Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Etsy Update!

Winter Break has finally began for me! I'm only 3 days in, but I'm so happy to have time in my studio and updating my etsy store. Speaking of the etsty store, things have started picking up. I created a new header for the store (seen below - I'm quite proud of it), listed all of my stencil print shirts, and renewed all of my lego listings. And, since then I've been getting tons of traffic and even made a few sales.

Check out my esty store here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jreyesha

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My not-so-Christmas-looking Christmas decorations

Somehow in the midst of my midterms and finals for college, I've found time to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to my life, and more importantly at 'Found on Fremont!' However, I've found an extreme distaste in green and red together, because I think Christmas is filled with so many more colors than our typical ensemble. So... when I made this Christmas decoration, it looks quite generally holiday-ish, due to the glitter and shiny things my magpie-like self picked out, but it doesn't look the slightest Christmas. I think this could hang all year long, and maybe that has a lot to do with everyone in my house wanting it to be the holiday season all year long! Just two weeks left and I'll be on winter break between college semesters for a month! :) I'm definitely looking forward to the holiday season.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

'Educate' Box Assemblage

I haven't had as much time to work on any new box assemblages, but last weekend I had time to finish the box I've been working on for the last few months. This is the first box I've made using a recycled drawer, and one of the biggest ones I've made. I found the drawer for one dollar at 'Scrap' (again, one of the best art supply stores ever -- everything is recycled!) along with all of the old pencils. The social issue I decided to focus on is education and its struggled ties to black America. I'm not going to get too political and express what I intended for this pieces - I'm done with IB art. Art is in the eyes of the beholder, so I'll leave it open to interpretation.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bottle Cap Art for Thought

I'm not sure if anyone else collects bottle caps like my family does, but... we have about 8 mason jars filled with the various milk, juice, creamer, and soda caps. They've been collected over several years, so it's not too surprising. However, it's a very shocking realization of how much we actually consume. As a family of four, we do consume a lot of food. Recycling caps, bottles, bread tabs, etc. we're usually able to confront this fact anytime we go in the studio to make art. I like to use them to make art, usually with the kids I teach in after school classes. They really do make the best mosaic pieces, because the range of colors the caps come in are simply fabulous. Bright oranges, greens, blues, and sometimes gold and silver! They're also great for making collaged pendants, pins, and even earrings. In addition to what I like to use them for, I found these great lighting fixtures made using bottle caps!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Wonders of Hanging Jewelry

It has been so long since I've had time to write here. As my mom likes to say, "This blog is weak." I think it might have been her comment that got me to blog again... :( But, I'm back and am going to have some more free time coming up pretty soon since this semester of college is almost over! Hello, winter break! Hopefully, I'll have some wonderful Christmas pictures up too, since mom and I have been decorating our space at 'Found on Fremont' for the holidays. I also bought a pack of glitter glue... meaning this Christmas will be sparkly, sparkly, sparkly.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a bit of my own jewelry collection. I always wonder what people who make jewelry actually wear themselves. You'll be quite surprised that I hardly wear very much of what I actually make - or the jewelry I make for myself is different than the jewelry I sell. Hence, the barbie arm earrings, refashioned plastic heart earrings, and the various feathers. I recently cleaned out my jewelry from the 3 jewelry boxes full, which is a bit ridiculous. And, I found myself being too lazy to dig in them and figure out what I'd wear for the day. So, I found a wonderful hanging accordion type thing (to be honest, I don't know what its actual purpose is) and painted it a glossy black to match the black/pink retro theme I have in my room. And, voila! A beautiful display and a better way to pick jewelry out for the day.

My earring hanger is actually functioned as an earring holder, no nifty recycling there. An awesome wood crafter at our local Saturday Market makes perfect earring displays, which mom and I have bought many of. I just painted mine glossy black and it makes all of bedazzle stand out even more. :D

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Refinished Chair

Okay, so before I explain about refinishing old furniture being my favorite thing to do now, I have to explain the story behind the chair... Because mom and I shop so much at little thrift stores, usually the same ones too, I tend to pick items and wait for them to go on sale. At our favorite thrift store, I had been eyeing this chair for the past 3 months. Also, my mom really could not see what I saw in the chair, as it definitely had a... "patina" of sorts. :) Some paint, gorgeous recycled fabric, and 2 hours later, I finished my first refinished furniture piece! I'm really stoked and can't wait to make some more when I find some more pieces to work on. I feel a little guilty about fixing this chair though, because once I ripped off the old seat fabric, turns out it was from the 1920's!

