Your Whims Wednesday #144 {And Features}

Time for another Your Whims Wednesday Party!

Your Whims Wednesday

Last week's party was pretty slow because there was this small little holiday called CHRISTMAS on the same day :) And I'm guessing this weeks party will be pretty slow as well since most of you are probably out celebrating the new year!

Even though there were not many link-ups, last week there were some fabulous ladies who shared their fabulous styles, and here were three of my favorites!

Auteur Ariel
Beauty without Limits
Thanks to all who linked up! Grab a button if you were featured :)
Featured on My Girlish Whims
Now... onto this weeks party!

I show off my girlish whims weekly on my blog, and now I want to see yours with 
Your Whims Wednesday!

1. Link up as many projects as you would like: as long as it is one of your girly ways, you can link it! I'd love to see crafts, recipes, style posts, etc. Anything and everything feminine :)
2.Please add my button (code at the top of this post) to either your blog post or somewhere on your blog. 
3. Take a quick moment to comment on at least one other entry. We we all love comments!! 
4.I'd love if you would follow me as well :)

10 Things I Learned in 2013

Let me just say right off the bat that I KNOW this post would have sounded so much cooler if I titled it "13 things I learned in 2013." Which I thought about doing. But that would have been a lie. Cause folks, I only got ten. But let me back up a minute.

One of the things I really like about other bloggers is when they take time to share about their personal life on their blog. Yes, I probably started reading your blog because of your cool craft tutorials, but that doesn't mean I'm not ok with you mixing things up and sharing about your life too! I've always been in the mindset that sharing both is good, but I've realized that lately I've really been sucking at doing that myself. So, in attempt to bring a little more of a personal touch to the blog, I thought I would share a little bit about what this past year has meant for me on a (mostly) outside of the craft blog basis. 

And even though my post would have sounded REALLY cool if I had 13 things from 2013, I went stone dry after 10. I'm sure I learned more than 10 things this past year, but that's all that is spitting out at the moment. And you can be like "You wrote 10 how hard is it to think of three more" well here's a spoiler: number 9 on this list is "How Delicious Wine is" so OBVIOUSLY I was running out of ideas towards the end. But enough spoilers. Here's what I've got:

1. Be Open to New Experiences
One year ago today I met up with my old boss from high school. I had worked part time for a State Farm office doing basic things like answering phones, scanning paperwork and just helping out around the office. I had a great experience there but eventually went off to college and got an internship and started a full time job doing marketing for a real estate firm after graduating college. So, when my old boss called me up and asked if I'd like to met, I kind of figured he might be offering me a job. And I was right, he did. But not to come back to do reception, to get my licenses and start selling insurance. It was scary to think about switching jobs! It was scary to switch to a job that was based partly on salary and partly on commission. It was scary to think about learning a whole new profession. It was scary to think about telling my then-current boss who took a chance on a fresh-out-of-college grad that I needed to move on. But, in the end, I got past the scary and went for it. I studied a LOT, passed my tests, and gave my two weeks notice. It was tough, but in the end was a much better choice for me.  I work a little closer to home, love my boss and people I work with, and just enjoy going into work so much more every day. I'm so glad I took the chance to try something new

2. How Blessed we are to have Jobs
Even though I like my new job, I wish I didn't have to work. I wish I could be a cute little stay at home wife and cook and clean and make jewelry and blog all day long.  But realistically, that's not really the best choice for us so I work and I'm so glad that I have a job and the capacity to do so. I'm also extremely grateful for my hubby and his job, which we got an extreme jolt of reality about this year when Shawn was laid-of very suddenly in the summer. Que panic attacks and intense sweating about mortgage payments and health insurance and fun stuff like that.  Luckily, hubby was only out of work three weeks before he started a NEW job with BETTER benefits that was much closer to home. Win-win.

3. How Quickly a Puppy can become a Family Member
We made Jefferson the newest member of our family right at the beginning of 2013. Jefferson started out as a fluffy ball of mini-golden doodle goodness like so:

and has ended up being a slightly larger but just-as-fluffy true little member of our family.  This little guy has weaseled his way into our hearts in a way I truly didn't expect. There's nothing that makes you feel more like a family then getting a dog. Or, you know, having a baby. But we don't want babies yet so for right now adding a dog was just enough :)

4. Being Content with Where we are
Speaking of not wanting babies....this year has really laid a peace on my heart with where hubby and I are in life.  There was a point last year before I switched jobs that I didn't really love what i was doing at work and wasn't the most happy person and thought it might kinnnndaaa sortaaa be nice to start thinking of maybeeee one dayishhhh having babies in the semi-semi-semi near future. But then I got a job I liked better and got a cute little puppy to love on and realized that was all I needed at the moment. I still want a family one day, but for this ripe old age of 23 I'm in, i'm just enjoying where I am. I like our 1200 sq feet townhome that has just enough space for two people. I like having free weekends to do nothing but bead and craft. I like being able to put the pup in his crate and go out for the night and be free(I think that would be child abuse if I did that to a baby...) and so for now, I am happy with where we are.

