Tuesday, October 18, 2011



Jessica Morris 9/24/1987-8/29/2008 
A True Hero

It was 7th grade and the first year of junior high. Jessie and I had all but one class together, though we didn’t know each other besides a familiar face from ccd. It only took one conversation during an ice breaker in Mrs. Reynolds science class to discover we had the same sense of humor.  When Jessie invited Dani, Amanda, and I to come join the hip hop class she was starting at her mom’s studio. We all agreed it was something we’d love to do. And the rest is history.

In high school a few more people joined our group of friends, and those 4 years became some of the most memorable with secrets shared, inside jokes, school dances, splitting wraps at lunch half with pickles for Jess, half plain for me, trips to dunkin in the escort when we were supposed to be in class. Dissecting a pig fetus that we named piggy drop and made dance while everyone else in class stared. Random limo rides around providence with some of our closest friends and my little Italian g-ma who Jessie adored. Jessie choreographing some of the spirit week dances, one in which she made me do my crazy dance directly in front of the judges to win us comedy points.
Senior year we spent so much time together during variety show, Jess’s solo during the show still gives me chills when I think about it. She sure did outshine the other two choreographers by far. Graduation time came and went with our trip on the bay queen, Prom, the ceremony itself and post grad. We had big plans for the summer, we wanted to go to six flags at least 10 times. Before we had to worry about the stresses of college. Nothing could prepare any of us for what we were headed for. 

  One night I got a phone call, it was Jessie. She needed to talk to me about something. She told me that she had gone to the doctor to find out what was causing her severe cramps. I was confused I said because she had said it was ovarian cists, but she then said to me “ I have ovarian cancer.”  I can still hear the words to this day ringing in my ears.  I didn’t know what to say or how to react, I was just in shock. After we had gotten off the phone I was still in shock, I sat in the same spot for about a half an hour and then got up and drove to Jessies.

Her hysterectomy came and when she was out of surgery Dani and I had some surprises for her, including a CD we made to make her smile. As long as there were hospital visits from then on there was most likely a present coming too, just so I could see her beautiful smile that I miss so much. My car was always full of little pink tickets from Women and infants’ parking lot because by the time we left usually the lot was closed and we didn’t have to pay for parking. Every night I would have to text Jessie that I made it home safe.
Unfortunately as design school got more intense I didn’t get to see Jess as much as I wanted to. But there was always a text or a phone call. As we tried to out do each other with our greeting. If I said hey strawberry shortcake, she would come back with hey chicken pot pie what’s up? It always put a smile on both of our faces, and if she ever came out with something completely random I usually laughed out loud in class as I got an awkward stare from my professors and other students.
For those of you who didn’t know Jessie, I’m glad you can have a chance to get to know her through our stories and the home videos. Because I know there will never be another person in my life as strong, heroic, and beautiful a person as my best friend Jessie. 


 Every woman should be aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Most women don't get diagnosed in time. Please share Jessie's story with every woman in your life. It was unusual for someone so young to get it but you can never be too careful. Jessie's wish was to share her story and get the word out about this deadly disease. Please read on:

“Jessica Morris had just turned 18 when she sat with her mother in a doctor's office and heard the news. She had ovarian cancer, and the tumor was large and advanced. She would need an immediate hysterectomy. Her mother started to cry.  Jessica asked what was happening, what it all meant - what was a hysterectomy? Her uterus would need to be removed, her mother, Kathie, said. Jessica looked back blankly. No babies, her mother said. Jessica, a dance teacher who loved working with children, broke down.  As those around her wept, Jessie, her family's flamboyant princess, the center of attention, immediately brushed away her tears, and resolved to turn her pain into something positive. "Mom, I might have cancer, but cancer's not going to get me," she told her mother. "Ovarian cancer picked the wrong diva."   She underwent the hysterectomy in October of 2005. Within a month of surgery, she was back at her alma mater, Lincoln High School, speaking to classes of girls about ovarian cancer. She did the same with the teens in her dance studio. She called the disease a silent killer, because it had ravaged her body long before she even knew she had it. As she and her family tried to learn more about the cancer that had stricken her, however, they found few places to turn. Plenty of information was available about breast cancer, but they found few resources nationally, and virtually none locally, for dealing with ovarian cancer. Her family searched for a local chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, but none existed. So they founded their own, and began raising money for research, awareness and support.     

After several successful dinners and golf tournaments in 2006 and 2007, Jessica and her family set their sights on something bigger: a walk to promote awareness, with Jessica leading hundreds of marchers. This Sunday morning, her family's vision will come true, as an expected 500 men and women will march through Roger Williams Park on the state's first walk for ovarian cancer. More than 300 walkers have signed up already, and the event has raised $15,000 to fight ovarian cancer in Rhode Island.
                But Jessica will not be there.

                JESSICA MORRIS was not a typical ovarian cancer victim. It is rare to see ovarian cancer strike a woman under 35, and when it is diagnosed, the disease often claims its victim within months. In women age 35-74, ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths. One woman in 58 will contract the disease during her lifetime, and the American Cancer Society estimates that 15,520 women will die from ovarian cancer this year.

