Westervin Shop

Shop Update: Beaded Necklaces

Palmdale Necklace /// Westervin

Palmdale Necklace 

I like to visit bead shops when we travel. On our latest vacation, we spent a few nights at a great AirBnB in Nashville, and I made Brian go with me to a snazzy little bead shop in town. With his help, I was able to exercise restraint and only brought home a small bag of pretty beads. But even those few additions to be bead collection made me realize I had more than I needed. So on a bit of a whim, I woke up yesterday and, with coffee in hand, set about whipping up some one-of-a-kind necklaces while the morning sun lit my work table. 

Coeur D'Alene Necklace /// Westervin

Coeur D’Alene Necklace

It felt wonderful to finally make something again after a long creative-draught. Before I knew it, the afternoon rolled by and I’d created 8 necklaces, using some copper wire and leather cord I had. Piecing together the beads for each piece — from hand-painted glass beads to glazed ceramic ones to carved pieces of coral and marble — felt like a puzzle. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out; I ended up with 8 pieces, each one a special statement necklace.

Petaluma Necklace /// Westervin

Petaluma Necklace 

But! I couldn’t just add 8 new necklaces to my jewelry box. I just Kondoed it, remember? So, thinking of my poor little Etsy shop, alone and all but ignored these past few months, I spent the rest of the afternoon photographing the necklaces and listing them in the Westervin Shop. I shocked myself at how quickly it all came together. It’s as if each little bead was meant to find its way to me, be paired with other little bead friends and transformed into a special adornment, and eventually wind up in my shop, awaiting a new home. Will yours be the forever home of one of these necklaces? See them all here.

Hindsdale Necklace /// Westervin

Hindsdale Necklace 

Honey Hills Necklace /// Westervin

Honey Hills Necklace 

Mendota Necklace /// Westervin

Mendota Necklace 


Giveaway: Newby Treasury Necklace

Pssst! Have you noticed anything different around here? Say… a new website! Brian’s been working away on Westervin’s new look for many, many weeks, and we’re finally happy to launch the new and improved Westervin.com. Well, it’s still a work in progress–B will continue to make improvements throughout the week–but to help celebrate our soft launch, our dear and talented friend Sarah Newby has donated one of her handmade necklaces from Newby Treasury for our first giveaway of 2012. I’m so excited I could just spit!

blog giveaway: win this handmade necklace from Newby Treasury

Sarah has her own launch to celebrate. This prize, her One Five One Necklace, is now for sale, and her equally talented boyfriend, Ryan Glenn, has created a gorgeous and intriguing video to showcase it!


So Sarah, tell us about the inspiration behind this One Five One Necklace and its video.

I like to think of the necklace representing this metaphor for life by the Venerable Bede. I’m paraphrasing, but as he said it, a sparrow passes from darkness into a warm, well-lit room and immediately out again into the darkness. Life is the brief interior moment, and we are completely ignorant of what is outside.

As for the video, I go through phases where I favor one form of media or another and right now I’m greatly inspired by films. I had been throwing around the idea of making a video for one of the necklaces, but I didn’t have a concept, and when I rewatched Picnic at Hanging Rock a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to make the video something like that; the colors, the seductive force of nature, and the mystery surrounding the young women are all interesting to me.

Giveaway: handmade rope necklace from Newby Treasury

What have you been working on since we last saw you? Any other new jewelry designs you’re excited about?

Why, yes! I just released a set of bangles inspired by Robert Altman’s beautiful and mesmerizing 1977 film 3 Women. I saw it recently for the first time, and it has led me to a more nuanced understanding of my own visual language. I identified with it right away.

Giveaway: handmade Newby Treasury Necklace

And what are you most looking forward to with the approaching spring?

I’m looking forward to coming back to life with all the trees and other plants.


  1. Leave a comment with your email address in the email field
  2. Enter before 11:59pm, CST, on Monday, March 26th


Leave an additional comment for each of the following:

  1. Follow @westervin on Twitter
  2. Follow @iamsarahnewby on Twitter
  3. Tweet: “I just entered this #giveaway on @westervin to win a #handmade necklace from @iamsarahnewby!  http://bit.ly/GBjm69”
  4. Like Westervin on Facebook
  5. Like Newby Treasury on Facebook
  6. Pin one of the pictures above on Pinterest

The winner will be randomly selected using Random.org. I will notify the lucky recipient via email on Tuesday, March 27th.

Do It Yo'self

Do It Yo’self: The Great Necklace Exchange of 2011

handmade tassel necklace

This past December I had the fun opportunity to sign up for the Great Necklace Exchange of 2011, hosted by Janette of Fashion Loves People. In short, this exchange consisted of making a necklace for a stranger and receiving a handmade necklace from a different stranger. I was a little intimidated at first–not knowing if I could make a necklace that I would be proud to share with someone I didn’t know–but I needed some motivation to get crafty. Without too much thought, I signed up and let the journey begin!

