Meet Gudrun Johnston

Gudrun Johnston Knitting Classes at The Nest

I am so excited for you all to meet Gudrun Johnston, a Shetland knitwear designer who has graciously agreed to teach all of us newbie knitters the ropes (or yarn, I should say!) in our 3 class series of Beginning Knitting Classes. She moved to Reno fairly recently, and we met when she came into the The Nest. She is as sweet as she is talented! I know when you meet her, you will adore her as much as I do.

Get to know a little bit about Gudrun here…

Gudrun Johnston Knitting Classes at The Nest

I was so stoked when you agreed to teach beginning knitting classes at The Nest because I felt like it was the equivalent of having Michael Jordan teach us how to shoot a layup. For anyone who doesn't know, what exactly is it that you do?

Well first of all I am incredibly flattered by that comparison! I refer to myself as a knitwear designer. Most of what I do is create original knitted garments and accessories and then write up a pattern that can be downloaded and knit by others. Seeing what knitters make from my patterns is endlessly rewarding. Thanks to to the internet, people from all over the world can access my patterns. I also travel to teach knitting techniques and traditions in various locations in the US and abroad and lead textile-related trips to the Shetland Islands in Scotland!

How long have you been knitting and how did you get started?

Gudrun Johnston Knitting Classes at The Nest

I know I learned around the age of 10 or 11 and remember making a pastel green vest (which I no longer have!). However, I didn't return to knitting until a lot later. Only about 14 years ago, actually! The instigation was partly due to the area we moved to where the fiber arts were strong (Western Massachusetts). The other significant impetus to pick up my needle again was that my daughter, who was 5 at the time, had lost a much beloved blanket that someone else had made for her. I walked past a yarn shop with a cute little poncho in the window and was inspired to go in and get the pattern and yarn. I looked at the instructions and had no idea what some of them meant, but armed with "The Idiot's Guide to Knitting," I knit up that poncho. It went on to be much loved by my daughter, and even now she still sleeps with it in her bed (she is 19)! After that I was obsessed with the craft and quickly found myself starting to make up my own stuff.

Any advice for new knitters?

Yes. Do not be put off by instructions in patterns! I seriously believe that a well-written pattern can be knit by anyone. There are so many additional resources these days by way of youtube videos and other online tutorials that even if you have no one to teach you in person, you can still learn! It's also important to know that you don't have to knit all the stuff. If you only want to knit scarves that is totally legitimate! You are still a knitter!

How does a Shetland knitwear designer end up in Reno, Nevada?

It does seem a little random, I'll admit! Basically, my husband took a job at the university here. We absolutely love it. It has exceeded our expectations. As a knitwear designer, I love that there are plenty of months for wool wearing!


I know that you are constantly traveling around the world teaching advanced knitting workshops to avid knitters. What draws you to teach us bumbling beginners?

I am so excited to teach beginners in my new-to-me local community. Although I tend to teach intermediate to advanced workshops, I am looking forward to seeing new knitters discover the pleasure of this craft!


You're Invited to The Nest's 9 Year Anniversary Party!

Lauren Weissler Exterior.jpg

Reno needs more excuses to dress up! Here’s a good one: The Nest has been around for just shy of a decade! If that’s not reason enough for a party, I don’t know what is! Dress in your vintage best and celebrate with me. We will be toasting to NINE years in business with The Nest (and 12 in total if you can believe that!) with cocktails from Verdi Local Distillery and great interactive pop ups from some of my favorite female-owned small businesses! This is your opportunity to get gussied up in that one piece that you love but can never find the right occasion to wear, so throw it on and let’s cheers to you for keeping me in business this long!

WHERE & WHEN: The Nest. Thursday, November 8th. 6-8pm.

Verdi Local Distillery will be pouring a signature Nest cocktail and pouring 1oz sippers of whiskey, brandy and gin.

Vines of the West will be doing chain stitch embroidery with her antique embroidery machine in-store! Bring your favorite denim jacket to be monogrammed or purchase pre-made patches.

