Archive by Author | Jalene

Trick-or-Treat Yourself

Trick-or-Treat Yourself

It’s time for you pull all of those sweaters out of the closet – it’s full on Fall. (Or at least it is here in Brooklyn.) Need some cute accessories to go with all of those cozy colors? You’re in luck. I just posted 6 fall-inspired pieces in the shop. And there seriously are only 6. I’m not going to make any more of these (at least not until Summer 2016). To sweeten the pot you get free shipping through October 31, 2015 (yay, Halloween!). 

I really need to go shopping for new clothes, nothing fits. Or at least that’s my excuse for not being able to pull myself off the computer and away from the Modcloth website – I can’t help myself! It’s all too cute. Here are some of of the tops I found, paired with some of the new fall pieces in my shop:

mauveshirttannecklace honeywsweaterpurpleearrings blacksweaterhoneyrednecklace redsweatergreennecklace

What are you wearing this fall? Feel free to leave a comment or post on myFacebook page.

And don’t forget to signup for my VIP Fan Club – we’re doing giveaways from now till the end of the year that are only available to those on the list.

Harvest Party Roundup

Harvest Party Roundup


Earrings (La Sirena Design-that’s me!)

Straw Hat

Goldfish Kimono



Blue Sneakers

Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas (This is pretty much my summer bible right here.)

Gnome Candles 

Paderno Sprializer (If you have a garden like my mom’s and it’s yielding a million pounds of extra zucchini, cucumbers, sweet potatoes or if you just feel like it’s too hot to cook then you NEED to try this thing. Zucchini and sweet potato noodles are my new favorite.)

Snap, Crackle, Hop – Imperial Rice IPA from Parallel 49 Brewing Co.

Yellow Grill


And just to make you jealous, here’s a pic of the view from my parents’ back porch hammock:



And one from my hardworking mama’s garden:



Do you have any end-of-summer/Labor Day weekend traditions or recipes? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Summer Outdoor Concert Roundup

Outdoor concert roundup

It’s freaking hot here in the PacNW… but not as hot as Brooklyn, so I’m not going to complain too much. Instead I’m gonna make this quick before I pack up and head to the beach and Astoria, OR with the fam.

Here’s a little Summer Concert Style Roundup:

Hawthorn Dress by Colette Patterns I swear, when I have more space I am going to set up my sewing machine again and start making everything that Colette Patterns offers. I love pretty much everything they do.

Purple Shoes from ModCloth

Vintage Binoculars from Etsy

Handbag from Etsy

iPhone Case If I had an extra $130 I would go buy this right now. Especially since I use my iphone more like a camera than an actual phone. It includes 4 interchangeable lenses: wide angle, 2x telephoto, 180-degree fisheye and macro (with polarized lenses).

Mast Brothers Chocolate

Mexican Blanket Straps

Earring and Necklace set from La Sirena (that’s me!)

Beautiful in Brooklyn project

Beautiful in Brooklyn

You never know when inspiration will hit. And when, or if, you actually act on that inspiration is a whole other story.

Quite a while ago I was walking through Atlantic terminal, on my way to a freelance gig in Manhattan. I let my mind wander as I shuffled along with the herd. I was thinking about my jewelry designs, how I wanted to get them more out into the world, how I needed to buckle down and do some marketing, how I needed to be more consistent with social media, how I needed to have a better online presence… and my mind flooded with all the to-dos I needed to accomplish to make that happen. Which then turned into me thinking of how I really didn’t want to spend MORE time at the computer and wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to have a more direct, authentic, in-person communication thing happen – like how it is when I do a craft show, but damn those are expensive in NY… then BAM! I see this girl. She’s a walking, living, breathing reflection of what my brand would look like if it was a real person. She is the type of person I create for. One of my pieces would look amazing on her.

“She is perfect,” I thought.
“If only I could have her model for me.”

and then I thought, “maybe I CAN have her model for me.”

And that is how my Beautiful in Brooklyn idea started.

Now, for the past month or so, I take some time to walk around different neighborhoods and ask strangers to do mini pop-up photo shoots with me.

