Friday, August 26, 2011

Forgot to reveal the soup I sent :)

She got a bunch of other vintaj findings as well--bead caps, charms, headpins, etc! So fun to share vintaj with others! Can't wait to see what Pam makes with these items!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our fun applique shirts!

Here are some pictures of the shirts we will be donating after our craft to give back night:


With these hands, take 2--awesome night!

Last night was the 2nd craft to give back night for N's Whims. 11 lovely women met at Nicole Mihalas' house. She came up with two super cute ideas and led the show last night. First, we all put tiny tutus around the ankles of legging pants. We got 11 pairs made and then Cindy offered to take the remaining 4 pairs home with her! Look how fun these turned out!

The next project was involved dressing up plain long-sleeved t-shirts. We each picked out a simple pattern, cut it out, and then cut that shape out of super cute fabric and steam a seam. Nicole has an amazing stash of super cute fabric that she has been collecting for years. She shared her stash with us, allowing us to make some really awesome shirts for these little girls who have so little! I can't wait to show you how STINKIN' CUTE all these shirts turned out (seriously, I had to talk myself out of keeping them :). But, Nicole is keeping the shirts to run a stitch around the patterns. You are all going to be super impressed and wish you had been there to learn this really easy technique to cute! I am fighting the urge today to go shopping for cute fabric and add one more craft to my to-do list!

I seriously want to say a special thank you to the 11 ladies who showed up to help last night. It was not too long ago (well, longer than I care to admit, but the memories still come quickly), that I was growing up one of 6 children of a pastor and stay-at-home mom. Most of my 'new' clothes for school had gone through at least one sibling. My mom worked super hard to make the money stretch and would put at least an outfit for each of us on layaway. But, we would get it later in the fall, when the weather required it. I remember the longing for something new to wear to school on the first day! I realize how silly it was now, but it was SUCH a big deal then! I can't wait to drop these off and deliver them to the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection. I am giddy thinking about each little girl who is going to fall in love with some tutu leggings or a brand new appliqued shirt and feel so special wearing them to school. This is just so cool!

I am already looking forward to September's craft to give back night! We will be knitting super cute winter hats for kids. My super crafty mother-in-law showed me how to knit these last year with a circular loom. If you can wrap yarn around a peg, you can make these! Takes little thought, which leaves lots of brain cells for chatting and enjoying an awesome group of women!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Welcome to N's Whims boutique

This past weekend, one of my long-time customers (and friend) from Milwaukee (the birthplace of N's Whims) stopped by to shop and chat. It was so great to see her! We had a lovely time designing a couple special family necklaces for Christmas (it is NEVER too early to get your order in :). Then, we sat out on the porch, enjoying the beautiful day and some fresh mozzerella, tomato, basil sandwiches with 25 yr. aged balsalmic. MMMM! One of my favorites :). It is always awesome to catch up with an old friend! Reminds you just how much you enjoy them, what drew you to them in the first place, and how you just can't let time go that long in between next time!
Anyway, since Jamie had shopped in the early days of N's Whims,
it was fun to see her reaction now. My old studio was in the back of our old house, and I had taken over about half of the room--the rest was the office shared with my husband. The lighting was terrible (which is impossible when working with jewelry)! So, she was somewhat surprised to see my 'boutique'-- Her actual comment was, "Ahh, now I see why you call it boutique hours!" So, for those of you who don't know what you have been missing, I am posting a few pictures of my boutique, with excellent lighting, lots of windows and covered in cute (at least I think so).
Fresh mozzerella sandwhiches available on request with a little notice :). If you look closely at the second picture, you can see the messy studio section of my boutique in the mirror!

And the lucky winner is....

Lara Herman! Congratulations, Lara was one of the ladies to leave a comment on the contest blog and one this lovely bracelet:
Lara, let me know when you are back in town and
would like to stop by the boutique and pick it up!

Friday, August 19, 2011

We have officially reached 25 visible followers!

