Cuba! Part 1: Vinales

Earlier this year, I had the extreme pleasure of traveling to Cuba with one of my best friends. We visited Vinales, Trinidad, Cayo Guillermo, and Havana, spending a few days in each location. We had a wonderful time (I only managed to get diarrhea three times), and I'm signed up for Spanish classes so I can have more meaningful conversations with the locals when I return! :D

A home at the foothills of the  mogotes , mini mountains in the countryside of Vinales.

A home at the foothills of the mogotes, mini mountains in the countryside of Vinales.

A fruit stand in the village, where I purchased a bunch of tiny bananas for only 1CUC.

A fruit stand in the village, where I purchased a bunch of tiny bananas for only 1CUC.

A local family who invited us into their home when we got stranded in a sudden downpour.

A local family who invited us into their home when we got stranded in a sudden downpour.

Smoking my first cigar ever outside a tobacco-drying hut, with some bovine company. 

Smoking my first cigar ever outside a tobacco-drying hut, with some bovine company. 

We arrived at the Havana International Airport on a typically hot January day, exhilirated that we'd made it but still nervous about being in Cuba (we would remain in amazement for the duration of the trip, which was about 12 days total). 

After exchanging some cash for CUCs at the airport, we took a taxi--a classic red Americana car--to our first destination, Vinales. It was the most inland of the places we traveled to, which lent itself to beautiful landscapes but also intense humidity. 

The first of many cab rides we would take in vintage American cars--I cannot even properly describe the experience, after having seen the photos and movie portrayals. 

The first of many cab rides we would take in vintage American cars--I cannot even properly describe the experience, after having seen the photos and movie portrayals. be continued

Posted on March 23, 2017 .

SEJARAH: Spring/Summer 2016

Our SS16 collection is almost here! SEJARAH, which means 'history' in Bahasa Melayu (or Malay), is a modern interpretation of a part of Malaysian history. Each piece is named for an element relating to Malaysian culture and history, from MERDEKA (literally, 'independent') to JUARA (champion). 

JUARA earrings and necklace. These pieces feature laser cut brass elements and gold-filled chain and findings.

JUARA earrings and necklace. These pieces feature laser cut brass elements and gold-filled chain and findings.

Malaysia, my country of origin, has a diverse and multicultural heritage. Although Malaysia is a young country (she became independent in 1957), the Malay Archipelago served as an important trading post for spices and silk for many centuries due to her strategic location in Southeast Asia. 

Today, people love visiting Malaysia for her sandy beaches, amazing food, jungle trekking, mountain climbing, rich history, cave exploring, superb shopping, and popping nightlife. But don't just take my word for it! :D 

(On a side note, how is it March already?!?)


Posted on March 11, 2016 .

Gift Cards Now Available!

If the thought of picking out the right piece(s) for that special someone has you sweating bullets... No worries! Gift cards now available! They are redeemable at both our website and Etsy store. You have the option of an e-gift card or a physical gift card. Find them here

P.S. You're welcome! :)

Posted on December 4, 2015 .

2015 Holiday Show Schedule!

I love the holidays and everything about it--the decorations, the music, the crisp winter air... :D And of course, holiday shows! We received our final holiday show lineup today, and without further ado, I present to you our 2015 schedule. We hope to see you at one of these shows! We will also be at the Portland Saturday Market (almost) every weekend through the holidays. 

Posted on October 12, 2015 .

EMPIRE: A Collaboration

Months ago now, when I was in a car accident (see previous post) and stuck in Tampa, Damien Dawson, took over and repped me at the Portland Saturday Market, as well as Crafty Wonderland. He was so good at this that he even started making his own jewelry designs! I provided feedback, and voila, EMPIRE: A Collaboration was born. 

A lot of these pieces feature antique coins and recycled brass, so not only will you be stylish and eco-friendly, you may also own a little piece of history! They are  These pieces are now available to shop--just click on any of the photos in this post. 

Posted on September 28, 2015 .

Holiday Ornaments!

I've started working on a new project (not that I don't already have enough on my plate, mind you... Ahem): HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS!!! I'm both excited and apprehensive about these--excited because HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS and, as far as I can tell, no one else has made these (at least, not in the style I'm doing); apprehensive because maybe there is a reason no one has! 

Regardless, I'm forging ahead with them! :D *plays Christmas music* I'm still working on a few other styles, and they should be available by the end of November.  *fa-la-la-laaaaa*

Posted on September 24, 2015 .

Fall Photo Shoot

A look behind the scenes at our photo shoot for our AW2015 look book! Pictures to come... Hurrah! :D 

(Excuse the poor quality... My Samsung S3 might be a tad outdated. Ahem.) 

Posted on September 8, 2015 .

Sneak Peek at AW15

Well, once again, it's almost September, and once again, I am surprised by the rapid, indifferent movement of time. The good news is, our AW15 collection is almost complete! These pieces remind me of the beautiful beaches of Greece, which I hope to visit some day. We will be offering them in white howlite, black onyx, and lapis lazuli. Lookbook to come! 

And one more for good measure: 

We will be launching the collection soon! xo 

Posted on August 26, 2015 .

A Forced Respite

On April 16, while I was visiting my family in Tampa, Florida, we were involved in a bad car accident. All of us sustained injuries, but very fortunately, it was nothing we wouldn't recover from. I myself sustained six fractured ribs, three fractures to my pelvis, pnemothorax (a partially collapsed lung), and a fractured back bone. (I had never broken any bones prior to this!)

new jewels

For the last month I've been recuperating at my parents' house, achy but happy that we were all going to be okay, and that we were together. I was also rabidly bummed about having to miss out on some shows I'd been looking forward to participating in--I had a fully booked first two weeks of May that had now abruptly popped open. 