Found on Fremont!

I've been so busy this last few weeks because of midterms! It's been pretty hard to focus with so much going on too. I've been waiting all week to blog and start working in the studio... Well, without further ado, here's the big news: Mom and I signed a contract to have a space at 'Found on Fremont', where we've started selling our handmade jewelry and vintage collectibles! We're so excited! It's really the most perfect spot to be, because our jewelry fits in so well.  As avid thrifty shoppers we are constantly collecting. It's been a lot of fun shopping at estate sales and flea markets for things to fill up the space. We didn't even realize how much space we had until later. Turns out we need to start looking for more shelves. Everyone at Found has such beautiful booths and they really know how to present and fill up all of their space. This weekend is our first weekend in the shop, and we have our fingers crossed that everyone will be out shopping on Fremont! :)

Check out their website and facebook links here:

Found on Fremont

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jewelry for thought

Seems like I'm always posting about jewelry made from doll parts of some sort on here, but I just couldn't pass this website up. I promise I don't think about making jewelry made to look like body parts all the time!

I'm actually pretty impressed with the whole site. General Valentine is a jewelry blog/site, and they post really fantastic jewelry of all styles. Of course I was just drawn to the slightly bizarre... :)

Check out this great post on metal work and old barbie parts:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Garage Sale Finds & New Barrette Designs

It's been so long since I've been able to work in the studio. This weekend I finished all of my homework on Saturday, so I would make sure to have time for my life outside of college. I don't want to meander on school too much, but I'll just inform everyone that it's much harder than I expected... To be humbled is a good thing, of course.

Anyway, I time to do some garage sale and thrifting with mom. I found a lot of cool things and spent a grand total of about $2.25! It was nice to hang out with my mom again, almost felt like a free summer morning. My favorite purchase was definitely the spanish "Loterias" boards. I've seen a lot of cool earring cards and matchbox assemblages made with them. I'm excited to attack them with some glitter glue and rhinestones to make my own assemblage creations! And, for 25 cents too!

After thrifting, I went in the studio for a little while too. Mom loves this little antique booth in "Antique Alley," which is in the Hollywood district. Last time we browsed, she found a nifty barrette with a barbie arm and monopoly house jumbled on the clip, which she really wanted. I definitely had a few barbie arms sitting around my junk drawer, after a OOAK (one of a kind) barbie project gone wrong, so I made  her one myself. I really like how it turned out, so I might try making some more and selling them on etsy with some of the other things I have on the site. I also wish my hair could be managed with a clip, because I'd just love to see my friends freak out about a barbie arm poking out of my hair! I think I'd get too much amusement out of that. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Baby Jewelry

 I helped a friend make baby earrings not too long ago, which has somehow gave me a soft spot for baby jewelry in general. I just found this adorable picture of a baby necklace. I think it's a great picture and is really complimented by the red sweater the model is wearing. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Wage," the newest addition to our family

I'd like to introduce my sister's star birthday present and newest addition to our family: Wage, the Ugly Doll. Here he is peeking out of our bag at the mall - looking a little out of place and making people stare. I think he's the most hilarious toy my sister's ever wanted, but to say the least, I'm quite a fan of him. 

Last Thursday, Birthdays, College, and my Crafting Philosophy

It feels like forever since I've blogged here! I have so much to talk about, but I don't want to make an entire text filled post, so I'm going to keep it as terse as possible.

Important update: I'm officially in college. So far, it's taking up a good portion of my life - slaving over calculus homework, tedious chemistry lab reports, and all of the required freshman excursions. I just can't believe I'm finally here. It's everything I've ever thought about since I was a little girl. Disappointed that it's almost exactly the same as high school? A little. :)

Anyway, since I last blogged I have been keeping very busy. My sister's birthday passed, which was quite a fiasco of a birthday party. My favorite part of it was definitely the coolest party favors ever. Mom bought a bag of rockabilly tattoo buttons from the craft store, so we cut the button part off and drilled through to make kitschy cute necklaces. (Just an FYI: I have the coolest crafting drill, which can literally drill through everything. It's my favorite.) We found a cute way to package them too. They're adorable and I can't wait to make more   for fun.

Also, August's Last Thursday on Alberta was a blast. It was my first time vending by myself without mom, but my friend and I set up our tables side by side and both sold a lot of items. Our tables were probably the most ridiculous tables down there. I sold lego jewelry and whatnot while my friend had her collection of miniature baby earrings. Let's just say we had a lot of funny conversation. My lego frames were a hit, because I'm officially out of stock! I've been collecting frames from 'Goodwill' now to lego decorate and sell, since they were so popular. The only problem is that our new jewelry stand was probably the worst idea, due to the wind that day. It kept falling off the table and even broke a few of our necklaces! Other than that, it was great. I can't wait until next month.

