Monday, September 15, 2014

Go Forth and Conquer

So long, Summer. It's been wonderful.

I got to experience my first full California summer since moving to LA and I have to say that I wasn't the least bit disappointed. Biking, swimming, hiking and lots of BBQs, all under this hot and hazy CA sun. 

I love this weird, crazy city and will have a hard time saying goodbye to the beach life once it's time for me to pack my bags (not for a bit...don't get too excited my East Coast friends). 

Redondo Beach, CA

One of my favorite things to do here is spontaneous beach going. Sometimes my roommate and I just take our bikes and go jump in the ocean before work. The water always wakes me up and makes me feel alive! 

We are fortunate to live so close that we even stopped by to watch the sunrise after a long night of fun. There is something about the serenity of the water that makes me feel calm and like all is right in the world. The sea and the sand always helps clear my head and regroup. 

And of course, inspires me to create. 

I have always loved the how the sea foam looks on the water's surface. Subtle swirling patterns.

Very much like the electric light dance the water makes on a sea floor. 

Studying the ocean water was the inspiration for Jaylalas's newest design. I wanted to capture that movement and natural pattern the waves create. 

And so, the Sea Floor line was born. 

Sea Floor Spoon Set

Sea Floor Napkin Rings

These napkin rings are the newest edition to the Jaylalas line. There are two new designs: Sea Floor (above) and Fish Scales (below). 

Both new napkin ring sets also have a matching set of spoons. Classy dinner party anyone?

Fish Scales Napkin Rings
Fish Scales Spoon Set

September is shaping up to be a creative, busy making month for me. Stay tuned for more originals to join the Jaylalas arsenal soon. So many things to make! 

Now I ask you to go get yourself out there, find your beach and get inspired. Use your talent, whatever it may be. Show yourself what you're made of! 

Now a quote to end it all...

"It is never to late to be what you might have become." -George Elliot

Go forth, my friends.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Custom Love

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

I was lucky enough to travel back home to Boston for the festivities (and snow!). We had lots of laughs, great food and sacred family time. I do love my new life in California, but Christmas on the East Coast just can't be beat. 

Jaylalas has now been open a full month and I'm thrilled to say I've had lots of orders! I'd like to say a very sincere thank you to all those who offered their support, liked, shared and ordered so far! Especially to my main man, Carlo, who always has my back. 

SO! The most fun thing for me to do are custom orders. There's one in particular I LOVED doing. I wanted to share the process of how it became this finished product:

This was a gift for a friend (hi Ginny!) to give to her boyfriend (hi Ty!) for Christmas. She was wanting a beer glass and we decided on a stein like this one. 

The character is the best ninja in the village from a show called Naruto (can you tell I'm a fellow nerd?). 

I sent Ginny a few photos, told her what I planned on combing/changing and with her blessing, the project  began!

The first thing I do is mask off the area with tape, most importantly the lip of the glass so everyone is not eating paint (imagine that!). Then I outline the character with very faint paint on the glass. I typically wipe off the first few trys trying to get it centered and proportionate. It's just like how you would draw and erase pencil. 

The most challenging thing about painting on glass is building up layers. It also takes a lot of patience to wait for each new layer to dry. But if you you rush, the layers underneath will move around and get chunky. 

Eventually, it will look something like this:

Once the color blocks are down, I like to add some shading within them so it's more interesting. Then it's time for the most fun and scary part- outlining. I swear I don't breathe the entire time. To make it easier, I usually draw out the general spacing of things with pencil because it's important to get it right the first time. It's also when the character really takes shape and becomes recognizable. See why I don't breathe? Seeing this one come to life was really exciting!

Painting complete, it gets baked and then sprayed with a sealant so this bad boy lasts the test of time. 

After covering everything but the painting, it takes about 3-4 coats and it's good to go.

So that's the mystery of how it becomes a super fabulous and unique beer stein! To date, I've had the honor of doing a set of custom coffee mugs with my friend's golden retriever, custom salad spoons and a really great beaded light switch cover. 