Button Pusher will have a variety of designs to make your own pin back button to commemorate 9 years of The Nest as well as a variety of handmade items for purchase including buttons, coasters and bottle openers.


We are trying to help RISE gather some much-needed supplies for our houseless population before the winter hits. To kick off our very first Sleeping Bag Drive, we are doing a raffle with some fun prizes graciously donated by each pop up business.

THE NEST: (2) $50 gift certificates

VERDI LOCAL DISTILLERY: A bottle of their delicious apple cinnamon whiskey and a gift card

VINES OF THE WEST: Custom made chain-stitched rose patch

BUTTON PUSHER: Handmade custom coaster and bottle opener set

how to enter:

Just bring in any of the following items in good, CLEAN condition and receive the allotted amount of raffle tickets…

10 tickets: for every tent or sleeping bag.

5 tickets: for every blanket or warm coat

1 ticket for every pair of warm socks or $1 in cash

One ticket will be drawn the night of the party, and the winner gets the first choice of prizes. Contest will run through Small Business Saturday (11/24).

Beginning Knitting Classes with Gudrun Johnston

Gudrun Johnston Knitting Class

I know I’ve been teasing you about knitting classes with knitwear designer Gudrun Johnston for a while now, but it was worth the wait as we now have all the details dialed for not one but two series of classes designed for beginners! Knitting is a wonderfully meditative fall/winter hobby that I’ve fallen in love with. Pair it with cozying up on vintage couch with a glass of wine and good company and that’s what you’re in for!

This is a chance to connect with other crafty-minded people while learning an age old skill, and we hope that you’ll join us!




Wednesday, November 7. 6-8pm

basic knitting vocabulary, tools, casting on, knit stitch


Wednesday, November 14. 6-8pm

purl stitch, shaping by increasing or decreasing stitches, fixing dropped stitches


Wednesday, November 28. 6-8pm

getting familiar with following knitting patterns, picking out the right size needles and type of yarn for a project

Classes will include a set of knitting needles, a skein of yarn, beverages and light refreshments, great company and an extraordinary opportunity to learn from a professional knitwear designer. To keep these classes small enough to provide individual attention, we will only be allowing a maximum of 10 students.


Cost: $40 for 1 class. $35 per class for 2 classes. $30 per class for 3 classes.


Because everyone moves at a different pace, the class descriptions outlined above are very loose guidelines to what we hope to cover in each class. We are leaving lots of wiggle room for first time knitters to come to any of the classes without having gone to previous ones and to offer more advanced techniques to avid neophytes who master the material more quickly. So don’t be shy to sign up for all 3 classes (and get a discounted rate!) or show up to whichever one fits into your schedule.




Designed to build on the basic skills we learned in the first class series, in these drop-in style classes we will pick a project pattern (hat, fingerless mittens, scarf or facecloth) and guide you through the process of bringing it to fruition, just in time to give it as a holiday gift.

Wednesday, December 5, 12, 19. 6-8pm.

Is Reupholstering Your Piece Worth It?

Throwing some new fabric onto an old couch for a facelift sounds easy enough, right? Well, before you pick up that seen-better-days couch on the side of the road that you swear could look just like that couch from Anthropologie, here are some things you should know about getting a piece of furniture reupholstered.

Furniture upholstery is an art.

Yes, straightforward dining chairs are a cinch if you have an electric staple gun. I would encourage anyone to try this simple DIY to update the look of some old chairs. But anything past that, and I would suggest passing it on to a professional. Trust me, as an avid DIYer I have tried my hand at pieces that were just one step up in difficulty from easy dining chairs, and after it was all said and done, I would’ve paid a professional upholsterer double just to save myself the frustration.

The upholsterer that I work with has 20+ years of experience and has a turnaround time like no one I’ve ever heard of in our area. Plus, you are supporting a local man with a fam. Even better!

Furniture upholstery is an investment.