Last, but not least - I'd like to share my new epiphany. I was thinking about myself as an artist. I realize that more than anything, I'm a crafter. I can make art definitely, or what is considered a more fine art - painting, textiles, assemblages. But, more than anything I get the most satisfaction of crafting kitschy items. So, here I am, about 8 years into doing what I've been doing, finally making a probably obvious conclusion. Self initiated crafter, and proud of it! And, with that I'm off to make more lego frames! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Perks of Gardening

I'm so proud of my mom's gardening skills! This morning I was awoken by mom's resolute decision to garden at 9:30 am. Next to working on her art, gardening is her passion at all hours of the day. However, it's a definitely a family effort. We've even dragged dad out to remove a good portion of our lawn a few summers ago. Anyway, this morning we discovered our cucumber plants had been busy since we last looked. We picked 8 huge cucumbers! And, our bean, tomato, and lettuce plants produced a great crop as well. Summer vegetables are definitely a huge perk of gardening! This morning we were quite productive too. We planted a new crop of celery, beans, spinach, carrots, and flowers, along with pruning our roses and several other native plants from our side garden. We even met a new neighborhood cat, much to the jealousy our own cat. Though, she was very sweet and spent most of her time following mom back and forth in the garden.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer Afternoons

I have less than 2 weeks before I start school. I can't believe summer went by this fast! I'm going to try and keep working on my art through the school year, because I've realized what a stress reliever art really is.

Today mom and I spent the entire afternoon working together in the studio. We came up with a great way to display our jewelry for Last Thursdays in Alberta by recycling old drawers and making necklace racks. Yesterday we took a trip to the 'Rebuilding Center' on Mississippi (http://rebuildingcenter.org/) where we found old drawers for $2 each. I spent today painting the drawer to contrast our jewelry and hammering nails into the wood. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I think it will make our jewelry stand out while also making room for more items on our table.

I've also started leather cut out earrings. I took a leather feather earring example that I had bought from an old student of mine and made my own out of some recycled leather my friend brought over one night. With a good pair of fabric scissors and some beads, I came up with some very nice designs that are easy to make and make a great accessory. I picked up some more scrap leather pieces from 'Scrap' yesterday too! I think about 50% of my favorite craft supplies come from 'Scrap'. What most consider junk is a wonderland to artists. :)

*Also note the hilarious dinosaur earrings I made from some plastic figurines at 'Kids at Heart' on Hawthorne Blvd.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Joining the Feather Earring Craze

So, I think I mentioned before that Portland is filled with the steadily growing feather earring craze in fashion. Last Thursdays in Alberta is filled with feather earring artists. It's a search to find which pair really suits your taste in both style and price. Even commercial stores in the mall sell feather earrings now. I don't like to be trendy, but I do own three pairs... And, this week my mom made a fabulous rendition of her own feather earring. My sister came in the studio shouting about a cute blue feather she found outside. Usually I'm a huge germ freak, but this feather really was quite nice and seemed as clean as a found feather can be. (Also, I think it's from our neighborhood family of Western Blue Jays!) About twenty minutes later my mom created this wonderful feather earring for me. I think it blends nicely with my hair and if we started making feather earrings, I think it would definitely be a unique style. Using chain, leather, and accents with beads looks really great with this particular feather. I don't know if we'll start making feather earrings to sell, but I don't think I'll be buying them anymore!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Etsy Store Official Launch

Today has been one of the most productive days of the summer. I worked in the studio and made some new earrings (see picture). More importantly, I officially launched the J'reyesha etsy store! I'm very excited because I thought it would take me much longer to set up an etsy store, but I took advantage of today's free time and got a lot done! All I have to do now is soup up our profile page a little more. I really like how easy etsy makes it for artists to sell their work.

Check out our etsy here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jreyesha?ref=pr_shop

Mom also worked on some new jewelry that I've already started listing on etsy. She's sticking pretty strong to the new jewelry style we're trying to develop and I'm in love with all of her new pieces! They look great. I'm focusing on my recycled jewelry still, except trying to work with a more charm/kitsch appeal. It's fun experimenting with jewelry, especially since asymmetrical isn't considered outlandish anymore! :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Website Updates and Attempts at Publicity!

