'm offering for sale with the hopes that they're intrigued enough to check out all the goods. As with any vendor at the event, I'm there to sell, to make money. But I always make a point of telling prospective customers that all the items they see in my booth are handmade. By me. Each bead on every piece of jewelry is hand strung. Each stitch on every hat, scarf, belt, or purse is crocheted by hand. Each of my soy wax melts are hand poured into the mold. Each bar of soap is part of a batch that was made in my kitchen and cut by hand. Each and every item I offer for sale contains a little piece of me. I put my heart and soul into each of those items as well as alot of love, care, and attention to detail. I take great pride in knowing that the items I'm offering are of high quality. Personally, I'd prefer handmade items over machine made, mass produced goods any day. Apparently, not everyone thinks that way.

I recently participated in an arts and crafts event and watched with utter disgust as visitors oohed and aahed over cheesy plastic jewelry, designer knockoff handbags, and dollar store toys. I watched as parents happily handed over $10 for a light-up bubble blower because their little tyke kept screaming "I want one!" People whipping out their credit cards for a $30 spinning lawn ornament thingamajig. Clueless teenagers plunking down $20 for what they honestly believed was a real "designer" wallet. Ladies drooling over necklace and earring sets made from cheap plastic beads. I watched, and I cried. Not just because it wasn't my items they were buying, but because there was so little appreciation for good, quality merchandise. Garishness and the promise of a "real good deal" won out over simple quality. I wasn't the only one at this event feeling the sting; other vendors offering quality products were also overlooked. I cried for them, too.

I am very proud to be a part of the handmade movement. I wish folks out there would open their eyes and take notice of all the indie artisans who produce such beautiful, unique handcrafted items. You can't help but appreciate the time and effort put into their creations. There is an immense pool of talent in the indie community that continuously inspires me. The next time you're at an arts & crafts exhibit, ask the vendor if their items are handmade. If not, I hope you'll move on.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

And The Winner Is....

JMO is excited to announce the winner of the First Ever Giveaway is Craft_Mom a/k/a Jennifer Flory! Congratulations, Jennifer! You are the winner of not just one, but TWO bars of JMO's new April Showers Cold Process Soap plus a 100% Cotton Crochet Washcloth. WOOT!

I had so much fun sponsoring this giveaway, I think I'll have to do it again real soon. I'd like to thank everyone who participated and left such wonderful comments. JMO is always dreaming up new product lines, so be sure to check the website often. You never know what you'll find!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

JMO's First EVER Giveaway!

For the first time ever, Jean May Originals is sponsoring a Giveaway! Here's the lowdown on how it will work:

WHO - Anyone and everyone is invited to participate. Tell all your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.

WHAT - Winner will receive 2 bars of our new April Showers handmade soap (approx. 2 oz. each) and a 100% Cotton Crochet Washcloth. This batch of soap was made using the cold process method and is rich with skin loving ingredients like Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil. Infused with Rain fragrance oil...a very clean, fresh scent suitable for men, women and children...these lather-rich bars are a treat for your skin and gentle enough to use as a facial cleanser.

WHERE - Just visit the new and improved JMO website here. Check out everything we have to offer including our newest product lines--Handmade Soaps and Photo Cards. Then return here to the blog and post a comment on which item you liked the best. If you don't see anything you like on the website, tell us what you would like to see! Winner will be chosen at random using When posting your comment, please include your email address name (just the part before the @). I will only use this information to verify the winner.

WHEN - Post your comment by midnight, June 27. All participants will be tossed into the list randomizer and a winner will be chosen on June 28. I'll be announcing the winner in a blog post so check back here on that date to see if you've won!

WHY - This giveaway is our way of kicking off the new website and rolling out our newest product lines. These are exciting times for JMO and we want everyone to know about it!!

