Blog News

Westervin Turns 5!

a slice of homemade bundt cake to celebrate the Westervin blog's 5th birthday

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?

2009

{ Untitled photograph by Sophia of "Five Words in Orange Neon" by Joseph Kosuth; "Dark land, pink cloud" by Louise Balaam

Image above from Daily Pretties: Neon Clouds, posted Dec. 28, 2009, featuring untitled photograph by Sophia of Five Words in Orange Neon by Joseph Kosuth & Dark land, pink cloud by Louise Balaam

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?

2010

Sailor Necklace from the Vamoose

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!

I could keep going until I’ve listed them all, or if you want, you can just peruse all our past giveaways here. Join our mailing list to be notified when we have another one!

2011

Westervin's handmade save-the-dates, embroidered on vintage postcards

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.

2012

Margarita Jello Shots in Lemon Wedges - Westervin blog

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.

2013

handmade crochet beanie with stripes and pom-pom from Westervin

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:

2014

10 Tips For Your First Wholesale Order -- For Makers, From Westervin

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:

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!

Shopping Sherpa

Top 10 Christmas Tree Ornaments

Westervin's Top 10 Christmas Ornaments - fun, handmade, and non-traditional, of course

What’s the best thing to give anyone and everyone on your list this year? (Assuming, of course, that your Christmas list doesn’t include any of those holiday-hating heathen folk who don’t bother putting up a tree.) Answer: ornaments!  They’re small and cute and come in every animal-shape and eye-blinding-color. So, to help you out, Brian and I have rounded up the indisputable top 10 Christmas tree ornaments for holiday gift giving and decorating this year. These are the best of the best, including mostly handmade and truly unique branch baubles with just the right amount of irreverence.

10. Stuffed Shark

Handmade Stuffed Shark Christmas Tree Ornament

Image above: Stuffed Shark Ornament handmade by Broderpress $16.00/ea. 

Ah, the fierce and majestic shark. This plush ornament is not for the faint of heart or the bland of tree.

9. Popsicles

Popsicle Ornaments

Image above: Clay Popsicle Ornaments handmade by Sugar + Frost $8.05/ea.

What’s more wonderful than a popsicle, I ask you? Well, two popsicles. Also, three popsicles, And four. Should I keep going…?

8. Palmistry

Palmistry Wooden Hand Ornament

Image above: Good Fortune Palmistry Hand Wood Ornament made in the USA $10.00/ea. 

Whether you’re gifted with a connection to the spiritual world or are just really into this “hand” trend I’m seeing everywhere, you’ll love this laser-engraved birch wood ornament.

7. Monster Friend

Handmade Clay Monster Friend Ornament

Image above: Ceramic Monster Ornament handmade by DragonStarArt $40.00 (only one available!)

Just look at that sweet squiggly smile! This odd fella would add some real interest to any quirky tree.

6. Mini Weavings

Woven Loom Ornaments

Image above: Woven Loom Ornaments handmade by All Roads Design $14.00/ea.

Anthropologie has ALL THE PRETTY THINGS! Case-in-point, these little loom weavings. They’re so tiny! Gimme.

5. Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs Ornament

Image above: Deviled Eggs Glass Ornament handmade in Poland $13.96/ea.

Did you know that the deviled egg dates as far back as ancient Rome? That means this platter of deviled eggs is probably the classiest ornament you could have.

Don’t question it.

4. Christmas Pickles

Westervin_Blog_Top_Ten_Holiday_Ornaments15

Image above: Jar of Pickles Ornament Set hand-blown in Poland $8.00 for 9

If you don’t partake in the Christmas pickle tradition every year, stop reading this blog post and don’t come back until you’ve bought a pickle ornament and committed yourself to this beautiful custom. I’m making it a requirement of all Westervin readers. Seriously, get out of here.

3. Banana Bunch

Bunch of Bananas Ornament

Image above: Banana Bunch Wood Ornament handmade by Alice Oehr & Rittle $13.00

Brian doesn’t actually enjoy eating bananas, and I just can’t understand that. They’re sweet, have a bright, happy color, and are fun to mush around in your mouth as if you’re a baby monkey learning to eat. And they have an interesting history. Bananas are wonderful, I say, and perfect for any Christmas tree!

2. Fancy Flamingo

Flamingo in a Top Hat Ornament

Image above: Fancy Flamingo Paper Mache Ornament $19.95

This guy is too fabulous for any old tree, and he knows it. Just look at that cheeky side-eye.

1. Cheerful Cactus

Handmade Plaid Wool & Velvet Cactus Ornament

Image above: Plaid & Velvet Cactus Ornament handmade by Dotter Studio $18.00

And finally, topping the list is this one-of-a-kind cactus ornament made with salvaged vintage velvet and plaid wool. Because nothing says, “white Christmas is so last year,” like a desert dwelling succulent.