If the cancer is caught early, the survival rate is high. But with so little awareness and few easy tests, most women are deep into the disease before diagnosis. Jessica's first signs came toward the end of high school, when she experienced sudden weight loss, and then weight gain, and painful menstrual periods.  After her cancer was discovered and her hysterectomy complete, Jessica began chemotherapy. Her long, thick, red hair, her calling card, fell out. She kept smiling, and dancing. The cancer seemed to disappear, and for a short time, everything returned to normal.                 
Then it came back, stronger. She never wavered, however. They only saw her smile break once, said her aunt, Colleen Ricci. Jessica was talking to her grandfather, who had also come down with cancer, and the two were talking about their diagnoses. "Papa, I'm pissed. I'm pissed," Jessica told him. "He said, you know what, honey, you can say it. I'm pissed too," Colleen said.

     The tumor grew, squeezing her intestines and her urethra. Jessica was fitted for a colostomy bag, and for tubes to take her urine from her kidneys. Instead of hiding away, she continued to teach dance whenever possible. For a 2007 recital, she tied off the tubes coming out of her body, and danced in seven numbers, to the delight of the audience. But in the past year, the situation worsened. She couldn't keep any food down, and vomited three to five times a day. She contracted the MRSA virus several times. Fluid had begun to pool in her legs, and walking became more difficult. She refused to give up. A dance recital was scheduled for June at East Providence High School. That morning, Jessica took a blood infusion, slipped on her tap shoes, and tapped out of the hospital, to the nurses' delight and the horror of the janitor.
She tied off her tubes jutting from her body, put on her dance outfit, and performed one dance, to a massive ovation. She planned to go out with the other dancers afterwards, to feel normal for at least one night. Then her mother came backstage. Her blood work had come back from the hospital, and it wasn't good: she needed to return right away. Jessica was silent for a moment, then nodded, and packed her bags for Women & Infants. 

THE DAY Jessica Morris died, preparations for the walk at Roger Williams were almost complete.
It was two weeks ago today, and friends and family were busy stuffing envelopes and mailing letters. Jessica was in good spirits, and hoping to lead the walk, even though she might have to ride in a wheelchair. This summer, her doctors had told her that her cancer was terminal, and asked if she wanted to end chemo. She refused, saying, "I'm not ready for it to be over yet. I'm not going anywhere yet." Jessica had recently contracted pneumonia, but she seemed to be coming out of it, and doctors had told her that she could probably leave the hospital that day. Then it happened. Jessica suffered a seizure. She was alive and semi-conscious, but it was clear she wasn't coming back. "She waited for me to get into bed with her," Kathie said. "I held her for 15 minutes, and we talked to her, and then she let go."
                Surrounded by family and friends, Jessica died Aug. 29 at 9:50 p.m.

                Her death was in some ways expected, but it has left her family in shock nonetheless. Thumbing through pictures of his daughter, John Morris said it still seems like she will walk through the door. "I don't know how you recover from losing a child. I really don't. There's no guide book. There's no manual," John said.  Perhaps, he hopes, if one woman hears Jessica's story, and because of it catches her cancer early, Jessica will live on. “

 If this helps one woman out there, then I'm doing my job. I miss you Jessie and I'll love you forever <3 
Thank you for reading <3 Jell-Lynn

In memory of our beloved Jessie I made these pieces:

I bought this angel at Savers, spray painted it white and broke up some blown glass, pinks for Jessie because it was her favorite color.

An angel for our angel.

I glued the pieces on the base and the backs of the wings. 

The wings are significant to me because of the tattoos I got for Jessie and my grandmother

 The next piece I did was a butterfly, because when we see a butterfly we say it's Jessie.

I used the teals and greens that go along with the NOCC logo.

I added some blues in there to complement the teals and greens.

Thank you again for reading!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween is coming! And a tribute to my buggie

This is definitely my favorite time of year! I love the cool weather, the changing of the leaves, pumpkin spice... everything, and Halloween! I'm not the only one in my family that loves it, check out some of the decorations my mom put out last week!

She's building a graveyard too, can't wait until it's done! My daily food intake usually consists of Starbucks caramel apple spice and the Market Pantry pumpkin spice mini cupcakes from Target these days. I'm in love.

If you've never had a Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks you are missing out on liiiiffffe! :) Anyone else love it?

Oh and another thing I just started reading Ellen's new book Seriously...I'm Kidding. She is hilarious I've never laughed this much reading a book. I highly recommend it!

My mixer and bucket are free from grout! My dad attacked the bucket with a hammer and released them! Thanks Dad!

Thank you to everyone for the feedback on the black table! I appreciate it! This weekend I went to the Scituate Art Festival with two of my best friends Michelle and Jess (Check out Michelle's blog : Make-up your mind) Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures because we arrived late and wanted to see as much as we could before they shut down, but we did see a lot of great things! I only found one other craft maker that used plates for her art! She made them into necklaces and pins (but charged wayyy to much in my opinion) Though I did chat with her about what tools she used and so on. She also used a Dremel (best invention ever) Her necklaces and pins gave me some inspiration for a new piece. More on that later!

