Westervin Shop

Shop Update: Cubist Hats, Turban Headbands, and More Wristlets

Cubist Crochet Pom-Pom Cap by Westervin

Is the weather in your neck of the woods quickly changing from cool to cooler? Have you found yourself thinking to yourself, “oh dear, my head is feeling a little chilly,” while wandering about outside? Well, I’ve got the solution for you: KITTEN MITTENS! No, JK. But the new hats and headbands I’ve just listed in the Westervin shop might be of interest to you.

Cubist Crochet Pom-Pom Hats by Westervin

This mini collection of items now available features new, one-of-a-kind designs for my signature pom-pom hats, as well as my first line of headbands and a few more triangle wristlets. I’m quite excited about these special new hats, which were inspired by the handwoven floor mats of Hlynur Atlason, which depict “backyards and swimming pools as patterns from above.” Brilliant, right? I wanted to make something similar that could be worn — a statement piece for your head! Why not wear a work of art? Each cubist-like pattern of abstract shapes is unique; no two hats are alike. Using my own popular pom-pom hat pattern as the base, I set out to create a piece of knitwear that would transform as the wearer moved, that looked different from every angle. I’m very happy with how these babies turned out!

Cream & Rainbow Turban Headband by Westervin

Also new to the shop are a line of my all-time favorite accessory — my turban-style headbands. I would wear these year-round if I could. While they’re a little too warm for the summer, they provide the perfect amount of cozy warmth for the fall and mild winters. This headband design was the first crochet pattern I ever created on my own. It was also only the second piece I ever crocheted, about four years ago. The first was a simple gray cowl with a single-crochet stitch, which I still wear to this day. Then, because I am often overly confident and enthusiastic, I decided to create my own turban headband. [Side note: I am apparently a "Get Your Freak On" kind of knitter, according to the goddess Debbie Stoller in Stitch n' Bitch. I learned this about myself during my first year of college back in good ole '04 when I co-founded Hendrix College's first and only (that I know of) Underground Knitting Society with two young women who would become my forever friends. The "Get Your Freak On" types knit and crochet by their own rules. This is still true in my case.] Well, after several frustrating attempts, I finally settled on this headband design with a popcorn stitch stripe and twisty top-not for that oh-so popular turban look. I lurb it. Especially with my new short little hairsy-do!

Black & Tan Turban Headband by Westervin

Triangle Crochet Wristlet by Westervin

And finally, in this new mini collection you’ll find a few more of the triangle crochet wristlets I started offering a couple months ago. The first batch nearly sold old within a week, so I figured I better update my stock. I must give the people want they want.

Triangle Crochet Wristlets by Westervin

Outtakes from the Westervin Shop Update #1

Oh, and just for giggles, I thought I’d share my best outtakes from the recent photoshoot. Forced smiles, blinks, and empty stares! I’m so good at modeling…

More Outtakes from the Westervin Shop Update

A Fine Design, Blog News

Free Graphic Design Services from DesignEgg

DesignEgg scamp trailer

{ Design Egg: Good Design for Great Ideas }

I’m excited to announce the launch of an innovative new initiative, for which I am extremely honored to play a small part. Crowdfunded through one of Kickstarter’s most popular design campaigns, DesignEgg is a one-year, traveling program offering free graphic design services to worthy artists, small businesses, and not-for-profit organizations in need across the US. Over the next year, $25,000 worth of DesignEgg credits will be awarded! Yeah, $25,000 worth of free graphic design!

the DesignEgg team: Pickle, Andy Wickstrom, and Jess Mott Wickstrom

 { Andy, Jess, and Pickle in their new home for the next 11 months }

This amazing project is the brainchild of Andy Wickstrom and Jess Mott Wickstrom (with help from Pickle, I’m sure). This dream team’s many talents include studio art & photography, curating, arts management, rock-climbing, being all-around amazing individuals, and, of course, expert graphic design skills. Since 2003, Jess and Andy have been working with artists, arts organizations, small businesses, and record labels, including The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, DePaul University, and The Ravi Shankar Foundation/East Meets West Music, to name but a few, and developing a notable portfolio through their graphic design business, Wickstrom Design.

