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August 3, 2012

Catching Up

Catching Up

Whew, it’s been a long two weeks since I last checked in…last week was spent working on the last details of my NEW jewelry line which I will (I promise, I will…pinky swear) officially launch early next week. I know, I know…I said I would launch it last week. Well, you know, the bebe didn’t think that was a good idea since he needed someone to look after him. :)

Speaking of the bebe, Oliver turned 6 months old. He’s officially a half a year old and is growing like a weed. His made mode of transportation these days is rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…he literally rolls from one end of the living room to the other. I had to share some of the “behind the scenes” photos I took of his 6-month birthday…I could NOT get this little guy to sit still.

(Finally! Got him to stay still and kind of smile…kind of.)

And because I can’t stop gushing about this guy, he’s learning how to sit up by himself! But of course, he does fall a few times.

Okay, enough of my little guy (I really could go on and on…and on). I’ll be back next week with our regularly scheduled programming. Who’s in the mood for some cuteness jewelry??

Happy Friday!

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July 20, 2012

Week-in-Review, Instagram Style

Week-in-Review, Instagram Style

Hi guys! Who’s with me that they are SO happy it’s Friday?? I don’t know why but this week kicked my butt! Oliver is going to be 6 months next week (gulp) and his need for entertainment (i.e. Mama needs to constantly sing and make funny faces ALL the time) is growing and growing. By the time he goes to bed, I’m exhausted but my other bebe, White Nest calls me. All good things…just running on adrenaline. And Coke. :)

My lack of blogging is for a good reason…I’m finally nearing the point where I’m actually going to launch my new jewelry line!! What the whaaat!! (I’m also putting it out there so that you folks can hold me accountable…) If you saw me at any holiday shows last year, then you’ve already gotten a peak into this new line (although I’ve made so tweaks). So look out for some good things in the shop next week! (Again, hold me to it, please!!)

Here are some of my Insta-great-photographer photos from this week…

Instagram Images from Left to Right, Top to Bottom:

1. FINALLY got my hair cut…I won’t even tell you how long it had been since the last time buuuut there was snow on the ground! (Don’t mind the wetness straggly-ness…I cheaped out and didn’t get it blow dried. :)

2. Oliver is not crawling yet (thank goodness!) but he’s really good at pulling all his toys to him by pulling the blanket. Whatta smartie.

3. Largest supermarket I had ever been to. Seriously, the bread aisle was two aisles long and we’re not talking bakery and packaged bread, just packaged bread. It was worthy of a photo.

4. Packaging orders! You know, one of my favorite things to do.

5. Oliver started solid foods this week so I picked up this book to answer my bajillion questions. I highly recommend it to new moms!

6. The Aftermath of a jewelry party…that is a jewelry party of one. Working on new designs! Launching next week….right?? ;) Right.

7. Huge summer storms = getting up a 4:30am to find a giant puddle in our living room. Mind you people, this has been going on since the end of APRIL and it’s still not fixed. Needless to say, it’s no fun.

8. I got a grown up camera! I saved up all my dimes and nickels for this! I’m so beyond excited…now, if I could only find the time to read the manual. #78 on the to-do list. :)

And I can’t end this week without sharing a CLASSIC photo of Oliver eating his first “solid” meal. And he was not crying…just giving us “this is the most disgusting thing ever…you seriously eat this??” look. Classic.

Happy Friday!

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July 13, 2012

Week-in-Review, Instagram-style.

Week-in-Review, Instagram-style.

I’m fairly new to Instagram and like everyone, I’m completely addicted (follow me at whitenest). Here are some photos from this past week…when I’m not sewing and embroidering, this is what I’m to!

Instagram Images from Left to Right, Top to Bottom:

1. We went home to visit my parents and the hubs and I had a night off with our friends! First time since…hmmm…can’t remember. Needless to say, that beer was delicious.

2. Oliver’s first “front-facing” stroller ride! Sans car seat…this was huge. It was a whole new world for him (which I may have been singing from Aladdin…yep, I’m a nerd. :)

3. Love this Oliver…matches my favorite mustard felt that I use for my geometric pillows…it was a photo op!

4. Crawling into bed, this is who I found. Our cat Bob Johnson laying on my pillow.

5. A walk to Lake Michigan…about a mile from my house. It was an amazing day and I felt like I was on vacation for a hot second.

6. Geese xing! Saw these guys crossing the street in my parents neighborhood. Love.

7. Aunt Jen and Cousin Lucas visiting all the way from Missouri! Oliver loved his older cousin.

8. Today…a summer storm. It was much needed and quite lovely, until a leak sprung in our living room! Doh. :(

Happy Friday!

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July 9, 2012

DIY Painted Rug

DIY Painted Rug

Painted Rug

Happy Monday! How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was awesome…filled with family, friends, food…you know, all the things that make summer amazing. Anyway, I’m re-charged to start the week (even charged enough to deal with a very fussy bebe this morning :) and wanted to share my latest DIY project!