Open to U.S. & Canadian residents ages 18 and up. Only one entry per person. Comments must be posted by midnight on June 27 to be eligible.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Discover This ~ Greetings from Shebel Road

Next up in the Discover This Series is one creative and talented lady. Meet Kris Shebel, a Michigan City, Indiana resident who combined her love of scrapbooking and creative writing to open her own business, Greetings from Shebel Road. Kris creates beautiful handmade greeting cards, invitations and place cards. Kris has been designing greeting cards for many years for family and friends and, after receiving many requests, decided to go public with her own greeting card line. She says "After all, if you're going to send something to someone, I feel it should be special and stand out. They should know you've really taken the time to create something just for them, even if you've purchased it." Kris gets inspiration for her designs from things she sees in nature, the store, or from other paper crafters. She attends scrapbook conventions and says "it's a great place for inspiration and idea swapping as well."

When you purchase one of Kris' custom, handmade greeting cards or invitations, it will reflect your personality and style. All of her products are handcrafted and embellished with such luxuries as beading, ribbon, 3D die-cuts, crystals, raffia, etc. Giving one of Kris' cards will be a gift itself to the recipient. As one of Kris' customers so eloquently put it, "At a time when the unique is too often overshadowed by the commercial ~ the only thing more special than giving these lovely "Works of Heart" is receiving one! Congratulations on a wonderful line of quality, hand crafted greetings!" Now THAT's a great compliment!

There's also a bit of interesting history behind the Greetings From Shebel Road name: The original Shebel family homestead property is situated right across the street. This homestead was built by Kris' husband's ancestors in the early 1800's. At that time, if a particular family owned a large portion of land, and the "farm road" used to access the home was eventually changed into a county road, the road would be named after the original family residing there. The original farm house was torn down approximately 30 years ago and replaced with a beautiful English Tudor home. Her husband's father built that home. Kris and her husband dearly miss him, as he passed away in 1992. Kris and her family reside in a rural neighborhood filled with generations of family and their roots run deep. She feels honored to live on the road bearing her husband's family name where they raise their beautiful daughter and furry friends together.

I'd like to thank Kris for participating in the Discover This Series here on the JMO Blog. For additional information and to see more of her designs, visit HER WEBSITE.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mother's Day Specials -- LIMITED TIME OFFERS

Mother's Day is fast approaching and JMO has a few beautiful and affordable offers just in time to honor Mom.

Handmade Soap Bundle

JMO now offers handcrafted bar soaps in a variety of scents and colors. Made using only the finest ingredients, our soaps are lather-rich with superb moisturizing properties that are a luxurious treat for your skin. For a limited time only, and just in time for Mother's Day, May 10, we are offering 2 full size bars (approx. 4-5 oz.) in your choice of Pink Sugar (pink), Ocean (robin's egg blue), and Coconut (pale yellow). In addition to the full size bars, Mom also gets 2 guest-size "candied" soaps in Mango Papaya, as well as a Mini Crocheted Cotton Scrubbie. The entire set will be beautifully packaged and ready for giving. Regularly $25, we are offering this set for $20, and that includes shipping & handling! All soaps are made to order to ensure freshness. We ship anywhere in the U.S. via USPS First Class Mail. (Sorry, no international shipping at this time.) Hurry, this offer expires Friday, May 1, 2009, so we encourage you to order NOW to ensure delivery by Mother's Day.

Everlasting Bouquet

A fresh flower bouquet is a lovely and thoughtful gift, but unfortunately a short-lived one. So we've created the Everlasting Bouquet, a collection of 3 crocheted flowers complete with it's own bud vase and rock filler. These beauties will never wilt, never need watering, and last year round. This is one bouquet that will last forever!

To introduce this newest item to the JMO Home Decor collection, we are offering an Everlasting Bouquet for just $20 (includes shipping & handling). If intended as a Mother's Day gift, we MUST receive your order no later than Thursday, April 30, 2009. We realize it's really short notice, but we want to be sure we are allowed enough time to create your flowers and ship your package so that it arrives before May 10. We ship anywhere in the U.S. via USPS First Class Mail. (Sorry, no international shipping at this time.) Flowers will be created using our choice of colors--we promise it will be FABULOUS!

These offers are not available on our website. Prices good through May 1, 2009. The only accepted method of payment for these offers is Paypal. To place an order for a Soap Bundle or Bouquet, please send us an email at If ordering soaps, please include your 2 color/scent choices. We will send a request for payment within 24 hours. ITEMS WILL SHIP ONLY AFTER PAYMENT HAS CLEARED.