inside the DesignEgg scamp trailer

{ inside the freshly renovated DesignEgg trailer }

I was thrilled when Jess and Andy asked me to be part of the DesignEgg selection committee and quickly humbled when I saw the intimidatingly impressive group of arts, education, and business professionals I would be joining. Luckily, I managed to overcome a brief bout of impostor syndrome and told them that OF COURSE I would join their committee. Who wouldn’t?

interior redesign of the DesignEgg scamp trailer

{ Pickle approves of the scamp re-design }

So my friends, family, and kind readers, if, after learning about DesignEgg, you thought to yourself, “Hey, I could really use some free graphic design services,” then don’t hesitate. Apply now! The application process is pretty simple (just answer a few questions and explain your graphic design needs), and the DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 1.

mountain view from the DesignEgg travels

{ DesignEgg travels through Colorado }

You just can’t help but be inspired by these fine folks! Follow the scamp as Andy, Jess, and Pickle traverse the US in their beautifully renovated trailer — climbing mountains, meeting talented individuals, exploring admirable organizations, and taking breathtaking photos of this great country! Join the DesignEgg newsletter to stay up to date (e.g. application reminders), follow the duo on Instagram/Twitter/their Blog, and help spread the word!

DesignEgg visits Anderson Ranch with Pickle, their pit-bull mix mascot

{ a visit to Anderson Ranch }

beautiful adventures by DesignEgg

{ DesignEgg journeys to Utah }

DesignEgg adventures

{ DesignEgg, 100% cage-free since 2014 }

Craft Contexts

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration:  Above Home Floor Mat by Hlynur Atlason

{ Above Home Floor Mat by Hlynur Atlason }

Inspiration is a fickle mistress. She visits without warning, and, when needed most, she’s nowhere to be found. But we can’t quit her.

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration:  Hand-Knit Headband by Camelotia

{ Hand-Knit Headband by Camelotia }

Fall is nearly here, but I have little to show for a new collection in the Westervin shop. I’ve let myself get too distracted by freelance work, the stress of taking care of a new home, and some pressures in my personal life. But I can’t quit! I won’t give up on Inspiration.

Westervin F/W 14 Inspiration: "Thinking About Water" by Sarah Ferone

 { Thinking About Water by Sarah Ferone }

To ease into the roller-coaster ride that is the creative process, I’ve forced myself to look at the work of others — crocheters, knitters, and fiber artists, as well as artists and fashion designers. This process proves both motivating and intimidating, as I cycle through the enlivening sparks of creativity and the fears of not measuring up. Hopefully, inspiration will take over before my insecurities get the best of me.

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration: Scout Top from Need Supply Co.

{ Scout Top from Need Supply Co. }

Large, flat shapes. Pale, neutrals broken up by bright metallics and bolder colors. Rich textures. Headbands and a semicircle clutch. These are the lovely things I’ve found from talented makers that are inspiring me today.

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration: Semi-Wallet by Georgie Cummings

{ Semi-Wallet Clutch by Georgie Cummings }

I can only cross my fingers… and my toes and arms and legs… and hope that I’m able to create a few things that are at least half as lovely as these.

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration: Miss Fortune Tank by The Handy Studio

{ Miss Fortune Tank by The Handy Studio }

But if not, I guess there’s always next season.

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration: "Shelter II" by Liz Toohey-Wiese

Shelter II by Liz Toohey-Wiese }

Shopping Sherpa

Mug Mania

My name is Sarah, and I have a problem. I can’t stop collecting mugs.

My slow descent into mug-mania started in college. I’d hit up the local thrift stores, prowling for vintage mugs featuring bold, ’60s prints in bright reds, blues, and greens. Before long, I had amassed a reasonably sized collection of mismatched but beautiful vintage mugs. Then things got a little out of hand when Brian and I got married. We spent weeks leading up to our nuptials collecting even more mugs to use during the reception meal. We served breakfast for dinner with a doughnut tower and fresh coffee instead of a traditional wedding cake. This prolonged mug-hunt really solidified my habit. After the big day, I was able to part with a few, giving some away to friends, donating several more, but then we put the rest in storage. The added sentimental value has made them hard to part with…