I'm trying to make things more public with the website and the blog. I feel like blogging is probably my favorite part of 'Jreyesha.com.' I only wish I knew more people were looking at it! Hence, I'm going to advertise to an internet crowd - a.k.a my facebook friends. We'll see how it goes, but I'm hoping to bring some traffic to the site and blog.

I haven't been working in the studio as much as I should, but I've been working on the site sporadically. Today, I officially removed the 'Website Under Construction' heading from the site home page. That alone feels like an accomplishment! I think the site is as finished as my basic html skills will allow, but I'm going to extend the store into an etsy store as well, which will be my next big project. 

*Also, please note this fantastically bizarre picture of a sleeping girl with a third eye! It amuses me, so I'm sharing it. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Funky Hand Jewelry

Last night I had a crafting party with some friends where we made jewelry out of miniature plastic babies. It's a little hard to explain. I think I'll post pictures later!

Anyway, I'm definitely inspired to make jewelry with dolls and the like now. I've made barbie doll earrings before out of shoes and arms, but never thought about focusing on hands.

 I found this great etsy seller: Lana Pineapple who made this wonderful necklace out of clay hands. I think it's fimo polymer clay, but seriously - too cool.

Alberta Arts Last Thursday

Once again, I'm slacking on keeping up with this blog. I've been pleasantly busy enjoying summer, so I really have no excuse! Anyway, I won't meander on my blog absence. Mom and I have been working in the studio less than we were a few weeks ago, but the goal of getting back into art shows and working on the website hasn't ended.

Last week we participated in Alberta Arts Last Thursday for the first time in almost a year. I can't believe how much I missed being out there. All of the other artists and musicians together is just a phenomenal atmosphere. As usual, it was a blast! Though, we were a little off in how things ran... We tried a different vending location than we usually do, which was less successful than we would have wanted due to the fact that Last Thursdays officially blocks off the streets to allow people to walk through. Without knowing this, we mistakingly set up our table out of sight. Next month we'll get it right and find a better spot - I enjoyed shopping more than vending anyway! Also, I noticed there was a lot of jewelry vendors, mostly selling feather earrings. As much as I like to say they're getting trendy, I definitely have 3 pairs in counting! It was nice to see that some of our items are one of a kind on Alberta, and there might be a chance to sell some of my 3D Box art or stencil work. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I can't wait to set up this month too!

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Projects and Motivation!

I have been so happy this week! Of course, I'm generally content, but what is the cause for this week's elation? A wonderful number... Just a few days ago I found out my International Baccalaureate (IB) scores and was pleased to see I received a '7' in IB HL Art, which is the highest score possible for an IB class, as well as one of the hardest scores to get for IB HL Art. It's considered one of the hardest classes for IB, despite it being an art class, which shamefully many often associate as an "easy A". Anyway, it has definitely made me gain confidence in my abilities as an artist and also made me question what I'm really good at. I still think about how much fun it would be to pursue art as a career and live out the whole "starving artist" cliche! However, I also like envisioning myself as an engineer, which is what I'm going to study in college. I guess I have to remember that my IB score was only decided by a logistical score rubric and that a score shouldn't make or break my opinion about my future in art, considering I never liked the idea about grading art before anyway.

Okay, I'm done talking IB. I spent the last four years of my life thinking about school! Though, I won't lie - I'm definitely more motivated to work in the studio now. I've started working on a few new projects too, like a final reconstruction of my sister's antique dollhouse, which I restored a few years ago before she decided she was too old for it. Hence has begun a recycled dream house of mine, using bottle caps and other materials. Pictures will be up soon - I want to do a before and after shot when it's finished.

I also finished my vaguely macabre/carnival piece, which I've been working on for a few weeks. I've started brainstorming my artwork before I start it, just like I did in IB Art, and I find I really like the results. This piece is slightly darker than the work I've been doing for the last few years (and less politically charged since I'm not limited to a theme anymore), but it's a more mature version of what I used to make when I was younger. I actually started working on it when I thought I redecorating my room in a Victorian gothic style. I can officially say my room is a kitschy pink retro style, so this definitely doesn't fit anymore!

Today is also yard sale day, and I've been in charge of cashier since this morning. The hype of our sale is officially over and I have nothing but time to catch up on my summer reading.

Goodbye for now!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lego Frames & Whatnot

Mom and I have been working in the studio almost daily, so hopefully I'll have a lot to post about this week! I'm trying to keep up with this blog! A few months ago, I'd probably only had things to share about once every month, because I just didn't have the time with school and such. Let's just say summer and graduating high school makes working on art so much easier. I almost dread joining the college life when summer finally ends, because my art is going to have to take a break for a while.