It takes years and years of experience to be able to nip and tuck fabric in just the right ways to make stripes and patterns line up or to make sure the nap of the fabric lays in the same direction. It is very detailed and time-consuming work not very suitable for anyone who isn’t a perfectionist. In addition, upholstery materials such as foam, nail head trim and piping are quite expensive. I was (and still am) shocked at how much these things can cost if you’re not a huge corporation buying the cheapest stuff available in bulk to mass produce a crappy quality piece of furniture.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you’re contemplating getting a piece reupholstered…

Does it have good bones?

I personally only reupholster vintage pieces. Why? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that pretty much no matter where you buy furniture from today, the quality won’t come close to what they used to make back in the day when they built things to last. Even the more expensive contemporary couches have structures made of pressed wood and in some cases cardboard. No, seriously! Can you believe that? Cardboard!!!

You wouldn’t invest in building a house on top of a shoddy foundation, would you? Same with reupholstering a piece of furniture. Check to make sure that the base is made of solid wood which can be repaired whereas cardboard and press board cannot.

Is it an heirloom or nostalgic piece or do you just plain LOVE it?

Like I said before, reupholstery is an investment. Our prices and turnaround time are the best in town, but with how cheaply and shoddily things are made nowadays, you can buy a piece of new furniture at Wal-Mart for the same amount as it will cost you to reupholster something. The Wal-Mart piece probably won’t last you more than a year or two, but if you’re just looking to get the cheapest available without regards to quality, then reupholstery may not be for you.

Do you want something utterly unique?

The beauty of reupholstering a piece is that depending on your choice of piece and fabric, you can have something that NO ONE else will have. I myself absolutely love coming up with unexpected fabric pairings to create statement pieces for your home.

Yes, reupholstery is for me!

If you’ve answered yes to these questions, first and foremost I’m going to sing my praises to you for being in the minority of people who care about good quality, being unique, supporting local and saving the environment by upcycling.

Next, if you’re ready to proceed, email me ( a photo of your piece along with any pertinent information (if it needs new foam, if anything is broken, if you’d like for any exposed wood to be stained, painted, etc.) so that I can get you a quote.

If you love the idea of reupholstering but you don’t have a piece yet, stop by the shop to peruse our selection of couches and chairs with a fresh set of eyes, imagining each piece in a fabric of your choice. Same if you find a piece that fits the bill in grandma’s storage unit, at a local thrift store or heck, even on the side of the road! All it takes is a little imagination. And if you have any reservations about the imagination part, just let me know! I love to help people choose fabrics and help with the design process.

Take a (Social Media) Break

Photo from  McLernon & Co.  reminding us to #keepsocialmediasocial

Photo from McLernon & Co. reminding us to #keepsocialmediasocial

If you've been following along on Instagram and this post in particular, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I've been trying to be more mindful about my screen time, especially now that my three year old son can call me out on it.

A few weeks back, fueled by the frustration of always feeling so busy (and I'll be honest...I was also listening to an old Tony Robbins tape, ha!), I tried to figure out where I spend time that's not absolutely necessary. Turns out (no surprise here!) my biggest time suck was scrolling through my Instagram feed and stories.

Now I don’t advocate getting off social media completely. I do see its benefits, and I don’t mind spending a few minutes here and there catching up on what’s happening with friends and family and getting inspired by strangers. HOWEVER, I also don’t want to miss out on the life that is happening right in front of me like in this powerful video.

This time of year is always pretty melancholy for me because it reminds me of the last days I spent with my mom and when she finally passed. I try not to live in the past too much, but I do regret that I didn’t spend every single waking second with her in those last months.

Because of that and an absolutely beautiful letter I got in response to my Instagram post from a lovely soul named Hannah (read the heartwarming letter at the end of this blog post), I decided that I wanted to make a concerted effort to at least be conscious of the time that I spend on my phone and then make the decision of how much time I want to be there.

I decided to take action, and I wanted to share what I learned with you. Here I’ve pooled together some tips for a social media cleanse to help you find that precarious balance of using social media consciously and responsibly.


(1) WRITE OUT* a list of tasks that would take 5-20 minutes each to accomplish.