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Busy Bumbles

{ Our Time Together }

Well, folks, my hours are filling up and I’m sadly finding myself with less and less time to spend here on Westervin. It seems like I may not be able to continue our current blog schedule for much longer. But for now, I have a few minutes to keep you updated.

{ Original drawing on Japanese ledger paper }

Accounting 101. This is my life right now. And ya know what? I don’t mind it. There’s something very exciting about organizing one’s financials. If that makes me a pencil-pushing dork, then so be it! It’s also making me pretty excited about grad school this fall, as I’m taking this online accounting course as a prerequisite for the Master of Arts Management program.

{ Handkerchief Invitations }

When I’m not locked away in our home office (a.k.a. the man lodge)  with my homework, Brian and I get to work on wedding stuffz. The planning is in full swing now, with only three months to go. Items on our to-do list include but are not limited to: invitations, website, music, registry and decorations galore.

{ Zig Zag Bath Mat in Slate, on our registry }

Left: Apple Basket from Little Rock Crate & Barrel, perfect for displaying our apple cider donuts, no?

Right: Luckily, I have some amazing reading material for my commutes to and from work. Karen Russell’s Swamplandia is such beautiful escape that I nearly missed my stop yesterday morning!

Friendly and talented reader Hollie Martin is making me this rad necklace for a steal! I was planning to give it to someone special, but now I wanna keep it…

{ First Class Coupe }

We were asked to whip up a little guest post for another neato blogger. Hopefull it’ll go live next week! Stay tuned.

{ Kittens! }

And when I find myself with a few extra minutes, I steal away to watch cat videos. I got a fever, and the only prescription is more kittens!



Westervin Wear: Abridged

Westervin Wear: abridged

I take a lot of pictures and write a lot of posts throughout the year, but that doesn’t mean they all make the initial cut. We believe in editing here at Westervin. However, when your record company needs a new track, and you just haven’t put anything new on tape, it’s time to flip the disc and crank up the b-side. Here’s a Westervin Wear post from fall (how I miss those crunchy leaves and light jackets) which no one has seen, until today!

{ Vintage sweater & boots, necklace from Tree & Kimball, jeans from Urban Outfitters, handmade cowl }

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Westervin Wear: Seashells & Foam

Weastervin Wear: Crochet Stone Necklace from MissPompadour.etsy.com

My beautiful necklace from Miss Pompadour deserved a special outfit!  { After the jump: Vintage Dress, Secondhand Raincoat, Watch from Target, Shoes from Yes Style }

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Westervin Wear: Lakeside

Westervin Wear: Chicago Lakeside

As Brian mentioned last week, I’ve been sporting some fancy fall duds, and boy howdy has the weather been nice. I hate to admit it, but for the first time in my life I think I’m truly appreciating fall. Don’t get me wrong—I’m still a summer girl, but the past few weeks have been beautiful… and just perfect for some layered fall fashions!

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Shopping Sherpa

The Shopping Sherpa: Blue Without You

vintage and handmade from etsy

Clockwise from top left:  { “Strawberry Mint Ice Cream” Vintage Dress from Vera Vague }  { “Thank You So Much” Card from Hello Jenuine }  { “Stay Free” Cotton Fabric from Booster seat }  { Rima Pearl and Silver Necklace from Cagebreak Bird }

Brian and I recently received a lovely email from a Westervin reader who introduced us to her Etsy shop, Cagebreak Bird. Not only was it nice to get an email from a sweet e-friend, but her work also put a smile on my face. The delicate beadwork and abstract designs of her jewelry are really beautiful! I think the Rima Pearl and Silver necklace (pictured above) would make such a delightful anniversary present… Don’t you think (*cough cough*… Brian)? But here’s the real kicker folks: this talented jewelry designer’s name is Farah Fitzgerald. I mean, get outta town! That’s a combination of my alter ego’s name (Farah Mervin, which I was dubbed freshman year by my BFFsties Megan & Grace.) and our new kitty’s name (Fitzgerald P. Cat). It’s fate.

Daily Pretties

Daily Pretties: Mountains & Molehills

{ Dressed to Party by harem6 }  { small painting on paper (maine series) by Pedro Aires }

Shopping Sherpa

The Shopping Sherpa: Black & White and Awesome All Over

black, white and gray; home mobile; eggs

{ Mobile Homes from Jikits }  { Patterned Eggs 1 Original Ink Illustration from The Blackbird Sings }

black and grey; queen tower toy; sheep & cloud coin purse

{ The Black Queen and her Tower from Intres }  { Counting Sheep Coin Purse from EmenGee Designs }

gray ceramic bowls and crochet headband

{ Porcelain Nesting Bowls from New Mood Studio }  { City Blossom Headband from Broken Hallelujah }

silver worm ring; grey crochet necklace

{ Sterling Silver Worm Ring from Heron Adornment }  { Grey Heart Crocheted Necklace from Craftaria }