This week I've been working on some pieces in remembrance of my best friend Jessie. Pictures to come!

I've done a couple fun things in my room... but first meet my two helpers:

 Foxy Lady Gaga and Beyonce they love hanging out in my room :)

Well first I raised my bed 9 inches from the floor, which gives me more space for storage underneath my bed. The extra height also gives depth to my room and creates a nook for my bed area. In place of a headboard, on my wall I put some photos and some chandelier decals I found at Christmas Tree Shops along with a mirrior from Homegoods.

Now just to give you an idea of my room, it's black and white with colorful accents. So on the back of my door (which is painted black) I used decorative duct tape that I found at Target and made some vertical stripes:

I absolutely love the way it came out! What does everyone else think?

Also about 8 months ago I crashed my beloved VW Buggie named hum-v-dub :( That car was my baby, but before he got taken away from me I managed to get the emblems off of the rims. I've had them laying around for a while and wanted to do something creative with them.

 The shape and holes in them made it easy to hang them on the wall and weave some flowers into them (the same flowers I had in the vase of my bug)

R.I.P. Hum-V-Dub mommy misses you <3

That's all for now loves! Hope you enjoyed reading!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Well I did the dumbest thing ever. The other day I was in a rush to go out with one of my best friends Savannah (Check out her blog Savvie Designs) . We were going to one of our favorite sandwich (or as she says sangwich) shops Ricottis when I completely forgot that I had mixed grout and left my mixer in the grout and it hardened. As you can see in the picture below. I feel so dumb haha now I need a new mixer and a new bucket! Moral of the story... don't forget your mixer in your grout. Oops! :)

Besides that I finished a few pieces:

For this decorative platter I used a couple floral plates and sanded white grout. To clean off all the grout I used my Dremel tool. First to sand off the remaining grout left over from wiping it off with the sponge. Next I polished the tiles and handles with a different attachment for the Dremel :

Here's a bookcase I've had since I was younger I re-vamped it with some of my favorite colors:

The next piece is the table from the last blog I wrote. What do you guys think? Should I keep the round glass on the top or take it off?

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Day of Revelations

The idea came to me while I was stuck in a disgusting amount of traffic. I was listening to Lady Gaga, thinking how she should have a furniture line and how I should design it, when it hit me. I've always loved sketching furniture, trying to be Frank Lloyd Wright or Charlotte Perriand. I thought to myself..."Why can't I make furniture?" So I finally made it home and sat on the couch with a pen and notebook and started sketching, they weren't the rhinestone and stud clad pieces that I had imagined for Gaga, but practical ones. While doing so, I was also watching American Pickers (which I'm completely obsessed with) when I had another idea... Find old furniture and bring it back to life. Nothing kills me more than seeing a good piece of furniture out on the sidewalk just because someone doesn't want it anymore. First of all there's places you can donate that stuff for people in need, second usually the furniture just needs a good sanding and paint or stain to come alive again. Which is why, I decided to rejuvenate, transform, and revitalize old, unwanted, and forgotten about pieces. 

I have actually been going to Savers and finding nice furniture and accessories for cheap, I also bought a ton of plates of varying colors and textures. I then stopped at Lowe's and bought a bucket of adhesive (Laticrete), a couple trowels of different sizes, a neutral color of grout (also Laticrete), sponges for cleaning the grout off of the glass pieces, and a bucket for mixing the grout. 

I set up a table made of 2 saw horses and a piece of plywood in my garage, set up some storage, and backed my mom's new truck out of the garage because the next thing I did was take a hammer to the first plate. I found that putting the plate upside down on a flat surface makes for better mosaic pieces. (I wore protective eyeware) I don't get too many shards flying on the first break but when I try to hammer medium size pieces into small pieces, it's likely to have some glass flying. I wouldn't recommend flip flops or slip on shoes, I've already pulled out a couple shards from the bottoms of my feet. 

I picked a piece to start with, which was a black end table I bought for $8.99 at Savers. It had a slight wobble, so I checked all the bolts and tightened everything. (Before I buy anything I make sure it either has impeccable bone structure, or is just in need of slight adjustments.) I lightly sanded the table, because it had a few surface imperfections, and then I spray painted it. While waiting for it to dry I picked out the color scheme for the table and broke up some plates. When the table was dry I spread adhesive over the top and started placing plate pieces. While putting pieces on you may need to break more plates or make pieces smaller to fit. You want the pieces to fit like a puzzle. The amount of space you leave between pieces, where the grout will go, is completely your preference. I've also made some candelabras, a planter, a lamp, some accessories, and picture frames. I'll go more into detail about those later. I haven't put grout on the table top yet, because I don't think the color of the grout will look good with my color scheme. But I did use the grout on the planter I made. Tell me what you think!

Thanks for reading! More to come!