Examples: writing a thank you card, mending a piece of clothing, folding that basket of laundry, returning a phone call you’ve been putting off, watering your plants, calling a family member, paying a bill, etc.

Don’t forget self-care items like meditating, writing in your journal, putting on a face mask or taking a relaxing bath. My personal favorite lately has been doing a 15 minute yoga class that I found on YouTube.

*Writing out this list is key because otherwise it’s easy to forget or distracted. Even better if you can write out a few key items and tape them to the back of your phone.

(2) Whenever you catch yourself on your social media feed of choice (especially in that 1.5 second span where it's loading), become aware of what your purpose is. If you realize that you’re on auto pilot, try putting your phone down and shifting focus to one of the things on your list instead.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the hardest part was having the AWARENESS that I was even reaching for my phone. I realized that sometimes I was unconsciously reaching for my phone at random or uncomfortable times and then found that I had just wasted twenty minutes looking at things that weren’t really enriching my life.

It was AMAZING how much this time adds up. I thought that I had dialed my days out so that no second was wasted, but I found that I could complete 2-5 things on my list per day just from consciously cutting it out. How long do you spend on social media per day? What could you accomplish with 30/60/90 (dare I say more…?) minutes more per day?

On Sunday, September 23rd, I’m asking you to put your phone down with me. See how many of those 5 minute projects you can cross off your list or how much more quality time you can spend with your family.

Let’s do it together. It’s always easier to do something when you have friends supporting you and holding you accountable.

For even further incentive, if you cut out social media all day and then come into the store, introduce yourself in the flesh and let me know how the experiment affected you, I’ll give you 20% off your entire purchase for the remainder of the month.

You have over a week to practice and cut down, but let’s go cold turkey for just one day to see what our lives could look like if we had a more responsible relationship with social media.

You in?


My name is Hannah. Like I said, I’m about to drop you a novel rather than a line. Hope that’s ok!

On Sunday morning around 4am, I scrolled through Instagram after I put my 4 month old daughter back down to sleep. I had recently watched Tully, and there was a line in that movie that shook me up. It was something along the lines of, “kiss her goodnight, she’ll be different in the morning.” I thought of that line as I sat mindlessly refreshing my feed at 4am, and I wondered if I had had missed fleeting moments with my daughter that day as a result of having the world in the form of a screen at my fingertips. As a new mom, being trapped under my sweet baby has resulted in a massive surge in my social media use and participation. I think it started as a way for me to feel connected to the outside world, but I have very recently found myself feeling overwhelmingly alone and alienated instead. Long story short, I deleted all my social apps on my phone. I didn’t look at Instagram or Facebook all day long. That day, I read 1/3 of a book I’d been meaning to read, cuddled and played with my baby phone free, and I found joy in taking my time to put my freshly washed duvet cover on my comforter (my absolute least favorite household chore) as I listened to music while the baby slept. It was eye opening. I found an abundance of time where I thought there no longer was any. The next day, at work, I was more focused and in tune with my work than I had been in as long as I could remember. Today, the same.

Tonight, I scrolled through Pinterest - which is something I had “replaced” with IG lately. I decided I want to use coffee tins as planters in a macrame hanger. But I didn’t want to buy a hanger off of Amazon because where is the fun in that!? I also need some more cool coffee tins that I’d like to find locally. I thought of your shop, and I broke my (albeit brief) social media hiatus to jump on my iPad (where I still have the Instagram app) to grab your shop’s number to give you a call and ask if you had any of the above things in the shop! I could have Googled it but I’m glad I didn’t. The lovely photo of you that you recently posted totally caught my eye and yeah, well, I clicked because I have no self control, ha! I laughed out loud when I read the content of the post. Too perfect that I break my hiatus to read about yours!

All this to say, I felt like this was a sign I needed to reach out! I so relate to what you said about worrying about capturing a moment instead of just living it. Every word of your post was jiving with the place I’m at right now and I just had to send you this note! I’ve spilled my guts a little bit here, but I wanted to tell you that your post empowered me to continue my hiatus.