Give Mom the gift of handmade this Mother's Day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Discover This: "Rad Rugs" ~ Alexandra Marshall

Ok readers, get ready to be wowed by the next featured artist in the Discover This series. Her name is Alexandra "Lex" Marshall from right here in my hometown of Chicago. Lex designs and creates beautiful, unique hooked rugs using primitive techniques. Her parents have always had hooked rugs on display in their Maine home, but a few years ago Lex took an interest in practicing the art herself after visiting the Tunbridge World's Fair in Tunbridge, VT. While watching a rug hooking demo Lex says she "...was fascinated both by the process and by the finished result. I bought a beautiful rug with an image of a lion on it, based on a primitive pattern. It was just so totally charming..." She bought books, searched for tips online, and now creates some of the most beautiful rugs I've ever seen. She would encourage anyone who is thinking of trying out a new craft or art form to just give it a go!

Inspiration for Lex's designs come from different sources. "I like to use images from other forms of art that are perhaps less traditional as hooked rug images. For instance...the Pomona rug was inspired by a pre-Raphaelite tapestry, and the rug I’m working on right now was inspired by still-life paintings of food as well as a Roman Mosaic. The apple rug was inspired by my friend Cassie, who loves apples and who took me to the Tunbridge World’s Fair."

Lex uses high quality linen and wool in her rug designs in the hopes of creating a piece to last many lifetimes. One of her favorite rugs in her parents' home is from the 1800s, and she says "it’s still beautiful." She's happy to create custom rugs, as she believes they are "a unique way to commemorate a favorite pet, a beloved house, or a moment in someone’s life."

Below: Bad Apple Rug, Pomona Rug, Swallow Rug

To read the story behind each of these rugs, be sure to visit Lex's etsy shop HERE

"Food" Rug in progress (Lex hand-draws each image with a sharpie!)

Tools used to create Lex's rugs

Special thanks to Lex for allowing me to feature her and her beautiful rugs in the Discover This series.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Winter Sale Going On Now!

We're gearing up for Spring here at JMO and that means great deals for you on crochet hats, scarves and cowls currently in stock. There's not much left, so get them now! Below are just a few of the items currently on clearance, so please visit our website at for additional items and pricing information. NOTE: the website is currently undergoing major reconstruction and "Buy Now" buttons have yet to be configured and added. Send an email to and place the item description in the subject line. We will send you a return email with payment instructions. Thanks!
Angelique Cowl

Suede Skinny Scarf

Bamboo Skully

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Discover This: "Photo Fabulous!" ~ Constellation Photography

I couldn't wait to feature this next etysian in the Discover This series: photographer Amanda Graham. Mandy has been actively persuing photography for about 5 years now and though technically considered a professional, she still loves to think of it as a hobby because, as she says, "it never seems like work." Over the past 2 years, Mandy says she's been "highly driven to create better than average photos" and boy, does it show. Located in the American Northwest, the rural area surrounding Mandy's home makes a lovely subject for many of her photos. Tending to lean more toward photographing nature, Mandy explains how she loves "to focus on the beauty" of her surroundings and that "what may just be an abandoned bridge or just another sunset, is priceless beauty when taken to another level with the angle or perspective through the lens. It becomes something more than what we see every day." I, for one, definitely see something more than abandoned bridges or typical sunsets in her photos. I see nature in all its splendor...lush, rolling hills, awe-inspiring sunsets, rushing waters, even a simple tree swing takes on new meaning when viewed through Mandy's lens.

Raspberry Sunset


Mandy also loves to photograph children, and finds "great joy in capturing the natural innocense of children in their natural surroundings." Her "Boxcar Children" photograph (below) makes me long for the simple days of childhood, where a casual stroll along the tracks takes you to some new and exciting destination. The simplicity of youth is captured perfectly in this photo.

The Boxcar Children
Mention Mandy's feature here on the JMO blog and receive 10% off any of the photos currently listed in her etsy shop through January 31, 2009. All photos are professionally printed, signed, and dated on the back with an archival acid free pen. Most photos are available in a variety of sizes.
Special thanks to Mandy for allowing me to feature her beautiful photographs here on my blog. Also check out her blog at for details on how to win one of her photos!