Shopping Sherpa

Top 10 Christmas Cards

Westervin's Top 10 Christmas Cards

As the countdown to the holidays continues (11 days to go, woo!), Brian and I thought we’d whip up a Christmas countdown of our own. This season, we scoured the internets for the absolutely best, most whimsical, smile-inducing cards that you can give to your loved ones, colleagues, mailmen, and even strangers. And strangers’ kids. From one to ninety-two. Or whatever… Featuring cats, eye patches, beautiful typography, and non-traditional color palettes, this list includes our favorite Christmas cards this year, handmade by independent designers and makers and/or printed in the USA on sustainable materials.

10. Skiing Santa

Skiing Santa Christmas Card

Image above: Skiing Santa Christmas Card handmade by Lucy Letherland £1.75 

I guess Santa’s gotta have something to do in his downtime.

9. Festive Tumbleweed

Festive Tumbleweed Card

Image above: Festive Tumbleweed Christmas Card Set handmade by Small Adventure $18.00 for 8

Did you pull out your holiday decorations this year only to find your strings of lights tangled in an ungodly mess? Screw it! Embrace the chaos by tossing them in the nearest tumbleweed. Christmas saved!

8. Merrily

Merrily Christmas Card

Image above: Merrily Holiday Cards handmade by Maddy Nye of Yours Madly $4.00/ea. or $16.00 for 6

Show your minimalist-leaning friends that you care with this simple yet happy typography based card.

7. Say It With Flowers!

Cactus Tree Christmas Card

Image above: Say It With Flowers! Christmas Cactus Card handmade by Daniela Spoto $12.00 for 3, $15.00 for 5, or $20.00 for 10

Cacti are SO on trend this year.

 6. Nutcracker

 

Nutcracker Christmas Card Set

Image above: Nutcracker Christmas Card Set made in the USA by Rifle Paper Co.  $16.00 for 8

Fun fact: Brian used to collect nutcrackers for Christmas when he was little. Aaaawww! Now our home is filled to ceilings with festive little nutcracker men, big and small, on mantels and bookshelves, peering out at me, following me with their beady wooden eyes wherever I go. Why, Brian, why??????

5. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas Card

Image above: ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas Card Set handmade by Gemma Correll $12.00 for 3, $15.00 for 5, or $20 for 10

No Westervin Christmas card list is complete without the silliness of illustrator Gemma Correll. She is magic.

4. Mistletoe Magic

Mistletoe Magic Christmas Card

Image above: Mistletoe Magic Holiday Card handmade by Laura Berger $4.50/ea.

Although no proud cat parent needs an excuse to smooch their kitty babies, mistletoe might make it a little less awkward when you have guests. Right?

3. Bah Humcat

Bah Humbug Cat Christmas Card

Image above: Bah Humbug Catsmas Card handmade by Nicola Rowlands £2.20

But maybe your cat doesn’t care for your smooches. Well, bah humbug to you too, cat!

2. Snappy New Year

Snappy New Year Christmas Card

Image above: Snappy New Year Crocodile Christmas Card Set printed in the USA on recycled content paper $18.95 for 6

For the badass with a heart of gold.

1. Santa Claws

Santa Claws Christmas Card

Image above: Santa Claws Christmas Card Set handmade by Wit & Whistle $16.50 for 6

Because puns.

Westervin Wishlist

30 Gift Ideas for the Quirky, Crafty Feminist (or things you can get Sarah for Christmas)

Westervin Wishlist: 30 Gift Ideas for the Quirky Feminist

 

It’s that time of year! Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror, and it’s full steam ahead with the holiday lights and music and drinks and treats and travel and togetherness. Friends and family have begun asking what you want from Santa, and, if you’re like me, you’ve begun planning all the handmade and hard-to-find gifts and silly cards you’ll be doling out this year, complete with a color-coded spreadsheet! No? I’m the only one with a spreadsheet?

Well, if you need a little help finding unforgettable presents and stocking stuffers for your loved ones, let me help! I’ve pulled together a well-rounded set of items, big and small, with emphases on handcrafted, useful, and nontraditional gifts. The result should suit any quirky, crafty, feminist pal on your gift list (aka me, please and thank you). It’s like Oprah’s favorite things. Only weirder.