At first it was hard and I was super freaked out about approaching people even though I had practiced with my sister. Yes, I practiced. I consider myself an introvert so this is definitely pushing me out of my comfort zone. It’s kind of hard, and it can be frustrating when I’m walking around and don’t see anyone. Like when you know exactly what you’re shopping for but can’t find it. But it’s fun and I’m learning so much – including that I’m way more of an extrovert than I thought. I love meeting people and taking their photos. They make the jewelry pieces come alive.

Want to join in?

I post the pics on Instagram and the model with the most likes on her pic by end of day on June 13, 2015 wins a $50 gift card. I have 4 models so far. Hoping to get at least 3 more this week.  Vote now or later or follow me onInstagram (it really is my favorite social media platform – if I had to choose only one to use this would be it.)

Side note: When I was in middle and high school I was very into photography. I remember thinking that I could make anyone look and feel beautiful with my photography and would day dream about what a fun project it would be. It’s kind of amazing that I get to do two daydreams at once – especially since one of them is from soooooooo long ago.

Valentine’s Day Style Round-up #1 – Casual Night In

Valentine's Day Style Roundup

How to have a stress-free, but fun Valentine’s Day at home with your sweetheart or friend (hey, don’t judge, some of my favorite V-Days have been with friends!):

1) Earrings (mine, of course) – the best part about these is that they can dress up or down.

2) Clothes – your favorite jeans (you know, the ones that hug your curves just right) and shirt

3) Shoes – Just cause it’s casual doesn’t mean you can’t wear cute shoes. I pretty much want ALL of the shoes on B.A.I.T. Footwear.

4) This awesome Breaking Bad Inspired apron

5) Cooking together is super romantico in my book. Here are some drool-worthy vegetarian enchilada recipes from the Garden Grazer.

6) Or skip cooking all together and go straight for the chocolate. And you know what’s better than chocolate? Chocolate with beer. Theo has an awesome beer and chocolate pairing kit. Or combine the two with achocolate beer! Yes. Chocolate beer. The world doesn’t seem so bad now.

7) Julie Ann Art has the most hilarious Valentine’s Day cards ever. I had a hard time choosing my favorite.

8) And of course….  DON’T FORGET THE MUSIC!

Do you love getting dressed up and going out for Valentine’s Day or do you prefer a more casual night in? 

Inspiration Everywhere


I make fun of my mom and brother a lot. They are completely opposite of me when it comes to stuff. They love stuff. They seek out stuff. I think it’s their hunter instinct. The idea of finding treasure has them rock hunting, gold digging, thrift storing, and garage selling. This has all led up to… storage unit buying. Seriously. My step-dad would call it garbage collecting. I’m mostly on his side (for once). Having a bunch of extra things around drives me a little mad. But recently my mom gave me a book she found in one of the storage units cause she thought I would like it. She was RIGHT. I ABSOLUTELY L-O-V-E IT (she just admitted to me that she thought I would throw it out, haha). Now I take back all of my teasing because this 1950s clipart book is freakin’ GORGEOUS. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it, but the images and type are inspiring and drool-worthy.

IMG_7107.JPG-817x1024 IMG_7111.JPG-1024x768 IMG_7112.JPG-768x1024 IMG_7118.JPG-694x1024 IMG_7119.JPG-768x1024 IMG_7122.JPG-1024x1024 IMG_7126.JPG-768x1024 IMG_7129.JPG-768x1024 IMG_7136.JPG-1024x768 IMG_7227.JPG-651x1024 IMG_7228.JPG-1024x721

A Little Help from My Friends

Plush Krampus

I have a really bad habit of trying to do everything myself. So asking for help testing my Plush Krampus Pattern and Tutorial was kind of a big deal for me. I was scared it would be a waste of time, that no one would want to do it, that it would be all wrong, that I wouldn’t have time to wait for feedback, etc. I have no idea why I would think these things. I’m pretty sure it was just my brain trying to find an excuse to procrastinate. It’s good at that.

