Thursday, March 4, 2010


I love when I can give my readers a chance to win some really special items!!! I recently became blog/e-mail friends with Valerie of Next to Heaven. Her blog is super fun and she is just a great girl and I really glad we have become friends!

Valerie is an extremely talented artist and designs really fabulous jewelry for her etsy shop Spunk & Sass. As you can see from the pictures, her stuff is fantastic!! I was lucky enough to receive a hand stamped necklace with my initials from Valerie a few weeks ago. (We did a little product swap. She is the first person to own an original SDG bag!!) I honestly have been wearing this necklace daily. Not only is it pretty, but it goes with everything! It is simple yet elegant and I love it!! ( I also bought the Birds Nest ring from her shop. Wearing it right now!!)

My hand stamped necklace! Sorry about the poor picture quality, still learning!

My ring. Please do not discuss my dry hands and lack of manicure!!

Valerie was nice enough to indulge me and let me show off my interviewing skills. Here are some fun facts about my new friend!

Give me (and my readers) a little background on yourself.

Howdy! My name is Valerie. I’m in my mid-twenties and married to my high school sweetheart. I currently work an 8-5 job, which doesn’t allow for much creativity, so crafting is my creative outlet. I’m very much an outdoorsy kinda gal and I love adventures. I’m also a DIY believer. I love to see what kinds of things I can make myself. I’m loud, spunky, and love to have fun!

How long have you been creating jewelry?

I started making jewelry in college as a hobby to get away from studying. I think I started in 2005. After college though, is when I really got into making jewelry and learning new techniques. So I guess roughly, I’m going on 5 years!

What do you enjoy most about creating jewelry?

I love the freedom in it. I can sit down with my beads and findings surrounding me and just go to work. When I see different beads, ideas pop into my head and new jewelry is born. Making jewelry is such a huge creative outlet and I really enjoy seeing all the different pieces I come up with. I personally love it when I wear my creations and people rave about it wanting to know where I got it. Then I can say “Oh, I made it!” I love the look on their faces. It really makes my day.

What inspires your designs?

I’m all over the board with inspiration. I get ideas while shopping online and in-stores a lot of the time. That was actually the whole premise for me making jewelry: I wanted to be able to make the things I saw and liked, but for a lot better price. I also get inspiration from outfits I wear: What would look good? What would just “make” this outfit? etc. etc. Beads and other findings also help fuel inspiration. I’ll see a few beads or one little charm and a whole new idea is formed. So really I get ideas from everywhere!

When and why did you decide to open an etsy shop?

As I started getting better with my jewelry making, several friends made comments that I needed to sell my jewelry. Around this time I became familiar with Etsy and I kept having the urge to go ahead and give it a try. I started out making jewelry for myself and as gifts to friends, but I thought that if I could have people all over the world wearing my jewelry, what a cool feeling that would be.
I also taught my best friend about jewelry making and we decided to open the store together since we both shared a love for crafting. You really can’t go wrong by doing something you love.

You have a fabulous blog! What do you enjoy most about blogging??

I love being able to share my life stories and connecting with other like and non-like individuals. My blog started mostly as an online journal for me to babble or complain, but then it warped into a hobby that I absolutely love doing. Writing has always been a good release for me. I never would have thought, though, that my blog would become what it is today. That people would actually read what I have to say and continue coming back every single day. So not only do I love writing, but I love meeting new and fabulous people in the blogging community. It’s an amazing support network!

Where do you see Spunk and Sass in one year??

In one year I hope Spunk & Sass is still thriving. We have our busy times and our slow times and really that’s OK. I’d love to see us with double the sales we have now and have a little more online awareness, but, really, if we’re still selling jewelry occasionally, then that’s all I can ask for. I’m doing something I love and I’m sharing it with the world. If someone buys it, then that’s a bonus for us!

Read any good books lately??

I recently joined and have found a few books that I don’t know I would have found otherwise. I read The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano and more recently I’ve been addicted to the Sookie Stackhouse books, which the HBO series, True Blood, is based off of and I really love it. They are a bit more grown up than Twilight, which I still love by the way, but it’s different with more intense situations. I’ve become quite the little bookworm lately, so if you’re on Good Reads then let’s be friends.

