*Let’s hear it!* An update from N&N

Hello everyone! I’m nearly there to getting the shop up online…just a bit longer! It’s all the logistics to sort out now and a few more pieces to make before N&N can officially open for business. Like all of you, I desperately need more time in my day to get things done, lament lament lament…

Most of the pieces I create for N&N are one-of-a-kind, except for some of the nursery items which I will be available to offer as limited editions. The shop will be updated each week with new pieces, so if you see something you love, make sure you get it because it might well be the only one I’ve got! I will also be offering to do custom orders and it will be interesting to see how that goes.

A little tidbit of news to share with you:

Niko & Nonnie is now up on Facebook! I’ve made a page for it and added a smattering of photos, but FB has given me an absolutely rubbish site address (*see below). In order to get a proper FB site name from them, I need a whole bunch of people to “like” my page … so please go on your FB and *LIKE* us!!! If we get to the magic number for FB businesses, I’ll be offering a free giveaway, so do tell your family, friends and co-workers about us!

You can find N&N here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Niko-Nonnie/100250986720340

Thank you for supporting handmade and welcoming Niko & Nonnie into your homes.

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BEADS, GLORIOUS BEADS!

The first time I visited Québec City as a child, I must have been four or five years of age. I remember winding through the ramparts surrounding the oldest parts of the city, gripping onto my parents’ hands and skipping with my sister.  During the course of our visit, we ended up in a little shop that sold many artisinal wares and handcrafted items. I felt very overwhelmed by all the shiny trinkets – there were so many things to look at and touch (but not break!) NE CASSE PAS! NE TOUCHE PAS!

In wandering around, I stumbled upon a round table of beads tucked away towards the back of the shop. Vials of beads were lined up like test tubes in a chemistry lab. The colours were gleaming under the fluorescent shop lights, the styles and shapes of bead were many and varied, and I felt precisely like the proverbial kid in a candy store. My sister and I left the shop that day each with a tiny glass vial of pearlized multi-coloured seed beads in hand.  Those were the tiniest beads I had ever seen! Our little glass vials were topped off with miniature corks, and I can still recall the fear I had of pulling out the cork only to have these magnificent spheres tumble out and embed themselves in the old cobblestone streets. As such, I kept a firm grasp on that precious vial. As we drove in the car back home to New York, I rolled the cold, smooth glass between my fingers and held the beads up to the window to let the light shine through them. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

The first beads I ever strung on a string were those cherished pearl seed beads, and I must tell you that I have been hooked on beading ever since. It has been many years of collecting and sorting … beading bracelets, necklaces, earrings, brooches… making accessories for outfits, occasions, presents… and now I am sharing this with my own children.

I watched my daughter and son today as they sorted beads into a glass milk jar, each one yelling out colours and shapes, each one claiming their own special beads and tucking them away for safe-keeping.  I saw how my son’s eyes lit up when the sunlight hit the facets of the beads as he dropped them one-by-one into the jar. Before I knew it they were fetching their “friends” – stuffed animals and trains joined in, this one pretending an orange bead was a carrot, another placing beads in its coal cart and funnel. It was a bit of a muddle, and in the end, it took two children, three stuffed animals and five little trains to complete our sorting for the afternoon. When we were done, we all cheered and clapped. The children ran into the living room and I stayed behind to retrieve the lost beads off of the kitchen floor. I reached for the milk bottle, cupped my hands like a funnel and listened to the tink-tink of the beads as they fell into the jar.  

I capped it with a cork. 

Bead sorting
Big sis & little bro working together
A felt & bead flower bracelet from my N&N collection
Lady, Rosie & Thomas the Train


"BAA…RAM…EWE"

The wool batting that I use to fill my products is literally the raw material you get from shearing a sheep. I like using natural “lambs’ wool” batting. Essentially, this type of batting comes from the very first shearing of a sheep, usually when the animal is around 7- or 8-months-old (!) Here I imagine a soft, fuzzy lamb jumping in a discombobulated rhythm through the pasture, smelling flowers and munching on sweet meadow grass. 
Lambs’ wool batting can be a bit tricky to find. It has a wonderful loft and is very light, often making it the batting of choice for yarn-making and bespoke tailoring. It can even be used in haute couture designs to help secure intricate beadwork that can weigh down a garment. I feel fortunate that my local wool shop has been in business for many, many years and the options are plentiful.

Wool batting is organic and hasn’t been bleached or chemically treated.

Some “natural” facts about wool:
*Wool is a natural allergen prohibitor, which means that it doesn’t serve as a suitable host for dust mites.
(If you’ve ever done a bit of research on dust mites, you probably wish that you hadn’t! Eek!)
Exposure to dust mites can cause eczema, asthma, runny noses and itchy eyes. Bleh.
*Wool is naturally flame-resistant (who knew?!)

When I think about flame retardants, I think of asbestos, PCBs, and probably a variety of other banned materials from decades ago. I seem to worry a lot about the potential of furniture and rugs off-gassing over time, and try to buy the safest options for my family. One of the things that drives me absolutely bonkers about the house we rent is that we have some wall-to-wall carpeting in a couple of the rooms. I have no idea what it’s made of or where it’s from but I do know that I vacuum its twisted, synthetic fibers like a maniac. I think it’s safe to say our landlord doesn’t share our commitment to natural products, lol!

It would be tremendous if we all decided to bin our mattresses, rugs and cushions and then replaced everything with natural materials in one fell swoop – but that’s not always realistic for individuals or growing families. Changing up items one-by-one, choosing natural materials when possible while taking care to read labels – all of these things will definitely benefit you and your loved ones over time.

*Wool is mildew-resistant

We’ve been living for nearly 2 years on the “Wet Coast” in Vancouver where a sunny day is defined as a day when it’s not raining… Fighting moisture and damp is the trade-off for living in a fairly temperate climate with mild winters.  Pardon me, did you say wool? Huzzah!

*Wool is gentle and cozy and feels oh-so-comforting against your skin. It helps regulate body temperature by drawing out moisture from the skin and bringing it to your core, keeping you much more comfortable.

Today, in between playing with the kids and folding laundry, I’ve been finishing up another all-natural woodland friend for the nursery collection:

100% cotton fabric, cotton thread (reg. & embroidery), lambs’ wool batting. Et voilà! 

** WELCOME **

Hello there and thank you for stopping by!

Niko & Nonnie is dedicated to jewelry and accessories for children.  All materials are carefully sourced and handmade into whimsical pieces perfect for little dreamers. The N&N collections will focus on nursery accessories, imaginative play and jewelry.  I use beads, buttons, fabrics, wool and felts for my designs, and try to be eco-friendly whenever possible by incorporating organic and sustainable materials.
This blog is a WIP at the moment, so please be sure to peek in as more information and photos are added.
If you have any questions, feel free to email NikoNonnieBoutique@gmail.com
Wishing you a Happy Spring!