You may not know this, but Westervin has been rocking the blog for 5 years! Yep, earlier this month marked the 5th straight year that we, Sarah and Brian, have been sharing our favorite recipes, tidbits from our lives, and all the beautiful art and handicraft that we love. Heck, we’ve been blogging longer than we’ve been married. Before we were officially engaged even!
In the grand scheme of our lives, 5 years is a small amount of time, yet between December 2009 (the official launch of this here web-log) and today, we’ve shared a seemingly infinite number of moments, big and small, of excitement and inspiration, of frustration and failures, and of accomplishment and growth. Though at times we’ve felt like we’ve outgrown our blog or we’ve put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be constantly publishing, worrying about being original and interesting, we’re ultimately so very grateful to have had this platform. It’s given us an outlet for our respective interests and talents through which we’ve connected with countless talented folk and new friends. And now, we have a shared record of our time together. Through changing jobs, educational accomplishments, and new cities, we can look back to remember all the moments we’re most proud, if not also all the strange things we used to be into… Tastes are not timeless, apparently. At least, that’s one thing we’ve learned about ourselves.
Yes, time has certainly flown by. We thought we’d take a look through the past five years and pick out a few of our favorite and most popular posts. Journey back with us, won’t you?
Though we only officially blogged for one month in 2009, that year saw the beginning of many of our favorite blog categories, including one that Sarah’s stuck with since the very first week: A Pretty Pair (formerly Daily Pretties). Can we call this her signature category? Over the years she’s perfected the art of pairing, searching for two works — whether photography, painting, illustration, or other — from two unrelated artists that speak the same visual language. In the words of Stacey and Clinton, it doesn’t match, it goes.
Also, through the magic of the pretty pair, we announced our engagement, way back on December 29, 2009, with this post titled Some Special News. It’s like… we are a pretty pair! Ya know?
Image above from Giveaway: Sailor Necklace from The Vamoose, posted April 19, 2010
Twenty-ten was the year of the giveaway. In that year, we had 14 giveaways! That’s more giveaways than months! Each one featured something beautiful, usually handmade, generously gifted by someone talented and kind. A few shout-outs to our most memorable sweepstakes:
- The first: Shannon Rankin and Justin Richel gave away a stellar print from their collaborative project Intersect.
- The most popular: Kathryn Blackmore gave away a Sailor Knot Necklace from her romantic jewelry line The Vamoose, which still offers gorgeous handmade pieces.
- Our favorite: Lorena Marañon offered one of her wildly popular embroidered necklaces to try to help us win a dream wedding sweepstakes. Sadly, we didn’t win, but we still had a dream wedding! Lorena’s now whipping up painfully stunning textiles-based jewelry, housewares, and art pieces.
- The one that lead to our custom wedding rings: Marina Lampropoulou gave a lucky reader a pair of Blue Bird Oval Hoop earrings from her contemporary handmade jewelry line tothemetal. The next year, we had her make our custom arrow wedding bands.
- The one that lead to the best pen-pal ever: Lisa Bruemmer Drake offered one of her striking lace necklaces, also to help us win the dream wedding sweepstakes. She later became the BEST PEN-PAL EVER!
Image above from A Westervin Wedding: Save the Dates Revealed, posted April 4, 2011
Our second full year of blogging was all about our wedding, from the announcements, planning updates, and DIY projects to the series of posts sharing all the photos and our reflections from, arguably, the most fun day of our lives. Man, what a ride!
See all the posts under A Westervin Wedding, which also includes posts celebrating each of our three anniversaries since. You can even check out all of our wedding pinspiration on Sarah’s Pinterest board A Wedding for Westervin. Truth be told, she still pins wedding-y things. The girl loves weddings.
Image above from World Party Day: Margarita Jello Shots, posted March 29, 2013
In 2012 we were really hitting our stride and created some of our most popular posts. A few of our favorites:
- Edible booze: We created a margarita jello shot for world party day. We made way too many of these jello filled booze lemons, but people seemed to like them.
- Taking care of business: Sarah posted the results of her Who Buys Handmade survey, which still offers a valuable look at the handmade market for makers.
- Sweet treats: We were lucky enough to have Debbie Carlos, who just can’t stop doing amazing things, guest blog for us and share a recipe for a 60-second cake in a cup, which has become a dessert staple at the Westervin’s. Debbie’s large-scale photo prints and other work can be seen everywhere from Urban Outfitters, J. Crew, and CB2 to Apartment Therapy, Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV, and even an episode of Parenthood.
- Fancy cocktail post: Brian was hired to create a signature cocktail for Poetry magazine’s centennial celebration. It was called the Hippocrene, and it got a nice writeup on the New York Times Drinks blog.
- Glitz and glamour: Sarah created a spinoff of the classic pretty pair category, Who are You Pairing, which pairs red carpet looks and some awesome art.
Image above from Westervin Shop Now Open, posted December 2, 2013
2013 was the start of the Westervin craft movment. Sure, we’d covered craft before (with the Who Buys Handmade survey, and featured handmade wares and independent artisans), but 2013 was the launch of the Westervin shop! Starting her own shop had Sarah thinking even more about craft in general, it’s history and it’s relation to art. A few highlights:
- A review of PBS’s Craft in America
- A look at some amazing textile artwork
- Some thoughts on craft vs art
Image above from 10 Things I Learned From My First Wholesale Order, Part 1, posted November 19, 2014
While 2013 was the start of the Westervin craft movement, 2014 found us moving away from ruminations on art vs craft and taking a closer look at the nuts and bolts of running a craft business. It’s important to us to share what we learn along the way so that other aspiring crafters can learn from our mistakes and, hopefully, our successes. Highlights include:
- Tips for wholesale selling — what it is and how to get started.
- Thoughts on crafting a business
- Plus a new category, the Business of Making
It’s been a really fun five years, and we hope that in 2015 we can come up with some more useful, fun, and entertaining content for all of you. Thanks for spending some time with us!