Favorite food?

My favorite type of food is Mexican food. I love chips and salsa as well as some good cheese enchiladas! Oh yes, and don’t forget the strawberry margarita!

Favorite song?

I love music. My favorite slow song is You’re My Witness by Clay Walker, which was my first dance song with my husband at our wedding. It’s such a beautiful song. My favorite up beat song is I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas. It, without fail, puts me in a good mood!

Favorite thing to do to relax?

I love cuddling up on the couch with my husband and catching up on our favorite shows. If I’m not couch-potatoing-it, then making jewelry or reading is great relaxation for me.

I wanted to be able to share how great I think Spunk & Sass is with my readers, so...Valerie has agreed to do a :


(I just had an Oprah moment!)

Valerie is giving away a beautiful hand stamped necklace (with the winners initials of course)!!!
Here is how you can win a necklace of your own:

{1 entry}-Visit Spunk & Sass and then comment about what you like best.

{1 entry}-Follow my blog. (And leave a comment!)

{1 entry}-Follow me on Twitter. (Leave me a comment to let me know!)
{1 entry}-Follow Valerie's blog. (Leave me a comment to let me know!)
{1 entry}-Follow Valerie on Twitter. (Leave me a comment to let me know!)
{1 entry} -Post about this give away on your blog. (Leave me a comment to let me know!)
{1 entry}-Tweet about this give away on twitter. (Leave me a comment to let me know!)
Do one of these or do them all, just be sure to leave me a comment for each one!!!
The give away ends Sunday March 7. I will pick a winner at random and announce here on my blog!!! Thanks Valerie for being so generous!!!


Valerie {Next to Heaven} said...

Thanks for the great post Meredith! Good luck to all those who enter!!

Joany said...

I love the jewelry! The simple, stamped necklaces are my favorite. The blog looks like a good one too.

Jacky {The Sweetest Petunia} said...

Absolutely love the Bird's Nest ring! Someday I'm going to have to get one. ;)

Jacky {The Sweetest Petunia} said...

Following Valerie's blog!

Jacky {The Sweetest Petunia} said...

Following you on Twitter - @thesweetpetunia

Jacky {The Sweetest Petunia} said...

And following Valerie on Twitter - @thesweetpetunia

Jaime said...

I really like the hands stamped necklace with the stone! very pretty.

Aronsen40 at aol dot com

Jaime said...

I follow you!

Jaime said...

I follow Valerie's blog

Jaime said...

I follow Valerie on twitter

Jaime said...

I follow you on twitter (Jaimelar)

Tiffany said...

Love giveaways....especially when I can actually enter one! Love the blue bird necklace!

Tiffany said...

following your bog!

Mindy said...

What a small a 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of way. Valerie's best friend is the sister of one of my good friends here in TX. I've never met Valerie but I hear about her a lot. My friend has some of her jewelry and its all BEAUTIFUL!

The world really is getting smaller. How funny!

fernandflora said...

Hey Meredith! I'm now a follower of your lovely blog! Fun giveaway too!

Also, thanks for adding my blog to your list. I've been getting some traffic from it - so thank you!

xo - Emily

Martha Carolyn said...

I love the stamped necklace and would love to own one! I am a follower of your blog!

Martha Carolyn said...

I love the silver bird's nest ring! I never wear other rings besides my wedding ring, but I would wear that one every day!!

Martha Carolyn said...

I am also follwing Valerie's blog. :-)

kristin said...

I follow you. Hmm...I sound like a stalker. ;)

kristin said...

I saw that you saw the blog post. Good luck with the new venture. :)

kristin said...

I think Amy's necklace might be my favorite. The birds nest rings are so cute, too.

Elizabeth said...

Love the fabric!! Where did you find it?? Love the stamped necklace:)

Mary Ann said...

I love the initial necklace.

~*Katie*~ said...

I follow you on twitter...ktdietrich

~*Katie*~ said...

I follow your blog

~*Katie*~ said...

I follow Valerie

~*Katie*~ said...

I also follow Valerie on twitter

~*Katie*~ said...

I blogged about this giveaway here:

~*Katie*~ said...

I love the drops of pearl necklace...And these handstamped necklaces...