I’d love to stop by the shop and officially meet you! I’ve been in, I love it, but I’ve never said a real hello. It’ll just be a bonus if you’ve got any cool old coffee tins or macrame hangers. ❤️


Feeling inspired yet? Write your list of 5-20 minute tasks in the comments below to get started.


*In home yoga class

*Read Owen a story

*Take a bath

*Put up curtain rods

*Take measurements for the pipe bench for my closet

*Make DIY lotion

*Read a chapter from Awareness

*Label bulk containers in pantry

Your turn!

Meet Lauren Weissler

Lauren Weissler in a killer suede Nest jacket! Photo by Benjamin Maddox.

Lauren Weissler in a killer suede Nest jacket! Photo by Benjamin Maddox.

You may have heard me gushing about Lauren Weissler in previous posts and with good reason! She is a phenomenal photographer who I have had the honor of shooting with for the past few years now--even though she lives all the way across the country! Remember our 2016 Nest Lookbook? Yeah, that was her. Huge heart eyes.

This girl has some serious street cred, although she'd never admit it. She was a photographer for MTV and VH1 for 7 years and has snapped so many pics of celebs that it ain't no thang to her.

Her last visit a few weeks ago was a whirlwind two days with two completely different but awesome shoots. Check out the June issue of the Reno Tahoe Tonight (we made the cover!) to see photos from the western-inspired shoot. But first, here's your chance to get to know Lauren a bit more. This girl cracks me up. For real.

Lauren Weissler. Photo by Caroline Sinno.

Lauren Weissler. Photo by Caroline Sinno.

I guess we should start from the beginning, yes? I love that the way we met was so serendipitous! For those who haven't heard the story, how did we first cross paths?

I was in Tahoe, visiting a friend who moved here from NY.  I love vintage (particularly mid-century stuff) so I asked my friend if she knew of a good local vintage store we could visit.  She immediately recommended The Nest.  I was a little apprehensive, as most of the stores I found were a little (costume-y) but almost cried a little when entering Tessa's store.  This is no exaggeration....I immediately felt that at that moment I was moving to the Tahoe area only if just to furnish my new digs with everything in this store!  Who cares if I had a good job in NY and all my friends lived there?  I snapped out of it and went to the front counter to ask if they shipped to NY and how much it would cost.  I immediately forgot what I was going to ask because I was met with one of the most beautiful and interesting faces I've ever seen.  Another reason I was traveling was to capture portraits of local people and to try and orchestrate a shoot in an environment I wasn't used to...One that had more than one tree, no tall buildings blocking amazing light and the chances of having some guy peeing in the street in my shot were slim to none.  I saw Tessa, stared like a creep at her while zoning out, thinking of all the cool shots I would get of her and asked if she had time while I was here to shoot.  Unfortunately, I was leaving to go back to NY the next day so that didn't leave us much time.  As luck or the universe would have it, Tess was going to be in NY the following week and we got to shoot.  I'm still a creep though, because I photographed her in the freight elevator, because I couldn't rent studio space.  Years later, and many miles apart, I consider Tessa to be one of my closest friends and one of the most beautiful people in the world (inside and out)!

Awww shucks. I'm blushing. But the freight elevator? I gotta admit, I would've thought MTV/VH1 would've had better facilities. Just sayin'... Anyway, tell us a little bit about your photography background.

I have always been interested in fashion photography.  I remember, as a little girl, skimming through the glossy pages of fashion magazines, totally uninterested in what they were selling but interested in the faces of the models, the way the light hit them and the environment they were in.  I didn't want to be the girls I saw in the magazine.  I wanted to be a part of creating what I knew even then wasn't real but a bit of a fantasy world, luring people in with my imagination and how I could go about expressing it in a photograph.