To make matters worse, my mug-lovin’ has recently expanded to include the uneven shapes, rough edges, and unusual patterns of handmade mugs. I’ve been able to sneak a few into our already unwieldy stockpile, and I’ve got my wandering eye on a few more. More than a few, really. I want ALL THE MUGS.Westervin Roundup: handmade mugs from  Self Press Studio, Leah Ball, Laurie Goldstein, and Recreation Center Ceramics

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: { Self Press Studio } { Leah Ball } { Recreation Center via More & Co. } { Laurie Goldstein }

There’s nothing like a sweet little mug in soft blues to greet you in the morning. The one above from Self Press Studio seems to say, “Good Morning! High five!” The marbled swirl pattern of Leah Ball’s mug reminds me of whispery clouds, and Laurie Goldstein’s collection of “couples” mugs would make for a perfect cup of coffee from your partner. Brian surprised me with one of these Recreation Center mugs for my birthday! It is perfection.

Westervin Roundup: handmade mugs from Jake Vinson, Meilen Collaborative, Tabby Both, and BTW Ceramics

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: { Jake Vinson via Pour Porter } { Meilen Collaborative } { Tabby Booth } { BTW Ceramics }

I want to get lost in one of Jake Vinson’s constellation mugs, filled to the brim with dark, swirling coffee. For weekend mornings when Brian and I get to lounge about together, I’d happily share either of the above sets (by Meilen Collaborative and BTW Ceramics) and a seat at our bay windows. This odd and exquisite mug by Tabby Booth, however, I would not share. It would be mine, mine, mine! Gimme.

Wester Roundup: handmade mugs from Eeli Art Studio, Pigeon Toe Ceramics, Vegetabowls, Connie Licthi

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: { Eeli Art Studio } { Pigeon Toe } { Vegetabowls } { Connie Lichti via Gorman }

While I don’t usually drink tea, I could make an exception for this precious dotted teacup from Eeli Art Studio, which reminds me of dewey marigolds. This cubism-esque tumbler from Pigeon Toe Ceramics perfectly reflects my view of the world before I’ve had my coffee — it doesn’t make sense and I don’t care. For this amazing cantaloupe mug from Vegetables, I would split its duties between that sweet, sweet bean juice in the morning and fresh fruit juice in the afternoon. And Connie Lichti’s mod speckled mug is so pleasing to the eye, I kinda want to string it up and wear it as a necklace. Would that be weird…?

Westervin Roundup: handmade mugs from Creature Cups, Bridget Bodenham, Covet & Ginger, and Dahlhaus

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:  { Creature Cups } { Bridget Bodenham via Mr Kitly } { Covet & Ginger via Scoutmob } { Dahlhaus }

Wouldn’t it be funny if you bought this crocodile surprise cup from Creature Cups for a friend/lover/partner-in-crime and made them a cup of coffee really early and then they drank enough to reveal the croc’s snout and teeth but they didn’t notice for a while because they’re still pretty drowsy and then they look down and see its terrifying face and for the tiniest of brief seconds they were shocked and thoroughly confused and let out a little shriek with a bit of jump? Wouldn’t that be funny?! If you don’t think so, I’m sure you’d still appreciate any of these other subtler handmade mugs (from Bridget Bodenham, Covet & Ginger, and Dahlhaus), in soft reptilian greens with speckles, spots, and dots.

Westervin Roundup: handmade mugs from Ben Feiss, Jenn Erickson, Xenia Taler, and Red Raven Studios

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: { Ben Feiss via Leif } { Jenn Erickson } { Xenia Taler via Leif } { Red Raven Studios }

And now for the sherbet-inspired portion of our mug collection! I’d let any of these happy numbers pull double-duty for a little summer-time dessert. I’m imagining Ben Feiss’ mug filled with mango smoothie, Jenn Erickson’s holding a delectable lemon parfait, while refreshing froyo and more candy toppings than you can shake a stick at fill Xenia Taler’s eye print mug, and Red Raven Studios’ mug brims with sliced peaches drizzled in honey and smothered in whipped cream. Mmmmm….. *wipes away drool* What were we talking about? Coffee! Right. Well, any way you fill ‘em, these handmade mugs would surely fill your day with a little extra sunshine. I’ll take one of each!

Who Are You Pairing?