{Disclaimer: Before I even launch into my latest DIY project, I must give a giant shout out to Sarah M. Dorsey Designs for inspiring this project. Her design of her Moroccan Stencil Rug is essentially what I created, but with a slightly different technique. And while we’re at it, you should check out her blog. Especially if you’re a sucker for amazing DIY’s, like I am.}

We’ve had this rug from Ikea for a few years and it has been through the ringer. It’s been our back door mat and let me just say “wear and tear” doesn’t even begin to explain its grossness. There were so many times that I wanted to chuck it into the garbage but I knew it had a greater destiny (oh yes, I said destiny about a rug). I had the idea to paint it a while back but hadn’t landed on a design I liked, until I ran across Sarah’s blog.

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty of painting a rug. I shutter to even think about showing you the grossness of this rug. But here it is, in all its glory.

Paint Rug

Yep, gross. And because you need to see a close up of all the stains and muddy boots that have walked on it…

Paint Rug

Oh, I hang my head in shame. But it gets better! ;) The first step was to measure the rug and create a quick mock-up of the design. I did this using InDesign but you can use any program on your computer. I’m including a printable version of the shape so feel free to download it. You could even old school it and use a copy machine (oh yes, a copy machine!) to play with the scale. My mock up is below…

Paint Rug

And just to be sure I liked the scale, I took it one step further and cut created a live mock-up of the scale. I took pieces of scrap paper and taped them together at the size I wanted (which was 10″x 10″). After I quickly laid it out and liked the overall size, I cut out my stencil.

Paint Rug

Tape the shape to a piece of cardboard and cut it out with an x-acto or utility knife.

Paint Rug

And you’ve got yourself a cardboard stencil!

Paint Rug

Once this is complete, paint the rug your base color. I used regular wall paint because I had a quart leftover from another project and I wasn’t concerned with it being soft. If you want it to be bendable and soft to the touch, I would recommend a fabric medium to add to your paint (Martha Stewart has one you can find at Jo-Ann’s or Michaels). But I just straight up used Benjamin Moore White paint (Satin finish). And at full disclosure, this particular rug soaks up a TON of paint. It took me three coats and 3/4 of the can! But be patient and grab yourself a movie and a glass of wine…it’ll be worth it!

Paint Rug

No more stains! Hallelujah! Once the rug is dry, find the middle point of the rug and mark it where the stencil will go.

Paint Rug

I used Martha Stewart’s paint for the blue pattern…it says on the label that it works on wood, glass, fabric, etc. So I figured this would cover all my bases. It worked like a charm!

Paint Rug

Lay your stencil on the rug and paint away! For anyone that has never stenciled, you can use any brush but make sure to move the brush in an up-and-down motion (also called stippling) instead of dragging it across the rug. This will help control any bleeding around the edges of the stencil.

Paint Rug

First shape is done! Just measure out the placement of the other shapes according to your layout and repeat, repeat, repeat!

Paint Rug

Paint Rug

And you’ve got yourself a new rug! I’m loving how it turned out…I was going to continue to use it for our back door mat but now my hubs said that it looks too nice. Ha! So for now it’ll travel around a bit until I figure out a good spot for it. But this is so much more cost effective than buying a new rug…I’m thinking I may need to do more of these. :)

Paint Rug

Paint Rug

Paint Rug

Paint Rug

 

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July 6, 2012

Thank You

Thank You

image via

I just wanted to reach out to everyone that commented on my last post and give you a giant thank you!! If I could reach through my monitor and give you all hugs, I would. Every comment truly touched me and validated my first impression of our “similarities”. And thank you to all the Aussies that commented…I was really hesitant to post anything in fear of offending anyone but I’m glad that I did. You ALL couldn’t have been more supportive.

And because of my post, the store owner caught wind of it and she reached out to me. In the name of privacy, I’m going to keep it between the two of us but please know that things are getting resolved. And this wouldn’t have happened if I had kept it to myself and for your support!

Have a happy, cool weekend! I’ll be back on Monday with a new DIY!

Muah, muah!!

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July 2, 2012

Copycat?

Copycat?

White Nest logo

It’s not often that I write about serious subjects on this blog, mostly because I like to keep things upbeat and light hearted, but I received an email this morning from my Google Alerts that made my heart sink a little.

It all started at the end of 2011 so let me explain…

I started receiving a bunch of emails around the end of December that were inquiring me about my new retail space. For anyone that knows me, I obviously did not open a retail space last year and in fact, was giantly preggers at the time (a retail space was the LAST thing on my mind!). So I did a little digging only to find out that a new shop in Australia had opened under the same name as my business…White Nest. People were coming to my website thinking that we were the same business and asking me questions about my new “business” and “shop”.

I wasn’t sure what to think about this…sad that someone had used my same name but what problems could it pose with my business since it was located a half a world away? Furthermore, what could I do about it?

