There's so much to catch everyone up on!
First, I have to report that a (belated) anniversary trip to Galena, Illinois (you HAVE to go when you're able if only for the architecture and back-in-time feeling) with my hubby turned business trip when I contacted Wendy Mullane of Vintaj Natural Brass. Vintaj makes the most beautiful jewelry components and they are eco-friendly. Natural brass -- can you dig it? ;)
I consider her a friend (though I've realized that her endearing and authentic personality has everyone feeling they've also made an exclusive connection) as we're joined at the vintage-hip. And her business partner sister, Jeanne, and business partner friend, Jess Italia, and their families are just as super-special which is as refreshing as it is infectious! Look for designs I've made up with Vintaj components in future issues of BeadStyle! Visit their site (http://www.vintaj.com/) for wholesale purchases and (http://www.etsy.com/) to buy finished pieces made with their wonderful components!
Second, and oh-so-cool -- I have to tell you all about Jamie's Wine Studio (Main Street) (http://www.jamieswines.com/). This Renaissance woman (who is also a pilot -- LOVE that) is my new best friend! Ha! (She doesn't know it yet!) Besides being wonderfully knowledgeable about all types of wine and champagnes (ask her about her brother too), she is the hostess-with-the-mostess when you drop in to choose your next pairing. Of course, you can buy wine there but you can also sit-a-bit and sip a glass while you shop (and shopping in Galena can be very, very taxing)! The cherry-on-top though, for all of you who won't get to Galena soon, is her new web site: http://www.tieoneon.com/! If you know of corporations looking for a new 'twist' on gifts for their clients, this is where to send them in cyber-space. Jamie artfully pairs wines (and their labels) with exquisite ties and scarves (and possibly jewelry? Hee!). Brilliant!!