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards

Who Are You Pairing? Michelle Dockery and Karen Anne Glick

 

Michelle Dockery }  { Karen Anne Glick }

Who Are You Pairing? Teyonah Parris and Jesus Perea

{ Teyonah Parris }  { Jesús Perea }

Who Are You Pairing? Kelly Osbourne and Jessica Harrison

{ Kelly Osbourne }  { Jessica Harrison }

Who Are You Pairing? Louise Roe and Rosanna Webster

{ Louise Roe }  { Rosanna Webster }

Who Are You Pairing? Kiernan Shipka and Michele Quan

{ Kiernan Shipka }  { Michele Quan }

Who Are You Pairing?

2014 MTV Video Music Awards

Who Are You Pairing? Brandi Cyrus and Georgiana Paraschiv

{ Brandi Cyrus } { Georgiana Paraschiv }

Who Are You Pairing? Jillian Rose Reed and Linn Warme

{ Jillian Rose Reed }  { Linn Warme }

Who Are You Pairing? Jessie J and Shauna Finn

{ Jessie J }  { Shauna Finn }

Who Are You Pairing? Kim Kardashian and Michelle Furlong

{ Kim Kardashian }  { Michelle Furlong }

Who Are You Pairing? Sarah Hyland and Leila Jeffreys

{ Sarah Hyland }  { Leila Jeffreys }

Who Are You Pairing? Chloë Grace Moretz and Max Colby

{ Chloë Grace Moretz }  { Max Colby }

Who Are You Pairing? Mary Lambert and Tali Yalonetzki

{ Mary Lambert }  { Tali Yalonetzki

Blog News, Westervin Shop

Summer 2014

If you’ve wondered where Brian and I have been all summer, well, let me tell ya.

Sarah West Ervin graduates from Columbia College Chicago and moves to Arkansas

1. I graduated! In May of 2014, after three long years of evening classes and weekend papers, I donned my billowy gown and square cap to receive my masters hood and my Master of Arts Management degree in Arts Business and Entrepreneurship from Columbia College Chicago.

2. To celebrate, Brian and I spent a nice weekend with his parents and sister and a few of my classmates-turned-best-friends. We laughed. We cried (from laughter). We drank a lot of margaritas!

3. THEN WE PACKED UP OUR LIVES AND MOVED TO ARKANSAS. That’s right, folks. If you haven’t heard, we’re living in Fort Smith now, and we plan to be here for the next two years.

4. Arkansas, the land of fried-foods-a-plenty.

the new Arkansas home of Sarah West Ervin and Brian West

5. We’re living in this beast of a house, which is just a short walk and an evener shorter bike ride from the downtown strip and the Arkansas river. The house belongs to my mother, and Brian and I are doing our best to fix it up for her while she and my little brother live near my grandmother in Louisiana. This will be an adventure.

6. As an historic home—close to 100 years old, I believe—it’s full of old timey charm and interesting quirks. More on that to come…

7. My favorite part? The house is big enough for me to have my very own studio! It’s a dream come true. It’s all a bit of a mess right now as we search for furniture and storage solutions, but I can’t wait to show you the progress.

8. We also love having our own outdoor space, complete with a porch swing and our little herbs. Pictured above are Umberto, the chocolate mint, and Dilly, our sweet baby dill plant.

Sarah West Ervin's new haircut and birthday fun

9. Not long after we got here, I decided to get a haircut. Yup, I had it all chopped off!

10. This is Sugars! We found her on our porch during a rainstorm. She was near death, so we rushed her to the emergency vet clinic, got her some medicine and nursed her back to relative health over a few days. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep her, nor could we find anyone to adopt her. In the end we had to take her to the Humane Society, where they said they’d take good care of her and find her a happy home. It broke my heart to say goodbye to her tiny precious face, but our own two cats (the little rascals) are about all we can handle.

11. I turned 28! My birthday celebrations were just perfect and included many beautiful handmade presents, breakfast in bed, flea market fun, digging in the mud for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, and a picture-perfect picnic. I’m so grateful to everyone who called, texted, visited, and sent happy wishes in the mail!

12. We didn’t find any diamonds, but we did find a lot of mud!

Brian West and Sarah Ervin attend the weddings of Sarah and Patrick Staub; Carolyn Sybesma and Ali Porter

13. We got to travel to Miami for the wedding of Brian’s very nice cousin Patrick and his sweet bride Sara. The guests were warm and friendly, the food was delish, and music was lively. We had a blast!