Hundreds of tiny beads!
Any time you're looking for a gift or something for your home that is personalized or over-the-top thoughtful (Naruto beer stein!), send me a message and we'll start creating!

Happy New Year everyone!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Creating Jaylalas

Treat yo' self.

Such an awesome concept. And to all my Parks and Rec fans, it's even better. Now everyone else go watch Parks and Recreation- it's hilarious.

Tonight I consciously tried to treat myself. As in, I made plate of good food for dinner and HEATED it up! Yay for going the extra mile. I have a tendency to not take care of myself the best I could (who does, am I right?). This is why Jaylalas is so important.

This new project is something I get to work towards and prove to myself. It's time that I take to cultivate a talent and and try to solve that ever present question for all of us: what do I really want to do with my life? Here's a little context for you:

So it's college graduation time and most people are gearing up (and stressing out) to go off into the "real world." Meanwhile, I did ROTC, knew what my next step was, and could graduate relatively stress free (other than ya know, going into the Army). It's funny because four years later, I'm just now experiencing that uncertainty new graduates go through. I'm like the last kid to go through puberty.

My Army career all starts and ends in a far off land in Oklahoma. I was an Officer in Air Defense Artillery and recently finished and moved to California. The Army was my first major learning milestone. It broadened my view of the world and most certainty myself. It changed me for life, in a way that I'll be forever grateful.

Okay, back to present day. Like all new college grads, or veterans, I asked myself what do I want to do? My answer evolved into what is now Jaylalas.

I'm a big lover of a personal challenge and this shop has proved to be a great learning experience for me. It's opened a whole new area of possibility that is so diverse from the Army. The military determines most everything for you: where you live, what work you do, how you should act. Now everything that happens (or doesn't) is on me. So after quietly freaking out a good amount, the idea for Jaylalas developed.

No matter what happens, at least in the end I will know what can or could have been. I'm giving myself the power to find out what I can do, not have regret and to not settle. I'm treating myself to one hell of a challenge.

Departing the Army...and still getting bunny ears 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Reach for the Moon

I've got to admit that I've been super excited about Jaylalas the past few days because of the online attention from my posts. The last time I looked at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest all in a day was um, never. Although I will admit to spending way too many hours on Pinterest.

Thanks to everyone who retweeted/shared/liked or whatever else!

So all day I have been craving some Jaylalas time. I finally just squeezed in an hour and it felt really good. I have been brainstorming ideas for a more "manly" item (think it's going to be along the line of sports teams!) and how to logistically ship orders. It's crazy how the more work I seem to do for the shop, the more things I discover still need to be done. The final stages of the Jaylalas debut have been a mixture of nerves, anticipation and extreme excitement. Mostly excitement!

If any Cuse AD majors are reading, do you guys remember this? Thanks to Donna Greene for the graduation gift many years ago! I've probably looked at it every day since.

This sits on my desk as a little nudge. I have a tendency to doubt myself big time,  but quotes like this remind me to keep fighting that fight.

So next time you're also worried that no one will like your work or store name or want to read your blog (ha no, not me... okay, yes me), just remember-

"Reach for the moon, if you miss it you will land among the stars. "

Monday, November 4, 2013

The First One


I'm just celebrating the excitement I felt all day since announcing the launch date of Jaylalas. Seeing all the Facebook likes made me so happy! 

So I came skipping home from work with inspiration in the pants! And thought today would be a good day to kick start this blog. 

Jaylalas is an Etsy shop of hand painted and hand made items, like painted wine glasses and notebooks. It is everything I love painting, on things that people will really use. The line is ocean inspired, mainly by the beautiful creatures that live in the water. Boy do I really love a good sea turtle!

The shop is also a really big step for me as a person. A step in the direction of my dreams! (Cue corny music). But really, these past few months have been a whole new life for me and putting Jaylalas in motion has been a huge part of that. 

More on all that later! In the meantime, I'm busy duplicating the stemless sea turtle wine glasses since there was hype for them earlier. Hype! 

Hand painted stemless wine glasses! Available on Etsy Dec 1, 2013