However, the show must go on! Within a couple weeks of being discharged from the hospital I had purchased some tools and supplies, and was able to make a bunch of fresh, simple pieces to restock Damien. My kind- and brave-hearted fiance, Damien, stood in at the Portland Saturday Market for me, but there were a few shows for which I was unable to line up anyone and had to forfeit. 

new earrings I made in Tampa

Today, I finally booked my flight home, which is scheduled for the end of this month. Yay! I'm super psyched to get back into the swing of things, although I will be undergoing physical therapy for some time so I can walk again without assistance. I am going to miss my family--this is the most time I've spent with them since I left home for college more than a decade ago--but I am also happy to be heading home. See you all at a show soon! :) xo Reese


Posted on May 12, 2015 .

Lookbook no. 2 is Almost Here!

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of shooting our lookbook for ANCIENT ALIENS, our newest collection. Portland, Oregon is truly a great place for having access to different outdoor locales -- I wanted a beach location, and Sauvie Island was perfect. (Want forest? Check. Mountain? Just 1.5 hrs away. More coast? 1 hr away. Desert? Just a few hours more. Simply wonderful.) Here's a little sneak peek...


I teamed up with a local fashion designer, Rogue:Minx, for the wardrobe. Anna-Marie is an incredibly sweet and amazingly talented lady. My photos don't do her clothes justice; please visit her website to see more of her edgy, modern, and hip designs! 

My model, Eileen, is someone I used to work next door to, and I am so happy to have had her as a photo subject. In addition to being a natural beauty, she also provided great company. (Plus, I LOVE the look her body artwork adds to the photos and our jewelry!)

All right, back to work getting the lookbook together! 

Posted on March 17, 2015 .

Time for a Sneak Peek!!

We are getting down to the wire here for our 2015 collection reveal... Ahhh!!! Almost-blistered hands and aching backs aside, we are beyond excited about it. We had wanted to wait until everything was finished, but like a proud mama, we just can't wait. 

Here are two pieces: 


And, because we're also like little children who are notoriously impatient, here are two more: 


More to come... Stay tuned! 

Posted on February 26, 2015 .

At Play

As we round up our first full year of jewelry making, we are taking some time to review what we've learned. We've gotten through some big learning curves, for sure, and we have emerged stronger and better for it. (At least, we hope so.) 

Something new we made today that we've decided looks too much like a football helmet. *pause* You can't un-see it now, can you? [Dyed quartz + brass beads.]

One of the things we had wondered at the beginning is--how often should a jewelry maker come out with a new collection? There are designers who make two seasonal collections a year; some who make new designs as they go along; and others for whom we can discern no predictable pattern. The next thing we wondered is--how about us? 

We made this one right afterward... And we like this one better than the 'football helmet' above. Phew. [African turquoise + brass washers.]

While we are still figuring that part out for ourselves, we like to take time in between to play around with new shapes and designs. We've heard that it can be difficult for designers to pull away from making their current designs and to work on new stuff; we've had the opposite problem! Perhaps, as time goes on, we'll settle into a routine, but for now, we can only produce so much of our current work before getting the itch to make something new. (Our current longest record stands at two days. Ahem.) 

Posted on February 6, 2015 .

New Year, New Collection!

Okay, we aren't quite done yet... But! Our SS15 collection, TROPICS, will be launched soon! We are just finalizing some details. In the meantime, we wanted to share a sneak peek of one of our prototypes (no, they're not quite finished yet--still a bit rough around the edges). 

Our new collection will feature hand-painted designs on hand-cut leather, paired with brass pieces. The earrings will feature hand-formed ear wires. Stay tuned! 

Posted on January 26, 2015 .

Holiday Craft Fair Season!

'Tis the season for holiday craft fairs! I love both selling and shopping at these--it makes me feel fantastic to support my fellow makers. I love knowing who made my gifts, and knowing that I am helping to support their livelihood, and that I am keeping my money local. Oh, and getting a well-made, unique good to boot!

I also love selling at holiday craft fairs, and along with that, crafting my booth display! Above is my latest version, seen at America's Largest Christmas Bazaar this past weekend. If you are in Portland, do come visit me (and see my latest booth display configurations) at one of my upcoming shows!

- Dec. 13 & 14 Crafty Wonderland at the Convention Center
- Dec. 20 Handmade NW Formal Artisans Fair at the Red Rose Ballroom
- Dec. 22-24 Festival of the Last Minute at the Portland Saturday Market

Posted on December 8, 2014 .

Our First Lookbook(!)

I can't believe we did it! Travel By Sea's very first lookbook, done for our Fall/Winter 2014 collection, CITY LIGHTS, is complete. It was delayed by more than a month (I had originally wanted to do it no later than the last week of August; we did the photoshoot in October), but I couldn't be prouder of it.

Copyright 2014 Travel By Sea

Copyright 2014 Travel By Sea

My lovely friend (and former co-worker and roommate) Kayla modeled for me, while my fiance, Damien, helped set up the lights and edited my photos (he is a professional photographer, but me being a control freak, I wanted to shoot the photos myself. On another note, now I know why photographers have assistants!). 

I had the wardrobe already, and Kayla did her own hair and makeup. It was loads of fun, and I can't wait to do our next one!


Posted on October 9, 2014 and filed under October 2014.