Girls Just Wanna Win Swag: C-My Designs Jewelry Giveaway

August 21, 2008

Jennifer B. is the winner of the $25 gift certificate from last week’s Designs by Suzyn Swag giveaway.

It’s really a privilege this week to introduce you to Lynn Kvigne, artist and owner of C-My Designs. I have to admit when I first contacted Lynn, I was simply impressed by her jewelry designs. I wasn’t until our interview that I learned she’s a star in the jewelry-making world.

Lynn designs handcrafted jewelry in her Iowa studio.  Her creations include necklaces, pendants, bracelets, rings, and earrings. She specializes in metal designs using sterling silver, fine silver, copper and bronze. “I love to incorporate beads and stones into chain maille and fabricated designs.  My style’s been described as girly with an edge – not too fussy, just a little funky,” she says.

Sterling Silver Heart Pendant

You may already be familiar with Lynn who is recognized as an expert in the field of jewelry making. She publishes jewelry-related articles, free tutorials, and reviews at “I love to share knowledge, tips and tricks,” Lynn says. She’s also been published in Bead Trends magazine, and is a member of the Ornament Thursday craft team ( Lynn is a three-time winner in the Rings ‘N’ Things “Your Deigns Rock!” contest, and was awarded Best In Show at the Grand Cities Art Fest in 2008.

Lynn’s sense of humor is apparent in some of her designs such as the Not Made in China Earrings.

Not Made in China Earrings

That sense of humor also came through in our interview. She says when she’s not making jewelry you can find her, “asking Home Depot employees where the copper wire and flashing is, stalking the mailman for my supply orders, and walking my dog along country roads.”

Despite her obvious talent, it seems that Lynn doesn’t take herself too seriously. I asked her where her inspiration comes from. “Pizza.  You know how pizza’s a little of this, a little of that, and you’d better have a stable crust to hold it all together or you’re just going to end up with a big mess?  Jewelry making is a lot like pizza.  Throw together the right components, make sure you have a solid foundation, and you’ll end up with something beautiful.  Or tasty, depending on what you’re making.”

Lynn followed up that remark with this refreshingly honest answer, “Okay, I’ll admit, like Stephen King, I hate this question….everyone expects some magical perfect answer…like I’ll say my inspiration stems from nature and meditation, or that my designs come to me in a dream.  In all reality, I sit in boring “left brain” meetings all day long and start doodling on a piece of paper.  I have to pretend I’m actually taking notes while my mind wanders and I start sketching out my next project!  Sometimes I do go the meditation or dream route, but honestly, it’s highly overrated.”

Sterling Silver Wrap Ring (Oxidized)

Lynn says when she first started her business she went about it all wrong. “I signed up for a craft show and forgot about it for a year. When I was reminded that I had a table paid for and that the show was in two weeks, I decided to make jewelry.  My first creations were REALLY pathetic, but I did have some sales…and I was hooked!  I loved making jewelry, I loved working the shows and talking to people, and I loved making money to buy more jewelry making supplies.  It’s a vicious circle, a black hole, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Over time and through experience Lynn says she’s refined her style, ability and technique. “Today I’m proud of each and every piece of work I put up for sale or create for a commissioned request.  While I love to give my work new homes, it sometimes feels like one of my kids are leaving the nest when I sell a favorite piece!”

Win It!

Lynn is offering one lucky winner the Sterling Silver Heart Pendant pictured above on a 16-20″, (winner can specify) sterling silver snake chain.

To enter visit C-My Designs then come back here and comment ON THIS POST with the name of your favorite item (not pictured here) from the store. Comments not following the rules will be disqualified. Earn an extra entry by posting about this contest on your blog, and linking to this post and to C-My Designs. If you do the extra credit, let me know by leaving a separate comment with the link to your post.

Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. The contest is open to readers in the US and Canada.

The contest is open until 11:59 p.m. EST August 27. I’ll randomly draw a winner, and announce it on the next edition of Girls Just Wanna Win Swag. The winner will also be contacted by email, and will have three days to reply. If the winner does not reply in three days, another will be chosen. You may also check Prizey Fetch to see if you’ve won.

Have a women-owned business you’d like featured in a Swag giveaway? Fill out the contact form in my sidebar and let me know.


Living Room Olympics and Some Conversations with a Three-Year-Old

August 21, 2008

I haven’t posted much for over a week. I’ve been working on some other projects, and I guess blogging fell to the bottom of the list.

I just haven’t been feelin’ it either. Maybe it’s the realization that summer’s almost over. We’ve lost over an hour of daylight in the last month. I love those long summer evenings when the sun is out until 10 o’clock. Now that that they’re so quickly fading away, I feel like I have to squeeze every last drop out of what’s left of the sunshine and warm days. Remember the summers of your childhood that seemed to go on and on? If only time moved as slowly at 33 as it did at 13.

Or maybe it’s too many late nights watching the Olympics. I could not go to bed last night until I was sure Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won the gold. And am I the only one who couldn’t hold back the tears a few nights ago when they cut away to Shawn Johnson’s mother sobbing in the stands after her little girl finally won a gold medal? I actually had to get up and get a Kleenex.

David’s been watching the Olympics with us. This is the first that’s he’s been old enough to really watch. He’s been especially fascinated with swimming and gymnastics.

“Who is that?”

“Michael Phelps.”

“What’s he doing?”

“Swimming in a race.”

“He goes fast.”

“He goes very fast. He’s won a lot of gold medals, because he’s the best swimmer in the world.”

“When I grow up I want to swim fast, and win a gold medal. But I have to bring my floatie.”

Watching women’s swimming David noticed that some of the swimmers we’re, well, a little more athletically built than others.

“Mommie are they all girls?”