5. How Great True Friends Are
Through the years I have made friends and drifted apart from some as is normal as we all go through different phases. What I've really learned to appreciate this year though is how great it is to meet up with true friends. The kind that it doesn't matter that you live states away from or hours away from or only minutes away from, regardless of when you saw them last or when you will be seeing you again they will still always be your friend and when you meet up things will be the same as they always have been.

6. How Fun it is to Live with your Best Friend
 And by best friend, I mean my husband. Because that is what this past year really taught me, Shawn will always be my husband but he is also my partner and best friend, and this second year of our life together was really just fun. Sure I get annoyed that he empties the trash every Monday night but still has not learned to PUT A STUPID BAG BACK IN THE TRASH CAN when you take the old one out and he gets annoyed that I am incapable of killing any bug that makes it in the house no matter how big or small, but it's still just great to have each other. It's nice to have someone to sleep in with on the weekends and someone to talk to about all the mundane parts of your day and who just gets you and loves you no matter what.

7. How Fun Zumba is
I started going to Zumba this year with a girlfriend and have loved varying my workout routine. I started at a small Zumba gathering and liked the community, but switched to a bigger gym with a big class (better deal ffinancially).  Even though everyone has their own zumba-clique and I'm definitely one of the larger ones in the class, I have fun shaking my tail feather. And I'm not shy about it. I get there early and don't hide in the back and sure I'm not the best at it but I have a good time and get in a good workout so I enjoy it!

8. What Cool Doors Blogging Can Open
 This year I was selected to be a brand ambassador for Cousin Corporation which has been such an awesome blogging experience. I have loved getting to "virtually" know some other dedicated beaders and the chance to work with such a huge jewelry supplies manufacturer. The fact that they help feed my "need for bead" appetite is also pretty sweet :)

9. How Delicious Wine is
Ok ok....maybe I didn't just learn this in 2013...but 2013 definitely deepened my love for wine. This year I went exploring more local wineries with friends and hubby and really enjoyed trying new wines and stocking up my large wine rack :)
My kind of glass.

10. How much fun Cruises are
I went on my first cruise this summer and I really had a blast. I really liked the island gettaways, fancy food, excuses to dress up pretty, time to spend with hubby, and friends we made. The alcohol package we got was also pretty sweet if I'm being honest :)  Hey! This is my list and I can say what I want. Don't judge until you have a frozen bahama mama at 3 o'clock in the afternoon as your cruise ship departs and you realize you can have as many of those little mamas as you want for the next 6 days :)

So, bahama mamas and wine aside, I did learn a lot as a person this year. 2013 was pretty good to me overall. But enough being sentimental. Time for a new year with new things to learn and new challenges to overcome and more wine to drink! Happy new year bloggy friends, I hope you spend it with the ones you love and have good memories to look back on and more to look forward to as well!

How to Make a Purple Three-Strand Necklace

 I seem to be on a purple kick lately. Now let me set the record straight: I'm a big girly girl (as my blog implies) and in true girly girl fashion my favorite color is pink and always will be. Although, maybe it's the winter season, but right now I'm not wearing a ton of pink. Light pink is a little to pale against my pale white skin that hasn't seen sun since my cruise back in August (ack how tan I was back then!) So pale pink is out...and I don't always feel super professional wearing hot pink to work.

But purple? Purple still has the perfect amount of girlyness and just has this good strong and powerful vibe to it. Do I sounds crazy? Maybe I'm just trying to rationalize for the fact that I went to target recently and bought like, four shirts in one trip and they were ALL purple. So, uh. Yeah. Let's keep talking about how strong and powerful of a color it is to qualm any shoppers remorse I might be having... Who am I kidding. I'm not remorseful at all, my shirts are CUTE! :)

 So of course, after a shopping spree it's always time for a beading spree to make some pretty accessory to complement my new goodies! This week I'm sharing with you this three strand purple necklace!

This necklace is about 95% made up with Cousin Corporation beads and findings. You can find most of these supplies at your local craft store like Michaels. (grab a coupon for 40% off here).