Then I received another email asking me more questions about my new retail shop. When I wrote back and kindly explained that I’m a Chicago designer that started this business over 2+ years ago and that we have no relation, she wrote back and said that she was confused because she thought it was the same logo. Of course, I got more than bent out of shape about it because they were using my same logo too?? But she quickly wrote back and said that she visited the store and the logo was not the same. She quickly apologized and we went on with our lives…

Fast forward to this morning. 2+ years ago when I started White Nest, I set up a Google Alert that alerted me every time “White Nest” was published on the internet. Mostly, I get junk email, sometimes it’s a lovely blog posting about my business but this morning I received a disheartening email. Someone had posted a photo of the Australian shop…and glancing at it closely, one could say that our logo looks veerrrrrrrry similar. A little too similar? (I’m including the photo not to be vindictive but to get validation on my feelings.)

I showed it to my hubs because he is the graphic designer in the relationship and designed this logo 2+ years ago (in fact, I went back to the file and it was created on September 24, 2009). His first words were, “Someone stole your logo.”

Of course the logo is not exactly the same, but it looks very similar.

So here I sit, not really sure what to think about this. I couldn’t shake it so I decided to open up on my blog and share my feelings. I can’t help but feel a little like my “identity” was stolen. But what can I do about it? My name and logo is not trademarked which is obviously my naive mistake but would it do anything internationally? I never thought I would run into this situation. But it’s also a half a world away…am I making it a bigger deal than it is?

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June 26, 2012

Summer Clutch

Summer Clutch

 

Last Friday night, I had a (much needed!) girls night out. A night out from parenthood where us girls could talk about funny things, annoying things, deep things…you know those nights. They are awesome. Anyway, I was heading out the door and realized that I wanted to leave the (giantly huge!) diaper bag at home. So I went to grab my clutch only to stop and remember that my dear cat Bob Johnson decided that it would be his dinner last fall. Yep, last fall…just goes to show you how often I’m getting out these days. So I decided to make one this weekend.

I had a pile of linen fabrics that I had dyed last summer with the intention of using it for a new product. But alas, the product wasn’t up to snuff but I still loved the result of the fabric. So I dived in and made a fold over zipper clutch. The idea isn’t new and has been swimming around the internet for a long time. But I still love the result! The combination of the dyed linen and easy going nature of the clutch had me swooning. And I couldn’t stop there…I had some scrap leather laying around and you know, I tasseled it up (is that a word?). Anyway, loving my new summer clutch! And of course it sparked other ideas (a version with a strap…yes, please!). So I might use up these fabric and you may see some of these laid back guys in the shop soon!

What do you guys think?

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May 31, 2012

Oliver is 4 months!

Oliver is 4 months!

Oh yes, my how time flies…my little guy is 4 months old! Besides the countless sleepless nights, where does the time go? ;)

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May 23, 2012

I’m Baaack! (well, kinda sorta…)

I'm Baaack! (well, kinda sorta...)

Phew, it has been a crazy couple of months. Crazy. As you all know, from my distant (very distant…) last post, we welcomed our first little guy, Oliver back in January. Not knowing what motherhood would be like, I gave myself the standard three months of “maternity leave” before I would dust off my beloved sewing machine and jump back in it again.

My “maternity leave” ended in April. It’s almost June. Shyeah, that didn’t quite work the way I had planned it.

I’m pretty sure that I have experienced every feeling ever (ever.) during my short stint in motherhood…love, excitement, nervousness, stress, amazement, anxiety, exhaustion, laughter, crying, and any other feeling you can think of. It truly is the most difficult and most rewarding thing I have ever done. Really.

But alas, my creativity is knocking on my door again and I’m itching to (finally!) dust off my sewing machine and get back into the swing of White Nest. It’s been too long and I’ve missed it too much.

But for all the mothers out there reading this, you’re probably wondering how I’m going to do this and juggle motherhood at the same time. Well, to be honest I’m not. I’m not going to be the crazy production house that I’ve been in the past. It’s not possible and I don’t want to make promises that I can’t keep. So I will be working and making pillows, jewelry, embroidery and anything else that strikes my fancy but at a pace that I can keep up with. This doesn’t mean I’ll be absent, it just means that it’ll take a little longer to produce things so please bare with me…

And there are so many things that we have to catch up on but Oliver is kicking the computer (literally). I guess this means my attention is needed elsewhere. :) I’ll catch up more with my day-to-day life soon but in the meantime, can we oooh and ahhh over this little guy?

By the way, I’ve added stock in both my Etsy shop and my online shop for those anxious to get their hands on some pieces!

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February 24, 2012

Introducing…

Introducing...

Wow, it’s been a while since my last post and we have had some big changes over here! As you may have guessed, our little bambino finally arrived not long after I wrote my last post. After a 36 hour labor (yep, 36 hours…) he arrived and is perfect. We’ve all been adjusting to our new lives, getting to know each other and resting as much as possible (as much as we can we with an infant with healthy lungs!). He’s one month old today and wanted to say hello to all of you…meet our little guy, Oliver!

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