“Yes, it’s women’s swimming.”

“Is that a girl?”


“And that’s a girl?”


“No. That’s a man.”

“No honey, they’re all girls.”

“She doesn’t look like a girl.”

“Well, it’s hard to tell when their hair is under those caps.”

“No. She just doesn’t look like a girl.”

Later during the same event:

“Mommie do you want to go there?”

“Yes, I think it would be fun to go to China.”

“No there. Do you want to go there.”

“Do you mean swim in that big pool?”


“That would be fun wouldn’t it?”

“You could swim with those other girls, and Daddy and I could watch you.”

“I’m pretty sure I’d break a world record. Slowest ever Olympic time in the women’s 200 meters.”

Then after watching the gymnastics vaulting competition David announced, “I have to learn how to do five somersaults and land on my feet!”

The next day he carried his old crib mattress out to the living room and placed it in front of the ottoman. He started doing flips off the ottoman on to the mattress.

“What on earth are you doing? You’re going to break your neck!”

“No I won’t. I have a mattress.”

“You could still get hurt.”

“But I have to practice landing on my feet.”

Well, next week launches us full swing into election season with the Democratic Convention starting on Monday, followed up by the Republican convention the week after. David should give me plenty to blog about after he watches some of that.

Remember this conversation about Barack Obama? David still doesn’t believe me.

Girl Talk: Does Your UPS Man Know what You Look Like without Your Make-up On?

August 20, 2008

I didn’t get Girl Talk posted last Thursday, because my parents were coming to visit, and I was knee deep in housework. Housework takes three times as long when you have a three-year-old boy going behind you un-doing everything you just picked up and straightened. Oy!

This week I’ve been hunkered down at home working on some other projects, and taking care of a sick husband.

So I haven’t gone out much the last few days except for a couple quick trips to the store to replenish the milk supply. Speaking of milk, did you ever think you’d see the day that a gallon of milk and a gallon of gas were roughly the same price? Are the milking machines running on Premium now or what?

When I’m just at home and have no plans to go out, I have to admit I don’t exactly take the time get gussied up. Don’t worry. I do shower regularly, and change my underwear. But I let my hair just air dry, and the most make-up that goes on is a pre-emptive layer of Oil of Olay. That always comes back to bite me when I do end having to run out of the house unexpectedly, or answer the door for the UPS man.


What I am taking the long way around to get to is this.

What’s the minimum amount of primping you’ll leave the house with? I have a few rules.

1. My hair must be combed and mostly laying right.

2. My clothes must be presentable. No ill-fitting or stained clothes, and absolutely no pajama pants. I can not stand it when I see people out shopping in their pjs, and yes, even their fuzzy slippers! Don’t they at least own some sweats and pair of flip-flops? Really!

3. Mascara. I can go out with out lipstick, eyeshadow, even foundation, but I just feel naked with out my Great Lash.

So how about you? What are your minimum requirements for leaving the confines of your house?

Talk to me Girls.

Summer Chillers: Chunky Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

August 19, 2008

I had cherries and whipping cream left over from last week’s Summer Chiller. I’ve made ice cream a few times this summer, and I thought I’d try making it with cherries. Nothing goes better with cherries than chocolate, so I threw in some milk chocolate chips. I actually cobbled together a few different recipes to come up with this. I also used a no-cook, eggless ice cream base this time.

Chunky Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

2 cups milk

1 cup sugar

2 cups whipping cream or half and half

2 tbs almond extract

1 cup pitted and chopped cherries macerated in 1/4 cup of sugar

1 cup of milk chocolate chips

Pit and chop cherries. Stir in 1/4 a cup of sugar. Refrigerate for one hour.

Combine milk, cream, sugar and almond extract. Stir briskly, about two minutes until sugar is dissolved. (Undissolved sugar crystals may be a cause of large ice crystal formation.)  Pour into a 1-gallon ice cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. When ice cream is partially frozen, add in cherry mixture and chocolate chips. (Again make sure all the sugar in the cherry mixture is dissolved.) Finish freezing. Put in a covered container and place in the freezer several hours to harden.

Princess Time Toys Giveaway

August 18, 2008


Betty N. is the winner of the Disney Princess 7-in-1 Game House from Princess Time Toys. Congratulations.

And I’m back!

I been over at The Chocolistas for a few days completely screwing up, uh — practicing my CSS skills for a few days. It’s still a little rough, but check it out and let me know what you think about the new look. I really have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to html, so I consider it a personal triumph every time it turns out mostly O.K.

Anyway, I stayed up way too late several nights working on The Chocolistas, and now I’m too tired to blog. So how about a new give way instead? This one’s for the kiddos.

Princess Time Toys Giveaway

Princess Time Toys is giving away one Disney Princess 7-in-1 Game House. It Includes Checkers, Bingo, Tic Tac Toe, Dominoes, Go Fish, Old Maid and Crazy Eights all inside an beautiful wooden table with a storage drawer.


To enter, register at Princess Time Toys, and write a review for one of the products on the site on your blog linking to Princess Time Toys. Please only review products you’ve actually used. Nothing there? Then post what you think or like about a particular product, and how you’d use it with your child to enrich his/her life. Make sure you leave a comment with the link to your post.


Don’t have a blog? Register at Princess Time Toys and leave a comment here with your review or what you think or like about a particular product, and how you’d use it with your child to enrich his/her life.

Princess Time Toys honors your privacy and will NEVER send unsolicited mail or sell, give or rent your information. However, while registering, if you sign up for their newsletter, you’ll receive additional giveaway opportunities and discount codes!

The contest is open world wide.

Contest ends 11:59 P.M. August 24th.

The winner will be randomly drawn and contacted by email.