What really started the vision for this necklace were these lovely crystal links and matching round crystal beads from the Crystazzi line - I knew a little extra sparkle would really jazz up my new outfits!!

Here are the links to the beads I used: Round Crystals, Crystal Links, Glass Pearls

First things first: to make this necklace you need to know how to make a basic link. Start with an eye pin. Add on a pearl. Use needle nose pliers to bend the wire 90 degrees. Use round nose pliers to bend into a circle. 

After you have made a pearl link, attach it onto the pre-made crystal link and use needle nose pliers to squeeze the loop shut.

Create a link with the round crystal bead, attach it to another crystal link, and then attach this new group with the pearl/crystal link like so:

Repeat this process over and over again and make three separate strands in different lengths

At this point I decided my necklace needed a little something else to jazz it up.  I played around and decided it would look nice to connect my strands towards the end of the necklace and add in a few more crystals.

To do so, I took a silver pin and curled a small loop around the end with pliers (you could just use a regular eye pin but I wanted my loop to be a little more discrete!) Then I strung on a crystal and strung it though a loop on my outer most strand. Then I strung on another crystal, through the loop of my middle strand, another crystal, last strand, one last crystal.

Next I create another mini loop with the end of the pin by bending it 90 degrees with pliers, trimming all but about a half of an inch off with wire cutters, and bending into another circle. 

Here's what it should look like when done:

Repeat for the other side of the necklace as well.  Lastly, attach a clasp using jumps rings and a three strand clasp.

Use two more jump rings to attach a lobster claw claps and an extension chain to the end of the three-strand clasp.

After the clasp is on, your necklace is done!

Here I am sporting the creeper eye one of my new tops and necklace. (But seriously. I am giving a littttle creepy look here)

Isn't it pretty? My favorite part is the crystal links, I think they give the necklace a little more professional look that I'm really digging.

Well, that was fun. I think next I need to have a falling out with black so I can rationalize going out and buying a bunch of gray shirts (and then making lots of matching necklaces of course :)

I'm linking up with these parties:
Thursdays: Catch a Glimpse

Top Ten Posts of 2013

Well, 2013 is winding down so it's the perfect time to take a look back on my last year of blogging. It's fun to look back on everything I created in a year, it makes me feel productive :)

 I took a look back to see what were my most popular posts from 2013 in terms of pageviews and have counted them down from ten to one - my most popular post.  Turns out that EVERY SINGLE POST is a jewelry making tutorial. I guess I know what you people like!!! Well that's good, because I like jewelry making too :)

Here are the project that made the cut:

10. DIY Coral & Chain Necklace

So many pretty necklaces! And one bracelet set. But seriously 9 out of ten of these posts are necklaces. To see some of my past popular projects, here are two round-ups from 2012 and 2011:

Top 10 Posts of 2012
Top 10 Posts of 2011

There are actually some non-jewelry making projects featured from those last years as well :)

Happy New Year Blog World! THANK YOU so much for reading My Girlish Whims and giving me an outlet to share all of my girlish whims and to keep me inspired to keep creating!!

Your Whims Wednesday #143 {And Features}

Time for another Your Whims Wednesday Party!

Your Whims Wednesday

I'm suspecting there will not be too many link-ups this week, because CHRISTMAS IS TOMORROW!!!!! I hope you are all enjoying spending time with your families and doing whatever traditions you enjoy: Christmas Eve services, Christmas movies, drinking too much egg nog, whatever you enjoy :) I'll be honest I'm scheduling this post, because right about now I should be finishing up "A Christmas Story" over at the in-laws before hubby and I come home and enjoy some Champagne and Christmas lights and alooone time ;)

But for anyone with some down time here for the party,  here are some of my favorites from last week!

Monochrome Gift Wrapping by Meeha Meeha

Floating Shelves by Urbane Jane

Vintage Glitter Bulbs by The Moody Fashionista

Crocheted Santa Hat by Night Owl Corner
 Baked Brie by Unusually Lovely
Baked-Brie 7.jpg
Thanks to all who linked up! Grab a button if you were featured :)
Featured on My Girlish Whims
Now... onto this weeks party!

I show off my girlish whims weekly on my blog, and now I want to see yours with 
Your Whims Wednesday!

1. Link up as many projects as you would like: as long as it is one of your girly ways, you can link it! I'd love to see crafts, recipes, style posts, etc. Anything and everything feminine :)
2.Please add my button (code at the top of this post) to either your blog post or somewhere on your blog. 
3. Take a quick moment to comment on at least one other entry. We we all love comments!! 
4.I'd love if you would follow me as well :)