Woot! Welcome everyone! So, as I promised, I am going to give away and item from my store. My sister, Natalie is here visiting and she is picking out the giveaway as I type.... Drumroll, please!

I told her to pick what she would want to win, since she is a follower herself :). She chose this antique brass filigree bracelet with a blackstone flower focal. There are also two tiny black swarovski crystals dangling from the filigree.

To be included in the drawing, you must leave a comment on this post. You have until midnight tomorrow night to post (September 20). On Sunday, I will try to figure out how to use a random generator to pick the winner from the comments (this way, if Natalie does in fact win what she chose, you know it wasn't rigged). I will post the winner on Sunday so that you can send me your contact information. Good luck!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Boy are there some really cool ideas out in the bead world!

Sisterhood of the traveling bead box!Link
Seriously, how cool an idea is that?! This box has been traveling around from designer to designer. It is filled with all sorts of fun beads, instructional books, etc. If you get chosen to receive the box, you get to take WHATEVER you want out--you just replace what you took with like costing items. How fun would that be?! The cool thing about beads, one size fits all--so glad they aren't pants :). Anyway, if i tell you about this, I get an extra chance to win. Thanks for putting up with me :D. If i win, you know it, give away happening!

Christmas in August for N!

Seriously, couldn't wait for my bead soup package to come! When it FINALLY did, it was wrapped in beautiful paper, no less. Thanks, Pam! Oh my goodness, I would have probably been excited with whatever she sent, but this lady does not disappoint! Over the top full of fun goodies. My package included metal, glass, clay and felted balls, beautiful clasps, and not one, two, but three fun glass pendants! I am going to have so much fun with this! Make sure you check back on September 17th (which just so happens to be my wedding anniversary) for the big reveal!

Speaking of Christmas, one of my other favorite things to do is share with others things that I am passionate about. Well, last month I got the opportunity to teach a class in my neighborhood. The women who came got to make 3 pendants each. It was so fun to see others enjoy what I do while sharing the company of other amazing women. SO cool! Anyway, over the last few weeks, four of those ladies came by my studio and picked out components to put with their pendants. It is the Christmas that keeps on coming. I get to spend more time with these fun women, searching for the perfect bead in my stash (I have bins upon bins of beads, people--not messing around :). I love the look that has been on each of their faces when they try THEIR jewelry on for the first time! YOU, too, can make something beautiful. I wish I could be a fly on the wall the first time someone asks them where they bought such a lovely necklace, and they get to say, "why, I made this!" FUN, FUN, FUN!
I didn't think of taking before and after pictures before last night, but here are a few from last night.
The top three pendants were made by Meghan, and the bottom three by Kari. Aren't they beautiful?!

Here are Kari's finished toggles:

Meghan's finished creations are lovely as well:

Feeling inspired?! Book your Create Party with N's Whims today! Each participant can choose to spend $25 to create 2 pendants, $35 to create three pendants.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Let's get this party started!

The bead soup blog party has officially gotten underway! Lori Anderson has put together another bead soup blog party. You can take a look at She puts a ton of hard work into this, as there are over 300 of us doing it this time. We all sign up, she assigns partners, we send our partners a pendant, a pretty clasp and some coordinating beads. Once you get your package, you have about a week to make something fun with what you receive, adding beads and findings from your own personal stash. The idea is to get out of your own box and be stretched by using things you wouldn't normally choose. My partner is Pam Ferrari, who lives all the way out in California. She makes really beautiful beads with glass and a torch (boy would I love to take a trip to California and learn how :). You can take a peak at her blog, and see her gorgeous beads that she sells on etsy (going to have to buy a few special ones for myself, I think) I can't wait to see what she sends me!!! Speaking of, I sent off her package yesterday. Want to see what goodies she is going to get?! Here is a sneak peek:

Sorry! Can't ruin the surprise! Hope you like your package, Pam!