Right out of college, with a degree in photography,  I was on autopilot applying for jobs.  It's hard out there, and there was-- and still--is a lot of competition.  I applied for a Photo Editing position for an unnamed company, got an interview, found out at the interview that it was for MTV/VH1 and got the job.  I started part-time and worked my way up to full-time "permalance" (that's fancy for we want you to work full time for us without the perks of benefits).  I worked there for 7 years and got to experience some pretty amazing things.  I mainly photographed reportage and portrait stuff of musicians and actors.  It was a great and sometimes not so great ride, but I'm focusing more on finding jobs these days where I have more creative freedom.  As much as it's amazing to shoot celebs, I often had just 5 seconds with them and had to use available light, but I did become pretty resourceful in terms of environment to get the shot.

Photo by Lauren Weissler.

Photo by Lauren Weissler.

What is your current focus or any other projects in the works that you're excited about?

My current focus is to do something I said in my younger years I would never do....dah dah daaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!! THE WORLD OF WEDDINGS!  I had a reeeallly bad experience the one and only time I assisted on a wedding and swore I would never do it.  Alas, I'm older and somewhat wiser and realize that at the time, I wasn't given the creative freedom I had wanted and I was still developing a style and learning how to connect to my work on both a personal and professional level.  I have friends that are incredible wedding photographers, and a light bulb went off inside my head and gave me the idea to go into business for myself. I still would love to continue photographing the music scene as well.  Both music and photography are what makes this little black heart beat faster. :)

Where do you want to go now with your photography?

I would love to go to a place where I can flex my creative muscles, make enough money to live comfortably, and be allowed to capture the souls of amazing people!  By capturing souls...I mean on camera.  I'm not a witch or anything. 

What is your favorite piece of advice for people in front of the camera?

In front of the camera...I would say, WHEN IN DOUBT, SHAKE IT OUT!  A lot of people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera.  I'm one of those people.  However, if you stay stiff and uncomfortable neither of us are going to be happy with the photographs.  I tell my clients to literally relax their entire body, shake around like a lunatic and however your body falls naturally, is when I'm going to shoot.  It works 90% of the time.

Lauren Weissler, Kirsten Poulsen, Rob Leines. Photo by Eddie Vigil V.

Lauren Weissler, Kirsten Poulsen, Rob Leines. Photo by Eddie Vigil V.

What about behind the camera for all those budding photographers out there?

Engage your clients!  Ask them questions! Make them laugh!  Give them direction!  I don't know why I'm using all these exclamation points! The best way to make a client feel comfortable, is to share a little personal info about yourself. I wouldn't tell them that you're harboring a fugitive or you're in the process of going through your 11th divorce, but maybe why you got into photography? Focus on what you think their most unique or beautiful feature is and LET THEM KNOW! They may blush or get shy, but that could be a beautiful portrait right there...Plus, you may make someone's day!

Lauren Weissler, Kirsten Poulsen, Rob Leines. Photo by Eddie Vigil V.

Lauren Weissler, Kirsten Poulsen, Rob Leines. Photo by Eddie Vigil V.

What was your favorite part of our western shoot?

UMMMM! Everything!  Ok, so as you know, Tessa, I would not stop talking about Westworld.  It was a little unhealthy actually haha!  I'm so used to shooting in an urban location.  So, being around fresh air, amazing clothes, beautiful, friendly people, nature and being allowed to bring a bit of edginess to the creative process was my favorite.   I also am pretty impressed at how quickly we....I mean you...pulled all of this together.  I'm impressed and touched by how everyone is so willing to pull together and make things work!  AHHHHH!! I should just move here already.

Dallas the horse. Photo by Lauren Weissler.

Dallas the horse. Photo by Lauren Weissler.

Yeah you should! And it was a team effort! You had the inspiration and the camera...I just put out a few calls and let the pieces fall into place, which they did rather nicely, I might add!

So, how can people get a hold of you if they want you to shoot their wedding/headshot/styled shoot, etc.?

They can contact my agent!!!  Just kidding, I don't have an agent!  Email is the best way to get to me.  I can be reached  I also have a website with a contact page at

Lauren Weissler. Photo by Caroline Sinno.

Lauren Weissler. Photo by Caroline Sinno.