But you know what? I received excellent feedback and it made the pattern at least 10X’s better.

And as an unexpected bonus I met some new amazing business owners. BIG THANKS AND HUGS TO:
• Sewing extraordinaire Addie of AddieK
• Alma (brave new sewing adventurer)
• Talented graphic designer Kristin of Blue Beagle Design
• Leigh of The Kitchen Table Revolution (warning – if you visit her site be prepared to drool)
• Miranda (elementary school knowledge dropper and crafty gal)

Thanks to these superstars you can now download your very own Plush Krampus Pattern and Tutorial from my Etsy shop. Don’t forget to send me pictures! I’d love to see how yours turns out.



Everyone Deserves a Stuffed Krampus


I love my Krampus.

The story of Alpine Europe’s Krampus tradition was told to me many years ago, by my friend Gretchen, over one of our bacchanalian Thanksgiving dinners (which I pine for every year).  Gretchen is a true story teller, you can’t help but be captivated by her travel tales. Her description of Krampus fascinated me. I kept thinking, “Why don’t we have this here?” It kind of worked out perfectly because at that point I had no idea what to do for my yearly Christmas card and Krampus was the perfect idea. I immediately went home, drew him up and printed the 3-color illustration on my Gocco printer.

I made the cards again the next year. People seemed to love him and the idea of Krampus has seemed to spread into pop culture over past few years. I still loved the cards but what I really wanted was to make him 3D, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.

Plush Krampus

Finally, I got my stuffed Krampus idea out of my head and into real life. I loved him. Everyone loved him. Isold him for a below minimum wage price to my newsletter subscribers and friends. And I gave one away in a contest.

But last year I didn’t make plush Krampus even though he was one of my favorite things I’ve made. Why? Well, realistically, I can’t afford to spend time making him. And even if I paid a friend to do the sewing he’s just a little too expensive for my average customer. Some people might argue that I just need to sell him to the right people or market him to the right people. But I have so many other things to work on too. Plus, even though I enjoy the zen like feeling that comes along with hand sewing I don’t want to be making 100s of these every holiday season.

Then I was left with the idea that my stuffed Krampus will never be around again, and that kind of bummed me out. Maybe this sounds a little weird but I really like the idea of stuffed Krampus(es?) out in the world forpeople to enjoy. He’s such a cute addition to mix up with the traditional Christmas decor. (At one point I had 7 of them made in my apartment. They were SO CUTE sitting all together. I really wish I had a photo.)

So what should I do?

Quit making him or charge the price he’s worth? Maybe make him just as a promo item? I tried making a pre-printed fabric version of him, which is pretty cute. But not quite the same.

And then…. Eureka!

One day a friend said he would come over and help me make them if I would show him how. He thought it would be cool to learn how to make a stuffed animal. And then it hit me: I NEED TO MAKE A DIY KRAMPUS. Then people can still enjoy him (maybe even more since they are making it themselves, there’s something magical about watching something transform into 3D) at a price they can afford. And it’s perfect timing because everyone needs some kind of indoor activity to do during November and December.

In the works

So, I started. First, beginning with the template I used for myself and then writing out step by step instructions (which is always harder than I think). Thankfully, I’m already an Illustrator pro, so I don’t have to teach myself a new skill in that area.

But now what?

  • Should I give it people to test for free at first? Maybe ask newsletter subscribers? Friends?
  • Where do I sell it? I know Etsy now has a digital download option. But what if I want to sell it from my own site? Is there an automatic download option that’s easy or do I have to manually send it to them?
  • Who proofs it and how many rounds? Do you hire a professional copy editor? If so, where is the best place to find one?
  • Are there any copyright things I should put on the pattern? Like, it’s okay to make, but not to sell?
  • And how the heck do you price something like this?

Good Timing! An online course just for me!

Just when I started having these questions I saw an announcement from April Bowles-Olin about her upcoming course on Creative Live: Create Digital Products that Sell While You Sleep. Wow, could the timing of this course be any better? Don’t you love it when that happens? This is just what I need!