Monday, August 8, 2011

With these hands, 2nd craft to give back night

SOOOOOOO awesome, I just dropped off 234 hair clips and 8 headbands to the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection. My girls came with and it was really neat to have them be a part of this project. When we were leaving, my oldest asked if we could bring stuff for the kids more often than once a month. I said, yes, let's have our own crafting session to make some things for you to bring in! So cool! I know exactly how she feels--it left me itching to have another crafting night so that we can donate some more beautiful things to those who struggle to meet life's necessities.

If you aren't familiar with how this works, my company, N's Whims, is giving back by purchasing and providing the supplies. Then, you all commit and show up on a 'craft to give back' night. We whip up some really cute items (all instruction is included), while enjoying the company of some other really cool women. Then, we donate what we make to Waunakee Neighborhood Connection for their free store.
We all have a fabulous time and, as a bonus, you can learn a new craft to try at home!

So, we have a date set for the 2nd craft to give back night! Monday, August 22nd at 7:00 PM. We will be adorning stretch pants and long sleeve t-shirts for little girls. You are NOT going to want to miss this one! The first to sign up get their spot--let me know you want in and I will confirm with an email, which will include Nicole Mihalas' address (she has graciously offered to host this month and has a sewing machine, if needed :). No previous sewing experience is necessary.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Week of renewal

This last week, my girls were out of summer school, my husband was mostly off work during the week, and our 2 babysitters were out of town. Given those circumstances, I got to spend a lot of time enjoying my family (which is what summer is all about anyway), and little in my studio.
Then, this weekend, my best friend, Kris, came in to town for her bachelorette weekend. Now this was my style of bachelorette weekends--we went to a spa for an overnight, got a pedicure, did some wine tasting, went for lots of walks, talked, talked and more talk. Many of you may not know that Kris was my roommate freshman, junior and senior years of college (we had a lapse of sound judgement my sophomore year). The girls' weekends have gotten fewer and farther in between as life has pulled on us in different ways. But, wow, when we get them, I know I cherish them even more! Kris is such a rock in my life--such a known. I love talking to her, but I wouldn't even have to have her there, we know each other so well I can talk to her in my head when she isn't available! Anyway, toward the end of our time together, we ended up in my studio, working out some details on her gifts for those helping out with her wedding. We designed together this bracelet for her sister. So fun! Even though I had thoroughly enjoyed my time last week with those that I love, I was feeling the call from my studio!!! I don't know about you, but if for ANY reason I can't do something, I want to do it all the more! So, this bit of time to design was just lovely. After that, we designed a soda pop bracelet for Kris. She has been eyeing them since I made my first, but hadn't seen 'the one' yet. It turned out super cute, and made for another great memory. Thank you, Kris, for sharing this time with me during your crazy busy wedding planning time. What a gift!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thank you, Kim Polinsky!

Last week, Kim called and asked if I would have any interest in teaching a group of neighborhood women a jewelry making skill. Would I have any interest?! You betcha! So, she rounded up the women and I showed up--armed with metal pendants to decorate. Each person got to make 3 pendants--two painted and embossed, one with a decorative background and charm set in resin. Again, several were a bit hesitant due to 'lack of creativity'--and yet, I overheard one as I was walking home saying, "I can't believe I made these, they are so beautiful!" So fun to see new people enjoying my passion, realizing it is not that difficult, and enjoying being creative.
I read in my favorite jewelry magazine this month that, "being creative exercises the mind, is relaxing, relieves stress, is a form of expression, and can give the crafter a feeling of wellness." Last night I got to see this in action. We laughed, we got a bit messy, everyone was so encouraging and encouraged. Lovely. Turns out, I do like teaching--especially a fun group of women with a glass of vino in hand! Kim's lemon bars go a long way as well :). So, thank you, Kim for this opportunity. I had a blast, came home with some fun new pendants and hope you all feel the same!
So, if there is anything you see me make and would love to learn, consider this option. Invite some girlfriends with like interest, plan an evening and let's get creative!

Monday, August 1, 2011

another attempt to win!
and, trying to win some more! these are SUPER FUN!

trying again to win some pendants :)
these are some super cute pendants. fingers crossed!