Anyway, on a lighter note I've found another use for my legos! For those of you that don't know, I sell lego jewelry usually. I love working with legos and things that most of us consider toys. It's a way to bring the child back in all of us! My newest addition to the lego crafts are these fun lego frames. I made the first two for my dad's birthday, and liked them so much that I felt they needed to go on the site. I've been recycling frames I find by painting them black or red and adorning them with legos. I'm really stoked and can't wait to put them on the website!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pike Street Market

We took a trip to Seattle for the Fourth of July, where I enjoyed the Pike Street Market best of all. It definitely put our city's Saturday Market to shame, with all of its artists, great homegrown food, flying fish, and even a gum wall! Not to mention, it happens everyday rather than just weekends. Makes me feel like our artists are only part time, while Seattle's keep the art going all year long! Though, Portland artists definitely use a lot more recycled materials, so I can really appreciate that. :)

I had a great time, and found so much inspiration with all of the different artist's styles and techniques. I even bought an art piece from a friendly fellow stencil artist, Graff Roots. As a stencil artist myself, I really admire a great stenciler when I see one, because stencils can be very time consuming. He definitely inspired me to want to improve my stencils and work with more detail, because the outcome was very impressive. Working primarily with television and pop culture movie icons, his work pulls the best and most iconic images out of recognizable scenes. Check out the Graff Roots etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/graffroots

After Pike Street Market, we did some thrift store and antiquing around Seattle. I found that Seattle is probably one of the best places to buy records! I bought so many classic 50's bandstand, 60's rock, and classic records at a great price. After our Seattle trip I came home wanting to listen to my records and work on art! Such a great combination! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Awesome Kitsch Necklace

While searching around on tumblr, I found this awesome necklace on one of my favorite blogger's pages. I definitely want to make a bracelet or necklace similar to this with my own collection of toys, junk, and miscellaneous items.
Check out this necklace and the blog: http://kitschyliving.tumblr.com/

Monday, June 6, 2011

Some Definitions & Such

Over the years, we often get a lot of questions about our mediums and techniques, particularly when it comes to my visual artwork. I work a lot of with mixed media and assemblage techniques, inspired by Joseph Cornell and Betye Saar. Thought it would be fun to post a few definitions about what 'mixed media' and 'assemblage' mean to me in art.  Enjoy! :)

mixed media
artistic media, as pen and ink, chalk, and graphite, used in combination: an old master drawing in mixed media.
mixed media
pl.n. (used with a sing. verb)
1. A technique involving the use of two or more artistic media, such as ink and pastel or painting and collage, that are combined in a single composition.
2. The combined use of media, such as television, radio, print, and the Internet, as for advertising or publicity.

as·sem·blage Audio Help [uh-sem-blij; for 3, 4 also Fr. a-sahn-blazh] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
a group of persons or things gathered or collected; an assembly; collection; aggregate.
the act of assembling; state of being assembled.
Fine Arts.
a sculptural technique of organizing or composing into a unified whole a group of unrelated and often fragmentary or discarded objects.
a work of art produced by this technique. Compare collagefound object,ready-made (def. 4).

as·sem·blage Audio Help (?-s?m'bl?j) Pronunciation Key
1. The act of assembling.
2. The state of being assembled.
1. A collection of people or things; a gathering.
2. A collection of items from a single datable component of an archaeological site.
3. A fitting together of parts, as those in a machine.
4. A sculptural composition consisting of an arrangement of miscellaneous objects or found materials.

First Post!


This is the first official post for our first art blog! I'd like to say I'm a bit of a blogger already, but this is going to be very different than what I'm used to, and I'm looking forward to focusing on this for the summer.

I've never had an art blog before, but I want this to be a variety blog with things that inspire us, updates on projects we're working on, and thoughts. 'Jreyesha' is a small independent jewelry and craft online store, named after myself, which originated from a mother/daughter jewelry business in the Pacific Northwest. We participate in local art shows and fairs around our area and work at home in our studio using a variety of mediums to create our different areas of jewelry, art, textiles, crafts, etc.

I felt it was high time we had a bigger online presence and over the past few months I've been making a lot of changes to the website: www.jreyesha.com and thought a blog would be a fun way to connect with buyers, while also joining the DIY blog revolution! I'll be updating this blog frequently with more information about us, our work, and project updates.

With that, I'll just let the blog speak for itself!