Image above, clockwise from top left: Temporary Cat Tattoo $5, Lena Dunham Birthday Suit Tee $55, Happy Holidays Log Card $5 CAD, make a Charitable Donation to the Global Fund for Women in my name, Gift Wrap Calendar $49, Organic Herbal Lip Stain $10, Aca-scuse Me Sweatshirt $39, The Boob Tote $152, make a Charitable Donation to Pads4Girls in my name, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Japanese Stoneware Mug $30

Westervin Wishlist: 30 Gift Ideas for the Quirky Crafty Gal

Image above, clockwise from top left: Online Embroidery Class $34.99, Red Grid Washi Tape $1.50, Fabric Postcards Set $12, Beachcomber Framed Embroidery Art $250, Weaving Kit $140, Black Arrows Washi Tape $2.35, Makrs Tote $22, Art, Inc. by Lisa Congdon, Vintage Scissor Cuff Bracelet $86, Hand-dyed Yarn $23.50

Westervin Wishlist: 30 Gift Ideas for the Quirky Gal

Image above, clockwise from top left: Sex Trafficking Survivors Tee $28, Pickle Earrings $15, Coffee Lover Lollipop Pack $25, The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, Sleep Donation by Karen Russell, Luna Moth Wall Decal $3.50, Marled Boot Socks $8 ea., Cactus Handmade Ornament coming soon

Giveaway

Win a Westervin Headband

Westervin Giveaway: Win the Headband of Your Choice

Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll! To show my appreciation and gratitude to Westervin’s readers, customers, and supporters (like our great friend Carolyn above), I’m giving away one crocheted Popcorn Turban Headband! Just leave a comment before Cyber Monday to enter, and the winner will get to choose one of the available headbands from the Westervin shop. Whichever one suits his or her fancy! Check out the new ones I listed yesterday and good luck.

To Enter:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post before Cyber Monday (December 1, 2014)!

2. FOR ONE EXTRA ENTRY, join the Westervin mailing list. If you’re not already signed up, check the box next to “Sign me up for the Westervin newsletter!” at the bottom of the page before submitting your comment. Easy peasy. If you’re already on the mailing list, skip this step and give yourself a pat on the back.

Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

1. No purchase necessary. A purchase does not increase your chance of winning. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.
2. Entrant must be 18 years of age or older at time of sweepstakes start date and a current legal resident of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia as of start date.
3. Giveaway begins Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. Central Time and closes on Cyber Monday, December 1, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. Central Time.
4. One winner will be selected by random drawing on Cyber Monday, December 1, 2014 and notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours after notification to claim the prize. If unclaimed, the prize will be re-awarded to another valid entrant by random drawing. Potential winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements.
5. The prize includes one Popcorn Turban Headband (retail value: $35.00 USD) of the winner’s choice from available listings in the Westervin Etsy shop at time of notification plus the cost of shipping the prize within the United States via USPS First Class Mail (up to $5.00 USD). No cash equivalent and no substitution will be made. Sponsor may substitute any listed prize for one of equal or greater value if the designated prize becomes unavailable for any reason. Winner is responsible for all taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use. Sponsor is not responsible for lost or mutilated prizes, and none will be replaced.
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

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 }

A Westervin Wedding, Blog News

Three Years Down, Forever To Go

sprinkle donuts for the Westervin's 3rd wedding anniversary

Guess what?! On September 3, we celebrated our third anniversary! This was a pretty exciting anniversary because we realized a new anniversary tradition that we really should have thought of before. Anniversary doughnuts!

bag of fresh doughnut holes for the Westervin's 3rd wedding anniversary

We didn’t have cake at our wedding, we had doughnuts, so of course we should eat some doughnuts every year! How did it take us three years to think of this? Oh well, we still have a lifetime ahead of us, so I guess it’s never too late.

a sprinkle doughnut with candles for the Westervin's 3rd wedding anniversary

This year’s doughnuts came from the Donut Palace here in Fort Smith. We caught them just before they closed and snatched up some tasty sprinkled and glazed doughnuts. The friendly staff there even threw in a free bag of doughnut holes, which we nearly finished off before getting back home…

champagne saucers to celebrate the Westervin's 3rd wedding anniversary

Before heading off to dinner and a movie that evening, we shared a little bubbly.

Westervin Wedding: handmade leather wedding ring bands with arrow design

And, of course, what Westervin anniversary would be complete without some new rings? This year, in reverence to our “leather anniversary“, we picked out a pair of leather rings that keep the arrow motif of our original wedding band set. While a little higher maintenance than metal rings (we have to be very careful not to get them wet), we think they turned out beautifully. They were handmade by Cassandra Silva of Oil Rose Collection. According to Cassandra, the arrow motifs represent friendship and protection.

Sarah was also inspired this year (because she doesn’t always take her own advice about staying motivated in her creative practice) to make a more modern/interesting list of anniversary gift recommendations for us to loosely follow in the future. You can follow along with us!

Sarah West Ervin and Brian West 2013-2014

I’d say our third year of marriage was one of the most interesting ones yet. Sarah finished school, started a business, and we moved to Arkansas! Let’s hope four can compete.

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!

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 }