14. After the wedding, the Wests took a family vacation to Key West. Man, oh man, was it a perfect trip.

15. & 16. A week later, we got to travel back to Chicago to be a part of the wedding of two of our dearest friends, Carolyn & Ali. I even got to be the flower girl! It was so nice to spend time with our besties again in Chicago. I miss you all already!

 

Westervin Handmade Shop Update

17. & 18. Since we’ve been back, I’ve been busy as a bumble bee making some new items for the Westervin shop.

19. & 20. And I’ve been making plans for selling at craft fairs this holiday season. Brian helped me whip up some booth displays.

So that’s what we’ve been up to. Now that our lives have settled down a bit, you’ll be hearing more from us regularly. Stay tuned!

Sponsors

Sponsored Post: Blake Brody Flats

Westervin Sponsor: Blake Brody Ballet Flats

A lovely lady named Christine recently saw my Bustle piece on ethical shoe options and reached out to me to tell me about Blake Brody‘s line of ballet flats. According to Christine, Blake developed these shoes in consulation with Dr. Louis Gally, the podiatrist to the Rockettes and an expert in dance health.

The resulting product line is a “luxe version of a wellness shoe.”

As a vegetarian, Blake has chosen to use only environmentally conscious and humane (vegan) materials that do not include any animal products or toxic chemicals. These cute little kicks are both good for your feet and eco-friendly! The anti-microbial, moisture-wicking ultrasuede lining is made from 100% recycled post-industrial matter, the fully padded footbed is composed of soy-based recycled Poron, and the recyclable rubber for the soles is specially prepared for re-use in secondary compounds.

Westervin Sponsor: Blake Brody Flats

Christine and Blake were kind enough to send me over a pair of my choosing to try out. I opted for the “Kate” flat in the “Nude Lizard” option.

For the outfit above, I paired these high-end shoes with an almost completely second-hand outfit (save for my undergarments!). The top and skirt are from my latest trip to Goodwill, courtesy of a gift card from my sister-in-law (she knows me well). The belt came with a vintage dress I bought many moons ago, perhaps from the Goodwill outlet store in St. Louis, where you pay by the pound (!), but I can’t remember for sure. On my wrist is a collection of slinky bracelets, handmade and gifted by a couple of friends (Dotter Studio and AHC), as well as a vintage watch from my grandmother.

Westervin Sponsor: Blake Brody Ballet Flat in Nude Faux Lizard Skin

When my chosen flats arrived, I noticed that the color wasn’t quite the bright, creamy ivory pictured. They turned out to be a bit of a darker, grayer shade, which I like better anyway.

But how comfortable are they? One word: wowee. They are truly 100% comfortable—so soft, smooth, and cushiony on the inside. Slipping them on for the first time felt like a gentle hug on my feet. The first day I wore them out was a scorcher, terribly muggy and hot, so my feet got a little sweaty after a while. But I’ve since worn them around, indoors and out, and haven’t experienced that problem again. I even wore them out for a long walk in the park down by the Arkansas river, which featured some mixed terrain and which usually makes my feet a little sore if I’m not wearing my athletic shoes. These felt great the entire walk, and my feet weren’t sore afterward!

I’d say these would be perfect for a vacation where you’d be doing a lot of sightseeing, shopping, and generally walking around all day. If, that is, you can afford the splurge. At $275, these aren’t your average throw-away flats.

Westervin Blog: Faux Lizard Skin Flats from Blake Brody

Blake’s in-studio footwear is considerably more affordable, though. Seems like these soft, elasticized ballerina flats would be perfect for regular yoga practice! Please check out Blake Brody’s ethical wellness flats, and let me know if you get a pair for yourself!

Shopping Sherpa

Red, White & Denim

Westervin: Red, White & Denim

 

Top Row:  { Caddie Sandal from Sole Society } { Annabelle Bracelet by Jaclyn Mayer } { Chambray Shirt Dress from Rue La La }

Center: { Cynthia Zamaria’s House Tour on Apartment Therapy }

Bottom Row: { Retro Headband from C’est bon pour c’ que t’as } { Pana Clutch by Proud Mary } { Sea Fan Print from Alga Net }